Fluid Power Journal

CCEFP Forms A Stronger Partnership with Industry

kim-stelsonIt’s hard to believe that the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) is in its tenth year. It’s been a decade of rapid growth, and CCEFP is now one of the leading academic fluid power research centers in the world. We have led a renaissance in research and have reinvigorated the fluid power profession in this country. But the tenth year means that we are coming to the end of our financial support from the National Science Foundation. This has led the CCEFP and the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) to think of new ways to work together.

The NFPA Foundation has created The Pascal Society. By combining the contributions of many individuals into a single effort, The Pascal Society seeks to develop the resources, tools, and people to meet the technology and workforce needs of the U.S. fluid power industry. A major goal is the support of pre-competitive research projects through the CCEFP. These projects are important because they connect advanced-degree students to our industry, create more infrastructure in our leading universities, and increase the ability of those universities to teach fluid power to their undergraduates. The Society has been structured to facilitate the engagement of its industry members in setting a research strategy, selecting the projects most likely to benefit our industry, and reviewing the progress of the students working on them. It is one of the best ways to introduce talented engineers to our technology and to bring them into our industry. For more information about joining the Pascal Society, please contact Eric Lanke, CEO of the NFPA, at elanke@nfpa.com.

To increase the communication and collaboration between university researchers and industry, the NFPA and the CCEFP have created FPIRC, the Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference. FPIRC is the premier conference for fluid power industry and academic research in North America. It connects industry to university resources and talent through technical sessions, networking opportunities, laboratory tours, and panel discussions on the technologies and workforce skills needed to continue growing the fluid power industry. FPIRC will be held on October 14-16, 2015 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Chicago. Registration information can be found at http://www.ccefp.org/get-involved/fpirc-2015. FPIRC 2015 is co-located with the ASME/Bath Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, to be held on October 12-14 in the same hotel. More information about the ASME/Bath Symposium can be found at http://www.asmeconferences.org/FPMC2015/.

Government support for CCEFP pre-competitive research is another way we can continue to meet our goals. Toward this end, the CCEFP will participate in a poster show and reception on Capitol Hill on October 28, 2015. We need industry representatives to help promote the CCEFP to Congress, so if you have direct experience with CCEFP that you are willing to share with congressional staffers, please consider helping us. To participate, please contact Mike Gust at mjgust@umn.edu.

By Kim Stelson, Distinguished Professor, College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, and CCEFP Director

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