Fluid Power Journal

NFPA Curriculum Grant Awarded to University of Missouri

The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation has awarded a $25,000 Curriculum Grant to the University of Missouri for a project titled “Fluid Power Case Study Development.” The project will be aimed at developing three dynamical case studies to supplement the Fluid Power System Dynamics and Control mini-book. The three case studies will include robotics, aircraft, and excavators. All three case studies will involve three components: system analysis, design, and control.

The Fluid Power System Dynamics and Control mini-book, written by William Durfee, Zongxuan Sun, and James Van de Ven in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Minnesota, attempts to combine very practical topics with more theoretical aspects of fluid power systems design. A number of calculation examples exist in the book, such as power calculations, fluid bulk modulus estimates, and Reynolds number evaluations. However, the mini-book does not have a case study where all of these things come together to build a system that is used in the real world.

The goals of the project are to develop three case studies that incorporate the existing text and to show students how to implement the equations in a larger scope. The direct impact will be to make the mini-book more applicable to the practicing engineer and the inquiring student. In a sense, it will provide the student with a capstone experience for learning.

Through its Curriculum Grant Program, the NFPA Foundation awards grants to universities to develop, replicate, or disseminate high-quality, high-impact undergraduate level fluid power curriculum. The program objective is to create awareness and engage undergraduate engineering students in fluid power, and engage engineering faculty in the development and teaching of fluid power.

So far, three curriculum grants have been awarded to professors at Lawrence Technological University, Ohio University, and Western Michigan University. The resulting curriculum has been posted in the Fluid Power Curriculum resource library and is available to any university professor who would like to teach fluid power to undergraduate mechanical engineering students.

For further information on NFPA’s Curriculum Grant program, contact Carrie Tatman Schwartz at (414) 778-3347 or ctschwartz@nfpa.com.

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