Fluid Power Journal

NFPA Fluid Power Clubs Conduct Hands-On Projects

This academic year, the National Fluid Power Association supported 13 Fluid Power Clubs on university campuses across the country. The goal of this initiative is to introduce underclassmen to fluid power and connect students to industry professionals to learn about careers in the industry.

NFPA funds each club with a stipend of up to $2,000 to support the technical projects club participants work on during the school year. Here are some of the projects from this year:

  • The Murray State University club designed t-shirts and is building a pneumatic t-shirt cannon to use during university sporting events as a recruitment effort to get more students involved in their club.
  • The Purdue University club is working on a hydrostatic go-kart that could eventually be eligible to race in Purdue’s annual Grand Prix event. They are also exploring a hydraulic excavator and a pneumatic drone. “On behalf of the Purdue Fluid Power Club, we would like to start by thanking you for your most generous donation,” the club’s president and treasurer said. “Our members already have ambitious project ideas and applications for implementing fluid power into existing mechanical systems. We are all looking forward to the opportunities and experiences that can be offered from this student organization as well as how we can use our skills to improve the club.”
  • With support from Norgren, the Purdue University Northwest club is collaborating with a local community college to build portable pneumatic trainers.
  • The University of Alabama at Birmingham club was unable to formally participate in the Vehicle Challenge this year, so FORCE America mentored them as they built their competition vehicle as an independent project.
  • The University of Cincinnati club took an alternative approach to the traditional Vehicle Challenge and built a pneumatic bike as an independent project with guidance and support from Norgren.
  • The club at Western Michigan University is designing a four-wheel hydraulic-powered vehicle based on EV concept. Instead of directly using the electric motor to power the vehicle transmission, they are planning to use hydraulic motors.

Universities are always looking for industry representatives to speak to their students and guide them on technical projects. There are many opportunities for NFPA members to connect with local students through the Fluid Power Club program.

For more information, email sscaccianoce@nfpa.com or visit www.nfpa.com/home/workforce/Fluid-Power-Club2.htm.

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