Edited by Mary C. Gannon

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will award the Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) a four-year, $16 million dollar grant, enabling the Center to continue its efforts in transforming how fluid power is researched and taught. Industry partners will augment NSF funding with contributions, and the Center’s seven universities will contribute an additional $3.2 million.

This is welcome news to the more than 30 faculty, 300 undergraduate and graduate engineering students, and 57 industry sponsors who have been involved in the CCEFP since its founding in 2006 through an initial NSF grant. Their work on four test beds and more than 25 research projects focuses primarily on increasing the efficiency of existing fluid power applications; expanding the use of fluid power in transportation; creating portable, untethered human-scale fluid power applications; and ensuring that fluid power is clean, quiet, safe, and easy to use. Fourteen inventions have been disclosed and more than 100 technical papers published.

The Center’s education and outreach program offers more than 20 projects designed to attract pre-college students to science and engineering generally and to hydraulics and pneumatics in particular; educate all mechanical engineering undergraduate students about fluid power; raise the general public’s awareness of the ubiquity of fluid power; increase the diversity of students and practitioners in fluid power research and industry; and establish lasting forums where industry and academia can exchange ideas and strategize.

“The CCEFP has already made landmark breakthroughs,” says Dr. Kim Stelson, Center Director. “The Center has transformed hydraulic and pneumatic research in this country from isolated efforts by a few to a cohesive, strategically-directed collaborative team linking seven universities and many leaders in the fluid power industry. Recognition of these efforts continues to grow, as the Center’s work impresses academic and engineering audiences worldwide. Our efforts in education and outreach show significant results, too, as the CCEFP works with established, effective partners to maximize program impact.”

Visit www.ccefp.org for more information.