As with any technology, ongoing research in fluid power is essential to its continued growth. For decades, the US lagged behind other countries in bringing academia and industry together to conduct research. A major step was taken to change this 10 years ago with NFPA’s formation of the Center for Compact & Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP).
The CCEFP was Initially funded through public money, but industry leaders have developed programs for ongoing funding the NFPA Technology and Education Foundation. An important segment of the foundation is The Pascal Society, which combines the contributions of many individuals into a single effort. In doing so, the Pascal Society aims 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 Pascal Society helps engage its industry members in setting a research strategy, selecting projects most likely to benefit our industry, and reviewing the progress of the students working on them. This has proven to be an effective way to introduce talented young engineers to fluid power and draw them into our industry.
I mention all this because Hydraulics & Pneumatics recently became one of the newest members of the Pascal Society. Our monetary contributions to this worthwhile organization is the least we could do to give back to the industry we have been part of since 1948. But I also felt compelled to do more, so I also agreed to serve on NFPA’s Roadmap Committee. Members of this committee focus on advancements they feel will help meet the future needs of our industry (in my case, the Industrial Internet of Things), expand fluid power into new markets, and attract the best and brightest students to field.
For information on how to join The Pascal Society, contact Sue Chase at (414) 778-3376 or firstname.lastname@example.org