by Mike Gust, CCEFP Industry Liaison Officer

Hello again from the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. In this month’s column I want to kick off the first in a series of articles dedicated to perhaps our most important and impactful product -- student education and workforce development. One of the great aspects of my job is that I get to frequently interface with some of our country’s best and brightest young minds. I am continuously impressed with our students’ intellect, work ethic and wonderful teaming skills. I am really proud to know them as unique individuals and friends. There is no doubt these students will have a positive and lasting impact on the fluid power industry.

I would like to focus on a student program offered by the CCEFP, which is particularly well suited for our industry partners:  The Fluid Power Scholars Internship Program.  The Fluid Power Scholars is a collaborative effort between the CCEFP and its corporate members from the fluid power industry.  The goal is to provide a sponsorship to a qualified undergraduate student, hired as an intern, to attend a training workshop in fluid power.  This enables the intern candidate to gain a baseline of knowledge and familiarity before entering the internship experience with a corporate member of the CCEFP.   The Center’s overall objective is to increase the number of qualified and trained individuals entering the fluid power industry at both the entry and advanced level. 

Fluid Power Scholars begin their summer internship with an intensive 3-day instructional program in fluid power technology at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE)'s state-of-the-art component and systems laboratory. Topics covered include identification of features of hydraulic and pneumatic systems; application of industry standards to hydraulic and schematic systems; analysis of circuits from a schematic drawing; understanding of the operation and applications of valves, cylinders, pumps, and motors; identification of the chemical and physical properties of fluids, etc.  The CCEFP covers the cost of this training program while the sponsoring company covers the travel and hotel accommodations. Following completion of this instructional program, each Scholar begins a paid three or six-month internship at a sponsoring company. Our records indicate that 67% of Fluid Power Scholars are hired directly by their intern sponsor so this program doubles as an excellent recruiting tool. 

Any company interested in participating in the 2014 Fluid Power Scholars program is asked to notify the CCEFP of their interest.  New to the program this year is the opportunity for companies to identify their Fluid Power Scholars intern candidate through their existing human resources infrastructure.  To learn more about the program or if you have further questions on how to participate please contact Alyssa Burger (alyssa@umn.edu) or 612-624-4991.