Power Partner

NFPA’s first Power Partner is Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. The university teaches fluid power at both undergraduate and graduate levels.

Purdue’s undergraduate Engineering Technology and Agricultural Engineering degree programs teach a great deal of fluid power. Students learn about and practice designing, building, testing and refining systems. They use class projects to discover how to use the right materials, the right sensors and the right processes to make a product work efficiently and be attractive to consumers. Topics include Advanced Transmission Concepts, Computer-Based Optimization of Positive Displacement Pumps and Motors; Drive Line Control; Energy-Saving Actuators; Modeling; Multi-Domain Simulation; and System Design.

Purdue is also involved in fluid power research projects through their graduate program at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, the largest academic hydraulics lab in the U.S. There, some of the top minds in fluid power conduct world-class research on hydraulic pumps, motors, and systems -- both through computer modeling and real-world experimentation.

Purdue students in these programs graduate with fluid power knowledge and skills that make them prime job candidates in the fluid power industry.

The NFPA University Power Partner Program is a recognition program designed to showcase a university that actively participates in all NFPA fluid power educational programs. The major objective for this program is to increase the amount of fluid power being taught in university agricultural, mechanical engineering and engineering technology degree programs and enhance student-to-industry connection.


To be considered as a Power Partner, the university must:

  • Participate in the Speaker’s Bureau program
  • Participate in the Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge
  • Have a Fluid Power Club
  • Host a student/industry connection event
  • Teach the nine core fluid power competencies


With this recognition, NFPA will:

  • Promote the university’s fluid power programs to all 300+ NFPA members through the website, featured articles within the NFPA web community and an interview with the faculty advisor on the NFPA podcast, Fluid Power Forum
  • Work to connect its members to the university through “Meet the Students” industry connection events where students learn about careers in fluid power and meet face-to-face or virtually with industry executives and HR professionals
  • Invite faculty from the university to attend NFPA regional and annual meetings

This is a description of these programs and resources NFPA has created to provide help:

  • Speaker’s Bureau: NFPA members speak about fluid power careers at their local universities. NFPA helps organize this by providing a draft presentation, information on types of jobs, salaries, job outlooks, and the types of degrees needed for each job, as well as working with the university and NFPA member to find a time that works for both.

  • Vehicle Challenge: A unique engineering design competition embedded in the capstone design course at participating universities. It strives to promote original thinking in a competitive setting by combining technology platforms that are not normally associated with one another —human-powered vehicles and fluid power. This program also connects university students to NFPA industry members through mentorship and judging.

  • Fluid Power Clubs: University students in NFPA-sponsored clubs work on fluid power projects and connect with NFPA industry members.

  • Nine Core Competencies: The NFPA University Education Committee, which is made up of NFPA industry members, identified nine core competencies that they would like to see university mechanical engineering students graduate with. These core competencies embody the skills that industry members would look for in job candidates.

  • Fluid Power Curricula: NFPA has resources on our website that are used by academic colleagues to teach the nine core competencies in university engineering programs.

  • University Fluid Power Grants: Grants will be awarded to universities to support fluid power curricula.  

Contact Info

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(414) 778-3344 (o)

(414) 778-3361 (f)