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Guest Editorial: The Future of Fluid Power in North America

Guest Editorial: The Future of Fluid Power in North America

Manufacturers, researchers, and media from around the nation will convene at the Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, Tenn., on October 13 to 16 for the Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference 2014 (FPIRC14), an extended series of educational events hosted by the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. “This event will be the premier fluid-power research conference in North America this year,” says CCEFP Director and Professor Kim A. Stelson. “It’s a wonderful opportunity for industry to meet and network with fluid-power researchers from across the nation.”

FPIRC14 will feature collaborative technical breakout sessions, networking opportunities, tours of local research laboratories, and student poster shows. New this year is a distinguished panel discussion on the technologies and workforce skills transforming the fluid-power industry and opportunities for private-public partnerships. “The most consistent message I hear from the fluid-power industry is the urgent need for both workforce development and technology advancement,” says Eric Lanke, CEO for the National Fluid Power Association. “That’s why we are increasing our collaboration with the CCEFP going forward. Finding new ways for industry and academia to jointly pursue additional government funding for fluid-power research will help address both needs.”

The conference also will include campus lab tours to provide a glimpse into the latest fluid-power research, including tours of the Laboratory for Systems Integrity & Reliability (LaSIR). Tours of the Oakridge National Laboratory National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF) are also offered. These tours will showcase the latest research underway on alternative energy and power systems, lightweight composite materials for transportation, additive manufacturing, model-integrated computing, and homeland and national security. This is an exciting time for fluid-power research in America. I hope our industry friends and supporters can attend the FPIRC14 conference and see for themselves what’s going on.
 To register or learn more about any of the individual events or the complete series, visit

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