CLEVELAND (May 25) — Parker Hannifin Corp. has collaborated with the National Science Foundation, several universities, and other leading industrial companies to establish a new $21 million Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power.
Major funding for the new research center — to be based at the University of Minnesota´s Twin Cities campus — comes from the National Science Foundation, which recently announced a $15 million, five-year grant to support the new center. Parker and other industry partners, under the coordination of the National Fluid Power Association, will augment NSF funding with $3 million, and seven universities involved in the center will contribute an additional $3 million.
"Fluid power is a key component of our product portfolio," said Don Washkewicz, Parker Chairman and CEO. "The new research center will help expand the already vast range of fluid power applications possible, ensuring real growth for our industry for years to come."
Researchers at the center will study ways to use fluid power more efficiently in manufacturing, agriculture, construction and mining, and also work to develop hydraulic-hybrid passenger cars that are less expensive and more efficient than current electric hybrids.
Each 10-percent improvement in efficiency of current uses of fluid power in these industries will save about $7 billion a year in U.S. energy costs, and a 10-percent improvement in efficiency in national passenger-car energy use will save about $10 billion a year, Parker said.
In addition to research, the center will be involved in developing youth education programs, improving efforts to increase student diversity in engineering, designing internship and exchange programs for undergraduate and graduate students, and offering short courses and labs for industry workers.