NFPA Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge Provides Real-World Engineering Experience

June 1, 2023
The vehicle challenge tasks students with designing and building a vehicle incorporating fluid power technologies, offering the opportunity for a hands-on, real-world engineering experience.

The National Fluid Power Association's (NFPA) Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge is an annual competition in which college students design a bicycle-based vehicle incorporating hydraulics and pneumatics. It provides students the opportunity to apply what they've learned in the classroom to a real-world engineering challenge. 

Through this competition, NFPA aims to not only provide real-world application experience but also provide an opportunity for students to learn more about hydraulics and pneumatics — with the hope of encouraging them to become part of the future fluid power workforce. 

READ MORE: Students Discover Key Components of a Fluid Power Career

Visit Power & Motion's WISE (Workers in Science and Engineering) hub which compiles our coverage of workplace issues affecting the engineering field, in addition to contributions from equity seeking groups and subject matter experts within various subdisciplines.

Over the course of several months, students design and build a vehicle incorporating fluid power and electronics technologies. During this time they can take part in learning sessions held by NFPA and work with industry mentors to create their vehicle which is then put through various tests as part of a final competition to see how their designs will perform. 

Two final competitions were held as part of the 2023 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge hosted by Danfoss Power Solutions and Norgren. This provided the opportunity for several teams to take part in the challenge

This year's Grand Champions were Texas A&M and University of Louisiana at Lafayette. 

READ MORE: NFPA Announces Winners of 2023 Fluid Power Vehicle Challenge

The above media gallery shows the range of vehicles designed by students and put to the test during the final competitions hosted by Norgren and Danfoss. 

*Editor's Note: All images included in this gallery are provided courtesy of the National Fluid Power Association

About the Author

Sara Jensen | Executive Editor, Power & Motion

Sara Jensen is executive editor of Power & Motion, directing expanded coverage into the modern fluid power space, as well as mechatronic and smart technologies. She has over 15 years of publishing experience. Prior to Power & Motion she spent 11 years with a trade publication for engineers of heavy-duty equipment, the last 3 of which were as the editor and brand lead. Over the course of her time in the B2B industry, Sara has gained an extensive knowledge of various heavy-duty equipment industries — including construction, agriculture, mining and on-road trucks —along with the systems and market trends which impact them such as fluid power and electronic motion control technologies. 

You can follow Sara and Power & Motion via the following social media handles:

X (formerly Twitter): @TechnlgyEditor and @PowerMotionTech

LinkedIn: @SaraJensen and @Power&Motion

Facebook: @PowerMotionTech

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