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Hydraulic Institute Marks 100th Anniversary by Promoting Member Sponsorship of Capstone Design Projects

Engineering & Design

Hydraulic Institute Marks 100th Anniversary by Promoting Member Sponsorship of Capstone Design Projects

With 2017 marking the 100th anniversary of the Hydraulic Institute, members are planning a series of commemorative events and activities throughout the year with the goal of attracting new engineering talent to the pump industry.

One such initiative, nicknamed “100 for the 100th”, involves the national Capstone Design Program which engages universities, engineering students, and industry in design projects that benefit both students and their industry partners.  HI began promoting this program to member companies in 2015 with the goal of having 100 students involved in pump-related Capstone Projects during the anniversary year.

All ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) accredited college and university programs offer Capstone Projects. Student teams work with industry sponsors who outline real-world projects, supply modest funds to cover expenses and provide an advisor who interacts with students throughout the project. Upon conclusion, projects are showcased at the university/college.

By participating in these joint educational efforts, HI members can motivate engineering Capstone Projectstudents to learn more about emerging technologies in hydraulic systems and the challenges associated with making them smarter, more efficient and environmentally greener. At the same time, sponsoring companies can support teams of well-trained, talented students in applying the related engineering disciplines of hydraulic systems to their own projects while increasing their visibility among students and faculty for direct recruitment of graduates.

HI Attends Penn State Capstone Presentation

Hydraulic Institute staff traveled to Penn State University in early December, to hear student teams present Capstone Projects sponsored by member companies KCF Technologies, Engineered Software, Flowserve and Nidec Motor Corporation. Working with sponsors, as well as Penn State technicians and the University Area Joint Authority (UAJA), student teams addressed pump system efficiency issues using Internet-based sensor technologies and simulation modeling software.

Two student teams sought engineering solutions to one of the biggest challenges in the industrial world: reducing pump inefficiencies that account for an estimated 20% to 40% of wasted electrical energy in both industrial applications and building services. A third team designed and built a pump test loop that was so well done that the sponsoring company intends to continue its use.

The Penn State Capstone Projects are representative of the types of projects HI is encouraging its members to sponsor. They demonstrate that operating pumps at their best efficiency point can reduce energy and maintenance costs while improving efficiency and reliability.

In addition to creating greater awareness of needed pump system efficiency improvements, Capstone Design Projects will help HI members raise awareness of the broad variety of employment opportunities in the pump industry.

To achieve its goal of “100 for the 100th” the Institute is actively promoting member sponsorship of Capstone Design Projects in 2016. HI will assist members in developing the proposal for a hydraulic system design project and choosing a university with which to partner. Completed projects will be promoted on the HI website as well as in social media and other channels.

In addition, member-sponsored Capstone Design Projects completed by the end of 2016 will be featured at HI’s 100th Anniversary Annual Conference March 8-13 in Orlando, FL.  Participation by all pump and supplier company members is encouraged!

For more information on how to get your company involved or for Capstone Design Project ideas and a listing of participating universities, contact Mary Silver at 973-267-9700 x117 or

Questions regarding sponsorship of a Capstone Project should be directed to Dr. Gary Koopmann (, co-founder and Senior Fellow at KCF Technologies. Dr. Koopmann is a professor emeritus at Penn State and has years of experience in coordinating 4th year engineering Capstone Design courses.

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