Say “fluid power education” and one of the first things that pops into my head is the Milwaukee School of Engineering. Over the past decade, a lot of schools—like my alma mater, Georgia Tech—have made some real progress in getting serious fluid power education into the curriculum, but MSOE still feels like the granddaddy of them all. I’ll never forget the week I spent there early in my journalism career, taking one of their in-depth fluid power training courses. It’s a great campus in one of my favorite cities, and the staff and instructors are all top-notch.
MSOE’s Fluid Power Institute recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, a real milestone. The FPI has been a leader in motion control as well as fluid power education, research and evaluation since 1962. There was a big 50th anniversary party a couple of weeks ago that included an awards dinner where several people were recognized for their contributions to fluid power.
Thomas S. Wanke, director of the Fluid Power Institute, received the first ever MSOE Fluid Power Achievement Award for his tireless efforts and steadfast insistence for excellence that has led to the outstanding reputation of the MSOE Fluid Power Institute. This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exemplary service in the field of fluid power, including the development of successful products or services; applying research to deliver safe, clean and efficient energy designed to better our society; and providing leadership in developing well-educated engineers. In addition, the award recipient shows evidence of continued improvement of fluid power education by connecting the educational experience with the professional practice of engineering.
The Otto Maha Pioneer in Fluid Power Award was given to Dr. Medhat Khalil, director of professional education, MSOE; Eric Lanke, CEO of the National Fluid Power Association; and Paul Michael, research chemist, MSOE Fluid Power Institute. Maha was a pioneer in the fluid power industry through his leadership, personal contribution and generous financial support of fluid power education and research all through his professional life. He was one of the earliest leaders to use fluid power in manufacturing and his developments helped establish Parker-Hannifin Corporation as a world leader in the field of motion and control technologies. The Otto Maha Award was instituted at MSOE in 2007 to honor individuals who exemplify Maha’s spirit of advancement of fluid power education and research through their contribution and leadership.
A sincere congratulations to all the winners—and also to the FPI itself, for 50 years of leadership in fluid power!