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An internal news digest for all center members including industry supporters, researchers, students, and affiliated organizations.

ISSUE 3 / March 5, 2007

(click here for printable version)

We have a new domain name! The Center1s web site has been redirected to our new domain name as we have officially adopted the CCEFP acronym. We will continue to update the web site with information on current research, educational and outreach opportunities, new industry members, news and events.

Annual ConferenceUPCOMING EVENTS
The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power will host its first annual meeting at Georgia Tech on April 11, 12 and 13, 2007. This meeting will serve as an exciting forum to learn about research and communicate with faculty and students associated with each of the center1s projects. Presentations will include a panel discussion of the Industrial and Education Advisory Board as well as an overview of each research project and test bed within the Center1s three thrust areas: Compactness, Efficiency, and Effectiveness. The meeting will include a student poster show and lab tours of the Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineering Department. Program and registration information is available on our website:

James Van de Ven, Post Doc, University of Minnesota
Researchers at the University of Minnesota are exploring several exciting fluid power topics. Two active projects that seek to make major breakthroughs in the field include the high-density energy accumulator and the high-speed on-off valve. Another interesting project, which will demonstrate a variety of research advances from the CCEFP, is the small urban hydraulic hybrid vehicle.

The high-density energy accumulator research project aims to drastically increase the density of hydraulic energy storage. Using an open accumulator concept, which compresses and expands air between a working pressure and atmospheric pressure, the energy density can be increased by more than an order of magnitude when compared with conventional accumulators. This increase in energy density will allow compact energy storage for applications such as hydraulic hybrid vehicles, excavators, and other fluid power applications utilizing regeneration.

The goal of the high-speed on-off valve project is to enable digital control of hydraulic circuits to improve system efficiency. Many current fluid power applications are controlled using valves that throttle high-pressure fluid, resulting in significant energy loss. Instead of throttling fluid, this valve is designed to switch between on and off states very quickly, enabling pulse width modulated flow control. The on-off valve is applicable to many applications including virtually variable displacement pumps and virtually variable displacement motors.

The hydraulic hybrid small urban vehicle (sUV) testbed seeks to demonstrate the research advances of the CCEFP and the potential for drastic improvements in the fuel consumption of commuter vehicles. This compact vehicle will combine excellent fuel economy and performance while being optimized for operation in an urban environment. Drastic improvements in fuel economy will be accomplished through regenerative braking, shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped, and aggressive engine management. The intrinsically high torque and power density of hydraulics enable impressive acceleration, which will create an exciting driving experience.

We have had outstanding response from industry to our request for research Project Champions with over 40 volunteers coming forward to date! As a project champion an industry employee will be teamed up with other industry members on a project of high interest whereby he or she can relate their real life experiences back to the research team. The researchers will be able to incorporate this feedback from industry while at the same time raising industry awareness of their research progress. While there is no set time line for becoming a champion consider joining early to get the maximum benefit. Contact Mike Gust @ for more details or questions.


Industry. Industrial internships are a centerpiece of CCEFP. The Center1s internship program is well underway with several member companies posting summer internships through the Center1s web site The Center will continue to accept internship positions so we welcome your participation. For questions please contact Ms. Alyssa Burger at or 612-624-4991.

Undergraduate students. The Center's internship program is ready to accept your applications for a student internship position on our web site at To be eligible to apply for an internship, you must be enrolled in an accredited engineering program in the U.S., be at least two years into the program and legally authorized to work in the U.S. All internship positions are engineering related, last for a minimum of eight weeks and provide a competitive salary. For questions please contact Ms. Alyssa Burger at or 612-624-4991.

Purdue University
As part of outreach efforts, Purdue invited 120 local high school students to build and test several simple pneumatic and hydraulic circuits.

Minnesota University of Minnesota
Prof. Paul Strykowski (professor of mechanical engineering) presented his Fluid Mechanics Magic Show to 60 5th to 11th grade science fair participants at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College in Cloquet, Minnesota. CCEFP served as a science fair judge. 15 winners of the science fair will attend the INTEL National Science Fair in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Georgia Tech Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech held a Technology Enrichment (TE) session on pneumatics. These TE sessions are organized by the RoboJackets (the GT robotics club) for local high schools participating in the FIRST Robotics Competition. The session challenged the students to build a pneumatically actuated throwing device using their VEX kits.

Minnesota University of Minnesota
The High Tech Girls Society (HTGS) formed from Minneapolis Public School District and Project Lead the Way school curriculum to work with girls that show a strong interest in science and technology. CCEFP gave a presentation on the Center and the benefits of fluid power engineering.


Aaron KimballStudent Aaron Kimball completed his undergraduate degree in physics from Knox College in Balesburg, Illinois in 2006. Milwaukee School of Engineering then enticed him to join their masters program in science and engineering. Now Aaron works with Vito Gervasi in MSOE's Rapid Prototyping Research Lab in the Applied Technology Center. Within the Center Aaron is working with Paul Michael on optimized engineering fluids. This team is focusing on engineering fluid composition in hydraulics systems to improve efficiency by the type of fluid it uses, rather than components. Aaron is a member of the Center1s Student Leadership Council (SLC) and serves as the co-industrial liaison officer. He intends on entering industry following his masters degree. Outside of the lab, Aaron enjoys working out, fishing for large mouth bass and golfing, where his best game was a 72 on a 71 par course!

Eric LothResearcher Eric Loth completed his PhD from the University of Michigan in aerospace engineering with a specialty in fluid dynamics in 1988. He spent a year at the Naval Research Lab in Washington D.C. before joining the faculty at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 1990. Eric is involved with two projects within the Center. His team is working on a fluid power to control ankle-foot orthosis (AFO). This is a bioengineering application which would connect directly to the AFO test bed 6. Another project is nano-texturing which would create surfaces that allowed fluid to pass more efficiently through lines with less resistance. This team will also use nano-texturing with different geometries to reduce leakage in pistons and sliding surfaces. Outside of the lab, Eric enjoys spending time with his wife and children, participates in sport activities including snow and water skiing.

Perry LiLeadership Team Perry Y. Li earned his undergraduate degree in electrical information sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK, his masters degree in biomedical engineering from Boston University, MA and completed his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1995. Perry arrived at the University of Minnesota in 1997. Perry is the Deputy Director of the CCEFP and manages the research efforts for the Center. Perry also leads several of the projects in Minnesota. He has two primary areas of focus: on/off valve based throttle-less control concepts which would be used in test bed 1: Excavator, and increasing energy density of storage elements by factor of order of magnitude which would maintain energy and power density of these elements. Both of these projects will be used in the small Urban Vehicle (sUV) test bed which Perry leads as well. Test bed 3: sUV will facilitate developing new hardware and controls. Outside of the lab, Perry enjoys spending time with his wife.


Georgia Tech graduate level course ME 6105: Modeling and Simulation in Design, taught by Assistant Professor Chris Paredis of the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, is featured in a recent Newsletter by Phoenix Integration. The article also refers to the CCEFP and includes a link to the center's website.

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