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About Us

Welcome to the Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power

The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP) is a network of researchers, educators, students and industry working together to transform the fluid power industry—how it is researched, applied and studied. Center research is creating hydraulic and pneumatic technology that is compact, efficient, and effective. The CCEFP’s education and outreach program is designed to transfer this knowledge to diverse audiences—students of all ages, users of fluid power and the general public.

The CCEFP is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center, established in June 2006. In addition to its grant from NSF, the Center is supported by its seven participating universities and more than 50 industrial partners.

Why the CCEFP Is Important

Data on the size and reach of the current fluid power industry speak to the potential for the Center’s impact. The National Fluid Power Association (NFPA) estimates that direct fluid power component sales exceed $33 billion. End application sales are easily an order of magnitude greater since fluid power technology is utilized in a wide range of industries: construction, manufacturing, transportation, agriculture, packaging, and many more. The use of fluid power is so prevalent that improvements in its use, driven by the Center’s research, will have a profound societal impact.

The CCEFP Research Program

The CCEFP fills a void in fluid power research that existed for decades. Until the Center was established, the U.S. had no major fluid power research center (compared with thirty centers in Europe). Fluid power researchers, who were previously disconnected, are now linked through the CCEFP. A team of 38 faculty—each with distinguished academic records, unique and cross-disciplinary interests, and representing seven leading universities—is engaged in work on 26 research projects and four test beds. These projects are organized in three thrusts that achieve the following societal benefits:

  • Creation of a new fluid power technology that, with improved efficiency, will significantly reduce petroleum consumption, energy use and pollution.
  • Creation of a new fluid power technology that, with improved effectiveness, will make fluid power clean, quiet and safe for its millions of users.
  • Creation of a new fluid power technology that, with improved compactness, will exploit its attributes in a new generation of human scale devices and equipment.

The CCEFP’s research goals include: doubling fluid power efficiency in current transportation applications and developing new applications in this arena; increasing fluid power efficiency storage density by an order of magnitude; and developing new fluid power supplies that are one to two orders of magnitude smaller than anything currently available.

CCEFP Education and Outreach Program

Informed by the CCEFP’s research, projects in the Center’s Education and Outreach Program enrich understandings of fluid power technology. But these many projects share in a broader purpose: to heighten interests in technology and engineering among an increasingly diverse student population.

Specific goals include:

  • Developing research-inspired, industry practice-directed education relevant to fluid power for pre- college, university and practitioner students.
  • Integrating fluid power research findings into education.
  • Broadening the general public’s awareness of fluid power.

Through active recruiting and retention, increasing the diversity of students and practitioners in fluid power research and industry.

Our Industry Partners

Industry has supported the CCEFP since its proposal stage. Today, over 50 companies support the Center with funding and in-kind donations. Through its committees and conferences, project mentoring, internships, and a host of other projects and individual contacts, the CCEFP serves as a forum for academia and industry, facilitating knowledge transfer and fostering a growing appreciation of each other’s culture. The resulting understandings and partnerships will be among the Center’s key legacies. Further, industry will ensure that research results are commercialized and its support of the CCEFP's education and outreach programs will assure that channels for education in fluid power will continue to flourish. Learn more about our partners in the Industry section.