Advanced CCEFP Research to Continue Under Centers of Excellence Vision

Achievement date: 

The Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (CCEFP), an NSF-funded Engineering Research Center (ERC) headquartered at the University of Minnesota, has announced a long-term sustainability plan that relies heavily upon supporting laboratory expertise. CCEFP envisions a network of complementary labs within its partner universities, including three previously established and two newly created labs at partnering sites.


The CCEFP sustainability plan ensures that the Center’s mission to develop new compact and highly efficient fluid power systems that will enable energy savings in the agriculture, mining, health, construction, and transportation sectors continues well beyond the end of the Center’s NSF-ERC award funding cycle. The creation of new partnering labs also expands the Center’s research into emerging theoretical and applied research areas that span free piston engine pumps, hydraulic hybrid powertrains, human-scale fluid power, and related discoveries.


Three of the CCEFP labs are already well established: the Fluid Power Institute at Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), The Maha Fluid Power Lab at Purdue University, and the Manufacturing Lab at Georgia Tech. To strengthen the network, two additional labs will be further developed at the University of Minnesota and Vanderbilt University, respectively.

The Thomas E. Murphy Engine Lab at the University of Minnesota will be expanded into a comprehensive powertrain research facility. The research will emphasize heavy-duty, off-road, and wind power applications, including engine, transmission, and chassis dynamometers. This will support research in a variety of areas, including free piston engine pumps and hydraulic hybrid powertrains. A unique combustion research capability of the lab will be possible through the installation of a rapid compression and expansion machine.

The Laboratory for Systems Integrity and Reliability (LASIR) at Vanderbilt University is a 20,000 square-foot high-bay facility that will enable researchers to test advanced sensor systems that can detect the earliest signs of failure in a variety of structures in the built environment, including aircraft, automobiles, and wind turbines. The lab will expand its capabilities to include human scale fluid power, including energy saving industrial pneumatics as well as untethered, soft, and assistive robotics.