SOUTHFIELD — Four Lawrence Technological University professors have won a $25,000 grant from the National Fluid Power Association to bring problem-based and entrepreneurial-minded learning to fluid mechanics and thermodynamics education.
The LTU team is led by principal investigator Liping Liu, assitant professor in LTU’s A. Leon Linton Department of Mechanical Engineering. Other members are Robert Fletcher and Andrew Gerhart, professors, and James Mynderse, assistant professor, all in the mechanical engineering department.
“The NFPA wants students to know more about fluid power.” Liu said. “Some of the elements are covered in our current fluid mechanics classes, but they want more students engaged in this area and to make students more aware of fluid power applications, like pneumatics and hydraulics.”
Liu said Lawrence Tech’s existing relationships with engineering programs emphasizing entrepreneurship and innovation — such as KEEN, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network — will drive the entrepreneurial-minded course modules to be developed under the grant.
Liu said the four professors are already at work developing fluid power-based modules for LTU fluid mechanics and thermodynamics courses, which are taught to mechanical engineering majors in their junior year.
Founded in 1953, the National Fluid Power Association brings fluid power industry partners together to advance fluid power technology, strengthen the industry, and foster members’ success. NFPA’s 315 members include fluid power manufacturers, distributors, educators and researchers.
Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 100 universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.