Milwaukee School of Engineering presented the National Fluid Power Association’s (NFPA) Fluid Power Action Challenge on May 16th for 28 teams of middle school students.

The Fluid Power Action Challenge kicks off annually with a workshop day held in April for teachers and students to learn about fluid power and build sample fluid power devices. Students are asked to solve an engineering challenge using fluid power in teams. Teachers are provided with resources and support to help their students return in May to compete in a fun environment against other teams from around the region.

Teams are judged on an engineering portfolio, the design and construction of their devices, and their ability to work well as a team.

For the 2023 competition, MSOE honored the late Fluid Power Action Challenge founder and fluid power leader, Tom Wanke, with the establishment of the Tom Wanke Design Award. This award is given to the team who exhibits excellence in fluid powered design as demonstrated by their device’s construction and performance at the challenge day. This year’s award was presented by his wife, Ann Wanke.

MSOE and NFPA extend their gratitude to volunteers from Poclain, Milwaukee Tool, MSOE Fluid Power Institute, Brady Corp., Enerpac and Husco along with MSOE alumni and students for their mentorship and serving as judges.

Congratulations to this year’s NFPA Fluid Power Action Challenge winners:  

  • A team of Homeschool students (West Allis, Wisconsin) was named the 2023 Overall Winner.
  • Blessed Savior Team #2 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) received the 2023 Portfolio Award.
  • Longfellow Middle School Team #1 (Wauwatosa, Wisconsin) won the 2023 Tom Wanke Design Award.
  • UCC Acosta Team #4 (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) received the 2023 Teamwork Award.
  • Bayside Middle School Team #2 (Bayside, Wisconsin) won the 2023 Team Challenge.  

NFPA provides a forum for the fluid power industry’s channel partners—manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, customers and educators. Its 335+ U.S. and multinational members work cooperatively in advancing hydraulic and pneumatic technology through the association’s many programs and initiatives. 

Hundreds of individuals in NFPA member companies and education partner institutions have been involved in mentorship, classroom activities, and events related to the Fluid Power Action Challenge, which have engaged more than 25,000 students throughout the United States to date.