The NFPA Education and Technology Foundation awarded $97,000 to Milwaukee School of Engineering to establish a mechatronics/fluid power laboratory that will include modular hydraulic, pneumatic, electromechanical, and electrical components.

The lab will support a transformative curriculum that will develop mechanical engineering students’ technical skills throughout their four years of undergraduate study. Fluid power, mechatronics and computer technologies will be used to build student skills in modeling and simulation as well as in experimental techniques and instrumentation. Open-ended laboratory and design experiences in the junior and senior years will foster creativity and innovation and better prepare graduates to work in emerging fields of mobile hydraulics, industrial pneumatics, advanced manufacturing, medical applications, and sustainable energy technologies.

Dr. John Pakkala, associate professor, and Dr. Joseph Musto, professor, will lead the development of the laboratory, which will be in the Mechanical Engineering Department. Preliminary design work is currently underway and the lab is scheduled to be ready for student use by Fall 2015.

MSOE is an independent, non-profit university with about 2,600 students that was founded in 1903. MSOE offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering, business, mathematics and nursing. The university has a national academic reputation; longstanding ties to business and industry; dedicated professors with real-world experience; a 96% placement rate; and the highest average starting and mid-career salaries of any Wisconsin university according to PayScale Inc. MSOE graduates are well-rounded, technologically experienced and highly productive professionals and leaders.