With Fluid Power Industry initiatives dating back to the post World War II era of the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, early Foundation supporters and proponents recognized the need for an educated and technically competent workforce. The earliest National Conference on Industrial Hydraulics was held in 1947 and was followed closely by several annual National Conferences and then the Industrial Hydraulics Training Association (IHTA) was founded in 1957. This was the first recognized, formal Association founded to specifically support Fluid Power Education.
Officially incorporated in 1982, the Fluid Power Educational Foundation traces its roots, mission, and activities to these earlier training and education initiatives. While the Foundation’s mission has changed slightly over the intervening years, its main focus has been and continues to be encouraging workers both to enter the field of fluid power, and to do so with the best and most up-to-date educational background possible.
In the 1990’s the Foundation developed its program of Key Schools, supporting and promoting post-secondary Fluid Power education and curricula. In addition, the Foundation continued awarding individual student scholarships to assist students enrolled in and succeeding at these Key Schools.
Another initiative put the Educational Foundation at the forefront of developing High School curricula and supporting teachers choosing to study and then present this High School fluid power program. Ongoing efforts to encourage even younger students to consider fluid power finds the Foundation currently supporting several national fluid power competitions including FIRST, USA Skills, Lego League, and the Fluid Power Challenge.
At the direction of a small but dedicated volunteer Board of Trustees, the Fluid Power Educational Foundation continues to seek ways to assist students and professionals in becoming well-educated Fluid Power Industry specifiers, manufacturers, educators, and customers. With the assistance of industry, associations, and individuals, the 501(c)(3) Fluid Power Educational Foundation acts to improve the presence and application of fluid power in our technologically advanced world.
- 1947 – First National Conference on Industrial Hydraulics
- 1957 – founding of Industrial Hydraulics Training Association
- 1982 – official Fluid Power Educational Foundation articles of incorporation
- 1990’s – developed program of post-secondary Key Schools, including two- and four-year colleges and universities
- 2008 – Foundation’s headquarters moved from the National Fluid Power Association to IDP Association Management
- 2011 – implemented close working affiliation with the International Fluid Power Society