Manufacturers, OEMs, researchers and media from around the nation are expected to convene in Nashville, Tenn., Oct. 13-16, for the Fluid Power Innovation and Research Conference 2014 (FPIRC14), an extended series of educational events hosted by the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. The CCEFP event will feature collaborative technical breakout sessions, networking opportunities, tours of local research laboratories, and panel discussions on the technologies and workforce skills transforming the fluid power industry.

“Fluid power technology can significantly reduce energy use, minimize dependency on fossil fuels, and open up new markets to U.S. manufacturers,” said Dr. Thom Mason, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and member of the CCEFP. “Researchers and industry partners are transitioning cutting-edge research to the private sector to help manufacturers leverage innovative fluid power technology and the many advantages it can bring.”

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A panel session, featuring Vanderbilt University’s Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos and Dean of Engineering Philippe Fauchet, will focus on the future of public-private partnerships in innovation, high-technology workforce skills, and ways to accelerate the transition of research to the marketplace. Others joining the panel include Mark Johnson, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Office, U.S. Department of Energy; Thom Mason, Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Ken Gray, Global Product Manager, Large Hydraulic Excavators, Caterpillar Inc.

The conference also will include tours to provide a glimpse into the latest fluid power research, including tours of the Laboratory for Systems Integrity & Reliability (LaSIR), National Transportation Research Center (NTRC) and Manufacturing Demonstration Facility (MDF). The laboratory tours will showcase the societal impacts of research on alternative energy and power systems, lightweight composite materials for transportation, model-integrated computing, and homeland and national security.

The CCEFP is a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center. To register for the conference or learn more, visit