Responding to high-tech industry changes, Owens Community College is now
offering Mechanical Engineering Technology students a chance to specialize
in fluid power.
"We want to be sure our graduates are where the future is," said Dr. Paul V. Unger, Vice President of Academic Affair., "We are very pleased to offer the Fluid Power Option as an opportunity for students to learn state-of-the-art skills and find rewarding positions in diverse industries."
Because fluid power can be used in everything from industry to entertainment, there is a great demand for highly-trained technicians to handle that power in a variety of positions.
"By itself, fluid has no power, but when confined and placed under pressure, fluid can transmit power," explained Guenter Brunner, assistant professor and facilitator of Mechanical Engineering Technology, who is coordinating the fluid power classes at Owens. "This is power that can be stored, directed and made to do work."
For instance, through hydraulic or pneumatic systems, fluid power is responsible for such diverse duties as controlling the bucket on a backhoe to making a roller coaster run smoothly.
"Fluid power is useful for heavy lifting, as well as delicate handling - it allows for many kinds of motion," Brunner said. "Fluid power is at work in most warehouses and factories."
Owens students who select the Fluid Power Option will learn how these sophisticated fluid power systems function, how to maintain them and how to maximize their productivity.
Students will major in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a Fluid Power Option. They can concentrate on this area by taking classes in fluid power troubleshooting, interface, electrical controls, system design and analysis.
This is a very rare specialty for colleges to offer among their engineering technology programs, Brunner said. For that reason, many local industries are anticipating this opportunity for their employees to upgrade their skills with this new training.
"It's exciting to continue to develop programs that allow graduates of Owens Community College to gain these high-tech skills and knowledge to go out into the working world in these careers of the future," Brunner said.
A group of Owens students interested in the Fluid Power Option already have formed the "Great Lakes Student Chapter" of the National Fluid Power Society.
Offered on the Toledo-area Campus through the Engineering Technologies division, students will earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree.
Students also may earn a Fluid Power Certificate by taking 27 hours of related coursework. The certificate program primarily is for people working in the industry who wish to upgrade their knowledge and skills in fluid power troubleshooting and maintenance.
For more information on this new option, call (567) 661-7777 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7777.