Dec. 1, 1999
Contact: Chris Curran


Cincinnati -- Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corporation donated equipment and support for a new Structures Motion Control Laboratory in the Rhodes Hall High Bay (Room 584A). Dedication ceremonies were set for Wednesday, Dec. 1.

The laboratory is one of only seven similar facilities sponsored by Parker Hannifin around the country. Other engineering schools selected include top-ranked institutions such as Purdue, the University of Illinois, and Texas A&M.

The UC laboratory includes a series of work stations which give mechanical engineering students the opportunity to conduct hands- on experiements in hydraulics, pneumatics and electro-mechanical controls.

"A huge number of corporations have this technology, but many engineers are not trained to use it," said Duane Crockrom, human resources and development manager at Parker Hannifin, explaining the need for the new facility.

The main reason labs like this are so rare is the expense. Experiments are now typically simulated using electrical devices instead of larger, more complex mechanical ones. So, Parker Hannifin not only committed $100,000 worth of equipment for the new lab, the company promised to keep the equipment updated as new technology is developed in the controls area.

"That is the crucial thing," explained Randy Allemang, professor of mechanical engineering who is using the new laboratory for a senior-level engineering course. "Parker Hannifin has made a long-term commitment to keep these facilities up to date, so our students will always be working with the latest technology."

The lab will be used by a variety of classes and will eventually impact UC's engineering research program as well. Allemang has already noticed a difference in the lab course he's teaching this quarter.

"I've had students say they couldn't completely understand the material from their lecture courses until they came in here and worked through the hands-on experiments. It definitely improves learning."

Motion control technology has applications in a variety of fields from manufacturing to automotives and aerospace.

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