Nov 14 - 18 was a very exciting week for the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. We had our first one-week intensive course on
advanced hydraulic control technology. Thank you to all the Maha students who helped bring this course to fruition, to our guest speaker Germano Franzoni, and to all the participating companies which made every lecture and lab experience an exciting learning moment (in alphabetic order): Bobcat, Bosch Rexroth, Bucher Hydraulics, Casappa, Case New Holland, Lubrizol, Moog, Parker Hannifin, Poclain Hydraulics, Sun Hydraulics, and Stackpole International!
See you at the next mini-course on Pumps and Motors (Spring 2023), and stay tuned for the other activities of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center.
Congratulations to Dr. Xin Tian and co-authors of the Best Paper Award "Backe" Medal at 2022 IEEE Global Fluid Power Society
PhD Symposium (GFPS 2022), Oct. 12-14, Naples, Italy. The paper was presented by co-author Giovanni Battista Dessy at the conference.
The awarded work is titled "New Hydraulic Control Technologies for Improving the Energy Efficiency of the Hydraulic System of Agricultural Tractors and Their Implements," proposing two solutions to reduce energy consumption in the hydraulic systems of tractor and planter, with both experimentally proved to be highly effective. The authors thank CNH Industrial for their support for this work.
Congratulations to Zubin Mistry for receiving the GFPS Best Paper Award at the prestigious ASME/BATH
2022 Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control (FPMC2022), September 14-16, 2022, Bath, UK. The award is
given to the best paper of the symposium, which is selected on the basis of both the paper review process and
the oral presentation.
The paper is titled "Modeling Fluid Inertia Effects in External Gear Machines through Lumped Parameter Approach", and was authored by Zubin Mistry, Andrea Vacca, Sujan Dhar (Simerics), and Manuel Rigosi (Casappa).
Below, Zubin is pictured receiving the award from Prof. Jürgen Weber, Chair of the Global Fluid Power Society.
We proudly announce the signing of a research agreement between Purdue-Maha and Parker Hannifin that also includes the Executive Level membership of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. Parker Hannifin is a Fortune 250 global leader in motion and control technologies, and has been impacting Purdue's Fluid Power education and research program for decades. This agreement will further strengthen collaboration on cutting edge fluid power actuation technologies. The picture below was taken at the Parker wing of the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department following the signing of the agreement.
From left, back row: Abigail Walker (Purdue for Life), Weinong Chen (Associate Dean for Research, Purdue College of Engineering), Mark Czaja (Parker Hannifin Vice President and Chief Technology and Innovation Officer), Andrea Vacca (Director of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center), Valencia Griffin (Parker Hannifin Talent Acquisition Specialist), Lee Banks (Parker Hannifin Vice Chairman and President), Pat Hite (Parker Hannifin Vice President of Technology and Innovation), Daniel Taylor (Purdue ABE assistant to the Head), Joel Hartman (Purdue for Life); front row: Jay Akridge (Purdue Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity), Berend Bracht (Paker Hannifin Motion Systems Group President)
We are very proud to congratulate recent Maha Graduate Xin Tian, and co-authors Patrick Stump and Andrea Vacca
of Maha, and Francesco Pintore and Stefano Fiorati of CNH Industrial for being awarded the 2022 ASABE Superior Paper
Award! The winning paper, "Power Saving Solutions for Pre-Compensated Load-Sensing Systems On Mobile Machines," is a
result of fruitful collaboration with industry partners and puts forward several potential improvements on one of
the most widely used hydraulic architectures, with experimental and simulation validation.
Congratulations to all the authors!
We are pleased to congratulate Shaoyang Qu on successfully defending his PhD thesis titled “Development of An
Electro-Hydraulic Actuation System to Enable Electrification of Mobile Hydraulic Systems.” Shaoyang's research
centered around the development of electrified solutions for mobile hydraulic applications, including system design,
verification by simulation and experimentation, and design demonstration on a reference vehicle. His work included a
comprehensive comparison between distributed and self-contained hydraulic architectures for Electro-Hydraulic (EH)
systems, incorporating analyses of efficiency performance, thermal behavior, ease of implementation, and control
strategies. The results of these studies leant insight into optimal EH system structure, culminating in full
installment of the distributed EHA system on compact construction machinery. Shaoyang's EH system yielded
four-quadrant functionality, energy regeneration capabilities, and promising energy saving results.
We wish Shaoyang the best in his future career, and look forward to his further accomplishments in this field.
We are pleased to congratulate Xin Tian on successfully defending her PhD thesis titled “Methods to Reduce Energy
Consumption in the Hydraulic System Toward the Next Generation of Green, High-Efficient Agricultural Tractors.”
Xin’s research focused on developing energy-saving solutions for monocrop agricultural planting operations, with
proposed pressure control and hydraulic architectures concentrating on three separate areas: tractor losses,
control valve losses in communicating with a 12-row planter, and selective electrification to optimize system
efficiency. Her work highlighted the losses and inefficiencies in state-of-the-art hydraulic control systems between
the tractor and implements. Xin’s proposed Intelligent Pressure Saturation Control (IPSC) solution, which adjusts
outlet pressures of two pumps in the hydraulic system through an optimized function to meet different planter
actuator demands, in combination with dynamic regrouping control of the actuators, yielded up to 45% efficiency
improvement in field testing. Her research has provided an important foundation in control solution strategies for
agricultural applications at Maha labs.
We wish Xin the best of luck in her future career in the agricultural hydraulics field.
Maha is happy to announce a successful fluid power conference, attended by fluid power experts and
researchers from around the world, including representatives from many key hydraulics industries.
With 39 technical presentations covering topics ranging from new component and system designs to electrification, multiple networking events, and a tour of Maha's research facilities, the conference fostered a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas and discussions about fluid power. Maha was also pleased to formally announce its new membership program as an approved Purdue University Center at the Gala dinner on May 18th.
Maha extends a huge thank you to everyone who made this conference possible, especially to all our visiting presenters, including our two wonderful keynote speakers, Katarina Schmitz and Jürgen Weber.
Additionally, Maha would like to recognize the sponsors for the conference, including: Gold Sponsor - Bosch Rexroth; Silver Sponsors - CNH, Hydraforce, Rota Engineering, and Simerics; Bronze Sponsors - Applied Technologies, Bronson & Bratton, Danfoss, FD Groups, and Walvoil; as well as the NFPA for sponsoring the concluding recruiting event and Parker Hannifin for sponsoring the workshop hardware in the half-day workshop prior to the conference opening.
We are pleased to congratulate Sangbeom Woo for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled "Numerical and experimental analysis of vibroacoustic field of external gear pumps." Sangbeom's research focused on noise emissions of external gear pumps. His work numerically and experimentally investigated vibroacoustic field behaviors by providing the complete pictures of noise generation process in fluid, structure, and air domains. The acoustic model he developed has contributed to major advancements in the noise modeling capabilities at Maha and demonstrated the model potential as a virtual prototyping tool for the study of pump noise reduction. We wish Sangbeom all the best with his future endeavors.
We are pleased to congratulate Riccardo Madau on successfully defending his PhD thesis titled “Design of Hydraulic Control Systems for Construction Vehicles Based on Energy Efficiency and Human Factors.” Riccardo's research targets three different aspects regarding the operation of construction machinery, including improvement of operator's comfort by vibration reduction, improvement of hydraulic control system energy efficiency to lower emissions, and steps toward automation through the activation of operator-assist features with force estimation algorithms. Experimental field tests on the reference wheel loader and compact track loader showed great success in all three research focuses, showing great potential for adoption in industrial machines. We wish Riccardo the best of luck in his future career and contributions to the field!
We are pleased to congratulate Venkata Harish Babu Manne on successfully defending his PhD thesis titled “A Study on Contact Forces in Hydraulic Gear Machines.” Harish’s research focused on modelling the contact forces in hydraulic gear machines and their influence on the volumetric and mechanical efficiencies of these units. This work uncovered new insights into the underlying physics that govern the performance of positive displacement gear machines. The simulation methodologies he developed increased model accuracy, through capture of traction contact force, together with meshing torque losses, which were validated experimentally. His contributions to the inclusion of interference/clearance and gear flank roughness led to improvement in performance prediction and understanding of internal and external gear machines. We wish Harish all the best with his future endeavors!
We are proud to announce that Maha has strengthened its research partnership with Bosch Rexroth.
A master research agreement was signed at Purdue on March 3rd, 2022. Over the years, Maha has enjoyed a fruitful research collaboration with Bosch Rexroth. This master agreement will reinforce the partnership with this key industry player in the hydraulic and motion control world.
The picture below was taken at Purdue following the signing of the new agreement.
From left, back row: Andreas Guender (senior manager engineering, Bosch Rexroth AG), Christoph Kleu (CFO, Bosch Rexroth America), Andrea Vacca (Purdue-Maha), Michael Schmitt (CTO, Bosch Rexroth America), Enrique Busquets (Engineering Director, Bosch Rexroth America), Karen Plaut (Dean of Agriculture, Purdue); front row: Theresa Mayer (executive vice president for research and partnerships, Purdue), Steffen Haack (member of the Executive Board of Bosch Rexroth AG)
Purdue's College of Agriculture showcases one graduate student and their research every month in their Graduate Ag Research
Spotlight series, selecting scholars who are making an impactful contribution to Agricultural Research and Graduate Education.
Maha's Hassan Assaf was the featured researcher for the February 2022 Spotlight, which highlighted the physical and virtual hydraulic trainers
designed by the PhD student to further fluid power education.
See the article and read more about Hassan and his research here.
Congratulations to Mateus Bertolin for receiving the Best Student Paper award at the Japanese Fluid Power Society Symposium (JFPS2020). The JFPS symposium is a prestigious international fluid power event, always participated from the most important research teams from US, Europe, and Asia. The paper entitled “A Power-Split Hybrid Transmission to Drive Conventional Hydraulic Valve Controlled Architectures in Off-Road Vehicles: The Case of a Mini-Excavator” by M. Bertolin and A. Vacca introduced a novel hydraulic system architecture that achieved a better integration between hydraulic actuators and combustion engine. The solution, able to improve the efficiency of the combustion engine, can reduce in up to 16% the fuel consumption of construction machines like excavators without the need to introduce major changes in the state-of-the-art hydraulic actuation system.
The project “A New Approach for Increasing Efficiency of Agricultural Tractors and Implements” supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) was featured in a Purdue University news release. The project targets at doubling the energy efficiency of the high pressure hydraulic system in agricultural tractors when powering implements such as planters, balers, etc. The project is lead by Purdue-Maha, but it also deeply involves Case New Holland and Bosch Rexroth as industry partners, and the National Renewable Research Laboratories.
The news article provides some insights of the project, particularly the student efforts in all the project activities, such as simulation and field experiments on modified vehicles.
A video of the project is also included. This video, prepared by Jared Pike, describes the project directly from the point of view of the Maha students involved in it, including interviews with Xiaofan Guo, Patrick Stump, Jake Lengacher, and Xin Tian. See the news and the related video here.
Congratulations to Andrea on being recognized as an outstanding instructor from the Purdue College of Engineering!
The recognition was for instructors in the college receiving teaching evaluation scores above 4.6/5.0 during the last semester. Andrea achieved that from his fluid power class!
The list of all the faculty receiving this recognition was featured int the Purdue Exponent on August 23.
Andrea’s decision to leave Italy to join Purdue’s faculty, and his main achievements over the last 10 years were illustrated on the “Gazzetta di Parma” on July 22nd, 2021.
An entire page of the “Gazzetta” was dedicated to Andrea and the Maha lab. The article touches on both his professional life and personal interests. The Gazzetta di Parma (www.gazzettadiparma.it). is a local daily newspaper particularly popular in the Emilia Romagna area of Italy, which is also Andrea’s native region, and it is the oldest newspaper of Italy (established in 1735).
The ongoing research activities concerning electrification of mobile off-road vehicles were featured by the Italian technical magazine “Industria Italiana”.
Following Dr. Vacca’s talk at the Inn4Mech 2021 conference in Italy, the director of the magazine Filippo Astone interviewed Dr. Vacca on the above Maha activities. Watch the interview here (in Italian).
We are pleased to congratulate Andrew Robison on successfully defending his PhD thesis titled “Design of Gear Geometry by Multi-Objective Optimization.” Andrew’s research focused on developing a design methodology for gear geometry in geroter positive displacement pumps, allowing the selection and optimization of a profile design specific to desired performance goals. Apart from analyzing conventional profile types, Andrew utilized a general definition for generating novel geroter profile designs to investigate multiple gear geometries, including his new invention of cycloidal profiles for geroters. Through experimental and simulation testing, the Geroter Gear Geometry Optimal Design Selector tool he created has been shown to provide significant performance improvement over state-of-the-art designs. His work is a considerable contribution to the science-based design of future geroter machines. Additionally, his experimental and design knowledge was always a huge asset to members of the lab. We wish Andrew all the best with his future work.
After many years of preparation, the textbook “Hydraulic Fluid Power: Fundamentals, Applications, and Circuit Design” by Andrea Vacca and Germano Franzoni is finally available to the public.
The textbook covers the basics of hydraulic control systems, and it is suitable for engineering students at both graduate and undergraduate level, and also industry professionals. More details are available here
We are pleased to congratulate Meike Ernst on successfully defending her PhD thesis titled “Enabling High-Pressure Operation with Water for the Piston-Cylinder Interface in Axial Piston Machines.” Meike’s research is an investigation of how shaping the surfaces that abut key lubricating interfaces in axial piston machines can increase their load-carrying capacity when the fluid being pumped is water. This is challenging because water generates less hydrodynamic pressure buildup than traditional hydraulic oil; however Meike’s work has uncovered design trends that can aid pump manufacturers in overcoming this difficulty, and enable these fluid films to bear a greater load, such that they can function at higher operating pressures than currently achievable. We wish Meike all the best with her future endeavors.
We are pleased to congratulate Tom Ransegnola for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled "A Strongly Coupled Simulation Model of Positive Displacement Machines for Design and Optimization." Tom's research consisted of the physical, numerical, and software implications of coupling the solution of all lubricating films of a positive displacing machine with its main displacing action. The toolbox he developed has contributed to major advancements in the modeling capabilities at Maha, both for existing machine designs as well as novel ones. We wish Tom all the best with his new career opportunity and his future endeavors.
We are pleased to congratulate Leandro Danes for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled, “Computational Methods for Designing New Passive Fluid Borne Noise Source Reduction Strategies in Hydraulic Systems.” Leandro's research comprised a numerical approach for modelling fluid-borne noise source (FBNS) generation and propagation in hydraulic systems and the development of a computational method for obtaining passive FBNS solutions for hydraulic applications. The proposed methods were verified as effective experimentally, and a tool for application engineers was proposed for the introduction of these elements. We wish Leandro all the best with his new career opportunity and his future endeavors.
Congratulations to Shaoyang Qu for winning the FPTCI Best Paper Award in 2020 IEEE Global Fluid Power Society PhD Symposium!
The awarded work is titled “Formulation, Design and Experimental Verification of an Open Circuit Electro-Hydraulic Actuator” .
The paper demonstrates one aspect of the EHA project “Individual Electro-Hydraulic Drives for Off-Road Vehicles” funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) and led by Prof. Andrea Vacca. The authors wish to thank Bosch Rexroth and CNH Industrial for their support in this work.
Congratulations to Andrea for being appointed by the Purdue Board of Trustees (Oct. 2nd, 2020) as the “Maha Fluid Power Faculty Chair”.
This prestigious endowment was previously held by the lab founder, the late Prof. Monika Ivantysynova.
This endowed chair position, resulting from the donation made by Otto Maha to Purdue University, is a proof of the firm commitment by Purdue University to continue leading the academic fluid power field for years to come!
Congratulations to Andrea for getting this prestigious award for his fluid power research!
The Joseph Bramah Fund was established in 1968 at the instigation of Mr Frank Towler, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1932-1977), who arranged for its support by industry to commemorate Joseph Bramah, the inventor of a patent lock, the hydraulic press and other inventions concerned with pumps, water supply and the production of pipes and tubes by the extrusion process.
Andrea Vacca was awarded the 2019 Joseph Bramah Medal “for contributions to fluid power research, particularly related to gear pumps, and for co-ordination of the global fluid power research community”.
More details on the this award can be found here, where a list of the past recipients (including Monika Ivantisynova in 2009) is also reported.
Congratulations to Dr. Lizhi Shang for becoming Assistant Professor in fluid power systems.
Lizhi is a former student of Dr. Monika Ivantysynova, the founder of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. He will bring his strong expertise in piston pump design and modeling to Maha. Lizhi’s research interests also include AI-aided tribology simulation, energy harvesting systems design in petroleum applications, and centrifugal pump CFD analysis.
Lizhi will join Maha with a joint appointment between the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering.
The Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) of DOE just announced supporting the Purdue Maha-led project “A New Approach for Increasing Efficiency of Agricultural Tractors and Implements” with $2.5M.
This exciting project has an overall budget of $3.2M and it will revisit the way the high-pressure hydraulic system of agriculture vehicles is designed, with the aim of doubling the energy efficiency with respect to the current state of the art.
The project will have as key partners Case New Holland Industrial (G. Kassen), Bosch Rexroth (E. Busquets), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (C. Zhuang).
More info on this DOE program are on the following links: DOE Article / Detailed Information
We are pleased to congratulate Nate Keller for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled, “Condition Monitoring Systems for Axial Piston Pumps: Mobile Applications.” His PhD research focused on developing condition monitoring processes for axial piston pumps on mobile equipment by implementing machine learning techniques to detect valve plate faults. Throughout his years at Maha, he was instrumental in developing novel and efficient hydraulic system designs for various mobile machines, such as combine harvesters, wheel loaders, skid steers, excavators, sugarcane harvesters, and the world’s first hydraulic hybrid SUV. We wish Nate all the best with his new career opportunity and his future endeavors.
We would like to congratulate Rituraj for successfully defending his PhD thesis titled "Numerical Methodologies for Modelling the Key Aspects Related to Flow and Geometry in External Gear Machines (EGMs)". During his PhD, Rituraj investigated several aspects related to the operation EGMs (such as internal flow regime, manufacturing tolerances, friction etc.) and developed numerical techniques to model their effects on the performance of EGMs. His work has led to significant advancements in the simulation capabilities of EGMs at Maha. We wish Rituraj all the best in his future endeavors!
Maha congratulates Daniel Hasko for his PhD thesis defense on “Virtual methods to improve the performance of swash plate type axial piston machines”. Daniel spent most of his PhD study period at Maha, working on the validation of the FSTI piston pump model, under the supervision of Prof. Monika Ivantysynova. The positive results he accomplished during his PhD represent one of the strongest confirmation of the validity of the simulation approaches that Monika proposed for axial piston pumps. Daniel, thanks for this great achievement for Maha!
Unfortunately, not all Maha news is good news.
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Prof. Nicola Nervegna. He passed away on November 12, after fighting a long battle with disease.
Prof. Nervegna led the fluid power team at the Politecnico di Torino, Italy for several decades. He was one of the most knowledgeable scientists in the fluid power discipline, and also a tremendous instructor. He shaped several generations of fluid power engineers in Italy, and he made outstanding contributions also in his own research.
Andrea Vacca gleaned considerable insight from Nervegna’s books and publications, and even now he continues to use a portion of Nervegna’s material in his fluid power lectures. For Andrea, Prof. Nervegna was an exemplary model of knowledge, rigorousness, and academic integrity. The whole fluid power community, and in particular the Italian one, will miss him enormously. Goodbye, Prof.
Andrea Vacca delivered a keynote lecture at the 20th International Conference of Fluid Power and Mechatronic Control Engineering (ICFPMCE 2019) in Jiaxing, China. The lecture was given on November 9th, right after the opening ceremony of the conference. His lecture on “An efficient electro-hydraulic drive technology for off-road vehicles” was given in front of an audience of about 500 conference delegates. Andrea was also involved in the following roundtable discussion on future trends for fluid power research.
Congratulations to Andrew Robison and Dr. Andrea Vacca for winning the 2018 ASME/Bath FPMC Best Paper Award for the work titled “Multi-Objective Geometric Optimization of Elliptical-Toothed Gerotor Pumps For Kinematics and Wear by Genetic Algorithm”
Paul Kalbfleisch was the featured researcher of the linked article "A sound foundation for a fluid future". In the article, Paul discusses his experiences at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center!
From June 4-6, the Maha Fluid Power Research Center, in collaboration with CCEFP (the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power), honored the legacy of Maha founder Dr. Monika Ivantysynova with a summit that brought over 160 attendees from all over the world together to discuss the latest innovations in fluid power. Academic institutions represented at the summit include Politecnico di Torino (Italy), the University of Naples (Italy), TU Dresden (Germany), Tampere University of Technology (Finland), the Universities of Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and Georgia Tech. However, the summit was anything but exclusively academic---as Maha has always placed great value on connecting with, and keeping its research relevant to, industry, circa half of the attendees were company representatives. The industrial giants present at the event include Artemis Intelligent Power Ltd., Bosch Rexroth, Case New Holland, John Deere, Bobcat, KYB, Caterpillar, Cummins, Danfoss Power Solutions, Ford, General Motors, Stackpole International, Gamma Technologies, Magna, Allison Transmissions, Woodward, Parker Hannefin, Poclain, Hydraforce, Walvoil, Dana, Sun Hydraulics and others. Together, industry and academia shared over 30 presentations on topics ranging from pump noise prediction, to hydraulic systems in autonomous vehicles, to the innovation of new pump concepts, to the simulation and virtual prototyping of more traditional pump designs (axial piston machines, vane pumps), to the development of novel fluids, to the conversion and storage of energy in hydraulic systems. The Maha Fluid Power Research Center would like to thank everyone who made this event possible, and, of course, all attendees!
We are glad to announce that Paul Kalbfleisch was selected to receive the 16th Scandinavian International Conference on Fluid Power Best Paper Award. Paul’s presentation titled “Swashplate Type Axial Piston Pump Noise Diagnostics for Design” was presented during the conference in Tampere, Finland on May 22-24, 2019.
The Maha Lab participated in the Automobili-D 2019 event connected to the famous 2019 North America Auto Show (Jan. 14-17). A booth of the lab highlighted the main research activities of Purdue in the area of fluid power, particularly for automotive applications. Thanks to the support of Magna Powertrain, we were able to show our research capability and accomplishments to the vast audience of automotive engineers!
We would like to congratulate Ryan Jenkins for the successful defense of the PhD thesis on "An analysis of a pressure compensated control system of an automotive vane pump." We wish you all the best in your new career!
Maha became the venue of celebrating the life of Dr. Monika Ivantysynova. Purdue Officials, professors, past and present students have gathered to create a wonderful night in honor of Monika.
Purdue is looking for a candidate preferably in the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, with research interests that matches the directions of the Maha Fluid Power Research Center established by Prof. Monika Ivantysynova.
The position will be joint between the Dept. of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and the School of Mechanical Engineering, and Prof Andrea Vacca is serving as the chair of the faculty search committee.
More details on this position can be found here.
Dr. Andrea Vacca was invited to give a talk on “Unique and Next Generation Developments with Hydraulic Systems” at the Bosch Rexroth MOBILE TECHDAYS 2018, October 9-11 Greenville SC. This important fluid power event covered the most recent innovation trends in mobile hydraulics Bosch Rexroth is focusing on. Dr. Vacca was the only academic speaker invited into this event, and more than 300 people attended his speech.
Maha is glad to announce that Dr. Divya Thiagarajan received the best paper award at the ASME/Bath Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, 2018 on the paper titled "Modeling of the Lateral Lubricating Interfaces in External Gear Machines Considering the Effects of Cavitation" which she presented in ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control, 2017. She pursued her PhD at Maha Fluid Power Research Center with Dr. Vacca as her primary advisor.
The Maha Team celebrates with Prof. Andrea Vacca on his promotion from Associate Professor to Full Professor. We congratulate Prof. Vacca on this milestone which is in recognition of his outstanding research contributions to Purdue University and the Fluid Power Industry.