Maha Fluid Power Research Center
Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power
Global Fluid Power Society

Maha News

Maha Signs a Master Research Agreement with Bosch Rexroth

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)

Congratulations to Hassan Assaf for being featured in Purdue's Graduate Ag Research Spotlight

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.

Best Student Paper award at JFPS!

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.

Maha project supported by DOE featured on the Purdue University news

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.

Andrea Recognized as Outstanding Instructor!

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.

Dr. Vacca’s career featured on an Italian newspaper

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 ( 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).

Maha on the media

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).

Textbook “Hydraulic Fluid Power: Fundamentals, Applications, and Circuit Design” is finally available to the public

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

Congratulations to Dr. Ernst on her successful dissertation defense

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.

Congratulations to Dr. Ransegnola on his successful dissertation defense

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.

Congratulations to Dr. Danes on his successful dissertation defense

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.

Shaoyang Qu received the best paper award

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.

Andrea Vacca appointed as Maha Fluid Power Faculty Chair

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!

Andrea Vacca awarded for the Joseph Bramah Medal

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.

Lizhi Shang to join Maha faculty

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.

U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support research at Maha

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

Congratulations to Dr. Keller on his successful dissertation defense

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.

Congratulations to Dr. Rituraj on his successful dissertation defense

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!

Congratulations to Dr. Daniel Hasko

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!

Passing of Prof. Nicola Nervegna

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.

Keynote Speech at ICFPMCE2019

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.

Andrew Robinson received the best paper award!

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”

Congratulations to Paul Kalbfleisch for being a featured Purdue student in the linked article

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!

CCEFP Fluid Power Summit

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!

Congratulations to Paul Kalbfleisch for Receiving the Best Paper Award from the 16th Scandinavian International Conference on Fluid Power!

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.

Maha at the 2019 North America Auto Show!

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!

Congratulations to Dr. Jenkins on his successful dissertation defense

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!

Celebrating the Life of Dr. Monika Ivantysynova

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.

New Faculty position at Purdue University

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.

Maha at Bosch-Rexroth 2018 MOBILE TECHDAYS

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.

Dr. Thiagarajan received the best paper award!

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.

Prof. Andrea Vacca promoted to Full Professor!

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.

Link to Purdue announcement.

Maha Fluid Power Research Center
1500 Kepner Drive, Lafayette, IN 47905 USA
Phone: +1 (765) 496-6242