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Purdue fluid power research engineer wins international honor

Andrea Vacca, professor of agricultural and biological engineering (ABE) and mechanical engineering, has received the 2019 Joseph Bramah Medal, conferred virtually during the Bath/ASME Symposium on Fluid Power and Motion Control.

In winning the award Vacca said, “Certainly the day I received the notification of the award, was one of the best days of my professional career.”

Vacca, who leads the Maha Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue, was honored for his contributions to global fluid power research, particularly related to gear pumps. Vacca also established the Global Fluid Power Society, the most important academic community related to fluid power. The award was announced at the end of a session on hydraulic pumps and motors chaired by Vacca.

In receiving the award, Vacca honored the late Monika Ivantsynova, a Purdue agricultural and biological engineering professor, who won the award in 2009.

Andrea Vacca

“In the past list of winners, there is also professor Monika Ivantysynova, who most of you have met and that we all consider one of the best scholars we ever had in our field. She was certainly the best mentor I ever had. I would also like to thank the team that works with me at the Maha Fluid Power Research Center. Most of my achievements are the result of the great work that my team does every day,” Vacca said.

The Maha Fluid Power Research Center is the largest academic laboratory in the United States entirely dedicated to research in fluid power. Vacca’s research relates to hydraulic systems and components, mostly pumps and hydraulic control valves. The research team works to solve engineering challenges in construction and agricultural machinery, aerospace and industrial manufacturing machinery.

Nate Mosier, ABE department head and professor, credits the contributions of Vacca and the Maha Center.

“This is a truly unique experimental lab that spans from cutting-edge fluid power research to practical solutions for industry, with more than 40 researchers working on a variety of one-of-a-kind prototype test rigs and commercial equipment donated by various industries,” Mosier said. “Dr. Vacca’s commitment to his research, the global field of fluid power research and to this lab, to which he has contributed so much, certainly make him worthy of this great honor.” 

Professor Andrea Vacca leads the leads Maha Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue. (Purdue University photo) Professor Andrea Vacca leads the leads Maha Fluid Power Research Center at Purdue. (Purdue University photo)

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