From Mining Apprentice to Lifetime Contribution Award in Fluid Power and Control

Worksop man Mr John R Savage, the founder and Director of the National Fluid Power Centre (NFPC) at North Notts College, was presented with a ‘Lifetime Contribution Award’ last week in recognition of his amazing 50 year career working in the fluid power industry.

John received this prestigious award at the British Fluid Power Association’s (BFPA) UK Motion Control Alliance Industry Awards in Birmingham on Tuesday 12 April.

Mr John R Savage, the founder and Director of the National Fluid Power Centre (NFPC) receiving his award

Mr John R Savage, the founder and Director of the National Fluid Power Centre (NFPC) receiving his award

The award was presented by Paul Dunlop, BFPA President, who gave a speech about the highlights of John’s long career.

Paul said: “John has dedicated most of his working life to the idea of a unique Centre of Excellence for the fluid power industry. The continuing success of the NFPC has been in no small part due to John’s determination to move with the times and encourage strong loyal partnerships with industry. We wanted to formally recognise John’s drive, ambition, commitment and enthusiasm by giving him this Lifetime Contribution Award.”

Having started his career in the mining industry in 1962, John became interested in fluid power while working as a craft apprentice with the National Coal Board, where he gained extensive experience in the fluid power systems used in underground coal production.

After finishing his training as a Mining Mechanical Engineer, John joined the teaching staff at North Notts College in the Mining Engineering Department in 1974. Realising the need to train more engineers and technicians in the area of fluid power, John helped obtain European funding to create the National Fluid Power Centre, which was built opposite the main North Notts College campus and officially opened in 2001.

The NFPC offers a world class training solution for Integrated Fluid Power Systems and controls, and takes a lead in the UK as a BFPA Certified and European Fluid Power Committee (CETOP) approved Education Centre.

From its inauguration in 2001, the NFPC has worked in close partnership with the Fluid Power Industry to ensure that its training offer is aligned with the skills required in the sector. John has worked hard to create strong working relationships with engineering companies over the last 15 years, and continues to encourage further partnerships in order to support the NFPC in the future.

These partnerships have been very valuable in forming the NFPC Advisory Strategic Planning Group, which consists of more than 50 National and International companies. These companies invest their time, knowledge and products to the NFPC, which ensures the centre has the latest technology and equipment available with which to train Technicians and Engineers from the UK and across the world

John said: “I’m absolutely delighted and honoured to receive this Lifetime Contribution Award. I’ve had the bug for fluid power since I was first introduced to it in 1962! It is such a vital technology, and when combined with Electronics & Control, becomes Integrated Systems Engineering (ISE). The world depends upon ISE and needs skilled technicians and engineers to operate this complex area of technology. At the NFPC we continue to train and up-skill our students in order to meet current and future ISE challenges.”

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