Manufacturer donations benefit students with machinery interests

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A donation of machines from a major farm-equipment manufacturer will enhance hands-on learning for Penn State students in the colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Engineering.

Last spring, John Deere representatives visited the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering to recruit students for full-time positions. Afterward, Jude Liu, assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering and coordinator of the Agricultural Systems Management major, began communicating with one the company's group managers about what it could do for the department.

Liu asked for up-to-date machinery in exchange for promoting the company to students for future jobs.

"John Deere has donated many machine components to the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering for educational uses," he said. "These machines include different types of diesel engines and power transmissions."

Students can use the machines as hands-on tools to learn new powertrain technology, such as infinitely variable transmission, continuously variable transmission and different transaxles.

Steven Pysher, a senior Biological Engineering major from Allenwood, is one of the students to benefit from these donations.

"The donations give us another perspective on how things work in real life, not just designing them on paper," he said. "Students get a complete understanding of what is on the market today by seeing this newer machinery."

Donated items also include hydrostatic drive system components, tractor cabs and engine turbochargers.

"These items will add more hands-on activities to our current machinery courses for our students to learn hydraulic power systems, cab design and evaluation, and emission control technology," Liu said.

Last Updated February 22, 2013