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Thursday, Apr 24, 2014

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(L-R): Parker Vice President and President/Hydraulics Group Jeffery A. Cullman, Dept. of Engineering Technology and Management Pete Klein, Jack Myslenski, Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin, and Parker Executive VP of Human Resources Daniel S. Serbin

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Parker Hannifin creates student lab in honor of alumnus

Russ College fluid power lab in will bear Jack Myslenski's name


Parker Hannifin Corp., the international motion and control company, has made a gift of more than $180,000 to the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College at Ohio University in honor of Cleveland-area resident and 1973 alumnus Jack Myslenski.

The gift will be used to create a new fluid power lab in Myslenski's name. He worked for the company for 35 years, starting as a first-line supervisor in 1973 and retiring as executive vice president for marketing, sales, and operations support.

"This lab, through the generosity of Parker and in honor of Jack Myslenski, will certainly serve to continue and strengthen an already strong relationship between the university and Parker," said Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin.

Parker's Chairman, CEO and President Don Washkewicz noted that during Myslenski's many leadership roles over the years, he was an inspiration and mentor to people both inside and outside of Parker, including many students at Ohio University.

"Parker's record results in sales, earnings and cash flow during Jack's last four years at Parker simply would not have been possible without his contribution," Washkewicz added.  

Fluid power applies to both pneumatics and hydraulics, which are used in equipment such as aircraft landing gear and construction vehicle lifting mechanisms. Located just off Stocker Engineering Center's lobby, the new lab will feature Parker Hannifin products, including trainers, components, and control systems.

Myslenski, whose wife and several children and children-in-law also attended Ohio University, credits his father with noticing that he was mechanically inclined – but Myslenski started college wanting to be a teacher. In the end, he chose engineering and technology.

"The Russ College of Engineering and Technology and especially the Department of Engineering Technology and Management (ETM) made it abundantly clear that showing up and working hard was not just an option," he said.

Department Chair Pete Klein said the department has a rich history in the area of fluid power. "Classes in this technology have been taught continuously since the early 1960s," Klein notes.

Open to various Russ College programs, the lab will get the most use from students studying ETM and mechanical engineering.

The course "Robotic Applications," or ETM 464, will integrate the lab into class activities on hydraulic and pneumatic clamping, grippers, and effectors. "Hydraulics and Pneumatics" ETM 320 will use the lab to expand its content to include motion control. "Kinematics and Dynamics of Machines," or ME 301, will use the lab for student projects that often involve hydraulic actuation.

According to Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin, Parker has hired many Russ College graduates. "That tradition will only grow as more students are exposed to Parker and inspired by Jack," he noted.

Myslenski added that the lab has a personal significance for him.

"This lab is so meaningful because it links the university I love, education -- which is my passion -- and the company I worked at for 35 years," he said.