TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A new partnership between Florida A&M University, Florida State University and Danfoss Turbocor is giving opportunities to students in Tallahassee.
The goal is to keep engineering graduates in the Tallahassee area while enticing other companies to bring business to the Big Bend.
“I guess one regret I had from undergrad is not doing more internships,” shared Hunter Kramer. He is a mechanical engineering intern at Danfoss Turborcor in Tallahassee. They make oil-free compressors for use in the HVAC industry.
“Essentially, we’re trying to make the compressors more efficient,” Kramer explained.
Kramer is one of dozens of interns from Florida A&M and Florida State who have come here to make a difference. Now, Danfoss is working to help even more students going forward.
“I’m extremely happy,” said Dr. Farrukh Alvi. “I’m so glad that this happened before I retired.”
Dr. Alvi is senior associate dean for research and graduate studies and interim dean at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. Over the last 10 years he has worked with Danfoss leaders to give top students opportunities. Now, they are taking it a step further to focus on first-generation college students or those who belong to an underrepresented groups like African Americans, Hispanics and women.
“They have a lot of talent,” Dr. Alvi added. “They need a little bit of help to succeed. They have a lot of drive.”
The five-year commitment establishes the Danfoss, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering Fund with a $750,000 commitment from Danfoss.
“It’s going to be awesome, and we are super excited about it,” added Ricardo Schneider, President of Danfoss Turbocor in Tallahassee. He said 22 percent of his company’s engineers are graduates of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering.
The new collaboration goes beyond just helping his own company.
“The objective of this program is to make sure our community creates a platform for attracting more companies like Danfoss,” Schneider said.
Those companies could bring high-paying jobs to Tallahassee giving more chances at success for students like Kramer.
“I’ve learned so much and had a lot of really great mentors,” Kramer added. “It’s impacted where I’m headed.”
The fund will award about 10 grants per year to undergraduate and graduate students from either university. Selected students will also have chance to collaborate with the University of Southern Denmark as part of the agreement. Danfoss is headquartered in Denmark.