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Ingersoll-Rand selects Tech for partnership

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 28 - April 17, 1997

Ingersoll-Rand, the New Jersey-based manufacturer of industrial machinery and air compression systems, has selected Virginia Tech as the fourth national target school for the company's university partnership program.

Ingersoll-Rand will collaborate with faculty members and students in a variety of disciplines at Tech, with emphasis on the Engineering and Business colleges. Steve Drumheller, corporate director of engineering for the company and a 1975 Tech mechanical-engineering graduate, will act as liaison with the university.

"Virginia Tech was chosen for a number of reasons, including the strength and diversity of its Engineering and Business programs," Drumheller said. "We have successfully recruited many outstanding employees from Tech. We also value the university's proximity to Ingersoll-Rand plants in the mid-Atlantic region, such as our Virginia plants in Roanoke and Chesapeake."

"Strategic partnerships like the one between Ingersoll-Rand and Virginia Tech are critical to the long-term success of both industry and education," said Charles Steger, vice-president for Development and University Relations.

Drumheller said the partnership will benefit Ingersoll-Rand and Tech through increased recruitment of full-time employees, summer interns, and cooperative-education students. The company also plans to increase sponsorship of student and faculty research at Tech, as well as participation in university consortiums and executive education and continuing-education programs.

Research areas at Tech of particular interest to Ingersoll-Rand include turbo-machinery, electronics, materials science, and manufacturing production technology, Drumheller noted.

In addition to air compressors and industrial machinery, Ingersoll-Rand's diversified product line includes construction and mining equipment, bearings and precision tools, skid steer loaders, golf carts and light utility vehicles, and architectural hardware. Through joint ventures, the company is a leading supplier of pumps and hydrocarbon-processing equipment and services.

Virginia Tech joins Penn State, Purdue University, and Clemson University in the Ingersoll-Rand program. The company selects participating schools through a competitive process.

Tech has formed similar partnerships with other major companies, including General Electric, General Motors, and Motorola.