EcoHawks Engineering building

KU mechanical engineering receives $20,000 gift

KU Mechanical Engineering students work on senior projects, including pumping systems and solar power.
KU Mechanical Engineering students work on senior projects, including pumping systems and solar power.

Grundfos, a global pump manufacturer that strives for environmental sustainability, has made a $20,000 gift for the University of Kansas School of Engineering’s mechanical engineering program. 

The gift will support KU senior design projects in mechanical engineering that concentrate on environmental and sustainability issues. 

The Denmark-based Grundfos has a North American headquarters in Olathe, where KU alumnus Greg Towsley is director of regulatory and technical affairs. Towsley earned two degrees from KU — a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering in 1986 and a master’s in engineering management in 2007. Towsley has maintained close ties to KU and currently is chair of the mechanical engineering advisory board. 

Towsley said that because Grundfos focuses on sustainability in buildings regarding energy and water efficiency, it was important that the gift support projects in these areas, such as those accomplished through KU EcoHawks. Students apply mechanical engineering techniques to solve real-world problems, taking energy, environment, economics and ethics into account. 

“We thought EcoHawks would be a good place to utilize this donation,” said Towsley. “By being involved in the school, I have been able to see the importance of a mechanical engineering education, the senior projects, and interdisciplinary cooperation.”

Ron Dougherty, department chair, expressed appreciation. “I feel very strongly about how great it is that Grundfos has developed a multi-faceted partnership with the School by significant involvement and funding pump research and sustainability-type projects, and now an endowed fund,” said Dougherty. “This gift is unique from the vision of the company and Greg Towsley’s supportiveness. It’s obvious they want to promote growth in sustainability and alternative energy sources, as well as enhancing student education.”
 



The gift is part of Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s comprehensive fundraising campaign.

The campaign is managed by KU Endowment, the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.

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