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About Us

Milestones

A Long History of Breakthrough Innovations

For over sixty years, Concepts NREC has consistently provided customers worldwide with engineering innovations that have resulted in performance breakthroughs, manufacturing efficiencies, and other competitive advantages.

Corporate Timeline

1956   Northern Research and Engineering Corporation (NREC) is incorporated in Cambridge, MA. Its charter: to engage in the business of scientific research and engineering in all fields of endeavor.

  • 1978   NREC becomes a wholly owned subsidiary of Ingersoll Rand.
  • 1980   Concepts ETI is founded by Dr. David Japikse, eventually locating in Norwich, Vermont, with an initial focus on Education and Technology for Industry.
  • 1994   Concepts ETI, Inc. moves to Wilder, Vermont.
  • 2000   Concepts ETI acquires certain NREC assets from Ingersoll Rand, including their manufacturing and software businesses. In recognition of common expertise, combined assets, and history, the new organization is called Concepts NREC and headquartered in Vermont.
  • 2012   The Manufacturing Division of Concepts NREC relocates from Woburn, MA, to Wilder, VT. CAM software, marketing, and various engineering staff are relocated to a new office in Chelmsford, MA.
  • 2015   Concepts NREC forms CN Holdings and Concepts NREC, LLC.
  • 2016   Concepts NREC China is formed, based in Shanghai, China.

1950s

  • Designed and built a miniature high-speed pump for the Instrumentation Lab at MIT to be used on guidance systems for missiles and spacecraft.
  • Helped develop environmental cooling and heating control systems for the F-108 fighter and the B-70 bomber.
  • Performed a major study for the U.S. Navy to compare air-cycle, vapor-cycle, and absorption cooling systems for Polaris-class submarines.

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1960s

  • Conducted a series of jointly sponsored programs whose output spawned licensed software for all component design in gas-turbine engines, including compressors, turbines, and pumps, both radial and axial.
  • Rerated a booster compressor for a nitrogen plant and delivered the largest cast impeller up to that point in time. Twenty years later, the machine was still operating flawlessly.
  • Developed a compact heat-exchanger software for the Apollo space program and, subsequently, for the space shuttle.
  • Helped the Air Force solve combustion instability problems associated with their newest aircraft engines.

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1970s

  • Continued industry-leading work in reducing aircraft engine emissions for the fledgling EPA.
  • Helped the FAA monitor the emissions of installed engines in the nation’s airline fleets.
  • Developed a portable high-lift pump system for the Coast Guard to fight fires in deep-water harbors and at sea.
  • Designed the first air dynamometer capable of testing the power output of a wide spectrum of turboshaft engines.
  • Developed one of the world’s first microturbines.

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1980s

  • CETI and NREC combined efforts and expertise in 1982 to present a week long seminar on design advances in turbomachinery held at a Digital Equipment facility in the Olympic Stadium in Munich, Germany.
  • Won our first Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant to develop compact aeroengine diffusers, a technology now in use by a variety of small gas-turbine designs.
  • Established an industrial consortium to determine detailed flow field characteristics in radial and axial compressors and radial turbines.
  • Conducted a five-part consortium series on Compressor Diffuser Design and Performance, resulting in patented technology that has been widely dispersed throughout the compressor design world.
  • Introduced a number of major innovations to design software, including the first blade design system based solely on Bezier polynomials, the first turbomachinery design system based fully on real fluid properties, and the TEIS (Two- Elements-In-Series) model for performance of compressors and pumps. These innovations have now been in use for more than twenty years.
  • Developed MAX-5™, the first specialized turbomachinery CAM software to flank mill ruled-surface blading and MAX-AB, for point milling impellers and blisks with arbitrary blading. Subsequently, MAX-AB received “best-in-class” recognition from General Electric.
  • Created a ducted fan for McDonnell Douglas that must operate at high efficiency over a wide operating range for a new concept helicopter that operated with NO TAil Rotor (NOTAR). .

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1990s

  • Delivered a large order of VAROC® Air Dynamometers to both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army.
  • Combined our individual turbomachinery codes into the first release of the Agile Engineering Design System®.
  • Established a magnetic bearing test cell, leading to breakthroughs in seal development and other areas of rotating systems.
  • Supported NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, as well as the National Science Foundation, through a series of Phase I and Phase II SBIRs on rocket turbopump inducers.
  • Developed the first version of the Agile suite of codes for application to axial turbomachinery.
  • Recognized by ASME with the 1992 Potter Gold Medal for eminent achievement in the science of thermodynamics.
  • Developed an aircraft-engine-driven centrifugal compressor (EDC) to provide cooling for the abundant on-board electronics of a submarine reconnaissance plane for Japan. The company manufactured them for over a decade assigning the rights to the technology.
  • Developed an advanced torpedo ejection pump for the Seawolf submarine program, as well as newer submarines.
  • Designed a unique fish-friendly hydroelectric turbine that allowed the U.S. Department of the Interior to meet both ecological and hydropower demands.
  • Quiet fans, artificial heart pumps, and high-efficiency rerated compressors are among the other projects undertaken during this decade.

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2000s

  • Released the first commercial software to model cooled turbine blading, Cooled Turbine Airfoil Agile Design System (CTAADS™).
  • In further advancements of Agile software, Concepts NREC developed more accurate methodologies for steam-turbine as well as aeroengine applications. Concepts NREC software engineers also developed various knowledge-based design systems, including a system exclusively for rocket turbopumps.
  • Developed new turbochargers, including a two-spool system and various advanced components to help increase the fuel efficiency of cars and trucks.
  • Concepts NREC was awarded several patents on compressor and pump bleed and stability.
  • As a contribution to the search for alternative energy sources, the company designed the first robust hydrokinetic turbine.
  • Developed an advanced-generation air-cycle refrigeration system.
  • Among the highest honors accorded to engineers and in recognition of the company’s achievements, Dr. David Japikse received the 2008 SAE Cliff Garrett Turbomachinery and Applications Engineering Award and was recognized as “a distinguished authority in the engineering of turbomachinery for on-highway, off-highway, aircraft, and spacecraft uses.”
  • Recognized at the 2009 ASME IGTI Meeting with the “Best Technical Paper” award.

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2010s

  • Designed and manufactured a rocket pump for a space launch.  The pump was manufactured using advanced additive manufacturing (3D printing) techniques for lower costs and fast development and delivery.
  • Worked with a Formula One race team on an advanced turbocharger to give them a winning edge over their competition. We are a recognized expert in the turbocharger field and have worked with almost all of the major automotive OEMs to improve the efficiency and performance of their turbochargers.
  • Leveraged our 35+ years of experience designing, building and testing organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) systems to provide turbine generators for heat recovery power applications. These applications include solar thermal, geothermal, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and waste heat from engines and industrial processes.
  • Worked on an Oscillating Water Column (OWC) to capture and convert ocean-wave energy into compressed air to drive an air-turbine generator. This floating platform was tethered to the bottom of the sea converting rising and falling wave action into electricity.
  • As of 2016, Concepts NREC holds over 70 patents with more than 20 patents pending.