Category Archive: News

Test Devices by SCHENCK Sponsors Award-Winning WPI Rocket Team

SCHENCK Sponsors Award-Winning WPI Rocket Team

As part of our commitment to promote STEM, Test Devices by SCHENCK has been a proud sponsor of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) High Power Rocketry Club. This student organization runs educational workshops on topics such as rocketry and robotics and also enters intercollegiate engineering competitions. Recently, the team has been winning impressive awards and gaining visible results. 

What is the WPI HPRC?

The WPI HPRC is Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s High Power Rocketry Club, a student organization dedicated to rocket engineering and STEM education. A large portion of the club’s time is devoted to pursuing hands-on learning as they design, build, test and launch sounding rockets. The HPRC also believes that taking part in high-level competitions is an important aspect of cultivating technical expertise in the next generation of engineers.

Participating in rocketry competitions allows this group to develop a more in-depth knowledge of the engineering design process. HPRC members come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines and are able to channel their unique experiences into engaging collaborative projects. Over the years, club interest has grown and today the HPRC includes a member base of over 200 students. Every member actively participates in managerial or technical tasks, fostering an inclusive and engaged educational environment. An important aspect of the HPRC is to cultivate leadership skills as they work as a team in a professional and intense goal-oriented atmosphere for students to navigate.

WPI’s Competition Journey

SCHENCK Sponsors Award-Winning WPI Rocket Team

WPI’s High Power Rocketry Club originated in 2018 with the founding of the WPI University Student Launch Initiative (USLI). That year, WPI’s team competed in NASA’s annual USLI competition. Enthusiastic student response led to the first competition rocketry launch the following year with Project G.O.A.T.S. The goal for this launch was a target apogee of 4,094 ft.; however, failure occurred at 800 ft. 

After a year of delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WPI re-entered the competition scene in 2021 with a new and improved rocket for Project Sirius and Polaris. This project’s test bed launch was instrumental in preparing for the team’s most demanding competition yet, the 2022 Spaceport America Cup’s Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. Hosted by the Experimental Sounding Rocket Association, 158 teams from 24 countries participated in the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering competition. 

At this event, nearly 2,000 students from around the globe gathered to share their passion for high-power rocketry. In 2022, WPI’s rocket team experienced launch failure at this event, they used lessons learned from the setback to improve their rocket design and came back with more skill than ever before in 2023.

Today, with only five years of operational experience, WPI has obtained advanced technical aptitude and emerged as a leading competitor in the world’s most challenging rocketry competitions, like the SAC IREC. In 2024, the team plans to compete in the 10K Solid Commercial Off-the-Shelf Division at the SAC IREC. Their mission is to launch the team’s high-power rocket and payload system to an apogee of 10,000 ft. with another successful recovery. 

Competition Success and Awards

Throughout HPRC’s history, they have experienced many impressive achievements and awards. Each year as they participate in challenging international competitions, they demonstrate an impressive dedication to engineering excellence. The team has attended the Spaceport America Cup’s Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition (SAC IREC) annually since 2021, collecting new awards each year. Their past competition successes include: 

  • SAC IREC 2022 Team Sportsmanship Award
  • SAC IREC 2023 3rd Place Payload Challenge Award, Space Dynamics Laboratory
  • SAC IREC 2023 Jim Furfaro Award for Technical Excellence

Most recently, in 2023, the club obtained 2.64% within their 10,000 ft. target apogee. This feat allowed them to beat out over 100 internationally competing teams to win two awards for technical achievement. As a platinum-level sponsor, Test Devices by SCHENCK is proud to support the WPI HPRC and its efforts to foster engineering excellence in our local community.  

Learn More About Test Devices by SCHENCK: Leading the Way in Rotational Parts

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we’re passionate about innovative technology and work continuously to advance the science of rotational testing. Taking part in community outreach programs is an important part of this mission. In addition to supporting WPI’s rocketry team, we also host local students for aerospace industry events. Here, we share knowledge about our work, promote STEM education, and inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. Explore our website to learn more about what we do and contact us with any questions. If you have a project you’d like to work with us on, request a quote today. 

New ISO Certifications

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we have an unparalleled and proven reputation for innovation and safety. We deliver the world’s most accurate and advanced spin testing services and equipment to clients in various industries, including aerospace, automotive, energy, defense, electric motors, medical, and commercial space. To illustrate our commitment to safety and the environment, we’re proud to have acquired our ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018 certifications.

ISO 14001:2015: Environmental Management Systems

ISO 14001:2015 outlines the requirements for an Environmental Management System (EMS) that a business can use to improve its environmental performance. More specifically, it requires that you maintain proper documentation that proves your EMS meets the required standards. It outlines clear requirements regarding the type of documentation you must provide but does not dictate how you must record the evidence or how to operate your EMS. 

The primary purpose of the documentation is to ensure an organization maintains robust environmental processes. These documents also illustrate that your entire organization acknowledges and is working towards your environmental objectives and goals. The ISO 14001:2015 certification is essential for organizations seeking to systematically manage their environmental responsibilities and uphold their dedication to sustainability. 

Why is it Important? 

ISO 14001:2015 is important because it helps businesses achieve the intended goals of their EMS, providing value for the organization itself, the environment, and any interested parties. Intended outcomes of an EMS include:

  • Achievement of environmental objectives
  • Fulfillment of compliance obligations
  • Improvement of environmental performance

ISO 45001:2018: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems

ISO 45001:2018 highlights the requirements for an organization’s occupational health and safety (OH&S) management system.SCHENCK USA ISO 14001 Certificate By providing direction for the use of OH&S management systems, this standard helps businesses provide a safe and healthy work environment by preventing work-related illness and injury. 

Why is it Important?

The ISO 45001:2018 standard can be used partially or in its entirety to improve OH&S performance. However, an organization will only be able to claim conformity to the standard if every requirement is incorporated into its OH&S management system and is fulfilled. These requirements include:

  • The development of investigation processes
  • Reporting any nonconformities and OH&S incidents to create corrective action plans
  • Documentation of any activities and corrective actions to further improve plan development and ensure effectiveness


Which of Our Services Do These Certifications Affect?

Having these certifications improves our ability to provide safe and environmentally conscious services, including:

Spin Testing Services

At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we offer spin testing services to customers that work with high-speed rotating components found in cutting-edge machines that face challenging conditions. These components are often found in high-speed electric motors, turbomachinery, jet engines, and energy storage systems. We serve a wide range of clients, including the world’s leading OEMs, with innovative solutions that solve challenging issues in manufacturing spin processes and engineering testing. Our spin testing and rotor balancing services support critical engine part certifications, design validations, and manufacturing processes. 

Balancing Services

Unbalanced rotating components can result in catastrophic machine failure as well as harm to personnel and machinery. Accurately balancing a rotor requires a high level of expertise. Not all service providers are the same, and it’s important to work with a balancing provider that is capable of providing the necessary level of consistency and quality. At Test Devices by SCHENCK, we can provide precise balancing surfaces to prevent further issues that could otherwise lead to higher costs.

Green Technology

SCHENCK’s spin testing and balancing services for the green technology industry are part of a worldwide movement to reduce noise and air pollution caused by traditional transportation. The goal is to mitigate and adapt transportation to address climate change. Electric vehicles and electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft are just two examples that are gaining ground in their respective industries.

ISO Certified Spin Test Services and Equipment From Test Devices by SCHENCK

Test Devices by SCHENCK offers ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018-certified spin testing services and equipment to clients across several industries. By acquiring these certifications, we further illustrate our dedication to quality, safety, and environmental sustainability. Whether you require spin testing or balancing, our experts are here to deliver innovative solutions that meet your needs. For more information about our ISO certifications, or to learn more about our service capabilities, request a quote today or contact us at 978-562-6017. 

Doing Our Part: Test Devices’ Community Outreach

Test Devices is a business unit of Schenck USA Corp.; we perform engineering tests, and we also have outsourced production services at our other Hudson location.

In early August, we welcomed a group of students from Brockton High School. As a part of their summer program, the students visited Test Devices to learn what we do, specifically for the Aerospace industry. The event was organized through AIAA New England Section as well as Empower Yourself MA.

The day started with a demonstration of a small gas turbine engine, followed by a tour of the Test Devices facilities, and concluded with a Q&A session with engineers and technicians over lunch. It was an exceptionally hot and humid day, but nothing deterred the students! They stayed focused, asked many good questions, and went home with a good understanding of how gas turbine engines and spin pits work!

The visit positively impacted employees at Test Devices, too. The student’s enthusiasm and curiosity rubbed off on the engineers and technicians who interacted with the Brockton students. Beyond that, for some employees with similar socio-economic and racial backgrounds as the Brockton students, it was particularly meaningful to see the Test Devices community contribute to a great initiative in collaboration with educators like Cedric Turner.

Cedric is an educator from Brockton High School. He founded the non-profit organization, Empower Yourself MA, to promote STEM and financial education for students at Brockton public schools, especially for children in minority and underserved communities. Learn more about Cedric and his experiences here.

“A country with more engineers and scientists is a wealthy one; a country with basketballers is not…”

Cedric believes in the importance of giving the kids exposure to potential paths other than athletics and music careers in their formative years. Most recently, he was nominated for and won the Trailblazing STEM Educator Award from AIAA for his ongoing work through Empower Yourself and his commitment to promoting STEM education.


Demo of Centrio to Brockton students

Presentation by Test Devices’ Michael Holman on the Schenck Centrio 100 Spin Test machine.

Brockton student

Peter Dentch, a summer internship student from WPI, is describing a gas turbine control system to an inquisitive student (right).

Brockton students

Test Devices’ President, Dave Woodford, and CTO and AIAA New England Section’s Chair, Hiro Endo, describe the types of work Test Devices does for the Aerospace industry.

Brockton students and Test Devices group photo

A group photo to wrap up the day!

What’s Happening With E-Mobility and E-Propulsion in 2021?

The effect of global warming is ever more visible today. Industries around the world are ramping up the urgency to deliver sustainable solutions. There is a strong focus in electrification of transportation, and the technological advancements in greener power generation methods and the distribution infrastructures.

Evidence of this global shift to sustainability can be seen in the ambitious goals made by leading manufacturers and governments globally. For example, General Motors recently vowed to end producing fossil fuel-dependent vehicles by 2035. Leading eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) companies are planning on launching air-taxi services as soon as 2023, and in 2020 the United Kingdom announced it would ban fossil fuel vehicles beginning in 2030.

What Key Insights Are We Seeing in E-Mobility and E-Propulsion?

Within the next decade, the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell and battery-powered electric vehicles (EV) will likely occur. While automotive companies are at the forefront of electric vehicle adoption, aerospace companies are also developing proprietary technologies behind the scenes, and many of their smaller-scale prototypes are yielding promising results.


Leading automakers are currently producing more EV models than ever before, with approximately 400 new battery-powered vehicles expected to hit the market by 2025. At the same time, leading eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) companies are certifying new vehicles with the FAA/EASA in preparation for a commercial service rollout as early as 2023.

The incumbent aerospace OEMs are beginning to reveal their hybrid e-propulsion and long to mid-range electric passenger aircraft concepts, and are working towards 2030 release timeline. According to a recent MarketsandMarkets forecast, by 2023 the electric aircraft market is expected to reach $122 million, which represents a compound annual growth rate of 4%. Meanwhile, UBS predicts that the electric aviation market will reach $178 billion by 2040 after experiencing a robust growth period due to the expected release of the first hybrid electric 50-70 seat aircraft around 2028.

What Are the Benefits of E-Mobility and E-Propulsion?

While their prevalence is steadily decreasing, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are currently responsible for approximately 60% of the world’s air pollution. The potential environmental benefits from removing these vehicles from the road have already been demonstrated during the global COVID-19 lockdown when air pollution levels rapidly decreased.

e mobilityTo combat the global warming, electrifying the cars and airplanes are not enough. We must think of a way to make the whole energy supply chain green. Starting from how we generate fuel (or energy), transport and distribute it, and eventually how the byproduct of the fuel impacts the environment – the new greener supply chain must be a sustainable close-looped cycle.

Besides being the key element of the solution against the global warming, there are many benefits of the electrified mobilities. Electrification will directly contribute to cutting down the emission of toxic byproducts from burning the fossil fuels. Air pollution, such as soot and toxic gas in the exhaust, is an increasing health concern, especially in densely populated cities. Furthermore, extraction and production of fossil fuel generally damaging to the environment.

With the electrification of our vehicles, technology is constantly evolving. Governments around the world, including the US and EU, have issued statements that they believe electrification will bring greener technologies and innovations that will expand economic growth, creation of new types of jobs, and national security.

Contributing to the Sustainable Future

E-mobility and e-propulsion technology are becoming more visible in our everyday life and news. As the benefits of adopting these technologies become too significant to ignore, more companies are adapting their mobility solutions. In the past decade or so, we are seeing rapid increase in the number of innovations in the design of drive motors, power electronics, and transmission systems.

The new technologies emerging from the concerted electrification efforts inspire and enable new ideas and machine designs. As seen in the EVs, electric vehicles require much fewer moving parts and dramatically simplify the drivetrain design. The same benefit is anticipated for the electrified versions of aircrafts, ships, and other electrified machines.

Though simpler design borne many benefits, many fundamental challenges in high-performance rotating parts remains similar. Schenck and Test Devices serves the e-mobility and e-propulsion industries with new part manufacturing, spin testing, and rotor balancing services. These services support the development of sustainable technologies such as advanced propulsion system parts and new electric motors. As an AS9100 and ISO 9001 certified business, we have been committed to exceeding our customers’ expectations for over 40 years. To learn more about our capabilities for the e-mobility and e-propulsion industries, contact us today.