Alion creates alliances between science and big government. Alion Science and Technology is an employee-owned development and research company that provides scientific, engineering, and information technology research and consulting services, primarily to federal agencies. More than 90% of its revenue comes from contracts with the US Department of Defense (DOD), especially the Navy. Focusing on national defense, homeland security, energy, and the environment, Alion specializes in naval architecture and marine engineering, defense operations, modeling and simulations, technology integration, and wireless communications.
The company has about 50 offices and facilities throughout the US, generally near government military bases and other installations, as well as locations in seven foreign countries. It has laboratories devoted to the study of acoustics, the effects of electromagnetism and radio frequencies, fluid sciences, materials and manufacturing, and sensor technologies, among other fields. Wholly owned subsidiary Washington Technology provides management consulting and information technology services to government and industrial clients.
Modeling and simulation was Alion's fastest-growing segment in fiscal 2010; gains in that area helped to offset declines in most of the company's other divisions. Nonetheless, Alion reported a loss for the year as operating and contract expenses increased.
Alion has been working to broaden its client base and serve more federal civilian agencies as well as commercial and international customers. The company hopes to grow organically by building upon its scientific expertise and reputation amongst its government clients. Historically, it has also expanded through acquisitions including engineering, design technology, logistics tracking, and management consultancy firms, though it has not made any new purchases since 2006.
In 2009 Alion was awarded contracts by the US Navy to develop surface and undersea vessels and automated torpedo detection systems. Other Navy mandates include shock and environmental test support for ships and submarines and the development of above-water sensors. The following year, the Department of Defense awarded the company a software, networks, information technology, modeling, and simulation contract worth up to $2 billion.
Employees of predecessor not-for-profit Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) Research Institute, itself founded in 1936, purchased most of that organization's assets to create Alion. It changed its name and became a for-profit corporation in 2002. Dr. Bahman Atefi has led the company since 1997. – less