If you're looking for research at an institute in the Southwest, look no further. Founded in 1947 by oilman and rancher Thomas Slick Jr., Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is an independent, not-for-profit research and development institution that contracts to explore subjects in areas including automation and data systems, applied physics, space science and engineering, and chemistry. SwRI has about 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff at some 20 laboratories and offices in the US, China, and the UK. Customers include the private sector and government agencies. SwRI's Signature Science subsidiary researches national security, environmental management, and biotechnology.
SwRI provides contract research and development services to industrial and government clients. It keeps the scope of its work confidential and assigns patent rights arising from its sponsored research to the client. SwRI generally retains rights to Institute-funded advancements and holds more than 900 patents awarded to staff members.
The company operates through nearly a dozen technical divisions, including Aerospace Electronics; Systems Engineering & Training; Applied Physics, Chemistry & Chemical Engineering; Engine, Emissions & Vehicl; Research; Geosciences & Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; and Space Science & Engineering.
The company is focused on expanding its presence in China. Examples of this strategy include a 2011 agreement with Beijing BSS Corrosion Protection Co. Ltd to promote its sensor, nondestructive evaluation, surface engineering, and corrosion products and services to industries in China.
In 2011, SwRI funded $6.1 million to its internally sponsored R&D program, which is designed to encourage new ideas and innovative technologies. That year it initiated 67 new projects.
Examples of projects include cooperative research focusing on safe, reliable, cost-effective energy storage systems for electric and hybrid-electric vehicle applications. In addition, it has formed a consortium to conduct research and code development and apply advanced ROS (Robot Operating System)software to industrial applications. – less