Southwest Research Institute
|Independent, nonprofit research and development|
|Founder||Thomas Slick, Jr.|
|Headquarters||San Antonio, Texas, United States|
|Revenue||$549 million (FY 2014)|
Number of employees
|2,771 (FY 2014)|
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947 by oil businessman Thomas Slick, Jr., SwRI provides contract research and development services to government and industrial clients.
The institute consists of 10 technical divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. More than 4,000 projects are active at the institute at any given time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. At the close of fiscal year 2014, the SwRI staff numbered 2,771 employees and total revenue was $549 million. The institute provided $6.9 million to fund innovative research through its internally sponsored R&D program.
Partial listing of research areas includes space science and engineering; automation, robotics, and intelligent systems; avionics and support systems; bioengineering; chemistry and chemical engineering; corrosion and electrochemistry; earth and planetary sciences; emissions research; engineering mechanics; fire technology; fluid systems and machinery dynamics; and fuels and lubricants. Additional areas include geochemistry and mining engineering; hydrology and geohydrology; materials sciences and fracture mechanics; modeling and simulation; nondestructive evaluation; oil and gas exploration; pipeline technology; surface modification and coatings; and vehicle, engine, and powertrain design, research, and development. In 2014, staff members published 620 papers in the technical literature; made 504 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 54 invention disclosures; filed 42 patent applications; and received 73 U.S. patent awards
SwRI initiates contracts with clients based on consultations and prepares a formal proposal outlining the scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to institute-funded advancements.
The institute’s headquarters occupy more than two million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. SwRI has technical offices and laboratories in Boulder, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Warner-Robins, Georgia; Ogden, Utah; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Rockville, Maryland; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Beijing, China; and other locations. The institute also provides environmental monitoring expertise at a munitions disposal site at the Umatilla Army Depot in Hermiston, Oregon.
SwRI’s mission statement is, "Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology." Two of its core values are independence and impartiality.
SwRI consists of 9 divisions that offer multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. Divisions include:
- Applied Physics
- Applied Power
- Automation and Data Systems
- Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
- Geosciences and Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Office of Automotive Engineering
- Signal Exploitation and Geolocation
- Space Science and Engineering
- SwRI website
- SwRI quick facts
- SwRI online product certification directory
- Southwest Research Institute from the Handbook of Texas Online