Summary of ACR Activities During 2000

It was a stimulating challenge to chair the Advisory Committee for Research (ACR) during fiscal year 2000. The ACR, in addition to advising the ACR Administrator on matters relating to SwRI’s Internal Research and Development (IR&D) program, provides an impartial mechanism for evaluating IR&D proposals based on their scientific and engineering merits and their capability to expand and attract externally funded research. Goals of the IR&D program are to advance knowledge, increase technical capabilities, and expand the reputation of the Institute as a leader in science and technology.

During fiscal year 2000, the Institute received approximately $7.23 million in externally funded projects as a direct result of previously funded IR&D projects. During the same period, the ACR recommended 26 Regular IR&D proposals, 19 Quick-Look proposals, and 4 Focused Research proposals in the area of microelectromechanical systems. Total funding this year was approximately $4.78 million for new IR&D projects. During 2000, twenty-five technical presentations and five technical papers were presented, and five patents were initiated or received.

The ACR sponsored the sixth cycle of IR&D for the Center of Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses. In this cycle, the research focused on geology and geophysics, geochemistry and geohydrology, performance assessment, corrosion science and process engineering, and mining and facility engineering. SwRI funded six proposals for a total of $640,000.

The ACR also played a proactive role in initiating electronic submission of IR&D proposals. ACR member Dr. Steven W. Dellenback was responsible for developing the software and submittal procedures, which are in the final stages of testing. Drs. Richard Johnson, Thomas Ryan III, and Anthony Smalley revised the IR&D Proposal Guidelines, now available to all SwRI staff on the I2Net. The ACR recommended that the Slick Library be upgraded in shelf space and book and journal content. SwRI is a research organization of world renown and needs a science and technology library commensurate with its research activities. Acting on Dr. Stephen Wellinghoff’s recommendation, Mr. Walt Downing, ACR Administrator and Executive Vice-President, planned a one-day ACR retreat concerning intellectual property. Attendees, including SwRI President Dan Bates, heard Dr. James Gollub, IdeA/ICF, discuss the building of a sustainable nonprofit R&D institution in the new economy.

I thank Dr. Wellinghoff, who served as Vice Chairman of the ACR, for leading the review committees for the Regular and Focused Research proposals. I also want to express my appreciation to the various chairs and members of the Quick-Look Research committees and all ACR members for their support and team spirit. I offer special thanks to Mr. Downing for his time and patience in listening to proposed changes of proposal reviews, library modifications, and other topics. I also give sincere appreciation to Mrs. Norma Duran, without whose help the ACR and its various subcommittees would not have been able to operate so efficiently.

Walter F. Huebner
2000 Advisory Committee for Research

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