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New name reflects SwRI division's expanding program

San Antonio -- May 11, 2005 -- Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®) newly reorganized Geosciences and Engineering Division will serve a broader client base with earth, material and planetary sciences applications.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established the CNWRA at the Institute in 1987 as a federally funded research and development center. The division's growing technology base was for many years dedicated exclusively to the NRC's high-level waste program.

"This is a very significant move for SwRI," said Dr. Wesley C. Patrick, division vice president. "The breadth and depth of CNWRA expertise have been long recognized, but federal procurement law prevented the CNWRA from contracting with federal agencies other than the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Creation of the new department opens the door to providing its expertise to other federal agencies, as well as commercial organizations in the United States and abroad."

The division now comprises the Earth, Material and Planetary Sciences Department in addition to the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA).

Dr. Budhi Sagar has been promoted to division executive director and succeeds Patrick as president of the CNWRA. He will be SwRI's primary contact with the NRC. He formerly served as CNWRA technical director.

Dr. David A. Ferrill has been promoted to director of the Earth, Material and Planetary Sciences Department. He had been a senior program manager in the CNWRA.

The division offers programs in geochemistry, geology and geophysics, hydrology, corrosion science and process engineering, mining, geotechnical and facility engineering, performance assessment, earth and planetary sciences, and geological and aerospace materials.

SwRI is an independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization devoted to technology development and transfer. With more than 2,700 employees and almost 2 million square feet of laboratories, workshops and offices, its 10 technical divisions apply a multidisciplinary approach to problem-solving.

For more information, contact Joe Fohn, Communications Department, (210) 522-4630, Southwest Research Institute, PO Drawer 28510, San Antonio, TX 78228-0510.

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