Adam Hamilton, P.E., President & CEO
In 2017, Southwest Research Institute celebrated 70 years of scientific and technical achievements. Our talented scientists and engineers have made innumerable contributions advancing the state of the art in research and development, ultimately benefiting humanity. While we are proud of our past, our focus is on the future projects to help solve our government and industry clients’ most challenging technical problems. This Annual Report highlights some of the accomplishments of the past year and previews some of the challenges before us as we continue to advance scientific progress and human achievement.
Collaboration among our technical staff and with other organizations has been a hallmark of our success. We seek projects and programs that allow our staff to work with others for the greater good. Intelligent systems analysts work with automotive engineers to devise new models of mobility. Computer scientists work with chemists to turbocharge drug development technology. We introduced the Human Performance Initiative to better understand the complex biomechanical and physiological components of physical performance and health. We’re part of a team designing, building and operating a 10 MWe pilot plant to demonstrate smaller, cleaner and more efficient power production technology. Our industry-specific consortia pool the resources of many to resolve problems for all. In 2017, we secured a patent to locate and mitigate corrosion damage on hard-to-inspect pipelines installed under surface features. The Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System, the first Institute-designed and -built spacecraft, was launched, and the SwRI-led Juno mission continues to collect incredible images and data as it orbits Jupiter.
As our reputation continues to grow, it becomes more difficult each year to claim we are the best-kept secret in San Antonio. We launched a new corporate website to expand our marketing efforts and make it easier for clients to navigate our services more efficiently. Our media outreach efforts are paying strong dividends with unprecedented coverage locally, nationally and internationally. Our science and technology programs make headlines around the world. Locally, the San Antonio Business Journal named us the 2016 Business of the Year, acknowledging our stature as a powerhouse in the R&D marketplace.
We are committed to continuously improving our research capabilities. The capital improvements and infrastructure program is an investment in our future. This year, we completed installation and testing of a hypervelocity light-gas launcher, the centerpiece of a new facility that expands our 65-year history of impact dynamics research. We added laboratory facilities for fluid dynamics and flow components research and development. We opened a new laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to expand our automotive research footprint.
We strive to be good corporate and community neighbors. Staff members contribute to and volunteer in the various communities where they work. They mentor students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and serve as judges for science and engineering competitions. Professional organizations seek them out as speakers and to sit on boards and committees to help formulate industry standards and advance scientific innovation.
Historically, our diverse revenue sources are split between government and industry. Though the fluctuating political environment caused uncertainty and contributed to a financially challenging fiscal year for research and development, the Institute remains a major economic contributor in San Antonio, Bexar County and the other communities where we operate. SwRI contributed more than $1 billion to the local economy. Moving forward, a healthy backlog of contracts and proposals boosts our confidence for a successful 2018 and beyond.
Even as we face new challenges in the coming year, we see new opportunities to expand our science and technology base. We want to be the first choice for clients seeking solutions for their most complex problems. I look forward to working with the Advisory Trustees, Board of Directors and Institute staff to ensure our clients receive the highest quality scientific and technical services in 2018 and beyond.