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71st Annual Meeting of Advisory Trustees and Board of Directors of Southwest Research Institute

Time

9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. — Staff Presentations
1:15 p.m. — Additive Manufacturing Panel


Date

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019


Place

Southwest Research Institute
6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238
Bldg. 263

Event

71st Annual Meeting of Advisory Trustees and Board of Directors of Southwest Research Institute, including presentations on key SwRI research programs.

Special Media Availability        

SwRI experts are available for interviews and to answer questions about the Annual Meeting presentations. Please contact Deb Schmid to RSVP or to schedule an earlier visit. Please check in at the security entrance at 6220 Culebra Rd. where you will be directed to Bldg. 263 for interviews. B-roll available upon request.

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, or Robert Crowe, +1 210 522 4630.

View the Annual Report

Presentations

Tom Slick’s Legacy of Innovation and Collaboration

Tom Slick

Art collector, oilman, philanthropist and rancher. These are just a few words to describe Tom Baker Slick Jr., the visionary who founded Southwest Research Institute in 1941. Through a lifelong pursuit of knowledge, Slick left a legacy of innovation and collaboration that endures at SwRI and our sister organizations, the Mind Science Foundation and Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Several books have documented Slick’s adventures and accomplishments from development of the Brangus cattle breed to collecting famous artwork or searching for the clues to consciousness or proof of the Yeti in the Himalayas. Slick’s relatives, Charles U. Slick and Catherine Nixon Cooke, will discuss his legacy in a special presentation at the Annual Meeting. Cooke is an author based in South Texas.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/tom-slick-c631jpg

Mr. Charles U. Slick and Ms. Catherine Nixon Cooke

 

All oil is the same…right?

Robert Warren in fuels lab

Engine oil in lab

Oils for your vehicle are like any evolving product. You wouldn’t try to install an ancient version of Windows on your brand-new computer. Modern vehicles are designed to use modern fluids, so what was a good choice for a car 20 years ago probably isn’t healthy for the car you have now.

Robert and Rebecca Warden, both researchers in SwRI’s Fuels and Lubricants Research Division, presented an overview of the work their division has been supporting for the past five decades at the Institute’s annual meeting on February 18.

Most people, whether they change their car’s oil themselves or go to an auto shop, may not consider the engineering behind the oil they’ve chosen and how it may influence the longevity of their vehicle. Around 20 to 30 percent of today’s lubricating oils are additive components, and chemical compounds which help determine the oil’s properties and effectiveness. While a strong performing oil can protect your vehicle and help it run for years, the wrong oil could significantly shorten its service life.

SwRI researchers like the Wardens work to develop tests to ensure modern fluids are protecting vehicles, as well as provide improvements such as extended drain intervals and improved fuel efficiency.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/robert-warden-lab-d017894-9298jpg

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/engine-oil-d019242-7425jpg

Ms. Rebecca Warden, Manager, Fleet and Driveline Fluid Evaluations
Mr. Robert Warden, Senior Research Engineer, Engine Lubricants Research

CHEDE & SwRI Consortia

Jason Miwa

Jason Miwa, an assistant director in SwRI’s Powertrain Engineering Division, presented “CHEDE & SwRI Consortia,” discussing the innovative efforts of Institute researchers and partners to find creative solutions to real-world challenges facing the automotive industry.

SwRI’s Clean High-Efficiency Diesel Engine (CHEDE) Consortium is the longest-running diesel research consortium. Since 1991, CHEDE has brought together government and industry partners to tackle the issue of pollution and fuel consumption caused by heavy-duty engines.

The consortium is striving to create the world’s most efficient engines to meet the needs of the industry five to ten years down the road, particularly through the lens of harmful emissions and massive consumption of natural resources.

SwRI researchers collaborate with industry professionals and regulators to create durable, efficient and cleaner engines. Miwa noted that low-cost energy has shown itself to be the key in economic growth worldwide, but that growth tends to create environmental challenges that must be tackled.

In the past four years, CHEDE developments have increased efficiency in diesel engines from 44 to 48 percent, and the consortium set a new goal of 55 percent and near-zero tailpipe emissions. Miwa indicated that the consortium is very close to meeting, and possibly exceeding, that goal.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/jason-miwa-d021853jpg

Mr. Jason Miwa, Assistant Director, Diesel Engine and Emissions Research

Assessing Fluids Requirements of Electric Powertrains 

Randy McDonnell

Mary Stevens
E-fluid Testing

The vehicle electrification revolution is fully underway with original equipment manufacturers developing and selling more electric vehicles every year. While that is likely to produce long-term environmental benefits, it also means that fluids and lubricants manufacturers need to re-evaluate — and possibly reformulate — products to ensure performance.

Southwest Research Institute has been active in vehicle electrification since 1990. It is now setting its sights on new fluid requirements because even electrified vehicles need fluids to operate properly.

Electric powertrains are a new environment for fluids. High-speed motors and electric power analyzers put new demands on the fluids necessary to lubricate and cool electric components.

Through an internal research project, SwRI is working to develop a menu of e-fluid tests to help fluid and lubricant manufacturers evaluate future products.

Randy McDonnell, a manager in the Powertrain Engineering Division, and Mary Stevens, a research engineer in the Fuels and Lubricants Research Division, will present an overview of SwRI’s efforts to provide comprehensive fluids research and development for the automotive industry, particularly those delving into vehicle electrification.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/randy-mcdonnell-d022374jpg

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/mary-stevens-d023486jpg

Mr. Randy McDonnell, Manager, Drivetrain Research and Development

Ms. Mary Stevens, Research Engineer, Fleet and Driveline Fluid Evaluations

 

 

 

 

Countering Synthetic Biothreats

Krista Ternus

Dr. Krista Ternus, a science and technology advisor for SwRI’s subsidiary Signature Science, is investigating how to counter synthetic biothreats. She discussed this potentially perilous subject at SwRI’s annual meeting on February 18.

DNA sequencing has opened up the field of synthetic biology, using gene editing technology. Synthetic biology offers advantages, such as improving crops, treating genetic diseases and developing microbial solutions to environmental waste. On the flip side, there are serious risks, both intentional and unintentional, due to lack of regulation.

Ternus is involved in the Functional Genomic and Computational Assessment of Threats (FunGCAT) program looking at the potential to weaponize biologics. A team of researchers are looking at DNA sequences to characterize where they are usually seen, what they do and how threatening they are.

Signature Science is a wholly owned subsidiary of SwRI, headquartered in Austin, Texas. More than 170 staff members work at four locations, conducting around $40 million of national and homeland security research annually.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/krista-ternusjpg

Ms. Krista Ternus, Genomics Specialist, Signature Science, LLC

Robotics and ROS-Industrial

Cobots

ROS-Industrial Event

Open-source software has enabled advances in cloud computing, creating both disruption in established businesses and opportunities for budding entrepreneurs. It’s also helping to advance the capabilities of industrial robots, making them more agile, collaborative and interoperable than ever.

SwRI plays a major role in the open-source robotics movement, including leading the ROS-Industrial Consortium Americas. The ROS-I community is an international group of open-source developers who leverage the Robot Operating System (ROS) and extend it to develop advanced perception and path planning capabilities. This work not only powers automation such as driverless vehicles, but also may help humans and robots work in safe and mutually beneficial ways.

Founded by SwRI in 2011, ROS-I provides research organizations and manufacturers with tools, capabilities and a development ecosystem to help the global robotics industry and manufacturing clients rapidly develop technical solutions. At the 2019 Annual Meeting, Matt Robinson, an SwRI R&D manager in the Manufacturing Technologies Department who heads the ROS-I Consortium Americas, will provide an overview of the industry, the future path of ROS-I, and some case studies that showcase innovation and collaboration.

Matt’s presentation is at 10:40 a.m. on February 18. He will be available for media interviews at breaks around 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/collaborative-robotics-laboratory-d0232312854jpg

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/matt-robinson-ros-industrial-d022998-1577jpg

Mr. Matt Robinson, Program Manager, Adaptive Technologies

Serendipity in the Outer Solar System

Dr. John Spencer
Ultima Thule

Io Moon

At SwRI’s 71st annual meeting, Dr. John Spencer, an Institute scientist in SwRI’s Boulder office, discussed cool stuff he’s found while looking for something else.

“Science often progresses sideways,” Spencer said. Instead of simply confirming or rejecting a hypothesis, research sometimes allow you to “learn something more interesting.”

One of the examples cited is the discovery of volcanic activity on Jupiter’s moon Io, including a plume of materials emitted from its surface. A fusion of research by both telescopes and spacecraft have shown these sulfur-rich plumes help explain Io’s amazing color scheme.

“Then sometimes we find just what we are looking for,” Spencer said, citing the discovery of a secondary target for the New Horizons spacecraft to explore after the Pluto flyby in 2015. “New Horizons may be the only chance in our lifetimes to explore typical small KBOs. Hubble was the only high-probability means to find a second target. Just one year after we started looking for it, we discovered the KBO known as Ultima Thule on June 27, 2014.”

With that, they team changed the spacecraft’s trajectory to explore the farthest object ever visited January 1, 2019.

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/john-spencer-whipple-awardjpg

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/ultima-thulejpg

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/io-series-2-annual-meetingjpg

Dr. John Spencer, Institute Scientist, Space Studies

MAKERS Additive Manufacturing Panel Discussion

Metal lattice work was 3D printed using additive manufacturing technology

(Media Please RSVP via Deb Schmid to reserve seat).

SwRI has created an internal research project entitled Metals Additive Kickoff Emphasizing Research Synergies (MAKERS). Now into its third quarter, MAKERS brings together collaborative teams encompassing seven projects from five different program areas, to explore metals additive manufacturing, with a focus on innovative applications, design and process development, novel powder materials, challenging alloys, nondestructive evaluation development and modeling.

SwRI engineers are developing a small cooled turbine to make drones more reliable and efficient (news release)

Additive Manufacturing

Manufacturing Process Improvement

Image and caption: https://www.swri.org/file/makers-metal-latticejpg

 

Event

71st Annual Meeting of Advisory Trustees and Board of Directors of Southwest Research Institute, including presentations on key SwRI research programs.

Special Media Availability        

SwRI experts are available for interviews and to answer questions about the Annual Meeting presentations. Please contact Deb Schmid to RSVP or to schedule an earlier visit. Please check in at the security entrance at 6220 Culebra Rd. where you will be directed to Bldg. 263 for interviews. B-roll available upon request.

For more information, contact Deb Schmid, +1 210 522 2254, or Robert Crowe, +1 210 522 4630.

View the Annual Report

Time

9 a.m. to 11:50 a.m. — Staff Presentations
1:15 p.m. — Additive Manufacturing Panel


Date

Monday, Feb. 18, 2019


Place

Southwest Research Institute
6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238
Bldg. 263