I am pleased to present the SwRI Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20), which will go down as one of the most unique years in the Institute’s 73-year history. During the second half of FY20, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged, our staff and leadership proved to be particularly agile and adaptive as we continued to serve our clients, keep our employees as safe as possible and remain financially healthy.
FY20 began with a strong backlog of funding and contracts, and somewhat amazingly, it ended in much the same way. As the financial section of this report shows, our annual revenue and net income were modestly higher than the previous year, despite the tumultuous pandemic environment that began in February and continued through the second half of the fiscal year. Our workforce admirably adjusted to new working conditions and adapted operations for safety while finding new ways to support and communicate with our clients.
This issue of our Annual Report highlights our response to the COVID-19 crisis as well as the more traditional accomplishments that underscore the value of our unique multidisciplinary approach to solving complex problems and bringing promising ideas to fruition.
Our engineers and scientists are revolutionizing electric energy production by demonstrating new, more efficient supercritical carbon dioxide power cycles. In addition, a new five-year, $25 million contract with the Environmental Protection Agency funds conventional vehicle emissions and fuel efficiency evaluations, while we also advance electrified powertrain technology. We continue programs extending the service life of aging aircraft, as our advanced signals intelligence equipment safeguards those who defend our country. Our intelligent traffic technology is improving mobility and safety on the highways and byways of our land. And we are providing support for the development of new therapeutics and vaccines to protect humankind from COVID-19.
In addition, while solving some of the most difficult technical problems, the SwRI team responded to the severe human health and economic crisis generated by the pandemic with an outpouring of generosity. Our staff responded to calls for blood donations, school supplies, mask testing and many other tasks during the most difficult of times. Our record-setting contributions to the United Way demonstrated the extraordinary benevolence of our organization.
While uncertain national and international conditions and financial recovery models cloud the outlook for the coming fiscal year, we face tomorrow with renewed confidence born of our successful response to the challenges of FY20. Our backlog is at a record level, and our clients look forward to a return to full employment and capacity.
On a final note, near the close of the fiscal year NASA approved final assembly of the spacecraft for the SwRI-led Lucy mission, a 12-year voyage through the Solar System to explore Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids, going, again, where none have gone before.
Adam L. Hamilton, P.E.
PRESIDENT & CEO