Southwest Research Institute drives science and technology into new territory with bold exploration, inspiring ideas and novel discoveries. SwRI is a research and development leader, forging ahead through the unknown to uncover creative solutions to the world’s most challenging technical problems. And while our expertise transforms the science and engineering landscape, SwRI’s guiding principles remain unchanged.
For 76 years, we have been dedicated to fulfilling our mission of conducting unbiased, independent research and development to benefit humankind. Then and now, we are committed to operating with the highest ethical standards. As an organization and as individual problem-solvers, we strive for excellence in all that we do, which is key to successfully serving our clients. With these fundamental values, we achieved remarkable things in 2023.
This year, the Institute won its 52nd R&D 100 award with the Wideband Conformal Continuous-Slot Antenna Array, a compact shipboard system designed with SwRI Internal Research & Development (IR&D) funds. The R&D 100 award program, by R&D World Magazine, is known as the “Oscars of Innovation” and recognizes the 100 most significant new technologies of the year.
The Space Foundation inducted the NASGRO® fracture control software, a past R&D 100 award winner, and the leaders of its development team into the Space Technology Hall of Fame®. The Hall of Fame recognizes technologies that began as space programs and have since been adapted to improve the quality of life for all of humanity. Initially developed to support NASA’s Space Shuttle program, the software is now used by companies worldwide to analyze spacecraft, aircraft and structures for fractures and fatigue. NASGRO collects data to determine the potential for growth of a small crack, which can prevent a catastrophic failure.
We continue to champion programs from Deep Sea to Deep Space®. In 2023, we used internal research and capital equipment funding to complete a new 30-inch-diameter deep sea simulation chamber for evaluating the quality and operation of components for oil producers, pipeline and subsea parts manufacturers, and the U.S. Navy.
And in space, SwRI pioneered a new era of space research. For the first time in our history, our IR&D program funded a scientist’s flight to space, using a seat reserved more than a dozen years ago with an emerging commercial space enterprise. SwRI planetary scientist Dr. Alan Stern conducted suborbital research and training exercises aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity, traveling over 50 miles above the surface of the Earth. The mission allowed him to collect valuable data firsthand in preparation for an upcoming NASA-funded flight.
Who we are as an organization is just as important as our work at SwRI. Guided by our steadfast principles, we uphold a diverse and inclusive work culture, where our staff is our greatest asset. SwRI thrives at the forefront of progress, looking toward what could be and how to make it happen.
The 2023 Annual Report offers a snapshot of additional recent SwRI accomplishments and many notable moments. Please take some time to peruse the document to learn more about the Institute’s research programs, financial highlights and community contributions.
Adam L. Hamilton, P.E.
President & CEO