Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI 70th annual meeting features technical briefings, demos, tours at R&D powerhouse

Feb. 19, 2018 — Today nearly 200 attendees gathered at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) for the 70th Annual Meeting of the Advisory Trustees and Board of Directors. The annual meeting highlights SwRI scientists and engineers presenting updates on the latest research and development initiatives at the Institute.  Many attendees also toured SwRI’s laboratories and facilities.

David S. Zachry, P.E., CEO of the Zachry Corporation, is leading SwRI’s board for the first time. Prior to his election as chair, Zachry served as board vice chair from 2016-17. He joined the board in 2007. Wayne S. Alexander, retired president of SBC Southwestern Bell, has been elected vice chair and previously served as board chair from 2008-09 and vice chair from 2006-07. He joined the board in 2001.

“It’s a pleasure to serve as the new chairman of the board for Southwest Research Institute,” said Zachry, who presided at the meeting. “For more than a decade, I have been fortunate to be a part of this extraordinary organization serving as a member of the Board of Directors. Today we were able to capture a glimpse of some of the remarkable project work and real-world solutions this staff offers clients. I’m honored to be associated with SwRI, one of the leading R&D organizations in the world.”

Sam G. Dawson, P.E., CEO of Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc., has been newly appointed to serve on SwRI’s board. He previously served the Institute as an advisory trustee.

Staff presented technical programs on a diverse range of subjects from exploring the outer reaches of our solar system to improving vehicle fuel economy. Other highlights included a wide range of project overviews including SwRI’s work in power and energy, exploring nuclear reactors with unmanned aerial systems, studying ocean worlds, and implantable drug delivery methods. Two R&D 100 award winning projects were also presented: Smart Leak Detection and High Power Impulse Plasma Source Surface Coatings.

Attendees also had the option to tour the Institute’s ocean engineering facilities and an advanced robotics demo as well as visit the rare book collection in the library and Slick art display in the Institute’s archives.

“We are fortunate to have the highest-quality technical and support staff, as today’s presentations demonstrated,” said SwRI President and CEO Adam L. Hamilton, P.E. “From deep sea to deep space, we continue to provide extraordinary service, diverse expertise, and relentless innovation to solve our clients’ toughest technical challenges, day in and day out, year after year.   And that will be as true tomorrow as it is today.” 

Hamilton also announced 11 new advisory trustees who will serve three-year terms beginning in 2018: Bill Cantrell, president and CEO of the Southern Gas Association; Dr. Marc P. Christensen, P.E., dean of Southern Methodist University’s Lyle School of Engineering; Dr. Taylor Eighmy, president of The University of Texas at San Antonio; Phillip D. Green, CPA, chairman and CEO of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc.; Lt. Gen. James “Kevin” McLaughlin, USAF (ret.), McLaughlin Global Associates LLC; Katrina McMurrian, executive director of the Critical Consumer Issues Forum/Nuclear Waste Strategy Coalition; Dr. Larry Schlesinger, president and CEO of Texas Biomedical Research Institute; John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System; Ilia A. Tikhomirov, president and CEO of Formation Biologics; Dr. Robert Wagner, director of the National Transportation Research Center; and Dr. Andy Walshe, director of high performance at Red Bull.

The SwRI Board of Directors re-elects Institute officers and vice presidents annually. In addition to the re-election of Hamilton, the SwRI officers include: Walter D. Downing, P.E., executive vice president and COO; Beth Ann Rafferty, CPA, chief financial officer, vice president–Finance and Institute secretary; and Linda M. Boehme, CPA, treasurer and assistant Institute secretary. Mónica R. Trollinger was newly elected as general counsel.

SwRI reappointed 10 vice presidents: Kenneth H. Bennett Jr., Applied Physics; Dr. James L. Burch, Space Science and Engineering; Danny M. Deffenbaugh, Mechanical Engineering; Dr. Steven W. Dellenback, PMP, Intelligent Systems; Paul Easley, Facilities and General Services; Dr. Michael G. MacNaughton, P.E., Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Steven D. Marty, P.E., Fuels and Lubricants Research; Mary Massey, P.E., Applied Power; C. Nils Smith, P.E., Defense and Intelligence Solutions; and Daniel W. Stewart, P.E., Powertrain Engineering.

For more information, contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, (210) 522-2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.