Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI announces record levels of research, development activities

May 23, 2022 — Southwest Research Institute announced a 2021 research volume of nearly $726 million, up more than 4% from 2020 and the highest recorded by the Institute. Capital expenditures were up 21%, exceeding $71 million for the first time.

On May 23, the Institute’s Advisory Trustees, Board of Directors and special guests met for the 74th Annual Meeting, which highlighted presentations about several innovative research and development programs under way at SwRI in 2021. The meeting typically held in February was moved to May due to a peak in community infections of COVID-19 earlier in the year.

Sam G. Dawson, P.E., CEO of Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc., was elected chair of the board, his first time serving in this capacity. He previously served as vice chair in 2020−2021. Dawson was elected an Advisory Trustee in 2017 and joined the board in 2018. Jan Newton, retired president of AT&T Texas, was elected vice chair of the board, her first time to serve in this capacity. She was elected an Advisory Trustee in 2013 and joined the board in 2019.

“I am honored to step into this role as chair of the Board of Directors of Southwest Research Institute,” Dawson said. “It is my privilege to be affiliated with this outstanding, world-renowned R&D organization, especially as SwRI celebrates the momentous occasion of its 75th anniversary this September.”

Staff presentations touched on technology programs to help protect deep-water environments from oil spills, new techniques in recycling plastics and advanced fluids for electrified powertrains. SwRI staff also discussed automated buses, vaccine and drug development and several space research programs. Participants also were invited to several guided tours of the Institute.

“Our staff has shown tremendous initiative, steadfast resilience and unwavering dedication to the Institute’s mission even while navigating through the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said SwRI President and CEO Adam L. Hamilton, P.E. “We set another financial record for the Institute because our staff continues innovating and serving our clients even while facing unprecedented supply chain issues and labor shortages. As we approach our 75th anniversary, I am reminded that throughout our history, SwRI staff members have always been the most important ingredient in our success.”

Hamilton introduced six new advisory trustees who will serve three-year terms: Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, senior vice president for Research & Innovation at the University of Arizona; Dr. Mohammad Dehghani, chancellor of Missouri University of Science and Technology; retired U.S. Navy Admiral Bobby R. Inman, former director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA); Brandon A. Logan, CEO of Urban Capital Partners Inc.; Raul B. Rodriguez, associate vice president for International Affairs at Tecnológico de Monterrey; and Suzanne Wade, retired president of H-E-B’s San Antonio Food/Drug Division.

The SwRI Board of Directors reelected Institute officers and vice presidents including Hamilton; Walter D. Downing, P.E., executive vice president and COO; Beth Ann Rafferty, CPA, vice president – finance and Institute secretary and CFO; Mónica R. Trollinger, J.D., general counsel; and Linda M. Boehme, CPA, treasurer and assistant Institute secretary.

Eleven vice presidents also were reappointed, including: Kenneth H. Bennett Jr., Applied Physics; Dr. James L. Burch, Space Science and Engineering; Dr. Steven W. Dellenback, PMP, Intelligent Systems; Paul D. Easley, Facilities and General Services; James R. Keys, Applied Power; Dr. Michael G. MacNaughton, P.E., Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Tony Magaro, Human Resources; Steven D. Marty, P.E., Fuels and Lubricants Research; C. Nils Smith, P.E., Defense and Intelligence Solutions; Daniel W. Stewart, P.E., Powertrain Engineering; and Dr. Ben S. Thacker, P.E., Mechanical Engineering.

For more information, visit or contact Tracey M.S. Whelan, +1 210 522 2256, Communications Department, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, San Antonio, TX 78238-5166.