Advanced science.  Applied technology.


SwRI celebrates 75th Annual Meeting

February 20, 2023 — Southwest Research Institute’s Advisory Trustees, Board of Directors and special guests gathered at SwRI’s main campus in San Antonio to mark the Institute’s 75th Annual Meeting, featuring technical presentations highlighting several innovative research and development programs under way.

“Last year marked the Institute’s 75th anniversary, and the Institute continues to be a strong and vibrant organization,” said SwRI President and CEO Adam L. Hamilton, P.E. “While there may be challenges in 2023, SwRI’s staff have demonstrated the ability to navigate through difficult times and continue to solve some of humankind’s most difficult technical challenges, from Deep Sea to Deep Space™ and practically everywhere in between.”

Sam G. Dawson, P.E., CEO of Pape-Dawson Engineers Inc., was reelected chair of the board for a second term. Jan Newton, retired president of AT&T Texas, was reelected vice chair of the board.

“I am honored to be reelected as chair of the Board of Directors of Southwest Research Institute,” Dawson said. “What a wonderful time to celebrate this remarkable organization where the best of the best work to solve difficult technical challenges It is my privilege to be affiliated with SwRI and its employees who continue to innovate and carry on the mission of this great organization. The Institute is a special place.”

SwRI staff gave presentations highlighting innovations in space science research, pumped thermal energy storage, industrial cybersecurity, and greenhouse gas reduction. A staff member from the Institute’s wholly owned subsidiary, Signature Science LLC, discussed ribonucleic acid (RNA) viral threats.

Hamilton introduced 17 new Advisory Trustees who will each serve a three-year term: Virginia “Ginger” Barnes, vice president (retired) of Boeing Space Launch System; Dr. Vanessa Beasley, president of Trinity University; Rick Cavender, president of Audi Dominion; Dr. Abel Antonio Chávez, president of Our Lady of the Lake University; Patricia Diaz Dennis, senior vice president (retired) of AT&T; Dr. Thomas M. Evans, president of the University of the Incarnate Word; Dr. Erika Gonzalez, president and CEO of South Texas Asthma and Allergy Medical Professionals; Jack Guenther Jr., president and CEO of JG Auto Group; Dr. Clarence Huff, JBSA 5G program manager; Richard D. Jackson, aerospace executive (retired); Dr. Pratap Khanwilkar, founder and CEO of Ignition Key LLC; Michael Kiolbassa, president of Kiolbassa Provision Company; John C. Korbell, Korbell Interests; Anne Krause, president and executive director of the Hemisfair Conservancy; Chris Martin, president and CEO of the United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County; Brigadier General Guy Walsh (ret.), executive director of the National Security Collaboration Center at The University of Texas at San Antonio; and Lora Watts, senior vice president of Global Events (ret.), AT&T. Korbell is returning as an Advisory Trustee, after retiring from SwRI’s Board on December 5, 2022, following 18 years of dedicated service.

The SwRI Board of Directors reelected Institute executive officers 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.

In 2022, the Institute added two new technical divisions, the Space Systems Division and the Solar System Science and Exploration Division, both under a newly formed Space Sector, which also includes the Space Science Division. The Board approved reelection of thirteen vice presidents including: Dr. James L. Burch, senior vice president of the Space Science Sector and acting vice president of Space Science; Dr. Robin Canup, Solar System Science and Exploration; Michael K. McLelland, Space Systems; Dr. Steven W. Dellenback, PMP, Intelligent Systems; Paul D. Easley, Facilities and General Services; James R. Keys, Applied Power; Tony Magaro, Human Resources; Steven D. Marty, P.E., Fuels and Lubricants Research; Dr. Joe A. McDonough, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering; Jose E. Navarro, acting vice president of Applied Physics; C. Nils Smith, P.E., Defense and Intelligence Solutions; Daniel W. Stewart, P.E., Powertrain Engineering; and Dr. Ben H. Thacker, P.E., Mechanical Engineering.

In 2022 SwRI reported a research volume of nearly $798 million, the highest recorded by the Institute. Also in 2022, the technical staff published 1,081 papers and gave 336 presentations. In addition, SwRI received 31 U.S. patent awards, filed 46 patent applications and submitted 39 invention disclosures.

View 10 SwRI accomplishments video:

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.