Facts About SwRI

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development (R&D) organizations in the United States. Founded in 1947, SwRI provides contract research and development services to industrial and government clients in the United States and abroad. The Institute is governed by a board of directors, which is advised by approximately 100 trustees.

Based on preliminary consultation with a client, SwRI prepares a proposal outlining the project's scope of work. Subject to client wishes, programs are kept confidential. As part of a long-held tradition, patent rights arising from sponsored research are often assigned to the client. SwRI generally retains the rights to Institute-funded advancements.

SwRI offers multidisciplinary, problem-solving services in a variety of areas in engineering and the physical sciences. Historically, more than 6,500 projects are open at the Institute at any one time. These projects are funded almost equally between the government and commercial sectors. SwRI’s total revenue for fiscal year 2016 was $559 million. In 2016, SwRI managed more than 106 projects with expenditures of more than $7.4 million to its internally sponsored R&D program, which is designed to encourage new ideas and innovative technologies.

SwRI’s headquarters occupies more than 2 million square feet of office and laboratory space on more than 1,200 acres in San Antonio. The Institute has technical offices and laboratories in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Beijing, China; Boulder, Colo.; Hill Air Force Base (Ogden), Utah; Hanover and Rockville, Md.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Warner Robins, Ga.; and Durham, N.H.

At the close of fiscal year 2016, the staff numbered 2,655, including 275 professionals who hold doctorate degrees and 513 with master’s degrees. In 2016, staff members published 663 papers in the technical literature; made 620 presentations at technical conferences, seminars and symposia around the world; submitted 60 invention disclosures; filed 43 patent applications; and received 46 U.S. patent awards. The Institute supports professional development of its staff through on-site technical and training courses and tuition reimbursement.

The Institute holds more than 1,200 patents awarded to its staff members, has earned 41 R&D 100 awards, and has been inducted in the U.S. Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame. The Institute has received three Department of Defense James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Awards. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers has recognized our split-Hopkinson pressure bar apparatus (2006) and the Southern Gas Association analog (1990), developed by SwRI in 1955 for the natural gas industry, as ASME National Historic Engineering Landmarks. Several SwRI divisions have achieved ISO 9001 or ISO 14001 certification and ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The Ford Motor Company has designated the Institute a Tier 1 product development engineering services supplier and has awarded the Institute its Q1-2000 award.

SwRI offers a wide-ranging network of representatives to discuss Institute capabilities, business opportunities and projects. In addition to offices worldwide, the Institute maintains a comprehensive presence on the Internet. SwRI retains an extensive network of consultants in Asia and Europe and has established numerous technology alliances with internationally known corporations and organizations.

The Institute has 9 technical divisions cooperating in multidisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. A partial listing of research areas includes:

  • advanced electronics
  • aircraft structural integrity
  • antennas
  • radio wave propagation and electromagnetic modeling
  • automation, robotics, and intelligent systems
  • automotive engineering
  • avionics and support systems
  • ballistics and explosion hazards
  • bioengineering, biomechanics and biomaterials
  • chemistry and chemical engineering
  • communications systems and signal processing
  • corrosion and electrochemistry
  • cyber security and information assurance
  • defense and intelligence solutions
  • Earth and planetary sciences
  • engineering mechanics
  • environmental and health sciences
  • fire technology
  • fluid systems and fluid machinery
  • fracture mechanics
  • fuels and lubricants
  • geochemistry and radiochemistry
  • geological and mining engineering
  • geophysical and geological investigations
  • hydrology and geohydrology
  • information and electronic warfare
  • intelligent transportation systems and vehicles
  • internal combustion engine emissions research
  • manufacturing technology
  • marine technology
  • materials sciences
  • medical information systems
  • modeling and simulation
  • nondestructive evaluation
  • oil and gas exploration and development
  • optics and sensor technology
  • penetration and armor mechanics
  • pipeline technology
  • probabilistic mechanics and uncertainty quantification
  • risk and hazard assessment
  • signal exploitation and geolocation
  • software engineering
  • space science
  • space instrumentation and spacecraft systems
  • structural engineering
  • surface modification and coatings
  • surveillance technology, training systems and simulators
  • unmanned aerial vehicles and systems
  • vehicle, engine and powertrain design, research and development

Thomas Baker Slick Jr., an oilman-rancher-philanthropist, founded SwRI. Slick's vision of an internationally known scientific research center in San Antonio, took root with his donation of a ranchland site west of the city – where Institute operations are still carried out. Slick challenged a group of pioneer scientists and engineers from around the nation to move to the new center to seek revolutionary advancements in many areas by developing and applying technology.

The Texas Biomedical Research Institute, (formerly known as the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research) located one mile west of SwRI, is another research organization founded by Slick. Independent of the Institute, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute conducts biomedical research and houses the world's largest nonhuman primate colonies used to study human diseases.

For more information about SwRI and its capabilities, contact the Business Development Office, Southwest Research Institute, 6220 Culebra Road, P.O. Box 28510, San Antonio, Texas 78228-0510, Phone  (210) 522-2122, Fax (210) 522-3496.

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Benefiting government, industry and the public through innovative science and technology
Southwest Research Institute® (SwRI®), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a multidisciplinary, independent, nonprofit, applied engineering and physical sciences research and development organization with 9 technical divisions.