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Southwest Research Institute

Southwest Research Institute

Southwest Research Institute is a research and development organization based in San Antonio, focusing on science and technology.


Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) is an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organization headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. SwRI specializes in creating and transferring technology in engineering and the physical sciences, providing services to government and industry clients.

Technical divisions

The institute is made up of ten technical divisions:

  • Applied Physics
  • Applied Power
  • Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses
  • Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
  • Defense & Intelligence Solutions
  • Fuels & Lubricants Research
  • Intelligent Systems
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Powertrain Engineering
  • Space Science & Engineering
Locations and facilities

With approximately 3,000 members of staff, SwRI's research volume for the fiscal year 2019 was almost $674 million. The institute's headquarters in San Antonio occupies more than 1,200 acres and provides more than two million square feet of laboratories, test facilities, workshops, and offices. SwRI also maintains technical offices and laboratories in:

  • Beijing, China
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Hanover, Maryland
  • Rockville, Maryland
  • Ogden, Utah
  • Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Warner Robins, Georgia
  • Durham, New Hampshire


SwRI is one of the oldest independent nonprofit organizations in the United States. Founded by Thomas Baker Slick Jr on a South Texas Ranch in 1947, the institute went on to recruit a team of scientists and engineers from across the United States to develop science, technology, and engineering services to both government and commercial clients around the world.


In response to the outbreak of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) disease, Southwest Research Institute has provided virtual screening software for research on the virus. The company has evaluated two million drug compounds with the goal of identifying high-probability drugs that could be effective against the coronavirus while causing minimal side effects.

The company's partnership with Texas Biomedical Research Institute has furthered their research for drug development candidates. Their Rhodium software can scan 250,000 drug compounds a day through graphical processing and machine learning techniques. The company used a 3D model of the coronavirus to evaluate potential drugs from a library of compounds. The system predicts how the protein structures in infectious diseases will bind with compounds, and then interpret the results for data analysis.



Further reading




April 13, 2016

SwRI's virtual screening software Rhodium increases processing power for coronavirus research


February 19, 2020

Who We Are


June 17, 2016

Documentaries, videos and podcasts



December 28, 2020
The Indian Express
The study also suggests that the meteorite was hurled at the Earth by a giant asteroid in our solar system.
Stephanie Mlot
November 13, 2019
The most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft finally has a name. Kuiper Belt object 2014 MU69 was officially christened Arrokoth, a Native American term meaning "sky" in the Powhatan/Algonquian language. With ...


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