Southwest Research Institute

  www.swri.edu
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3 people found this helpful  

An overall good place to work with some drawbacks

Research Scientist (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

ProsMany projects to work on, providing a large number of potential collaborators and potential avenues of research.
Overall good work environment.
The salaries are relatively competitive for a PhD researcher, though not significantly better than industry standard.
Fosters a collegiate, academic setting for research, although this is somewhat dependent upon the specific division and its management.

ConsManagement seems unwilling or unable to foster an atmosphere that supports a work/life balance. Also, flexible work hours and telecommuting are generally frowned upon. This leads to an emphasis on "face time" rather than an an emphasis on milestones or one's productivity. In my experience, this attitude leads to lower overall productivity from staffl.

The overhead is very high and this makes it difficult for scientists to pursue the typical soft-money path of research more commonly found in academia.

It has been said that SwRI's atmosphere is more akin to the 1960's and this is relatively true. There are few female PhDs or senior management, which can most likely be linked back to the first comment about a failure of management to foster an atmosphere of balance between work life and family.

Advice to Senior ManagementManagement at SwRI, to my mind, faces three critical hurdles to attracting and maintaining young talent. First, management needs to adopt 21st century work methods, allowing for flexible work hours and telecommuting instead of emphasizing "face time." Second, the culture at SwRI needs to evolve to embrace a more accommodating work/life balance in line with most academic institutions. Finally, (although this may not be possible given the cost structure of SwRI), overhead costs on soft-money projects need to be reduced in order to make SwRI scientists more competitive relative to their counterparts in academia. Otherwise, given the tightening budgets of all science directorates (i.e. NASA, NSF), SwRI-based scientists will find themselves fighting an uphill battle against other institutions whose costs are more efficient for government-funded projects.

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    exceptional

    Anonymous Employee (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute


    Pros: There are many one is that the benefits are great Cons: Promotions are few and far in between More
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Career Opportunities
    • No Opinion of CEO

     

    SwRI-Not the best of the best, but a good place to work

    Research Scientist (Current Employee) San Antonio, TX

    I have been working at Southwest Research Institute


    Pros: Relatively low stress job. Innovative and imaginative with opportunities to work… Cons: Lack of communication between division and between management and technical/scientific… Advice to Senior Management: Be open to change. Be proactive in establishing communication with employees esp. in the scientific ladder. It seems that the administration has become too cumbersome… Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend More
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