Western Research Institute (WRI), located in Laramie, Wyoming, is a multi-million dollar, not-for-profit, research organization renowned for work in advanced energy systems, environmental technologies and highway materials research and technologies. Our broad perspectives and know-how in science, technology and real-world, on-the-ground conditions attract industrial partners from corporations, industry associations, government entities, and other research organizations. We advance client technologies from concept to bench scale through pilot testing and commercialization. With the Federal Highway Administration, WRI has conducted concentrated research that has supported breakthroughs in materials knowledge, leading to safer, longer-lasting roads. This, and a long record of successful development with the Department of Energy is experience we bring to bear to meet our clients’ needs.
Our 22-acre Advanced Technology Center (ATC) includes laboratories, pilot facilities and room for new development. Asphalt, heavy oil, emulsions and refinery efficiency technology development take place in laboratories located in the Bureau of Mines Building on the University of Wyoming campus. WRI offers the full matrix of resources―experience, expertise, physical infrastructure and industry connections―to help our clients realize the potential of their concepts and ours. WRI extends your reach.
Western Research Institute has developed with the West and evolved to meet global needs. WRI, an independent research corporation, was established in 1983 when the U.S. Department of Energy de-federalized the Laramie Energy Technology Center. Our timeline, however, stretches back to 1924, when a petroleum research station was established here by the Bureau of Mines to support development of Wyoming’s petroleum resources. During World War II, research was directed to the sources and characterization of aviation fuels. Asphalt research began in 1964 and to this day, WRI has continued to build on this lead. Shale oil and underground gasification programs were at the fore of research here during the 1970s. The energy program was augmented in the 80s by an analytical laboratory business, which now has been refocused to offer only non-routine, specialized analyses not available elsewhere. Today, Western Research Institute is a leader in asphalt, petroleum and coal technologies and in sustainable emerging technologies to develop advanced materials and move fossil resources beyond combustion.
The University of Wyoming Research Corporation (dba Western Research Institute) board of directors is responsible for overseeing management in the development of plans, policies, and business strategy. Through regular meetings, the board ensures effective organizational and fiscal planning and sees that company resources are managed properly, in line the institute's goals. All board members serve without compensation. Current board members are as follows.
Western Research Institute is located in Laramie, Wyoming, a small Western city of 30,000 situated on high plains between the Laramie Range and the aptly named Snowy Range. Laramie is home to a growing technology sector comprising software development, web-based resources, and environmental and energy field services, and including WRI’s diverse programs.
Rocky Mountain recreational opportunities are a satisfying complement to our scientific and engineering work at the Institute. We enjoy fly-fishing, camping, mountain biking and horses. (In fact, Frank Guffey, one of our top scientists, is a championship cutting horse competitor.) In-town amenities include the arts, sporting events, restaurants and entertainment―everything from national concert artists to rodeo. Further benefits include a top-notch education system, short commutes and no state income tax.
At the heart of Laramie is the University of Wyoming, a doctoral research-intensive institution, a vibrant center of learning, an artistic, cultural and creative benchmark, and the home of the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls athletic teams. WRI is much enriched by our relationship with the University of Wyoming; research collaboration and student internships, for example, are frequent.
At WRI, we are conscious of our role as a corporate citizen in the Laramie community and the state. For more than a decade, our employees have made WRI a leading contributor to United Way of Albany County.