CFDRC Receives SBA's First-Ever Tibbetts Award

1996 National Tibbetts Award

Huntsville, AL -- Dr. Ashok Singhal, President and Technical Director of CFD Research Corporation today received a Tibbetts Award from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for his company's achievements in the area of technology development and transfer. SBA's Regional Advocate, Paulette Norvel-Lewis and Alabama District Director Jim Barksdale presented the award at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, AL.

The award cites CFDRCs extraordinary contributions to one of the government's premier initiatives dedicated to research and development, the Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR).

"Dr. Ashok Singhal, and CFDRC have displayed truly extraordinary results in the SBIR program," said Norvel-Lewis. "CFDRC and the SBIR program are a prime example of a public-private partnership. They work in tandem to advance research and development, while America gains valuable technology."

Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has grown steadily to its present level of 70 full-time employees (more than 50% have Ph.D.s) and over $7.0 million in annual revenue. CFDRC has developed state-of-the-art simulation methodologies under SBIRs from several agencies. The resulting software has been adapted and applied to a wide range of problems, mostly during commercialization phases.

"I am honored to accept the Tibbetts Award on behalf of CFDRC, and would like to thank SBA's Office of Advocacy and the Office of Technology for this award," said Singhal.

"I also offer my personal gratitude to Mr. Roland Tibbetts of the National Science Foundation for his vision and initiatives for the SBIR program," said Singhal. "I also want to thank the hard working individuals of the SBIR program offices for their successful design and execution of the program and the participating technical monitors of NASA, Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the National Institute of Health for their interest and support for new high-risk, high-payoff ideas."

"Last, but not least; I want to thank the dedicated Principal Investigators, Co-Investigators and other employees of CFDRC for their commitment and hard work," said Singhal. "Without the support of these people, our success would not have been possible."

About half of CFD Research Corporation's work is research and development, the other half focused on application and transfer of developed technologies. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) enables computer simulations of fluid flow, heat transfer and chemical reaction processes. The simulations (virtual prototyping) facilitate engineering design and reduce time-to-market for new advanced programs.

Some examples include:

  • Biomedical studies for Natural and Prosthetic heart valves; vestibular (inner ear) mechanics; and ultrasound blood flow meter.
  • Design of low NOx combustors and fuel nozzles for aircraft engines.
  • Optimization of diesel fuel injectors and climate control systems for automotive companies and Chemical Vapor Deposition(CVD) reactors for semiconductor manufacturers.
  • Analysis of pilot evacuation seats, Space Shuttle Main Engine, and Air Turbo Rocket (ATR) propulsion system components.

The Tibbetts Awards program, initiated by SBA Administrator Philip Lader and U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, is designed to recognize SBIR's "Models of Excellence". These are companies, support organizations and individuals that have been on the cutting edge of innovative technology development.

"This award is aptly named for Roland Tibbetts, considered by many to be the father of the 14-year-old SBIR program," said SBA Administrator Phil Lader when establishing the award in June, 1996. "During his service at the National Science Foundation, he consistently worked to support small business participation in government research."

The award was created this year by the SBA's Office of Advocacy in cooperation with the Office of Technology. The SBIR program is administered by the SBA, although implemented through several different federal agencies, and is widely acknowledged as producing some of the government's most highly rated research.

"This year alone the SBA's technology initiatives have channeled nearly $1 billion of federal research and development funds into projects that fill an immediate government need," said Lader, "yet they pave the way for a future American product or service that can prove vital to our economy."

The SBIR program encourages projects that contribute to our national defense, promote health and safety, and improve highways and airports. They serve as catalysts for state-of-the-art research and development.

It is a highly competitive, three-phase program that provides qualified small businesses with opportunities to propose innovative ideas that meet the specific research and development needs of the federal government. Currently, 11 agencies with the largest research and development budgets participate in SBIR.

Among the criteria used for this inaugural award were whether the product or service could be judged as a significant industry advancement and whether it strengthens our national technology capabilities.

This item was taken from a SBA publication.