Southern Research Engineering

Engineering focuses its research and development in the areas of advanced material characterization techniques in extreme environments, electro-mechanical systems design and integration, aerospace engineering, and computational sciences. Our materials characterization techniques and materials knowledge serves the propulsion and reentry communities, satellite and spacecraft markets, energy sectors, and most other technology areas that require expert knowledge of material behaviors in extreme environments. Our systems engineering capabilities include high altitude imaging, sensor development and integration, geolocation and extraction, ground systems, specialty pods and turrets, and many others. Clients include most U.S. federal agencies, major defense contractors, and numerous other commercial companies worldwide.

How To Work With Us

Southern Research maintains longstanding relationships with numerous federal agencies that have contracted for our services. Following is an overview of our current agency-specific prime contract vehicles. Click here for more information.

Engineering Capabilities

Mechanical Testing of Materials

Southern Research provides a comprehensive range of material mechanical property testing and analysis that supports industrial, aerospace, and military clients. Our experienced engineering team has proven expertise in materials behavior, analysis, and evaluation and is supported by a contingent of highly skilled experimentalist technicians. Moreover, Southern Research has a well-established testing and measurements capability and is widely recognized as the leading laboratory in the country for high-temperature evaluation of advanced materials.

Thermal Testing of Materials

For more than three decades, Southern Research has been a national leader in the thermal properties characterization and evaluation of high-temperature materials for a diverse group of clients that includes aerospace, manufacturing, and government. Our experienced professionals have performed tests on a variety of materials, including composites, ceramics, metals, insulations, and lubricants in both normal and extreme environments at temperatures ranging from cryogenic to more than 3000°C.

Non-Destructive Evaluation of Materials

The Southern Research Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE) group specializes in materials characterization and precision testing of materials and structures. Our experienced engineers and technicians have extensive expertise in physics, materials engineering, software development, and mathematics; we apply these specialized skills to provide diverse capabilities ranging from the application and development of NDE techniques to the characterization of advanced composite materials. We specialize in developing novel approaches and solutions for our clients' most challenging projects.

Mechanical Testing of Components & Structures

In support of military, aerospace, and commercial applications, Southern research offers clients extensive expertise in static and dynamic structural load testing of components, sub-assembly, and full-scale structures. Our comprehensive knowledge of composite materials, material models, mechanics of materials, load application, instrumentation, hydraulic control, and test design enables us to provide turnkey structural testing services for simple proof testing or complex analytical validations.

Stabilized Gimbal Systems

For more than five decades, Southern Research has developed stabilized gimbals and fine pointing systems used in a range of military and aerospace applications. As a leading innovator in the field, our advances have led to the development of several specialized gimbal designs ranging from small lightweight missile seekers to large multi-axis turret systems. Southern Research is a provider of sophisticated pointing solutions for test and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) applications. Our proven expertise has enabled us to maintain longstanding relationships with government and commercial clients who depend on our ability to develop forward-thinking, cutting-edge design solutions.

Airborne Sensors

Southern Research has the scientific knowledge and engineering expertise to integrate various sensors and accomplish the defined objective in a timely and cost-effective manner. We specialize in the rapid design and cost-effective production of special application pods and turrets with intertially stabilized gimbal systems for our customers’ airborne sensor payloads – including video, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), and other collection systems for operations in demanding environments. The solutions we provide are designed to give our customers a competitive advantage by achieving optimal cost-efficiency, design, functionality, and interoperability.

Systems Engineering and Integration

As an established leader in the discipline of systems engineering, Southern Research leverages our broad scientific and technical expertise to develop and integrate complete systems of all sizes and complexities in support of test and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) requirements. We combine traditional systems engineering principles with other core competencies and technologies to connect disparate systems of wide-ranging complexity. Utilizing advanced tools such as Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and vibration analysis, we specialize in providing seamless, fully-integrated systems in support of our customers’ projects and technologies. We specialize in rapidly transforming concepts into capabilities that meet our customers’ unique specifications and objectives. The innovative solutions we provide are designed to achieve optimal cost-efficiency, design, functionality, and interoperability.

Hypersonic Vehicle Analysis

Southern Research has more than 20 years of experience in testing hypersonic vehicle materials and structures to support diverse industries including organizations within the Department of Defense, NASA, and prime contractors. Our experienced engineers have specialized expertise in designing customized tests of candidate materials and shapes to meet our clients' specific research needs.

Engineering News

Southern Research Names Jim Tucker Director of Materials Research

July 13, 2015 | | Engineering | No Comments

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Southern Research announced, today, that James R. Tucker joined its Engineering division as director of materials research. Tucker will lead a team of engineers and experimentalist technicians…

Southern Research Engineering to Exhibit at AUSA ILW Global Force Symposium and Exposition

March 17, 2015 | | Engineering | No Comments

Birmingham, Ala. – Southern Research will participate in the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) Institute of Land Warfare (ILW) Global Force Symposium in Huntsville, Alabama, March 31 –…

Southeastern Solar Research Center Named Project of the Year, Wins Sustainability Award

October 2, 2014 | | Energy & Environment, Engineering | No Comments

Birmingham, Ala. — Southern Research Institute’s Southeastern Solar Research Center (SSRC) was named Project of the Year in My Green Birmingham’s 2014 Champions of Sustainability awards. The awards honor sustainability…