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University of Wyoming

Wyoming Award Winners

Tibbetts Award Winners

The prestigious National Tibbetts award is made annually to small firms, projects, organizations and individuals judged to exemplify the very best in SBIR achievement. The emphasis is on recognizing those accomplishments where, in the judgment of those close to hand and often most immediately affected, the stimulus of SBIR funding has made an important difference.

Congratulations to Wyoming's Tibbetts Award Winners listed below.



Square One Systems Design, Inc.

Robert Viola


Aspect Consultant Group
Jay Stender

Jay was introduced to the SBIR program in December of 1996 when he attended his first SBIR conference held in Casper. He was so impressed and excited about the possibilities of the program for himself and other small businesses that he helped coordinate, with Wyoming SBIR staff, another community conference in Sheridan a month later - 52 people attended. With the support of Tibbetts award winner E. Schmidt and SBIR outreach coordinator, C. Busch, Sheridan and Johnson county became informed.

Jay submitted his first SBIR proposal in the Spring of 1997. This submission did not result in a win but he was persistent and learned the importance of not going through the process alone, using outside reviewers, and preparing a quality, competitive proposal. Consequently, Jay has won two Phase I awards from USDA, was the Principal Investigator on a NASA Phase II award for Big Horn Valve, and has been involved in numerous other SBIR projects with firms throughout the western US.

Jay has been and continues to be a strong advocate of the WSSI program. He has supported the Phase 0 program in several capacities passing on the lessons learned through his application experiences. Jay has been a reviewer, mentor, and has and continues to work with and encourage small businesses to utilize the program. “The WSSI program is an excellent resource should small businesses elect to investigate and use them for preparing proposals.”

Jay believes in the SBIR program and the help it provides to small businesses. He states, “Innovative small businesses really need to find out if they should be participating. I let folks know that the SBIR program can help their small business by providing funding for their high risk ideas, it can help them focus on their short and long term goals, and it can provide the recognition they may need to find other funding or teaming partners for their projects.”


Dave Walrath, UW Mechanical Engineer is Wyoming's 2001 Tibbetts Award Winner

Dr. Walrath has been involved and supported SBIR activities in Wyoming since 1996. He has helped three Wyoming firms win four different SBIR/STTR Phase I awards during that time.

Dr. Walrath has helped a number of other firms explore research possibilities for SBIR support and regularly assists with the Wyoming SBIR Phase 0 program. He was recognized by the Wyoming Mid-America Manufacturing and Technology Center with its 2000 Friend of Manufacturing, Public Sector award.


Consolidated Engineers and Materials Testing, Inc.
Jim Murphy, Gillette


Wyoming Sawmills
Ernie Schmidt, Sheridan


Cha Corporation
Chang Yul Cha, Laramie


Britz-Heidbrink, Inc.
Dr. Gail Heidbrink, Wheatland


CC Technology, Inc.
Dr. Keith Carron, Laramie


Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion, Inc.
John Wickman, Casper

The first Wyoming company to receive a Tibbetts Award

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