Tibbetts Award

Third Wave Systems receives prestigious Tibbetts Award from the Small Business Administration

Recognized for its successes implementing manufacturing technologies via the SBIR program

WASHINGTON D.C. – The U.S. Small Business Administration recognized Third Wave Systems as one of the 2016 recipients of the prestigious Tibbetts Awards for the company’s years of technological contributions to the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.  

Third Wave Systems develops and sells materials-based modeling software and services that dramatically reduce costs of machined components, accelerate design cycles and improve part quality. The software products are used by the top aerospace, automotive, medical and cutting tool companies to improve their machining process and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace by machining in a virtual environment, which avoids trial-and-error testing and gets products to market faster.

Named after Roland Tibbetts, who is renowned as the father of the SBIR program, the Tibbetts award recognize individuals, organization or projects that made a visible technological impact on the socio-economic front and exemplifies the best in SBIR achievements. Winners are selected based on the economic impact of their technological innovation and the extent to which that innovation served federal research and development needs, encourages diverse participation and increased the commercialization of federal research. 

During the January 20 ceremony in Washington D.C. SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet said, “Today we celebrate and honor the important technological advances pioneered by these small high-tech firms – from breakthroughs in additive manufacturing to genomic research to novel cancer therapeutics. These innovators are creating employment opportunities and building new industries while helping to address many of the nation’s most pressing challenges.”

Since 2001, when Third Wave Systems received its first SBIR award, the program and its funding have played an important role in moving Third Wave Systems innovations forward by allowing the company to enhance new technologies for government projects and then transitioning them for commercialization. Additionally, the SBIR program has given Third Wave Systems the opportunity to collaborate with other American industrial partners who benefit from early stage research and provide feedback on new capabilities to ensure the newly implemented techniques meet the needs of the marketplace. New technologies and opportunities from the SBIR has also meant Third Wave Systems has been able to employ more engineers to help aid in the additional new work the technology brings.

This level of R&D funding has directly contributed to the commercial success and high level of technical innovation at Third Wave Systems, and it is continuing its efforts on a Phase 2.5 SBIR project, Gear Hobbing Predictive Model, to develop, demonstrate and transition its modeling of gear machining processes for the Navy to predict and improve residual stresses and distortions while reducing the overall cycle times and costs for transmission gears.

“This award is recognition of the hard work from the Third Wave Systems team and the vision of our government and commercial customers,” Kerry Marusich, Third Wave Systems President, said. “It is an honor to be recognized.”

Recently Third Wave Systems completed a SBIR project with the U.S. Air Force and demonstrated 20-50% cycle time reductions on jet engine components made of titanium and nickel alloys (both expense and hard-to-machine materials). Third Wave Systems is now commercializing that technology through the F135 supply chain as well as the manufacturers of commercial jet engines and their suppliers.

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Left: Kerry Marusich, Third Wave Systems President Right: Mark Walsh, SBA Associate Administrator

Third Wave Systems joins other previous Tibbetts Award recipients, NAVAIR, Oakridge National Laboratory, Cleveland Medical Devices, NOVA Engineering and Orbital ATK.

For a full list of recipients, please visit: https://www.sbir.gov/sites/default/files/2016SBA_Tibbetts_FINAL_Web.pdf

Download the Press Release Here

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