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History

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 materials research and technology development to meet energy, environmental and transportation materials needs.

WRI History Advanced Technology Center Photo 
      Oil Shale Retorts at WRI, 1971.
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