Sheridan Company to Research, Develop Crash Protection for Military Vehicles

CASPER, Wyo. – Kennon Products Inc., of Sheridan, Wyo., received funding to help them research and develop a system that would reduce injuries of military members involved in underbody blast, rollover and crash events.

Kennon received a $5,000 Phase 0 Wyoming SBIR/STTR Initiative award to pursue a Dept. of Defense (DoD) Army Phase I SBIR award.  The funding will allow Kennon engineers to work with University of Wyoming Mechanical Engineering faculty to develop and test a proposed advanced material system, as well as develop computer models that will provide predictive design tools for other military applications that suffer from impact related damage.  The funding will also provide for a grants writer to write the proposal for the DoD.   

Kennon is working to develop an impact absorbing material system that would be installed in the interiors and headlining areas of combat tactical vehicles.  The headlining system would be used to reduce head and neck injuries due to collision with the ceiling during impact. 

Mark Weitz, vice president of research and development at Kennon, said the company has developed technologies under previous SBIR projects for NAVAIR that will be readily adaptable to the new application. 

“We hope our previous work will give us a competitive advantage,” said Weitz.  “We very much enjoy developing advanced material systems.  When we can do so to help protect our warfighters, it greatly increases our motivation and our satisfaction.”

“Kennon Products Inc., has developed a superior methodology in protecting high value assets for the military, particularly that most highly valued asset, the warfighter,” said Gene Watson, WSSI director.  “This project is a natural extension of their past successes in accomplishing this most important goal.”

The Wyoming Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Programs, or SBIR/STTR, are sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council and administered by the University of Wyoming Office of Research and Economic Development. The mission of this partnership is to increase the number of federal SBIR awards received by Wyoming small businesses by providing funding assistance through the WSSI Phase 0 program. The program facilitates the preparation of competitive proposals in the annual national $2.5 billion SBIR competition for Phase I (up to $150,000) and Phase II (up to $1 million) awards. Any Wyoming tech-based, for-profit small business or individual desiring to submit a Phase I proposal to any of the eleven participating federal SBIR agencies is eligible to apply for a WSSI Phase 0 award. For further information on the WSSI and SBIR programs, go to, or email:

The mission of the Business Council is to facilitate the economic growth of Wyoming. The Business Council, a state government agency, concentrates its efforts on providing assistance for existing Wyoming companies and start-ups, helping communities meet their development and diversification needs, and recruiting new firms and industries targeted to complement the state’s assets. For more information, please visit


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Topics : Business_Finance
Location : CasperWyoming
People : Gene WatsonMark Weitz
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