WSU ranked third in aero-engineering research

Wichita State University (WSU, Wichita, Kan.) now ranks third among U.S. universities in aerospace engineering research and development. According to the most recent National Science Foundation data, WSU now ranks above prestigious schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Wichita State’s number three

Wichita State University (WSU, Wichita, Kan.) now ranks third among U.S. universities in aerospace engineering research and development. According to the most recent National Science Foundation data, WSU now ranks above prestigious schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Wichita State’s number three rank is due to the research and testing programs at WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). This growth is due, in part, to the support of the local and national aviation industry, the State of Kansas and many federal agencies.

“The ranking is a demonstration of the commitment from our federal congressional delegation, Kansas legislature and the surrounding aviation industry to support additional research to help ensure the United States and Kansas will remain strong in aviation pioneering,” says NIAR executive director Dr. John Tomblin.

NIAR has grown steadily, increasing its operating budget from $10 million (USD) in 1997 to $35 million in 2007. “With the growth and work accomplished at NIAR over the last few years, we expected to move up in the ranking,” says R&D director Tom Aldag. “It is exciting to be in the company of these prestigious research institutions.”

NIAR’s new facility, located behind the main facility on the WSU campus, houses several of NIAR’s new environmental testing laboratories, which provide DO-160 certification testing. A new National Center for Aviation Training will be located at nearby Jabara Airport and will provide aviation training services, including CATIA training, composites research, nondestructive inspection and joinery. The facility is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2010.