WSU ranks third among all U.S. universities in aerospace engineering

Wichita State University is ranked third in the U.S. by the National Science Foundation in aerospace engineering.

Wichita State University (Wichita, Kan.) now ranks third among all U.S. universities in aerospace engineering research and development. According to the most recent National Science Foundation data, WSU has improved its 4th place ranking and ranks above prestigious universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The top ten universities in aerospace research are the Johns Hopkins University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Wichita State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University, University of Maryland, University of Colorado, University of Texas, University of Tennessee and University of Florida.

Wichita State's No. 3 rank is largely due to the research and testing programs at the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

This significant growth is due in part to the support of the local and national aviation industry, the State of Kansas and numerous 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,"said NIAR executive director Dr. John Tomblin.

NIAR has grown at a steady rate for the past ten years, increasing its operating budget from $10 million 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,"said Tom Aldag, director of research and development. "It is exciting to be in the company of these prestigious research institutions.”

Continued growth and high ranks in aerospace research are expected for Wichita State and NIAR with the addition of a new test facility, laboratories and involvement in the National Center for Aviation Training managed by Wichita Area Technical College.

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.

The National Center for Aviation Training will be located at Jabara Airport and will provide a wide range of aviation training services. NIAR will have facilities dedicated to CATIA training, composites research, non-destructive inspection and advanced joining technologies at this facility, which is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2010.