Wichita State News

WSU aeronautical engineering research ranks third in the nation

Monday, March 30, 2009

Data by the National Science Foundation ranks Wichita State University third among all U.S. universities in money spent on aeronautical engineering research and development.

WSU spent $32.4 million on aeronautical engineering R&D in 2007, the most recent numbers tracked by the NSF.

That’s an increase of $13.4 million over 2006 expenditures, for which WSU also ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Ahead of Wichita State in this year’s rankings are Johns Hopkins University and Georgia Institute of Technology, respectively.

WSU ranked ahead of more than 160 other universities.

Gary L, Miller
Gary L. Miller
“We are extremely proud of our world-class aeronautical engineering R&D programs, which are an essential element of our mission and our most important connection to national research priorities,” said Gary L. Miller, provost and vice president for academic affairs and research.

In terms of total engineering R&D expenditures for 2007, WSU ranked 61st, with $35.2 million. Compared to 2006 – when Wichita State ranked No. 88 – that’s an increase of $13.4 million.

Wichita State’s No. 3 ranking is largely due to the research and testing programs at the National Institute for Aviation Research at WSU.

This significant growth is partly because of the support of the local and national aviation industry, the state of Kansas and numerous federal agencies.

NIAR has grown at a steady rate for the past 10 years, increasing its operating budget from $11 million in 1998 to nearly $36 million in 2008.

Continued growth and high ranks in aeronautical research are expected for Wichita State and NIAR with the addition of a new test facility, laboratories and involvement in Wichita’s National Center for Aviation Training.

NIAR’s new facility, located behind the main facility on the WSU campus, houses several of NIAR’s new environmental testing laboratories, which provide environmental 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, nondestructive inspection and advanced joining technologies at this facility, which is scheduled to open to students in the fall of 2010.

For more information, contact Tracee Friess, marketing and communication, NIAR, (316) 978-5597 or tracee.friess@wichita.edu.

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Created on Monday, March 30, 2009; Last modified on Tuesday, March 31, 2009