WSU's NIAR develops specialized training for Airbus
May 7, 2014 12:00 AM | Print
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Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research continues to expand its relationship with Airbus by developing and conducting customized, hands-on training courses for composites and metals.

The newest course for hands-on metals manufacturing focuses on assembly, nondestructive inspection techniques, repair and testing of metallic parts. It was completed by eight Airbus engineers in April. The hands-on courses consist of five full days of training, which are typically taught on consecutive Fridays.

"The course is well-balanced, offering students who have practical manufacturing experience a clearer insight into production techniques, testing procedures and results of what can happen to a bad design or repair," said Rodney Johnson, Airbus engineering group lead for the A380. "For those students with less practical manufacturing experience, the course is particularly beneficial, giving them the opportunity to learn processes and techniques in a hands-on environment and gain an appreciation of the manufacturing skills required and options for solving production difficulties."

Jason Wells, who performs in-service repair engineering for Airbus, recently completed the metals course.

"It was enlightening with respect to the amount of planning done to manufacture aircraft assemblies," Wells said. "The steps taken (machine setup, machining, dimensional inspection, nondestructive inspection techniques and destructive testing) are beyond the scope of what many of us consider on a regular basis. The course has given me a fresh perspective to consider design consequences on manufacturing and the limits of manufacturing on design. The professionalism of the staff combined with the relaxed atmosphere also made the lessons enjoyable."

NIAR has been conducting similar hands-on composite courses for Airbus for three years. The composite courses have been offered to Airbus engineers twice a year since 2011.

"We have great support from Airbus-Wichita to develop and constantly improve the contents of the classes," said Waruna Seneviratne, technical director of NIAR's Composite & Advanced Materials Lab. "The relationship has opened up several other opportunities for our organizations to work together on both testing and analysis programs."

NIAR also has standard curriculum and customized training options available for advanced coatings, CAD/CAM, composite repair, composites manufacturing, composite structural engineering technology, high-intensity radiated fields and nondestructive testing. 

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