Wichita State University received a $2.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment to support initiatives that strengthen and diversify the regional advanced manufacturing supply chain, increase the quality and scope of defense technologies, and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of defense-impacted businesses.
The award is a continuation of a $7.1 million grant awarded by the Economic Development Administration in 2015. It will provide funding for programs at the National Institute for Aviation Research including:
- Automated fiber placement and automated tape laying technology optimization to minimize manufacturing defects and increase production rates for building large-scale composite aerostructures.
- Cold spray technologies for restoration of aircraft parts requiring high-quality repair and for advanced manufacturing of aerospace and automotive parts.
- Robotic programming with a motion-tracking system to record and analyze the motions presented within the work envelope of the robotic cell in order to program a robotic path that allows for the efficient programming of collaborative robots.
- Additively manufactured tooling systems to print agile tooling that allows new variants of defense and commercial aircraft as well as other complex equipment to be built quickly.
- Hypersonic feasibility and market analysis to determine the feasibility and market gaps that may exist related to creating a new hypersonic materials testing and simulation facility that would support workforce development of subject matter experts, commercial industry, and DoD product development.
“The original award allowed us to expand the capabilities of NIAR's Environmental Test and Robotics and Automation Labs, GoCreate and WSU Ventures,” said John Tomblin WSU vice president of research and technology transfer. “These new funds will further expand our capabilities in advanced manufacturing processes, allowing us to assist companies in adopting new processes that will streamline product development.”
The funding will also support innovators and entrepreneurs engaged in the development of defense-related technology and support ongoing university research programs with the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Air Force Research Laboratory and Army Research Development and Engineering Center.
“The funding will enhance university and community technology commercialization efforts while providing students with hands-on experience in the most cutting edge technology and equipment in the manufacturing industry,” said Tomblin.
The mission of Wichita State University is to be an essential educational, cultural and economic driver for Kansas and the greater public good. Wichita State is a doctoral research university enrolling nearly 15,000 students and offering 59 undergraduate degree programs in more than 150 areas of study in seven undergraduate colleges. The Graduate School offers 45 master's and 12 doctoral degrees that offer study in more than 100 areas. Wichita State's Innovation Campus is an interconnected community of partnership buildings, laboratories and mixed-use areas where students, faculty, staff, entrepreneurs and businesses have access to the university's vast resources and technology. For more information, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/wichitastate and Facebook at www.facebook.com/wichita.state.