WSU-NIAR recognized by Hexagon for Shaping Smart Change

Last week during HxGN LIVE 2018, Hexagon, a global leader in digital solutions, honored Wichita State University’s Brian Brown, director of the Robotics and Automation Lab at the National Institute for Aviation Research, with its Shaping Smart Change award.

HxGN LIVE is an annual four-day, international digital solutions conference. The Shaping Smart Change Customer Recognition Program, in its fifth year, honors customers and partners for their pioneering use of Hexagon’s digital solutions.

"Creativity and determination are at the heart of true innovation," said Ola Rollén, Hexagon president and CEO. "Our Shaping Smart Change Recognition Program honors organizations who are using Hexagon technology to advance their industries and transform how people work.”

Using Hexagon’s laser tracker technology, NIAR developed an automated metrology system capable of scanning the complete surface of a jet wing in under four minutes. This technology will enable greater efficiency and productivity for aerospace manufacturers, while encouraging the next generation of aviation engineers and innovators to let their passions take flight.

“The collaboration between NIAR and Hexagon is a testament to how industry and academia can come together to solve real world problems that can make an immediate impact on a company’s bottom line,” said Brown. “Working with Hexagon has given students first-hand experience with industry-leading hardware and software.”

Additional organizations honored during the conference include Airstream, Amtrak Police Department, Qingdao National High-Tech Industrial Development Zone, Special Operations Solutions, Suzano Papel E Celulose, Toyo Engineering Corporation and York University.

Learn more about NIAR’s Robotics and Automation Lab at

Learn more about the Hexagon’s Shaping Smart Change initiative at

About WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR)

NIAR’s mission is to conduct research, transfer technology and enhance education for the purpose of advancing the nation’s aviation industry, and to assist non-aviation industries that may benefit from aviation-related technologies. NIAR is a premier R&D facility with a $45 million annual budget, staff of 400, and 600,000 square feet of laboratory and office space. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental & Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.

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 and Facebook at