WSU partners to serve Army on aerospace projects


Wichita State University and the University of Alabama in Huntsville have entered into a partnership to mutually strengthen capabilities in fixed-wing commercial, civil and rotary wing military aircraft research and development in order to more effectively serve the U.S. Army.

The universities recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on aerospace projects. The arrangement offers aerospace expertise from WSU in the area of fixed-wing commercial and civil aircraft and from UAH in rotary wing military aircraft.

The agreement also involves new initiatives at both universities that will facilitate the transfer of technology between government and academia, industry and federal laboratories and the ultimate commercialization of these technologies for the benefit of the Army. Further future efforts are expected to include joint research efforts and faculty and student exchanges.

The MOU is an outgrowth of the creation and development of FirePoint Innovations Center at WSU, a partnership intermediary formed to support the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation and Missile (CCDC AvMC). The AvMC is located in Huntsville.

“Wichita and Huntsville both have long and successful histories in aerospace development and research, so the MOU between WSU and UAH is a natural partnership of complementary expertise,” said Robert Lindquist, UAH interim vice president for research and economic development.

“Both universities are actively working with the AvMC, and we believe a partnership can only strengthen WSU and UAH and subsequently allow us to serve the Army at a higher level,” said Peter Perna, FirePoint director.

The overall objectives of FirePoint and the common goals of both universities include:

Collaboration and partnering: the development and growth of environments necessary for fostering innovation and collaboration for the current and future technology challenges with Army areas of interest.

Technology transfer and transition: engagement and collaboration with various centers of excellence in identifying, transferring, developing and transitioning new techniques and methodologies between small businesses and U.S. Army stakeholders.

Innovation: evolving and refining processes, resources and avenues for collaboration, innovation and technology development of advanced technologies, systems and operational concepts.

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