Wichita State tops national rankings for aeronautical R&D


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released updated rankings for university research and development (R&D) expenditures, and Wichita State has held its position as the top university in the country for industry-funded aeronautical R&D with a total of $39 million in fiscal year 2018.

The rankings are derived from the NSF’s Higher Education Research and Development survey, compiled by its National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, which includes information from all reporting universities.

  • For total aerospace R&D expenditures, WSU again ranked No. 4 in the nation with $57 million, a $5 million increase from 2017. This includes both industry and federally funded programs.
  • Wichita State also ranked No. 5 in the U.S. for industry-funded engineering R&D in all categories including biomedical, electrical, industrial and mechanical.
  • For total engineering R&D in all categories from all funding sources, Wichita State reported more than $63 million, securing a spot as a top 60 engineering R&D institution in the nation.

“We look forward to seeing these rankings each year to make sure we’re growing at a steady pace in comparison with similar universities,” said John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and economic development. “We expect our numbers and position in several of the lists to increase significantly in the coming years, allowing the university to develop more relationships with industry and federal agencies and providing unparalleled work-based experience for WSU students.”

R&D is an important part of driving innovation within a university. University research efforts can lead to increased industry collaboration, technology transfer and/or commercialization, all of which increase university funding and drive the economy. WSU’s strategic vision is to be internationally recognized as the model for applied learning and research.

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