Wichita State lab to be renamed for Sen. Moran's commitment to WSU mission and vision


Wichita State University’s Advanced Center for Virtual Engineering and Testing will soon have a new name. The building’s renaming is a tribute to Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran’s commitment to provide vital resources and connections that help Wichita State offer impactful student experiences to drive prosperity for the city, region and state.

The building will renamed the Jerry Moran Center for Advanced Virtual Engineering and Testing, with a dedication ceremony planned this fall.

The Jerry Moran Center is a 20,000-square-foot facility on WSU’s Innovation Campus. The building houses Crash Dynamics, Building Block, Virtual Engineering and Flight Test Labs, part of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). AVET supports cutting-edge virtual and physical crash dynamics testing capabilities for the aviation and greater transportation industries, while providing Wichita State students with valuable applied learning experiences in an industry-based setting.

Through the dedication of the Jerry Moran Center for Advanced Virtual Engineering and Testing, Wichita State recognizes Sen. Moran’s focus on Kansans, the advancement of our nation’s defense and the future learning research.

“The Senator’s commitment to strengthen Wichita State and our nation’s defense programs has raised awareness of the technology and talent available at Wichita State and led to new partnerships focused on improving the efficiency of our military fleet,” said John Tomblin, WSU Senior Vice President for Industry and Defense Programs.

These technologies include machine learning applications for fleet readiness; next generation high temperature materials for long-range precision fires; and advanced technologies for aircraft sustainment and repair.

“By dedicating this building to Jerry Moran, we honor an individual who has been a partner, collaborator and advocate for Wichita State University and embodies our mission to be an education, economic and cultural driver for our region,” said WSU President Jay Golden.

Recently AVET collaborated with Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Engineering Directorate in the virtual development and evaluation of various seating concepts to ensure the safety of passengers being transported in Negatively Pressurized Conex (NPC) modules designed to be carried by USAF cargo aircraft. The NPC system enables the safe transport of individuals infected with the COVID-19 virus and other highly infectious diseases.

“In a period of four weeks, the AVET team was able to evaluate the dynamic response of various seat designs when subjected to emergency landing conditions,” said Lawrence Rogers, Technical Director, Flight Systems Engineering Division, Engineering Directorate for the U.S. Air Force. “NIAR’s virtual evaluation capability gave us the ability to clearly identify and lower risk to our warfighters. Even if we would’ve had this level of analysis fidelity, Dr. Olivares’ team still saved several months to a year.”

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