WSU professors and students recognized for innovative research


Two Wichita State researchers and a student group have been awarded the John A. See Innovation Award.

The award is given each year as a way to recognize novel ideas that have the potential to meet a market need and attract further funding once they have advanced through the early prototyping phase. Examples of supported costs are prototype development, design, product testing, and market analysis.

The winners are as follows:

  • Bhisham Sharma, an assistant professor in aerospace engineering. His winning research project is titled “Additively Manufactured Tensegrity Assisted Inflatables” (AMTAIs). AMTAIs are a new structural concept developed through Sharma’s prior research. The AMTAIs are fabricated using custom printing techniques that can achieve complex post-inflation shapes with high accuracy and improved load-bearing properties and could have a strong commercial value.
  • Shuang Gu, an associate professor in the department of mechanical engineering, was awarded for his project titled “Highly Nitrate-Selective Membranes for Efficient and Economical Agricultural Water Treatment.”
  • The two students recognized are Oluwasayo Benjamin Adekalu and Valerie Hubener, innovation and design graduate students. The two are part of the interdisciplinary seven-member NASA SUITS Team HarveStars. There were awarded for their AR heads-up display product that has been selected for a presentation at Johnson Space Center in May.

The John A. See Awards began in 2014 after See donated $1 million to provide prizes to WSU faculty and students conducting outstanding research or producing other significant work.

See was director of flight test and prototype development at Boeing until his retirement in 1985. Although not a Wichita State alumnus, he has been a generous WSU supporter who values the importance of higher education and believes in the university’s commitment to growth and pioneering work.

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