John Tomblin, Ph.D.Tomblin_headshot

John Tomblin is the Vice President for Research and Economic Development at Wichita State University (WSU) and the Executive Director of the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). He is also a Sam Bloomfield Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering.

As V.P. for Research and Economic Development, Dr. Tomblin oversees university research centers, institutes and sponsored programs; including WSU Ventures and the Office of Research.  Dr. Tomblin is also responsible for the transfer of intellectual property to patent.

As Executive Director of NIAR, Dr. Tomblin oversees eighteen laboratories in four locations encompassing over 900,000 square feet, 750 employees and a yearly budget of $100+ million. Under his leadership, NIAR has gained worldwide recognition in the area of composites and advanced materials; full-scale testing and structural teardown, advanced manufacturing, reverse engineering  as well as greatly expanded its capabilities and footprint.

NIAR currently has a number of DoD contracts and grants researching certification framework for enabling advanced materials and structural concepts for automated manufacturing, digital twin technologies for rapid sustainment of legacy aircraft and emerging materials for high-speed missile applications as well as multiple programs from DoD industrial suppliers and original equipment manufacturers.

Dr. Tomblin received his Ph.D., master’s degree and bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV.  He resides in Wichita, KS with his wife Katharine and three sons.