The 'Innovation Campus'
Beginning in 2012, Wichita State launched a master planning process to engage the Wichita State community in the task of imagining a campus
aligned with the dynamic, powerful future envisioned in WSU's ambitious mission and vision statements. Within five years, that work was well established
with the amazing tansformation of a 120-acre section of the campus that once had housed
the Braeburn Golf Course.
Dubbed the "Innovation Campus," the new part of campus has already become a catalyst
for research, innovation and learning with amazing new research and lab facilities and
partnerships with industry. It is also home to new residential, retail and services
developments to improve the quality of student life and draw the community onto campus
-- and there is much more to come!
Strong private investment
WSU is a trusted partner with some of the world’s leading companies and, as a result,
offers unmatched student applied learning and career gateway experiences. Because
of these strong community and industry connections, WSU is a public university with
significant private investments, including a Foundation fundraising campaign that
has far surpassed its ambitious $250 million goal. Plans for the next Foundation campaign
await the vision of the university’s next president..
In FY19, the university exceeded $100 million in annual R&D support for the first
time. On-campus research and applied learning partners include Airbus, with 280 resident
engineers; Dassault Systemes, with its world-class 3D Experience Lab employing students
and full-time researchers; and Spirit AeroSystems, the state’s largest employer. All
have come to WSU because of its applied learning and research commitment..
Some industry and government partners are based in public private partnership buildings;
others in the university’s groundbreaking Experiential Engineering Building, that
includes 25 College of Engineering applied learning and research laboratories and
an 18,000-square-foot public makerspace. The university and city have a strong record
of entrepreneurship, and WSU Ventures is based in the building to foster new intellectual
property leading to scalable business ideas.
Our presence on the Innovation Campus will help us enhance products and business processes
to create value for our customers. The campus provides an environment that fosters
the transition of innovative ideas into real-world uses and values for the company.
John O’Leary, Vice President
Airbus Americas Engineering
Since 1985, the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) has attracted engineers and industry experts from around the globe, while giving
students an outlet for future success. More than 200 students are employed by NIAR.
This world-class R&D organization is a leader in the advancement of the next generation
of aerospace — specializing in new technologies such as carbon-fiber composite fabrication
and virtual reality for aerospace applications.
Grants and gifts are driving the creation of new facilities, including the Advanced Virtual-Engineering and Testing Labs, opening soon, that
will include both physical and virtual crash-test facilities for military and industrial
testing. This will join a long list of world-class facilities associated with WSU’s
National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).
This year-over-year upward trajectory ranks WSU among the top 50 in engineering research
dollars. The latest NSF ranking places Wichita State as #1 in industry-funded aerospace R&D
and #4 in total aerospace engineering research dollars, ahead of Massachusetts Institute
of Technology and Purdue University. WSU’s pioneering aerospace certification testing
and research generates a significant amount of the university’s R&D funding and serves
aviation, the largest local industry.
A $50 million home for the Barton School of Business is the next academic building to begin construction. It will join buildings near
completion including the new NIAR crash lab, the fourth privately financed partnership
building for applied research and the new campus YMCA and Student Wellness Center.
Wichita Police officers and Sedgwick County sheriff’s deputies train on campus in the new Law Enforcement Training Center, which is also home to WSU’s School of
Criminal Justice, one of the first such academic programs in the nation. City-county-university
cooperation is also seen in the annual mill levy that provides local taxpayer support
Innovation Campus Timeline
This is an exciting time to be part of Shocker Nation! To give you a sense of the pace
of change on our campus, here's a timeline of the remaking of WSU.
(Major building/facility openings in bold)
- Braeburn Golf Course closed to make way for development.
- Wheatshocker Apartments razed to make way for the Experiential Engineering Building.
- Koch Industries and the Fred & Mary Koch Foundation give $3.75 million for a community
makerspace in Experiential Engineering Building. The makerspace would eventually be
named GoCreate, a Koch collaborative.
- Airbus announces plans to relocate its Wichita engineering center to a new 90,000-square-foot
building on campus.
- Plans announced for Braeburn Square, a 20-acre mixed-use development with restaurants,
shops and lodging.
- A four-bay Food Truck Plaza opens near the National Institute for Aviation Research
on WSU's main campus.
- Plans announced for The Flats at WSU, a 112-unit student housing apartment complex.
- Plans announced for a $9.5 million Law Enforcement Training Center in partnership
with the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County. The facility would house WSU's Criminal
- Experiential Engineering Building opens.
- Airbus Americas Engineering holds a grand opening its new facility.
- Dassault Systemes holds a ribbon-cutting for its 3DExperience Center.
- GoCreate makerspace holds its grand opening.
- YMCA and Wichita State announce partnership for a new student wellness center and
fitness facility on campus.
- A free-standing Starbucks opens. First building in Braeburn Square development.
- The Flats at WSU opens.
- The Law Enforcement Training Center opens.
- Partnership Building 2 opens with Spirit AeroSystems and FirePoint Innovations Center
as major tenants.
- The original Pizza Hut building is relocated and reopened as the Pizza Hut Museum.
- Plans for Woolsey Hall, a new home for the Barton School of Business, are announced.
- Wonder, an independent experiential learning school, opens.
- WSU Bookstore opens a satellite location in Braeburn Square development.
- Grand Opening celebration for the Braeburn Square.
- National Institute for Aviation Research Crash Dynamics Lab breaks ground.
- The Suites at WSU, a new residence hall near The Flats at WSU, breaks ground.
- Partnership Building 3 (PB3) breaks ground.
- Journey East Asia Grill announces plans to open in Braeburn Square.
- Fuzzy's Taco Shop opens as the first restaurant tenant in Braeburn Square.