WSU FirePoint awarded $4.6M from DEVCOM AvMC for Future Vertical Lift materials research

Wichita State University’s (WSU) FirePoint Innovations Center recently received a $4.6 million award from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center (DEVCOM AvMC) for research that will focus on advancing thermoplastic composite and additive manufacturing technology.

The partnership is aimed at improving the structural integrity of both current and future Army aviation platforms, making them more lightweight, durable and reliable. The efforts will develop and demonstrate technology benefitting Future Vertical Lift, one of the Army’s six modernization priorities.

Tools and methods for showing compliance with airworthiness requirements will be a specific focus for both efforts. 

“We are excited to expand our relationship with the U.S. Army and use our expertise and equipment to help advance the understanding for how to certify parts made from these technologies,” said Pierre Harter, WSU associate vice president of research operations and director of R&D for the National Institute for Aviation Research. Harter also serves as a co-principal investigator on the effort.

FirePoint is a part of Wichita State’s division of Industry and Defense Programs, working closely with the university’s National Institute for Aviation Research.

About FirePoint
FirePoint is a partnership between Wichita State University and the DEVCOM AvMC that accelerates joint technology development, transfer and commercialization among DEVCOM, universities, industry and other government organizations. FirePoint aims to support the educational, commercial and workforce development necessary to drive innovation and collaboration across the key Army modernization priorities.  FirePoint initiatives support collaboration, partnering, and STEM workforce development to ensure modern Army combat readiness and overmatch in the multidomain battlespace.


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