The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) was established at Wichita State University in 1985 in an effort to increase research and development capabilities, focused on the needs of the Air Capital of the World.

Since then NIAR has expanded to multiple sites across the city. We're known globally for our expertise in the most critical areas of aerospace R&D including composites and advanced materials, digital twin and advanced manufacturing technologies such as automated and additive manufacturing. We provide research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industries and government agencies including the U.S. Department of Defense. 

NIAR has a $350 million annual budget, a staff of 1,200, and 2 million square feet of laboratory and office space, six locations across the city of Wichita and an office in downtown Huntsville, Alabama. 

Because of NIAR’s research efforts, Wichita State University also ranks fourth among all U.S. universities in aeronautical R&D expenditures according to the National Science Foundation. WSU ranks first in industry funding for aeronautical expenditures.  WSU and NIAR R&D expenditures have steadily increased over the last two decades, a testament to its unique capabilities and ability to collaborate successfully with government and industry. Our areas of expertise include: