BBB Award Lgoo

September 2, 2022

WSU Awarded $51 Million to Adavance Smart Manufacturing 

By WSU Strategic Initiatives

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) announced today will award $51.4 million to Wichita State University to aid in the rapid development and adoption of emerging smart manufacturing technologies for South Kansas.

The funding, provided through the American Rescue Plan Build Back Better Regional Challenge, is the largest single award the university has received from the EDA.

Press Release:



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April 12, 2022

WSU Engineering Team Selected to Participate in National I-Corps 

By WSU Strategic Initiatives

A Wichita State University engineering team has been accepted to participate in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Innovation Corps (I-Corps) program.

The MagicHand team began the seven-week program, which is designed to provide a path to commercialization, in March. The team conducts research into robotic grasping, dexterous manipulation, and context perception. The team consists of Hui Li, engineering graduate student;  Hongsheng He, assistant professor in the School of Computing; and Vis Madhavan, professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and founder of Fairmount Technologies LLC. Li serves as the entrepreneurial lead. Dr. He is the team’s academic lead and Madhavan is the team’s mentor – roles required by the NSF for all I-Corps projects.

The team proposed innovative perception and learning approaches as well as combinations of those with applications to manipulating unfamiliar, assorted, stacked, or deformable objects in an unstructured environment. Provisional patent applications for the innovation have been filed.

“The team is particularly grateful to the Shocker I-Corps program and director Sherry Whitson for the commercialization training, advising, and recommendation of the team to the NSF I-Corps program,” said Dr. He. “The dexterous MagicHand could be an enabling technology for packing and manipulation of irregular-shaped, unknown, or deformable objects for e-commerce and manufacturing industries.”

MagicHand participated in the Shocker I-Corps program, administered by WSU Strategic Initiatives in summer 2021. Wichita State University is a NSF I-Corps Site. The Shocker Innovation Corps nurtures and supports Wichita State entrepreneurial teams interested in transitioning their STEM ideas, devices, processes, or other intellectual activities into the marketplace in anticipation of profit. Ideas and projects can originate from student work, research (funded or unfunded) and institutional or industrial projects. The topical focus of a project must be in a STEM area.

About NSF Innovation Corps

The National Science Foundation I-Corps program prepares scientists and engineers to extend their focus beyond the university laboratory and accelerates the economic and societal benefits of NSF-funded, basic research projects that are ready to move toward commercialization. Through I-Corps, NSF grantees learn to identify valuable product opportunities that can emerge from academic research and gain skills in entrepreneurship through training in customer discovery and guidance from established entrepreneurs.

To find out more about the Shocker Innovation Corps Program, visit

About WSU Strategic Initiatives

WSU Strategic Initiatives empowers market-driven technology development, demonstration, and deployment by providing unparalleled access to WSU facilities, faculty, and students as problem solvers for business/industry, innovators, and students to explore, evaluate, customize, and implement new technology.

To find out more about WSU Strategic Initiatives, visit