By WSU STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
WICHITA — Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) has announced a second multi-million dollar U.S. Department of Defense contract, this time a three-year $33 million contract from the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Aviation & Missile Center for a project focused on emerging materials for high-speed missile applications.
The announcement comes on the heels of a recent three-year $23.5 million contract with the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory for Modeling for Affordable, Sustainable Composites, aimed at developing a certification framework for enabling advanced materials and structural concepts for automated manufacturing.
The new program will support the CCDC AvMC’s objectives to reduce weight and cost of advanced missile systems while increasing performance. NIAR will utilize its extensive material testing, characterization and qualification capabilities to pursue multiple programs with CCDC AvMC that will fill existing capability gaps on advanced material characterization, structural modeling and analysis and application specific prototypes.
“These programs are integral to the future of our military and the future of our students,” said Wichita State University Interim President Andy Tompkins. “The expertise of our aerospace faculty and staff is crucial in advancing the efforts of the Department of Defense and in providing the ultimate applied learning experience for Wichita State graduate and undergraduate students – giving them an advantage no other university in the country can match.”
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran has been an integral supporter and partner for increased visibility of WSU-NIAR’s capabilities with the DoD.
“Wichita State University is an important and reliable partner to the Department of Defense,” said Moran. “The engineering expertise and talent cultivated under Dr. John Tomblin’s leadership will advance the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s (CCDC AvMC’s) missile development efforts – especially given the value that hypersonics will play in the future of our military. I will continue to support partnerships between WSU and the Army and look forward to future initiatives that emerge from this partnership.”
The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University provides research, testing, certification and training for aviation and manufacturing technologies. Established in 1985, NIAR has a $70 million annual budget; a staff of 550; and nearly 1 million square feet of laboratory and office space in four locations across the city of Wichita, the Air Capital of the World. NIAR laboratories include Additive Manufacturing, Advanced Coatings, Advanced Manufacturing, Aging Aircraft, Ballistics & Impact Dynamics, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental & Electromagnetic Test, Full-scale Structural Test, Nondestructive Test, Reverse Engineering, Robotics & Automation, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel.