Wichita State Spends Big on R&D
Wichita State University has risen to second among the nation’s universities in aeronautical research and development expenditures, according to the latest information from the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics. In Fiscal Year 2009, Wichita State, which operates the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR), had $50 million in aeronautical R&D expenditures, compared with $32.9 million in 2008. Wichita State was fourth in 2008 and third in 2007. This $17 million increase in expenditures puts Wichita State about $1 million behind the top institution, Utah State University, which reported $51.6 million and operates the Space Dynamics Lab. NIAR’s federal contracts include grants from the FAA for composites research and the Department of Defense (DOD) for aging aircraft research. NIAR executive director Dr. John Tomblin told AIN, “NIAR funding comes from R&D contracts with aircraft manufacturers and government agencies like the FAA and DOD. We also receive funding from the State of Kansas to run research programs chosen by the local manufacturing base.” NIAR has several locations including the main facility on campus, laboratories at Hawker Beechcraft and at the National Center for Aviation Training.