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WSU, through its Wichita State Innovation Alliance Inc., signs letters of intent with Airbus Americas to locate the company's Wichita engineering center in a new building on the university's Innovation Campus.
Airbus will move from its current location in downtown Wichita, bringing around 400 employees to campus and many opportunities for applied learning in aerospace engineering.“Airbus’ presence on campus will allow them quick and easy access to our research and testing labs, faculty expertise and student employees,” said John Tomblin, vice president for research and technology transfer.In recent years, Airbus has strengthened its relationship with the university, especially the National Institute for Aviation Research. In addition to contracting recurring composites and manufacturing training for its employees, Airbus recently performed full-scale structural testing of an A350 XWB pylon structure in NIAR’s Aircraft Structural Test and Evaluation Center. The pylon was designed by Airbus’ Wichita engineering office, and the test was the first of its kind to be conducted outside of the company’s European facilities.Wichita State has also announced significant Innovation Campus commitments from NetApp and the ABI Group. Future partnership buildings may be either single tenant or multi-tenant, depending on market demand.Wichita State’s Innovation Campus concept was introduced in January 2014. The university formed the Wichita State Innovation Alliance Inc. to work with companies, investors and governments to develop the new 120-acre portion of campus that was previously home to Braeburn Golf Course.The development firm MWCB LLC, led by David Murfin, Nestor Weigand Jr., Ivan Crossland Jr. and Steven Barrett, will finance and manage the project, known as Partnership 1. It will include a 2-story, 90,000-square-foot building and adjacent parking.The building, which Airbus expects to occupy in January 2017, is located north of 17th Street, close to NIAR and WSU’s new Experiential Engineering Building and Community Maker Space. It was designed by GLMV Architecture and will be built by Crossland Construction Co.In addition to Partnership 1 and the Experiential Engineering Building, the university is in discussion with developers for an Innovation Campus residence hall and for a mixed-use group of buildings that might include a combination of restaurant, retail, service and hotels near 21st Street North and Oliver.The Wichita State Innovation Campus concept was created as a mechanism to achieve the goals of the university’s Strategic Plan. Those goals include applied learning; interdisciplinary curricula; accelerating the discovery, creation and transfer of new knowledge; empowering students to create a campus culture that meets their needs; and reflecting the evolving diversity of society.More information: www.wichita.edu