The Innovation Campus concept was introduced in back in January 2014, when 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 letters of intent signed with Airbus to locate the engineering centre in a new building on the Innovation Campus means that the aerospace company will move from its current location in downtown Wichita, bringing around 400 employees to the campus and many opportunities for applied learning in aerospace engineering.
John Tomblin, vice president for research and technology transfer said;
Airbus’ presence on campus will allow them quick and easy access to our research and testing labs, faculty expertise and student employees.
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, the company recently performed full-scale structural testing of an A350 XWB pylon structure in NIAR’s Aircraft Structural Test and Evaluation Centre. 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.
The company’s commitment to the Innovation Campus is the largest so far, with the Innovation Campus receiving significant commitments from NetApp and the ABI Group. Future partnership buildings may be either single tenant or multi-tenant, depending on market demand.