Today in Kansas, aerospace takes another great leap forward as new innovation sites at Wichita State University cut their ribbons: Airbus and Dassault Systèmes are officially residents at the Innovation Campus. The shared goal between the two global businesses and the forward-thinking educational institution is innovation in aerospace. The Innovation Campus is bringing to fruition a vision begun nearly two years ago when Dassault and WSU first signed on as partners to advance aerospace innovation. We’ve been following since the beginning of the partnership, so of course now I am here in person for the grand opening festivities in Wichita, Kansas.
As we continue to see the importance of both educational initiatives and collaborative relationships underscored, WSU serves as a beacon of cooperation through partnerships with these companies and with the US Economic Development Administration (EDA).
“Higher education institutions like Wichita State University play an absolutely critical role in economic development. EDA is proud of our strong partnership with WSU; a partnership that has led to $10 million in EDA investment to help establish the impressive Innovation Campus that today is attracting world-class companies to the region and playing a critical role in training the next generation of workers to compete for advanced manufacturing and other in-demand jobs,” said Dennis Alvord, deputy assistant secretary for regional affairs for the EDA.
The newly opened facilities at WSU will allow teams from Airbus Engineering and Dassault to gain access to the resources available at the Innovation Campus, which benefit each company in unique ways. The 120-acre Innovation Campus houses laboratories, a makerspace, and other mixed-use areas. Early this year, the Airbus Americas Wichita Engineering Center moved to the Innovation Campus, as it is now housed in a 90,000-square-foot facility where 300 employees perform design work on the next-gen A350 XWB along with other commercial aircraft products. Working alongside the professionals at Airbus will be WSU students who are able to engage in real-world engineering projects.
“Wichita’s talent pool of aerospace and aviation experts is among the richest in the world. The aviation expertise here is recognized within Airbus and around the world. The Innovation Campus is only going to help Wichita’s expertise grow,” said John O’Leary, Vice President-Airbus Americas Engineering.
For its part, Dassault is celebrating the opening of its new 3DEXPERIENCE Center in the Experimental Engineering building, realizing the vision first put into motion in the summer of 2015 when the company signed on as a partner with WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). Additive manufacturing will, of course, play a key role in the 3DEXPERIENCE Center, as Dassault maintains its leadership position in 3D design software, 3D Digital Mock Up and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions to work toward manufacturing’s future. The new Center will allow for the use of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform for next-generation manufacturing — including 3D printing technologies — virtual simulation, and 3D advanced product development.
Dassault points to the Center’s key capabilities, applicable to both aviation and non-aerospace innovation, as including:
- Engineered new materials development
- Multi-scale simulation and optimization
- Multi-Robotic Advanced Manufacturing (MRAM)
- On-demand certification
“Our partnership with Wichita State University is a model for how public institutions and businesses can work together for the advancement of new technologies. Our new 3DEXPERIENCE Center is going to help businesses solve today’s problems while training the workforce of tomorrow. The advanced manufacturing techniques, new materials research and 3D simulation innovations that are unveiled in this new facility will have an immediate impact on the aerospace industry, and will also be applicable to countless other industries across the world,” said Michel Tellier, Vice President, Aerospace and Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes.
The day’s festivities include tours of the Airbus facility and the 3DEXPERIENCE Center, as the manufacturing capabilities of each are highlighted. Stay tuned for additional details of the technologies here in Kansas that are set to spark advances in aerospace with a first-hand look behind the ribbon cuttings.
“This is the beginning of a new era at Wichita State University – an opportunity for students to work alongside experienced professionals, gaining knowledge about the tools and processes used by industry,” said Wichita State President John Bardo. “We see these partnerships as a model for future partnerships in areas such as business, education, health professions, arts and sciences.”
Share your thoughts with us in the Wichita State forum at 3DPB.com.[Photos: Jeff Tuttle Photography]