Spirit and Wichita State University announce new collaboration to boost research and work force training

Spirit AeroSystems and Wichita State University have announced a new collaboration agreement to accelerate the company’s research and development objectives and improve workforce training services.

The agreement establishes an innovative relationship for Spirit with WSU through the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and the WSU Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech). Three areas of strategic focus will include: joint strategic research projects, applied learning opportunities for WSU students and improved workforce training services to meet the growing demands of the aerospace industry.

“Strengthening our collaboration with WSU helps Spirit accelerate our advanced research initiatives and improve training opportunities for our workforce,” said Spirit President and CEO Tom Gentile. “As we grow our R&D investment, this innovative relationship with NIAR and WSU Tech multiplies the effectiveness of our own resources. This new level of cooperation will have a lasting benefit to our company, the university and the state of Kansas.”

As part of the agreement, Spirit plans to lease space in the Partnership Building 2 on WSU’s Innovation Campus in Wichita to facilitate enhanced cooperation with the university on projects such as advanced composites R&D, rapid prototyping, product development and testing, and additive manufacturing and design.

“This type of university/industry collaboration is exactly the kind needed to strengthen the regional economy and prepare students for careers in the aerospace and manufacturing industries,” said WSU President John Bardo. “It’s also a prime example of university research labs working in concert with the workforce training capabilities of WSU Tech. Spirit’s commitment to accelerating its R&D initiatives by partnering with the university will provide long-lasting benefits for the company, the community and generations of students.”

Artist rendering of the Spirit and WSU Partnership Building.

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