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Airbus donates parts for WSU-NIAR research

Airbus donates parts for WSU-NIAR research

Thursday, January 19, 2017

For the second time in five years, Airbus has made a significant parts donation to Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).

The company, which just recently moved onto WSU’s Innovation Campus, donated a damaged elevator upper skin panel from the Airbus A300. The donated part, valued at around $100,000, will be used in composite injection repair evaluation and thermal analysis research programs, initiatives of the Kansas Aviation Research & Technology (KART) program.

“Several of our current programs are investigating similar materials and structures,” said NIAR research scientist Waruna Seneviratne. “This part will be a valuable asset for these programs.”

Seneviratne is also the principal investigator for four FAA research programs through the Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials and three additional KART projects.

The donation is a direct result of close collaboration between the university and Airbus Americas Wichita engineering center. The center moved its 350 employees onto Wichita State’s Innovation Campus this month.

“Airbus is pleased to make this donation to Wichita State University in support of its research programs,” said Barry Eccleston, CEO of Airbus Americas. “For Airbus, this donation is an investment in the future of aerospace innovation and in the students who will one day lead the aerospace industry. It is also another extension of our partnership with Wichita State University, now home to our Wichita Engineering Center.”

The new center is within walking distance of NIAR and the new Experiential Engineering Building, which houses unique advanced manufacturing capabilities and technologies including large scale simulation, additive manufacturing and automation.

About Airbus
With a team of more than 55,000 people, Airbus manufactures the most modern and eco-efficient family of airliners available, ranging from 100 to over 500 seats. In addition to assembly lines in Toulouse, France; Hamburg, Germany and Tianjin, China; production at Airbus' first U.S. manufacturing facility is underway in Mobile, Alabama. Doing business in more than 40 states, Airbus has spent more than $187 billion in the U.S. since 1990 – $16 billion in 2015 alone, supporting 264,000 American jobs.

About NIAR
NIAR supports the aviation industry by providing research, development, testing, certification and training services. Its laboratories include Advanced Coatings, Aging Aircraft, CAD/CAM, Composites & Advanced Materials, Computational Mechanics, Crash Dynamics, Environmental Test, Full-Scale Structural Test, Mechanical Test, Metrology, Nondestructive Test, Research Machine Shop, Virtual Reality and the Walter H. Beech Wind Tunnel. NIAR operates on a nonprofit budget and is the largest university aviation R&D institution in the U.S., located in Wichita, Kansas, the “Air Capital of the World.”


Contact: Tracee Friess, director of communication, research and technology transfer, 316-978-5597 or

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