Research & Dev at Post Secondary Institutions

The Kansas Legislature provided $130 million in financing for four major research facilities at Kansas universities: a Food Safety and Security Research Facility at Kansas State University, a Biomedical Research Facility at the University of Kansas Medical Center, equipment for the Biosciences Research Building at the University of Kansas and expansion of the Aviation Engineering Complex at Wichita State University. In addition, the Legislature authorized $13 million for improvements to the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University. 

The National Center for Aviation Training, is a 225,000 square-foot training facility built with the Wichita Area Technical College, Sedgwick County and others to support the large aviation cluster in that region of the state.

Wichita Area Technical College

National Center for Aviation Training

The National Center for Aviation Training (NCAT) combines the state’s industry experience and expertise with innovative instructional techniques, producing a new standard for education. NCAT was originally established to meet aviation manufacturing workforce demand in Wichita. 

Offering 13 different certification and degree programs with the latest technology trends transferred from the National Institute for Aviation Research, the students receive optimum exposure to the most advanced capabilities and techniques.

Program development includes:

  • Aerostructures
  • Aerospace Coatings and Paint Technology
  • Aerospace Fiber Optics and Data Cable Installation
  • Aerospace Quality Control
  • Applied Science of Aviation Interiors
  • Applied Science of Aviation Manufacturing
  • Aviation Maintenance Technology
  • Avionics Technology
  • Composites Technology
  • Nondestructive Testing

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University offers a Bachelor of Technology Studies with a Concentration in Manufacturing Technology. The curriculum provides students with the concepts and skills needed for success in manufacturing, and business skills needed for effective leadership in the manufacturing industry. In addition to industrial technology, coursework in the concentration includes hands-on learning in the areas of material processes, machine tool operations, robotics, fluid systems, computer-aided manufacturing & maintenance/repair of equipment.

Center for Applied Technology and Sculpture

The Center for Applied Technology and Sculpture is opening in the fall of 2017. The technology center hosts the following labs:

  • Computer-aided Design
  • Instructional & Graphics
  • Science Technology Engineering Mathematics
  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Plastics
  • Power & Energy
  • Robotics
  • Construction Management
  • Sculpture
  • Metal Foundry Studio

Kansas State University

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute

The Advanced Manufacturing Institute’s (AMI) purpose is to improve manufacturing by developing new manufacturing technologies and working with manufacturers to implement new technologies. AMI also manages the Manufacturing Learning Center, a product and processes prototyping center established to assist manufacturers in developing new products and upgrading production systems for existing products. 

AMI has been named by the Great Lakes Wind Network (GLWN) as a Center of Excellence to expand the wind industry supply chain in Kansas. AMI will provide site assessments for manufacturers wishing to enter the wind industry supply chain; make recommendations on possible components to be supplied; and assess manufacturers’ overall production systems. 

This effort will result in a resource directory of supply chain companies to serve the wind industry. Also, the partnership with GLWN will enable companies that have met suitable criteria to participate in the GLWN Wind Alert System, which informs potential suppliers that an original equipment manufacturer or high-level supplier is sourcing a specific component that they are capable of producing.


Kansas State Polytechnic has the second ranked unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) program in the nation. The Applied Aviation Research Center (AARC) hosts 100 UAS projects annually in co-operation with federal agencies, private sponsors and internal university groups. These projects range from validating the standards for the Federal Aviation Administration to power infrastructure inspection & mapping of natural resources.

Bulk Solids Innovation Center

The Bulk Solids Innovation Center is used to study and develop the understanding of bulk solids material handling. This in turn enhances the businesses that use these materials or manufacture the systems that convey, store and dispense them. Dry Bulk Solids Materials are used in chemical, food, pharmaceutical and plastic sectors. The center has a Material Properties Test Lab that allows for bulk solid and particle properties to be evaluated and modeled in a test bench environment, as well as Full-Scale Bulk Solids Test Bay.

The Full-Scale Bulk Solids Test Bay is capable of analyzing:

  • Vacuum and Pressure Dilute Phase
  • Vacuum Sequencing
  • Vacuum and Pressure Vessel Dense Phase
  • Rotary Valve Dense Phase
  • Batch Weighing
  • Silo Zone Blender
  • Gravity Flow
  • Air Filtration
  • Feeding
  • Mixing and Silo Storage

University of Kansas

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center (ITTC) develops technologies and advances knowledge in the areas of information technology, telecommunications, radar systems and remote sensing. ITTC excels in basic research, technology development and technology transfer through the support of the Department of Commerce, private industry and federal and state programs. 

Existing companies collaborate with ITTC for research and development, realizing that targeted research reduces costs and improves service to consumers. Fledgling companies seeking to develop new technologies draw on the expertise of faculty, staff and students.

Intelligent Systems & Automation Lab

The Intelligent Systems & Automation Lab (ISA) encompasses programs and projects involved with the application of microprocessors and sensors to advanced electromechanical systems. The labs provide students with lessons in computer integrated manufacturing, industrial innovation and augmented telerobotics. All involve technology transfer to regional industry through cooperative efforts involving personnel, financing resources and expertise from the laboratory, industry and government.

Kansas University Transportation Center

The Kansas University Transportation Center (KUTC) conducts, coordinates, and promotes transportation research, training and technology transfer. It is a multidisciplinary center that encompasses several research and technology transfer programs. Primary areas of interest are:

  • Highway engineering and maintenance
  • Traffic engineering and safety
  • Workforce development
  • Community transit

Pittsburg State University

Kansas Polymer Research Center

The Kansas Polymer Research Center (KPRC) specializes in vegetable oil-based polymer research and development. KPRC scientists work with industrial partners, state and federal agencies, and producer associations on developing and commercializing PSU’s intellectual property.

The center is capable of researching:

  • Adhesives
  • Bioplastics
  • Coatings
  • Foams
  • Pre-polymers
  • Polymeric Oil
  • Solvents & Composites

Kansas Technology Center

The Kansas Technology Center (KTC) was designed around flexibility, transformability and ease of movement of materials and equipment. The building is a lab for teaching about utility systems, construction and other technologies. Students are provided hands-on learning opportunities within 70 technical laboratories.  

Wichita State University

National Institute for Aviation Research

The National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) supports the aviation industry through research and development, testing, certification and technology transfer. The center, which includes 15 research and testing laboratories, provides state-of-the-art equipment, investigators and administrative support to clients in private industry and state and federal government agencies.

Installments at NIAR

Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials (CECAM) was established to provide the nation with a center for the validation and quality assurance of composites and advanced materials to be applied in the construction of the aircraft through:

  • Research, testing, certification and technology transfer
  • Coordination and cooperation with the FAA, aircraft manufacturers, materials suppliers and airline companies
  • Education of the aircraft manufacturing and maintenance workforces

National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP) implements a continuous approach to FAA and NASA material qualifications by allowing material suppliers and interested aircraft original equipment manufacturers to test, qualify and create databases for new materials.

Benefit to Aircraft Manufacturers

  • Manufacturers can pull a system from the NCAMP database, prove equivalency and gain FAA certification in a quicker and cheaper manner than a typical qualification approach.

Benefit to Materials Suppliers

  • Material Suppliers can work with NCAMP to qualify material systems without having to be linked to an ongoing aircraft certification program. This allows market suppliers to have the material out into the market via a public forum with generated allowable and the FAA certification.

Robotics and Automation Laboratory supports local and national industry test and automate systems and processes. The lab is capable to operate as a full scale integrator of robotics and automation components, as well as simply prove the concept of automation within processes. The lab is equipped 40 various sized robots and seven different brands.

Center of Innovation for Biomaterials in Orthopaedic Research (CIBOR) researches and develops the potential use of composite materials in bioscience and medical applications including the manufacturing of orthopaedic implants.



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