America Makes Launches Satellite Center at Wichita State

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – America Makes will launch its third satellite center – and the first specific to a particular industry – at the National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University.

The research institute features 20 on-site labs “with representation by nearly every aerospace [original equipment manufacturer]” and is home to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials and the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance.

“For more than 30 years, NIAR has made a name for itself as the most capable university-based aviation research center in the United States, providing research, design, testing, certification and training to the aviation manufacturing industries,” said America Makes’ executive director, John Wilczynski, in a statement. “As our next America Makes satellite center, NIAR will have the unique distinction of being our first industry-specific satellite center solely focused on advancing the use of additive manufacturing within the aerospace industry.”

Founded in 1985, the center employs more than 400 and counts Boeing, Bombardier Learjet, Cessna and Beechcraft among its clients.

“We’re honored to be recognized as a valuable research partner for the institute,” said Wichita State vice president for research and technology and the institute’s director, John Tomblin. “We have already seen great benefits as members of America Makes, and we expect our increased involvement as a satellite center to magnify those for us and for America Makes.”

Wichita State joins the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at University of Texas at El Paso and the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station at Texas A&M University as satellite centers for America Makes. 

“With NIAR joining the America Makes Satellite Center infrastructure, we are very excited to focus on certifying and qualifying additive technologies within the aerospace sector,” said America Makes’ director of partnerships and community relations, Erin O’Donnell. “The outcomes of such an effort are poised to have a tremendous impact on our membership community, the aerospace sector, and the additive manufacturing industry.”

America Makes, based in downtown Youngstown, was the first site for the Obama administration’s Manufacturing USA program, which encourages public-private partnerships to research, develop and implement additive manufacturing technologies.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.