WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Airbus Engineering officially opened its new Engineering Center on the Wichita State University Innovation Campus.
Approximately 300 Airbus employees who work at the center and special guests, including Lt. Governor Jeff Colyer, were at the ceremony.
“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 WSU President John Bardo.
Airbus’ partnership with WSU will help engage students in real-world engineering projects, develop critical skills that are needed for engineering now and in the future, and produce graduates with experience.
“Wichita’s talent pool of aerospace and aviation experts is among the richest in the world,” said John O’Leary, vice president-Airbus Americas Engineering. “The aviation expertise here is recognized within Airbus and around the world. The Innovation Campus is only going to help Wichita’s expertise grow.”
In June 2002, Airbus opened in Wichita and was home to approximately 30 engineers dedicated to wing design for the A380 aircraft. Now, Airbus Engineering-Wichita engages in all Airbus commercial products.
Students are excited to work with Airbus engineers and gain real-world experience, among other conveniences of having it right here on campus.
“Well I actually walk to class so now I’m able to walk to work at the same time,” graduate student Phil Semar said.
A secret aerospace project is already in the works according to O’Leary. Students will have a hand in this, too.
“I can’t comment on the details but it’s already underway. It’s really, the reason we’re here,” O’Leary said.
The opening of the Airbus engineering center moved Airbus America’s Wichita location from downtown. The new building on Innovation Drive was designed specifically with engineers in mind. Even the cubicle space is set up to foster brainstorming and innovation between employees.