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Wichita State to get $2.1M grant for aerospace research

July 9, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A $2.1 million federal grant awarded to Wichita State University for new aerospace research facilities is expected to create nearly 500 jobs over the next 10 years.

The U.S. Commerce Department announced the grant to the school’s National Institute for Aviation Research on Thursday, the Wichita Eagle reported.

The money will be matched with university funds generated by the institute’s contracts with private industry and will go toward a new flight test research center and a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, officials said.

Equipment purchased with the money will go to the institute’s WERX lab near McConnell Air Force Base and Spirit AeroSystems, WSU associate vice president Tracee Friess said. The lab works with private industry and the military on a variety of projects, including repurposing passenger planes for cargo carrying or other special missions.

The 475 jobs expected to be created over the next decade “will all be engineers and technicians,” Friess said. “Some of those will be student technicians, so they’ll cycle in and out.”