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Shock the World Campaign
In This Issue

       

Shock the World Campaign
Gateway to the Innovation Campus

Students, industry and community collide in Experiential Engineering Building




StoryTopImage
WSU student Subash Bhandari looks at a smart-skin sensor in the EEB’s Biomedical Sensors, Imaging and Modeling Engineering Lab.

In the 18-month-old Experiential Engineering Building on the Innovation Campus, Wichita State students are discovering how a state-of the-art facility with advanced equipment and collaborative spaces can inspire creativity and innovation.

Ryan Becker is one of them, a graduate student who is working with Professor Kim Cluff on a major NASA grant to develop a smartskin biomedical sensor. On a recent day in the EEB’s Biomedical Sensors, Imaging and Modeling Engineering Lab, Becker gazed around the spacious room crammed with equipment and called it a “massive improvement” over the lab previously used.

“A lot of it is just a matter of convenience, like having the right equipment and materials in the right places,” says Becker, who plans to continue his studies to earn an MD-Ph.D. “That may not sound like a lot, but it’s a matter of being able to focus on what’s important.”

Steven Skinner, interim dean for the WSU College of Engineering, takes a broader view.

“This building embodies the special things we want on the Innovation Campus, like collaboration and cross disciplinary learning,” he says. “Beyond that, it’s increasing our synergy with industry, it’s expanding our university’s interaction with the community and we’re just now starting to see an impact on our recruitment of students.”

Donors to the Shock the World Campaign have pledged more than $7 million to help furnish the EEB’s labs with equipment and tools, endow a fund to help the College of Engineering maintain and update equipment, and establish the community makerspace, GoCreate, a Koch Collaborative.

Ron Matson &
Ashley Cheung
Engineering Professor Kim Cluff, left, conducts experiments with the help of student Ryan Becker.

One of the largest donations came from Cybertron International, which donated computers and terminals for most of the facility’s labs and learning spaces. Cybertron’s gift-in-kind has led to greater involvement with Wichita State, including sponsoring popular eSports video game competitions at the EEB.

“We feel invested in what’s happening inside that facility and that has led to stronger working relationships with faculty, students and, really, the entire campus community,” says Shadi Marcos, a WSU graduate who is Cybertron’s president and CFO.

Two companies – Dassault Systèmes and Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence – are housed in the EEB and Airbus’ Wichita facility is next door, giving students an opportunity to network with and learn from the engineers who work there.

“It’s always heartening to see students having lunch with the professionals from these companies,” Skinner says.

The EEB also is home to two high profile programs that give students real-life engineering and entrepreneurship experiences, says Samantha Corcoran, an engineering educator who oversees the programs, which take place in the Project Innovation Hub, the facility’s largest lab. One is the WSU GoBabyGo program, where students design and modify toy ride-on cars for children with mobility challenges. The other is the Koch Innovation Challenge, part of a freshman introductory course in which students compete for funding and scholarships by inventing products and technologies.

“The goal is to prepare students in their very first year to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and learn the value of creativity, innovation and teamwork,” Corcoran says of the Koch Innovation Challenge. She describes the Project Innovation Hub as “an inspiring space that gives our students the freedom to think big and creatively.”

The EEB has come to be known as the gateway to the Innovation Campus and the facility is home to GoCreate, a makerspace open to the public, which enhances Wichita State’s engagement with the community.

“GoCreate is attracting entrepreneurs, artists and hobbyists from all over the community who want to take their ideas to the next level and work in a collaborative, inspiring environment,” says John Tomblin, WSU vice president for research and technology transfer. “It’s helping WSU fulfill its mission to be an economic driver for the region.”

Industry partners also visit the EEB frequently to utilize technologies available in the 3DEXPERIENCE Center, a partnership between Dassault Systèmes and WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research. The facility includes laboratories for Additive Manufacturing, Reverse Engineering, Virtual Reality and Robotics and Automation.

For more information

If you would like more information about supporting the Experiential Engineering Building, contact Kim Bair, WSU Foundation senior director of development, at 316.978.3839 or kim.bair@wichita.edu.

Kim Bair

NEW BARTON SCHOOL FACILITY CAN MIRROR SUCCESS OF EEB

Just as the Experiential Engineering Building has transformed the learning experience for WSU engineering students, the same is anticipated for business students when Wichita State builds a new home for the W. Frank Barton School of Business.

The new facility, to be located in the heart of the Innovation Campus, is the top priority in the Shock the World Campaign, with a goal of raising at least half of the projected $50 million cost from private donations. So far, the WSU Foundation and its campus and community partners have raised about $21.5 million, thanks in part to a lead gift of $10 million from Wayne and Kay Woolsey.

“Students want to attend a university they know is staying current with business education trends, and that includes a facility that reflects the world they’re about to enter,” says Anand Desai, Barton School dean. “With a new business school, WSU will be on a level playing field with other universities that are providing state-of-the-art learning facilities for their students.”

The new complex will feature collaborative spaces, technology-driven classrooms, integration of faculty offices throughout the building and an environment that supports applied learning experiences. Its location on the Innovation Campus is intended to inspire entrepreneurship and foster networking and connections with business and industry.

“With the help of our alumni and business partners, our fundraising campaign can be achieved in the coming months, with groundbreaking possible in late 2019,” Desai says. “We are very close, but that financial support is crucial.”

For more information

To learn more about the new business school facility, contact Angela Dudley, WSU Foundation senior director of development, at 316.978.3837 or angela.dudley@wichita.edu.

Angela Dudley