Fueling the Future of Aviation – The 3DEXPERIENCE Center Opens at Wichita State University – Cornerstone of its new Innovation Campus

This week marks the grand opening of the 3DEXPERIENCE Center at Wichita State University (WSU), a partnership between Dassault Systèmes and WSU’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR).  As part of WSU’s newly developed Innovation Campus, the 3DEXPERIENCE Center will focus on training the next generation of engineers, leveraging the tools and technologies that are driving the future of aviation including additive manufacturing, new materials development, robotics, simulation and virtual reality.   Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform not only provides these advanced capabilities, but also the overall collaboration platform to manage programs internally among product teams and externally with manufacturers and suppliers.   Leading aircraft manufacturer Airbus is also a key partner investing in the future of aviation.

With opening day taking place on April 27, we caught up briefly with John Tomblin, Ph.D., WSU Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer.  Tomblin is a visionary leader in engineering and aviation research and education, and the driving force behind the development of WSU’s Innovation Campus.

Q: WSU has a rich legacy of training and preparing students with a focus on developing the next generation of technology leaders.  How is this accomplished?

John Tomblin:  WSU has a 30-year history of innovation and is internationally recognized as a model for applied learning.  We also focus on being an economic driver for the community, nation and the world.  In addition to rigorous engineering education, we also want to teach the students what’s not in the textbooks, so they have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to acquire high-paying, high-output jobs in aerospace, defense and manufacturing industries, and to be an immediate asset to employers

Wichita is also an ideal location to support our mission.  We are known as “The Air Capital of the World.”  With over 350 aerospace OEMs and subcontractors and another 500 manufacturing firms in the area, this is truly the hub for aviation manufacturing.  We are also home to the third largest population per capita of engineers in the U.S.  When our students graduate, there are opportunities right in our backyard that they are well-trained to transition into.

Q: What is your vision for WSU’s contribution to the future of manufacturing in the U.S.?

John Tomblin:  A key part of our mission is to be an economic driver for Kansas and the nation at large. We want faculty, staff, students and industry partners to feel like they are part of a university where innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and technology are creating the future and contributing to growth in the manufacturing economy. Together with Dassault Systèmes, WSU is fueling the future of aviation by providing new technologies and collaborative design methods for our students and enabling them to put theory into practice.

Q: WSU and Dassault Systèmes are launching the 3DEXPERIENCE Center as a cornerstone of the WSU Innovation Campus – how will the center contribute to engineering education in new ways, using new methods or new innovations/technologies on the horizon?

John Tomblin:  We are challenging the traditional educational model by putting real world technologies into the hands of our students, strengthening their skills development and ability to graduate and quickly and effectively transition into high-wage jobs. With the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, the ability to combine what we do in the virtual world with the real world is really the game-changer, not only for the products we’re designing but also for the impact on education and learning.  What we are truly striving for is to erase the thought that something is not possible. By combining virtual and real technology, the sky is the limit. We want to challenge the future and make the impossible not only possible, but bring it into the real world.   I want to encourage all students to challenge the future.

Register to attend the April 27th grand opening of the 3DEXPERIENCE Center here


Sharon Rodger

Sharon Rodger

Editor; Internal & Digital Communications at Dassault Systemes
Sharon Rodger is the editor of Navigate the Future and a member of the North America marketing team for Dassault Systemes, the 3DEXPERIENCE company. Sailing and ski mom to Connecticut College daughter (Go Camels!). See the ocean every day and breathe. Suggestions on great podcasts are welcome.
Sharon Rodger