Wichita State University (WSU) is getting a big new contract from the Army. The U.S. Army announced on Tuesday that it would provide the university with $100 million. This grant will help WSU modernize the Army’s ground transportation fleet, making it more technologically sound and therefore more adaptable.
WSU has a wing called the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) that will handle the grant. The grant comes from the Army’s Modernization of Integrated Technology for Ground Systems (MINT-GS) program. This program concerns the Army’s efforts to create a more efficient armed force. The idea is that, by utilizing modern technology to its fullest, the Army can give itself a leg up on its competition in terms of efficiency, mobility, and tactics.
Nine other universities are receiving grants from this round. Universities in Alabama, Michigan, and Kansas will all collaborate to make the Army a more functional and modern organization. But just what does that mean for WSU, exactly?
What Will WSU Do for the Army?
In its announcement about the grant, the Army touted WSU’s expertise in “advanced materials development,” among other areas. Basically, this means that the grant intends to help universities across the country develop methods of building and maintaining Army vehicles. By using things like 3-D printers, the universities can help the Army build sturdier vehicles more quickly than they otherwise would have been able to.
Notably, the wing of WSU that will handle this grant is part of the aviation sector. Therefore, it may seem odd that an aviation research facility will handle ground transportation. However, the automotive industry always learns much from the aviation industry. It makes sense that at least some amount of the research and development of this new technology would come from the aviation sector. Hopefully their work translates well to the road!