March 2018
Take a look!
Thank you for taking a few minutes to learn about some of the exciting research and scholarly activity taking place at K-State Polytechnic. Our aim is to highlight our great faculty and staff who are using their talents in some amazing ways as well as our facilities and capabilities as we look to build more research partnerships.
Our students are an important part of our team, too. Our emerging capability in applied research helps produce graduates who are prepared to solve problems in the workforce. We are advancing the vision of a world-class polytechnic institution that contributes to our clear land-grant mission in teaching and research. We aim to be the envy of our peers!

Please contact me at if you would like more information about what you see here.

—Kurt Barnhart, associate dean for research and engagement
Applied Aviation Research Center
K-State Polytechnic’s Applied Aviation Research Center is facilitating UAS commercialization.
  • AARC works with multiple corporate partners to help explore the relevance of introducing UAS technologies into their lines of business, with an aim of increasing their return on investment, improving existing practices, and most importantly, enhancing safety. 
  • We also offer many training programs. Read more
UAS Visual Reference System
UAS pilots often must achieve and maintain a precise altitude to complete a mission successfully. Pilots rely on GPS altitude, but reading the information from a screen requires them to look away from the aircraft, often at critical moments.

Spencer Schrader, UAS advanced flight instructor, designed and developed the first Visual Reference System for unmanned aircraft. Read more
Bulk solids basics
The Bulk Solids Innovation Center , or BSIC, is the only university research facility in North America that focuses on the properties and handling of bulk dry materials, which are widely used in manufacturing and foodstuffs. 

The BSIC holds regular sessions of its popular four-day training seminar, “Introduction to Particle Technology: A Comprehensive Course on the Flow and Conveying of Bulk Solids,” to help corporate scientists, engineers, employees, and managers identify and solve common bulk solids production problems. Contact Johnselvakumar Lawrence, BSIC research director, at
Flying high with American Airlines
Thanks to a $25,000 grant from American Airlines, plans are taking off to help more secondary students learn what it's like to be an airplane pilot. The grant, designed to increase enrollment in Kansas State Polytechnic's   professional pilot degree program , will fund construction of a mobile aircraft simulator lab, support short introductory flights for prospective pilot students and sponsor scholarships. Read more .
Are you my grandmother?
Becky DeGreeff, communication studies instructor, looked at the complicated structure of modern families and wondered, “How do stepgrandparents fit in?”
According to her work, grandparents are often the foundations of the family, but when stepfamilies are formed, questions arise about how stepgrandparents fit in. DeGreeff conducted research interviews with stepfamily members to find out what they think of the role of step grandparents, and she ended up with more than 1,000 pages of family stories. She found that the step-grandparent relationship is often confusing for children and challenging for adults. She found that each stepfamily had its own ways of interacting with step grandparents, but common themes included the meaning of family, roles played by step grandparents, gift-giving practices, and more. Read the article.
Critical thinking
Pat Ackerman, the 2016-17 Coffman Chair for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, has done extensive research on critical thinking skills in university students. Because of the importance of these skills for students’ current and future success, she has consistently facilitated a conversation at K-State Polytechnic about how critical thinking is defined, taught, and assessed.  

Ackerman recently accepted an invitation to speak at the 38th Annual International Conference on Critical Thinking , where she will share her expertise with academic scholars from more than 30 countries this summer. Contact her at
"Quest" for effective teaching
Siny Joseph, Pat Ackerman, and Jung Oh recently completed a study of the 2-year-old K-State Polytechnic faculty professional development program called Quest. This faculty-led program is a hybrid of face-to-face and online learning activities, and is dedicated to improving faculty teaching skills. Read more
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