Wichita State University
June 2023
June 2023
Latest News
Wichita State physicist studies the mysteries of neutrinos
Understanding neutrinos and how they oscillate, or change from one state to another, may be the key to understanding the universe.

Mathew Muether, associate professor of physics, is one of several thousand scientists worldwide studying neutrino behavior. His grant support from the U.S. Department of Energy totals nearly $500,000 and finances his work on two projects anchored underground at FermiLab, the particle physics and accelerator laboratory in Batavia, Illinois.

Neutrinos are invisible particles, weighing almost nothing and constantly passing through our bodies by the trillions, traveling at nearly the speed of light. Scientists don’t know a lot about neutrinos, but they do know they come in at least three “flavors” — electron, muon and tau — and that they interact differently from each other when they encounter matter.
Owls inspire Wichita State researchers to create soundless propellers
As night falls, an unsuspecting gray mouse chitters under a tree while nibbling on a seed she scavenged in the grass. Then — swoosh! — in less than an instant, the space where she stood is empty, and an owl swoops soundlessly away with the mouse in her talons.

That level of silent stealth is something a group of Wichita State students is attempting to replicate as part of a project to use owl-feather technology to create silent drones for NASA’s University Student Research Challenge.
Wichita State helps NASA evaluate possibilities for life on other planets
The existence of life on other planets, especially Mars, is a question pondered in literature, movies and imaginations.

Wichita State University’s Dr. Mark Schneegurt is working on that issue with the assistance of a $377,000 grant from NASA to examine the toughness of microbes isolated from spacecraft assembly facilities.

The grant will allow Schneegurt and his team to study microbes likely to be carried by spaceships that are capable of living “on cold arid worlds and in the pressurized brines of ocean worlds” in outer space.
Wichita Biomedical Campus receives additional $15 million in funding
The planned Wichita Biomedical Campus — a joint initiative by Wichita State University, WSU Tech and University of Kansas — is one step closer to its funding goal thanks to a $15 million award from the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services, made available through the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas Executive Committee and State Finance Council.

The new funding is in addition to $190 million awarded by the Kansas Legislature — one of the most significant investments ever in the Wichita region — bringing the total so far to $205 million, which allows for the initial phase of construction to begin. The project will ultimately be a $300 million, 471,000-square-foot facility. WSU, WSU Tech and KU will continue to explore all avenues of funding including federal, state, local and private funding for the final project.
College of Innovation and Design researcher wins $20,000 NASA grant
Kansas NASA EPSCoR Program has named Wichita State University’s College of Innovation and Design faculty member Maggie Schoonover as a recipient of its 2023 Partnership Development Grant for her proposal, “Familiarization Training Game for Extended Reality Spacesuit User Interface.”

Schoonover’s Open XR Lab offers hands-on tech development with collaborative design and integration of non-STEM majors into STEM activities to enhance team effectiveness and employability. Her area of research focuses on product management processes in emerging technologies.
Wichita State climbs U.S. News & World Report rankings for engineering and physician associate grad programs
In the most recent graduate school rankings from U.S. News & World Report, Wichita State University’s College of Engineering continued its steady ascent, landing in the 47th spot for the 2023-24 academic year. Additionally, the College of Health Profession’s physician associate program is debuting in the rankings, at No. 65.

In both lists, Wichita State is the highest ranked university in Kansas and the only one in the top 100. 
WSU wins Stage One of the U.S. Small Business Administration's 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced Wichita State University as a Stage One winner for the 2023 Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. Wichita State will receive a $50,000 cash prize to build strategic partnerships that will support the launch, growth and scale of STEM- and R&D-focused small businesses.

Wichita State’s award-winning model will amplify the impact and success of Growth Accelerator Partnerships and will work to foster and facilitate a thriving national ecosystem that advances equitable investment in innovative high-growth small businesses.
Wichita State hosts spring Innovation Campus mixer
Wichita State faculty and WSU's Innovation Campus partners attended the first Faculty and Innovation Campus Partner Mixer April 27.

The mixer was the first in a series of networking opportunities facilitated by WSU to encourage knowledge sharing and establish relationships among faculty and Innovation Campus partners.
In the News
Research at Wichita State
With yearly funding topping $270 million, research at Wichita State ranges from bioscience, chemistry and engineering to mathematics, physics and ancient civilization. 
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Innovation at Wichita State
Innovation is more than just talk at WSU. It permeates everything we do, all we aspire to become and reaches far beyond our campus boundaries.
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Student-centered. Innovation-driven.
About Wichita State University

Wichita State University is Kansas' only urban public research university, enrolling almost 22,000 students between its main campus and WSU Tech, including students from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Wichita State and WSU Tech are recognized for being student centered and innovation driven.

Located in the largest city in the state with one of the highest concentrations in the United States of jobs involving science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), Wichita State University provides uniquely distinctive and innovative pathways of applied learning, applied research and career opportunities for all of our students.

The Innovation Campus, which is a physical extension of the Wichita State University main campus, is one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing research/innovation parks, encompassing more than 120 acres, and is home to a number of global companies and organizations.