Oklahoma State University Announces Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research & Education

Oklahoma State University (OSU) president Kayse Shrum and university leaders came together at OSU DISCOVERY in Oklahoma City’s Innovation District to announce a major new initiative, the Oklahoma Aerospace Institute for Research and Education (OAIRE), which crosses research and education and will have significant economic implications for the state’s future.

OAIRE brings together Oklahoma’s aerospace innovation economy under one organization and will support ongoing and future partnerships between university, commercial, military, and government agencies to create a valuable state resource that will develop Oklahoma’s aerospace ecosystem and generate high-tech jobs and cutting-edge research that brings commercial enterprise and military sustainment support to the state. 

OSU has the largest and oldest aerospace engineering program in the state and has been flying and building aircraft and training pilots for 80 years. The university has long been a global leader in aerospace, defense and aviation research, conducting large-scale research with NASA, FAA, Air Force, Navy, Army, and SoCOM. Its faculty conducts industry partnered research with Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, Kratos, Skydweller, Zivco, Frontier Electronics Corp, Vigilant Aerospace Systems, Toyota, and many others.

OAIRE will build on existing core strengths developed with OSU and its many partners. OAIRE supports these partnerships in aerospace and defense research and education with: 

  • novel design tools
  • the new Ray and Linda Booker flight center
  • airfield for aerospace testing
  • rapid prototyping platforms
  • high-performance computational center 
  • 28 faculty across a wide-array of expertise in aerospace and aviation
  • research engineers and graduate researchers
  • K-12 teacher training programs and summer STEM camps

As a nexus of research, development, and educational laboratories dedicated to advancing Oklahoma’s aerospace enterprise, OAIRE is in a unique position to serve and assist industry and government with technology development and applied research. The workforce includes OSU faculty experts, seasoned engineering and science professional staff, graduate and undergraduate students. 

Faculty engineers and scientists have the freedom to push the limits of what is possible to solve problems for industry and government entities while graduate research students provide an efficient workforce with the ability to focus on testing new solutions. OSU undergraduates will apply engineering fundamentals to design, build, and test systems. 

To reach OSU constituents across the state’s aerospace ecosystem, OAIRE will expand OSU aerospace research and course offerings in Oklahoma City at OSU DISCOVERY and OSU Tulsa’s Helmerich Advanced Technology Research Center. This will allow greater access to OSU’s undergraduate and graduate programs, which will be tailored to meet the needs of the aerospace sector in the surrounding area. Professionals seeking aerospace-related degrees can take their aerospace or systems engineering core courses directly on site in Oklahoma City, Tulsa or Stillwater. Courses will focus on aerospace, systems, and software engineering, as well as aircraft and engine sustainment and advanced manufacturing. 

OSU DISCOVERY in the OKC Innovation District in particular will support faculty, full-time research staff, graduate and undergraduate students, industrial internships, STEM outreach, and infrastructure to fulfill the OAIRE mission. 

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