Beginning in the fall of 2020, Wayne State University students will have the option of earning a bachelor of science in welding and metallurgical engineering technology from the College of Engineering. This is one of four new degrees being added to the 13 existing programs within the college.
According to the American Welding Society, more than half of all man-made products in the United States require the work of welders. While welders possess the skills to join metals together, metallurgists have a deep understanding of the properties of metals and employ specific processes to adapt these properties to a particular application. The combination of these two practices fosters a complete education in the technologies that share similar fundamental qualities.
Welding and metallurgy are a rare division of a technical occupation whose options for higher education are limited. The addition of this curriculum sets Wayne State apart from other major universities because it opens up doors for students interested in trade professions to obtain a bachelor’s within their field of study.
Wayne State’s welding and metallurgical engineering technology program is an upper two-year curriculum for students who have completed their first two years in welding or a comparable program at another institution. Wayne State is just the second university in the state of Michigan to offer a bachelor’s in welding.
Within the division of engineering technology at Wayne State, welding and metallurgy students will take courses on such topics as thermodynamics, design, automation and robotics, and structural analysis, which will supplement the classes transfer students will have taken at their previous institutions.
Daniel Sims, a student at Washtenaw Community College (WCC) in Ann Arbor, plans to transfer to WSU in 2021. An Army veteran who previously completed two tours in Iraq prior to being medically discharged, he looks forward to continuing his studies and is encouraged by the stability his engineering degree will offer him and his family.
"Being able to go into this program gives me an opportunity to do something more than what is physically laborious,” he said. “It also puts me in the position where I can give back to what I learned.”
Aso Hama, a second-year student in the applied science in welding and fabrication program at WCC, plans on pursuing a similar track to Sims.
“WCC has given me everything a school could give to a student: resources, assistance, support and inspiration,” he said. “Now it’s time to capitalize on everything they taught me.”
Noting that he has had to take detours from his academic path, Hama is looking for a sense of accomplishment that he cannot find in his current occupation. He believes that the confidence he has found after discovering his passion for welding will continue to manifest with the help of the new program at Wayne State University, an institution that has come highly recommended to him.
“Everyone I know who has gone to Wayne State has been very happy about their experience,” said Hama. “Their positive remarks make me feel comfortable pursuing a degree from the institution.”