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Dan is a 2013 OSU Welding Engineering graduate who moved to Ft. Collins, Colorado, to start his Welding Engineering career at Wolf Robotics.  There, he joins recent OSU WE alumni Jared and Adam.

The transition from being a student to becoming an engineer has been pretty sweet. It was weird, at first, having all this free time with no WolfRoboticshomework or studying. I am glad I chose Wolf Robotics to be the place to start my career.

The people here are all pretty great, and I seem to fit in fine. The majority of my time has been spent training to ready me for on-site support at John Deere in Dubuque, Iowa. I have been sent to Lincoln Electric twice now for their Fanuc Robotics training classes. For my on-site support I am being relocated to Iowa for six months. The relocation is kind of a pain, but I’m excited to get the hands-on experience in a production atmosphere.

In addition to getting ready for relocation I am part a team putting together a capstone project for this year’s OSU Welding Engineering seniors. It is interesting being on the sponsor side of things and getting to see how much really goes into these projects. This is another experience I am glad to be a part of.

Dan loving the Colorado life

Dan loving the Colorado life

Moving to Colorado has also been pretty awesome. Having spent my entire life on the east side of the country, it has been a real eye-opener to what else is out there. Fort Collins is way smaller then Columbus, but there is always something to do.

I have been taking the dogs on hikes and swimming in the river, riding my bicycle all over, and when I just want to relax there are like 13 breweries in this town.

Last winter the department received an email from Kristen, a 2012 Welding Engineering alumna working at SpaceX, who wanted to know if there were any Welding Engineering juniors interested in doing their summer internship in California and working on some projects with her and with Jon, another OSU WeldEng alumnus.  It didn’t take long for Bob to submit his application and get hired for the gig.   Here is an update on his experiences so far.

It is extremely exciting to work for a company like SpaceX that is at the forefront of commercial space flight, and that has tremendous goals like colonizing Mars.  SpaceX has high expectations of its interns, so I get to do worthwhile work that will benefit me greatly in my career. Also, SpaceX uses technologies and materials that are at the cutting edge of industry. I get to work with processes like electron beam welding, friction stir welding, robotic tig and mig welding, as well as with materials like titanium, Ni-based alloys, and niobium alloys. It’s an opportunity I wouldn’t have had at another internship.

Jon, Kristen, & Bob at SpaceX

Jon, Kristen, & Bob at SpaceX

SpaceX is trying to increase production so they can increase the number of launches per year.  In order to do that the manufacturing processes have to be made more efficient, and welding is a huge part of the manufacturing.  If you need a welding engineer you come to OSU.  Two of the engineers working on welding here are Kristen and Jon, both OSU WE alums.  When they needed an intern, Kristen contacted OSU to find one, and I guess I qualified and did enough to convince them that I could do the job.

A number of my Welding Engineering courses directly relate to what I am doing at SpaceX.  Some of my responsibilities include qualifying welding procedures, so I do some metallurgy work which we learned about in the Materials and Processing Lab. The Welding Engineering Design courses addressed maximum allowable heat inputs allowed, as well as the codes necessary to understand what is required in a Welding Procedure Specification and supporting Procedure Qualification Records.  Other classes have aided in my understanding of how to evaluate a weld procedure and to improve upon it.  I’ve had to teach myself a lot of what will go on in Welding Metallugy II, but Dr.  Lippold’s stainless steel and Nickel-based alloy text books have come in very handy.


Successful SpaceX Launch, 22 May 2012

Report from 2011 OSU Welding Engineering graduate Kristen, who was hired just 2 months ago at SpaceX in Hawthorne, California, just outside of Los Angeles.

As a sophomore switching into the Welding Engineering program at OSU, I never imagined that three years later I would be part of something incredible, with nationwide acclaim. But here I am – working at SpaceX, who just this morning on May 22, 2012, started the journey to making history by conducting a successful launch of our Falcon 9 rocket and deployment of the Dragon spacecraft. This will, hopefully, help us to become the first commercial company to berth to and deliver cargo to the International Space Station by the end of the week!

As a new member of the Propulsion Manufacturing Engineering group, I have not contributed to any of the parts on this flight, but I still get to enjoy the wonderful result of the hard work of many of the other dedicated SpaceXers.

Being a part of something this unique and incredible has given me an entirely new outlook on my job – as one of the NASA executives put it early this morning after our successful launch, “this is what makes aerospace employees want to come to work everyday.”

We work long hard hours, and we deal with a lot of frustration (buildings rockets is not easy!!), but guess what – all those welds, on which our welding engineers spent thousands of hours developing and ensuring that they were great?

They all did their job! And with the thousands of other things that were labored over by other hard-working SpaceX employees, we launched a rocket.

How about that?! It’s a good day to be a welding engineer!!

Congratulations, SpaceX, and good luck, Kristen!

Chris worked 4 co-op rotations with GE Aviation

Hi, I’m Chris, and I am a senior in Welding Engineering at OSU this year.

This summer I worked for GE Aviation in Cincinnati, Ohio, in my fourth co-op rotation.   I worked with a group called Rotating Parts Lean Lab.  In other words, I worked on projects that  involved developing new manufacturing processes to produce rotating parts for aircraft engines.

Since I am a welding engineer, I spent most of my time working with Linear Friction Welding and Inertia Welding. The coolest part of my co-op is that I got to run the machines that made the welds.  Not often does an intern get to run machines that make parts worth more than $200,000 (of course I had an engineer watching me the whole time).  I learned  lots of interesting things, mostly about solid-state processes.

I spent most of my time refining process parameters and looking at the microstructure of welds.  I now have a very good knowledge of what good Inertia and Linear Friction welds look like.  The worst part of my job was when my interesting projects were in process outside my area, and I had to do regular desk work like everyone else.

GE is a big company, so there were a lot of interns from different colleges and majors around me.  This gave me a chance to talk and meet with a wide variety of people.  Being from the only accredited Welding Engineering program in the country, I was asked a lot of questions about my major.  I also got to work with other OSU Welding Engineering alumni.

It sometimes surprised me how much everyone wanted to help me learn.  Even when they were busy, I could ask mostly anyone and they would explain the project or just answer a question I had.

I don’t think that I could find a better place to learn and grow as a student than at GE Aviation.  Hopefully I’ll have a chance to go back full-time when I’m done with school, because I’d love to continue to work there.


Posted by Megan, Academic Advisor for Welding Engineering.

One of my duties as academic advisor is to recruit new students to the Welding Engineering major. It’s a little like selling shoes; we know you need shoes, and you want to buy a pair, but we bet you’ve never seen this kind!

Welding Engineering is sort of the Rodney Dangerfield of Engineering…. “We don’t get no respect.”
The misconception that we train welders keeps students (and their parents) from giving us a second look when seeking an Engineering major at OSU.

I call it the “cocktail party” problem:
“So, I hear your son is going to OSU. What’s his major?”
“(Fill in the blank) Engineering.”
“Oh, that’s wonderful!” As long a the blank is something they’ve heard of before.

Parents don’t want to deal with:
“So, I hear your daughter is going to OSU. What’s her major?”
“Welding Engineering.”
“Oh.” lengthy pause  “Your daughter is going to be a welder? How do you feel about that?”

We know there’s nothing wrong with being a welder. Companies are begging to hire well-trained welders!
It’s just not what we do at OSU Welding Engineering!  We educate Welding Engineers who learn the science behind the welds. They understand, design, and create new processes for welding, so that welders can do their jobs with the multitude of materials, conditions, and budgets that industry throws at them.  Our Welding Engineering graduates get jobs, and are well-paid.  Nothing disrespectful about that!

Next weekend, we’re selling our shoes, er, major, at our OSU Welding Engineering Open House.  That morning, Welding Engineering juniors and seniors will host their families and alumni, while the seniors show off their final projects.  Later that afternoon, invited high school juniors and seniors and OSU Engineering students who are still looking for an engineering home, will tour our beautiful facilities and see the remarkable things our Welding Engineers do.

Slowly, but surely, we’ll convince prospective students and their parents to try on our unique line of shoes.  They’ll be walking around getting all kinds of respect.




Growing need meets growing interest | Morris Sun Tribune | Morris, Minnesota

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The industry isn’t limited to two-year degrees and a life-long job behind a helmet. There are four-year degree programs, graduate and Ph.D programs in Welding Engineering, and jobs in research and development, construction, skilled trades, manufacturing, inspection, education and technical sales.

“We’re trying to create interest among people that you can have a very successful career in the welding industry,” Dybdal said. “We couldn’t do a whole lot in this country without welding. We’re lucky enough here to have the resources and training to stay on top of what’s happening in the industry.”