Ferris’ nationally recognized welding program introduces new course

Students may soon take basics of welding course

Starting in spring 2023, students will be able to learn the basics of welding without the commitment of obtaining a welding engineering technology degree.

Next semester, students will have the opportunity to take Introduction to Welding, or WELD-150, a beginning welding course. Ferris’ welding program is the largest of its kind across the United States and the only four year welding program in the state of Michigan.

The welding program offers students hands-on learning opportunities. Welding classes are taught in the Swan Technical Arts Building, which houses laboratories and classrooms for students to learn in, regardless of whether they are taking one class or obtaining a degree.

Professor Jeffrey Carney is the welding program coordinator. Carney explained the significance of the welding program at Ferris, as well as some of the recognition the program has earned in the past few years.

“We’re the only [Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology] accredited welding engineering technology program,” Carney said. “We just received our ABET accreditation for the third time here just this past month.”

Brent Williams is a three-time Ferris alumnus and an associate professor in the welding program. He explained the skills students will walk away with once completing the course.

“We have a bunch of new equipment, and if anybody wants to take WELD-150 in the spring, they can come on over and use that equipment [and] learn how to weld, cut, grind and… shape metal to support their hobbies,” Williams said.

This welding course will introduce students to different pieces of welding equipment. Williams explained one of the program’s newest pieces of equipment and how students can operate it.

“We [have] something cool in the lab over here called a cobot,” Williams said. “They are the latest and greatest thing in the world of… industrial robots, and [they are able] to sense contact and proximity to humans. So, the cobots can work right alongside a human with no barrier, and they program much easier than a standard robot. Basically, you drive the arm in a position, press a button and you’re off to the races.”

The introductory welding class taking place next semester gives all students the chance to learn the fundamentals of welding, while allowing students to get familiar with equipment they may have never heard of or used before. Spring registration for classes opens on Oct. 31. Any student looking to take a welding class in the spring, regardless of their degree program, can sign up for WELD-150.