American Welding Society grant strengthens Wayne State’s upstart welding and metallurgical engineering technology undergraduate program

Wayne State University has been awarded an American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation Welding Workforce Grant in the amount of $25,000 to support the university’s bachelor of science program in welding and metallurgical engineering technology, which was introduced in fall 2020.

The objective of the grant is to improve and expand training programs and institutions to increase the number of welding technology graduates in the United States. Wayne State will use the funds to upgrade its welding and metallurgical laboratories, adding two welding cells in the Engineering Technology building.

“The AWS grant will be a great addition to improving laboratory facilities for this new program and help prepare the welding workforce in Southeast Michigan for the manufacturing challenges of the future,” said Ece Yaprak, chair of the Division of Engineering Technology at Wayne State.

The welding and metallurgical engineering technology program is an upper-two-year curriculum for students who have completed their first two years in a comparable program elsewhere. There are nearly 1,000 students enrolled in welding courses between Oakland, Schoolcraft, Henry Ford, WCCCD, Macomb, Monroe and Washtenaw community colleges, all of which are located within 45 miles of Wayne State’s campus in Midtown Detroit. Wayne State recently entered into new articulation agreements with Monroe County Community College, Washtenaw Community College and WCCCD that will allow their students to transfer up to 90 credits to WSU while pursuing a variety of undergraduate programs in the Division of Engineering Technology, including welding and metallurgical engineering technology.  Additional articulation agreements are planned for other local community colleges.

Wayne State is only the second university in Michigan to offer a four-year degree in welding. The introduction of this program was a timely response to a projected shortage of up to 450,000 welding professionals by 2022, according to AWS. More than half of all man-made products in the United States require the work of welders.

Students enrolled in the program take courses on such topics as thermodynamics, metallurgy, design, automation and robotics, and structural analysis as they pertain to welding technology. These courses are taught by Wayne State faculty and also include lecturers from industry partners.

By augmenting the skills they develop in their first two years of school with the learning outcomes of this program, graduates gain the necessary credentials to take on leadership roles as engineers, consultants, supervisors, inspectors and instructors.


About the AWS Foundation

The American Welding Society was founded in 1919 as a nonprofit organization with a global mission of advancing the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes, including brazing, soldering and thermal spraying. The AWS Foundation is a charitable organization committed to securing the future of the welding industry by positively impacting welding education. Learn more at


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