Welding Engineering is a complex field that requires proficiency in a broad range of engineering disciplines. Students who pursue a Welding Engineering degree engage in a curriculum that is more diverse than many other engineering disciplines. Following completion of standard engineering prerequisite courses, they begin the Welding Engineering portion of their degree. Curriculum examples include advanced courses in welding metallurgy and materials science that cover materials ranging from steels and stainless steels, to nonferrous alloys such as nickel, aluminum, and titanium, as well as polymers. Welding process courses emphasize theory, principles, and fundamental concepts of the multitude of important industrial welding processes.
While many associate welding with arc welding processes, a Welding Engineer may be responsible for many other industrial welding processes. Therefore, in addition to arc welding, the Welding Engineering curriculum includes coverage of processes such as Laser and Electron Beam Welding, solid-state welding processes such as Friction Welding and Explosion Welding, and resistance welding processes including Spot and Projection Welding. Students are trained in many important electrical concepts associated with welding such as process control and transformer theory and operation.
Welding design courses cover the principles of important subjects such as heat flow, residual stress, distortion, fatigue and fracture, and weld design for various loading conditions. Analysis through computational modelling is included in many of the courses. Non-destructive testing techniques including x-ray, ultrasonics, eddy current, magnetic particle, and dye penetrant are emphasized as well.
Welding Engineering graduates are well-prepared for solving complex problems and making critical engineering decisions in a wide range of possible career paths and industrial fields related to welding. Working environments include automation and high speed production, fabrication, manufacturing, and research. The highly sought-after Welding Engineering graduates take jobs in various industry sectors including nuclear, petrochemical, automotive, medical, ship building, aerospace, power generation, and heavy equipment manufacturing.
While many people think of welding in terms of a process, it is in practice a complex engineering discipline that involves aspects of materials science & metallurgy, lasers, thermodynamics, design, inspection & quality assurance, robotics, and mechanical, electrical & electronic systems.
Welding engineers must understand the properties behind the joining of materials to ensure that joined structures are safe and a benefit to society. Welding engineers have expertise in materials science, including steels, nonferrous alloys and polymeric materials, and in process technology, including arc welding, lasers, resistance welding, brazing and soldering. They also are experts in robotics, from programming and applications to sensors and controls.
The Center for Weldability Evaluation
The Center for Weldability Evaluation (CWE) is located within the EJTC facility on west campus and is dedicated to:
- addressing failures and loss of properties in welds of advanced alloys
- implementing advanced alloys in critical weld structures
- supporting invention and development of metallic alloys with improved weldability
- developing innovative tools and methods for weldability evaluation
- contributing to the improvement of energy efficiency, safety, service performance and reliability in power generation and power conversion systems
Their testing capabilities include cast pin tear test, DIC tensile testing, delayed hydrogen cracking testing, and stress relief cracking test. Graduate, undergraduate and post-doctoral students perform the technical research and testing under the direction of Professor Boian Alexandrov.