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FABTECH 2019 influences Buckeye WE network in many ways

FABTECH 2019 Ohio State UG studentsOhio State Welding Engineering Undergraduate Students | FABTECH 2019 Chicago


Anyone familiar with welding knows FABTECH, the premier exposition specific to all things welding, metal forming, fabricating, and finishing. The Ohio State University is a staple at FABTECH, and uses the platform to its maximum benefit. It is a means to promote the country's only ABET-accredited welding engineering program and the undergraduate and graduate students who are currently enrolled. What better place to connect with nearly 50,000 industry professionals who share an interest in advancing the science of manufacturing and protecting these critical trades?

The representation of Ohio State's welding engineering program was Buckeye-strong as usual. The 60 undergraduate students who attended shared the company of the WE graduate student cohort and members of our faculty, staff, administration, and alumni society. Ma²JIC was also an integral participant at FABTECH 2019, using the event to reconnect with clients who use the center for industry research projects. As in the past, networking at FABTECH provided capstone sponsors, invitations to students to visit companies, job interviews, and professional development. 

Ohio State hosted a reception at Kroll's South Loop for students, alumni, faculty, and staff of the welding engineering program. 130 people enjoyed the affair before the final day of FABTECH. The Ohio State University Welding Engineering Alumni Society hosted a luncheon and conducted their annual meeting on the final day of FABTECH. 

The FABTECH experience benefits each attendee differently. Takeaways vary depending on the expectations, purpose, and demographic as shared by some members of the Buckeye welding engineering family who attended FABTECH 2019. 


photo of David Phillips Welding Engineering Ohio State FABTECH

Professor David Phillips | WE Undergraduate Studies Chair

"FABTECH provides students with a snapshot of the exciting and interesting world of welding. Students explore the exposition and see all of the latest and greatest welding equipment being demonstrated. They also attend technical presentations describing the latest research activities in welding and participate in the Welding Engineering Alumni luncheon where they have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the WE alumni family.

Ohio State has participated in FABTECH for over 50 years, and we have seen it evolve into the premier event for the welding industry. Prior to FABTECH, it was called the AWS Welding Show, and our students participated in similar activities to those offered at FABTECH. Each year showcases more advancements in welding technology, offers a more diverse technical program, and provides greater networking opportunities among a concentrated population of welding professionals. I always look forward to catching up with former students at FABTECH and continue to be impressed with how our current students present themselves and represent the welding engineering program at Ohio State. FABTECH 2020 will surely be packed with opportunities for our students to grow their appreciation for welding engineering and develop their professional portfolio."

photo of Adam Braff Ohio State welding engineering student FABTECH

Adam Braff | UG WE Student, Class of '19 (autumn)
College of Engineering Ambassador
FABTECH Chair, American Welding Society
"It has been my privilege to run this year's FABTECH 2019 trip to Chicago as FABTECH chair. I was able to bring over 60 undergrads to this enormous fabrication convention where students were encouraged to network and interact with the amazing industry they will be entering. This experience has only excited me further to enter the workforce as I graduate in the coming weeks, and I'm so grateful for the Welding Engineering program at Ohio State for their assistance in putting this together. I'd also like to thank the American Welding Society, the Ohio State Welding Engineering Alumni Society, and my amazing leadership team for all their hard work."

photo of Allina Molinaro Ohio State Welding Engineering student

Allina Molinaro | UG WE Student, Class of '21 (spring)

"Going into FABTECH, I hoped to learn more about my role within industry and hear from welding engineering alumni about their experiences in the field. I was enlightened more from this trip than I ever imagined. I had the chance to network with employees of the company for which I will intern this summer and met my boss! While exploring the additive manufacturing section, I realized that welding engineers have a huge role in this growing field. I became so interested in it that I found a journal on the subject and read it over Thanksgiving break! Not only did I use this experience to apply my studies and learn more about what to expect during my summer internship, but I also had the opportunity to strengthen friendships with my classmates. My experience at FABTECH 2019 gave me the opportunity to get to know my current and future professors better. I can’t express how thankful I am for the opportunity to go on this trip, and how much of an impact it had on my educational experience and career development."

photo of Nancy Porter Ohio State Welding Engineering 1985 alumna

Nancy Porter | '85 WE alumna
ManTech Program Manager and CNM Project Manager, EWI
Ohio State Welding Engineering Alumni Society Board Member

"As an Ohio State Welding Engineering alumna, FABTECH 2019 was very rewarding. I’m one of the longest serving, active Board members of the OSU Welding Engineering Alumni Society and a 1985 BSWE graduate. I am the liaison between the students and the alumni, and my role is to organize the OSU Welding Engineering Alumni Society's annual meeting and luncheon at FABTECH.  Part of this role is identifying alumni sponsors for every student who wants to attend the luncheon - all students get a free lunch. This year we had 106 attendees; 65 of which were students. I really enjoyed participating in their FABTECH planning meetings this fall and have made some friendships that will last a lifetime. At FABTECH, I volunteered to work Ohio State's booth and staff the Buckeye Lounge where students were able to congregate in between technical sessions. These volunteer efforts allowed me to interact with even more students. Overall, the students were very well organized and extremely professional with their presentation; for example, they coordinated their Ohio State-branded attire and distributed personalized business cards. The 2019/2020 class of WE students is an outstanding group of young men and women who represented our alma mater very well at FABTECH 2019. They all have bright futures as welding professionals."

photo of Tom Eckardt Ohio State Welding Engineering FABTECH

Tom Eckardt | '10 WE alumnus 
Senior Welding Engineer, Keifner - an Applus+ Company

"As an alumnus of Ohio State's welding engineering program, I always look forward to going to FABTECH. The technical program and making new business contacts are important, but the part I look forward to the most is reconnecting with old classmates and meeting new WE students.  2019 was the first time I had been able to attend FABTECH in 4 years because of a busy work schedule. This year I had the opportunity to catch up with old friends I hadn’t seen in years, and I got to know some of the graduating seniors at a WE event organized by Megan Daniels, Undergraduate Student Advisor, and Kevin Readey, Associate Director of Development. I loved hearing about students' job offers and the great outlook for welding engineers in industry. 

It was fantastic to see the level of support that the university provided the WE class at FABTECH, from helping to organize transportation, lodging, and networking events. WE alumni love to brag about how special our program is, and that level of support from Ohio State and the WE Alumni Society helps fuel us to continue promoting the program. The booth on the show floor looked great and provided a great way to introduce our program. FABTECH is the annual gathering spot for everyone in our industry.  It is a great experience, and I look forward to attending next year in Las Vegas."

Photo of Brooke Felts Program Manager for Ma2JIC at Ohio State

Brooke Felts | Program Manager, Ma2JIC

"For Ma²JIC, FABTECH is a great opportunity to connect with many current and prospective Ma²JIC members at one time. Our members often use FABTECH to introduce colleagues of non-member companies to Ma²JIC, allowing us to meet with them one on one to share the benefits of the Center. More importantly, Ma²JIC students and faculty make up a considerable portion of the technical program. This opportunity for Ma²JIC research to be shared at such a widely attended event is a great experience for our students who use the feedback to develop as an engineer, researcher, scientist, and student. One of the most valuable takaways of FABTECH is the opportunity for Ma²JIC to interact with potential collaborators."

photo of Megan Daniels Undergraduate Student Advisor Ohio State

Megan Daniels | Undergraduate Student Advisor

"Alumni and vendors made a point to tell me how impressed they were with the professionalism and maturity exhibited by our students during FABTECH. This is an event for which we plan and anticipate all year, and the students never fail to bring their A-game. They prepared by having updated resumes, business cards, matching attire, and the education to support a future career as a welding engineer. It’s always fun to catch up with alumni and is rewarding to connect them with current students. Our students have been consistently hosted by exhibitors during the four-day event. Miller Electric and Lincoln Electric both hosted students at their booths, allowing them to participate in demonstrations and get tutorials on the latest equipment. Each is an industry partner who provides senior capstones, hosts interns, donates equipment and supplies, and hires Ohio State welding engineering graduates. While the takeaways from FABTECH are different for each person, the common bond for Buckeyes who attend can be traced to a rigorous and strong education from the country's best welding engineering program. We look forward to representing Ohio State at FABTECH 2020 and reuniting with Ohio State alumni and industry partners once again."