919 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Why Choose Ferris State for Welding Engineering Technology?
Established in 1984, the nationally recognized Welding Engineering Technology (WELE) Bachelor of Science degree program is the largest of its kind in the United States. The program is designed to produce plant-level welding engineering technology graduates who are involved in the concept, design and engineering of weldments and implementation of welding processes. This overall knowledge of weldments and the ability to engineer welding and joining systems produces graduates who are in great demand and highly compensated. With one out of two products that comprise the United States gross domestic product containing a weld, the welding profession is prevalent in all areas of our economy.
Statement of Mission
Welding Engineering Technology Program - adopted 2000
To continuously define the profession by producing Welding Technology and Welding Engineering Technology graduates whose knowledge, skills, and attitudes are nationally recognized.
Ferris State University - adopted 2008
Ferris State University prepares students for successful careers, responsible citizenship, and lifelong learning. Through its many partnerships and its career-oriented, broad-based education, Ferris serves our rapidly changing global economy and society.
Graduates of the Welding Engineering Technology BS degree program hold a wide variety of position titles including Welding Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Applications Engineer, Sales Engineer and Project Engineer or Manager. Graduates find employment opportunities in various sectors of the construction, fabrication and manufacturing economy. The most common industry employers include automotive, agricultural and construction equipment producers, oil and gas industry suppliers, welding equipment manufacturers and robotics and welding automation firms. Since 1986, employment has been procured in more than 40 states across the country, with Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Iowa having the highest concentrations. Many of the nearly 950 Welding Engineering Technology (WELE) program alumni have enjoyed international assignments ranging from a few weeks to five years in over 40 countries on six different continents around the world. Graduates from the WELE program in May 2022, entered the workforce with typical base starting salaries ranging from $70,000 to $85,000 annually.
Completed for the fall 2018 academic semester, Ferris State University’s Swan Technical Arts Building underwent a significant expansion as part of a State of Michigan capital outlay project. The $30 million project resulted in an increase of laboratory and classroom facilities for multiple Ferris State educational offerings, including the Welding Technology AAS and Welding Engineering Technology BS degree programs.
The construction project resulted in an increase of the Welding Technology and Welding Engineering Technology laboratory spaces to approximately 22,600 square feet. Laboratory facilities comprised of seven (7) individual, specialized spaces with the latest welding industry equipment and technology, are dedicated to practical hands-on education at all levels of the Ferris welding programs. Classroom resources for lecture discussion now include both a 60-seat room and a tiered 82-seat facility dedicated for theoretical welding education. Both classrooms have computer projection systems, as well as desktop electrical power for laptop computer use.
The core WELD prefix welding courses are taught by seven (7) full-time, professional faculty with approximately 100+ combined years of teaching experience at Ferris State. Required technical-related courses, for both the Welding Technology and Welding Engineering Technology degrees, in material science, electronics and manufacturing are taught by faculty specialists in those departments.
Program and Student Recognition
Over the years, the Welding Engineering Technology program faculty and students have received numerous awards and recognition from various professional industry societies.
- Since 1986, students in the Ferris welding programs have received approximately $2.5 million in academic scholarship awards from various industry and professional organizations.
- 100+ students have been recognized with endowed National Named Scholarships through the American Welding Society (AWS), including two students who have traveled to Japan as part of the AWS Matsuo Bridge Company Scholarship award - a priceless educational experience!
- Multiple WELE faculty members have been recognized for outstanding teaching and leadership by the American Welding Society (AWS) at the section and national levels. These include the District 11 Educator Award, WEMCO Educator Award, Adams Memorial Membership Award, Howard E. Atkins Memorial Award, Plummer Memorial Education Lecture Award and Counselor Award. Many WELE faculty have also served as AWS Section Chairs.
- Awarded the American Welding Society national Image of Welding "Educational Facility" in 2005
- Awarded the WEMCO 2019 Excellence in Welding Awards - Educational Facility Category
Welding Engineering Technology Program Educational Objectives
Several years after graduation, welding engineering technology program alumni will:
- apply project management, leadership and team-building skills;
- demonstrate lifelong learning by pursuing continuing education, professional society certification(s) and/or graduate studies, and,
- be involved in welding engineering technology in such areas as: weldment design, material selection, welding procedure development and qualification, welding process selection and implementation, welding capital equipment development and system integration and welding quality systems.
Consistency of the Program Educational Objectives with the Mission of the Institution
The educational objectives of the Welding Engineering Technology BS degree program align themselves very well with the Ferris State University Mission Statement. As the world continues to move toward a global society, it is imperative that students graduating from Ferris are well-prepared to encounter the ever-changing environment of business and industry. The curriculum of WELE program, in conjunction with the University General Education policy, ensures graduates have achieved the program objectives and are ready to meet the career, citizenship and life-long learning challenges that they will face in the ever-changing global society and economy.
Welding Engineering Technology Program Student Outcomes
The Welding Engineering Technology program has adopted student outcomes which align with ABET Criterion 3 (ABET Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission, 2021). Students must achieve the following five (5) outcomes:
- an ability to apply knowledge, techniques, skills and modern tools of mathematics, science, engineering, and technology to solve broadly defined welding engineering technology problems appropriate to the discipline;
- an ability to design systems, components, or processes meeting specified needs for broadly defined welding engineering technology problems appropriate to the discipline;
- an ability to apply written, oral, and graphical communication in broadly defined technical and non-technical environments;
- an ability to conduct standard tests, measurements, and experiments and to analyze and interpret the results to improve processes; and
- an ability to function effectively as a member as well as a leader on technical teams.
Program Student Outcomes and Educational Objectives are reviewed by the Welding Engineering Technology faculty and the WELE Industrial Advisory Board every other year.
The Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology is accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria.