1009 Campus Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: (231) 591-2890
Fax: (231) 591-2946
William “Bill” Beegle had a strong commitment to Ferris, his community and his profession. During the Vietnam War era, in the late 1960’s, Beegle served in the U.S. Air Force. Upon his discharge, he entered the workforce and gained industry experience as an engineering technician with Eaton Corporation, from 1968-75. Beegle started in Ferris’s welding program, in 1975, taught and subsequently earned his Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology and his Bachelor of Science in Technical Education. Beegle was a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1970) where he achieved the AWS Certified Welding Inspector certification, served as treasurer for the AWS Western Michigan Section, as AWS scholarship chair for Ferris students and as advisor to Ferris’ AWS Student Chapter. An associate professor for the Welding program, he was a faculty member key signatory for the creation of the Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984.
Raymond “Ray” Fayer grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and worked for the Dodge division of Chrysler while he attended Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio. Fayer studied welding at Kent and earned his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, in 1951. From 1951-53, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. Later, he started work for Lincoln Electric, in Cleveland, as a district manager. In 1969, Fayer started his tenure as the Lincoln Electric Western Michigan district manager until his retirement, in 1995. Fayer is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1955) and has held the AWS Western Michigan section chairman position for two consecutive terms while he obtained the AWS Certified Welding Inspector certification. Fayer then connected with the Ferris welding program, in the early 1970s. As a welding industry advisory board member, Fayer aided the creation of the Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984, and was instrumental in the implementation of the internship program, at Lincoln Electric. Today, Ferris welding students continue to participate in the program.
Harold Hankes came to Big Rapids, in 1972, where he raised his family and spent his career as an associate professor for the Welding Engineering Technology program. Prior to coming to Ferris, Hankes attended Wayne State University, in Detroit, Mich., where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Education, in 1968, and his Master of Science in Education, in 1970. He had also worked as an instructor at Aero Mechanics High School at the Detroit City Airport, from 1962-70, where he taught airplane welding. Hankes is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1973) and served the organization as chairman of AWS Western Michigan Section and further provided expert testimonial within the legal system as an AWS certified welding inspector. He was an active faculty member for the welding program and, assisted by colleagues, took the welding program to an associate degree program and ultimately served as a key faculty signatory in the creation of the Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering Technology, in 1984. Hankes served as chair of the Ferris Distinguished Teacher Award Committee. After a 23-year career of sharing his knowledge his expertise and knowledge of welding technology and metallurgy, to Ferris students, Hankes retired in 1995.
Robert “Bob” Hofman was raised in West Michigan, where he enjoyed a career in the welding industry. He served in the U.S. Army, 1956-58, before he pursued his studies at Michigan State University and eventually earned certification from their Industrial Engineering/Management program. He worked in sales at Kirkhof Manufacturing Corporation. At Kirkhof, Hofman met his friend and mentor, Dietrich Roth. The two co-founded RoMan Manufacturing, Inc., in 1980. Hofman is an American Welding Society lifetime member (AWS, 1969) and has served the association through a term as director-at-large, from 1972-80, and as president of the Resistance Welding Manufacturer’s Alliance, from 1990-91. Beginning in the 1980s, Hofman served on Ferris’ Welding Advisory Board from which he provided valuable technical advisement for the program, vital equipment for Ferris’ Resistance Welding Laboratory and was a key signatory supporting the creation of the Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984.
Roger Kennedy served as a professor in the Welding Engineering Technology program, beginning in 1955 – the year he founded the program. After three years of service in the U.S. Air Force, from 1951-54, Kennedy came to Ferris where he was an instructor in Heat Treatment, Non-Destructive Testing, and Cleaning and Plating. He was a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1956) and served as chairman of the AWS Western Michigan Section and held the AWS certified welding inspector certification. In his 31 years at Ferris, Kennedy was instrumental in the growth of the welding program through the addition of numerous topics such as metallurgy, submerged arc welding, destructive testing, and plasma welding and cutting. Forming key partnerships with industry, Kennedy was the primary lead for the program’s expansion. He effectively led the creation of the welding program’s first certification, the creation of the Associates in Applied Science in Welding Technology and was a faculty key signatory for the creation of the Bachelor of Science Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984. In 1974, Kennedy was presented with Ferris’ Distinguished Teaching Award. Patriarch, champion, chair and professor for the Welding Engineering Technology program were among the many titles that Kennedy held until his retirement, in 1986.
Joseph “Joe” Mikols spent 35 years as a welding engineer and educator. A Michigan native, from Midland, Mich., Joe traveled north, after high school, to attend Michigan Technological University, in Houghton, Mich., where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, in 1965. After graduation, Joe worked as a welding engineer for Dow Chemical. At Dow, he started to take an interest in welding, leading him to obtain a Master of Science in Welding Engineering from The Ohio State University, in 1973. He became chief metallurgist and welding engineer at Townsend and Bottum in Ann Arbor, Mich., from 1973-86. His role at T and B helped introduce Mikols to Ferris’ welding program where he served as an industry advisor and key signatory in the creation of the Bachelor of Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984. He joined the welding faculty, in 1986, and retired, in 2000. Mikols is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1968), held a chair role for the AWS Central Michigan Section and was selected, in 1992, for the AWS Adams Memorial Membership Award for outstanding teaching. Mikols continued his commitment to Ferris through service on the board of directors for The Ferris Foundation, from 2009-14. In 2014, Mikols and his wife, Linda, established the Joseph S. Mikols Scholarship and the Welding Program Laboratory Equipment Endowment fund to support an annual scholarship for welding students and to purchase equipment for welding automation and fabrication, and weldment testing.
Dietrich Roth, co-founder of Roman Manufacturing, Inc. began his roots in Germany where he received his electrical engineering degree, in 1956, from the State Engineering College in Darmstadt, Germany. After WWII, Roth immigrated to the U.S. and found employment at Kirkhof Manufacturing Corporation where he met his business partner and lifelong friend, Bob Hofman. The two founded RoMan Manufacturing, Inc. Roth co-invented the patented Portable Impedance Meter to measure the impedance of a resistance welding circuit providing a quick and simple determination. A lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1970), Roth served the organization in multiple committees, as chairman of the AWS West-Michigan chapter and trustee on the AWS National Treasury Committee. He was inducted as an AWS honorary, in 2004. Roth has also been a longtime member of the Resistance Welding Manufacturer’s Association. He became involved with the Welding Engineering Technology program, in the 1980s. His knowledge, expertise and support provided vital technical advisement and essential equipment for the creation of Ferris’ Resistance Welding Laboratory as well as serving as a key industry advisor signatory for the creation of the Bachelor of Science in Welding Engineering Technology program, in 1984.
Amos Winsand enjoyed an extensive career in the welding industry that spans more than 50 years. Winsand served in the U.S. Marine Corps, in the South Pacific. He later attended the University of Colorado and, with the GI Bill, earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Winsand is a lifetime member of the American Welding Society (AWS, 1961). He actively served the Detroit section chapter. Upon retirement, he served as treasurer for the national AWS. Winsand first came to visit Ferris’ welding program, in 1972, and emerged as a strong advocate. He is a longtime supporter of scholarships and helped initiate the Detroit Section program more than 40 years ago. Winsand and his wife, Marilyn, have continued their advocacy for education with the AWS Amos and Marilyn Winsand Detroit Section Scholarship established, in 2001, to benefit a considerable number of Ferris’ Welding Engineering Technology students.