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Welding Student Projects Fare Well in Foundation’s National Competition

PhotoJonah Ottenbreit of Trenton, a third-year student in the Welding Engineering Technology program at Ferris State University, entered his custom propane hibachi grill in the James F. Lincoln Foundation’s National Welding and Fabrication competition. Ottenbreit won a silver medal for his entry, one of seven Ferris students in the Welding Technology Associate of Applied Science degree program who won medals (two gold, two silver, three bronze) in the 2021 Division II field, for students 19 years of age and older.

Capstone projects for Ferris State University students seeking their Associate of Applied Science degrees in Welding Technology found great favor in the James F. Lincoln Foundation’s National Welding and Fabrication competition.

Assistant Professor of Welding Mark Prosser is in his fourth year with his department’s faculty and said the seven winners of gold, silver and bronze medals used their Welding Fabrication 2 projects as entries.

“The idea is to produce customer-driven or personal projects, which a student has to take from conception to production, demonstrating their learning of all appropriate elements like specifications, the details of their work to create the item and other pertinent information,” Prosser said. “Once our student entries are submitted and published, everything is available for someone with the skills and equipment to duplicate those items.”

Zachary Gildner, of Cheboygan, and Noah Grey, of Climax, were gold medal winners. Jacob Gomola, of Midland, and Jonah Ottenbreit, of Trenton, earned silver medals. Taking home bronze medals for their entries were Avery Bury, of Cheboygan; Carson Shorkey; of Bay City; and Eric Smith, of Bay City. Prosser said these results stand strong in comparison to any collegiate Welding program in the country.

“I see this as an incredible demonstration of the learning our students gain in the AAS program, which many of them use as their foundation in Bachelor of Science studies in Welding Engineering Technology,” Prosser said. “There were more than 200 entries from 45 schools, and our medal winners succeeded in three different categories. The Lincoln Foundation’s representative told me that ‘we killed it’ with the entries offered this year.”

The James F. Lincoln Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization seeking to advance the field of arc welding through education. The students from Ferris winning medals received $250, $500 and $1,000, in the respective bronze, silver and gold categories. Prosser said the Cleveland, Ohio-based operation is a standard-bearer for the industry.

“They have published books on welding for more than 80 years,” Prosser said. “It is a great accomplishment for these students to gain recognition from them, as the parent company, Lincoln Electric, has manufactured welding and cutting equipment for more than a century.”