The Engineering Technology Division of Chattanooga State Community College in partnership with Weld-Ed, a National Science Foundation funded welding education program, hosted a professional development workshop focusing on Welding Metallurgy that featured instructor Mark Baugh, from Weber State Community College in Ogden, Utah. The workshop was held June 10-14 at the Center for Advanced Technologies on Chattanooga State’s main campus. Enrollment was limited to twenty.
Participants, who were high school and college educators in the welding technology area, came from places all around the country including Maine, Wisconsin, Arizona, and different areas of Tennessee.
Participants attended in-class lectures as well as a variety of hands-on laboratories and tours. Lectures, which were held in one of the Engineering Technology Division’s state of the art classrooms, consisted not only of informational presentations, but also detailed instruction on how to deliver welding metallurgy materials in a way that better connected with students. Attendees also received copies of all classroom materials for implementation into their programs. The hands-on laboratory sessions were carried out in both the Engineering Technology metallurgy laboratory and the Tennessee Technology Center’s (TTC) welding laboratory. The metallurgy labs worked with metallographic sample preparation, steel heat treatments, material structures, and materials identification. All metallurgy labs were designed to enhance participant exposure, and be transferable to their own welding program. The welding labs were conducted in cooperation with the TTC and consisted of participants manufacturing welded steel and aluminum coupons that were then examined using the techniques that were taught in the lecture portion of the training.
Additionally, participants were treated to tours of the Wacker Institute at Chattanooga State, the Tennessee Valley Railway Museum’s (TVRM) Soule repair shop, and the Volkswagen Academy. The Wacker Institute was highlighted to show the participants the chemical manufacturing process and state of the art training facilities that are available on campus. Attendees toured the TVRM Soule repair shop while Chattanooga State Non-Destructive Testing students were inspecting a steam engine boiler. They were also able to see the inspection, fabrication areas, blacksmithing shop, and train turn table. Finally, during the tour of the Volkswagen Academy, participants saw the in-depth and high-tech training required to work for Volkswagen. They were even able to make the necessary connections with Volkswagen to obtain donations for their own educational programs.
Each participant earned 40 hours of professional development credit for attending the course. In addition, they received a welding jacket, class T-shirt, and all of the classroom-ready training materials. According to Tim Holder, welding instructor from the TTC in Shelbyville, TN, “Weld-Ed is a great opportunity for welding instructors across the United States to network, share experiences in training, and add Weld-Ed information to the student’s curriculum, so we can train highly skilled welders. The professional Weld-Ed instructors were very informative and committed to improving the welding trade.”
Chattanooga State’s partnership with Weld-Ed provided a state of the art course that provided valuable information to educators to enhance welding knowledge and practices for their students. In the fall, Chattanooga State will start a new program of study focused on the more technical aspects of welding, an AAS degree in engineering systems technology with a concentration in welding engineering technology. Upon completion of this degree, students will be prepared for careers in the high-growth welding industry.