OGDEN, Utah – A welding engineering technology professor who recently relocated to Weber State University has received a regional award from the American Welding Society (AWS) for his work in bringing the program to Ogden.
Professor Mark Baugh taught welding engineering technology for 12 years at Utah State University before that institution phased out the program.
After learning of the program's fate, a group of USU students from the local chapter of the AWS approached WSU's Warren Hill, dean of the College of Applied Science & Technology, about bringing the program to Ogden.
"We saw this as a tremendous opportunity to keep a vital resource in the state of Utah that also offered a nice complement to our existing degree programs," said Hill.
Working with the Board of Regents, Hill and other WSU faculty were able to add welding engineering technology as an area of emphasis to WSU's Manufacturing Engineering Technology degree program.
Baugh was instrumental in helping with the move and was hired at WSU, which began offering welding engineering technology classes in fall 2004. There are 25 students pursuing degrees in the program, one of only four in the nation to offer a bachelor's degree in welding engineering technology and the only one located west of Texas.
According to Baugh, the welding field is growing more and more complicated due to technological advances that include lasers and robotics. Baugh says welding engineering technology graduates are in high demand from "building bridges to spacecraft." Some of his former students have gone to work for NASA, Boeing, ATK Thiokol and Autoliv. The program has earned a national reputation for producing quality welding engineers.
"I have one employer from a naval shipyard in Maine who insists that when he needs a welding engineer, he heads straight for Utah," Baugh said.
In addition to educating students, the program serves as the regional training facility for Miller Electric, one of the nation's primary suppliers of welding equipment. Baugh says one of the challenges in relocating was figuring out how to move half a million dollars worth of state of the art equipment to WSU.
Baugh says he is flattered to be recognized by the American Welding Society, but the successful relocation reflects the hard work and energy of many people who helped make it a reality.
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