Four months ago, I arrived fresh from the OSU Mechanical Engineering program to begin my first job as one of EWI’s design engineers. I am grateful to have initiated my career with such an innovative, technically advanced organization. In the short time since joining their design & advanced automation team, EWI has exposed me to more concepts, technology, and joining processes than in any semester at OSU. If you ask any M.E. student what welding involves, they will talk about a guy wearing a mask, gloves, and wielding a hand held torch. If you were to ask me that same question now, I would respond with, “Which type of welding are we talking about?”
EWI has expanded my understanding of what it takes to fuse two materials. Three months ago, I could not tell you what resistance, ultrasonic, or stir welding was, let alone if they were science fiction. Now, not only can I tell you what they are, but can explain how they work and their best applications. Nowhere else will you see such large welding machines performing such a variety of high tech joining processes. Yet if you walk down the hall to the micro-joining lab, you will find the other side of the scale: engineers welding pieces under a microscope. From laser welding to ultrasonic additive manufacturing, there is very little EWI cannot join, design, investigate, or determine for its clients. It does not stop at the process end either. EWI consults and conceptualizes manufacturing schemes for these processes. I have learned much about the material science involved in these welding processes; mostly while determining the necessary metal from which to machine my tool designs. Before, I never would have imagined there were so many different types of copper alloy, let alone that machinable ceramics even exist.
As a designer, I am not typically involved in the actual welding processes. I owe this great influx of knowledge to all of the approachable experts EWI employs. Every employee I have worked with has taken the time to answer my questions and explain any issue I do not understand. I am impressed with how EWI clearly lives up to its core value of fostering a learning culture.