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UCS seniors receive top honors at welding competition hosted by Ferris State University
UCS seniors receive top honors at welding competition hosted by Ferris State University
Posted on 05/12/2022
Pictures of two students with their awards, and their teachers

This may be the first time you have heard of a welding competition, but that is certainly not the case for Stevenson Manufacturing, Automation and Design Engineering (MADE) welding instructor, Kallan Kriewall.

“In welding there are multiple categories that everyone studies: Oxygen Acetylene Welding, Gas Tungsten Arc Welding, Shielded Metal Arc Welding and Gas Metal Arc Welding, in addition to Combined Process Fabrication,” Kriewall explained.

At the Ferris State competition, all of these categories were showcased, however each of the 30 schools who joined the competition could only bring five students.

“It’s actually an honor to go to the competition, even if you don’t place,” said Kriewall.

Nonetheless, two of the five Stevenson MADE competitors did place in their division:

-Wes Melitz took third place in the Oxygen Acetylene Welding (OAW) division.

-Kayli Nguyen won her Gas Tungsten Arc Welding division

Nguyen, the first female to win her category in the 18 years the competition has been held, was shocked to find out she had won.

“It was emotional for me because it showed me that all my work paid off,” Nguyen said. “I cried a little bit… It was crazy.”

Although Nguyen will be pursuing veterinarian anesthesiology next year at Michigan State University, she still plans to spend time doing what she loves by looking for a welding job in East Lansing, Mich.

“This competition solidified that I’m actually good at what I do,” said Nguyen.

“Competitions like this one are important not only to build your skillsets, but also to build a reputation for yourself,” Melitz said. “The more you compete, the more you can put on your resume to then prepare yourself for jobs later on.”

Melitz explained that the MADE program has provided a big foothold for him as he is currently in talks with four companies about joining them as a welder.