Welding and joining processes are used to fabricate almost all manufactured products. The recent development of new automated manufacturing methods has made welding more important than ever before. The courses in this specialization are intended to prepare students to work in all areas related to welding and joining, including welding and joining processes (including robotic welding), welding metallurgy, and welding design and fabrication and quality control. The specialization is the only one of its type in Canada and compares well with programs in Europe and the US. Students who select a defined set of courses in the Welding and Joining Specialization are awarded a Certificate of completion of the Welding and Joining Specialization.

The courses in this specialization are intended to prepare Mechanical Engineering students to work in all areas related to welding and joining, including welding and joining processes (including robotic welding), welding metallurgy, and welding design and fabrication and quality control.

Registration for the Welding and Joining Specialization

To enroll in this specialization, complete a Plan Modification form and submit it to the MME Academic Advisor (mechadvisor@uwaterloo.ca) before your 4A term.

The specialization includes the following 5 courses with one optional course:

  • ME 435 - Industrial Metallurgy
  • ME 436 - Welding and Joining Processes
  • ME 526 - Fatigue and Fracture Analysis
  • ME 535 - Welding Metallurgy
  • ME 538 - Welding Design, Fabrication and Quality Control

Optional:

  • ME  547 - Robotics Manipulators: Kinematics, Dynamics, Control

The specialization is the only one of its type in Canada and compares well with programs in Europe and the US. Students who select a defined set of 4th-year technical elective courses in the Welding and Joining Specialization are awarded a Certificate of completion of the Welding and Joining Specialization.

The first graduates of the Welding & Joining Specialization convocated in May 1999. Since then, more than 200 students have followed. Most now have welding & joining-related jobs, or remain to do postgraduate degrees on welding and joining research.

Please note:

  • Only students registered in the Welding and Joining Specialization will be eligible to apply for the Canadian Welding Board Scholarships, valued at $5000 each. From 2018, a second annual $5000 award is being offered to the top female in this specialization.
  • ME 436 is capped at 28 students and that first priority will be given to those registered in the Welding & Joining Specialization. Therefore, you may wish to register before your 1st QUEST appointment time for selecting your 4A technical elective courses.

For more information, please contact the Welding and Joining Specialization Coordinator, Professor Elliot Biro

The Need

Welding and joining is an important aspect in almost all manufactured products - from custom products such as pressure vessels, aircraft, ships and medical devices to high volume products such as automotive parts, appliances, food packaging and micro-electronics. As new products, manufacturing methods and materials are developed, suitable welding and joining processes and procedures must be adopted. Welding design, new welding specifications, process development and trouble-shooting are generally undertaken by Welding Engineers.

welding

​Figure 1 (above, on right): An 8-axis robotic Gas Metal Arc Welding system for real-time, closed-loop control of the welding torch trajectory and weldment positioning table.

In most industrialized countries, the need for qualified Welding Engineers has led to university programs in Welding Engineering. For example, the European Union has developed a post-graduate curriculum for a “European Welding Engineer (EWE)”. This program includes over 390 hours of instruction and 60 hours of hands-on experience in a wide range of topics related to welding. The International Institute of Welding (IIW) has adopted the European Welding Engineering program. An International Welding Engineer (IWE) must now certify most welded products made in European countries, especially if the welded product is to be exported for sale in other European countries and other countries around the world. Thus, there is a need to train and certify IWEs in all countries that produce and export welded products including Canada.

In a survey of the Canadian welding industry, it was found that there is currently an unfilled need for between 10 and 20 qualified Welding Engineers per year in Canada. This shortage will be further exacerbated with the new requirements for IWEs. Currently, the main demand for Welding Engineers appears to be at the Bachelors Degree level.

In the manufacturing sector, a Welding Engineer should be knowledgeable in machine design and manufacturing methods, as well as materials, heat transfer, electricity and controls, all of which are core courses in the Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Degree program at the University of Waterloo. Building on these and other core courses, the Welding & Joining Specialization offers a set of specialized courses to train students in advanced knowledge related to welding and joining processes. Through the Welding & Joining Specialization, UW has been providing B.A.Sc level Mechanical Engineers to the Canadian welding & joining industry.