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Professor in Welding Technology, Paul Kah, came to Europe from Cameroon in 2005, to get a second master’s degree. He knew that he wanted an education that would make it easy for him to find a job, back in Africa or in Europe. So, he went to Finland to study a master’s programme welding technology.

“When choosing to study welding, I knew that I easily could pick up a job after graduating” says Professor Kah.

For Professor Kah, being able to share his knowledge was a huge motivation.

“I wanted to be able to help developing counties” he explains. “I used to see damaged welded structures in multiple occasion. You could always see that structures had been welded and that they had fractured in the joints. So, this was always in the back of my mind.”

You see, welding technology is not only about actual welding, like the name implies, it also entails materials science and quality inspection. Two very important parts of the field of study.

Developing a unique programme, with double qualifications

Having seen the welded broken structures and the needs of the industry, Professor Kah have now created an entirely new programme – in welding technology.

“The program itself aims to contribute to the continuous development in industry and industrial competence. To ensure a better control of welding processes and material science and to improve quality, production time, productivity, and innovation” Professor Kah explains.

And in no other university can you find a programme like this.

“After graduating the students gets both a master’s degree and an International Welding Engineer certificate” Professor Kah explains. “It becomes quite unique because you get a Master of Science and a technology certificate. In other programmes the students will get either or, but nowhere else can you get both.”

This combination of a master’s degree and a technology certificate makes it possible for the students to continue their studies after graduation, but it also gives them an advantage when applying for jobs within the field of welding. You see, most companies require an International Welding Engineer certificate in addition to a master’s degree.

“Programmes that don’t have these double qualifications often require students to take a separate course to get this International Welding Engineer certificate – which is quite expensive” Professor Kah explains. “So, this programme reduces the students’ costs for their studies.”

A great demand for knowledge in welding technology

There is a great demand for engineers with production technology expertise and specialised knowledge in welding technology. Many companies have expressed great interest in this new programme.

Companies, such as GKN Aerospace, SAAB Aeronautics, Scania and Volvo, has been involved in building up the programme. In that way, these companies have been able to express their needs in order to help create a relevant programme syllabus.
“It was quite important that, before we start up this programme, we actually let companies comment on the content. So, that they are satisfied” says Professor Kah. “This gives our students the guarantee that, after graduation, they can be integrated in companies without any problems.”

And since the programme is fully taught in English, it calls for international collaboration with other companies as well.

This close collaboration with industry and international focus makes the programme special and the students highly sought after. And, when finishing this programme they can go directly to work in a variety of fields.

“The students can get work at any companies that deal with steel structures” says Professor Kah. “Vehicles, construction, offshore structures, steel piping transporting gas or oil, shipbuilding companies, aerospace industry.”

The list goes on.

Broad knowledge and practical experience

As mentioned above – welding technology is not only about the actual welding. It’s a much broader field of study than the name implies. Materials science, quality control, design of steel structures and additive manufacturing processes are some examples of subjects included in the new programme.

The broad spectrum of subjects is combined with a lot of practical elements.

“The practical elements are one of the most important parts of the entire programme” Professor Kah explains. “Most engineers want to have hands on experience in welding. So, we have incorporated a lot of practical elements to help the students to get actual knowledge of how it is to weld.”

A lot of the education is carried out at the Production Technology Center (PTC) where students work closely with researchers and companies. Students also get to meet companies during courses, and they get the chance to go to these companies for internships and to carry out their thesis work in collaboration with them.

“This gives the students the guarantee that after graduation they can be integrated in companies without any problems” Professor Paul Kah concludes.