History of The Welding Institute

History of The Welding Institute

History of The Welding Institute
The Welding Institute

Evolution of an Institute

At the heart of the profession since 1923

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The Welding Institute was formed in London on 5 February 1923, and has undergone many transformations in its long history.  The Welding Institute is now currently located in Granta Park, Cambridge, and has networks all over the world.

  • The Institution of Welding Engineers founded to ‘advance and develop the science and practice of welding; to arrange for the reading of papers and lectures; to draw up regulations and recommendations for the guidance of the welding industry; to establish branches and acquire libraries; to promote legislation and establish welding schools; and generally to take steps that may appear desirable to develop the science of welding in all its branches’.

  • A merger with the British Advisory Welding Council sees the Institution become the Institute of Welding. The amalgamation would enable the new Institute to ‘undertake a wider and more comprehensive programme of work, and to meet the pressing demands of all branches of engineering for guidance in welding matters’.

    The wider scope of the new organisation saw membership opened up to companies as well as individuals in order to support the development of research activities, introducing the concept of Industrial Membership.

  • The Welding Research Council of the Institute of Welding formed to provide ‘status and recognition for the valuable work of the research committees and the standing of their personnel’.

    The Institute’s standing as a research organisation was further recognised in 1937 with the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research awarding it a three-year grant to fund welding research.

  • British Welding Research Association (BWRA) formed, separating research arm from professional activities of The Institute of Welding.

    The BWRA bought Abington Hall, Cambridge, UK, for £3850. The first welding shop was established in stables adjoining the house, and fatigue research started under Dr Richard Weck in what was a former army hut. BWRA also owned 29 Park Crescent, London, which it converted into a metallurgical laboratory.

  • A Grant of Arms is awarded to the Institute in its silver jubilee year. The coat of arms depicts the making of a joint by means of heat with the Latin motto ‘out of two, one’.

  • School of Welding Technology established by the Institute of Welding in response to overwhelming demand for courses on welding design and construction. Almost 100 applications were made for the 40 places on its first course on welding pressure vessels, and by the early 1960s the school had hosted more than 300 visiting lecturers.

  • School of Applied Non-Destructive Testing opened by BWRA in collaboration with the Non-Destructive Testing Society of Great Britain. The school pioneered formal training in subjects including ultrasonic weld testing and radiographic interpretation.

    The following year the two organisations would work together to begin preparing requirements for certification of personnel, laying the foundations for what would become CSWIP, the Certification Scheme for Welding and Inspection Personnel.

  • Establishment of The Welding Institute, formed by the merger of the Institute of Welding and BWRA, recognising that their complementary activities would serve industry better as ‘a single voice for welding technology’.