Campus News

The Society of Women Engineers empowers women to try their hand at welding

Women engineers met at the TEAM Lab to work on welding projects Tuesday evening. 

Women engineers met at the TEAM Lab to work on welding projects Tuesday evening. 

Image By: Will Cioci

The Society of Women Engineers held a welding seminar where women in the engineering college were able to come to the Technical Education and Manufacturing lab and make their own union chairs on Tuesday evening. 

Emily Theirri, a sophomore majoring in biological systems engineering, ran the seminar, stating that it helps “get women involved in some more technical education.” 

Although there are a plethora of welding seminars throughout the year, the majority of the women who attended Tuesday came because they felt much more comfortable in a setting that was female-dominated. 

Feeling more confident in an environment filled with like-minded individuals, the women learned to weld and use a laser cutter in order to make a replica of a union chair that they could take home. 

“It makes them feel more comfortable,” Theirri said. “Shops environments are generally more intimidating, especially for women, considering it's a male-dominated space.”  

Kalley Anderson, an industrial engineering student, said she feels more comfortable in the predominantly-female space because she is not judged. 

She said the seminar provides a good way to get involved in a more hands-on form of engineering.

“I wanted to learn to weld because in industrial engineering you don't really do anything hands-on,” said Anderson.  

Anderson said she was not given the same opportunities as the men who surrounded her growing up. Her grandfather was a skilled welder, yet she was not allowed in the shop when he was teaching her brother. 

“As a kid, my grandpa would teach my brother, but I didn't have that opportunity, so just learning a little bit of the basics, and getting myself out of my comfort zone at the seminar is fun,” said Anderson.  

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