As a water hose began filling a gigantic pressure vessel in the welding and fabrication lab at Clark College, this was the moment of truth.
Wielding small flashlights, the 11 students who had spent 700 hours building the vessel inspected their handiwork for leaks. Would the tank hold water? How many leaks would it spring?
Winter quarter was the first time Clark’s welding program had offered the advanced process class requiring such a complex project. The class — and the entire program — was redesigned by Caleb White, who heads Clark’s welding and fabrication technology department and also teaches the class.
Formerly, the program focused on welding. Now, students still weld extensively, but they also learn fabrication. That includes layout, reading blueprints and more, White said. The revamped program prepares students for real-world jobs.
White added new equipment including a press brake and computer numerically controlled plasma-cutting machine, which can create any shape designed on a computer-aided engineering program. He noted the equipment is standard in fabrication shops.