Welcome to the NEW American Welding Online

The American Welding Society would like to welcome you to the new American Welding Online website and the AWO Blog. Over the last several months AWS has been working diligently to develop the AWO website, along with new educational programs, content, and services. In this first post I will take a few moments to point out some of the new website’s features and thank those individuals who made this possible.

New Website

Those of you who have visited American Welding Online before will notice a significant upgrade in the look and functionality of the. These improvements have been in the works for several months and have become necessary as the use of American Welding Online has grown, both to accommodate increasing traffic to the website and to allow AWS to continuously release new content, including complimentary programs, training, blogs, and podcasts.

Follow AWO on Facebook

The new AWO Facebook page will keep you better connected with industry professionals, AWS members, and users of AWO. AWS staff will post information about new and existing AWS online programs, the release of new content, general AWS information, and AWO promotions. Please take a moment to follow us on Facebook by selecting the “Like” button on the AWO homepage.

American Welding Online Blog

The AWO Blog is an opportunity for AWS staff to share their knowledge and experience in technical education, best practices, and new developments, and connect with the welding instructors, students, and professionals who make the industry sustainable.

American Welding Online Podcasts

Upon the launch of our new site, American Welding Online will be hosting a regular Podcast focused on welding research and development. This Podcast line is comprised of presentations delivered at the FABTECH AWS Professional Program. These presentations strive to make the latest scientific research in welding, cutting, and allied fields accessible to everyone, everywhere, at any time. In the near future, AWS will begin production on separate Podcast lines focused on welding education and development.

2011 Education Annual Program

Every year, the AWS Education Committee and the AWS Education Services Department host the Education Annual Program at the FABTECH Exposition. AWS captured last year’s program, held in Chicago, IL from November 15th through November 17th, and posted it on AWO. Please visit the “2011 Education annual Program” page in the Conferences section of the website to view the presentations.

Special Thanks

American Welding Online and much of the new content would not have been possible were it not for the hard work and dedication of many individuals. I’d like to take a moment and thank a few of those individuals personally. First and foremost, American Welding Online would not have been possible without the leadership and vision of AWS Executive Director Ray Shook, AWS President Bill Rice, and the AWS Board of Directors.

Many volunteers have dedicated countless hours working with the Education Services Department to develop some of the new products and content that will be hosted through AWO. While it would be impossible to list them all here I would like to single out a few individuals and groups: Ed Norman and the AWS Education Committee have been a constant source of support and guidance. The SENSE Online program would not be possible were it not for their enthusiasm and devotion. I can confidently say that American Welding Online as a concept would have never been possible without Bob Wiswesser, Stan Raymond, George Hilfka, Jeff Hufsey, and the rest of the AWS Certification Committee.

There were many people outside of AWS which contributed significantly to making the new website and content possible. I would like to thank Jessica Santa-Cruz from Softshell Design (softshelldesign.com) who designed and built the new website, Mike Heins and Josh Lavin from Perusion Consulting (perusion.com) who developed most of our back end architecture and database functions, and Leo J. Williams who does all of our audio narrations.

Finally, I want to thank the whole Education Services Department for their dedication and relentless effort to make this all possible: Juan Gil (lead developer), Carlos Plaza (writer and editor), Javier Sosa (Video/audio), Vanessa Vazquez (a little bit of everything), Martica Venture (Director of Education Operations), Nichole Bradley (SENSE), Alina Blanco (seminar operations), and Zoila Oliva (conferences). I would also like to thank the rest of the AWS staff who have all contributed in one way or another to make this all possible, especially the IT professionals who are probably sick of seeing me show up at their door: Jim Lankford, Natalia Swain, Armando Campana, and Jairo Mayorga.

David Hernandez