2023 marks 100 years of The Welding Institute, formally registered in February 1923 as ‘The Institution of Welding Engineers’. This is a milestone for a professional engineering institution created to support the development of members in the fields of welding, joining and allied technologies.
The Institute now acts as a voice for industry, providing input to bodies such as the British Standards Institution (BSI), the Engineering Council and the UK Government. As one of the professional engineering institutions (PEIs) licensed by the Engineering Council, The Welding Institute offers routes to Chartered Engineer (CEng), Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and Engineering Technician (EngTech) for its members.
The Institution of Welding Engineers was created following a meeting of 20 engineers at the Holborn Restaurant, London, on 26 January 2023; the Institution united acetylene welders with those engaged in electric arc welding. With the aim of developing the science of welding, the Institution sought to create a network of branches to bring together professionals across the industry - over the next decade, it grew to 600 members. In 1935, the Institution merged with the British Advisory Welding Council to become ‘The Institute of Welding.’ The merger enabled a ‘wider and more comprehensive programme of work’ and also meant that companies (as well as individuals) could become members of the Institute.
In 1946, professional institutions were debarred from being able to also act as research institutions, which led to the creation of the British Welding Research Association (BWRA) as a separate entity to The Institute of Welding. However, in 1968 the two organisations were merged as a ‘single voice for welding technology’ and in March that year renamed as ‘The Welding Institute’.
Since the 1930s, members have had access to a library and this is a common thread from the Institution of those days through to The Welding Institute of 2023. Today, the Institute makes specialist knowledge available through its catalogue of around 4,000 books, 50,000 journal issues, 10,000 standards and 30,000 unpublished reports and this is a key benefit for members. The Welding Institute continues to serve its members and support their professional development, while promoting the welding profession to future generations of engineers.
For more information on the centenary, please visit The Welding Institute’s website.