The Welding Institute History
Formed on 26 January 1923, The Welding Institute has been providing support for engineering professionals for over 100 years.
Originally created as ‘The Institution of Welding Engineers,’ today’s Institute supports its Members across the fields of welding, joining and allied technologies as well as acting as a voice for industry, through the provision of authoritative guidance to bodies including the British Standards Institution, the Engineering Council and the UK government. Licensed by the Engineering Council, today’s Institute is able to assess its Professional Members to become professionally registered as Chartered Engineers (CEng), Incorporated Engineers (IEng) or Engineering Technicians (EngTech).
The original aims of The Institution of Welding Engineers were set down 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’.
In 1935, a merger with the British Advisory Welding Council saw the Institution become the Institute of Welding, expanding its focus 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’. It was at this time that membership was opened up to companies as well individuals, forming the basis of what would later become TWI Ltd.
The Institute of Welding was to expand its scope further in 1937 with the creation of The Welding Research Council at the same time being awarded a three-year grant by the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research awarding it a three-year grant to fund welding research. However, this lasted less than ten years before a 1946 decree barred institutions from also acting as research organisations. As a result, the British Welding Research Association (BWRA) was formed as a separate entity from the professional activities of The Institute of Welding.
In 1948, a Grant of Arms was awarded to the Institute, depicting the making of a joint through heat alongside the Latin motto ‘out of two, one’.
By 1957, demand for courses teaching welding design and construction saw the Institute of Welding expand to deliver training on the welding of pressure vessels. Such was the popularity of this training that by the early 1960s the newly-created training school had hosted over 300 visiting lecturers.
In 1968, the Institute of Welding and the BWRA were reunited as one organisation as a ‘single voice for welding technology’ and, in March of that year, The Institute of Welding was renamed as The Welding Institute.
Since then, The Welding Institute has continued to serve and support a global network of Professional Members to ‘promote professionalism, and the advancement of knowledge, in welding, joining and allied technologies.’