By Antwaun Parrish
USACE-Far East District Public Affairs
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea – Masked faced onlookers peeped through their blacked out protective viewers, as sparks flew across a table and the smell of burning metal filled the room. The onlookers were a part of a week-long welding course watching their instructor demonstrate proper welding techniques at the Far East District welding quality verification course March 13-17, 2017.
The course teaches the participant how to interpret the various methods and techniques employed in weldments and assuring the quality of welds and is available for engineers and of course welders.
Christopher Manley, a structural engineer and a course instructor from the Portland District, describes the course as a key component to quality control.
“It provides the class a method of how to provide QAQC [quality assurance quality control], understand welding processes, the welding quality verification, how welding is done, and what they need to look for in vertical construction,” said Manley.
Although the course is focused on welding, Manley feels that the course is necessary for engineers to attend.
“It’s [welding] abstract to the engineers, said Manley. “It [the course] allows the engineers to come into the classroom setting, learn about how it’s done, how its fabricated, what to look for and a good understanding of what the contractors are going to be doing.”
Manley does make it a point to mention that welders should attend the course, even though it’s their trade. He stated that a lot of the welders know the trade but don’t understand why there are so many rules. He also stated that the course gives them an understanding of why we have all of these strict rules, and why we must assume QAQC roles.
John Pariseau, a welding and metallurgy training canter of expertise quality assurance team lead, was also instructing the course. Pariseau has worked as an instructor for the corps since 2012. He believes that this course sheds light on detailed issues that can be prevented if the QAQC is more knowledgeable and knows what faults can occur.
“Steel is unlike other welding materials, once it fractures it can cause catastrophic failures,” said Pariseau. “Welding is an individual effort. Each weld is created custom by an individual welder. That’s great for the welder but it causes a large range of defects that can occur because it’s so customized. So being well educated in the steel and welding world is important for the safety of our buildings.”
The course ends March 17, however, Pariseau feels that the sharing of knowledge goes beyond the course date.
“We’re hoping to give them [the participants] enough knowledge so if they happen to see something wrong they have enough resources in the welding and metal center of expertise, said Pariseau. “It’s very easy to take a photo of something and email us to ask our opinion. We’re here to serve the corps as a whole, so it helps everybody else get the project done safely and securely.”