We Move Welding Forward

We Move Welding Forward

Founded in 1919, the American Welding Society is a nonprofit organization with a global mission: to advance the science, technology, and application of welding and allied joining and cutting processes worldwide, including brazing, soldering, and thermal spraying.

By fostering knowledge, embracing change, and providing real-world opportunities through scholarships, fellowships, and workforce development, AWS provides the tools to help members succeed—and to inspire future generations of welding professionals.

The AWS Foundation

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The AWS Foundation

Supporting The Welding Community

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The AWS Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the American Welding Society. The Foundation ensures the growth of the industry through career programs, scholarships, and grants to institutions that offer welding education and training.

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Get Involved


Get Involved


There are lots of ways for members to get involved with the American Welding Society: Member Network, Sections, Student Chapters, and more.


AWS Governance


AWS Governance


Our leaders have in-depth knowledge to support experienced welders, prospective students, and independent welding shop owners. AWS Members can also nominate candidates for president, vice president, and director-at-large; you can also have a say in our standards by joining a technical committee. See the details below.


AWS Leadership / Governance

  • Officers
  • Directors at Large
  • District Directors
  • Future Leaders
  • Past Presidents
  • Volunteer Directory

On behalf of the entire AWS organization, welcome! We hope you’ll take a few moments to learn more about each of us and how we’re working as a united team to help you reach your goals successfully.

  • You may be an experienced welder or a prospective student exploring a possible welding career
  • You may be an equipment or manufacturing company president or independent welding shop owner
  • Or perhaps you’re educating our next welding generation

Regardless of your personal connection to welding, you all have an important stake in seeing our industry continue to grow and thrive.

Our AWS officers have the in-depth knowledge to support your efforts. Each office has decades of leadership experience representing every facet of our industry. From senior level engineering and certified inspector rolls, to spearheading standards committees, to running successful manufacturing, equipment and other welding-related businesses, AWS officers have the background to support your goals.

We hope you’ll get to know all of us better and continue to partner with us in our mission: to advance the science, technology and people of welding for ourselves and the next generation.

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Michael A. Krupnicki

President, AWS

Executive Director
Rochester Arc + Flame Center

Michael Krupnicki was elected to serve as President. He is the owner of the Rochester Arc + Flame Center, a private welding, smithing, and glass arts school. He was previously involved with Mahany Welding Supply for 37 years. An AWS Life Member, his more than 35-year involvement includes supervising Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) exams and serving as District 6 Director. He also served as Chair and Treasurer of the Rochester Section..


Richard Holdren

Vice President, AWS

ARC Specialties Technical Services / Welding Consultants LLC

Richard L. Holdren was elected to serve as Vice President. He is Senior Welding Engineer of ARC Specialties Technical Services and Principal Welding Engineer of Welding Consultants LLC. With nearly 50 years experience in welding engineering and nondestructive examination, he has served more than 40 years as member and/or chair of numerous AWS certification, education, and technical committees. He is also an AWS Life Member.


Dr. D. Joshua Burgess

Vice President, AWS

Sr. Program Manager - Metallurgical & Welding
Tennessee Valley Authority

Dr. D. Joshua Burgess was elected to serve as Vice President, is the senior program manager of metallurgy and welding at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Throughout his 20-year membership with AWS, he has served the Society in many different capacities at the board, Section, and committee levels. This includes serving as chair of the Northeast Tennessee Section in 2013 and Dist. 8 director from 2013 to 2019.


Kerry E. Shatell

Vice President, AWS

Senior Welding Engineer - Retired
Kerry E. Shatell was elected to serve as vice president and is retired from Pacific Gas & Electric Co., where he worked as a senior welding engineer for 16 years. A 26-year member of AWS, he has served the Society in multiple capacities, including director-at-large; chair of the CWI Lifetime Achievement Award Committee; Dist. 22 director for six years; and chair, vice chair, treasurer, newsletter editor, and executive board member of the Sacramento Valley Section. He is also an AWS CWI and CWEng.

Mary Bihrle

Treasurer, AWS

Mary Bihrle was elected to serve as Treasurer. She is retired from Hypertherm Inc., where she worked as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer from 2013 to 2018. Prior to that, she worked as the company’s director of global finance from 2010 to 2013 and the director of internal controls from 2009 to 2013. Bihrle has been an AWS volunteer for more than five years, serving on the Finance, Audit, and Investment Committees.


William F. Newell

Co-owner, Vice President of Engineering Euroweld, Ltd.


Nicholas Peterson

Welding Engineer/Curriculum Developer for Miller Electric Mfg.


Sayee Raghunathan

Engineering Specialist Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia


Hannah Wolf

Instructor for Related Metals & Metal Fabrication


Lynn Showalter

Chief Welding Engineer Newport News Shipbuilding, Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries


Michael M. Skiles



Timothy C. Kinnaman | District Director 1

Welding Consultant / Inspector / Educator

TBD | District Director 2


Sean P. Moran | District Director 3

Lead Welding Engineer, General Dynamics-Electric Boat


Dr. Anver Classens | District Director 4

Welding Consultant, A. E. Classens & Associates


Daryl E. Peterson | District Director 5

Quality Manager Central Maintenance and Welding


Ronald H. Stahura | District Director 6

Marketing /Sales, ESAB Welding & Cutting Products


Roger Hilty | District Director 7

Co-owner, Hilty Sign & Fabrication Co.


James Thompson | District Director 8

Welding Educator, Wallace State Community College


Anthony Blakeney | District Director 9

Welding Educator


Thomas W. Kostreba | District Director 10

Welding Instructor, Erie High School

TBD | District Director 11


Dale Lange | District Director 12

Welding Instructor, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College


Ronald Ashelford | District Director 13

Welding Instructor and CWI, Rock Valley College


Travis Jumper | District Director 14

Associate Professor / Coordinator Weld Tech


Michael Hanson | District Director 15

Fabrication Weld & Maintenance Supervisor


Jeffrey Jones | District Director 16

Welding Coordinator, Evergy


Viji Kuruvilla | District Director 17


Thomas Holt | District Director 18


Boyce Towell | District Director 19


Denis Clark | District Director 20

DEClark Welding Engineering, PLLC


Jeffrey Davis | District Director 21


Randy Emery | District Director 22

Welding Educator, College of the Sequoias


Edward Peterson

2024 – 2026

Edward Peterson is a degreed Welding Engineer with a B.S. from LeTourneau University in Longview, TX, is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector (CWI), and is a past chair of the AWS Houston Section. He currently works for Laser Welding Solutions, LLC., a laser cladding and build-to-print job shop, as their Welding Engineer and Manager of Quality Control. Edward is involved in the development of the codes covering metal additive manufacturing as Vice Chair of the AWS D20 main committee and an active member of the AWS D20B and the API 20S subcommittees.


Jose (Joe) Ocasio

2024 – 2026

Jose (Joe) Ocasio is a high school welding teacher in the Syracuse Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. Jose was first exposed to welding in Puerto Rico through his upbringing. Learning from a young age the value of community involvement, Jose has actively supported community projects involving students and lower-income communities. Jose has helped design and develop curriculum for Local schools, colleges, and SCSD's first high school welding Lab. He is currently a CTE Welding Teacher at SCSD, Adjunct teacher at MVCC, Adjunct Professor at OCC, District 6 Deputy Director, Section 49 Chairman, and the attendee of the 2023 Leadership Symposium.


Neil Cox

2023 – 2025

Neil is a Welding Process Specialist for Airgas where he travels his region helping customers with weld process selection and optimization, as well as capital equipment purchasing and training. He earned an associate degree in Welding and Fabrication from Southwestern Oregon Community College and a bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering Technology from Ferris State University.


Jonathan Hiebl

2023 – 2025

Jonathan is a welding teacher at Chippewa Falls High School in Wisconsin who excels in developing strong, student centered, career and technical education (CTE) programs through community supported projects, business and industry partnerships, and specialized facilities and equipment. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UW-Stout in Technology Education while working as a welder and fitter in the sanitary process industry.


Brandy Killeen

2022 – 2024

Brandy is the Program Director and Welding Instructor at West Virginia Northern Community College. She is an AWS Certified Welding Inspector and earned an associate degree in Welding Technology from West Virginia Northern Community College.


Robert Watson

2022 – 2024

Robert is a Welding Engineer with the Weld Execution Team at General Motors Corporation in Warren, Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Welding Engineering Technology and an associate degree in Welding Technology from Ferris State University.


Dr. W. Richard Polanin

AWS President 2022

President, WRP Associates
CoPI The National Center for Welding Education and Training (Weld-Ed)

Dr. Richard Polanin was elected as President after serving three years as Vice President. He is a retired professor and program chair of the manufacturing engineering technology and welding technology programs at Illinois Central College, where he continues to teach. He is currently the co-principal investigator for Weld-Ed, chair of the AWS Peoria Section, vice chair of the International Institute of Welding Commission XIV, and president of WRP Associates. He is also involved in several AWS committees.

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Dr. Thomas J. Lienert

AWS President 2019

Mr. Lienert was elected to serve as president, was formerly a technical staff member and a R&D engineer 4 at Los Alamos National Laboratory for more than 16 years. He is also an active member and officer of several national-level committees, has served as chairman of the AWS New Mexico Section, and has been named an AWS Fellow.

See the Volunteer Directory here.

Note: To access the AWS Volunteer directory, you must be an AWS committee member.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I nominate candidates for President, Vice President, and Director-at-Large?

    AWS members who wish to nominate candidates for President, Vice President, and Director-at-Large on the AWS Board of Directors for the term starting Jan. 1, 2026, may either:

    1. Send their nominations electronically by August 30, 2024 to:
      Malisa Mercado at (mmercado@aws.org
      C/o Richard Polanin
      Chairman, National Nominating Committee


    1. Present their nominations in person at the open session of the National Nominating Committee meeting scheduled for 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, Tuesday, October 15, 2024, at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Florida during the 2024 FABTECH Show.

    Nominations must be accompanied by biographical material on each candidate, including a written statement by the candidate as to their willingness and ability to serve if nominated and elected, letters of support, plus a 5-by-7-inch head-and-shoulders color photograph.

    Note: Persons who present their nominations at the Show are responsible to provide 20 copies of the biographical materials and written statement.

  • Who are the past Future Leaders?

    Andrea Orr, Research Engineer, Ford Motor Company

    Gabrielle Bettengnies, Mechanical Design Engineer, System Technologies Inc.

    Mitchell Grams, PhD. Candidate at Canadian Centre for Welding and Joining, University of Alberta Victoria Shekastehband, Intern, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions.

  • Where can I find a list of Scholarship and Grant recipients?
    Check out the list of Scholarship and Grant recipients in the AWS Impact Report.

Work at AWS


Work at AWS


We’re committed to giving everyone the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow. Learn about open positions with our organization here.