Barbara and Richard Couch Hypertherm Scholarship

Barbara and Richard Couch Hypertherm Scholarship

Richard Couch founded Hypertherm, Inc in Hanover, NH in 1968. Barbara Couch joined him at Hypertherm in 1987 and together they have since built a global market leading company known as much for its engineering innovations as for its “Best Place to Work” culture. Barbara and Dick Couch have always been guided by their values of focusing on developing their Associates, sharing rewards across the company, and creating company growth not for growth’s sake but for more opportunity for the Associates at Hypertherm. These values motivated their partial transition for Hypertherm to an ESOP in 2001 and to a 100% ESOP in 2014. They wanted all Associates to be beneficiaries of the growth they were all building together.

Barbara and Dick Couch’s personal values are deeply entrenched in Hypertherm’s corporate mission, which includes an equal focus on promoting the well-being and development of their Associates. They see education as a key way to unlock development potential and open doors to earned opportunity. Both Barbara and Dick have worked tirelessly at Hypertherm and serving on local, regional, and national committees to further education opportunities for all. It is most fitting that there is a Barbara and Richard Couch Hypertherm Scholarship available to support a path forward, first and foremost to the children of current Hypertherm Associates and to any student seeking a fulfilling career in engineering and technical fields.


The Barbara and Richard Couch Hypertherm Scholarship will be awarded to a student pursuing a two or four-year degree in an engineering or technical major in the welding or cutting fields (i.e., applicable areas of mechanical, software, process, electrical engineering). Priority will be given to the daughters and sons of current Hypertherm Associates.

  • Applicant may either be currently enrolled in their final year of high school or equivalent program or must have a minimum high school diploma or equivalent.
  • Applicant must have a minimum overall 2.8 grade point average (or the equivalent).
  • Proof of financial need is not required to qualify, but priority will be given to those students who exhibit a financial need.
  • Applicants may reapply; persons who have received this award may reapply and upon re-application may be granted the award for a maximum of 4 years for a 4 year program or 2 years for a 2 year program.
  • If the Applicant is a child of a current Hypertherm Associate they may be a citizen of any country and plan to attend an academic institution located in any country. Otherwise an Applicant must be a citizen of the United States and plan to attend an academic institution located within the Unites States.

Applicant does not have to be a member of the American Welding Society. The AWS Foundation does not discriminate by age, race, color, national origin, disability, creed, or gender.


The recipients will be chosen by a Selection Committee comprised of at least five (5) members from the AWS Education Scholarship Committee.


Two (2) $2,500 scholarship awards will be made annually to students pursuing a welding engineering, or related engineering or science bachelors degree, associates degree, or technical degree. Priority will be given to children of current Hypertherm Associates and to those exhibiting a financial need. If no Hypertherm Associates' children apply or meet the requirements, awards will be made to general students who meet the criteria noted above.

No awards will be paid to the recipient. All awards are for tuition and fees only, and will be paid directly to the academic institution by the AWS Foundation.

Scholarship Application