John F. Hinrichs Memorial Scholarship

John F. Hinrichs Memorial Scholarship

John F. Hinrichs Scholarship Background

John F. Hinrichs was an Engineers’ Engineer while at the same time being an outstanding leader and manager for over 55 years. Highlights of his career include:

  • 42 years at AO Smith Corporation developing new technology and leading a large staff of engineers and technicians in the Research & Development Welding and Automation Lab.
  • Holder of 15 U. S. and 3 international patents related to processes including electron beam welding, friction stir welding as well as general advanced robotic welding techniques.
  • BS Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Marquette University and a Masters in Metallurgical Engineering from University of Wisconsin – Madison.
  • Active member of six different technical societies including the American Welding Society where he served in many  local and national positions. In the 1980’s John started the AWS D16 Committee for Robotic and Automatic Welding and became the first recipient of the Excellence in Robotics Arc Welding Award in 2004 and was also named an AWS Fellow.
  • First American to receive the prestigious Golden Robot Award in 1989.
  • Started the National Robotic Arc Welding Conference in 1989 to spread the knowledge of advanced welding automation to the next generation of management, engineers and technicians. It has grown to be the largest conference of its kind in North America.

While all of these technical achievements are noteworthy, John perhaps left his greatest mark on the world by mentoring and empowering hundreds of people who are continuing to carry on his legacy. John believed strongly that “people make the difference”. He was a huge proponent of education and training as key components in making any technology, person or company successful. “Where do you want to be in five years?” That is the question he would propose to the new generation in an effort to open their minds to possibilities and encourage them to reach their goals. This AWS scholarship in John’s name will keep his dream alive.

This scholarship is made possible through the National Robotic Arc Welding Conference, the AWS Milwaukee Section, the D 16 Committee, and the many friends and colleagues of John F. Hinrichs who wish to continue his legacy.

For more information about this scholarship, please visit the section website.


This scholarship is for a student in high school, tech college, or other school in welding or engineering related program. The student may be full or part time, but must exhibit a financial need to qualify. Applicant is also expected to write an essay on a specific topic as noted in the application. For more information about this scholarship, please visit the section website.


This scholarship is available nationwide, however, selection will be made by members of the AWS Milwaukee Section.

Scholarship Application


Deadline for application is March 1st, for the following fall term.