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Elizabeth A Robinson
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Aiken Technical College Ranks Second Overall at State Welding Competition

2015 ATC Welding Competition Winner

Photo: Aiken Technical College welding major Gabriel Uvalle (right) is congratulated by Tri-County Welding Instructor Scott Brabham after winning first place in Category III – Structural Plate Welding at the 33rd annual Welding Skills Competition hosted at Tri-County Technical College.


(May 27, 2015, Aiken, SC) Forty-seven students from ten technical colleges across the state of South Carolina put their welding skills to the test last month in the S.C. Technical College System’s 33rd annual Welding Skills Competition at Tri-County Technical College.

The Welding Skills Competition is open to all 16 technical colleges in the state and tests students’ skills in six categories: three in pipe welding and three in structural welding categories. Each college may enter one student per category, and they have three hours to complete their given challenge. Six ATC students competed: Michael Atkins, Sharaz Hanif, Aaron Judge, Sheldon Poole, Gabriel Uvaille and Joel Wightman.

Three walked away victorious. Gabriel Uvaille received first place in Category III – Structural Plate Welding; Sharaz Hanif won second place in Category II – Structural Welding Carbon Steel T-Joint; and, Michael Atkins received second place in Category I – Structural Welding Carbon Steel and Aluminum.

“I practiced from 8 in the morning to 5 at night to get ready for the competition,” said ATC welding major Gabriel Uvaille. “All that hard work paid off!”

In addition to receiving the first-place award in his category, Uvaille was also awarded with a Lincoln Electric MTG Welding Machine as the first-place prize. Uvaille is a second-year student in the Associate of Applied Science General Technology program for welding and a two-time recipient of Department of Energy welding scholarship through the ATC Foundation.

In order to qualify to compete at the state competition, ATC students are administered the official certification test in their chosen category. Those who perform top of their groups then move on to the state competition.

“Our students have a great opportunity to be recognized for their skills and efforts,” said ATC Welding Instructor Gregg Witt. “This competition really validates what we do in terms of the curriculum and the program as a whole.”

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