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The Southern Arkansas University System has developed a Welding Engineering Technology that is one-of-a-kind in Arkansas, and one of only a few in the country.

“We hire locally as much as possible, and look forward to recruiting at SAU to fill positions as they become available.”

– Colin Sterling, Lockheed Martin

In development of this Welding Engineering Technology program, the SAU System found there to be a need for highly skilled welding supervisors to lead the welding and fabricating operations in advanced manufacturing industries and specifically the aerospace defense and oil and gas manufacturing industries of southern Arkansas.

“SAU and SAU Tech do an outstanding job in equipping students to meet local industry needs. Welding engineers are in great demand regionally, and certainly at Lockheed Martin’s Camden facility,” said Colin Sterling, director of Lockheed Martin Camden Operations. “We hire locally as much as possible, and look forward to recruiting at SAU to fill positions as they become available.”

Striving to avoid duplication in programs and removing transfer obstacles, SAU System administrators are proud to be implementing this integrated program that will utilize strengths of both SAU and SAU Tech.

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This new four-year program will provide hands-on instruction for various welding processes, metallurgy of welding, material selections for welding, maintenance of welding products, and automation of welding. The salary range for welding engineers varies between $53,846 and $104,358, with a median salary of $71,541, according to

“This is as excited I have been about a new academic program,” said SAU Tech Executive Vice Chancellor Robert Gunnels, who was part of the team at SAU Tech that created the SAU Tech Welding Academy.

“We feel confident this program will be a service to the region, industry, and those looking for good paying jobs,” said SAU Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Ben Johnson. “This will be a quality program that will propel students forward in their careers.”

Students will take the first two years of coursework at SAU Tech, including a year of general education courses and nine months of training at SAU Tech’s Welding Academy. Students will then finish their Bachelor’s degree through the SAU Engineering program, which has taken off in popularity since it started in fall 2014.

Enrollment in SAU’s Engineering program has already surpassed 160 students. Lockheed Martin and other area industry partners have provided financial support for the program to purchase the latest equipment, as well as internship and job opportunities for students and graduates.

For more information on how to get started in this degree pathway, visit or contact SAU Tech’s Kevia Clemons, or (870) 574-4492, or Sarajane Telford at SAU at or (870) 235-4290.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 126,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. Its Camden Operations facility assembles missiles and ground vehicles for the corporation’s Missiles and Fire Control business area.