TSTC Welding Technology students show off skills at competition

Omar De La Cruz Moreno

Eight Texas State Technical College Welding Technology students showed off their skills at the 2021 Andrew Noppe Memorial Welding Competition.

Omar De La Cruz Moreno finished fourth in the Level 1 competition in which he had to weld a single-sided vertical groove on a carbon steel plate using the shielded metal arc welding process. Moreno’s piece passed the visual and X-ray examinations to earn certification in the welding process.

Moreno was not alone in earning certification honors during the competition, which was held at R&N Manufacturing in Cypress.

Jerroll Hodge, a TSTC welding instructor, said four students earned certification on April 24 for passing both the visual and X-ray examinations.

Jacob Picazo earned certification on the Level 2 shielded metal arc welding process for his work on a pipe.

In the Level 3 event, Jose Perez Jr., Angel Rodriguez and Mason Stanley  earned certification for their work on a pipe using the gas tungsten arc welding process for the root pass and shielded metal arc welding process for the fill and cap passes.

“The students enjoyed going to an event and competing,” Hodge said. “It also opened our students to the possibility of earning additional certifications on certain types of welds.”

Also representing TSTC was Zach Follis in Level 1 and Diego Almaraz and Nick Dunn in Level 3.

“Everyone was really into the activities being held at the competition. It was the first time we have attended an event like this, and I look forward to returning to additional contests,” Hodge said.

The Texas High School Welding Series hosted the event that featured 72 competitors from eight colleges. In addition to TSTC, competitors represented Arclabs Welding School, Elite Pipe Welding Academy, Lamar Institute of Technology, Mainliners Welding Academy, Precision Welding Academy and Wharton County Junior College.

Hodge said he learned of the event during a welding competition in Huntsville earlier this year. He discussed it with his students and completed the registration process.

“I beat the deadline by a few days, and I am glad we were there,” he said.

Hodge was also able to promote TSTC during the high school competition, which was held the same day. With more than 130 students from 12 high schools in attendance, Hodge spoke to as many students as possible.

“It was good to be able to watch the high school kids compete and talk to them about our program,” he said. “This was a great recruiting effort for us.”

Hodge hopes that attending the competition sparks more interest in his students and plans to study ways to host an event on campus in the future.

“It would be good for TSTC to showcase our facilities during a competition,” he said. “I hope we will be able to do that someday.”

For more information, visit tstc.edu.