July 13, 2004
The American Welding Society (AWS) recently awarded Joseph Kolasa Jr., welding instructor at The Lincoln Electric Company, with the Private Sector Instructor Membership Award at its annual awards luncheon. AWS honors men and women in the industrial, educational, and research community who have made distinctive contributions to advance the science, technology, and application of welding.
This nationally recognized award was established by the AWS board of directors to honor educators in the welding community who teach in the private sector. The winner must have advanced the knowledge of welding to students through apprenticeship programs, internal corporate training programs, and similar nonpublic activities.
Kolasa is well-known in the racing world as an expert welder. Race teams consult with him frequently to refine their welding skills, make trackside repairs, and build more competitive racecars. He provides trackside welding services for NASCAR®, the Indy Racing Leagues, Indy 500, NHRA, ARCA, SCCA, and IHRA.
At major events Kolasa welds on the spot for race teams in his temporary welding garage. When there's a lull in the action, he conducts training seminars for fabricators. His presentations on common weld defects in racecar fabrication have improved safety in racing through better education and awareness.
Kolasa has appeared on several national cable television shows, including "Two Guys' Garage," in which he demonstrated GMAW, GTAW, and plasma cutting techniques. He is active in the AWS Cleveland Chapter and has presented many times to its members, as well as to other chapter members across the country.
Kolasa also is an instructor for the United Association for Pipefitters, where he teaches gas tungsten arc and shielded metal arc pipe welding. He also teaches welding for the Boilermakers, IBEW Electrical Workers.