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Geoff Vaughan webGeoff Vaughan, Welding@SVHEC Program Leader, recently earned the internationally recognized Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) credential through the American Welding Society (AWS).

“We congratulate Geoff on this accomplishment and are excited about the opportunities his CWI status will provide for the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center through our American Welding Society Accredited Test Facility (AWS ATF),” said Dr. Nettie Simon-Owens, SVHEC Chief Workforce Advancement Officer. “As the SVHEC’s Certified Welding Inspector, Geoff will oversee the ATF and provide related welding testing services to experienced welders who are interested in earning AWS certifications,” Simon-Owens continued.

According to the AWS website, “CWIs are responsible to the public for the quality of the things they help produce. Bridges, elevators, buildings, vehicles, it’s the CWI’s job to ensure that these things are assembled correctly and okay for public use.”

To obtain the CWI credential, Vaughan underwent a rigorous certification process including a vision test, attending an intensive weeklong seminar in Charlotte, N.C., and completing a difficult three-part, six-hour assessment. As a testament to Vaughan’s welding experience and abilities, he passed all parts of the assessment on the first try.

“I received a pencil during the seminar with ‘Success isn’t given, its’ earned' printed on it. Concerning CWI certification, AWS meant every letter, word, and syllable in that sentence. A lot of work and focus was involved in successfully completing the exams. The seminar was a great experience, and I’m looking forward to utilizing the CWI certification in the future,” Vaughan stated.

For more information on the Welding@SVHEC program or testing for AWS certification at the SVHEC, contact Geoff Vaughan at 434-572-5486 or email