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Waupaca Foundry

Culture - Feb 21, 2023

National Engineers Week: Mason Wellman

Ally Melby | Waupaca Foundry

Mason Wellman, a mechanical engineer at Waupaca Foundry Plant 4, always had a knack for art and taking things apart and putting them back together. It wasn’t until his high school art teacher recommended looking into engineering school over art school that Wellman’s future really clicked.

Mason Wellman, a mechanical engineer at Waupaca Foundry's Plant 4 ductile iron foundry. 

As a child, Wellman liked drawing, working on cars, and after playing with his toys, disassembling them to see how their inner mechanics worked.

When talks of college started, Wellman figured he would pursue his passion for art after high school. However, his art teacher at the time pointed out that when Wellman was not in art class, his interests were in mechanics.  

“When he said it aloud, it was what really made it click, and I started looking into engineering schools and into what engineers do for a living. You still get to apply some of your artistic skills, but you also get to do all the mechanical, wrenching, in-depth stuff, too,” Wellman says. “[I thought], ‘Instead of going for an art major, maybe mechanical engineering would be the ticket.’”

Wellman attended Michigan Tech for mechanical engineering. He also continued his interest in art by taking 2D design, painting and collage classes to fulfill degree credit requirements. After graduation, Wellman was hired at Waupaca Foundry in August 2011 and has been with the company since.

For many adults, childhood passions are often left behind as they enter the workforce. For Wellman, although his intended career path was not a direct one-to-one with his childhood interests, it was close to his daily mechanical engineer job description.

“I still get a portion of what I really like to do as a kid wrapped into what I do every day,” Wellman says.

Today, Wellman draws layouts, troubleshoots, and designs solutions for Waupaca Foundry’s needs.
"[Engineering] is kind of like being an inventor," Wellman says. “A lot of what I do is taking something that doesn't exist and imagining it.”

A favorite project of Wellman’s was the 2018-2019 Blast Cleaning Expansion at the Plant 4 ductile iron foundry millroom. To increase casting capacity, the mechanical engineering team had to configure how to add in an eighth cleaning machine. To be successful, the new machinery had to first fit into the area and then integrate seamlessly with the older machinery. The area for expansion hadn’t been touched since a previous foundry expansion in 1992. Measurements and numbers for space had to be exact. Upon installation, the new cleaning machine fit perfectly, and the project was a success.

“As a kid, a lot of what I enjoyed drawing for art was a lot of architecture and a lot of machinery,” Wellman says. “Engineering is kind of doing the same thing, except I'm drawing machines and getting paid to do it.”

The theme of this year’s National Engineers Week is ‘Creating the Future.’ Today’s engineers play a vital role in innovating solutions that impact our everyday lives. At Waupaca Foundry, engineers are central to continuous improvement and innovation. We are proud to be the employer of 115 engineers in our electrical, mechanical, industrial, process, quality, environmental and tooling departments.

Cast your own future as an engineer at Waupaca Foundry: https://waupacafoundry.com/Careers
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