Name: Anna Wood
Hometown: Mesa, AZ
Title: Design Engineer
Company: Auer Precision (www.auerprecision.com)
Auer Precision is a leading global provider of engineered process solutions for the life sciences, medical, microfluidics, semiconductor, defense, automotive, and industrial markets. Auer Precision's specialized products and services include engineering support, microfluidics applications lab, precision components, Class A tool and dies, and turn-key automated process solutions.
1. Why did you choose to do the work you do?
I am a second generation mechanical CAD designer. My father was an automotive body designer for General Motors and was among the first to use CAD for production Class A sheet metal design back in the 70's. We always had projects of some kind around the house. An antique aircraft restoration project, my own soap box derby car, and various scratch build model airplanes. Mechanical design is a craft I always enjoyed and was pretty good at. Cut my teeth in the business on the drafting board for the first ten years of my career and have been using CAD for the last twenty years. It is in my genes and a craft that I very much enjoy. I am fortunate to be able to have a career that I am passionate about.
2. What is your proudest career moment?
Back in 1986 to 1988, I took two very specialized drafting courses in the automotive product design field. The Philpot School of Automobile Body Drafting and Design was a 9 month course where we learned the essentials of automotive sheet metal design. The DeSmet Course in Surface Design and Planography was a 6 month course where we learned the fundamentals of creating Class A automotive surfaces. These were manual drafting courses and were considered the premier courses of their day. These courses demanded the absolute best out of the students, being very challenging and time consuming to create drawings that were perfect. If you were a Philpot and DeSmet grad you were guaranteed a position in the automotive body design field. Successfully completing these two courses are still, far and away, my two most highly regarded professional achievements.
3. What goal inspires you most?
I guess I do not have any real lofty goals. I lead a pretty simple personal and professional life. I wish for good health and happiness for my family and friends. My hope in my professional life is to be considered a dependable and capable employee. Able to share my experience with our team and help make Auer Precision a successful company.
4. How has SolidWorks made a difference in your life?
What I most like about SolidWorks is the SolidWorks User Community. It is a real pleasure to be associated with a group of CAD users that are so passionate about their work and the software they use daily. It is a true pleasure to participate in the community daily on the SolidWorks forums, at User Group Meetings, at SolidWorks World and even on Twitter and Facebook. They are an awesome group of people and it is a joy to be a member of the community.
5. What do you do for fun?
Besides being a CAD, computer and tech geek, I am also an aviation nut. Aerobatic airplanes, homebuilts, classic steel tube and fabric aircraft. I got the bug from my father, who was a general aviation pilot and flight instructor. Some of my best memories are hanging out at Romeo and the old McKinley Airport in Michigan. After I earned my pilot’s license I took an aerobatic airplane ride and got hooked on competition aerobatics. That is how I met my fiancé, Len, at a local International Aerobatic Club contest in Michigan. He is an RC model pilot, full scale aerobatic pilot, A&P mechanic and aircraft builder. Our house looks like a computer store/hobby shop with a full scale aviation department thrown in. Len is the real builder in the family and the two of us share fun in our aviation projects. Len and I are currently working on designing an aerobatic airplane for Len to build in the future. Of course we are modeling it up in SolidWorks. You can see some of the projects we consider fun on our website at www.acrodesigns.com and my blog www.solidmuse.com.
Thanks to Anna for taking the time to talk. If you’d like to be featured, or nominate someone else, leave a comment with your suggestions.