Mad About Madison

The good folks at MASWUG threw quite a meeting last night.  David Hurst and Shawn Fogel did a great job getting things setup, keeping the meeting moving along, and wrapping up right on time.  Someone mentioned to me that the sign in sheet had 60 names on it, but I counted the chairs before the meeting, and all 72 were full – with more people standing in the back of the room.

Jeff Ray was the featured speaker, and as usual, did a great job.  Jeff doesn’t use PowerPoint, preferring instead to talk about the company for a few minutes and then opening up the floor for questions.  Jeff’s candor and sense of humor make him very popular with user group members.

A portion of the meeting included a tour arranged by Paul Oliphant, an instructor at the university.  We were treated to a look at the UW-Madison Formula SAE cars.  Members of the team were on hand to give us a good look at what Formula SAE is all about, and answered a bunch of questions.  It’s an amazing program, not just a bunch of college kids racing around in cool cars.  The students design and build a new car every year (using SolidWorks and COSMOS of course), and compete each May in an event that draws more than 140 other teams from around the world.  Not only are the teams judged on the dynamics of the car (acceleration, autocross, endurance), they are also required to present a business plan and costs analysis to complete the competition.  The UW-Madison team has finished in the top 5 for 5 of the last 7 years.

The Developers Roundtable went quite well too.  Several members of the SolidWorks Development team fielded questions and took suggestions on enhancements and improvements to SolidWorks.  Look for this kind of interaction with the user groups to continue – it’s a great source of information for us, and allows discussion among the users and developers to really help us understand how SolidWorks users expect things to work.  The next Developers Roundtable will take place at the Tri-Valley SolidWorks User Group in September.

Thanks to David, Shawn, and Paul (and Wendy too) for making this a great trip.

Richard Doyle
My official title is Senior User Advocacy & SolidWorks User Groups - but most people just call me "The User Group Guy". I've been a SolidWorks user since 1997, and was one of the founding members of the SWUGN Committee. Since starting the Central Texas SolidWorks User Group in 1999, my career path has led me to DS SolidWorks and a dream job supporting the SolidWorks User Group Network worldwide.
Richard Doyle
Richard Doyle