SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering Series – Jordan Coldsmith

We are happy to feature Jordan Coldsmith as our first recipient of the SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering Recognition Program for July! She was chosen based on her outstanding leadership, innovative accomplishments, and her contributions to the engineering community. Get to know more about this impressive young woman below.



Jordan Coldsmith is a Senior Civil Engineering Student at Penn State Harrisburg and SOLIDWORKS’ July Women in Engineering Recognition Recipient.

CAD Experience: Jordan began working with various CAD programs between the ages of eight and nine. Her father, who is a mechanical engineer, would explain what he was working on as well as showing her the basics while she sat in his lap or was hanging off his desk. Eventually he allowed her to use the software to create models of her own. In her 7th grade Tech CAD class she completed her first full model. A dovetail slot.



Community Involvement: She is currently working on a project with Engineers Without Borders – Chapter Penn State Harrisburg, a nonprofit humanitarian organization established to support community-driven development programs worldwide. Jordan traveled down to the Dominican Republic to start the process of building a water treatment facility. Her team took samples of the water and spoke with the locals in the village. “You hear a lot about these third world countries in the news, about what they don’t have, but the people I met are so proud of what they have and are willing to pitch in and help in whatever way they can with this project.”

The current method the village uses to collect clean water is by creating a makeshift funnel system. When it rains, water runs down their roofs into the gutters that they make from rusty metal or pvc pipes. They then funnel that water into whatever containers are found.  “One man had a hazardous waste container he was using. We hope to connect to the local water system and attach a water filtration system to it to supply the village with a more reliable supply of clean drinking water. The village repaid us with coconuts for helping out, which were delicious! 

Jordan is looking forward to going back down in January of 2015 when they plan to begin construction.


School Involvement: Currently a Senior at Penn State Harrisburg, Jordan is part of two competition teams with the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). The Concrete Canoe organization and the Steel Bridge Competition Crew. The Concrete Canoe competition is exactly what is sounds like, teams build a canoe out of concrete. They are judged based on engineering design and construction, technical design, business presentation, and performance of the canoe. The Steel Bridge competition is a yearly competition where teams build a 300-400 pound bridge and are scored based on how much load it can carry and how fast it is built. Jordan’s team placed in Display in 2014 and are looking forward to trying to place higher in next years competition.

Advice From Jordan:  If you want to be an engineer then you need to really stick with it and go for it. There are going to be some people who are against you. For example I had one or two professors my freshmen year in college look me in the eye and tell me that if I didn’t understand the material when I went for help that maybe I am in the wrong profession.

Also, my parents warned me that I am a women going into a male dominated field, that I am going to have to work twice as hard to gain their respect. I spent my first two years in school believing that was true, but when I went to my first tutoring session and all the guys were there, they said it didn’t matter, they were having the same trouble with the problems as I was and asked for me to come have a seat and see if I can help out.

I haven’t faced any issues with being a female with my peers. I’m here struggling along with them.

And lastly, If you have the opportunity, learn CAD and SOLIDWORKS in high school or take a course in college. This will give you a huge advantage when you’re searching for a job because engineers with good CAD experience are becoming hard to find.  Its always something I mention on my resume and it always catches employers eyes.  The company I currently have an internship with actually contacted me first because they saw how much CAD experience I had. (The school gave them a binder of engineering students’ resumes)

Future Plans:  I am looking forward to graduating, I would love to get into the Geo Technical field, which is a lot of outside work. My goal is to travel and see other places that I have never been to. I believe a job in this field would allow me to achieve this goal while working in a field I love.

If you could be any super hero who would you be? Green Lantern, it would be awesome to have a ring that could make literally anything and really useful!



Have someone in mind? You can nominate the next recipient for the SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering Program, honoring the outstanding achievements that women are accomplishing day to day in the engineering community. Find out more information or get started today!

Kim Richardson

Kim Richardson

Brand Marketing Manager for SOLIDWORKS. Enjoys going on adventures, traveling, and loves football. Go FLORIDA STATE!
Kim Richardson