SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Sylvia Duran

Since 1996, SOLIDWORKS User Groups have been a valuable resource for SOLIDWORKS users all over the world.  The SWUGN Committee and DS SOLIDWORKS provide ample support, but the real stars are the SOLIDWORKS User Group Leaders. Every couple of weeks we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading.

Sylvia Duran – Las Vegas SOLIDWORKS User Group

Sylvia Duran
Sylvia Duran












Sylvia Duran is one of the founders of the Las Vegas SOLIDWORKS User Group which has been around since 2009 and also included board members Richard “Corporal Willy” Williams and Justin Young. Sylvia is a mechanical engineer, currently working as a quality engineer for Scientific Games.  She is also the Chair for the Silver State Chapter of ASME.  Sylvia was first introduced to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD as an engineering student at CSU Los Angeles.

We asked Sylvia a few questions about herself, her SOLIDWORKS user group, and why she thinks SOLIDWORKS users should attend a user group meeting.

Why should a SOLIDWORKS user attend a LVSUG meeting?
“People should attend one of the LVSUG meetings because it’s a great place to learn more about SOLIDWORKS, network and socialize with others. Additionally, the free food, drinks and awesome giveaway prizes are also a great attraction.”

What have you learned personally from your user group?
I have learned a lot of cool tricks on SOLIDWORKS that I in turn share with others. I’ve also developed my leadership and management skills coordinating the events.”

What was the best user group meeting you ever had?
“The best meeting we had was the meeting hosted by the Cimarron High School First Robotics Team. The kids presented their robots, SOLIDWORKS designs, and competition videos. We got to see their hard work and robot prototypes in SOLIDWORKS. It allowed us to see how kids are using SOLIDWORKS to design the future.”

What was the worst user group meeting you ever had?
“The worst meeting we had was the one we held at Miller’s Ale House, a local restaurant. We didn’t have the attendance we expected so the restaurant gave our tables away. The place was really loud and our presenter had a sore throat the following day from having to yell his presentation. During the presentation, random people came up to our buffet table and helped themselves.”

In cooperation with the SOLIDWORKS Women in Engineering program, we also asked Sylvia for her thoughts on the subject.

Why do you think it is important for women to be encouraged to be engineers?
“Women have a lot to contribute to the Engineering field and the future of this world. Although, the amount of females in engineering has increased in recent years, there is still a large gap between our male counterparts. The engineering industry needs more intelligent, capable and confident women!”

Do you have any advice for young women thinking about starting their career in Engineering?
“It’s a great career for inquisitive, creative individuals. It’s a very fulfilling career that will allow you the freedom to use your knowledge and creativity, while contributing to the advancement of science and technology.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
“I believe it is very important to have more studying of STEM subjects in our schools, in order to pique the interest of ALL Children, regardless of race or gender. Many children enjoy science, technology, engineering and math. STEM projects can introduce more kids to these career choices. When I observe children working on STEM projects during EWeek, I can see future engineers in action.”


SDuran 2

Thank you Sylvia, for your time, your efforts, and your dedication to helping SOLIDWORKS users, students, and potential future engineers.  I look forward to the next time I get to visit you and the Las Vegas SOLIDWORKS User Group.



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