SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – William Radigan

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.

William Radigan – New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group

William Radigan
William Radigan













The New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group was formed in 2007 and enjoyed modest success and attracted an average following.  William assumed the role of group leader in late 2013, and immediately improved communication with the groups’ members through social media, email, and regular announcements.  As a result, the average meeting attendance has increased 64%, the number of annual meetings has increased to 6, and members are very happy.

We caught up with William via email and asked him to tell us a little about himself and the New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group.

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is William Radigan, and I’m a consulting Engineer in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most of my work is with startup tech companies that emerge from the National Laboratories or Universities here in the state. It’s a great gig because I love the technical breadth of that it provides as well as the opportunity to be (quite literally) “on the bleeding edge”. (Some of my clients are developing non-invasive medical diagnostic tools.)

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

I went to school at New Mexico Tech back in the late 90’s. At the time they taught two other CAD systems in the lab and the design classes. Both packages were inferior to SOLIDWORKS and a group of students (including me) lobbied the administration to bring in seats of SOLIDWORKS. I’ve been a hardcore SOLIDWORKS user ever since.

Tell us a little about the New Mexico SOLIDWORKS User Group.

The group was founded in 2007, and has gone through several group leaders.  I assumed the leadership position in late 2013, and have been leading the group for about 18 months now.  We have 40-50 individuals that attend regularly, with a core group of about 30 members.

What was the best meeting you’ve had?

5 days ago!!!! Our April 8th, 2015 meeting had 37 attendees. There were a number of people there interested in changing jobs or finding a new one, as well as several business owners looking for new SOLIDWORKS talent. It was awesome to see and hear the connections being made and the networks expanding.

Ever had a really bad meeting?

Each meeting has been a learning experience. There have been some disappointments, like when you work really hard to bring in a speaker that you think will be really great and the turnout is lower than you expected, but all-in-all we haven’t had any disasters… yet.

What have you learned personally from your user group?

The value of networking. Engineers/Designers as a group don’t network and communicate nearly as much as we should. The point that I’ve been hammering on is that “Engineers are professional communicators, and SOLIDWORKS is a communication tool!” That can be a tough sale to a group of largely-introverted middle-aged men, but that’s why I’m excited to see students, young professionals, women, and even non-technical business people start to see the value of the User Group in solving their problems.

Why should someone attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

To learn about the stuff that you didn’t know that you didn’t know. User Groups are a great way to expand your horizons and see how different people use the tool to solve their problems. I have never sat through a presentation without learning something. Even things as seemingly trivial as: “Wow, I didn’t know you could right-click on that!” can be the start of really significant improvements in productivity and workflow.

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April 8th NMSUG Meeting











Thanks William, and thanks for the great work you are doing for the SOLIDWORKS Community.

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