SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight – Michael Marshall

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.

Michael Marshall – Greater Evansville SOLIDWORKS User Group










The first time I met Michael was during a customer visit and tour of Berry Plastics, followed by a meeting of the Greater Evansville SOLIDWORKS User Group back in 2013.  Since then, Michael has become the leader of the group, and has presented twice at SOLIDWORKS World (in 2014 and 2015 – great scores too!).  We asked Michael to answer a few questions, and here’s what he had to say.

Who are you and what do you do?

In my current role at Berry Plastics Corporation I help departments design, implement, and support information/document/design management systems – which includes SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM and its administration. By extension, I’m also responsible for SOLIDWORKS license management, including the maintenance of our SOLIDWORKS Administrative Images for installation.

When did you first start learning/using SOLIDWORKS?

After having used another popular 3D parametric modeling system for 12 years with my previous employer, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to join Berry Plastics’ product development organization in 2006. In that role, I began using SOLIDWORKS for closure and overcap design. Even though I had previous 3D CAD experience, attending the SOLIDWORKS Essentials training provided by our Midwestern VAR, 3DVision Technologies, greatly boosted my design abilities in SOLIDWORKS.

Tell us a little about your SOLIDWORKS User Group.

Our members come from a variety of local companies, covering many design disciplines…automation, testing, and machinery design, tooling design, product design, industrial design, educational, simulation/analysis, and a few others I’m inadvertently leaving out. Also, the GEASWUG has a Twitter account that just hatched – follow us @GEASWUG!

Are you the founder of the group?

No, Scott Baugh founded the Greater Evansville Area SOLIDWORKS User Group (GEASWUG) in late 2010, with our first meeting being in November of that year.

When did you assume leadership?

Due to a change in position and an increased travel schedule, Scott handed over the reins of the GEASWUG to me in the summer of 2014 – now that I think about it, that means I just completed my first year as the User Group leader!

What as the best meeting you’ve had?

We’ve had a lot of great meetings over the years, with the latest two arguably being the best. Our March meeting was held at the Southern Indiana Career & Technical Center (SICTC), with several great presentations by high school and college students, covering their design projects and programs at SICTC and other schools. All-time record high attendance for that one!

And our recently-completed July meeting capped off a Midwest three-day tour of SOLIDWORKS customers and User Groups, with fantastic presentations by SOLIDWORKS’ own Sal Lama and Jeff Niederman. Record attendance for a summer meeting for GEASWUG, and lots of positive feedback from our members on the presentations!

What was the worst meeting you’ve had?

Our worst meeting was easily the meeting of June 28th, 2012. The meeting was well-attended, the presentations informative, and the food (a Spudz-N-Stuff baked potato bar!) was great. The problem? Those in SW Indiana will not-so-fondly remember the summer of 2012 as one of scorching, record-breaking heat. The very day of our meeting was the hottest day on record for that year, coming in at a scorching 106°F (41°C)! Combined with the Ohio River Valley’s typically stifling summertime humidity, that alone would have made for a miserable day. The icing on the cake was the meeting venue at a local university – earlier in the afternoon the building’s air conditioning unit broke down, and being summertime the university staff was unaware of the oven-like conditions in the building and the windowless meeting room. Fortunately the A/C was repaired and began operation part-way through the meeting, so it ended a little cooler than it began!

How many users are in the group?

While our mailing list is quite long, our meeting attendance has been steady lately in the 30’s to low 40’s.

Why should people attend a SOLIDWORKS User Group meeting?

It’s a great opportunity to see how design engineers from different disciplines are using SOLIDWORKS to solve their design challenges, which are often surprisingly applicable to the design challenges you face where you work. That, and there’s no such thing as too much pizza!

Thanks Michael!  I look forward to seeing you in Dallas for SOLIDWORKS World 2016!




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