Bradley Hakeman is a Plumbing Design Engineer in Brandon, South Dakota at Spartan Emergency response. “I am responsible for ordering plumbing components, designing the layout for the pump operator’s panel for fire trucks, and supporting the Plumbing Assembly department. I use SOLIDWORKS for pump mounts and designing custom intake and discharge manifolds for our trucks.”
He originally learned how to use SOLIDWORKS back in 2006 at a previous job; “my only experience with 3D modeling was ProEngineer in college, and the transition to SOLIDWORKS was very easy for me” In addition, Brad completed courses with their local VAR and he has also attained his CSWP and CSWP-Drawings certificates!
Brad has been the Sioux Falls SOLIDWORKS User Group leader for about 5 years now; “I was contacted by our VAR about a User Group starting in Sioux Falls back in 2011. I was asked if I knew anyone interested in possibly taking over the group after the first meeting. I met Richard Doyle at that first meeting and discussed the details about running a User Group and I’ve been leading the group ever since.”
So, why should you join a local user group? Brad says that there are numerous benefits but the networking and presentations are his favorite. “It amazes me how many different industries use SOLIDWORKS in the community as their design software and how they use it.” Recently, the Sioux Falls SWUG has been gaining more mechanical design students from a local technical school. “Hopefully meeting professionals in the area will help them as they prepare to graduate and start their careers.”
When ask what the best meeting the Sioux Falls group has had to date, Brad responded: “I think my favorite meetings are ones presented by our members. Any chance for our Group to see real-world tips and tricks for using SOLIDWORKS seems to draw a crowd. I have volunteered to present at a few meetings, from my own ‘what’s new’ for a major release, to photo rendering tips in SOLIDWORKS”
When he isn’t busy working or running the group, Brad enjoys doing anything that involves working with his hands. He has built several bookshelves, a deck, flowerbeds, and is now working on a playhouse for his two daughters in their backyard! (All were designed in SOLIDWORKS of course.) “I also love riding bike, hiking, and camping with my family. Reading is a very popular activity in our household, too”
Lastly, we asked Brad if he had any idols; “working in the fire apparatus industry, I have a lot of respect for our customers; firefighters and first responders. Many people on our staff are volunteer firefighters and it takes a lot of courage to attack a burning building to save a life. When designing a truck, we need to understand the needs of the customer and how they want to use their fire truck when they are on a call.”
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 week or so, we’ll spotlight one of our group leaders and the local user group chapter that they are responsible for leading.