SWUGN Group Leader Spotlight: Rhonda Jacobs

rhonda jacobs“I can honestly say that every meeting I have attended I have left with something new I couldn’t wait to try the next time I was in SOLIDWORKS.“

Rhonda Jacobs founded the St. Joseph SOLIDWORKS User Group in November 2015 and they average with about 30-40 attendees for each meeting. Initially, she wanted to start the group as a way to train other designers and engineers within her company; “The company I work for employs many young designers and engineers with varying levels of SOLIDWORKS expertise. With little time to train new users, I thought this would be a fun way to train new users. I quickly learned that a SOLIDWORKS User Group cannot (and should not) be an exclusive group. Opening the group to all users in the area brings in multiple view points and allows users to learn multiple approaches to solve each problem.”

While she has loved every meeting the St. Joseph SWUG has had, her favorite was when Brian Holmgran and The Burger Bots presented! “When Brian and The Burger Bots started their presentation, they totally stole the show. Brian coaches a team of high school students who compete in the FIRST Robotics Competition. They brought their robot to our meeting and talked about their journey to the World Championship. The best part was when the students took over, listening to them discuss the trials and tribulations throughout their design process amused me because it sounded so similar to what we go through on a daily basis.”


Besides being an awesome SWUGN leader, Rhonda is a designer at Altec Industries! “I work closely with a team of engineers to design aerial equipment for electric utility, telecommunication, tree care, lights and sign and contractor markets. “ Prior to her current job, she did not have any experience in SOLIDWORKS; “I started out with other 2D/3D software while in school. I was not introduced to the software until June 2011. I picked up on it quickly and have never looked back!“ rhonda-3

We asked Rhonda if she wasn’t in the engineering industry, what she would be doing? “I really don’t know, I really love what I do. It’s pretty amazing to be able to design something in 3D and then go out on the shop floor and see it built.”

Lastly, what has Rhonda learned personally from her group? “It’s been a great opportunity for me to work on my leadership and public speaking skills but with such a great community of people it hasn’t been too hard. I really need to thank Todd Blacksher, he’s been such a great help getting the St Joseph group started. If you haven’t had a chance to meet him you really should!!!”

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.

Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.