When Colleges host SolidWorks User Groups Great Things Happen

Western Mass User Group Meeting

The synergy in between our commercial users, educators, and students continues to strengthen our SolidWorks community.  I find myself visiting colleges, not just to meet educators and students, but to visit our commercial users at local SolidWorks Users Group meetings.

Smith College Design Center 1

So Wednesday night, I visited Smith College in the beautiful, colorful, Berkshire Mountains, hosting the SolidWorks Western Massachusetts Users Group.   I met friends known for years,  user group leader John Matrishon and STCC director, Gary Masciadrelli , and new friends.

Smith College, is the first college in the US to start an all-women’s engineering program.  And what a program these young women receive.

Eric Jensen, manager of the Smith’s Center for Design and Innovation gave us a tour.  I was  a kid in a candy store.  Freshmen get to work on their first project, a special hammer, that they design, machine components, and rapid prototype other parts.

Smith College Freshman Engineering Design


Smith College Freshman Hammer

Instructors and students from Springfield Technical Community College and Western New England University also attended along with our commercial customers in industrial, biomedical and consumer product industries.  There are many machine shops in Western Mass.  Happy to see manufacturing working in Massachusetts!

Siena College Physics

I also attended the Tech Valley User Group in at Siena College, outside of Albany, NY.  What a physics department!

Firefly Mission Siena College

Siena College and the Goddard Space Flight Center were jointly awarded a $1 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to lead a new satellite mission that explores the link between lightning and sudden bursts of high-energy radiation in Earth’s upper atmosphere.  Students are using SolidWorks to design their cube satellite called Firefly.

Many SolidWorks Users Group partner with SolidWorks schools for their meetings.  You can find a complete list of SolidWorks Users Groups at www.swugn.org.  Marie

Marie Planchard

Marie Planchard

Senior Director, Early Engagement, 3DEXPERIENCE Works at Dassault Systemes
Marie Planchard is an education and engineering advocate. As Senior Director of Education & Early Engagement, SOLIDWORKS, she is responsible for global development of content and social outreach for the 3DEXPERIENCE Works products across all levels of learning including educational institutions, Fab Labs, and entrepreneurship.
Marie Planchard