Niki Naruhito – SOLIDWORKS Designer, Champion Racing Driver, Age 11

Let me introduce you to the youngest designer – racing champion I have ever met, Niki Naruhito, age 11, from Zutphen, The Netherlands.

For the past two years, Niki has been working with SOLIDWORKS. His father, mentor and entrepreneur, Arnoud Thomasse, at,  let Niki join the SOLIDWORKS Basic training classes.

Niki is a fast learner.  After he sees a technique, he reproduces the exercises. Niki just passed his HBO certificate, proving SOLIDWORKS Engineering and Design competency at the BSc level of education in the Netherlands.

Starting at age 6, Niki became a kart driver, thanks to his friend and neighbor, Siem.  After one test drive, his new found passion would lead to hours of racing practice, competitive driving and championships in different race classes.

In 2023, Niki participated in the Rotax Micro Max class in two NK races. Niki is the club champion in Eefde and the champion at Kart4Fun in the Micromax class. You can learn more about Niki’s journey in last months article in Racing Express (Use Google Translate from Dutch).

But the racing road has given Niki some bumps.  He has had to race in heavy rains, gotten run off the road, and competed in a field filled with other talented drivers.  Niki learns from these experiences, improving techniques in braking, acceleration, and looks forward to the upcoming racing season.

Niki also sets goals for his future education.  He wants to attend schools at HAN Automotive & HAN Mechanical Engineering, in Arnhem. Niki will follow in his father’s footsteps, who taught at both HAN Automotive and HAN Mechanical Engineering institutes. All schools teach with SOLIDWORKS. I was so fortunate to visit HAN University in 2012 and met with educators, students and our reseller, CAD2M, with my colleague, Kees Kloosterboer and members of the SOLIDWORKS EDU team.

When he is not in school or on the race track, Niki is preparing for his CSWA exam and developing mechanical models for his go-kart.

Thank you Niki and Arnoud for sharing your story with the SOLIDWORKS community. We wish you the best in competition for the 2024 season.

Design well, 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