Mechanisms & Mentorship Video Series: 50 years of CAD Engineering Management

Ever wondered what it would be like to be mentored one-on-one by a senior engineer that’s using SOLIDWORKS to successfully deliver solutions to industry clients? My name is Rafael Testai, and in this video series “Mechanisms & Mentorship” we’ll take a look behind the scenes to see how a hand-picked engineer has designed one of their mechanisms in granular detail. We’ll “open the hood” to analyze their CAD design and thought process behind the solution. I’ll ask them questions about the project, roadblocks, challenges, specific insights they learned, and how they’re using SOLIDWORKS to solve real world problems.

You’ll learn a mixture of soft skills and hard skills. This series is perfect for viewers who are already proficient in SOLIDWORKS (CSWA, CSWP, CSWE) and want to take the next step in their careers.

In this episode of Mechanisms & Mentorship, I’ll interview Engineer Manager, Michael Hadley from in Arizona. Many people come to the SolidWorks blog to learn the technical aspects of SolidWorks and may overlook the importance of soft skills. To make us better rounded individuals, in this episode well’s discuss the actual management of all the technical individuals that use Solidworks, and how to get them to all pull in the same direction.


1. What’s a Common Obstacle that Mechanical Design Engineers Face, and How do you Help Them get Unstuck? (Min 0:55)

The biggest obstacle that most designers have is that they try to get to the end too quickly. Michael is a big fan of drawing on paper before jumping into CAD.

2. How to be a Great Manager of CAD Engineers? (Min 4:12)

Michael talks about the differences between good and bad leaders. One of his favorite phrases is:“The meaning of your communication is the result you get.”

The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong

                3. Why is Michael Hadley a Great Manager? (14:00)

                  Michael takes a humble approach in answering this question. He mentions the importance of giving teammates credit when it’s due.

4. An Invention Michael Worked on That was Patented (Min 19:00)

       In this section, he shares how he helped make the world a better place through one of the projects he worked on. The name of the invention is purposely omitted.

5. “Bad News Doesn’t Age Well” (Min 21:12)

Michael discusses the importance of preventing surprises and sharing bad news upfront.

To learn more about Michael Hadley, visit his LinkedIn.


If you read until the very end, I greatly appreciate it. I would encourage you to follow me on Linkedin so that we can stay in touch and you can be notified when more articles like this one get published. I lead with value and my writing style is direct and to the point.


Any recommendations on who you think I should interview next? Feel free to reach out to me on Linkedin or Instagram. I read all correspondence.





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