I had the pleasure of meeting Scott in person when we shared a ride from the airport to the hotel for the 2013 Solid Edge University. I’d known him previously via Interactions on Twitter over the past few years. I’ve always found him to be intelligent, well spoken and open minded.
Because Scott is a well-respected member of the engineering community, I felt it was my duty to subject him to one of my interviews. Not sure why, but he agreed to it.
Where do you work?
I work full time for a defense contractor, but try to maintain my design and
engineering skills on the side and also write for engineering and design
related trade journals.
What is your title?
On the one side, I go by Configuration Manager. On the other, I prefer to
Principal. I think it’s better fitting for a one-man-shop than giving
myself a CEO or President title.
What, exactly, does that mean?
Historically, the Configuration Manager was the one in charge of part
numbers. But, my training and certifications take configuration management beyond engineering and apply methodologies across the entire organization. It’s more about requirements management than part numbers. An organization run on strong configuration management principals can achieve a level of excellence within integrated processes.
On the other side, a Principal is the typical verbiage used by the state
boards of engineering registration to designate the lead or head engineer.
It seemed fitting to use that as my title for my own business.
Where did you come from?
I hail from Packer country. Although I no longer live in the great white
tundra, I still bleed green and gold for my hometown team. From there, I
got a BS degree from the Milwaukee School of Engineering, interned in
Houston, took my first job in Seattle, and have been living in Arizona ever
When did design become important to you?
Somewhere around the 3rd grade. My memory of those times is a little fuzzy
but I’m pretty sure I was sitting in Mrs. Juneau’s class when she wheeled
the tv in and showed us the news coverage of Space Shuttle Challenger. I
knew early on I wanted to be an astronaut, but at the time only those with
perfect vision where allowed flight status. Since I wore glasses, I knew my
only way into the space industry was to be an engineer. I was never very
good making things because they didn’t turn out quite how I envisioned them.
I’m also not very good at freehand artwork like sketching. But, give me a
straight edge and other drafting tools, and I can turn a blank piece of
paper into a new reality. Engineering, design, and even drafting have long
been my passion.
What is your primary CAD program? Secondary?
My primary CAD program is whatever my employer or client use. My secondary program is Solid Edge. It’s workflow methodologies match the way my brain works, so designing in that software is more fluid for me.
What are some of the publications you’ve written for? What do you write
I have written for Develop3D, Tenlinks, and currently curate for Engineering.com. I write about mechanical design and engineering software. I have a neglected blog where I write about more general engineering concepts: ethics, cool engineering feats, education, state of the industry, and other engineering issues worth haranguing about.
What’s the most interesting thing that a client has wanted you to work on?
Golf clubs, horizontal inline space launch system, telemedical device, and a horseshoe. It’s not so much THE MOST interesting thing I’ve worked on, but when put together the diversity is what amounts to be interesting, and astounding, every time I look back.
What’s something that isn’t common knowledge about Scott Wertel, P.E.?
If I told you, it’d become common and what’s the fun in that?
Thanks, Scott! See you in the Twittersphere!
Where this was my first user convention that had nothing to do with SolidWorks, I was unsure of what to expect. Would it be as big as SWW? Would it be as fun? Would I end up with foot-in-mouth disease? The answers came slowly. [...Read More...]
My takeaway from this morning, sad though it may be, is that SolidEdge is obsessed with SolidWorks. Specifically, SolidWorks’ customers. I heard no other SolidEdge competitor named. That’s just my perception, however, and it may be a bit biased (though I don’t think so). I can understand it, SolidWorks is a huge target, but one would think Inventor would be in the crosshairs as well.
At lunch, there was a Q & A session for the press with all the muckety-mucks. It was here that I was introduced to Karsten Newbury, SVP and GM of SolidEdge. I was tempted to ask him what the deal was regarding SolidWorks, but he mentioned he’d like to chat later, so I put off asking him, for now.
I did pose the question to another SE employee, who shall remain anonymous, and their response was “wouldn’t you go after number one?” (I paraphrased, but that was the gist.) yes, I would, but singling them out in your presentation seems trite. Again, maybe it’s just me.
I’ll be asking Karsten the question tonight, when we go to the aquarium. I’ll also be doing my best from stopping a certain journalist from kicking penguins.
It’s 7:15 and, due to avisit from Ms. Insomnia, I’ve been up most of the night. I think I got about 2 hours of sleep, which should make things interesting today. Hopefully, I can catch a fewz’s during one of the keynote speeches. I’m mostly kidding. The opening general session is two hours long…
Thus far, my interactions with the natives have been good. No derisive comments, no snobbery, no “neener, neener, neener!” I don’t get the feeling of excitement that one gets at SWW, but that may be due to the fact that I’m not a SolidEdge user. I am interested to hear Adam Stelzer’s keynote. He was the Lead Landing Engineer of the Mars Rover.
I’ve run into some people I know and been able to meet some that I only know through Twitter, including Mr. Burhop, which is always cool.
It’s getting close to general session time, so I’ll sign off for now.