Huntsville, Alabama – The Home of Solid Edge

By MarkBurhop

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Huntsville, Alabama is often called “Rocket City”. It has a fascinating history of hi-tech work in NASA and the space industry. It hosts Cummings Research Park, the 2nd Largest research and technology part in the U.S. For those who know the town, it’s probably no surprise that recent “CAD society leadership award” winners Dan Staples and Bill McClure live here too. This is where you can find most of Siemens PLM’s Solid Edge organization.

In my last post, I laid out the key functional areas needed to build and manage CAD software development. Today, I’d like to look at what this means in real life by zeroing in on the Solid Edge organization. Like with real products such as computers, automobiles and cell phones, our software is made with components we build and components we “buy”. I quoted “buy” because many of our components come from other areas at Siemens PLM. For example, we use Parasolid for our solid modeling kernel. We make use of Teamcenter technology for JT visualization and PDM. Our Femap Express uses Siemens PLM’s NX Nastran for FEA solving.

The Huntsville folks then get to focus on problems that are closer to the customer. What does my sheet metal part look like when I unbend it? How do I display the data using the right engineering standard? What is the best user interface for working with Synchronous Technology (and vice versa – what will customers want in the next version of synchronous technology?)

Of course, we have all the functional areas discussed in my last post – developers, quality assurance, planners and educational media. The Huntsville office also has the Solid Edge GTAC support team. If you ever call into them, they are some of the nicest, most helpful people you will meet (and I’m not just saying this because their group will sometimes make waffles to share with the rest of the Solid Edge team).

Huntsville is also the location where much of our beta testing takes place. In the coming weeks, we will be hosting a number of customers ready to try out our new enhancements, verify their real life processes are supported by our software and help us fine tune our release.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at