Inspiring the Kid Inventor in You

By Dora Smith

Happy Kid Inventor Day! Last night I asked my son what he would like to invent. He told me software that works on all computers ;-). He gets frustrated when the operating systems of my iPad or his netbook won’t play nice with online Flash-based games. He doesn’t know it but he’s already a fan of open technology.

To honor today and inspire the kid in all of you, I wanted to share a few new academic items of interest.

Student Designs

Check out some of the new Student Design contest winners.

Student designs spark plug with NX software from Siemens PLM Software

Meet Andrii Marchenko who is studying dynamics at Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute National Technical University in the Ukraine. He used NX to design a spark plug.

Student designs spark plug in NX software from Siemens PLM Software

Meet Miao Sun (on the left) who is a postgraduate student majoring in mechanical design and automation at Nantong University in Jiangsu Province, China. He used Solid Edge to design this rotary dehumidifier.

Solid Edge student design from Nantong University

Miao Sun student design in Solid Edge software from Siemens PLM Software

Invent something and enter your student design.


Student and School Software

To help students and schools design, we continue to add new and free software to our Academic Resource Center.


Technology in Academic Action

  • Students at the Universidad Tecnologica Nacional (U.T.N.) in Argentina gain practical skills with Solid Edge and Femap by completing a commercial design project in their final year.
    “This gives students the opportunity to apply the different CAD, CAE and CAM tools they have utilized throughout their studies, while strengthening the link between academia and the workplace,” says Carlos Melo, laboratory chief at U.T.N. “The employment rate of our graduates is over 90 percent because the local market needs professionals who understand PLM and have hands-on experience with advanced technology tools and real-world projects.”

  • Students at Voronezh State Engineering University (VSEU) in Russia develop skills across PLM, including 3D modeling, NC programming, simulation, production planning and assembly visualization.
    “Collaboration, with the help of Tecnomatix, Teamcenter, Solid Edge and NX, enables students to learn teamwork principles, gets them ready for real-life production processes at modern manufacturing companies, and establishes an advanced production-management mindset,” says Mikhail I. Chizhov, professor and Intellectual CAD Technologies department head, VSEU.

  • One of the great things about being part of a large company like Siemens is the chance to collaborate with universities across many subjects. Eric Spiegel, CEO of Siemens USA, is visiting Penn State Jan. 24. Check out the press release for more on some of the areas Siemens and Penn State collaborate, including R&D, engineering, medical and sustainability.

Projects & Competitions


Now if all that didn’t inspire the kid in you, let me share two finallinks with you.

  • Read this interview over on GrabCAD with Rosario Costa, design director of LEGO Group. If you want to work for LEGO as a design engineer, she notes that you need a background in engineering and craftsmanship.

  • Check out Make magazine and tell me that Pancake Bot doesn’t make you want to make something today. At the very least, some pancakes.

Happy inventing kids (of all ages)!

–        Dora


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