Interview With Cory Goulden of National Steel Car

By Dora Smith


One thing I realized while reaching out to some of our customers in honor of Engineers Week is that we really need a CAD Designers Week, a CAD/PLM Administrators Week and maybe even CAE Analysts Week. There are many folks in engineering without the title “engineer” or even the traditional engineering education. Some are focused on design or the administration of engineering tools.

In light of Canada’s Olympic gold-medal win in hockey last night, I thought it was appropriate to feature a Canadian CAD Administrator today! Cory Goulden is CAD Administrator at National Steel Car. I met Cory live during the initial launch of Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology two years ago in Toronto. We recently caught up in this “e-interview”:

Q: Cory, you mentioned to me your son is really into the Titanic boat right now – and it had nothing to do with your house flooding last summer. When you were his age, what were you fascinated by?

A: Lego and woodworking in my Grandfather’s shop. Both had limitless possibilities. The latter lead me to eventually creating my own scaled drawings of my designs. It also has an element of fine detail and creativity, which I enjoy.

Q: What did you think you would be when  you grew up?
A: I never really focused on one job. I always had a difficult time as people would always tell you how tough it was to get a job in any field. Eventually I realized that if there are only 5 jobs for 1,000 possible candidates, all you have to do is make sure you are in the top 5 right?  If it is what you truly want to do and you have the aptitude there should be no problem.

The simple answer though was maybe a pilot of a F-18 Hornet as a wish but the first job I really wanted was a Kindergarten teacher.

Q: What do you think is the coolest invention ever?
A:  I LOVE the computer.  There have been other inventions that are great but on a personal level, the computer.  From the first day I touched a “portable” Apple II or a Commodore PET/VIC 20/64 my imagination kicked into overdrive with the possibilities.  I spent two full days writing code and recorded it on a tape just to make “birds” flew across the screen.

Q: What engineer do you most admire (living or dead)?
Right now I am still pretty fascinated with Guy Kawasaki. I heard him present at PLM Connection and a part of my brain had the lights turn on.  I was enthralled with his presentation. I never like to focus on just one thing for too long. I love to learn and everyone can share something towards bettering your life.

Q: What do you love most about being an engineer?
A: Technically I am not an Engineer…yet.  I have always been amazed at what can actually be calculated. Every since the first time I got my hands on the Machinery’s Handbook, I see everything differently. The world seems like it is a little less random and chaotic.

Q: What kind of projects do you work on?
I get to work on regular CAD administrator and design projects but I love the opportunity to try to fix something or improve something…especially if it has little chance of success or is very difficult. I have done many things at NSC and I am very grateful for the opportunities provided this far.  Intranet, Internet site, cross departmental use of Solid Edge are a few opportunities outside the normal everyday tasks.

Q: What’s a typical day in your life? (how much time spent at the computer…how much time collaborating with coworkers…how much time playing video games wink)
A:  A typical day is anything but typical.  All day firefighting, high pressure projects, restricted timelines…That’s in my spare time!  Collaboration is the key to determining what the end result should be. Oh, I am not a kid anymore but video games are the reason I like computers. I can never turn my back on an old friend!

Q: Two years ago you filmed your son using Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology to design a vacuum cleaner…any recent projects you two have collaborated on?
A:  My son is about to try ST2. I am going to leave it up to him and see what he comes up with but I am sure it will have something to do with the Titanic. By the way – thanks to Designfusion and Z Corp. printers for Conor’s birthday present – a prototype 3D print of his famous vacuum model. They really do care about the little guy.  Thanks Sandi!


Q: Do you love railcars so much you’d like to live in one?
A:  I think I know more than I ever thought possible about railcars. I thought that there was nothing to them and that my future was bleak. That was 12 years ago. Thanks for the chance NSC!

Q: Anything you’d like to add to this post in light of Canada’s victory last night? You can rub it in if you like wink
A: That win in that manner proved that the U.S. has great interest in the sport.  It very easily could have gone the other way.  We did win though, as I predicted…  This team was destined to win… We could not be denied.

In a few words though  Woo Hoo!!!

Cory, thanks again for your time and inspiring the next generation of designers, engineers – and CAD administrators.

(fyi, previous blog posts on Cory include: Chris Kelley’s video interview and see Susan Cinadr’s blog post featuring Cory’s son designing in Solid Edge.)

Let us know if you have any questions for Cory and if like these e-interviews.


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