About

WHO ARE WE?

Learn more about the leaders of the West Michigan Lakeshore SOLIDWORKS User Group.

Jake Vlietstra – Group Co-Leader

Jake is a Design Engineer at Fogg using SOLIDWORKS. He has been with Fogg 5 years and specializes in designing and assisting in the manufacturing of bottle-handling components. He received his degree in Manufacturing Engineering from Ferris State University. In his spare time you can find Jake with friends and family outside. He enjoys wheeling at the sand dunes, wakeboarding/skiing/knee boarding on the lake at the cottage, driving his bright green Camaro in the summer or a snowmobile in the winter, and even running those crazy obstacle races with mud and fire!

Mike Falik – Group Co-Leader

Mike is a Design Engineer at National Bulk Equipment using SOLIDWORKS. He designs bulk fillers, unloaders, conveyors and other handling equipment. He started his career designing for the medical industry, but transitioned into his current role about 5 years ago. Mike received his Mechanical Engineering degree from Michigan Technological University and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at GVSU. When he has free time, he enjoys it spending time with his family, mountain biking, playing soccer, or wood/metal working.

Jesse Reda – Group Co-Leader

Jesse is a mechanical design engineer at Fogg Filler supporting the aftermarket engineering team. He also is one of Fogg’s CAD administrators and is expert certified in SOLIDWORKS. Jesse started his career in consumer product design before transitioning to machine and mechanical design. He received his Bachelors from Ferris State University with minors in Military Science and Computer Programming. He also has an associates in Mechanical Design from Grand Rapids Community College. He is a passionate maker who spends his free time in his shop building everything from furniture to toys. He also enjoys shooting, bike riding, and anything outdoors.

Stephen Wierenga – Group Co-Leader

Stephen is the Lead Project Engineer and Owner of Perception Engineering. He lives in SOLIDWORKS and has built a team of contract engineers that provide Mechanical Design services to West Michigan companies using the software as their main tool. In addition to over 11 years of SOLIDWORKS experience, he has a BSME from Grand Valley State University and industry experience in Machine Design, Manufacturing and New Product Development. Outside of work Stephen enjoys spending time traveling with his wife and 7 week old son.

Jason Apol – Group Co-Leader (Electrical)

Jason has been part of the West Michigan electrical controls community since 1992. He currently the President and Principal Engineer at Logicraft Industrial Systems. Specialized electrical controls systems are daily fare. An assortment PLC’s, drives, and touchscreens are always nearby. Custom machinery, hydraulic presses, robot integration, and more bottle handling conveyor systems than he likes to admit. AutoCAD r9 was the tool of choice in ’92. Currently learning the ins and outs of SOLIDWORKS Electrical. Jason is married, with 5 children. He can occasionally be found flying a Cessna, on a snowmobile, or under water on a reef.

Randy Johnson – Group Advisor

Randy is a Design Engineer at Fogg and manages the Rinsing and Sanitizing Equipment Design Team. He has been with Fogg for 16 years and has
embraced the transition from AutoCAD to SOLIDWORKS® which took place 12 years ago. In addition, he is listed as inventor on seven patents! Randy enjoys flying remote-controlled gliders, shooting, and sailing when not at work.

Jared Huffman – Group Advisor

Jared is a Mechanical Design Engineer at Fogg Filler Company in the R&D group and has been using SOLIDWORKS for 10 years. He is one of Fogg’s CAD administrators and also teaches SOLIDWORKS as an Adjunct Professor at Grand Rapids Community College. He holds both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering and a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in Philosophy from Calvin College. He and his wife have a 2 year old son, and they are very active in their church.

OUR MISSION:

The purpose of the West Michigan Lakeshore SOLIDWORKS User Group (WMLSWUG) is to promote the free exchange of information related to the use of SOLIDWORKS and related products among the membership of the user group. It provides a forum in which the membership can assist each other in furthering their knowledge about and advancing their abilities in the use of SOLIDWORKS.

USER PARTICIPATION:

Our intention is to provide an open forum that is guided by the users involved for their own education and advancement revolving around the use of SOLIDWORKS in the professional environment. This can take the form of presenting topics, submitting information to WMLSUG for discussion or participating in the user group meetings. WMLSUG encourages any and all user participation from SOLIDWORKS users in the area as well as other user groups in helping shape and grow the WMLSUG User Group to fit the needs of the community.

It’s worth noting again, your involvement in this (and other) SOLIDWORKS User Groups is FREE!