Autodesk is a partner of the F1 in Schools™ project and builds software for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries. As stated in their official website, “Autodesk gives you the power to make anything”. Pursuit Racing got to interview Mrs Kamolwan Pongsapich, Autodesks’s Business Development Manager, and Ms Arpaporn Suporntip, the Country Manager. Our interview with them is available down below.

Q: What does Autodesk do?

A: We are a company that produces technology and software to support the manufacturer, designer, or anyone who has imaginations and wants to create something magical. There are three main industries we create software for. The first one is architect engineering construction or AEC. Any buildings, houses, Skytrain stations, airports, or anything that is constructed either as a high-rise or a low-rise use Autodesk in their designing processes. That is the first industry we work for. The second one that you guys are probably involved with is the design and engineering industry. Many product designs, for example, mobile phones, mouses, cars, or anything that is in pieces, big or small, or even something in the manufacturing factory or off-shore have been using the Autodesk software. The third industry is very familiar to you guys, but I don’t know if you know that movies such as Avatar, Spider-Man, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Thai movies, such as Love Destiny, and some CG you see involve the Autodesk software. They are the media and entertainment industry. Anything that is built into the building, or the car you drive, or the movies you watch, or the CG you see are all Autodesk’s products.

Q: At the moment, does your company, Autodesk, have any projects that you would like to announce to the public?

A: To be honest, I would like to say that Autodesk Thailand is not quite a big office. Ms Arpaporn is the country managers. Mr Top is the sales manager for the design and manufacturing industry. All in all, our office has 7-8 employees. In Thailand, we constantly have projects relating to education, for example, we organise a workshop for university students, most of whom are sophomores or juniors in the mechanical engineering and industrial engineering field, to use the Fusion 360 in their design process.

Q: What is your vision for Autodesk 5 years from now?

A: We want everybody to have their hands on easy-to-use tools and use them as one of the pieces of a jigsaw that help them succeed in the future. What we will constantly get ourselves involved in is education. We will continue to provide free software for students and teachers. If everyone is aware and help promote our world-class tools, it would be a great opportunity for us to compete with other countries, which have amazing tools on hands. If we don’t have any tools or don’t support this software, then that will be our limit. However, if we support and promote these tools in schools, such as Amnuay Silpa, or universities, students will be more confident in showing their abilities. If they all succeed, we’re happy to be a part behind their success. We’ll continue to get involved in education and help people to correctly use the software. I think everybody can be a designer or a manufacturer.

Q: How has Autodesk adapted to the rapidly advancing technology?

A: We had to change our business model from perpetual to subscription software licenses. Another very important thing was the cloud technology. We used to use machines that seem to have superpowers, same as when you used the fusion technology on Cloud for simulation. Therefore at Autodesk, we were trying to develop our technology to reduce the resources needed, such as hardware. We also did some investment. The first one was to invest in transferring our software to Cloud, using more superpowers. The second one was on IOT or the Internet of Things. Our company created solutions for example when you guys create your own automatic cars or whatever or the F1 in Schools™competition and want to upgrade them to have sensor or IOT to increase their efficiency. Our software was developed to incorporate these technologies with IOT. Plus being a smart device, such as the internet, or AI or Artificial Intelligence. Autodesk supports all future trends which already happen as of today.

Q: What is your opinion on the F1 in Schools™ STEM challenge?

A: For sure, we are proud to be a part of these types of projects in which students get to use the Autodesk software. We give support on software; you guys can use them for free anyway. Even though we do not sponsor much, but we view this as a great opportunity to support this group of students who can use our tools, grow up as mature adults and put themselves in this industry.

Q: What made Autodesk decide to support the F1 in Schools™ STEM challenge and what are your expectations for our team this year?

A: It’s an excellent opportunity. We don’t even have to promote ourselves; the students can work on their own. This is the reason why we want to give support. Some things we think are impossible for Thai students are proven wrong. Thai students are clever. That is why we need such little time to decide whether or not give support.

Another reason we decide to give support is that we think it’s so amazing that you guys are able to participate in this project, regardless of whether you will win or lose. If you win, we’ll count it as a bonus for us, but we don’t really think it’s a big deal. What we think is a big deal for us is that you have the courage to participate in this project, which can help you gain out-of-class experiences. They are very important because learning in a classroom and doing something out of class give you different kind of knowledge. If you work on a project as a group, you’ll get the experience and atmosphere of working with others. Many projects cannot be done individually. I think what is very crucial is when you guys think of how to manage your team and delegate work according to specialities so that the final project is finished. I want to try to support high school students. As I previously told you, we mostly engage with university students, however, we want to support you guys who come alone to ask for our sponsorship.

Q: Lastly, what advice can you give our team?

A: The rule is that a member cannot participate in the project for more than two years right? Ok. Even though you may no longer be in the F1 in Schools team, but you can still join in professional events, for example keeping in touch with Autodesk. You can get imaginations from many places and become an entrepreneur or a designer. You can do this even when you have not graduated. What I want to say is I want you guys to keep up with the new technology, keep yourselves updated and if you have anything you want Autodesk to give support to, such as updating the technology or joining in to some events, feel free to contact us. Another channel you can contact us is through Autodesk Thailand, where you can look at any updates. Or we have an official account which is Autodesk Asian, where you can follow up on any events happening. As I told you, Autodesk Thailand doesn’t have many employees. We have two people more than your team, nonetheless, we keep priorities. Therefore even after the competition is over, we can still help you talented students in one way or another. If we can manage our time, maybe we can collaborate on some future projects.