Faculty/Staff

Meet the People

Lehigh University's Technical Entrepreneurship master's program brings experienced entrepreneurs from numerous industries into the classroom to impart real-world insight and guidance in product and business development. The program's innovative faculty members are experts in the fields of entrepreneurial thinking and product design, teaching students how to create, build, and launch ideas from the ground up.

Faculty

John Ochs
Professor and Director of the Technical Entrepreneurship Program; KEEN Faculty Mentor

An award-winning innovator in curriculum and program development, John Ochs joined Lehigh University's Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department in 1979 and founded and directed its Computer-Aided Design Labs from 1980 to 1999. From 1985-95 he did extensive industry consulting and was involved in the startup of three companies.

 

Since 1996, he has directed Lehigh’s Integrated Product Development (IPD) program now called the Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) Capstone program. What started as a pilot in 1994 as a capstone experience for mechanical engineering majors is now cross-listed in engineering, business, and arts with more than 300 students participating each year. The program won the 1996 American Society of Mechanical Engineers' curriculum innovation award and the 1997 Newcomen Society’s award for the promotion of America’s free-enterprise system. In 2012 the TE capstone program was recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as one of the top 30 schools in the nation to provide students with real-world hands-on experiences.

 

John Ochs is the founder and director of Lehigh University’s Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship (TE) (www.lehigh.edu/innovate). In 2014 the Technical Entrepreneurship Masters won the first place award for “Excellence in Talent Development” by the University Economic Development Associations (UEDA). In June 2014, the editors of the Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship (JEEN) presented Professor Ochs the Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneer award. In June 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). In 2014 former President Gast established the “John B. Ochs” prize for excellence in Teaching Entrepreneurship which is awarded each year to deserving young Lehigh faculty. In the 2017, the UEDA again recognized Lehigh’s KEEN (Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network) Initiative to transform engineering education led by Professor Ochs with the first place prize for excellence in curriculum innovation.

 

Professor Ochs lives in Bethlehem, PA with Anne, his wife of 47 years. He has 3 sons and 7 grandchildren. In his free time Professor Ochs is a hacker – golf, not software!

Marc de Vinck
Professor of Practice

Before coming to Lehigh, Marc de Vinck was director of product development at MAKE magazine and a member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board. He has written numerous posts on do-it-yourself science and technology on makezine.com, as well as articles and featured builds in the print version of MAKE. He speaks at events across the country. De Vinck previously worked in fields as diverse as traditional metal smith, illustrator, and 3D model maker. He thrives on the process of making and educating, with one of his greatest career accomplishments the implementation of Maker Faire's Learn to Solder program, which taught more than 10,000 people a lifelong skill and hopefully inspired many to realize they are makers. De Vinck’s interests include micro-controllers, open source hardware, interactive art, and anything that uses technology in a unique way. He also enjoys great design, regardless of the medium. When he’s not developing a new product in his studio – a rare occurrence – he’s skiing, playing ice hockey, or out sailing with his family.

Michael Lehman
Professor of Practice

One finds Michael Lehman at the intersection of entrepreneurship, science, and higher education. Prior to joining the Lehigh faculty, Lehman developed and grew new entrepreneurship programs at the Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence, part of the University of Pittsburgh's Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business and College of Business Administration. At Pitt, he served as director of PantherlabWorks, a consulting group designed to catalyze the commercialization of new technologies by supporting innovators and entrepreneurs from a variety of academic backgrounds and professional experiences. As director of student entrepreneurship, he created new academic courses and cross-campus programs to provide hands-on, experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students throughout the university. Earlier in his career, Lehman was founding director of the Juniata College Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Lehman serves on the advisory board of several technical-based startups and is a regular presenter at national conferences, including VentureWell (formerly National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance). Lehman holds a B.S. from Juniata College, an M.D. from the Penn State College of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from the Leeds University of Business School in England.

Joseph E. Maenner
Adjunct Professor

Attorney Joe Maenner founded Maenner & Associates, LLC in 2011 after practicing in intellectual property boutique firms and general practice firms, as well as serving as in-house counsel for a small high-technology startup company. He has taken the “best practices” from all of those experiences and molded them together to produce his firm. In addition, he has eliminated the “billable hour” and replaced it with a fixed fee that is quoted to and agreed upon by the client prior to each phase of his work. Maenner graduated from the Dickinson School of Law (now part of the Pennsylvania State University) in 1996 and began actively practicing intellectual property law in 1998. His client base has ranged from Fortune 500 companies to large research universities, from small, privately held companies to independent inventors.

Joshua Cohen
Lecturer

Joshua Cohen, a shareholder of intellectual property law firm RatnerPrestia, has practiced intellectual property law since 1992, drawing from his engineering and legal background to help emerging companies and multi-national corporations protect and respect IP rights. Cohen executes strategies that protect product innovations in the U.S. and abroad by securing patent, trademark, trade dress, trade secret, and copyright rights. He also reduces the IP risks associated with new technology and design innovations. Cohen earned his Engineering degree from Lehigh University and his Law degree from Widener University, where he served as editor-in-chief of Widener’s Law Review. Cohen is president of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the Product Development and Management Association, an organization dedicated to promoting and managing product innovation, and he is an executive committee member of the Tokyo Intellectual Property American Inn of Court, a Tokyo-based organization chartered to promote excellence in professionalism, ethics, and civility in IP law. He lectures internationally about IP strategies and best practices.

Matthew Bilsky
Adjunct Professor

Matt has a Mechanical Engineering Ph.D. from Lehigh University focused on smart product design, Technical Entrepreneurship, mechatronics, and engineering education. He holds two additional Lehigh degrees: a BS in Mechanical Engineering with an Electrical Engineering minor and a Master of Engineering degree also in Mechanical Engineering. Matt also owns Impossible Incorporated LLC to commercialize his passion and experience in Engineering Design and Development. Their first product, also Matt’s dissertation work, is a novel snake-like robot that can drive, drill, and see inside walls to run wires without the mess. It won second place in the 2016 Lemelson/MIT consumer product invention competition in addition to receiving numerous other grants and awards. Matt is an avid skier clocking 60+ days a year on the hill while also working as a race official for the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association Atlantic Highlands Conference in addition to guiding whitewater rafting trips and being a licensed Contractor, EMT, and Engineer in Training.

Marsha Timmerman
Professor of Practice

Marsha Wender Timmerman joined the Technical Entrepreneurship program in July 2017. Prior to joining Lehigh she was a faculty member at La Salle University in their Integrated Science, Business and Technology Department where she designed and developed courses integrating the life sciences and entrepreneurship. She played a pivotal role in establishing the La Salle Center for Entrepreneurship and the La Salle Makerspace. Prior to La Salle, she had over 14-years’ experience with biotechnology start-up companies. She was a founding scientist with Enzymatics, Inc. where she was an inventor of the QED® Saliva Alcohol Test. After Enyzmatics, she co-founded JWT, Inc. where she developed and manufactured LacTest®, a lactic acid test kit for endurance athletes. She was President of JWT until its merger with Binax, Inc. Timmerman holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Zoology from Michigan State and Rutgers Universities. In 1995, Timmerman was named Working Woman Magazine Entrepreneurial Grant Award Winner. Timmerman is a member of the Board of Directors of Biocoat, a medical device coating specialist and a manufacturer and distributor of infertility diagnostic products. She is also a consultant and advisor to a number of small companies. When not thinking about entrepreneurial ventures, Timmerman can be found on her small farm enjoying her 6 llamas.

Staff

Jodie Johnson
Assistant Director of the Technical Entrepreneurship Program

Jodie Johnson is the Assistant Director for Lehigh University's Technical Entrepreneurship Program, working with the program's students and faculty. Jodie works closely with students and applicants on a daily basis, assisting with applications, course registration, purchasing, curriculum materials, campus visits, and more. Jodie brings more than 25 years of experience at Lehigh University to her position, having worked for Lehigh's Energy Research Center as publications and administration coordinator since 1993. Previous experience included working as an administrative assistant for Northeast Tier Ben Franklin Technology Center. Jodie has experience with small businesses, as the daughter of small business owners and a former co-owner of her own businesses.

Brian Slocum
Managing Director, Design Labs, Wilbur Powerhouse

In addition to managing Lehigh University's Wilbur Powerhouse Prototyping Lab and Chandler-Ullmann Wood Shop, Brian Slocum teaches courses in prototyping and metalworking and advises Integrated Product Development teams. Returning to Lehigh (his alma mater '97) after completing the MFA Design program at North Carolina School of the Arts, Slocum has worked in both Lehigh's Theatre Department and Design Arts Program. In addition to his work at the university, Slocum co-founded Isosceles Design Studio, LLC, a design firm specializing in custom furniture and architectural and interior design.