John Ochs

Professor Emeritus 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) ( 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!