Manuel Ochoa, PhD
Engineering a more systematic world
Manuel (Manny) Ochoa, PhD is a systems engineer, innovator, and researcher with expertise in the development of robotic automation systems and with a diverse technical background in digital electronics, MEMS, and medical device technologies.
Dr. Ochoa received his BS degree in electrical engineering from Caltech and his MSECE and PhD degrees from Purdue University. While at Caltech, he worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to design digital electronics hardware and implement visual odometry algorithms for use in the Mars rovers. At Purdue, his doctoral research focused on the development of low-cost, scalable, multifunctional, micro-systems for medical applications, with special emphasis on transdermal delivery of therapeutics and the treatment of chronic dermal wounds. His work was licensed by a health-tech start-up (Mednoxa, Inc.) to develop advanced wound dressings. He continued his research as a post-doctoral researcher at Purdue, this time focusing on scalability and commercial viability of flexible medical systems that leverage the emerging flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) ecosystem.
During his graduate and post-graduate career, Dr. Ochoa has co-authored over 70 publications in world renowned journals and international conferences and a book chapter. He has also mentored multiple undergraduate and graduate student researchers, taught university courses for over six years, and led research teams on multi-institutional research endeavors focusing on the development of scalable manufacturing processes for next-generation wound dressings (NSF EFRI BioFlex and NextFlex PC 1.0).
Dr. Ochoa's interest in commercialization of emerging technologies led him to participate in the NSF's iCorps (Great Lakes hub) program. His experience from the program allowed him to lead an NSF SBIR Phase I program as Principal Investigator at SmartGait LLC, where he managed, both R&D and business development activities for translation of an electronic healthcare device from the lab to the end users. He subsequently started a consulting firm to help tech start-ups translate their ideas to working prototypes with manufacturable designs via a systems thinking approach. More recently he joined another start-up, Miso Robotics Inc., where he currently leads the Systems Engineering team to commercialize AI-driven robotics systems for commercial kitchens.