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Rev Welcomes Deanna Kocher, Assistant Director of Hardware Programs

Rev Welcomes Deanna Kocher, Assistant Director of Hardware Programs

The next time you stop by Rev, you’re likely to hear the whirring sounds of a 3D-printer or laser cutter coming from the shop. This is largely thanks to Deanna Kocher, Rev’s newest assistant director of hardware programs. An expert in mechanical engineering and industrial design, Kocher spends her days supporting the technical development of startup teams in Rev’s Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator and Prototyping Hardware Accelerator. 

After receiving her bachelor’s degree in Integrated Engineering from Lehigh University, Kocher worked in industry before returning to academia and receiving an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Cornell University. While at Cornell, Kocher specialized in child-robot collaboration, where she designed, built, and play-tested robots with children all around Ithaca.

Her journey to joining Rev happened by chance.  

“I had been working on a new product for children, and was thinking about joining the [Prototyping Hardware Accelerator] as an entrepreneur ,” she said. “But the engineer in me fell for the shop and the equipment, and the idea of a summer job supporting tens of other entrepreneurs felt like a better use of my skillset. That 10-minute tour turned into a summer job, and evolved from there.” 

After a successful summer supporting startup teams as lead instructor for the Prototyping Hardware Accelerator, Kocher was brought on full-time. Tackling everything from product design consultations and prototyping in the shop to interviewing and recruiting new hardware teams, no two days look the same.  

“I like the energy. I think that was a lot of what drew me in over the summer was the excitement of working with people who had new ideas, who were trying new things, and to be able to build and prototype and pivot very quickly,” Kocher said. “I like the collaborative atmosphere, the ability to prototype and build out cutting edge concepts — it’s really exciting.” 

Kocher’s contributions to Rev go beyond working one-on-one with hardware teams. In addition to things like moderating eCornell panels and representing Rev’s hardware programs at regional events, she’s been pivotal in working to evolve the hardware accelerator curriculum to meet the needs of the startup teams.  

“I couldn’t be more thrilled that Deanna has joined the team,” said Rother. “Her expertise is an invaluable resource for Rev’s hardware accelerator teams and she’s bringing exciting, innovative ideas to our programming.”  

When she isn’t busy consulting with teams or working in the shop, Kocher fills her free time with a wide variety of passions and pursuits like karate, skiing, and woodworking. Her canine companion Pepper is a Rev fixture, and the duo spend their weekends exploring Ithaca’s different hiking trails.  

Interested in getting involved with the work Deanna is doing or collaborating with her to bring your idea to life? Applications are currently being accepted for the summer 2023 Prototyping Hardware Accelerator. RSVP for an info session to learn more.