Designing for the circular economy, research and industry practices

Panel Discussion with Kate Harmon, Kiersten Muenchinger, Leo Ochoa

  • LinkedIn

Kate Harmon

Director of Cross-Campus Engagement

Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship

University of Oregon

Kate Harmon is the Director of Cross-Campus Engagement for the University of Oregon’s Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship where she leads student entrepreneurship efforts for the campus and teaches entrepreneurship as an Instructor of Management for the Lundquist College of Business. Prior to UO, she led a Blackstone Launchpad accelerator program at Kent State University. As a former small business and nonprofit founder, Harmon is active in building her community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Her students have gone on to start nonprofits and businesses in the technology, consumer product, food, retail and service sectors, join nationally recognized accelerators and have raised over $40 million in venture funding.

  • LinkedIn

Leo Ochoa



Leo Ochoa is a product designer, entrepreneur and best-known as the founder of Dorsumtech; a local startup building the next generation of personal body support devices. He loves the startup pace and holds several patents from his work having designed for sportswear and healthcare companies.

  • LinkedIn

Kiersten Muenchinger

Associate Professor

Department of Product Design

University of Oregon

Kiersten Muenchinger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Product Design at the University of Oregon. Muenchinger’s research seeks to identify the intersection points of the quantitative sustainability metrics and the qualitative sustainability strategies utilized in product design. Her teaching focuses on sustainable design, collaborative community design and design entrepreneurism. Her experimental work has received commendation by Gray magazine’s Hot, New Next; Red Dot; IDEA; the Green Product Award, Germany; ShowPDX, Portland; and Salão Design, Brazil. She has been a US Fulbright scholar specializing in sustainable product design with Polis University in Tirana, Albania, and with Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Before joining UO, Kiersten practiced as a design engineer with the global businesses IDEO, Fitch, Sottsass Associatti, and Walt Disney Imagineering.