Meet the Team




Dr. Akhtar received his PhD in Neuroscience and MS in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016, where he holds an NIH MD/PhD Fellowship. Dr. Akhtar received his BS in Biology in 2007 and MS in Computer Science in 2008 at Loyola University Chicago. In 2016, he won the $20,000 Illinois Innovation Prize. His research is on motor control and sensory feedback for upper limb prostheses, and he has collaborations with the Bretl Research Group at Illinois, the Center for Bionic Medicine at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, the John Rogers Research Group at Northwestern University, and the Range of Motion Project in Guatemala and Ecuador.



Jesse Cornman

Sr. Robotics Engineer

Jesse received his BS in Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2017. He has won multiple awards for electronics he has designed and manufactured for robotic systems. His work has included the design of pressure sensing systems, robotic control systems, EMG acquisition systems, and tactile feedback mechanisms.



Shree Thaker

Director of Development and Sales

Shree received her BS in Biology and minor in Medicine and Society from Virginia Tech in 2014 and is obtaining her MSc in Global Health Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM). Growing up in the military community, she has had a strong passion for working with wounded veterans and underserved populations who commonly fall through systematic cracks. Her experience in physical rehabilitation and fabrication of prosthetics and orthotics led her to working with the Range of Motion Project in Ecuador and Guatemala. There she had the opportunity to influence policy efforts addressing the gap between access to resources for individuals with disabilities. It is with these experiences that she comes to PSYONIC to continue to empower individuals with amputations to strive towards their goals by working hand-in-hand with users and practitioners. 



Whitney Akhtar

Director of Operations

Whitney Akhtar received her Masters in Social Work through Loyola University Chicago. In her work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Whitney has built her skills in managing the interaction between clinical work, administrative processing, and policy. At PSYONIC, Whitney oversees administrative tasks with employees and as well as for the PSYONIC product line. In addition to working at PSYONIC, Whitney teaches in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois.



Zipeng (Bird) Wang

Power Electronics Engineer

Bird received his MS in Aerospace Engineering in 2018 and BS in Computer Engineering in 2015 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was the lead embedded designer for the IlliniSat-2 bus that was used for 5 CubeSat missions in conjunction with NASA. At PSYONIC, his work has included power delivery, wireless communication, and pressure sensing.


James Austin

Lead Mechanical Engineer

James received his MS in Mechanical Engineering in 2018 from the University of Alberta in the BLINC Lab. He received his BE in Mechanical Engineering in 2013 from McGill University. James worked on designing satellites at MacDonald Dettweiler and Associates Satellites from 2014-2016. At PSYONIC, he works on design for manufacturing as well as implementing, conducting, and analyzing mechanical tests on all of PSYONIC’s products.



Gabe Delgado

Industrial Designer

Gabriel is currently studying Industrial Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is graduating in 2020. He works on hand and finger design for the bionic hand, and designs the UI/UX for the iOS and Android mobile application.



Dhipak Bala

Mechanical Designer

Dhipak received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in May 2019. He has worked on the design of UAV components and structural/aerodynamic components in carbon fiber. At PSYONIC, Dhipak works on composite manufacturing and mechanical design for the bionic hand.



Robert Mauge

Mechatronics Intern

Robert is currently studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He spends a lot of his time working on the mechanical and composite teams for the EV Concept car team on campus. At PSYONIC, his work mainly consists of manufacturing carbon fiber, creating silicone molds and cast plastic parts, and aiding in waterproofing the hand.



Yao Xiao

Mobile Application Development Intern

Yao is currently a graduate student in Information Management at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is graduating in Summer 2020. He received his BS in Telecommunication Engineering with Management at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunication in 2018. Yao has developed multiple softwares since undergraduate. At PSYONIC, Yao works on developing mobile application on both iOS and Android platform for Psyonic Company's bio-mechanical prosthetic arm.



Richard Mauge

Mechatronics Intern

Richard is a senior in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Outside of PSYONIC Richard is the composites lead for the Illini EV Concept, a car team on campus producing an efficient electrical vehicle each year. At PSYONIC Richard works closely with Dhipak and James on composite manufacturing and mechanical design of the bionic hand.



Patrick Shalton

Mechatronics Intern

Patrick is currently a sophomore studying Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He enjoys building model rockets and works on avionics systems for campus rocketry club. At PSYONIC, his work includes the assembly of electronics and various mechanical components of the hand.

meet the ADVISORS


David Rotter, CPO, LPO

Founder, CEO, Rotter Prosthetics

David is an American Board Certified and Illinois Licensed Prosthetist, Orthotist and Pedorthist with over 20 years of experience. He was formerly the Clinical Director of Prosthetics and Orthotics at Scheck & Siress, where he was also a member of the board of directors. He is also the chairman of the board of APOS central fabrication.


David Krupa, CP, LP

Co-FOUNDER, CEO, Range of Motion Project (ROMP)

David manages and develops ROMP's non-profit clinic sites in Guatemala and Ecuador. ROMP is an award-winning 501(C)(3) organization dedicated to providing a more equitable distribution of prostheses to those who need them worldwide.


Edumund "E.Q." Sylvester

FOUNDER, CEO, Freedom Golf Association

E.Q. is a triple amputee and the founder and chairman of the Freedom Golf Association, a 501(C)(3) charitable organization dedicated to bringing joy and a sense of freedom to the special needs community through their inclusion in the game of golf. Prior to his amputations, E.Q. was an international businessman having worked forty-one years for Rockefeller (IBEC) companies, General Motors Corp., and his own private company.


Matthew Taylor, MBA

Global director of sales & Marketing, Freudenberg-NOK

Matthew is a leader and builder of successful commercial teams. He has owned global P&Ls, built game changing strategies, redefined corporate cultures, and is the managing partner of an early stage investment fund.  He holds a Master of Business Administration from Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management and two Bachelor of Science degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology, one in Economics and one in Business Administration.

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Patrick is currently a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2016. Patrick has worked on the mechanical design of upper limb prosthetic hands and has worked with the Harvard Biodesign Lab. In 2016, he was named one of Forbes 30 under 30 in Healthcare.