About Modern Edge

Modern Edge, Inc. launched in 2007 and has grown every year since. The Modern Edge team offers decades of industry experience in health care, device engineering, service design, product development, and business model innovation. Our team is deeply committed to human-centered design, immersive ethnography, and the principles of rapid iteration and prototyping.

Management Team

 Bio-Shot2Austen Angell, Founder and CEO

Austen oversees all design innovation at Modern Edge. He has led research and design programs for the world’s most innovative companies such as Intel Corporation, Procter & Gamble, St Jude, Medtronic, Gillette, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson, John Deere, BMW, and 3M, among others. He serves as the Creative Director at Modern Edge and is responsible for design direction, strategy, and innovation. Prior to founding Modern Edge, Austen Angell was the Director of Design Research and Innovation at Intel Corporation, VP of Design and CDO at Logic Technologies, and Design Director at National Cycle. Austen was elected by his peers to serve as the national Chair of the Industrial Design Society of America. He is an internationally sought speaker on innovation and design. Austen also ran the Intellectual Property Team at Placon Corporation, has served as an expert witness on design patent issues and is a recognized authority on patent issues. Read Austen’s full bio

AdrianAdrian Polliack PhD, COO

Adrian oversees operations, project management and strategic services at Modern Edge. In addition to a PhD in biomedical engineering, Adrian brings more than 20 years of experience in new product development, product launch and executive management experience in the medical device and product development area. Prior to joining Modern Edge, Adrian provided executive advice to companies on strategic initiatives and spent 13 years at SAM Medical, a global provider and manufacturer of emergency medical products. At SAM Medical, he was President & COO, and earlier he was VP of Research and Development.  Before SAM Medical, Adrian was VP of Research and Development at DermaSafe Systems, a medical materials startup. His position at DermaSafe built on the considerable experience he garnered as project manager at the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. During this tenure, he also was adjunct faculty for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California.  Adrian serves on industry association boards, including the Oregon Bioscience Association, which he chaired in 2013. He holds numerous patents worldwide. He earned a BS degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a PhD in biomedical engineering from Oxford University, England


Blair Barnes, Creative Services Manager

Blair guides our creative team in designing and executing evocative and meaningful solutions that meet consumer and client needs. Blair supervises design quality and continuity by focusing on the end-user at every step of the project process. He also collaborates closely with the leadership team to identify and execute effective strategy and targeted innovation to develop robust solutions for clients. Blair’s 30-year innovation career includes design consulting, senior corporate staff positions, marketing positions, and design education. Prior to joining Modern Edge, Blair created enduring and beautiful designs for some of the world’s most admired brands including: Nike, Leatherman, Oasis, The Scotts Company, Texas Instruments and Evenflo. Blair’s recent experiences, directing footwear innovation developments at Nike, and managing and marketing hand tools as an “intrepreneur” at Leatherman, further enabled him to shape solutions that inspire consumers, stimulate company profits and build brands. Blair is named on numerous utility and design patents and has been a member of award winning design teams. His work has appeared in I.D. magazine, Baseball Japan, Outdoor Retailer and Thrasher and on Core77.com. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Design and a Masters of Arts in Design Management and Planning.

Stephanie Battista, Senior Strategist Wearables

Stephanie is the Senior Strategist for Wearables and is part of the Leadership Team at Modern Edge. She directs medical and wearable technology programs and is responsible for guiding and collaborating with cross functional teams to deliver and measure people-centered design solutions.  As our senior strategist she articulates what people value and need as well as assess the business impact and implications of technology, and design. Her role is to develop holistic user experiences as well as implementing strategy for innovative products, services.  For over a decade prior to joining Modern Edge, Stephanie was the principal of her own product design and development firm specializing in lifestyle product design, soft goods, and wearables for technology-driven start-ups. Stephanie brings expertise in hand-held and wearable devices, materials, and technology. She is an Industrial Design graduate of Savannah College of Art + Design.

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