Thomas Katona – Associate Professor

Office: 192-236
Phone Number: 805-756-2673


Thomas Katona received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Electrical and Computer Engineering.  He holds an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina Moore School of Business and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Westmont College. Dr. Katona works jointly with the Orfalea College of Business, focusing on Entrepreneurship, Product Development and Commercialization, and Design Thinking.  Prior to joining Cal Poly, he served in senior roles for three successive startups (SET Inc., Soraa, and NEXT Lighting), commercializing novel light emitting semiconductors and lighting systems.

Research Interests

Ideation and Entrepreneurship
Product Innovation
Rapid Prototyping & Lean Development