The Manufactory Team

We are proud of our team and the work we do together. Please let us make a short introduction


Ben Barnes
General Manager and Chief Engineer
Ben brings an exciting range of experience to The Product Manufactory. During his masters program at the University of Illinois he prototyped and tested several home appliances. He also has extensive mechanical design and analysis experience from four years in DOD and DOE labs. In between all that, Ben spent a year and a half in developing countries learning to work across cultures in challenging environments, and to appreciate the need for a wider price-performance envelope.
Dyson Singer (Mac)
Director of Industrial Design
Mac takes the lead in TPM's design, fabrication, and prototyping efforts. After getting his BA in Industrial Design at the UI, Mac spent five years building high-end museum exhibits throughout the United States. He also has a background of artistic work in fine metals and traditional forging and casting. Over the last few years, he has expanded into electronics and digital controls and was employed as a research technician at the UI. His fabrication and field experience now support his design work and project planning on several TPM projects.
Brent Wagner
Director of Marketing and Graphic Design
Brent has been working with us for over 3 years and always delivers great graphic design. He is easy to work with and brings significant experience from the Chicago advertising industry. In fact, all of the graphical elements of this website are his work.
Bryan Wilcox
President and Managing Partner
Bryan has extensive industry experience at General Electric, Northrup Grumman, and John Deere. He finished his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Illinois in 2011, and decided to pursue a career as an entrepreneur. His first business was an electrical vehicle company where he designed and built, from scratch, a 3-wheeled electric car that achieved 800mpg. Bryan's efforts at the Manufactory are focused on general business leadership, building solid client relationships, and contributing mechanical and manufacturing expertise to project teams.
Mercedes Mane
Managing Partner
Mercedes has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Purdue, a Master's from Illinois in Aerospace, and has significant hardware experience from prior work in industry. She and Bryan have been working together on many projects that involve close collaboration with mechanical and electronics systems, starting with the electrical vehicle. This close collaboration assures great results on every project. At the Manufactory, Mercedes makes sure everything runs smoothly and that projects are on track. In addition to operations, she heads up all of electronics development and is a key member of virtually every project team.
Marc Yanni
CAD Design and Model Making
Marc joined the Manufactory in 2013 as a CAD drafter and model maker. His education is in woodworking and machining and he is very capable with many other materials and tools. Marc oversees the prototyping facilities and ensures our space and equipment are in good shape and ready for work. Marc is a quick learner and ready to tackle any project you send his way.
Armela Mane
Electrical Design
Armela contributes a unique mix of technical skill and marketing ability. She recently finished her BS in Electrical Engineering at Purdue prior to joining us. In addition to her significant technical skills in robotics, Armela is passionate about consumer products, whether shopping for them or creating them. At The Manufactory she works on electronics development and marketing strategy.
Zachary Beran
Electrical Engineer
Zac comes to us after finishing a BS in Electrical Engineering at the University of Illinois and spending several years as a Test Engineer. Having extensive experience working with and troubleshooting a widespread variety of industrial equipment, he brings a unique design outlook promoting efficiency and simplicity.
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