Avant Design Group 

Our Focus

Avant Design Group is a team of consulting professionals with complimentary, diverse skill sets and experience; who will work to bring your idea to reality or help to improve your existing products or process.

We solve problems.

We will work with you to develop a vision for where you want your project, product or company to go - and we will bring to bear our expertise in design and development to make it happen.

Should even more specialized needs become clear, we will engage different members of our extended team to help bring their deep technical and professional skills to your project, allowing us to tailor our team for your needs. Our unique way of doing business allows us to bring you an exceptionally large breadth and depth of talent, without the high cost you'd associate with such overarching capabilities.


lukas scheurer

Lukas started his career in Industrial Design as the head of a small in house design team for a medical devices company, shortly after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2013 with a BFA in Industrial Design. He went on to launch a freelance design practice doing design work for a multitude of clients, growing his client list through word of mouth. Through work with a multitude of companies and individuals, Lukas has conceived, designed, and constructed dozens of products across fields as disparate as industrial sewing equipment, automated blood sample testing, watercraft, water bottles, and consumer electronics.

In 2014 Lukas launched the Linkmount, a multi-use phone accessory and mounting system for consumer electronics. Lukas has had a hand in the development of many extremely popular products, from his work with the RocketBook team, to metal-working tooling for titanium implants, to bike lights and kitchen products.

In addition to working full time at Avant, Lukas also teaches at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).


Will Vahle

Will began consulting work with his involvement in CastleOne Castings in 2010, where he helped to bring a once shuttered company back up to speed, producing pre-cast concrete architectural products, as well as terraforming products. Will went on to do undergraduate work at a range of schools, from Babson College to Harvard University, with a focus on Physics and Economics. Through consulting work and in-house R&D, Will has continued to grow a passion for Electrical Engineering and Product Design.

In addition to a focus on electronic devices, will has worked with several military contractors on a wide range of products, from weapons detection/security screening hardware to manufacturing techniques and industrial equipment for the assembly of high performance garments. Will has also taught and worked in autonomous robotics and the design and development of precision laboratory equipment.



Shaohan Zhou

Shaohan is an entrepreneur originally from Hebei, China. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Drexel University with dual majors in Marketing and Legal Studies and a masters degree from New York University in Brand Management. Shaohan is a chapter leader at Ford Foundation and Golden Bridge’s non-profit organization, focusing on U.S. and China relations and bridge building among students and young innovators.

In 2010, Shaohan co-founded a for-profit international educational management & services company in Rhode Island, which has brought thousands of students to the United States for educational programs at prestigious schools across the US, especially Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design. 

Working between Beijing and Providence, he now helps US companies connect with manufacturing and services partners in China, to build and manage ongoing relationships.


danielius kramnik

Danielius Kramnik joined us from MIT’s Research Laboratory for Electronics, where, after finishing his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering at MIT, he was working on avalanche photodiodes for single photon detection in cryogenic, high vacuum quantum computing applications.

Kramnik is highly proficient in the design of precision, innovative circuits, and has a knack for clever solutions to complex circuit design problems, helping to reduce cost, restrict failure modes, and get products to market quickly.

Having been building circuits and systems since a very young age, Kramnik has had time to cover a great deal of ground. He has worked as an intern at several companies, including Apple, SpaceX and FormLabs, and done work as a consultant for various consumer electronics manufacturers and military contractors.



Jordan Priar

Jordan has been with Avant since the very beginning, and is the go-to guy to solve any issues across our work. Talented in everything from highly skilled prototyping work - milling & turning, laser/waterjet operation, toolmaking, moldmaking and casting, soldering and electronics assembly, painting and finishing etc. - to crisis management and group logistics.Jordan does work on just about every prototype that passes through Avant, and checks the quality on parts received from 3rd party shops. 

Jordan is pictured here with his now fully restored Porsche 944, one of the many automobiles he loves working on. 

Jacob Weaver


Jacob Weaver is a marketing and branding specialist as well as a fundraiser and lead developer of strategic partnerships. He founded Advertise for America after producing and directing a Super Bowl halftime commercial in graduate school and has since served as producer and creative director for many advertising, marketing, PR, branding and product launch campaigns. He is also a realestate investor and known for his ability to design and implement strategic growth plans to generate new sources of revenue for companies and organizations both large and small.

Irina Kantor

Irina Kantor is a Materials Scientist and Mechanical Engineer who graduated from MIT in 2015. She works on bringing innovations in Materials Science to bear for our clients and products. Examples include development of a manufacturing process to include phase-change-based thermal management materials into a consumer electronics product, failure analysis and mitigation strategies for manufacturing processes, and post-failure analysis of products and equipment.

Irina is skilled in Rapid Prototyping techniques including three-dimensional CAD drafting, CNC machining, Design For Manufacturing, failure analysis and mathematical modeling. Irina is currently available for any number of engagements, including product design and manufacturing review, failure analysis, mathematical modeling of everything from Supply Chain to COGS analysis to Chemical Diffusion Modeling.

She has worked with us for 1.5 years, and resides in both Boston and Providence, and is an expert pianist.

Quang Phuc Kieu

Quang is an Electrical Engineer studying at MIT, who specializes in Electric Vehicles, Solar Electric Power Systems and Battery Management Systems. Quang continues his work as Principal Electrical Engineer for MIT’s Solar Electric Vehicle Group, where he led a re-design of the Battery Management System for the vehicle, as well as a refactoring of the car’s digital communications bus and Solar Maximum-Power-Point-Tracking system.

Quang is finishing a three month engagement working with Schneider Electric, on their redesign of recently-purchased APC’s formerly lead-acid UPS systems, converting them to efficient, compact and more environmentally friendly lithium-ion based systems. Quang is available for engagements involving electrical engineering, battery management, solar power, vehicle engineering & CAN bus systems, as well as composites design and manufacture. He enjoys teamwork and working very long hours!

Joe Berhoe

Joe holds a degree in Textile from the Rhode Island School of Design, and specializes in the design of soft goods - functional and fashion.

Joe was a material developer and manufacturing analyst at Burton Snowboards, specializing in their functional Outerwear products. Joe has spent time abroad in the apparel industry, auditing and training operations in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Islamabad, Pakistan.

He is our go-to-guy when it comes to soft goods design, and the design of soft goods for manufacturing.

Ansel Vahle

Ansel is a software engineer and senior at Brown University. He will receive a dual Bachelor's degree in Computer-Science/Economics and Classics in Spring 2018. Ansel has done work in scalable web systems, backend application architecture, algorithmic processing, financial modeling, macroeconomics and embedded controls systems.

Ansel has worked at r-squared macro, Cook Pine Capital, and Yelp, in addition to freelance work for military contractors, and his work with Avant. He is currently employed at AppNexus, a comparable direct competitor to Google in internet ad sales and the real-time auctioning of ad views on the web.

Ben Grace

Ben is a motion designer and creative technologist. Since graduating from Mississippi State in 2016 with a focus on Architecture and graphic design Ben co-founded Ambo Studios - a technology-driven, experiential design studio. Working at the intersection of digital + physical experience, Ben has developed a variety of interactive systems, architectural design builds and video content. He is also a highly skilled animator and video editor.

He is invested in learning new tools, and brings his diverse experience to bear developing innovative solutions to design problems. 


Advisory Group


leon shabott

Leon has run a dozen businesses in the New England area over the past 40+ years, in addition to being a Certified Paralegal and master tradesman. He is a fantastic project manager, and has controlled the operations of several contracting companies, from large scale restoration engagements, to the specialized construction of Aerial Adventure Parks.

Leon is an accomplished multi engine pilot and enjoys working on his art in the discipline of sculpture. 


Chris Pentacoff

Chris graduated from MIT in May 2014 with a degree in Aerospace and Aeronautics Engineering. Chris has worked at a few places, like iRobot and Janis Research. 

He currently works as an Advanced Lead Engineer at GE Aviation, where he concerns himself with things like fighter jet engines.

Chris has also been a mentor and leader on MIT's Solar Electric Vehicle Team for 16 years, and has helped to educate dozens of students on composites design and construction, as well as team strategy.

Chris is skilled at project development strategy, manufacturing analysis, vehicle dynamics, and is a master prototype maker.


Joe Lemay

Joe is an investor and management executive has helped companies like Nuance and Salesforce.com develop and sell large scale systems deployed for Fortune 500 companies and consumers. Joe holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Jake epstein

Jake is an experienced engineer, entrepreneur and product manager who has led and launched several products in the social, mobile and video space. Passionate around building products which span the complete technology stack - from bits and bytes to manufacturing. Jake holds a B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University.

If you think you might be a good fit for our team get in touch here:

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