Irena Ilcheva is the Founder of Momentum R&D. With over 25 years of experience in textile and garment engineering, product development, and innovation strategy, Irena understands consumer problems and knows how to find solutions. She has years of experience with major brands like Macy’s and Nike, as well as startups and small businesses, developing everything from fashion and performance apparel to wearable medical devices. Her knowledge of advanced materials and engineering has led to collaborations with renowned academic institutions like Stanford and University of California San Diego.
As a textile engineer and product development expert, Irena Ilcheva spent 15 years working on cutting-edge technologies for the Nike Apparel Innovation Team. Key projects include the NIKE ACG COMM jacket, an ergonomic communication vest that houses a two-way radio (used by the Portland Ski & Rescue team), as well as the Nike PRECOOL vest. Her instrumental work in developing proof-of-concept prototypes contributed to the creation of corporate vision for new technologies, including Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight, Nike Aeroloft and Nike Aeroreact material technology.
Irena’s leadership throughout her career has resulted in foundational research in Aerodynamics and Thermal Physiology for sports apparel. Her concepts were featured in elite competition apparel for Olympics Swim and Track and Field athletes in three consecutive Olympic Games (Beijing, London and Rio).
In addition to her innovation strategy and product development services, Irena currently provides Tech to Market support for projects under the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E DELTA program in the area of Thermoregulation textiles. An expert in advanced materials, Irena does research and development work for major sportswear companies in the area of new polymer yarn development and evolution of garment construction methods of making.
To find out more about the full range of services offered by Irena Ilcheva and Momentum R&D, check out our Services.