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The Magazine of the Case Alumni Association

Spring 2013 I VOL. 24 I no. 3

case alumnus magazine

A Message from the Case School of Engineering

Dear Alumni and Friends of the Case School of Engineering, I’m a biomedical engineer. And, amazingly, when the majority of the buildings on our beautiful campus were built, biomedical engineering wasn’t even a course of study one could pursue. I see this as a point of pride — our institution is one of the oldest and most respected universities in this country, and we’ve paved the way for many new fields of engineering, including biomedical engineering, polymer science, computer engineering and, most recently, wireless health. One of the main foci of my deanship is to remain on the cutting edge of engineering by updating the school’s spaces to best complement the research and learning we do. For instance, when we began our strategic hiring initiative in 2010, our first recruit was materials expert Roger French. We knew that bringing him on board meant creating the best environment for the type of innovation that Roger does best. His style and approach are the hallmarks of collaboration, and this is reflected in the way he has thoughtfully built the Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Center, as well as the MORE (Materials for Opto/Electronics Research and Education) Center with our partners in the College of Arts and Sciences. You can read about how Roger’s space helps encourage the best learning, research and engagement with industry on page 12. Of course, our inventor’s studio, think[box], is our poster child for what a great use of space can do for innovation. Putting a plethora of engineering tools into the hands of students, faculty and staff means ideas come to life almost in the blink of an eye. We’re in the midst of expanding think[box]: version 1.5 will be 50-percent larger than our current space. Read more beginning on page 6. We’re also pursuing “classrooms of the future” that incorporate modular space and easy-to-access technology, and are conducive to collaboration. They’re the perfect complement to lecture halls and service all the ways students learn best. Last, we’re pursuing ways to bring hands-on learning into any space with additions like portable “maker bot” 3D printers that can roll into any environment. Thanks to casestarter, the inventive new crowdfunding source developed by the Case Alumni Association, and your generosity, even more inventions can flow freely from the minds of our students. See page 10 for how to get involved with this exciting new endeavor. Sincerely,

Jeffrey L. Duerk, PhD ’87 Dean and Leonard Case Professor of Engineering SPRING 2013

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A message from the Case Alumni Association Since its launch in 2012, think[box] has challenged us to “think outside the box.” Is this concept new? Of course not. Many great graduates of this venerable institution have gone on to challenge conventional wisdom and defy traditional ways of doing things. This mindset has produced groundbreaking research and commercialized remarkable products over the course of 133 years. And yet, there is an excitement on and around campus these days that is unmistakably palpable. It started when Case Western Reserve University trustees hired Barbara Snyder to create a new wave of leadership. She reinvigorated the pride of investing in and fashioning a new and improved university and introduced a capital campaign that is on pace to set records in fundraising when all is said and done. The anticipation continued as a new dean of the Case School of Engineering took the helm nearly 18 months ago. Jeffrey L. Duerk, who received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 1987 from Case, shared a vision for the future that embraces both the educational rigors of Case and the rapid pace of innovation required to surpass the greatest of expectations held by students, faculty and alumni across the world. This issue of Case alumnus pays tribute to the momentum that surrounds us and continues to build each day. It is a celebration of alumni coming together to produce an online project-based fundraising platform that captures hearts and ignites entrepreneurial spirits to ultimately provide students the equipment they need to achieve their goals. It is a call to action to keep the momentum of think[box] moving steadfastly ahead as it expands and begins to take shape as a premier collaboration and innovation center. It is a salute to creating new courses and programs, along with renovating classrooms and laboratories, necessary to build upon the spirit of innovation that defines the Case School of Engineering and the university. It is a tribute to the ingenuity and intelligence of the students who choose to come to Case for many reasons, but above all, in the hope that they, too, will shine as brightly as the alumni that have come and gone before them. So, let’s keep up the momentum and continue to think outside the box. As I near the end of my two years as president of this great organization, I couldn’t be more proud of all that we’ve accomplished during our time together.

The Case Alumni Association serves the interests of more than 20,000 alumni of the Case School of Applied Science, Case Institute of Technology and the Case School of Engineering. Its mission is to serve and advance the interests of the Case School of Engineering, the math and applied sciences of Case Western Reserve University, its alumni and its students, through a strategic focus on fundraising, institutional leadership, responsive services, public relations and student programs. Established in 1885, by the first five graduates of the Case School of Applied Science, the Case Alumni Association is the oldest independent alumni association of engineering and applied science graduates in the nation. The Case alumnus is a publication of the Case Alumni Association, Inc., a 501(c)3 public charity under the IRS code. CASE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION, INC. Tomlinson Hall, Room 109 10900 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, OH 44106-1712 Phone: 216-231-4567 Fax: 216-231-5715 Web: Email: OFFICERS Harry L. Farmer ’55, G’65, President Edward P. McHenry ’67, 1st Vice President Bruce W. Eckstein ’60, 2nd Vice President Richard B. Smith ’51, Secretary Jeffrey O. Herzog ’79, Treasurer Ron J. Cass ’84, Assistant Treasurer STAFF Stephen J. Zinram, Executive Director Nancy Lupi, Executive Assistant Tom Conlon, Chief Financial Officer Anne Cunningham, Director of Development Paul Stephan ’64, Director of Leadership Giving Terri Mrosko, Director of Communications Dan Dean, Director of Alumni & Student Relations Diane M. Zaffuto, Database Manager Pam Burtonshaw, Database Assistant CASE ALUMNUS Terri Mrosko, Editor Claire McBroom, Assistant Editor Steve Toth, J. Toth Graphic, Design & Layout The Watkins Printing Company, Printing & Mailing PHOTO CREDITS Howard T. Agriesti Steve Toth, J. Toth Graphic Design

Harry Farmer ’55, G’65 President, Case Alumni Association p. 2

case alumnus magazine

To serve and advance the interests of the Case School of Engineering, the math and applied sciences of Case Western Reserve


University and its alumni and students.

SPRING 2013 I VOL. 24 I no. 3


Student inventors like Jean Zhao have already benefitted from think[box], Case’s invention center. Find out how, and get a sneak-peek at the center’s stunning future home


Got Bot?

Think[box] eyes mobile 3D printers — see how you can help with casestarter, a new webbased donation platform


Infusing Industry Experience into the Mix

Roger French, hired as part of the Case School of Engineering strategic hiring initiative, invigorates with new lab space and real-world interdisciplinary collaboration experience




SAGES Success

First-year students get hooked on engineering through exciting new SAGES courses


Selecting the Student

The wait, the interview, the notification; follow three students hoping to receive scholarships from the Case Alumni Association



1 2 4 15 20 22 23 24 28

Dean’s Message President’s Message Case Connections Impact: First Destination Survey Experience Reunion 2013 Preview Alumni Activities & Events In Memoriam Class Notes The Last Word: Journey

On the cover: Chemical engineering student Jean Zhao poses with her invention, the EcoSpinner, outside of Nord Hall. Jean is a recent recipient of a Case Alumni Association scholarship. Read more about Jean’s invention and her use of think[box] in fine-tuning her electric bicycle.




It’s finally here – an updated look and feel for Case Alumni Association social media sites! If you haven’t visited us on Facebook, LinkedIn or the CAA website, we encourage you to do so. You will find timely posts, including job and career information, social and campus happenings and information, as well as links to Case Alumni Association, Case School of Engineering and Case Western Reserve University activities. p. 3



Your ‘in’ to the Case School of Engineering and Case Western Reserve University

in the news >>>> Survey says: Engineers are in demand The Cleveland Engineering Society released its annual “Pulse of the Profession” findings earlier this year, as part of National Engineers Week. The report analyzed openings for engineering and related professions in Northeast Ohio. The need spans across engineering disciplines, with civil and mechanical engineering leading the way. With more than 300 openings and 86.7 percent of engineering leaders saying they plan to hire this year, the CES survey results align with an earlier national survey published by Engineering News Record, which identified mechanical and electrical as the disciplines expecting the largest shortages by 2014.

University partners with NASA Glenn Research and software-maker PTC Case Western Reserve University, NASA Glenn Research Center and PTC are teaming up to put students to work on real aerospace projects, manufacturing problems and more, with tools used in the industry. Case becomes only the second university nationwide to host one of NASA’s Strategic Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering (SPACE) programs. The program will help train the next generation of engineers and scientists. For the SPACE program, PTC is donating software for Product Lifecycle Management requirements and Computer Assisted Design, along with computer hardware servers. The software packages will provide students a platform upon which to build collaborations across the design, testing and simulation of new product concepts, stated Iwan Alexander, chair of aerospace and mechanical engineering, who leads the program at the university.

Chasing waterfalls on NBC’s Today show Created three years ago by designers Andrew Ratcliff, Michael O’Toole ’06, Ian Charnas ’05 and Andrew Witte ’09, the waterfall swing made its debut on the Today show outside Rockefeller Center in New York City on April 4. Hosts Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie donned raincoats and hats to demonstrate the swing. The waterfall swing is an interactive art installation that allows someone to swing under a waterfall and, magically, not get (too) wet. Sensors at the top of each swing measure angle and speed to help create the effect.

To view a video of the segment, scan this code.

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case alumnus magazine

nections in the know >>>> Gary Wnek appointed associate dean of engineering for academic programs Gary Wnek, currently serving the Case School of Engineering as the faculty director of the Master of Engineering and Management program, will assume the role of associate dean of engineering for academic programs on July 1. Wnek is also the faculty director of think[box], where he guides the development of the current space, as well as the plans for the 50,000-square-foot iteration. In addition, Wnek currently chairs the school’s Undergraduate Education Committee and is a professor of macromolecular science and engineering. “Gary is perfectly suited for this position because he has always had an interest and commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation as part of the curriculum – two current priorities for our school,” said Jeffrey L. Duerk, PhD ’87, dean of the Case School of Engineering. In a related announcement, the dean thanked Patrick Crago, who will vacate the position when Wnek steps in. In addition to his many accomplishments as associate dean for engineering, Crago most recently created and led the school’s commitment to the new engineering-focused SAGES first-year seminars. Crago will continue to advance the educational goals of the Case School of Engineering as a professor of biomedical engineering.

Gary Wnek, faculty director, the Institute for Management and Engineering, professor of macromolecular science and engineering, and the Joseph F. Toot, Jr., Professor of Engineering

MOOCs debut at Case Western Reserve University Case Western Reserve’s first free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) streamed live on May 1. The courses, one on leadership and emotional intelligence and one on international criminal law, set the stage for more online educational offerings in the future. MOOCs are designed for a large audience, from undergraduates to business professionals. No credit is given for the free courses, but the participant will receive a Statement of Accomplishment signed by the instructor. The objective is to draw prospective students by offering a broader image of the university. Plans for developing an online certificate program for the Case School of Engineering are under way. The school currently offers a master’s degree online option.


Give back, move your alma mater forward

cwRU in ? Alumni gifts will be matched dollar for dollar before June 30!


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THINK[BIG] “I couldn’t be more pleased watching our students and faculty put think[box] to use to hone their ideas and bring them to life.” – Case School of Engineering Dean Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.’87

PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Toth, J. Toth Graphic Design p. 6

case alumnus magazine

The inventor’s “playground” known as think[box] continues to create a buzz since its launch last year. Now, the expansion and next phase of renovating a seven-story, 50,000-square-foot campus building – formerly known as Lincoln Storage – moves a few steps closer to creating one of the largest university-based invention centers in the world. The second time is the charm for chemical engineering student Jean Zhao. After leaving Case Western Reserve University’s pre-dental program a few years ago, Jean returned last summer with a new focus. Now, she is achieving notoriety on campus and in the local entrepreneurial community for her invention – the EcoSpinner – a bicycle powered by a lithium-ion battery that is recharged with a liquid fuel cell. During her time away, Jean worked for Stratum Technologies, a Cleveland firm that manufactures batteries. Her industry knowledge helped her devise the vehicle. But what also proved useful was having access to electronic resources in think[box], including the 3D printer, laser cutter and shop bot. Jean and her business partners can run diagnostics and repair the power pack on the bike and create rapid prototype components that were otherwise not possible before think[box]. “Students no longer just have to daydream about the projects they want to do. They can make it a reality by using the tools that think[box] offers,” Jean said. Traditionally, the only options for students upon graduation were to continue school or get a job. Now, Jean added, students can create their own jobs and even create new jobs, feeding the local economy. “It is important to give students options to grow their own ideas.” After a story about Jean’s electric bike and think[box] ran in the Plain Dealer and in the American Society for Engineering Education’s daily newsletter First Bell, Case School of Engineering Dean Jeffrey Duerk, Ph.D. ’87 commented about the buzz. “It’s great to see the larger community taking notice as momentum builds to expand think[box] to its next phase,” Dr. Duerk stated. “Our school is dedicated to turning research into reality, and think[box] is a key element driving that spirit of innovation. It was envisioned with budding inventors like Jean Zhao in mind.” SPRING 2013

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Part lab, part studio and part tech hub, think[box] provides space for students, faculty and alumni to tinker, invent and innovate. This multi-million dollar invention center encourages cross-department and cross-school collaborations that push creativity and nurture entrepreneurial ideas.

Currently nestled in the initial 3,000-square-foot space on the second floor of the Glennan Building, think[box] will soon expand into the space next door. The new configuration effectively separates think[box] into a “studio” and a “shop.” “The studio will feature plenty of collaborative work spaces,” said Ben Guengerich, think[box] undergraduate design/manufacturing operations specialist. The vinyl cutter, laser cutters, large format printer and embroidery machine will also reside in the studio, providing much needed space for the remaining machines. A little extra room to spread out will make working with the equipment much easier, Guengerich said. The added elbow room, while welcomed, still won’t compare to the day think[box] moves into its permanent home in Lincoln Storage, to be renamed to reflect the $5 million commitment received from Invacare leaders Joseph B. “J.B.” Richey ’62 and Malachi Mixon III. “A user could come up with a concept, design it, make a prototype, market it and receive feedback all without ever leaving the building,” explained Guengerich, looking ahead to when think[box] users will have access to everything they need under one roof. “The space will allow anyone with an idea to follow through and take it to the next level.”

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case alumnus magazine

With $20 million needed to break ground on the next iteration of think[box], we just crossed the $16 million mark. To find out how you can contribute, contact Daniel Ducoff, associate dean, development and global relations, Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University at 216-368-0835 or


Case alumnus recently spoke to Marc Ciccarelli, principal of studioTechne, the architecture firm hired to redesign the Lincoln Storage building. StudioTechne worked on the original think[box] 1.0 space in the Glennan Building. What is the status of the renovation project? Ciccarelli: Preliminary work is under way, although we’ve been working conceptually since 2009 on this project. We have defined uses for the spaces, such as a fabrication lab and a variety of different areas, but still need to go through the process of quantifying what it all means. The “entrepreneurial” angle of this center is important and will also make think[box] somewhat unique. Part of the building design will develop fairly organically – we’re not looking to build a lot of interior wall space, for instance. We want to make sure the space maintains a high degree of flexibility. We are looking at furniture and mobility issues so that a certain area might be a lecture hall for 60 students one afternoon. The next day, that same space could be broken down into multiple mixed-used spaces. What is the first design step? Ciccarelli: The building already has a parking lot, making it simple for people to drive here. But for students and others coming over from campus, we’ve decided to build an enclosed connector from Veale. The building itself was originally used for cold storage, so it has no windows or heat. It does have a phenomenal concrete structure, and the opportunity for the infrastructure is there to build a dynamic facility. It just needs renovating. We’ll need to restore the exterior damage that occurred over the years before Case Western Reserve even owned it. It needs stabilizing and a new roof. We’re putting in windows so there is plenty of interior light, and then adding the other utilities needed to support think[box]. When does the actual work start? Ciccarelli: We are going to be designing and drawing through 2013. We expect to wrap up around the spring of 2014, and hopefully that matches the funding. Construction will occur during 2014, with a planned fall 2015 opening. At least that is the goal if funding is met. What is the biggest challenge right now? Ciccarelli: President Barbara Snyder said that I had the biggest challenge, but designing a beautiful building isn’t that difficult. It is the fundraising and finding people who are dedicated to the mission that is most important right now.


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Got Bot?

Standing: Catherine Passmore, Raymond Krajci, Reza Mohammadpour Seated: Ian Grams, Lyndlea Blum p. 10

case alumnus magazine


Casestarter is a crowdfunding platform developed by and for alumni to follow and fund student projects at the Case School of Engineering and the math and applied sciences of Case Western Reserve University. Casestarter allows individuals to contribute to the outcome of these projects. Your gift goes directly to the featured project found on the casestarter website. The students chatted enthusiastically as they traveled down Euclid Avenue on the local RTA HealthLine bus. They were on their way to see a desktop version of a 3D printer in action at TechCentral, an innovative technology learning center located in the lower level of the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library. All of the students on the outing had worked on larger model 3D printers at think[box], but the idea of a portable printer that could handle the same workload more quickly intrigued them. The technology allows them to create three-dimensional prototypes from an image scanned into a computer. Mobile 3D printer workstations will give students hands-on access to ALL of the stages of the manufacturing process rather than only the ability to download a file and pick up the printed part days later. Mobile 3D printers allow students to be in control of all aspects of turning their ideas into real physical parts. “The normal turnaround time for the 3D printers we use is one to two days. Mobile printers would bring rapid prototyping capability with a turnaround time of hours instead of days,” said Raymond Krajci, a fourth-year student majoring in computer engineering. “Desktop 3D printers like the one we’ll see at the library make the transition from ideas to products nearly as fast as a student can come up with them.” The folks at TechCentral offered students the chance to visually examine a MakerBot Replicator 2 printer, like the ones they anticipate think[box] can obtain through casestarter, a new crowdfunding website designed especially for student needs like this. After personally experiencing firsthand what the remarkable machine at the library technical center could do, Ray shared the sentiments of the entire group. “Having MakerBots in think[box] is a powerful opportunity to make engineering a reality for students,” he said. “When engineering turns into a creative challenge instead of a lecture, with results I can hold in my hand, that is when I’m most excited to be a student at Case.”

MORE ABOUT CROWDFUNDING Crowdfunding is creating a stir in philanthropic circles. With online crowdfunding growing by 43 percent annually, the phenomenon is hard to ignore. A recent count puts the number of sites at about 450 worldwide. The most popular sites appeal to web-savvy donors eager to make a contribution to which they feel emotionally connected. Younger donors especially want a voice in how their gift is used, and crowdfunding clearly allows them to feel that immediate impact. Case Alumni Association launched casestarter to offer alumni another way to give online, know the impact of their gift and share their excitement about these projects with their friends. “Casestarter is an opportunity to think differently about online giving and be able to make a contribution to something students will use,” said Nick Barendt ’95, G’98, an alumnus who helped develop casestarter. “This is about buying an almost magical machine and putting it into students’ hands. It is about enabling students to invent and innovate future products.”

Make an immediate impact! Help us fund mobile 3D printer workstations for use by students in think[box], the institute for collaboration and innovation at the Case School of Engineering. To learn more, visit:


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INFUSING INDUSTRY EXP As the F. Alex Nason professor of materials science and director of the Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Center, more familiarly known as the SDLE Center, Roger H. French also holds secondary appointments in physics and macromolecular science and engineering. Relying upon industry savvy to “get things done” innovatively and in record time, French amazingly has accomplished much of what he set out to do when he joined the Case School of Engineering faculty as part of its strategic hiring initiative designed to attract proven leaders in interdisciplinary research.

Professor Roger French, center, with two of his research students

Professor Roger French has a way of getting things done, effectively and efficiently. Most likely, this effectiveness comes from his 25-year career in industry as a scientist. At DuPont, French brought products his team developed to commercial market, while spending 16 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania. French arrived at Case in the summer of 2010 with several objectives. In addition to his dedicated research in material lifetime degradation and durability, French also brought a proposal ready to submit to the Department of Energy for long-range interactions for nano-scale assembly. Perhaps most impressive is the emphasis on capital improvement, interdisciplinary collaboration and developing a diversified funding stream that French transported here as well – all key reasons he stated for accepting the position. “The fact that it wasn’t just me being hired, but 10 or 15 new faculty, was a big change to the whole Case School of Engineering. It represented a nice, broad openness that could have a beneficial effect on the entire school. To me, it meant they were serious,” said French.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT Somewhat uniquely, French’s startup package included a plan for specific capital construction projects. Almost immediately, French and a team of colleagues from the Great Lakes Energy Institute procured funding from the Ohio Department of Development Third Frontier Program for his lifetime degradation science research. Since then, French had a fifth-floor corridor in the White Building renovated, including bringing in new laboratory equipment that helps his team study solar panel materials and components to make them more durable. The SDLE Center’s grand opening was Nov. 1, 2012. p. 12

case alumnus magazine

ERIENCE INTO THE MIX “The construction crew was literally putting down floor tiles as equipment was rolling into place. Instead of the 11 to 13 months it normally takes to renovate four labs, we got it done in five,” French said. He led a concerted, collaborative effort to make that happen, drawing upon timelines and expectations from his industry experience. French also launched the SDLE Center’s outdoor counterpart – the SDLE SunFarm – that sits on an acre of property not far from campus. The sun farm boasts 14 Opel SF-20 dual axis trackers for samples and photovoltaic modules, with a capacity of more than 15,000 samples at one- to five-times sun concentration, along with racking for fixed-mount modules.

INTERDISCIPLINARY COLLABORATION “I’ve always been highly interdisciplinary, coming from industry,” French declared. “If you work at a place like DuPont, you are working say five years to commercialize a product. You’ll work with everyone from materials science to chemical engineers to a physicist and chemist.” French fashioned a group of 23 undergraduate and graduate student researchers from the materials science, macromolecular, mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering departments. The research team also includes physics and computer science students, rounding out the disciplines. What’s more, the undergraduate students range from first-years to fourth-years. “Roger is very big on collaboration and having lots of people to get things done,” said Heather Lemire, a graduate student majoring in materials science, with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. “You need everybody coming at these research projects from all angles and collaborating together. Working with students from different disciplines has been really wonderful.”

DIVERSIFIED FUNDING STREAM The SDLE Center is successfully forging several strategic partnerships with outside industry collaborators, as well as across campus and departments. Those relationships translate into a strong and diversified revenue stream that will help fund new projects as the scope of the research continues to broaden. The goal is to help companies commercialize their projects, which builds credibility if you can deliver, French said. “We also have done proposals in which we work with the companies as a partner to obtain federal grant money.” About 40 faculty members are working on a 10-year, $37 million engineering research proposal through the National Science Foundation, French said. The NSF grant could lead to creating a university-wide research center that would benefit the schools of engineering, medicine, dentistry, business and law. French said all that he has accomplished to date is in line with what the dean envisions for the School of Engineering, as well as fulfilling his own personal expectations. “I was able to come here and do the things I wanted to do. They were active in my mind prior to coming here,” he said. “Successful outcomes are tied to a flexible environment with a dean who is willing to take chances.”

The Solar Durability and Lifetime Extension Center is a world-class research center dedicated to lifetime and degradation science. To learn more about the research and function of the center and sun farm visit


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One year later: SAGES spells success One year later:

spells success

The Seminar Approach to General Education and Scholarship is required curriculum for all undergraduate students. SAGES is designed to provide a foundation in critical thinking, written and oral communication, and the use of information and quantitative reasoning to delve into ethical issues and diversity, and create exposure to experimental and theoretical approaches to understanding human culture and behavior, scientific knowledge and methods of research.

PHEW! No wonder first-year students are a

bit taken aback at the notion of selecting their SAGES First-Seminar. Introducing engineering students entering Case Western Reserve University to think[box] and allowing them to discuss real-world engineering topics as early as their first semester was the motivation behind the Case School of Engineering offering 19 new SAGES courses this past academic year.

How successful were those courses? David A. Schiraldi, chair of the macromolecular science and engineering department, taught a SAGES course that shows how all of the great structural materials developed in nature correlate directly to those built by man. Feedback from students told Schiraldi that he had a winner. “The SAGES course went really well, much better than normal for a variety of reasons. I’m not used to seeing comments from students that SAGES was their favorite class,” he said. “From my own observation, the students were very engaged as measured, for example, by them going the extra mile on assignments and being well prepared for class.” Each engineering SAGES class contained a lab component that required the students to fabricate something using a machine found in think[box]. The assignment was designed to help them work together as a team of three, while introducing them to think[box], which professors hoped would become a valued resource for the rest of their time at Case. Malcolm Cooke, associate professor in the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, and executive director of think[box], taught SAGES course FSNA 13: Engineering Design and Innovation. The students’ first challenge was to design a team name badge and wear it at the fall career fair held on campus in the Veale Center. “One student was offered an internship from NASA this summer as a direct result of his badge design and manufacture,” Cooke said. “Many students received very positive feedback from recruiters regarding their badges.”

A summer internship? SAGES p. 14

success indeed. case alumnus magazine

impact Career and educational facts about Class of 2012 graduates and alumni giving in support of engineering, science and math students at Case School of Engineering and College of Arts & Sciences




research with faculty


summer job related to study

Percent of Engineering Graduates Entering Industry –


Percent of Engineering Graduates Pursuing Advanced Study –


MEDIAN SALARY RANGE FOR ENGINEERING GRADUATES - $55,000-59,999 98% of engineering students getting job in desired career (highest at CWRU)

Salaries by Major 22 - # of Computer Science Majors making >$50K 10 - # of Computer Science Majors making >$75K 13 - # of Electrical Engineering Majors making >$50K 3 - # of Electrical Engineering Majors making >$75K

Starting salaries of engineering graduates =

10-13% higher than national average

70% community service


Technical Communication Strong Work Ethic

Top Employers by Major

Aerospace Engineering: General Electric-Aviation, NASA Glenn Research Center Chemical Engineering: Epic Systems, Swagelok, Procter & Gamble, Accenture Computer Science: Microsoft Corporation, UrbanCode, Lexicomp, Inc. Mechanical Engineering: Epic Systems, General Electric-Aviation, Lincoln Electric Company, NASA Glenn Research Center, Rockwell Automation

36% of Class of 2012 continuing on to graduate school will study at CWRU. 69% - graduates who accepted full-time positions in the Midwest Total Scholarship Support from the Case Alumni Association in 2012 -

$1.6 million

Total Alumni & Student Support from the Case Alumni Association in 2012 - $0.9 # of donors contributing to Case School of Engineering and College of Arts & Sciences during last fiscal year –



SOURCE(S): Case Western Reserve University/First Destination Survey for the Class of 2012, published by CWRU Career Center Spring 2013; The Annual Giving & Achievement Report for the Case Alumni Association, published 2012 SPRING 2013

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Selecting the Student Each February, the Case Alumni Association awards scholarships to deserving sophomores and juniors toward their final years of undergraduate study. Much effort goes into the process, including weeklong interviews of eligible students by alumni and Scholarship Committee members, followed by a reception of students, alumni and faculty in March that honors recipients. This year, the scholarship committee awarded 119 new scholarships to students totaling $472,800. In addition, 108 scholarship recipients from prior years interviewed to renew their awards, which totaled $372,800.

Did you ever wonder what it is like for student scholarship hopefuls as they anxiously await to learn if they will be selected? Case alumnus followed three students as they moved through the process on their way toward obtaining a junior/senior scholarship from the Case Alumni Association. THE WAIT Sporting a 4.0 grade point average along with his well-pressed suit and tie, sophomore Alan Long was feeling a little nervous as he waited his turn to interview in front of the scholarship committee. “It feels like I’m on the hot seat,” Alan joked. “But I’m confident and looking forward to hopefully being selected for a scholarship.” Alan, from Cincinnati, Ohio, is majoring in chemical engineering with a minor in business. His career goal is to work in industry for a few years to gain experience and then go back and get his master’s degree in business administration. Alan also hasn’t ruled out the possibility of first pursuing his doctorate in chemical engineering before going into industry.

Keri Barron of Battle Creek, Michigan, arrived for her scholarship interview sharply dressed in a black suit. The third-year student, working on both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism, would one day like to teach in higher education. Upon graduating from Case, Keri plans to enroll in a doctorate program. Happily chatting away while she awaited her turn to interview, Keri shared her thoughts on what it would mean to receive a monetary award. Being able to help out her parents financially by paying down some of her college debt was a huge motivating factor in why Keri applied for the Case Alumni Association scholarship award. Her family history is also one of the reasons Keri is so focused on wellness and healthy eating.

Growing up about 30 minutes south of Chesapeake Bay, Anise Grant liked the idea of attending a college in a city located near one of the Great Lakes. Majoring in polymer science and engineering, Anise enjoys the nearby cultural community and proximity to major hospital systems. One day, she hopes to work in a hospital setting, possibly researching drug delivery methods. Anise, a junior, is positive she will attend graduate school. She is concerned about the tuition costs she is facing now, as her parents, both federal government employees, were affected by the recent fiscal cutbacks. Anise sat confidently as she awaited her summons to be interviewed. p. 16

case alumnus magazine

Scholarship Recipients THE INTERVIEW “I’m known for helping out people and keeping them positive,” answered Keri to the question from the panel on what makes her unique. “I enjoy getting people out of the Case ‘bubble.’” During the interview, Keri also told the scholarship committee members why she chose Case (challenging), that her favorite professor is Dr. Stephanie Harris, and when asked by the committee, what she would change about Case (encouraging students to get out and explore more of Cleveland). Keri also shared that she worked as a pre-orientation adventure leader over the summer, leading first-year students on a whitewater rafting trip. She holds two jobs – as a student instructor for the math department and as a marketing intern for Bon Appétit on campus. She also tutors math students and volunteers at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Anise told the scholarship committee that she has definite plans to attend graduate school and is currently taking a graduate-level course in nanoscience, which she finds “pretty interesting.” She said she gains a lot from questions asked by other students in class. Then Anise went on to impress the committee members with her vast array of campus activities and honors, including that she was a finalist in the Saint-Gobain Competition and her pivotal involvement in the National Society of Black Engineers. “I love to make connections with people that need help, so I volunteer at the Covenant Church doing tax returns and also at the Free Clinic,” Anise said. “I like to interact with people, especially Clevelanders.” During his interview, Alan explained why he decided to leave the varsity baseball team after only one year. “I had a great time playing baseball last year and the camaraderie was amazing. I felt that getting involved in other activities would give me a solid foundation that will set me up for good things in the future,” he said. “So in lieu of baseball, I chose to join Sigma Phi Epsilon. It allows me to still be involved socially with a good group of guys and find the kind of camaraderie I had during baseball.” Alan admitted, as had many other students, that Chris Butler’s math course was a personal favorite. He also admitted, when responding to what is unique about him, that he had six wisdom teeth taken out. Oh, and the experience was not bad at all. THE NOTIFICATION Each of the students learned the outcome of their scholarship interview process during spring break. And, yes, all three of our featured students received a scholarship from the Case Alumni Association. “I was mostly surprised at how short and painless the interview process was, much different than the behavioral interviews I had gotten used to in the fall while looking for a summer internship,” Alan said. Anise said that her sentiments about the process could be relayed in three words: grateful, reassured and surprised. “I am grateful for the scholarship. I am reassured of my finances for next academic year. And I am surprised that in spite of the large volume of applicants, those in my interview remembered me.” The process was fairly light in terms of applying and interviewing, said Keri. But, she added, the people were all extremely friendly. “I’m really delighted that I was offered a scholarship! It’s a good confidence boost, too.” SPRING 2013

p. 17

“I knew Case Alumni Association as a major supporter of the engineering department and a leading sponsor of the university’s National Society of Black Engineers chapter. As a member of the engineering undergraduate and NSBE population, I feel valued by that knowledge. My experience interviewing for, and then obtaining the Case Alumni Association scholarship, has allowed me to form a more personal connection to the organization and has initiated a drive to become similarly involved with future Case Western Reserve University undergraduates as a member of the Case Alumni Association in the future.” Anise Grant Polymer Science and Engineering

“I was really excited when I received the email from Case Alumni Association informing me of my selection for a scholarship. I know that it is going to help offset the cost of textbooks and probably help with graduation (yay!) costs, too.” Keri Barron Nutritional Biochemistry & Metabolism

“I’d like to reiterate how grateful I am that Case has such a strong alumni giving base. At the reception, I was quite surprised to hear that over a million dollars had been awarded to students last year. It seems to be a promising statistic that our alumni are able and willing to give so much back to students, and I look forward to the day that I too will be able to donate and reward deserving students.” Alan Long Chemical Engineering

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case alumnus magazine

“We alumni are grateful to these remarkable students for adding value to our degrees and to the Case School of Engineering and university. In turn, these scholarships come from a long line of alumni donations raised through the Case Alumni Association, and we are grateful to them as well. ” – Joseph P. Fakult ’90, Chairman of the Scholarship Committee

“On behalf of Dean Jeffrey Duerk and myself, I want to congratulate all of the scholarship recipients. We also need to thank the alumni who donate to the program. This is a significant contribution on their part and shows that they value this institution. As you, too, become alumni of this organization, we hope you can recognize the contribution that the institution made to your own education.” – Patrick E. Crago, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the Case School of Engineering “Congratulations to the students. These awards are given to you because of your excellence as scholars and made possible by the generous support of the alumni donors interested in supporting you and helping you in your careers. Case Alumni Association, as an organization, is a fabulous supporter of the institution. As you graduate and become alumni yourselves, I hope you continue to engage with the association going forward.” – Cyrus Taylor, Ph.D., Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Albert A. Michelson Professor in Physics

2013 Junior/Senior Scholarship Committee & Alumni Interviewers

Read more about featured scholarship recipients online at Alumni interested in participating in next year’s scholarship selection process, please contact Dan Dean, director of alumni and student relations, at or 216.368.0635. SPRING 2013

Joe Fakult ‘90, Committee Chair Nick Barendt ‘95, G’98 Kevin Bracy ‘93, G’94 Chris Butler ‘83, G’85 Ken Espenschied ‘90 Jen Fakult Fisher ‘96 Don Feke ‘76, G’77 Glen Hise ‘89 Tom Litzler ‘55, G’62 Dave Marsh’49 Frank Merat ‘72, G’75, PhD’78 Bruce Rusnak ‘78 Jim Sadowski ‘63, G’67 Paul Siebert ‘73 Adam Snyder ‘02, G’03 p. 19 15


reunion 2013

One of the Case Alumni Association premier events of the year takes place this fall: Experience Reunion 2013. Scheduled on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28 during Case Western Reserve University’s Homecoming Weekend, experience reunion brings back favorite events like class-specific dinners and the Lego competition. New this year, we introduce a revitalized format for Friday evening to showcase some of the remarkable accomplishments by faculty and students and recognize several outstanding alumni.

If not now, when

Information on registration and a detailed list of all events will be posted later this summer, but mark your calendars now. Here is a taste of the Case Alumni Association-sponsored events and a listing of our reunion award winners.

• The Case Alumni Association’s Dean’s Reception on Friday, Sept. 27 — featuring an energizing showcase of the latest and most innovative projects and research from select departments and student organizations • The 100-year anniversary of the Chemical Engineering Department — highlighting proud achievements, notable alumni and the impact of chemical engineering on society today • Opportunities to laud the accomplishments of Case women in engineering and science, the SOURCE research program and student entrepreneurial initiatives within think[box] • Visit for the schedule of events, hotel information, photos from last year and links to online directories to contact classmates 2013 CASE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION REUNION AWARDEES Silver Bowl Award: President Barbara R. Snyder – Case Western Reserve University Gold Medal Award: Thomas A. Tribone ’74 – Chief Executive Officer, Guggenheim Global Infrastructure Company Past President Award: Harry L. Farmer ’55, G’65 – Retired President and General Manager, Emmco, Incorporated Givelber Award: Philip V. DeSantis ’64, G’66, PhD’70 – Retired President, DeSantis Engineering Software Incorporated Meritorious Service Award: Robert M. Aiken ’52 – Retired Group Vice President, E. I. DuPont Laura J. Flanagan ’90 – President ConAgra Foods, Snack Division David A. Schiraldi, Ph.D. – Department Chair and Professor, Case School of Engineering, Macromolecular Science and Engineering Clare M. Rimnac, Ph.D. – Associate Dean of Research, Case School of Engineering Graduate of the Last Decade: Corey F. Wright ’11, G’13 – IT Administrator, Case Alumni Association p. 20

case alumnus magazine


with (and learning)


Professor Richard F. Drushel knew that engineers love to build things, but he never anticipated that his autonomous LEGO™ robotics course would be the instant hit that it became with students who clamored to take the class. Inspired by a popular MIT class at the time, Autonomous Robotics would enroll more than 500 students over the course of its 19-semester run at Case Western Reserve University. Co-taught by Drushel, Dr. Hillel J. Chiel and Dr. Randall D. Beer between 1995 and 2004, the popular course was located firmly at the intersection of its instructors’ diverse interests. In addition to being cross-listed through the Biology Department and the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the class was also offered to both undergraduates and graduate students. Drushel sees this unique intersection of departments and students as one of the class’s primary teaching strengths. “A LEGO robot was a chance to build a model ‘organism,’” explained Drushel. “It was a truly multidisciplinary course. It was an opportunity for students to work in a practical sense with a lot of research problems in bio-robotics at the time.” The class culminated with teams of three building autonomous robots from LEGO kits and competing in an evasion and plastic egg-collection challenge open to the public and carried out in a custom-built arena. Though the course hasn’t been offered since 2004, last year marked the beginning of a new tradition in LEGO robotics on Case’s campus. Teams comprised of alumni of Drushel’s course, their families and interested undergraduates were tasked with building LEGO robots during an event held at the 2012 reunion. The reunion LEGO event — which will be held again at the 2013 Reunion in a bigger venue to accommodate the large turnout — reminds alumni, their families and current students of the value and excitement of the original course, which Drushel said “was about making stuff work.” “It struck a nice balance,” he said, “between first principles — book work versus the freedom to say, ‘I have this personal viewpoint from completely outside. Let’s try to see if it will work.’”


SAVE THE DATE for a LEGO Lab Reunion! Open to course alumni or anyone interested — adults and children — who love to build and program autonomous LEGO robots. No experience required! Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (feel free to stay longer and “tinker”)

Nord Hall – Room 310 p. 21

ALUMNI Activities & Events The Case Alumni Association was busy last quarter with many events planned around professional conferences and cities with alumni-dense populations such as New Orleans, Tampa, Chicago and San Francisco. Some of our events involved partnering with other schools across campus, including the Weatherhead School of Management. Other events recognized alumni and student award recipients. You could also find the Case Alumni Association at an alumni reception on the West Coast that included a presentation on think[box], at a tour of Arion Press or at a craft brewery happy hour in Seattle. We always share our photos on, but in case you missed them, we have shared a few more here. Our website lists all of our upcoming activities and events at

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case alumnus magazine

In Memoriam Notable Deaths Donald A. Glaser ’46

Donald Arthur Glaser was a Nobel-prize winning physicist who specialized in biotechnology, and later, neurobiology. He died at the age of 86 on Feb. 28, 2013, in Berkeley, California. He was best known for inventing the bubble chamber to trace subatomic particles.

Donald Glaser ’46, 1960 Nobel Laureate in physics. Image courtesy of UC Berkeley Department of Physics.

Dr. Glaser was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in physics and mathematics at the Case Institute of Technology. He earned his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and later joined the faculty at the University of Michigan. At the age of 33, Dr. Glaser moved to UC Berkeley and a year later won the physics Nobel for his work. His bubble chamber was a major breakthrough that led to the discovery of a “zoo of new particles” and had an enormous impact on the field of particle physics. Case Alumni Association recognized Dr. Glaser with a Gold Medal Award in 1967.

Robert Muth ’40, Cleveland, OH, January 2013 Mervin R. Glickman ’41, Cleveland, OH, December 2012 G. Robert Graham ’41, Austin, TX, Feb. 12, 2013 Louis R. Frey ’42, Concord Township, OH, Jan. 24, 2013 James Nassau December ’42, Underhill Center, VT, Nov. 24, 2012 Arthur L. Bletcher ’43, Cleveland, OH, January 2013 Charles R. Turnblacer ’43, Flagler Beach, FL, Feb. 16, 2013 Glenn W. Yerdon ’43, Escondido, CA, March 4, 2013 Robert G. Friedman ’44, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, March 18, 2013 William C. Sanker, ’44, Cincinnati, OH, March 30, 2007 Rudolph A. D’Amico ’45, Dayton, OH, Feb. 17, 2013 Donald A. Glaser ’46, Berkeley, CA, Feb. 28, 2013 Edward L. Kovachy ’47, Cleveland, OH, October 2012 Dezso J. Ladanyi, MS’47, PhD’50, Cleveland, OH, March 2013 James R. Meehan ’47, Cleveland, OH, January 2013 Stanley L. Slomski ’47, Bellevue, WA, Feb. 2, 2013 Ralph W. Kaercher ’48, Barrington, IL, Nov. 21, 2012 Henry C. Miller, Jr. ’48, Thousand Oaks, CA, Jan. 29, 2013 K. Jack Sameshima ’48, Lake Forest Park, WA, April 2009 Herbert E. Conkey ’49, St. Augustine, FL, Feb. 10, 2013 C. Robert Fisher ’49, Port Townsend, WA, Jan. 1, 2013 Edward P. O’Brien ’49, Cleveland, OH, Feb. 7, 2013 Albert C. Baumann ’50, Dallas, TX, March 1, 2013 Raymond H. Klein ’50, Crowley, TX, Dec. 25, 2012 Leonard Gelfand ’50, Chagrin Falls, OH, February 2013 Thomas A. Johnston ’50, Carlsbad, CA, March 17, 2013 James C. Keebler G’50, Orono, ME, March 15, 2013 John W. Layman ’50, Plymouth, MI, Nov. 26, 2012 Edward M. Oswald ’50, Sarasota, FL, Jan. 6, 2013 Parmely T. Ferrie ’51, Austin, TX, Dec. 31, 2012 Wilbur R. Krumroy ’51, Cleveland, OH, Feb. 14, 2013


Donald Glaser in 1960, the year he won the Nobel Prize in Physics, posing with a bubble chamber. LBNL photo.

Richard Reese ’51, Phoenix, AZ, Feb. 11, 2013 John C. Daeschner ’52, Torrance, CA, Dec. 31, 2012 Anthony J. Rose ’52, Independence, OH, Jan. 30, 2013 Charles W. Schuler ’52, Galena, OH, Feb. 14, 2013 Stuart M. Campbell, Jr. ’53, Washington Boro, PA, Feb. 14, 2013 Carl R. Garr G’53, PhD’57, Wyomissing, PA, Feb. 11, 2013 Frank T. Muraski ’53, Akron, OH, Jan. 31, 2013 Glen A. DeWyer G’54, Pepper Pike, OH, February 2013 Donald M. Lakotish ’54, Cleveland, OH, Jan. 27, 2013 Karl J. Heilman G’56, Jensen Beach, FL, Feb. 2, 2013 Allen P. Arnold G’57, Black Mountain, NC, Feb. 5, 2013 Michael J. Christensen ’57, Westerly, RI, Dec. 16, 2012 Richard B. Brundage G’58, St. Louis, MO, Nov. 21, 2012 John C. Chambers G’58, PhD’61, Galena, OH, March 3, 2013 Marie Parker Coe G’58, Pensacola, FL, Nov. 10, 2012 John J. Varga ’58, Zephyrhills, FL, Feb. 9, 2013 John T. Gerhan ’59, Simsbury, CT, Jan. 23, 2013 David L. Wagner ’58, Peachtree City, GA, Nov. 30, 2012 Laurence W. Gertsma G’59, Cleveland, OH, January 2013 Gus L. Constan G’61, Midland, MI, Jan. 1, 2013 Chester A. Meyer ’62, Dayton, OH, March 12, 2013 Joseph R. Petrella ’62, Beaver, PA, Feb. 3, 2013 Lawrence J. Cox ’63, Cleveland, OH, March 28, 2013 Norman H. Fischer ’63, Hilliard, OH, Nov. 20, 2012 J. Martin Thayer ’63, Midland, MI, Date Unknown Harvey S. Price G’65, Sugarland, TX, Jan. 3, 2013 Marvin L. Union ’66, Novelty, OH, Dec. 27, 2012 Richard J. Taylor, III, G’67, Columbus, IN, Sept. 30, 2012 Robert A. Kilgore ’68, G1973, Needham, MA, Feb. 9, 2013 Edward M. Gall ’72, Butler, PA, Aug. 5, 2012 Daniel H. Mishler ’87, Bay Village, OH, March 1, 2013 Lenziel L. Borders, Jr. G’99, Cleveland, OH, Dec. 25, 2012

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Donald L. Southam ’51 Brecksville, OH Don retired as president and chief executive of Cast Equipment Division of Combustion Engineering, which has produced nearly half the cast iron engine blocks in the world’s auto industry. He is spending retirement traveling, sailing and playing contract bridge. John R. Meese ’54 New Philadelphia, OH John received the 2013 Alumnus of the Year for Distinguished Service Award from the Quaker Foundation. After graduating from New Philadelphia High School, John earned a full tuition scholarship to Case Institute of Technology in 1950, where he pursued a chemical engineering degree. In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and was selected for Officer Candidate Training at Fort Benning, GA.

1970s Eugene C. Muratore ’70 Naperville, IL Eugene was named the 2013 Hoyt Memorial Lecturer and honored by the American Foundry Society. He presented on Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium America, “Observations on Key Factors that Distinguish Successful Metalcasters,” discussing the long-term viability of each metalcasting facility. William A. Summers ’70 Aiken, SC Bill was named the 2012 recipient of the Robert E. Wilson Award, presented by the Nuclear Engineers Division of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Bill is a program manager at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River National Laboratory, where he was instrumental in establishing the hydrogen energy program. Bill also served as project manager for the world’s first hydrogen hybrid-electric transit bus. Thomas R. Horner ’71 Cummings, GA Tom recently retired from Home Depot. He is doing some part-time database contracting work but is otherwise enjoying his time off between contracts.

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Jennie S. Hwang G’76 Moreland Hills, OH Jennie was appointed to the National Materials and Manufacturing Board in March 2013. Peter D. Zwick ’79, G’81 Columbia Station, OH Peter was named the 2013 Surveyor of the Year by the Professional Land Surveyors of Ohio’s Cleveland chapter on Jan. 24. He is president of Zwick Engineering in Olmsted Township and serves as president to both the Cleveland Society of Professional Engineers and Cleveland Professional Land Surveyors.

1980s Stanislaus A. Knez ’82 Katy, TX Stanislaus is president of Technip Stone & Webster Process Technology, a global business unit of the Technip Group. In addition, he sits on the board of directors of Badger Technology Licensing, Ltd. David S. Allan ’83, G’85 Midland, MI David teaches high school physics and chemistry at Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy, a public magnet school for the gifted and talented students in science, mathematics and visual, performing and language arts. His students are two-time defending national champions of the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers Science Quiz Bowl. Paul J. Barnhart ’83, G’85, PhD’95 Avon, OH Paul is this year’s recipient of the Carl F. Wittke Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching at Case Western Reserve University. Paul’s dedication to his students, engaging teaching style and integration of real-life experience into his classroom lessons were just a few of the praises given by the selection committee. Michael S. Branicky, ScD, ’87, G’90 Shaker Heights, OH Michael was named dean of engineering by Kansas University and will begin his new post on July 1, 2013. Michael, a professor and department chair of the electrical engineering and computer science department at the Case School of Engineering since 2010, joined Case Western Reserve University’s faculty in 1996.

case alumnus magazine

NOTES 1990s


Sunniva R. Collins G’91, PhD’94 Cleveland Heights, OH Sunniva became Case Western Reserve University’s newest visiting associate professor after working at Swagelok Company in Solon for the past 17 years. Sunniva will teach in the department of mechanical and aerospace engineering, as well as materials science and engineering. She will also continue to work as a consultant with Swagelok, where she was previously a senior research fellow.

Matt Yanosko ’11 and Margaret Dooley Yanosko ’11 Lakewood, OH Matt and Margaret were married on Sept. 1, 2012. Matt is an IT leadership development participant at Eaton Corporation, and Margaret is a project engineer at Walsh Construction, building the I-90 Innerbelt bridge.

Rebecca (Schneider) Luria ’98 Kailua, HI Rebecca reports that she is happily married with three children: Reid age 4, Ryan age 2, and Robyn 3 months. Her husband Joe serves in the Army as a pediatric anesthesiologist, and Rebecca works in a local private practice as a dermatologist.

2000s Rohit Bhargava G’00 Urbana, IL Rohit, professor of bioengineering at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, was awarded the 2013 Craver Award in recognition of his work in the area of spectral chemical imaging, including the development of the fundamental theory and modeling of Raman and infrared chemical imaging. Adam C. Snyder ’02, G’03 Munroe Falls, OH Adam became managing partner at Definity Partners at the beginning of 2013. Definity Partners is a training, leadership and process improvement firm that helps manufacturing and distribution organizations improve and grow their businesses. Adam is responsible for the Northeast Ohio and Atlanta markets.

John R. Lewandowski ’12 Shaker Heights, OH John is a member of a student-led startup company aimed at saving lives with the initiative to provide a better and inexpensive way to diagnose malaria. His company won the 2013 LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Business Idea Competition at the University of Akron this past April. The team also placed ninth at the Rice Business Plan Competition in April 2013. Alan Filer ’13 Colorado Springs, CO Alan won a Fulbright scholarship to travel to South Korea in the fall. There, he’ll explore ways to make cheaper and cleaner alternatives to costly and toxic materials used in solar panels. Alan graduated in May from Case with a bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering. Jason Tabachnik ’13 Beachwood, OH Jason has been named a U.S. Gates Cambridge Scholar, the first time for a Case Western Reserve University student. He graduated in May with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in physics. Jason will pursue a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Cambridge this fall. Elizabeth Lehman ’13 Libby is the recipient of the John F. Fuller ’36 Award from the Case Alumni Association that recognizes the most outstanding graduating senior. A chemical engineering major, Libby was instrumental in the planning and implementation of Engineers Week, which set record attendance numbers at this year’s banquet. She will work at Swagelok in Cleveland.

Paul J. Tesar ’03 Wickliffe, OH Paul is the lead investigator in a study that scientists at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed to convert skin cells to treat patients with cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis. While this technique has been modeled only in mice thus far, the scientists are hopeful to apply the technique to human cells.

Debbie Fatica, assistant dean for engineering student programs; Tom Fuller, son of John F. Fuller ’36; Elizabeth Lehman, Fuller award winner; and Jeffrey Duerk, PhD ’87, dean, Case School of Engineering SPRING 2013

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Left to right: Chris Nader CWR’02 (wrestling), Kelly Alexander CWR’02 (swimming), Ken Baumeister CIT’57 (tennis), Nancy Moon Tofil ‘94 (soccer), Rich Zdrojewski ‘94 (football), Jim Fox ‘97, MBA’01 (basketball) PHOTO CREDIT: Tony Morrison

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case alumnus magazine

NOTES The following alumni were inducted into the 2013 Spartan Club Hall of Fame Kenneth J. Baumeister ’57 Strongsville, OH

Ken was the Rough Riders top singles and doubles tennis player during the mid-1950s with an undefeated season in doubles. He played competitively after graduation and was the top-ranked 55-and-older singles player in the nation by the Western Tennis Association in both 1990 and 1991, going on to win the United States Tennis Association’s 70-and-older tournament. In 1986, NASA awarded Ken a medal for exceptional scientific achievement.

Let’s hear from you! Send class notes submissions to

Nancy Moon Tofil ’94 Vestavia, AL

Nancy is a three-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Region honoree in addition to an Academic All-American®. She is also one of just three Spartans to be named to the UAA 25th Anniversary Women’s Soccer Team. During her senior season of soccer, she joined the Spartan track and field team, winning the North Coast Athletic Conference Championship. She also earned a varsity letter in women’s basketball as a freshman. Currently, Nancy serves as an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as well as medical director of the Pediatric Simulation center at Children’s of Alabama.

Rich Zdrojewski ’94 McKinney, TX

Rich is a two-time Football Gazette All-American player, three-time All UAA and All-North Coast Athletic Conference recipient. During his senior year, he was also named UAA co-defensive player of the year and NCAC’s defensive MVP. After graduation, Rich started coaching youth football and competing in triathlons. He shares his Case knowledge with children as the owner/operator of Bricks 4 Kidz, utilizing Lego’s in his activities.

James R. Fox ’97 Painesville, OH

Jim was one of the most prolific point guards in the history of Spartan basketball. He remains one of only five Case Western Reserve University student-athletes to earn Academic All-America® honors three times. Jim worked for General Electric for eight years and is currently in investment management at Parkwood Corporation.


Alumni messages and miscellanea Robert H. Gedney ’37, Issaquah, WA … notes, “I left Case and headed to the West Coast. Got a master’s degree at the University of Minnesota and married my wife of 66 years. Spent 30 years with the Corps of Engineers, seven years with the United Nations in the Philippines and today reside in the city of Issaquah at the foothills of the Cascades in Washington.” E. Dwight Trout ’53, Sebastian, FL … shares that he turned 85 in September and is “still raring to go.” He’s been retired 30 years. John P. Frier ’56, Hendersonville, NC … said that he and wife Mary Ellen still travel to both coasts and the Great Lakes to visit children and grandchildren after more than 20 years of retirement.

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The Last Word:


Interdisciplinary journey: combining skills for world solutions By Corey Wright ’11, MEM’13 How does the educational journey of a student today compare to those of decades gone by? It is easy to identify some common differences, such as computers, the Internet, and most recently, 3D printing. A student’s journey today crosses disciplines. The days of educational silos are ending. Industries are demanding employees with a broad knowledge base. Modern well-rounded students are graduating at the forefront of interdisciplinary educational journeys, prepared for successful careers in an interdisciplinary society. Take for example the Master of Engineering Management (MEM) program now celebrating its tenth year at Case Western Reserve University. I found this program to be a perfect addition to my bachelor’s degree engineering skillset. It taught me the importance of topics such as project management, entrepreneurship, product design and Six Sigma. I started my journey at CWRU in engineering, graduating with a dual degree in mechanical and aerospace. The MEM program allowed my journey to include the taking on of a management role, by teaching me important business skills. However, I did not let my journey end there. Looking at problems faced in developing countries around the world, I quickly realized the people best suited to help address these problems are not just social workers. They are not just doctors working to cure disease. They are not just engineers working to build better buildings. The best solutions are interdisciplinary teams working together. What better way to expand my journey than to learn about developing countries firsthand? As an elective, I enrolled in a two-week study-abroad course at the Mandel School of Applied and Social Sciences to go on a journey to Ecuador. This allowed me to experience the issues faced in a developing country firsthand, and as an engineer, this allowed me to understand the mechanics behind these struggles. Through undergraduate enrollment at Case, my master’s degree in engineering management, to Quito, Ecuador, I have been on a journey shaped by multiple disciplines. I may not know yet where my journey will take me next, but my education and experiences have made one thing clear: we are all one world in need of collaborative solutions. Corey is the 2013 recipient of the Graduate of the Last Decade award, which will be presented by the Case Alumni Association at this year’s reunion event. Visit if you would like to read more about Corey Wright’s journey to Ecuador. p. 28

case alumnus magazine

Invest in the pace of innovation

As the end of this fiscal year approaches, every gift and donation brings us one step closer to fulfilling the vision of the Case School of Engineering. Make your annual Case FundÂŽ gift at Give today. Have an impact. To learn more, please contact Anne Cunningham, director of development, at 216.368.0069 or, or Steve Zinram, executive director, at 216.368.8841 or stephen. SPRING 2013

CASE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AND FOUNDATION, INC. Tomlinson Hall, Room 109 10900 Euclid Avenue Cleveland, Ohio 44106-1712



r e u2013 nion If not now, when? Dear Proud Alumni, It’s been a milestone 50 years since I graduated from the Case Institute of Technology. Congratulations to my fellow bona fide 50-year CIT alumni! I’m excited to see many of you this fall at the Experience Reunion 2013 events planned by the Case Alumni Association. Did you know that reunion, which takes place over the four-day Homecoming Weekend at Case Western Reserve University, is filled with sensational activities, thought-provoking forums, inspiring tours, as well as luncheons, games and social events? In addition to class-specific dinners on Saturday, the Case Alumni Association is presenting a fresh new look to its all-classes event on Friday evening at the InterContinental Hotel. Check out the website for all the details! As a proud member of this year’s reunion committee, I simply can’t wait to spread the word. I would like to personally invite my fellow classmates and alumni from every class to return home to experience Case for yourself. It will be fun to catch up and reconnect, while experiencing all that our alma mater has to offer. Isn’t it time to consider a trip back to campus to see what your fellow graduates and Case faculty and students have been up to? I ask you, if not now, when? Mark your calendars now –

Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28!

And be sure to visit the Case Alumni Association website to learn more about what’s new this year. Come back and Experience Reunion 2013! Sincerely,

Jim Sadowski ’63

REGISTRATION OPENS IN AUGUST. Watch your mail for details or visit to learn more. Contact Dan Dean, director of alumni and student events, with questions. He can be reached at 216.368.0635 or

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Case Alumnus Spring 2013  

Case Alumnus Spring 2013  

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