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Engineering New Energy At 10, the Great Lakes Energy Institute may be hitting its stride

Beyond Craigslist

A marvel of an engineering carnival

Break the

Boundaries of Innovation Equip yourself for greater success in engineering.

Case Western Reserve University invites you back to the start, where countless alumni have unlocked the tools to fuel new discoveries and heighten their achievements. You can, too. Research alongside today's engineering masters and let their unyielding commitment to excellence steer you toward a more inventive and rewarding future.

• 4 graduate engineering degree options • #50 Best Engineering Schools1 • #37 National University2 • Entrepreneurial support from CWRU LaunchNet • Join a school of engineering with 270+ research and industry partnerships

Become more when you come back. 1. Retrieved on February 12, 2018, from 2. Retrieved on February 12, 2018, from

Dean’s Message

Happy birthday GLEI! Here’s why we’re proud Dear alumni and friends of the Case School of Engineering: Ten years ago, researchers and leadership at Case Western Reserve University recognized a tremendous opportunity to expand our impact in advanced energy research. The establishment of the Great Lakes Energy Institute (GLEI) in 2008 made a strong statement about our commitment to solving the world’s most pressing energy problems and allowed us to build on our already strong foundation in the field. In the decade since, GLEI has helped attract nearly $100 million in energyrelated funding to the university, fostering collaborations across campus to tackle scientific, technological, business and policy issues associated with energy research. The institute has facilitated the launch of a number of other energy-dedicated centers, building a robust network that includes the SDLE Research Center, which applies data analytics to improve performance and extend the lifetime of materials used in energy applications; the Wind Energy Research and Commercialization Center, which advances research related to turbine design, foundation structure and grid integration of wind energy; and the MORE Center, which provides resources for optoelectronic material and device research. GLEI has helped attract millions of dollars in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Agency-Energy—or ARPA-E—making Case Western Reserve a leading institution in the administration of early-stage, commercially promising energy technologies, including an all-iron flow battery and data analytics to facilitate virtual energy audits. Beyond ARPA-E, the institute is advancing projects from how to better integrate solar photovoltaics into the grid, to building an offshore wind farm off the coast of Lake Erie, to using the Case Western Reserve campus as a proving ground to explore smart grid technology, and many more. Ten years. Tens of millions of dollars in research funding. Dozens of projects, collaborations and initiatives bringing faculty and students across campus and across the region together to develop envelope-pushing energy innovations. There’s been much to celebrate in GLEI’s first 10 years, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings. Sincerely, James McGuffin-Cawley Interim Dean, Case School of Engineering Arthur S. Holden Professor of Engineering

Spring 2018


Editor’s Message

I hope you make it your magazine Greetings! I’m excited and honored to introduce myself as the new Communications Director of the Case Alumni Association and editor of Case Alumnus magazine. I look forward to stimulating conversation as we share the stories, milestones and achievements of an esteemed alumni corps. Founded in 1885, we are the oldest independent alumni association of engineering and applied science graduates in America. I know you’ve heard that before, but I love repeating it. We are a special association for a special class of professionals. Our engineers and scientists excel in diverse and exciting fields locally, nationally and around the world. I often witnessed this phenomenon from a front row seat as the economic development reporter for The Plain Dealer. Time and again, I found Case talent behind the innovations, startups and advanced manufacturers driving the new economy in Northeast Ohio. The innovation economy spans the globe, of course, promising new and unforeseen opportunities for our students and graduates. One of our goals is to tap the collective power of our alumni—more than 20,000 of you—to enhance professional development. We want to see our graduates flourish in their chosen fields. To do that, we need your help. This quarterly magazine, supplemented by a monthly online newsletter, is a place to exchange news and ideas. But it’s also where you’ll find opportunities to share your insight and talents with fellow alumni and eager students. I hope you view Case Alumnus as a place to find out both what’s going on and where you can pitch in. We’ll be sharing ideas in the months ahead—but we also want to hear yours. Feel free to reach out to me at any time:, 216-368-0111. It’s your alma mater and it’s your magazine. Stay with us—or come back! Robert Smith Editor


The Case Alumnus is published quarterly for members and friends of the Case Alumni Association, which 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. 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 216-231-4567

OFFICERS Marvin Schwartz ’68, PhD ’73, President Ronald Cass ’84, 1st Vice President Sunniva Collins, MS ‘91, PhD ‘95, 2nd Vice President Joe Fakult ’90, Secretary Nick Barendt ’95, MS ’98, Treasurer Brian Casselberry ‘95, Assistant Treasurer

STAFF Stephen Zinram, Executive Director Thomas Conlon, Chief Financial Officer Erin Grace, Director of Development Robert Smith, Director of Communications Kelly Hendricks, Director of Alumni Relations Ryan Strine, Director of Annual Fund Janna Greer, Manager of Donor Relations and Grants Pamela Burtonshaw, Database Administrator Melissa Slager, Executive Assistant

CASE ALUMNUS Robert L. Smith, Editor Steve Toth, Toth Creative Group, Layout and Design The Watkins Printing Co., Printing

PHOTO CREDITS Wetzler’s Photography Hilary Bovay Photography, Icons

THE MAGAZINE OF THE CASE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 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 2018 • vol. 30 • no. 1


News Feature Craig’s Crusade

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has embarked upon nurturing a new community: female engineers.

Cover Story 8 Energy Innovation As it celebrates its 10th

anniversary, the Great Lakes Energy Institute is leading the region into advanced energy industries.



Features 14 Winning in Vegas

Ten CWRU teams showcased their innovations at CES 2018. What they learned in Las Vegas won’t stay there.

18 So that’s Engineering A record number of children

flock to the Engineering Challenges Carnival.


The Running Researcher

At 60, John Lewandowski finds new strength in running. 14

DEPARTMENTS 1 2 4 22 25 28

Dean’s Message Editor’s Message Around the Quad— news from campus Class Notes In Memoriam Long We’ll Remember The College Car Reborn 18

On the cover: ENGINEERING NEW ENERGY At 10, the Great Lakes Energy Institute may be hitting its stride Researchers at the Case School of Engineering are studying offshore wind farms, like this one in the North Sea, to design America’s first freshwater wind farm on Lake Erie.



The best way to stay connected to the Case Alumni Association between magazine issues is to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Please join our sites today for the latest news on alumni, students, faculty and innovative research and projects.

Spring 2018


Around the Quad Startup competition looks to groom entrepreneurs in the Morgenthaler tradition Meal kit services exude an air of luxury, demanding your money and the time to follow a recipe. Not KitcheNet. Founded by Case Western Reserve graduate Trista Li, the social enterprise startup is taking delivered meals in a new direction. KitcheNet delivers modestly priced grocery boxes to low-income neighborhoods lacking fresh, affordable food. Li, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in economics and psychology, is still testing her healthy idea in Chicago. But a Weatherhead School of Management class found it promising enough to select her for the inaugural Morgenthaler-Pavey Startup Competition. Hers is one of six

teams of young entrepreneurs—all CWRU students or recent graduates— to compete for $50,000 in prize money March 15 at the Larry Sears and Sally Zlotnick Sears think[box]. Organizers hope to speed her success—in the spirit of a legendary venture capitalist. Cleveland investor David Morgenthaler pioneered the venture capital industry in America and preached the importance of entrepreneurship to Greater Cleveland before his death in 2016. Now his friend and business partner has taken up the crusade. Bob Pavey, a Case Western Reserve trustee, co-founded the contest to honor Morgenthaler and to train new entrepreneurs. He partnered with JumpStart to provide not only prize money but legal resources and mentoring.

“No matter which of these excellent startups ultimately takes the top prize, each are driven by promising young entrepreneurs who will benefit from the invaluable expertise our professional partners are so generously providing,” Pavey told The Dailey. The selection process began last fall, when nearly 30 companies submitted ideas to an entrepreneurial finance class taught by Scott Shane, the A. Malachi Mixon III Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, who is coordinating the competition. The class winnowed the list to a top six. Along with KitcheNet, the finalists include Apollo Medical Devices, Everhire, Hedgemon, ImaginAg and Inspirit. To learn more about the six finalists and the competition, go to

Students honor teacher who makes thermodynamics fun Dr. Michael Hore, an assistant professor in the department of macromolecular science and engineering, has been honored by Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, as one of the best teachers in the School of Engineering. He accepted the Srinivasa P. Gutti Memorial Teaching Award Feb. 22 at the annual Engineers Week Reception at the InterContinental Hotel. “He does a really good job of keeping class engaging,” said Jason Linn, a junior majoring in polymer science engineering and music. “He manages to mix together the really important content with a sense of humor. And he’s a really nice guy.”

The award, named for an outstanding graduate of the School of Engineering who tragically died young, honors an instructor who shows “an exemplary commitment to undergraduate teaching.” Society members nominate candidates who respond to written questions before students elect the winner. Dr. Hore, 35, teaches an introductory physics course taken by many engineering majors. He said he became interested in engineering while playing with Lego blocks and watching the television character MacGyver solve

problems with science as he grew up on St. Joseph Island, near Sault Ste. Marie, in Ontario, Canada. The family moved to Tennessee, and he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Memphis. In 2012, Dr. Hore was awarded his doctorate in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, and two years later he came to Case Quad. He lives in Shaker Heights with his wife, Jessie Sun, who is also a materials scientist and who teaches at Laurel School.

All-American: Long distance runner joins elite field Samuel Merriman, an engineering and physics major from Middlesex, Vermont, finished 11th at the 2017 NCAA Division III Cross Country Championships in November to 4

earn All-America honors for the second-straight season. He became just the fourth repeat cross country AllAmerican in program history, placing him in league with Steve

Cullen, Peter Kummant and Greg Bowser. His time of 24:37.00 in the 8,000-meter race was the best of his career at that distance and the best ever by a CWRU runner at the NCAA Division III Championships. Congratulations, Sam!

Cheering engineering: Entrepreneurial professor shares his recipe for success Dr. Mehran Mehregany has launched several technology companies, including the Solon-based innovation firm NineSigma, while accumulating 19 U.S. patents. He’s learned a few things about identifying opportunity and, he says, achieving happiness. Now he’s sharing what he

knows in a new book: Innovation for Engineers: Developing Creative and Entrepreneurial Success. “It teaches innovation to engineers in an engineer’s language and style,” said Mehregany, the Veale Professor of Wireless Health Innovation at CWRU. “As founder of

NineSigma, Inc. and through my academic career, I have found that the engineering workforce at companies do not have an engineering-style textbook on innovation, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship. My book addresses this gap.” The book is available on and through the publisher,

Wind at their backs, ThinkEnergy fellows sail into entrepreneurship

Innovations in wind energy tend to focus on building bigger turbine blades, raising them higher or pushing them farther out to sea. Then there’s Boundary Labs, a Case Western Reserve wind-energy startup applying material science to enhance the state of the art. The company founders, all Case engineering students, say they have developed a plasma barrier that reduces

aerodynamic drag on wind turbine blades. Their idea has taken flight. The team traveled to Chicago Feb. 8 to compete in the regional Midwest CleanTech University Prize competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. While they did not finish in the prize money, the team garnered more contacts and attention. In April, they’re off to Pittsburgh to compete for the Allegheny Prize at Carnegie Mellon, then to the California Institute of Technology to compete in the FLOW DOE Cleantech UP business plan competition. What’s their secret? Company founder Prince Ghosh, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major,

described a “dielectric barrier discharge plasma actuator” that is flexible enough to wrap around a wind turbine blade or airplane wing to reduce turbulence and increase efficiency. But their real advantage may be a shared devotion. Ghosh’s teammates include CWRU students Lucas Fridman, Amit Verma, Alejandro Owen and Nihar Chhatiawala. The quintet met during a Great Lakes Energy Institute ThinkEnergy Fellowship last spring on campus. They discovered a shared passion for clean energy research and entrepreneurship, much as the fellowship program had intended. Said Kim Fleddermann, who runs the fellowship program, “This is a perfect example of what we’re trying to spawn.”

Leaving your legacy

The first in a series of stories on how to give with impact 3 Easy Ways to Leave a Legacy If you think that the only way you can leave a legacy at the Case Alumni Foundation is by creating a sizeable estate gift that requires professional advice, think again. Sometimes there is a misunderstanding when people hear about estate gifts. Headlines that declare “biggest gift ever” might come to mind. What people don’t realize is that those headline-making estate gifts are anomalies. Most estate gifts are modest in size and often derive from resources many of us have. One of the easiest ways to make an impact on our mission is to designate us as a beneficiary of one of your assets, such as a retirement plan account, life insurance policy or bank account. These gifts cost

nothing now. Plus, you retain complete control over the assets during your lifetime and can spend the money as you wish. By naming us as the beneficiary, you simply allow for any leftover funds, or a portion of those funds, to transfer to us after your lifetime. These are gifts you can easily set up yourself. Here are the three things you need: 1. A phone. Call the administrator of your retirement plan, bank account or insurance policy. 2. A form. Request a change-ofbeneficiary form. 3. A pen. Fill out the form and return it to the administrator.

Then call us to let us know about your generosity! It would be our honor to thank you for your gift.

Bring in the Professionals If you have a will and previously worked with an estate planning attorney, it’s a good idea to include that person in your planning process when designating or updating your beneficiaries. Your attorney can make sure that as you add or adjust pieces of your estate plan, it remains cohesive and logical for your current circumstances. To learn more about the Case Alumni Foundation and the opportunities available to establish an endowed fund, please visit

Spring 2018


Craig’s Crusade

Craig Newmark pushes open the door for women engineers

Craig Newmark of Craigslist fame returned to campus in November and spoke about his new crusade.

The founder of Craigslist is helping to narrow the gender gap by providing opportunities for female computer science and engineering students to attend national conferences. By John Walsh


here’s a problem – and there are a lot of theories about it. That problem is the lack of women in the engineering field, according to Craig Newmark ’75, MS ’77. Newmark, the founder of Craigslist, is helping to solve that problem by funding female computer science and engineering students to attend national conferences, such as the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC) and the Society of Women in Engineering’s WE17. “I can make things better with a little attention,” he said. Case Western Reserve University is helping in its own way. Women are 33 percent of the student body in the Case 6

School of Engineering, well above the national average of 18 percent. Additionally, the percentage of female faculty in the Case School of Engineering is about 16.3 percent, which also is above the national average of 15.7 percent. Newmark, who created an online classified ad website used by 60 million people each month, spoke to students Nov. 13 as part of a presentation to a Weatherhead School of Management course with entrepreneurial studies professor Scott Shane, PhD. He frequently responds to questions about his support of people and programs this way: “I reference a quote from what Jack Lemmon said years ago: ‘If you’re

lucky enough to do well, it’s your responsibility to send the elevator back down,’” he said, adding that his wife, Eileen, is inspirational to him in helping women. During the past two years, Newmark has supported numerous CWRU female students in computing, allowing them to attend international conferences. GHC is billed as the largest gathering of women technologists (students and professionals) in the world. Last year’s event, held in October, drew about 18,000 women. GHC promotes the inclusion of women in the technology field and offers networking opportunities and panels featuring

well-known names in computing, catering to technical and career-related content. The most recent keynote speaker was Melinda Gates, co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The conference also offers professional development and a career fair, which provides students the opportunity to interview for jobs and internships. In October 2014, nine female students from CWRU traveled to Phoenix for GHC. In October 2015, 16 women attended GHC in Houston, building on the momentum of the previous year’s trip. “It’s empowering to be surrounded by other women who share my interest in tech,” said Lauren Jahnke ’18, a computer science major. “My favorite part is the panels, where you hear from women in the industry who’ve found success and become executives in their companies, because that’s where I hope to be someday. GHC makes me hopeful about the future for women in tech and inspires me to encourage other young women to pursue a career in technology. I’m glad I could be a part of it.” Computer science major Anna Sedlackova ’19 shares her enthusiasm. “As a software engineering co-op who works primarily in a male-dominated workplace, attending the Grace Hopper Celebration was incredibly inspiring,” she said. “Hearing other women talk about their experiences in computing gave me additional confidence that I can be successful in this field and encouraged me to support all female engineers and scientists in pursuing their dreams.” At the conference’s career fair, each attendee was able to interact with companies that value diversity. Thanks to this opportunity, Sedlackova received a summer internship offer in the Bay Area with Apple. “I would highly recommend the Grace Hopper Celebration to any female in STEM because it has not only made me a better leader and engineer but also secured my job prospects,” said Sedlackova, who is a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and the Hacker Society.

A scene from the floor of the 2017 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

Newmark says the tech industry needs more skilled workers, which should mean a lot more women in computing. However, the industry hasn’t treated women fairly, says Newmark, who supports organizations such as the Women’s Startup Challenge and Girls Who Code. WE17, which is billed as the world’s largest and most prestigious conference for women engineers, is another important event for women in technology. Last year, WE17 was held with the theme of “Always Connecting ... Always Engineering.” Exhibitors included companies such as 3M, Accenture, Amazon, Apple, Raytheon, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and Texas Instruments. The conference provided women ways to connect, discover career opportunities and pursue professional development.

“Every company exhibiting at SWE (WE17) is hiring for tech positions, so there are a lot of opportunities there,” says Jahnke, who attended the conference three years ago. “I found my first college internship at SWE. The best thing I got out of it, besides an internship, was practice talking to companies and recruiters.” Providing these opportunities for women will help close the gender gap in the tech field, Newmark believes. “I want to create a new normal about women in tech, so we need to keep talking about it until it doesn’t seem all that unusual,” he said.

For more information about the Grace Hopper Celebration, visit For information about SWE, visit

Spring 2018


Energy Innovation The Great Lakes Energy Institute is leading the region into a new energy landscape By Robert L. Smith



andmarks are often research instruments at Case Western Reserve University. Near the south edge of campus, a towering wind turbine—which a student might point you toward to find the Veale Athletic Center—twirled like a giant pinwheel on a gusty winter day, feeding power to the athletic center as it tested wind technology. North of campus, behind the Maltz Performing Arts Center, a research-grade sun farm absorbed what rays filtered down from a pale gray sky, producing electricity while allowing researchers to test the performance of solar cells. Between these highly visible structures, futuristic batteries hummed in building basements and testing chambers glowed with the heat of simulated suns. The Great Lakes Energy Institute, a university-wide research institute housed in the Case School of Engineering, is responsible for much of this living laboratory. It orchestrates collaboration between faculty, students and industry partners to explore new energy systems. Through its efforts, research teams are working to harness the wind, design better batteries, modernize the electric grid—and advance the region into a new energy age. The drive toward advanced energy began 10 years ago, when the Cleveland Foundation helped to launch the institute with a $3.6 million grant. That was quickly followed by a $2 million grant from the Maltz Family Foundation of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland. Foundation leaders sought to leverage CWRU expertise to create energy industry jobs

in Northeast Ohio. The School of Engineering, meanwhile, saw a chance to attract research dollars and apply faculty skills to real-world challenges. “I looked at a city and a region that was born in energy under Rockefeller and that still had enormous energy expertise,” said Dianne Anderson, who came from British Petroleum to become the institute’s first director in October 2008. Thanks to the startup grants, she said, “We were real very quickly.” As they mark the 10th anniversary, she and other founders are apprising a research institute that may be just hitting its stride. By tapping talent from a range of schools and departments, GLEI is able to build uncommon research teams with breadth across disciplines. It has attracted about $100 million in research dollars—from industry, government and private sources—and now averages more than $12 million in research and educational funding a year. Alexis Abramson, PhD, the institute’s current co-director, said her goal is to build on that momentum. “GLEI’s primary focus is attracting funding so that our faculty and students can do breakthrough work,” said Abramson, the Milton and Tamar Maltz Professor of Energy Innovation. “The ultimate goal is really to have an impact on the world.” Federal support might be harder to come by in the years ahead, as the Trump administration shows limited enthusiasm

Spring 2018


Professor David Zeng is designing foundations for turbines that will rise about 8 to 10 miles off the coast of Cleveland.

for new energy sources. But Abramson and others think the institute has wrested the attention of industry and positioned CWRU as a player in a growing field. “It has established CWRU as an important place in basic energy research,” said Walter “Walt” Culver, MS ’62, PhD ’64, an energy industry veteran and a charter member of GLEI’s advisory board. “It’s opened up whole new fields of interest, not just for the university but for all of Northeast Ohio.” Siemens recently announced plans to partner with the School of Engineering to train engineers to run the smart grids of the future. Siemens, a global manufacturer and technology powerhouse, has long partnered with CWRU on medical imaging research. The new commitment marks its first partnership with the university on energy research. The jobs envisioned in 2008 have yet to appear, but Ronn Richard, the president of the Cleveland Foundation,


thinks those might not be far away— especially if the state legislature becomes friendlier to renewable energy. “We need good public policy at the state level—coupled with good research at our universities—that will lead to jobs in the private sector,” he said. “We’re getting close. I think Case has done a marvelous job.” Among the many projects being coordinated by the institute, two readily illustrate the power of GLEI to create new energy systems—and maybe launch new industries in the Great Lakes region.

From the lab, a plan to break the ice There’s a good reason designers of America’s first freshwater wind farm call their project Icebreaker Wind. To raise a pilot wind farm off the coast of Cleveland—and jumpstart a wind-energy industry on the Great Lakes—they need turbines that can withstand the ice and fury of a Lake Erie winter. For that, they turned to the Case School of Engineering and the talent

that could be tapped by the Great Lakes Energy Institute. Deep in the basement of the Bingham Building on Case Quad, Xiangwu “David” Zeng, PhD, and his research team are testing foundation designs for turbines that can stand tall on a frozen lake. To mimic the power of shifting ice, they place small prototypes of turbine parts into an industrial-sized centrifuge and hit the switch, slamming them with extreme forces of gravity. “This is applied research,” said Zeng, the chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. “We’re the research arm, basically, for the foundation design of this project.” It needed one. Icebreaker Wind calls for six nearly 500-foot-tall turbines to rise in about 30 feet of water in a highwind zone 8 to 10 miles off the coast of Cleveland. An underwater cable will connect them to a shoreline substation and the regional high-voltage power grid. The idea is not only to generate power but to show that windmills can work on

the Great Lakes. Once the region adopts wind energy, the thinking goes, much of the design and manufacturing work will stay local, creating thousands of jobs. “We know how to bend metal,” said Richard of the Cleveland Foundation, which helped to launch the project a decade ago. That metal needs to be bent in a certain way, and designed with new capabilities. “Case has been involved since the beginning,” said Lorry Wagner, PhD, an energy engineer and the president of the Lake Erie Energy Development Corp., or LEEDCo, which is leading the project. “They’ve all been good to work with. And for David, this is right up his alley. He’s done turbine analysis for Asian companies. His work is a significant part of this project.”

Zeng, whose research is being funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, has studied turbines designed for northern Europe, including those in the North Sea. But the comparisons are not exact. “This will be the first one in freshwater—with ice. Even the Europeans have very little experience with this,” he said. “It’s not just ice. Our ice moves, up and down.” Zeng and his team, which includes research associate Xeufei “Sophie” Wang, have designed an “ice cone,” or a conical shield at the water level, that ideally will ward off or break apart encroaching ice. Such a “facemask” has been used before on bridge piers, Zeng said, but not on windmills. So far, it’s working in the lab. “We’re making progress,” he said.

He said he hopes to soon have a design ready for LEEDCo. Turbines are scheduled to rise in the lake in the summer of 2020. And that’s just the start. Wagner, Richard and others envision hundreds of windmills powering a new Great Lakes energy industry. Success, they know, hinges on an engineering team solving a problem no one has confronted before.

New energy needs a smarter grid This spring, an array of solar panels will appear on the roof of the Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences, making the North Campus complex another demonstration site in the growing web of the Great Lakes Energy Institute. As students study social sciences in a building partially powered by

Sophie Wang and David Zeng at the centrifuge.

Spring 2018


sunlight, researchers—who also plan to park a battery in the parking garage— will be testing strategies for storing and streaming solar energy. It’s a step toward energy integration and the ultimate aim—redesigning the national electric grid. For most of us, it’s enough to know that if we flip a switch the lights go on. Engineers know that the electricity to power those lights flows through a vast and aging grid—the network of power plants, transformers and transmission lines that delivers electricity to homes and businesses. First designed in the 1920s, the grid is unable to efficiently stream new and diverse sources of electricity, like wind, solar and battery power. Case Western Reserve is in a position to help. The School of Engineering has deep experience in energy transmission and


distribution technology. That’s what attracted Siemens, which plans to invest in classes and labs that will train the next generation of power system engineers. Those engineers will run a highly technical system that can accommodate cleaner, greener energy sources. “The current infrastructure we have cannot support that level of integration,” said Kenneth Loparo, PhD ’77, the Nord Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and an expert on power transmission. “How do we develop the distribution system of the future? It’s not an event. This is an evolution.” In collaboration with FirstEnergy and other corporate partners, CWRU researchers are developing and testing new distribution systems.

The Mandel project complements demonstration sites on Case Quad, where smart building controls—and a 125 kW battery from Johnson Controls—are integrating new energy systems into old engineering buildings. There’s not enough sunlight to power a whole building on campus, but there’s enough to test a strategy. Using solar panels, a storage battery and new smart invertors from Eaton Corp., researchers plan to design a control architecture that will stream solar energy into the Mandel building’s power supply at optimal times— integrating renewable energy with power from the grid. If it works, the concept will be applied to other campus complexes and maybe sections of the city, creating stand-alone microgrids that researchers think represent the future of energy transmission.

“This is really about research because the industry is looking for solutions,” said Marija Prica, PhD, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science. She’s the university’s lead investigator on the solar integration project, which is being funded by the SunShot Initiative of the U.S. Department of Energy. “When we combine storage and solar energy with proper controls, it becomes affordable,” she said. That, she says, could lead to the golden quality that would make green energy commonplace. “If we’re successful, we will develop the dispatchability of renewable resources,” she said. “That means we’ll be able to use them when we need them

and how we need them. And that’s not really possible anywhere else today.”

Questions or comments on this story? Email

JOIN US for a community event exploring the effects of climate change on Earth’s lands, seas and atmosphere

Perspectives on Global Climate Change May 24, 2018, 1:30 p.m. Maltz Performing Arts Center | Case Western Reserve University sponsored by Featuring talks with renowned climate scientists: • Michael Mann, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University • Stephen Palumbi, Hopkins Marine Station, Stanford University • V. “Ram” Ramaswamy, Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Princeton University

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Free and open to the public. Registration required. To learn more and reserve your free ticket, visit

Spring 2018


Winning in Vegas At CES 2018, students learned that successful innovation requires more than science and engineering By Robert L. Smith

Xyla Foxlin was a popular interview at her booth at the entrance to Case Row.



AS VEGAS, Nevada—Case Western Reserve University sent 10 teams of innovators to CES 2018 in January, the most of any university. The students, staff and recent graduates set up their exhibits across from one another in the same row, creating a noticeable CWRU presence at the world’s largest consumer electronics show. As journalists, competitors and potential investors descended on “Case Row,” the young innovators learned another side of innovation: How to win friends and influence people. “It’s a bit of baptism by fire,” said interim Dean James McGuffin-Cawley, who was making his first visit to CES. “This is an overwhelming event.” The famed trade show attracts more than 170,000 people and about 4,000 exhibitors from around the world. The dean credited Bob Sopko, director of the campus startup consultancy LaunchNet, with offering students just enough guidance to succeed or fail on their own. “This is another example of how we create an opportunity for students and it’s up to them to use it,” he said. “Case is historically known for rigorous fundamentals, solving a problem. This is teaching them how to take that knowledge through to a commercial enterprise.” With a trace of marvel in his voice, he added, “These kids are holding their own.” In the Eureka Park exhibit area of the Sands Expo Center, a carpeted path led through a maze of startups to the teams from CWRU. Rounding a corner, attendees suddenly encountered a giant blackboard that declared “Brilliant is Beautiful” and that invited them to share their maker dreams. In front of that message stood Xyla Foxlin, a senior mechanical and aerospace engineering major, ready to chat. She was marketing her new YouTube crusade—“Beauty and the Bolt”—in a booth designed to be both professional and fun. This was her third trip to CES, and she knew how to play the game. Across from her milled the upbeat team of Reflexion Interactive Technologies, whose multimedia presentation

Case Row attracted a steady stream of visitors in the University Innovation section of Eureka Park.

reflected technical skill and confidence. Farther down Case Row, the teams tended to grow younger and the displays less ambitious, but everyone was learning something. That’s why they were here. People who champion innovation at Case Western Reserve view CES as a place where aspiring entrepreneurs can grow up quickly, often with help from savvier classmates. Thrown into a sprawling convention, they experience a side of innovation far removed from science and engineering, as they vie to win attention and make connections. Back for its fifth straight year, CWRU brought representatives of eight startups—including students and recent graduates—as well as representatives of LaunchNet and think[box], the university’s acclaimed innovation center. The multiple teams created a camaraderie that’s needed, Foxlin can attest. “Your first CES is one of your most intimidating experiences in college,” she said. Observers recall her as a bit timid three years ago, when she introduced Parihug, Wi-Fi enabled stuffed animals that convey hugs across long distances. This year, she stood poised and confident in an eye-catching corner booth, eager to explain the artful maker kits she designed for girls. She did dozens of media interviews and gave out hundreds of business cards. Foxlin’s goal of attracting more women into maker spaces and engineering labs Spring 2018


lends her pitch the fervor of a crusade. But she credits CES experience with helping her to gain confidence and shape an effective delivery. “You learn things. You learn what works,” she said, gesturing toward her booth. “I have a theater tech background, and this is essentially a stage set.” Plus, she’s learned to cool her emotions. “The more professional you are, the more people will take you seriously,” she said.

‘Here’s the keys, drive’ The university offers some support to the CES teams, but not as much as you might imagine. With the help of alumni, it covers the costs of the booths—$1,000 each—and provides signage and advice. But the students must get to Las Vegas on their own (some drive), find their own food and lodging, set up their exhibits and perfect their pitch. “We’re innovators. We think beyond the possible,” said Sopko, who started the trek to CES with two teams in 2014. “We like to give students a chance to show their work—to partners, to investors, to the world. We buy the booth. We give them the keys. We let them show what they can do. What better place than one of the biggest trade shows on earth?”

LaunchNet director Bob Sopko, right, led the teams to CES 2018 for the fifth straight year. Dean James McGuffin-Cawley, left, was a frequent visitor to Case Row.

There are stumbles. On the show’s first day, Jan. 9, the team from Reflexion was unable to get its multimedia display running, despite feverish efforts. “That’s part of entrepreneurship,” Sopko said. “They’re trying to get it right for tomorrow.” They did. On day two, a constant stream of people beat a path to the Edge—a concussion warning and reflex

Reflexion Interactive Technologies, co-founded by Matt Campagna, was ranked among the Best of CES by Engadget.

training system for athletes—garnering some convention acclaim. Reflexion was named a finalist in a Best of CES 2018 competition sponsored by the tech news website Engadget. Matt Campagna, the company co-founder and a junior computer engineering major, likes CES for the media attention but also for the feedback. “It’s like a giant focus group,” he said. “Just being able to show the technology and see how people use it, you learn a lot. You can make engineering decisions.” After CES 2017, he and his two partners—high school friends who attend Cornell and Penn State universities—modified the touchscreen to make it more responsive, he said.

Starting basic Farther down the row, Robert Steward manned a spartan exhibit for Enabled Robotics. A freshman majoring in biomedical engineering, he never imagined himself at the largest trade show in the tech world and was unsure how to prepare. Still, he described the experience as eye-opening. People had been stopping by to hear about his idea for a pulley-enabled exoskeleton that would move paralyzed legs. (He 3-D printed sample joints at 16

think[box]. One group of visitors from Australia, noted their country had a large elderly population that maybe could benefit from the concept. “It’s a slightly different application, not exactly what I was thinking of,” he said, acknowledging that the word “pivot” popped into his head. Across from Steward, the team of Apollo Medical Devices welcomed visitors who lingered at the technical schematics describing a fast, inexpensive, portable blood-testing device. “Today has been crazy,” said company founder Punkage Ahuja, who earned his master’s degree in biomedical engineering from CWRU and is now a doctoral candidate. He had had conversations with representatives of Bayer, CVS Health, Fitbit and an Israeli investment firm. “This is the best show,” Ahuja added. “You don’t know who’s walking around here, and everyone is walking around here.” That included Michele Jones, the director of product innovation for Akron-based FirstEnergy. She tried out the HoloLens glasses at NE Ohio Immersive Technologies and chatted with several of the students at their exhibits. “I think it’s amazing,” she said. “You’ve got a lot of great things here.

Erica Kraus, the Student Operations Lead for think[box], helps set up Case Row.

Punkage Ahuja, founder of Apollo Medical Devices, talks with a representative of an Israeli investment firm.

We came down from upstairs just to see this.” Chances are, CWRU will be back. Dean McGuffin-Cawley was a frequent presence on Case Row, where he was visited by deans and administrators from other universities. He said many asked him a version of the same question, “How did you do this?” In an address to alumni at an evening reception at Planet Hollywood, the dean noted that CWRU had two dozen

students and maybe twice as many alumni exhibiting at CES, swelling the university’s reputation as a center of innovation and discovery. “I think that’s how we always wanted to be,” he said, “and we’re doing it better than we’ve ever done.” Questions or comments on this story? Email

CWRU alumnus Adam Bartsch, the chief science officer at Prevent Biometrics, explains its concussion detection system to CAA executive director Steve Zinram in the Sands Expo Center, one floor above the CWRU teams. Spring 2018


So that’s engineering


Annual carnival draws a throng, and maybe plants some seeds


emiformal events like the Engineers Week Reception and competitions like the Light Bulb Drop command much of the attention during the Engineers Week celebration at Case Western Reserve. But an event aimed at children may be doing the most to boost the profession. The 2018 Engineering Challenges Carnival attracted more than 700 people to the Thwing Center Feb. 3. The throng included hundreds of schoolchildren and their parents and more than 200 CWRU student volunteers, who led the kids through engineering games and science challenges. Me’lani Labat Joseph, who has organized the carnival for six years now,

said it was the largest turnout of her tenure and probably the largest in the history of the event. She credited years of networking with area schools and educators and an outpouring of support from engineering clubs and student groups. “It wouldn’t happen without the student volunteers,” said Labat Joseph, the Director of Engineering at the Leonard Gelfand STEM Center. “The beauty is, they’re doing things that are specific to their interests,” like demonstrating how to launch a rocket or design a bridge. The children, meanwhile, learn there is more to STEM than solving math equations and memorizing formulas. There’s invention, wonder and imagination.

“The goal really is to just provide a day of fun learning around STEM,” said Labat Joseph, who noted that the carnival has become the largest public event of the Case School of Engineering. “It’s an exposure experience. Hopefully these young kids can see themselves in our students.” She said early exposure to math and science principles helped propel her toward a mechanical engineering degree from MIT. “I absolutely believe that these early experiences matter,” she said. “Many of these kids come every year now. I have parents tell me, ‘We’ve been coming to the carnival for three years!’ I don’t know if they’ll become engineers. But I think in the long run it will be in their brain that they had a really positive experience around STEM at Case Western Reserve.” Spring 2018


The Running Researcher A lifelong runner reaches Masters status By John Walsh


aterials science researcher John Lewandowski, PhD, is a competitor, and his competitiveness can be seen on the track. In 2013 and 2017, Lewandowski, who is 60, participated in the National Senior Games, first in Cleveland and then in Birmingham, Ala. Last year, he ran fast enough in the 800- and 1500-meter races to earn Masters All-American status while placing 6th and 4th, respectively. He also participated in the 200- and 400-meter races, placing 22nd and 12th, respectively. In 2013, he placed 4th in the 5K, as well as 10th in the 400, 6th in the 800 and 5th in the 1,500, where he also earned Masters All-American status.


Not bad for a college professor with a demanding schedule of research, teaching and advising. Lewandowski is the Arthur P. Armington Professor of Engineering II, the Director of Advanced Manufacturing and the Mechanical Reliability Center, and a professor in the materials science and engineering department at Case School of Engineering. He has mentored over 100 graduate students (MS, PhD) and 50 postdoctoral researchers and visiting scholars at CWRU. Publications and presentations with his mentees run into the hundreds.

Through it all, Lewandowski had a sport keeping him physically and mentally sharp. Lewandowski’s history of competitive running dates to high school, when he started with sprints, gradually moving up to middle-distance competition, including relays while in college at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he competed against CWRU runners. After earning his PhD at CMU in 1984 (he earned an ME in 1981 and BS in 1979 there), he traveled to Cambridge, England, for his postdoctoral work. He ran for Churchill College, Cambridge University, where runners can compete on any level. When he returned to Churchill College as an Overseas Fellow

for a sabbatical in 2003-04, he ran then, too. Four runners he trained with in England participated in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008, and two competed in the London Olympics in 2012. “I like the competitive nature of running,” he says. “You show up at a specific time and place. It’s black and white. And it’s all up to you to train.” In 1986, Lewandowski came to CWRU to conduct research and teach, tabling his running for years because he was busy working and helping his wife, Amy, raise their two boys, the first of whom was born in 1990. (John Robert, BS ’12, MEM ’13, is a PhD student at MIT, and the other, Mark Edward, BS ’16, is earning a master’s at CWRU.) Even though Lewandowski wasn’t running regularly, he stayed in good shape. After taking a break from running competitively for a while, Lewandowski became more directly involved in the sport by participating in track meets and joining the Cleveland Southeast Runners Club in 1999. He also developed his own training regimen throughout the years and competed annually in both the Hermes Road Race Series and the Ohio Challenge Series. Road races ranged in distance from 1 mile to 5K and 10K, as well as a few half marathons.

I like the competitive nature of running

and core exercises at the One to One Fitness center on the CWRU campus. “That really made a difference and helped prevent injuries,” he says. Lewandowski rode six miles on his bike to and from work and home and rode through winter as long as it wasn’t snowing. On Tuesdays, he did a track workout on the CWRU Bill Sudeck Track and ran with other runners. On the weekends, he ran longer distances with other runners, too. “I felt the aches and pains of doing too much sometimes,” he says. “Achilles tendonitis struck before the games in Birmingham.” In terms of his diet, Lewandowski had to remain hydrated, so he didn’t drink alcohol and limited his intake

of soda. He ate a lot of fruits and vegetables, as well as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He refrained from fried food. His caloric intake increased as he burned many calories. The track and running competition of the National Senior Games, which occur biennially (the next one is in Albuquerque, NM, June 13-26, 2019), typically spans one week, but his events lasted only three days. “There’s amazing talent that competes in these games,” he says, adding that the athletes compete in five-year age brackets. ‘It’s very inspiring. The number of competitive people at that age is impressive. Many are recovering from some injury, some from major illnesses. Truly inspiring.”

Training days In 2012, he qualified for the 2013 National Senior Games on the CWRU track. “I saw the Senior Games were coming to Cleveland, and the guys I ran with said, ‘Let’s do it,’” he says. “I had pulled my hamstring a couple weeks before, so had to be careful with my regimen and training. On Saturdays, I’d run six to eight miles, and on Sundays I’d run 10 to 12 miles on roads and trails. I did a track workout Tuesday, a hill workout Thursday and biked the rest of the days.” For the 2017 National Senior Games, Lewandowski trained intensely. His training included weight lifting, yoga

John Lewandowski, center, is running strong midway through the 800-meter final at the 2017 National Senior Games in Birmingham, Ala. He finished 6th.

Spring 2018


Class Notes 1930s

Kimball D. Smith ’39 Pasadena, CA Kimball wrote to report that he is now 101 years old and in “good shape.” Also, he shares that world events delayed his graduation. He was on track to graduate from the Case School of Applied Science in 1938 but, while a foreign exchange student in Munich, was delayed in Germany by the Nazis, and thus graduated in 1939.


Daniel Saunders ’48 Bedford, OH Daniel celebrated his 91st birthday on Aug. 17, 2017.


George G. Pinneo ’59 Manhattan Beach, CA George, a science fiction writer, engineer and space enthusiast, has published the fifth book in his “Bergmann” series, “Bergmann’s L5 ORBITAT ” (CreateSpace Independent Publishing, 2014). It was featured at the Frankfurt International Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, in October 2017 and is available via


William M. Grasser ’60, MS ’66 Rocky River, OH Bill reports that he is happily retired. “After 48 years in industry I am retired and living the good life!” Dale Phillip ’61 Westlake, OH Dale retired from his role as president 22

and chief executive officer of AKS Cutting Systems, a subsidiary of Kiffer Industries. Christopher Mathewson, PhD ’63 College Station, TX Christopher was recognized by Continental Who’s Who as a Pinnacle Lifetime Member in the field of higher education. A regents professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, he also is a professional geologist in Texas, Oregon and Alaska. Steven Penn ’66 Phoenixville, PA Steve was inducted into the Paulding High School Athletic Hall of Fame. He earned 12 varsity letters at Paulding, class of 1962. At Case, he played football and was honored with the Les Bale Award as most valuable player in 1965. After graduating with a BS in Engineering with a Computer Technology Major, Steve managed systems and software development projects and worked for Lockheed and Lockheed Martin for nearly 20 years. He retired in 2009. Kenneth Boa ’67 Atlanta, GA Ken, a prolific writer and the president of Reflections Ministries, has published a new book, “Life in the Presence of God: Practices for Living in Light of Eternity (InterVarsity Press). It uses biblical foundations, living and historical examples, and evidence from neuroscience to argue we can walk with God and abide in his presence. Ken is the author of more than 50 books. Carl A. Singer ’68, PhD Passaic, NJ Carl, a retired U.S. Army colonel, wrote to say he is thankful for the sound technical education he received at “Case Tech” and that he is now enjoying retirement. “I’ve had an interesting life/career—and

now that I’m not worried about feeding the family, I try to spend more time helping others.” Donald Knuth, PhD ’60 Stanford, CA Marquis Who’s Who named Donald a lifetime achiever. A distinguished professor emeritus at Stanford University, Donald bears the honorary moniker of “father of the analysis of algorithms.” He first published “The Art of Computer Programming” in 1968 and also designed the computer typesetting system TeX and the companion language, Metafont.

Eugene DiNovo CIT ’67 and Pasquale DiNovo CIT ’87 Simi Valley, CA Rochester, NY Nephew Pat and Uncle Gino celebrated their 30th and 50th class anniversaries, respectively, at Reunion Weekend 2017. Both men enjoyed reminiscing about their combined 80 years since Case Western Reserve! James Marpe ’68 Westport, CT Jim received the unanimous endorsement of the Westport Republican Party for reelection as first selectman. He served on the Westport Board of Education from 2005-12. Jim is a retired senior partner of Accenture. Terrence J. Sejnowski, PhD ’68 La Jolla, CA Terrance, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological

Studies, delivered the Provost Lecture at the University of Pittsburgh’s Science 2017 conference in October 2017. His talk was titled “Neuroscience in the Age of Information.” He is one of only 10 living scientists elected to all three national academies: the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.


Marc Milstein ’72 Austin, TX Marc joined the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, an academic medical center, as vice president of information resources and chief information officer. Stephen Becker, MS ’74, PhD Los Alamos, New Mexico Steve, an astronomer and astrophysicist in New Mexico, participated in discussions about black holes, the solar eclipse and NASA probes as part of Nature on Tap, a discussion series started by the Los Alamos Creative District. He is president of the Pajarito Astronomy Club. In 1995, he made it as far as the interview stage of the astronaut selection process. Allan Reid ’74 Zionsville, IN Allan is an attorney for Foley Panszi Law in Zionsville, IN, and focuses his practice primarily on criminal law. He’s a former master commissioner in the criminal courts of Marion County.


Prasan Samal, MS ’81 Johnstown, PA Prasan is a 2017 APMI Fellowship Award recipient. Retired, Samal helped develop and qualify stainless steel components for use in automotive exhaust systems.

He’s the author or co-author of 11 U.S. patents, two books and more than 50 technical papers. Joseph Rencis, PhD ’85 Pomona, CA Joseph was named dean of engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at Cal Poly Pomona. Previously, he was the dean of engineering at Tennessee Tech University from 2011-17. He was also the 2015-16 president of the American Society for Engineering Education. Krishna Venkataswamy, MS ’85 Crystal Lake, IL Krishna is senior vice president and chief technology officer for Interface Performance Materials, a manufacturing, design and research company focused on applied materials science and polymer chemistry. James Ford ’88 Laguna Hills, CA James and his wife, Dawn, celebrated 25 years of marriage in May 2017. They have two sons—Kevin, 13, and Kenny, 12. James is an electrical engineer for Raytheon in Fullerton, CA, and tinkers with ham radio on the weekends. William Memberg, MS ’89 Medina, OH Bill is the founder of RePlay for Kids, a group that reconfigures toys for children with special needs. Last year, his group gave away more than 1,500 adapted toys. The Plain Dealer named him a Community Hero in 2011:


Sean C. Higgins MS ’90, Puslinch, ON Sean has been named to the board of directors of ShiftPixy Inc., an Irvine, CAbased human capital management services provider. He is the co-founder and Vice President of Professional Services of Herjavec Group, an information security solutions firm based in Toronto. Brian A. Zrimsek ’90 Cleveland, OH Brian, the industry principal for MRI Software’s Multifamily business, recently published a timely article on “Doing Business Without Talking—Millennials’ Impact on CRE.” Find the story at

Terri G. Kinzy, PhD ’91 Kalamazoo, MI After a nationwide search, Terri was named vice president for research at Western Michigan University, effective Jan. 8. Previously, Terri served as vice president for research and professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Rutgers University.

Angela M. Lisy MS ’94 Euclid, OH Angela, a Senior Research Scientist at Orbital Research Inc., was reelected to the Euclid School Board Nov. 7, 2017. The mother of four holds a master’s degree in Macromolecular Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve. Spring 2018


Class Notes Leslie Kindling ’95 Arlington, VA Leslie, a two-time NCAA track champion, ran in the 2017 Boston Marathon. She is an aerospace and operational physiologist with the U.S. Navy.

was the subject of a “Day in the Life of the Zoning Administrator” feature in the Ledger Independent. Readers learned that there is no typical day for the man in charge of the town zoning codes. Find the complete story at

Daniel Wierzbicki ’99 Mentor, OH Daniel is a supervisory special agent—Criminal and National Security Cyber Investigations—for the Chicago division of the FBI.

Micah Litow ’04, MEM ’05 Mequon, WI Micah is chief marketing and business development officer for Preora Diagnostics, a privately held medical technology company developing low-cost cancer screening tests.


Michael Fu, MSE ’06, PhD ’11 Cleveland, OH Michael is an assistant professor in the electrical engineering and computer science department at CWRU. He is also a scholar working through the Mentored Clinical Research Scholars (KL2) program at the Case Western Clinical and Translational Science Collaborative in Cleveland. Through the program, he tested video gameassisted electrical stimulation therapy with children with cerebral palsy and found that it helped them. He has received independent funding to test the therapy in a larger clinical trial.

Preston DeFrancis ’02 Los Angeles, CA Preston wrote a feature-length horror movie, “Ruin Me,” which was produced by his wife, Rebecca Stone. The movie premiered Aug. 27 in London at the horror film festival FrightFest. Mario Mazza ’03 North East, PA Mario is the driving force behind Five & 20 Wine & Brewing in Westfield, NY. It’s the state’s first distillery/brewery/winery. Mazza worked for DuPont in Australia and brought back ideas about the distillation process after earning a master’s degree in oenology (wine) and viticulture (growing grapes) at the University of Adelaide in Australia. John DiBella ’01, MEM ’04 Granada Hills, CA John is president of the Lancaster, CA, division of Simulations Plus, a developer of drug discovery and development software.

Melissa Gonsalves MEM ’07 Cleveland, OH Melissa is the product manager of low temperature sterilization solutions at Steris Corporation. She’s responsible for the development and distribution of hydrogen peroxide gas sterilizers. In addition, she co-authored a study about the challenges of extended steam sterilization cycles.

George K. Larger III ’04 Maysville, KY George, the Zoning and Planning Administrator for Maysville (pop. 9,011),

Alex Yakubovich ’07 San Francisco, CA Alex is the CEO of Scout RFP. Previously, he was a co-founder of Onosys, which


was acquired by LivingSocial in 2012. At Onosys, Yakubovich led the operations team and helped the company become one of the largest online ordering providers in the U.S. Christopher Crane ’08 San Francisco, CA Christopher is co-founder and vice president of product at Scout RFP, a sourcing and procurement software company. Previously, he worked for Erico, a manufacturer of electrical grounding, bonding and connectivity products that’s now part of Pentair.

Jeff M. Taylor ’09 Akron, OH Jeff, the founder and president of Akron commercial drone maker Event 38, was featured in a recent article in the Youngstown Daily Legal News, “Drone maker Event 38 reaches to the skies.” Find the article here:


Obinna Nwanna ’10 Maumee, OH Obinna is working on his PhD in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University. A decathlete while attending CWRU, he was a three-time UAA

In Memoriam champion in the high jump, four-time All-American, and NCAA decathlon champion. He completed his Master of Science in biomedical engineering at Cleveland State University in 2014. Tim Sykes ’10, MEM ’11 Houston, TX Tim, a former Spartan wrestler who now lives in Houston, was visiting family in Greater Cleveland when Hurricane Harvey hit. He scrambled to raise funds and transport donated supplies back to Houston, a mission that captured the interest of local TV news: Kate Schmitmeyer ’14 Versailles, OH Kate became engaged to Benton Collins. Mustafa Unal PhD ’16 Cleveland, OH Mustafa, a recent alumnus of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has received the 2017 Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP)—TURKEY award from Junior Chamber International (JCI). He was honored in the medical innovation category for research conducted at Case Western Reserve. Send your updates, including photos, about job promotions, professional development and personal milestones to

Carl Podwoski 1939-2017

Carl Podwoski ’61, an alumnus honored with the Meritorious Service Award this past Homecoming, passed away Dec. 16, 2017, at his home in New York City at the age of 78. The finisher of 10 marathons is remembered at his alma mater as a steadfast and energetic supporter of the School of Engineering and its Great Lakes Energy Institute. Carl, who was born and raised in Cleveland, earned his electrical engineering degree from the Case Institute of Technology in 1961 and his MBA at Harvard University. An illustrious career in the energy and paper industries took him around the world, but he never forgot Case Quad. Carl was one of the first members of the advisory board of the Great Lakes Energy Institute after its founding in 2008. At its May 2017 board meeting, co-director Alexis Abramson formally thanked him for eight years of support, guidance and feedback. “He was an energetic guy, both physically and intellectually,” she said, adding that he sometimes drove to board meetings from New York City. “You knew that when Carl spoke, it was going to be a different perspective and it was going to be valuable. Absolutely, he contributed to the successes we’ve had.” She said Carl’s expertise in energy innovation helped to shape the institute’s direction toward grid modernization and commercialization. At Homecoming and Reunion Weekend in October 2017, Carl accepted the Meritorious Service Award for exemplary service to the Case Alumni Association and the School of Engineering. He is the namesake of the Carl E. Podwoski Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2005 to support undergraduates studying engineering. A mass was offered in Carl’s memory on Jan. 14 at St. Francis Xavier in Brooklyn. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens for a scarlet oak tree and bench dedication. Here is a link to the obituary that ran in the New York Times:

Spring 2018


In Memoriam Thomas G. Eck, Emeritus Professor of Physics; Cleveland, OH; 12-13-17

Wen Hsiung Ko 1923-2017

William L. Gordon, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Physics; Lyndhurst, OH; 9-4-17 Simon Ostrach, PhD, Emeritus Professor of Engineering;

Wen Hsiung Ko, PhD, an emeritus professor, industry innovator and light to generations of engineering students, died Dec. 4, 2017, in Palo Alto, CA. In a career spanning six decades, Wen made numerous contributions to the fields of biomedical and electrical engineering. He is credited with helping to pioneer microsensors, actuators, integrated microsystems, medical implants, telemetry and packaging. His work on physical and chemical (gas) microsensors in the early 1970s represents one of the earliest efforts in this field. The prolific researcher published about 150 journal papers and accrued 26 patents. Wen, a native of China, received his MS from the Case Institute of Technology in 1956 and his PhD in 1959. He joined the faculty in 1959 and went on to work at Case Western Reserve for nearly 60 years, establishing and leading the Electronics Design Center, before retiring in 1993. During his tenure, he advised more than 150 MS and PhD students. In recognition of his accomplishments, Wen was elected a Fellow of the IEEE Biomedical Engineering Society and Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 1992. In 2014, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Case Alumni Association for exemplary service to the CAA and the School of Engineering. Wen and Christina, his wife of 60 years, were leaders in the Chinese American community of Cleveland before moving to Palo Alto in 2014. A memorial service was held Jan. 27 at the Amasa Stone Chapel on the campus of Case Western Reserve. In lieu of flowers or gifts, the family asks that donations be made to the Wen H. Ko Fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Case School of Engineering, Glennan 321, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-7071. Learn more or donate online at

Pepper Pike, OH; 10-2-17 John H. Quigley ‘41; Willoughby, OH; 6-11-14 Robert P. Greenwood ‘42; Zanesville, OH; 2-11-15 Melvin H. Luoma ‘42; Indialantic, FL; 7-11-16 George E. Myers ‘42; Poland, OH; 11-17 Roy G. Schabo ‘42; Novelty, OH; 11-23-17 Richard J. Sherlock ‘42; Panama City, FL; 2-11-16 Charles B. Shortt ‘42; Erie, PA; 5-14-16 Henry I. Bernbaum ‘43, MS ‘47; University Heights., OH; 11-18-17 Raymond M. Kraus ‘43; Cleveland, OH; 7-23-17 Richard J. Martin ‘43; Elyria, OH; 8-24-14 Frederick E. Moesta ‘43; Cleveland, OH; 9-16-17 Charles J. Slany, Sr. ‘44; Cleveland, OH; 11-28-17 Richard T. Betton ‘45; Petersburg, VA; 7-19-15 Daniel Dunner ‘45; Woodland Hills, CA; 9-30-15 Michael J. Toth ‘45, Brecksville, OH; 9-17-17 R. Marlin Humphrey ‘46; Bryan, TX; 11-3-11 Richard Allchin ‘47; Cockeysville, MD; 7-12-17 Harry S. Hoffman ‘47; Salisbury, MD; 12-26-17 Albert E. Winston ‘47; Peoria, AZ; 3-26-16 Ralph N. Foster ‘48; Fort Walton Beach, FL; 9-4-17 Leslie W. Hoberecht ‘48, Olmsted Falls, OH; 8-10-17 Frank F. Hofstatter ‘48; Ocala, FL; 7-25-17 Harry W. Mergler ‘48, MS ‘50, PhD ‘56; Westlake, OH; 9-15-17 William C. Motz ‘48; Waynesville, NC; 10-13-17 Jason C. Bleiweiss ‘49, MS ‘50; Boca Raton, FL, 6-23-17 Frank L. Honavec ‘49; Burlington, NC; 8-2-17 David A. Miller ‘49; Boise, ID; 7-27-17 Anthony Palermo, Jr. ‘49; Mentor, OH; 7-19-17 Dan S. Rasche ‘49, MS ‘50; Dublin, OH; 12-15-17 John Savas ‘49; Maitland, FL; 11-1-17 Matthew Siman ‘49, MS ‘56; Streetsboro, OH; 5-27-17 Hugh Spencer ‘49; Brookline, MA; 5-17-10 Ross H. Supnik ‘49; Framingham, MA; 10-26-17 Theodore J. Wrona ‘49; Auburn, IL; 11-16-16 William K. Dorn ‘50; Cleveland, OH; 6-30-17 Macy M. Hallock ‘50; Medina, OH; 11-3-17 Walter R. Hess ‘50; Carlsbad, CA; 1-15-14 Donald W. Kern ‘50; Sierra Vista, AZ; 6-2-17 Robert Siegel ‘50; Cleveland, OH; 9-19-17 Lyle E. Haber ‘51; Houston, TX; 12-22-17 George W. Miller ‘51; Eads, CO; 9-10-17 Murray H. Shaw ‘51; Temple, TX; 4-19-06 Helmut A. Alpers ‘52; Orange Village, OH; 8-18-17


Richard G. Button ‘52; Cincinnati, OH; 9-23-17

Gordon S. Doble, MS ‘63, PhD ‘68; Oberlin, OH; 7-7-17

Howard E. Conlon ‘52, MS ‘63; Ann Arbor, MI; 7-31-17

Richard A. Kowalski, MS ‘63, PhD ‘67; Toneytown, MD; 2-27-17

Richard A. Hardy ‘52; Westlake, OH; 6-4-17

William S. Lapay ‘63, MS ‘65, PhD ‘69; Export, PA; 12-22-17

Joaquim M. Marques ‘52; Quincy, MD; 8-6-17

Sammy S. Snyder ‘63; Huntington, IN; 7-30-17

Paul l. Mehr ‘52; Las Vegas, NV; 10-26-17

Donald E. Weber ‘63; Springfield, IL; 6-13-17

William A. Tomazic ‘52, MS ‘57; Fairview Park, OH; 7-4-17

Barry L. Berman ‘64; Atlanta, GA; 10-15-17

John W. Belser ‘53; Fairfield Glade, TN; 8-5-17

Basil Fedun, MS ‘64, PhD ‘68; Chardon, OH; 8-31-17

Jack C. Kerby ‘53; Novi, MI; 10-17-17

John W. Clark, Jr. MS ‘65, PhD ‘67; Houston, TX; 8-8-17

Glen R. Kraft ‘53; Englewood, FL; 6-25-17

Sanford Fleeter ‘65, MS ‘66, PhD ‘70; West Lafayette, IN; 7-7-16

Charles W. Schob ‘53; Marietta, OH; 1-20-18

– incorrectly listed as Sanford Sleeter in previous “In memoriam”

Richard C. Gregory ‘54; Lakeland, FL; 7-6-17

Charles A. Wall ‘65; Concord Township., OH; 10-13-17

Bjorn Hoyer ‘54; Middletown, CT; 9-28-16

Jay A. Weichel ‘65; Clemmons, NC; 9-18-17

Heino Puhk ‘54, MS ‘59; Washburn, WI; 9-28-17

Kenneth J. Wolf ‘65; Aurora, OH; 7-30-17

Edward L. Reimel ‘54; Arlington, MA; 10-19-16

Robert D. Giammar ‘66; Columbus, OH; 8-18-17

Henry “Hank” D. Townsend ‘54, MS ‘56; Glendale, AZ; 10-17-17

John T. Goss ‘66, MS ‘81; Bellingham, MA; 12-31-17

Richard W. Palladino ‘55; Barnegat Light, NJ; 3-18-16

Roger J. Hopper, PhD ‘66; Akron, OH; 12-17-17

Jack Phillips ‘55; Clear Lake City, TX; 11-7-17

Glenn A. Snyder ‘66, PhD ‘70; York, PA; 8-16-17

Charles P. Rasmussen ‘55; New Hartford, CT; 8-26-17

Lee T. Battes ‘67; Clifton Park, NY; 11-20-17

George W. Sentell, Jr., MS ‘55, Cleveland, OH; 12-14-17

Kenneth E. Hinze ‘67; Linden, MI; 8-18-17

Joseph Smerglia ‘55; Cleveland, OH; 9-7-17

Helen I. Medley, PhD ‘67; Stow, OH; 11-18-17

Carl T. Derr ‘56; Copley, OH; 1-23-18

Fred H. Terry, PhD ‘67; Memphis, TN; 9-14-17

Laurence N. Gold ‘56; Barrington, IL; 3-12-15

Thomas G. White ‘67; Bay Village, OH; 7-6-17

Wen H. Ko, MS ‘56, PhD ‘59; Palo Alto, CA; 12-4-17

Ching-Jen Chen, MS ‘68; Tallahassee, FL; 6-2-17

John R. Prysi ‘56; Rolling Hills, CA; 10-16-17

Nicholas A. Vandam ‘68; Brooktondale, NY; 9-7-17

Dale T. Chambers ‘57; Dayton, OH; 10-23-17

Glen A. Heyman ‘69; Las Vegas, NV; 7-5-17

Clifford W. Kehr ‘57; Canton, OH; 1-9-18

Norbert S. Mason, MS ‘69; Clayton, MS; 11-30-17

William A. Owen ‘57; Kingsport, TN; 9-18-17

Robert E. Powell ‘69; Colorado Springs, CO; 9-1-17

Albert D. Chopey ‘58; Millersville, MD; 4-28-17

Matesh N. Varma ‘69, Ph.D. ‘71; Santa Monica, CA; 7-17

William G. Murray ‘58; Cartersville, GA; 9-18-17

George L. Kramerich, PhD ‘70; Chesterland, OH; 12-28-17

Charles S. Andes II, MS ‘59; Rocky River, OH; 8-16-17

Denis F. Moffett, MS ‘70; Quebec City, CANADA; 4-2-14

Anthony M. Babich ‘59; Groton, MA; 12-15-17

James H. Skjervem ‘70; Sierra Vista, AZ; 11/23/17

Thomas J. Kascak ‘59; Cleveland, OH; 8-5-17

John Thomas, PhD ‘70; Bettendorf, IA; 9-7-17

Anthony R. McNamara ‘59; Fairview Park, OH; 8-13-17

Ann Helmuth Allard ‘71; Cleveland, OH; 9-22-17

Hubert B. Probst, MS ‘59; Ellicottville, NY; 9-7-17

Eric R. Amylon ‘72; Martinsburg, VA; 10-22-03

David S. Thomson, MS ‘59; Richmond, VA; 11-8-17

Daniel J. Schneck, PhD ‘73; Blacksburg, VA; 11-26-17

Richard E. Laird ‘60; Louisville, KY; 10-25-17

David K. Ream, MS ‘75; Cleveland, OH; 12-20-17

Philip G. Osborn ‘60; Cincinnati, OH; 6-12-17

Robert E. Cameron ‘78; Westlake, OH; 6-3-17

Linus A. Scott, MS ‘60; St. Petersburg, FL; 9-18-17

Duncan E. Estep ‘80; North Ridgeville, OH; 12-16-17

F. Everett Davis, Jr. ‘61; Cockeysville, MD; 12-11-17

Steven G. Belovich ‘81; Hinckley, OH; 8-12-17

Robert L. Fujii ‘61; Thousand Oaks, CA; 10-5-17

Loran J. Cavano ‘83; Webster Grove, MO; 11-1-17

Louie A. Galloway III, MS ‘61, PhD ‘67; Houston, TX; 12-29-17

Charles A. Bertke ‘84; Dayton, OH; 11-2-17

Carl E. Podwoski ‘61; Brooklyn, NY; 12-16-17

Michael D. Fick ‘86; West Palm Beach, FL; 5-29-17

Kern E. Van Dorsten ‘61; Alliance, OH; 11-21-17

Stephen J. Wolff ‘91; East Dundee, IL; 8-8-17

William B. Woodridge, MS ‘61; Westborough, MA; 7-16-17

Joseph M. Pastore, MS ‘97, PhD ‘00; Cleveland, OH; 1-27-18

Reuben R. Aronovitz, MS ‘62; Broomal, PA; date unknown

Jennifer E. Salem, MSE ‘00, PhD ‘03; Omaha, NE; 3-14-17

Jack H. Munsee, MS ‘62, PhD ‘68; Eureka, CA; 12-16-17

Alexander J. Veilleux ‘10; Los Angeles, CA; 12-10-16

Daniel E. Schuster ‘62; North Royalton, OH; 10-5-17

Jessica R. Lanzo ‘12; Southfield, MI; 7-18-17

James N. Youngdahl ‘62; Massillon, OH; 1-27-15

Paige A. Myers ‘17; Cleveland, OH; 8-29-17

Jan E. Clee, MS ‘63, PhD ‘67; Portsmouth, NH; 12-21-11

Spring 2018



This is the car Larry Sears bought off the street in Little Italy in 1968. If you were the owner, he would love to hear from you at

Larry Sears spent about three years restoring his college car, which is again being seen on campus.

The College Car Reborn By Larry Sears, as told to Robert L. Smith


n 1968, in his junior year at Case Institute of Technology, Larry Sears, ’69, lived with a group of fraternity brothers in a house in the Coventry area of Cleveland Heights. His walk to campus took him down Edgehill Road through Little Italy. “I would pass this sad, banged-up little car, parked near the intersection of Edgehill and Overlook. It was a red, two-seat, 1957 MGA roadster. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that badly vandalized, but after a few months it was clear that it wasn’t going anywhere. There was a Phi Delta Theta sticker on the car, so I went to the fraternity house, asked around, and found the owner. He had taken a job, I recall, in Denver, and he certainly wasn’t going to get there in that car. I offered him $75, which I didn’t have but I was able to borrow it. “I managed to free up the stuck brakes, and I reattached the carburetors, which were in the process of being stolen. The accelerator cable was gone, so I replaced it with a string which I operated by hand.


I was able to carefully drive the car a few blocks back to my house. “With my limited resources, which included spray cans of Rust-Oleum to disguise the duct tape, I was able to slow the car’s deterioration and keep it running for a number of years. “I had a great time in that car, and it provided the ultimate cheap date. Once, when I was particularly cool, I spun around a corner and the door flew off and slid across the intersection of Cornell and Murray Hill. Another time the exhaust system fell off; I’m sure my date enjoyed sitting next to it as I drove her home. (Probably as much as she enjoyed sitting next to me.) “A couple of years later I met Sally Zlotnick (Mather ’72), and she eventually married me. By then the car’s frame had pretty much rotted away and its demise was in sight. Busy with family and career, I disassembled the car and put away the pieces in various locations. Eventually, much of the car ended up being stored outside for almost 40 years.

“Five years ago, I decided I needed another project and it was time to restore ‘Nigel’, which is what a British sports car should be named. I did all the work myself, with the exception of applying the paint, and completed the restoration in about three years. I certainly would never have put in all that effort if I didn’t have a nostalgic connection to the car. “It came out very nice, and I drive it whenever weather permits. It’s about 4 ½ feet wide and 4 feet high, so it certainly doesn’t take up much room.” Are you still driving your college car? We’d love to see it. Send a photo to

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


Save the date! HOMECOMING AND REUNION WEEKEND 2018 OCT. 11-14, 2018 Join us for a whole weekend of recreation, reminiscing and reconnecting Dean’s Coffee & Chat – Innovation ShowCASE – Case Alumni Awards Presentation Deans’ Brunch & Parade Watch – Sears think[box] tours Grand Classes Reunion – Class of 1968 50th Reunion

Registration opens in July 2018

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Case Alumnus Spring 2018  

Case Alumnus Spring 2018  

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