The magazine of the Case Alumni Association
at the Case School of Engineering

class notes

Class Notes are generated by personal submissions as well as by news releases, public announcements and LinkedIn postings. If you have news to share, please send your professional and personal updates to caselum@casalum.org.  

1950s

Robert Corell ’56, PhD ’64
Arvada, Colorado

Bob is a featured speaker for Symposium 365, a thought leader series of the Space Foundation. His most recent talk is titled “Taking Action: How the Space Industry is Adapting and Mitigating the Impacts of Climate Change.” Bob is Principal and Director of the Global Environment Technology Foundation and Co-Founder and Director of the Rising Seas Institute. 

Ludwig Keck ’58
Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Ludwig retired from an engineering career that placed him at the junctures of photography, electronics and computing and is now a photo enthusiast who teaches computer and camera skills to others. You can see samples of his photographs and digital art at ludwig-keck.pixels.com/

Carl C. Koch ‘59, MS ’61, PhD ‘64
Raleigh, North Carolina

Carl reports that he has one more year of “phased retirement” but is still teaching at North Carolina State University, where he is the Kobe Steel Distinguished Professor. He’s also a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

1960s

Chris Uzelmeier, PhD ’67
Montgomery, Texas

Chris has been active in homeowners associations and municipal utility districts and enjoys playing bridge since retiring from Union Carbide Corp. His long career in the energy industry included a foreign posting to the Shell research lab in Delft, The Netherlands. 

Carl A. Singer ’68, PhD
Passaic, New Jersey

Carl is the Passaic County Chair of Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve (ESGR), providing employer outreach on behalf of Guard and Reserve service members. He also keeps busy as “chief cook and bottle washer” at the Carl A. Singer Consultancy.

1970s

Glenn Ricart ’71, ’73, PhD
Salt Lake City, Utah

Glenn has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery in recognition of his leadership in creating advanced research infrastructure. He is the co-founder and CTO of U.S. Ignite, a nonprofit dedicated to building the foundation for smart cities. Glenn is credited with numerous technological innovations after earning one of the first computer engineering degrees from Case, including implementing the first interconnection point on the Internet. He is enshrined in the Internet Hall of Fame.

Leonard C. Uitenham, ’75, MS ’81, PhD ’85
McLeansville, North Carolina

Leonard has been appointed Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemical, Biological and Bioengineering at North Carolina A&T State University. The title recognizes his service and contributions to the university, where he taught for 20 years and founded the first ABET-accredited bioengineering program at an historically black college. Leonard earned three degrees in macromolecular science and engineering at Case Institute of Technology, including his doctorate. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 31 years, was a naval aviator and retired as a colonel.

JULIE GERBERDING ’77, MD ’81
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PENNSYLVANIA

Julie has retired from Merck after 12 years with the pharmaceutical giant, where she most recently served as executive vice president of population health and sustainability. In March, she announced she has accepted the role of CEO of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Julie was the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from 2002 to 2009, the first woman to hold the position. Over her career, she has been included in Forbes magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women in the World, Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year.

Steve Fossi ’78
Santa Rosa, California

Steve has retired as the global business development manager for Keysight Technologies. His career as an electrical engineer, sales manager and senior executive at numerous companies included 27 years working for Hewlett-Packard and its spinoff Agilent Technologies.

Valentine Matula ’79, PhD ’86
Granville, Ohio

Val is taking advantage of retirement to serve as president of the Kiwanis Club of Granville. A computer pioneer and engineer with nearly 100 patents, he retired from Avaya Labs in 2021 after 33 years with the company.  “I was always interested in being an active part of the community, and in trying to help others,” he told the Newark Advocate. “I saw the impact Kiwanis had on the community and knew I’d like to be part of the club.”

1980s

Hemant Kanakia, MS ’80, PhD
Washington, DC

Hemant, a successful technology executive and entrepreneur, was profiled in the Times of India for helping to establish maker spaces at Indian Institutes of Technology, where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He came to Case Institute of Technology for a master’s in computer engineering and received his doctorate from Stanford. An emeritus trustee of CWRU, Hemant was the founder and CEO of Torrent Networking Technology, which was purchased by Ericsson. As president of Kanakia Ventures, he invests in early-stage companies in the U.S. and India.

Thomas Botzman ’81, PhD
Alliance, Ohio

Tom announced he will be retiring as president of the University of Mount Union effective June 30, 2022, ending 17 years of service to the private college in Alliance, Ohio. Tom served Mount Union as a faculty member and administrator from 1989 to 2004, then returned to the school in July 2020 as its president. In announcing his retirement, he said, “I wish to thank the board of trustees, and the entire Mount Union community, for welcoming me back to the place where my academic career started.”

F. George Njoroge, MS’83, PhD ’85
Nairobi, Kenya

Frank was honored as the 2021 Outstanding Alumnus by the Chemistry Department of the College of Arts and Sciences. A pharmaceutical chemist, he spent more than three decades developing new medicines for cancer and viruses, including Victrelis, the first drug to directly target the virus that causes hepatitis C. After that, the American Chemical Society named him a “Hero of Chemistry.” Frank attained more than 100 patents while holding senior leadership positions at Schering-Plough, Merck and Eli Lilly. He earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry at Case Institute of Technology.

Andrew Olah, PhD ’85
Spencer, Ohio

Andy was appointed to the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the county’s community resource for coordinating and funding services for people with developmental disabilities.  “The major incentive which prompted me to apply for a seat on the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities was the strong impact the agency has had on my son Patrick,” he said in a press release. “MCBDD programs have allowed him to be independent and function extremely well within the community.”

Frank Feddrix, MS ’86, PhD ’89
Cleveland, Ohio

Frank is Vice President of Operations and Battery Technology at Blue Spark Technologies, a Westlake, Ohio, developer of wearable medical devices, including the TempTraq®. Previously, he worked for 27 years at the Eveready Battery Co., where he started as an electrochemist and progressed through technical and managerial positions to General Manager, Innovation and R&D. Frank earned his advanced degrees in chemistry at Case Institute of Technology.

Shampa Banerjee, MS ’89, PhD
San Carlos, California

Shampa joined Canela Media, a digital media company targeting the Hispanic audience, as its first Chief Product & Technology Officer. Previously, she served as an executive vice president at ViacomCBS and the Chief Product Officer for Pluto TV. Shampa earned her master’s degree in physics from Case and her doctorate in theoretical physics from Kent State University.

Cindy Zaharchuk ’89
Cleveland, Ohio

Cindy is a senior electrical engineer for The Austin Co., one of the nation’s oldest design-build contractors, headquartered in suburban Cleveland. She’s also an instrument-rated private pilot. Cindy earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

1990s

Jon Goldsby, MS ’91, PhD ’96
Strongsville, Ohio

Jon has started a new position as Branch Chief at the NASA Glenn Research Center. A research physicist for NASA for 30 years, he’s one of the few NASA employees to be a two-time Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) winner. Jon earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in materials science and engineering at Case School of Engineering.

Anne Chaka, PhD ’92
Richland, Washington

Anne is a senior research scientist in the geochemistry group at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where she applies computational methods to understand quantum phenomena and chemistry in complex environments. Previously, she was leader of the Computational Chemistry Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and head of Computational Chemistry and Physics at the Lubrizol Corporation. Anne earned her doctorate in chemistry from Case Institute of Technology.

 

Ron Jezerinac ’93
Jupiter, Florida

Ron reflected on his days as a standout basketball player for CWRU (1989-1993) as today’s Spartans made their improbable run to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Division III Tournament. “I wish someone would have told me to slow down a little bit. Survey our team and the other team more. Think your way through the game a little more,” he told The Daily, CWRU’s online newsroom. Ron is the founder and president of the Jezerinac Groupa structural engineering firm in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Scott Stiefel ’93, MS ’93
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Scott has been promoted to co-CEO at Telos Alliance, a Cleveland manufacturer of audio products and systems for broadcasters. Previously, he was chief operating officer at the global company. Scott earned his Case degrees in electrical engineering.

Peter Johnson ’94
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania

Peter recently travelled to Oświęcim, Poland, to help One Humanity Institute repair and furnish housing and community spaces for Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion—and to help hand out thousands of Teddy bears to Ukrainian children. To support his Ukrainian relief efforts, go to www.onehumanity.institute/house-of-hope.

Rob Stalder ’94
Emory, Virginia

Rob is the new Chief Information Officer at Emory & Henry College in Virginia. Previously, he was CIO at Coahoma Community College in Mississippi. Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Case School of Engineering and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Case Alumni Association.

Rohini Chakravarthy, MS ’95
Palo Alto, California

Rohini joined Palo Alto-based NewBuild Venture Capital as a managing partner.
Previously, she was a partner at NGP Capital, where she led the Intelligent Enterprise, Edge Cloud and Mobile Technologies investments.  Rohini, an accomplished technology investor, earned her master’s degree in electrical engineering at Case.

Tshilidzi Marwala ’95, PhD
Thohoyandou, South Africa

Tshilidzi was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as an international honorary member. He is Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor at the University of Johannesburg and an influential technology thought leader in Africa.

Aaron Henderson ’97
Bethel Park, Pennsylvania

Aaron was named “One of 20 People to Know in Engineering” by the Pittsburgh Business Times. He’s an Engineering Group Manager and Civil Practice Lead at Sci-Tek, a Pittsburgh engineering, surveying and consulting firm, where he oversees a team of civil engineers, designers and drafters. Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Case.

Ketal Patel, MS ’97
North Royalton, Ohio

Ketal is the co-founder and CTO of Vitalxchange, a digital platform that helps parents and caregivers of special needs children find guidance and resources. Previously he was an engineering director for Medtronic and software development manager for CardioInsight, a Case-connected startup. Ketal earned his master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering.

Doug Meil, MS ’98
Cleveland, Ohio

Doug, founder of the Cleveland Big Data Meetup, reports becoming busy with hobby writing during the pandemic. He started writing for the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) blog site and since May has published 13 posts on a variety of software engineering topics. Three of the articles were reprinted in Communications of the ACM magazine. Doug’s articles can be found at linkedin.com/pulse/publications-doug-meil/

2000s

Deji Akinwande ’00, MS ’00, PhD
Austin, Texas

Deji is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, where he is known for groundbreaking research into nanomaterials, sensors, devices and flexible technology. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering and applied physics at the Case School of Engineering, where he pioneered the design and development of near-field microwave probe tips for nondestructive imaging and studies of materials. Deji earned his doctorate at Stanford.

Cheryl Thompson ’00, MS ’03, PhD
Hershey, Pennsylvania

Cheryl has started a new position as the Associate Director for Population Science at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute and Professor of Public Health Sciences at the Penn State College of Medicine. Previously, she taught and served administrative roles at the CWRU School of Medicine for a dozen years. Cheryl earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer engineering from Case School of Engineering and her doctorate in genetic and molecular epidemiology from CWRU.

Jennifer Baus, ME ’01
South Euclid, Ohio

Jennifer has been named a principal of the NRP Group, a Cleveland-based developer and manager of multifamily housing. She’s among the first of two women to join the partnership ranks at the 18-year-old firm. Jennifer, who earned her master’s degree in environmental engineering at Case, is executive vice president of design and entitlements at NRP.

Levon Pogosian, PhD ’01
Vancouver, British Columbia

Levon has been awarded the Buchalter Cosmology Prize, which recognizes “ground-breaking theoretical, observational, or experimental work in cosmology.” He and his collaborator, Karsten Jedamzik, won First Prize for their research on relieving the Hubble tension with primordial magnetic fields. The Hubble tension, one of cosmology’s greatest puzzles, concerns the apparent difference in the Hubble constant–or how fast the universe is expanding today–determined using different types of observations. The pair showed how to reconcile the difference by accounting for magnetic fields in the early universe. Levon is a Professor of Physics at Simon Fraser University.

Lisa Lufkin ’03
Solon, Ohio

Lisa joined Saint-Gobain Life Sciences as Operational Excellence Director. Previously, she was Operations Director, North America, for Saint-Gobain Crystals, a supplier of advanced engineered materials for the medical, aerospace and other industries. Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.

Gregg Gillis ’04
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Gregg, an entertainer known as Girl Talk, began a nationwide tour in March with a sold-out concert at Cleveland’s House of Blues. The DJ and music innovator earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at the Case School of Engineering.

Abdou A. Ayoub MEM ’05
Middelburg Heights, Ohio

Abdou is the Managing Director of Paragon Shift, a data analytics and AI solutions firm he founded in 2010. He started his career with Deloitte Consulting in Cleveland, working with clients in the Americas and Europe, and later transferred to the Deloitte Middle East practice, based in Beirut, Lebanon. A private pilot and a licensed scuba diver, Abdou speaks and consults around the world on topics related to data analytics and AI solutions.

2010s

Tawny Bragg ’10, MEM ’12
Chicago, Illinois

Tawny is a Specialty Account Manager at CVS Health, where she helps to bring specialty drugs to market. The job that keeps her most busy, she reports, is being a wife to Babajide and mother to “two beautiful boys,” Joshua and Tatum.  Whenever possible, she loves to bake and work with youth.

Matt Davis ’12, MEM ’13
Cleveland, OHio

Matt has assumed a new position as Regional Manager for Parker Hannifin Corp., the global leader in motion and control technologies. Previously, he was business development manager and a product sales manager for the hydraulic valve division. Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case while playing football for the Spartans.

Bryan Weinstein ’12, PhD
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Bryan is a lead modeling and simulation engineer for the MITRE Corp., which operates federally funded research and development centers to advance U.S. technology. He was recently profiled in the alumni newsletter of Harvard University, where he received master’s and doctorate degrees after earning his bachelor’s degree in engineering physics at Case. “It’s about advancing the public good,” he said of his job. “The fact that I can know going to work each day that I’m trying to advance the public interest makes it a place worth working at.”

Lauren Smith ’13, MS ’15
Arlington, Virginia

Lauren is now a Program Manager for Satellite Servicing at Northrop-Grumman, where she is leading two programs focused on refueling spacecraft in orbit. Previously, she was the Operations Manager for a portfolio of 13 National Security Space programs in Denver. Lauren earned her master’s degree in mechanical engineering at Case and serves on the Board of Directors of the Case Alumni Association and the Industry Advisory Board for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Timothy Nevin ’15, MEM ’16
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Tim has been promoted to vice president of operations at Cotsworks, a Cleveland-based designer and manufacturer of rugged fiber optical materials for harsh environments. Previously he was its director of strategic initiatives and director of manufacturing technologies. Tim is an Eagle Scout and an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America.

Sarang Bhutada, MEM ’16
Redwood City, California

Sarang has taken his financial technology skills to Square as a product manager. Previously, he was on the product strategy and operations team at Azibo. Sarang earned his master’s degree in engineering management at Case.

Kristina Collins ’16, MS ’19
Cleveland, Ohio

Kristina was selected as a finalist in the 2022 K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award of the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She’s a member of the inaugural cohort of AAC&U’s Future Leaders Society, which recognizes graduate students who show exemplary promise as future leaders of higher education. Kristina, the former president of the Case Amateur Radio Club, is pursuing her doctorate at Case in electrical engineering. 

Jing (Zhao) Lyon ’16
Cleveland, Ohio

Jing has joined Brite Energy Innovators as entrepreneur programs director. The Warren, Ohio, accelerator focuses on early-stage companies in the energy sector. She previously was a project manager of Allganize and a project control analyst for Nexus Engineering, both based in Cleveland. Jing also founded her own company, EcoSpinners, while earning her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.

Santiago Chabrier ’17
Cleveland, Ohio

Santiago has joined Avery Dennison as a Team Manager. Previously, he was a manufacturing operations supervisor for Sherwin-Williams in Garland, Texas. He came to Case from Cleveland’s Max Hayes High School through the Envoys Program of the Case School of Engineering. Santiago earned dual degrees in chemical engineering and chemistry.  

Shilpa Ramakrishnan, MEM ’17
San Francisco, California

Shilpa has started a new position as manager of sales operations at Axtria–Ingenious Insights, a provider of cloud software and data analytics to the life sciences industry. She earned her master’s degree in engineering management at Case.

Janet L. Gbur, PhD ’18
Canfield, Ohio

Janet has been named to the ASTM International board of directors, where she will share her materials expertise. She is a research biomedical engineer and investigator in the Advanced Platform Technology Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center and a senior research associate in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Case. Janet, an ASTM member since 2012, earned her doctorate in materials science and engineering.

Cloay Maier ’19
Cleveland Heights, Ohio

Cloay has started a new position as Software Engineer II at MIM Software, where she specializes in developing medical image processing and analysis tools. Cloay earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering, where she was a Peer Advisor for the school and an event coordinator for Design for America.

Khayln Miller '19
Long Beach, California

Khayln has joined Boeing as an Associate Sustainable Commercial Aircraft Design and Analysis Engineer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in aerospace and mechanical engineering at Case, where he was a Gates Scholar and a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.

2020s

Zoe Le Garrec ’20
Boston, Massachusetts

Zoe is a field service engineer for Rockwell Automation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Case, where she was president of the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable and a member of the Humanitarian Design Corps.

Isabel McLeod ’20, MS ’20
New Paltz, New York

Isabel is a bridge engineer at Modjeski and Masters in Poughkeepsie, New York. She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering at Case, where she was the design lead on the Steel Bridge Team that went to the national championships.

Menghong Wang, PhD ’20
Pasadena, California

Menghong is a Mac MLB reliability engineer for Apple. She earned her doctorate in macromolecular science and engineering at Case, where she was a member of the inaugural class of the CWRU chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu, the honor society of materials scientists.

Ryan Buechele ’21
Columbus, Ohio

Ryan is a graduate teaching associate at Ohio State University, where he is pursuing his doctorate in physics and exploring high energy theory. He earned his bachelors’ degrees in mathematics and physics at Case while also earning a bachelor’s degree in music through the CWRU Department of Music. While at Case, Ryan won the Albert A. Michelson Prize for physics and played trumpet with the jazz band Blue Theory. 

Dean Cookson ’21
Denver, Colorado

Dean received his bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in January, 35 years after starting classes at Case Institute of Technology. Before completing his senior project, he enjoyed a wide-ranging career as a computer programmer and technology executive that included CIO and CTO roles at the likes of Snapfish, Virgin America and Red Robin restaurants. On Nov. 8, 2021, he returned to campus and delivered his senior project presentation, titled “How I Spent My Last 30 Summers.”

Benjamin Hall ’21
Oakland, California

Ben has joined Lilac Solutions, a lithium mining company, as a Field Operations Engineer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.

William Huddleston, PhD ’21
Cleveland, Ohio

Will has started a research fellowship at the NASA Glenn Research Center, where he’ll be exploring sodium-ion battery active materials that could allow for additive manufacturing on the Moon. He earned his doctorate in materials science and engineering at Case.

Matt Pukansky ’21
Cleveland, Ohio

Matt has started his career as a metallurgist at Consolidated Precision Products. He received the 2022 John F. Wallace Prize, which is awarded annually by the Case Alumni Association to students who best embody the late Professor John Wallace’s spirit and dedication toward metallurgical engineering and metal casting. Matt earned his bachelor’s degree in January in materials science and engineering.

Julie Wasielewski ’21
Cleveland, Ohio

Julie is a manufacturing engineer at TYLOK Fittings & Valves, where she interned while earning her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. A sister of Alpha Chi Omega at CWRU, Julie served on the leadership team of the Women in Science and Engineering Roundtable.

Emma Wyckoff ’21
Columbus, Ohio

Emma recently passed the FE Civil exam and received her Engineer Intern certification, putting her on track to becoming a Professional Engineer. She is an Engineer-in-Training at Gresham Smith.  Emma earned her bachelor’s degree in civil and environmental engineering at Case.

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@2020 Case Alumnus Magazine
Case Alumni Association, Inc.
All rights reserved.

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