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

Siegfried Hecker ’65, MS ’67, PhD ’68
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Sig was named to the 2022 listing of “Great Immigrants” by the Carnegie Corporation, which annually honors remarkable naturalized citizens on the Fourth of July. The nuclear scientist is the former director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory and one of the world’s top nuclear security experts. Sig, whose father was killed in World War II, came to the U.S. at age 13 and earned three degrees in metallurgy at Case Institute of Technology. He received the Case Alumni Association Gold Medal Award in 2004

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.

Henry Sobel, PhD ’69
Irvine, California

Henry received the 2021 Panofsky Prize in Experimental Particle Physics, one of the highest honors awarded by the American Physical Society. He is a professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at the University of California, Irvine. Henry is renowned for shedding light on the neutrino, a subatomic particle that makes up most of the matter in the universe. He earned his doctorate in physics from Case Institute of Technology.

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.

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.”

Rebecca Williams ’79, MBA ’93
Apex, North Carolina

Becky is a leadership consultant and executive coach for REALM Leadership, where she shares insights gleaned from more than 35 years in global marketing and business development. Previously, she was President of the Aerospace and Defense Industry Group of Lord Corp. and President of the company’s Asian Pacific Region.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering.

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.”

Majid Rashidi ’81, MS ’83, PhD ’87
Pepper Pike, Ohio

Majid has joined the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the Case School of Engineering as a professor. Previously, he was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Cleveland State University. Majid has attained 14 patents as a researcher and innovator focused on machine and medical device design.

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.

Phillip Abel, MS ’84, PhD ’86
Cleveland, Ohio

Phil celebrated 20 years in the Tribology & Mechanical Components Branch of the NASA Glenn Research Center, where he is deputy chief.  He joined NASA as a materials research engineer in 1985, just days after earning his doctorate in physics at Case Institute of Technology.

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.

Hang Loi ’88
Woodbury, Minnesota

Hang received the 2022 Advocating Women in Engineering Award from the Society of Women Engineers. SWE cites her professional excellence and advocacy for women in engineering. Hang, a mentor to the SWE chapter at Case, is a chemical engineer and the Global Supplier Relationship Manager for 3M.

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.

1990s

Miguel Zubizarreta ’90
Bay Village, Ohio

Miguel, the former CTO of Hyland Software, helped MetroHealth Medical Center build a fully accessible home away from home for patients with paralysis enrolled in clinical trials in Cleveland. His $1.6 million in gifts helped build Zubizarreta House, a one-story house with suites that offer separate bedrooms for patients and caregivers and amenities such as roll-in showers and motorized lifts. More recently Miguel donated $1 million to the hospital system to help it prepare for Covid patients.

Glenda Gillaspy, PhD ’91
Madison, Wisconsin

Glenda has been named Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A plant scientist, she arrives from Virginia Tech, where she is a professor and head of the Department of Biochemistry. Glenda earned her doctorate in biochemistry from Case Institute of Technology. She assumes her new role August 4.

Ganesh Raman, PhD ’91
Irvine, California

Ganesh is the Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Research at the Office of the Chancellor and leads the 23-campus research enterprise in the California State University system.  He also serves on the board of directors for the California Council on Science and Technology, California Life Sciences, and the Long Beach Accelerator. Previously, he was Deputy Vice Provost at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Ganesh earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering at Case Institute of Technology.

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.

 

Melissa (Smrdel) Holler ’92, MS ’97
Denver, Colorado

Melissa has been named president of Hexagon Digital Wave, a manufacturer of ultrasonic examination cylinder testing equipment for the compressed gas and pressure vessel industries. Previously, she was vice president of digital business at FLSmidth and a global vice president at Emerson Automation. A Case-trained computer engineer, she also held leadership roles at Siemens Energy & Automation and Rockwell Automation.

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 appointed Rector of the United Nations University in Tokyo by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. The university, a global think tank, supports UN efforts to solve pressing global problems with evidence-based research. Since 2018, Tshilidzi has served as Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg, where he’s seen as an expert in sustainable development in Africa. He’s scheduled to start his new job in Tokyo in March 2023.

Habib Diallo ’97
Cincinnati, Ohio

Habib has been promoted to Senior Director of Global Sales and Business Development at PSG, a global pump, metering and dispensing solution company. Previously, he was its Director of Business Development. Habib earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.  

Conjeevaram V. R. Rajaram, PhD '97
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Raj is the new chief marketing officer at Meta Materials, a developer of high-performance functional materials and intelligent surfaces. Previously, he was senior vice president of global marketing for Protective Industries and led strategy, business development and marketing functions at Honeywell and Lubrizol. Raj earned his doctorate in Macromolecular Science and Engineering at Case.

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.

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.

Justin Bellante ’01, MS ’02
Atlanta, Georgia

Justin addressed the CWRU Entrepreneurship Speaker Series in June, discussing how his engineering skills and the death of a loved one led him to launch BioIQ– the first digital platform for at-home health testing. BioIQ was recently acquired by LetsGetChecked and Justin now serves as a part-time consultant after running the company for 17 years. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in materials science and engineering at Case.

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.

Arkady Polinkovsky’08, MS ’10
Solon, Ohio

Arkady and his wife, Stephanie, welcomed Lyla Elaine Polinkovsky on June 24, 2022. Dad, a mechanical engineer, found his 40-inch Vernier calipers handy for measuring the couple’s first born. 

2010s

Colleen Konsavage ’12
Zanesville, Ohio

Colleen was named the 2022 Young Engineer of the Year by the Ohio Society of Professional Engineers, Franklin County Chapter, in tribute to her volunteerism in the local engineering community.  She’s an electrical engineer with Commonwealth Associates in Columbus, Ohio. Colleen has 10 years of experience spanning nuclear reactor design software, high voltage power transmission, and distribution automation.

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.”

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.

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.

Zhen Li, PhD ’18
Danville, Illinois

Zhen has started a new position as a materials test engineer at Thyssenkrupp Dynamic Components. Previously, he was a post-doctorate researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Zhen earned his doctorate in materials science and engineering at Case.

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.

2020s

Nathaniel Braman, PhD ’20
Cleveland, Ohio

Nate is the head of AI for Picture Health, a Cleveland startup developing AI tools to better detect and treat cancer. Previously he was a computer vision scientist for Tempus Labs. Nate received the 2020 Doctoral Excellence Award in Biomedical Engineering while earning his PhD at the Case School of Engineering.

Monica Khare ’20
Peachtree Corners, Georgia

Monica has been promoted to Lead Materials Engineer at Kimberly-Clark, where she started as a materials engineer after earning her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case. As a member of the CWRU Women’s Swimming and Diving Team, Monica was part of a four-person 400-medley relay team that broke a university record in 2019.

Akincan Basar ’21
Cleveland, Ohio

Akincan joined the Analysis Group in New York City as an analyst focused on economic consulting and litigation support. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Case and practiced his engineering skills automating a hydroponics system as a volunteer at Community Greenhouse Partners.

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.

Colin Crago ’22
Stanford, California

Colin is off to Stanford University this fall to pursue a doctorate in chemical engineering. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the Case School of Engineering, where he received the Outstanding Sophomore Award and the Outstanding Junior Award. He also played violin for the Case Camerata Chamber Orchestra.

Greer Donnalley ‘22
Lima, Ohio

Greer has joined Procter & Gamble at its manufacturing plant in Lima as a manufacturing process engineer. She interned at the plant while earning her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with a concentration in environmental engineering. On campus, Greer served as president of the Case chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and was a university tour guide. 

Kshama Girish ’22
Fremont, California

Kshama has joined Tesla as a process engineer on its vision automation team. She earned her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with a concentration in computer hardware at Case. Along the way, she volunteered at the Cleveland Sight Center and raised funds and designed a solar water heater for the Mathru Blind School in India.

Noah Gottlieb ’22
Madison, Wisconsin

Noah has joined Epic Systems as a Technical Solutions Engineer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Case, where he was a member of the student group Design for America and a brother of Delta Sigma Phi. He also taught archery as a summer camp counselor.

Alexis John ’22
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Alexis has accepted a position with Dell Technologies as a software engineer in its IT Development Program. She earned her bachelor’ degree in computer science at Case, where she was treasurer of the engineering fraternity Theta Tau and a member of Students for Refugees.

Hannah Olivares ’22
Chicago, Illinois

Hannah joined the Chicago offices of Deloitte as an Application and Program Analyst. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Case, where she was a sister of Kappa Alpha Theta.

Bridget Powers Beggs ’22
Albany, New York

Bridgett joined National Grid’s Graduate Development Program, the company’s flagship pipeline program targeting recent college graduates. She earned her bachelor’s degree in materials science and engineering at Case, where she co-founded the startup STARS Sensors as a ThinkEnergy Fellow with the Great Lakes Energy Institute.   

Margaret Sereika ’22
Evanston, Illinois

Margaret is continuing her studies at Northwestern University as a doctoral student in biomedical engineering. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at Case, where she was a chemistry teaching assistant.

Aman Shankardass ’22
Somerville, Massachusetts

Aman joined LifeCanvas Technologies in June as a Junior Research Associate. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering, where he was a research assistant in the lab of Professor Zheng-Rong Lu.

D'Juan Taylor ’22
Rocky Mount, North Carolina

D’ Juan has accepted a position with Pfizer as a Global Sterile Injectables Rotational Engineer. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering at the Case School of Engineering.

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

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