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


News Bytes

Smartest QB ever? 

The sports crew at WKYC-TV in Cleveland set out to list the top 75 players in the history of the Cleveland Browns. Coming in at #23 was a quarterback Case alumni know well. 

“Frank Ryan had a PhD and was an assistant professor at Case Institute of Technology, which was fitting because he approached quarterbacking like a seasoned academic,” the broadcasters observed. “Doc” Ryan won three division titles and started three Pro Bowls while teaching advanced mathematics. He also led the Browns to the 1964 NFL Championship. How smart is that? 

What an encore 

The West Campus of CWRU is growing — dramatically. In October, the ribbon was cut on a 65,000-square-foot addition to the Maltz Performing Arts Center at The Temple-Tifereth Israel. The beautiful new home of the Department of Theater includes a 250-seat proscenium theater — and lends another reason to visit an ever-changing campus. 

Modern builder

Kirsten Bowen ’96, one of the region’s most impactful civil engineers, made the cover of the spring 2020 Case Alumnus after leading the dramatic redesign of Cleveland’s Memorial Shoreway. She’ll share her road to success February 25 when she keynotes the annual Engineers Week luncheon of the Society of Women Engineers. Find details at

Making invention fun 

In a listing of “30 Great Cleveland Inventions and Innovators,” Cleveland Magazine included Ian Charnas ’05, co-founder and director of the university’s acclaimed maker space, Sears think[box]. The entertaining engineer videotapes projects and posts them to his YouTube channel to showcase a technology and to raise money for charities, the magazine noted. 

His favorite project? A roller-skating jetpack inspired by old Wile E. Coyote cartoons. “What I love about using creativity in math and science is being able to show that science, engineering, and building stuff are really fun,” Charnas said. 

Research superstars 

Anant Madabhushi, Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Daniel Scherson, the Frank Hovorka Professor of Chemistry and Director for Electrochemical Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, are two of CWRU’s leading researchers. The university recognized their impact in December, bestowing upon each a coveted Faculty Distinguished Research Award. 

Postcard from the South Pole 

NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day” December 11 captured physics graduate student Allan Foster (far right) waving “Hi” with the crew from the South Pole Telescope during a partial solar eclipse. Foster is part of a multi-university team operating the giant radio telescope as it explores the early universe. He blogs about the experience HERE. 

Our kind of athlete 

Elizabeth White was named a First Team Academic All-American in Division III Women’s Soccer, and no wonder. The senior defender helped the team shutout 13 opponents while attaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average as a civil engineering major. Helping her to achieve as a scholar-athlete was a Junior-Senior Scholarship from the Case Alumni Foundation.

That’s motivation 

In welcoming Zheng-Rong Lu to the National Academy of Inventors in December, the NAI lauded his work advancing cancer detection and treatments for rare, incurable diseases. The professor of biomedical engineering said the honor is gratifying but he does not lack for motivation. 

“I get emails every week, most often from people who are desperately looking for some hope, some news about what we are finding and when there will be clinical trials,” he told The Daily. “This reminds me that our work has real meaning, not just to write papers and do more research, but to really help people.” 

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