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Bindel the builder

As a project executive for the Gilbane Building Company, Scott Bindel ’04, MEM ’05, has had quite an impact on the built environment in Greater Cleveland. His projects include Goodyear’s world headquarters, University Hospitals’ Seidman Cancer Center and the dazzling expansion of the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

No wonder Crain’s Cleveland Business named the civil engineer to its 2020 list of “40 under 40” to watch.

Testing well

In his State of the University address in December, interim President Scott Cowen described a year of challenge, loss and disappointment. But he also cited a key success rate that has helped to keep school open. 

Testing found that less than 1.6% percent of CWRU students contracted the coronavirus during fall semester, a tribute to their adherence to masking and other pandemic protocols. 

“I am proud of how our community readily accepted and affirmed our community commitment, a pledge to think for the good of their neighbor, their health and their community,” Cowen wrote.

Ahoy, engineer

Remote learning was a handy option for many this past semester, but essential for Lt. Ciera McCrary. The master’s student in biomedical engineering was on a ship at sea when the pandemic struck. 

Despite limited and unstable Internet aboard the USS Howard, McCrary was able to continue her studies. She credits understanding and flexible Case professors, who helped smooth her sail into a new career. McCrary, a surface warfare officer, plans to become an engineer when she transitions to civilian life.

Lifelong trailblazer

In October, Diana Essock ’75 became president of ASM International, the world’s largest association of materials engineers and scientists. She’s only the third woman to serve as ASM president in 107 years, but pioneering status befits her. Essock, who runs the consultancy Metamark Inc., was the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

New thinkboxer

James McGuffin-Cawley, PhD ’84, has held many titles at Case — professor, department chair, interim dean — but this year he assumed his most enterprising role yet. He’s the new faculty director of Sears think[box]. 

McGuffin-Cawley thinks the innovation center shined during the coronavirus outbreak, as its staff designed new devices and manufacturing techniques for badly-needed medical equipment. Now he hopes to build upon that success, in part, by working more closely with industry partners to see concepts become products. Stay tuned.

A tech star is born

Matt Crowley ’08 was welcomed into the 2020 class of TechStars Chicago, one of the nation’s leading startup accelerators. He’s working with Weatherhead alumnus Bill Wichert to build Signal Cortex, a company they hope will transform workplace communications, starting in airports. 

The pair entered the 13-week accelerator program in November. They’ll leave with $120,000 in pre-seed funding and a business plan to pitch to investors in the new year.

Everybody’s mom

One of the pleasures of dropping by the DELPP office off the lobby of Nord Hall was encountering department assistant Bonnie Worthy, who always had a warm smile and earnest guidance for anyone who seemed to need it.

Bonnie retired in January after 31 years at CWRU. Asked by The Daily what she’ll miss most, she said: “The parents that I have had the pleasure of telling, ‘You can feel comfortable leaving your child here at CWRU; I am the parent for your child being away from home.’”

And the Emmy goes to…

Computer engineer Peter Litwinowicz ’85 and his company, RE:Vision Effects, were honored at the Television Academy’s 72nd Engineering Emmy Awards, held online in October. His team received an Engineering Emmy for introducing optical flow-based postproduction video tools widely adopted in the television industry. 

It’s not his first time in the spotlight. Litwinowicz, a leading developer of visual effects, won a Scientific and Technical Academy Award, an Oscar, in 2007.

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@2020 Case Alumnus Magazine
Case Alumni Association, Inc.
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