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Corporate Update, issue 6

In this issue:


From the Executive Director | Partner companies earn accolades | Timken donates equipment | KeyBank, Cleveland Airport Systems sponsor lecture series | Students, companies learn from each other

From the Executive Director

At Case Western Reserve University, life-changing research and education is in our DNA. That’s why our 2009–10 annual report highlights the way in which the university community focuses not only on the big picture, but on the Bigger Picture.

Example:  Food deserts are a national problem.
Case Western Reserve is doing something about it.  

See how Jessica Kelly, Associate Professor in sociology is helping to make fresh produce available in local food deserts to improve urban health the world over. 

Example:  Rural poverty is an international problem.
Case Western Reserve is doing something about it.

Watch how Silvia Prina, Assistant Professor of Economics educates a community on how saving pennies of a meager income can catalyze change in rural Nepal and in communities across the globe. 
The annual report is just a snapshot of the many ways the university community rallies behind really big ideas. Another example of this inspired thinking lies in a recent commitment from Tom Seitz (CIT ’70), senior vice president for strategic excellence initiatives at Sherwin-Williams, and his wife, Nancy.
Their support recently endowed the Thomas W. and Nancy P. Seitz Professorship in Advanced Materials and Energy at the Case School of Engineering. More than a financial commitment, the chair is an investment in the continued success of the engineering school, as it represents the first philanthropic investment in the Engineering Strategic Hiring Initiative, which is poised to bolster the school’s priority areas of advanced materials, energy and human health, while encouraging collaboration, interdisciplinary work and faculty diversity.
Many of you may know Tom as co-chair of the Corporate Visiting Committee. As a leader of this group and as an alum and business partner, his kind of thinking—and action—is just the kind of perspective that keeps Case Western Reserve University thinking beyond the possible.
Our thanks to Tom and Nancy and to all of you for your continued bigger-picture thinking.
As always, I welcome your emails at
All my best,

Anne M. Borchert
Executive Director of Corporate Relations and Strategic Projects

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research collaboration


Partner Companies Earn Accolades


The NorTech Innovation Awards program recognizes Northeast Ohio innovators who have transformed the region's economy by creating jobs, attracting capital and generating positive economic impact. The 2011 awards honored several such companies with strong ties to Case Western Reserve.

Award-winner Aeroclay Inc. is a startup company based on the research of David Schiraldi, PhD, chair of the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the Case School of Engineering. Schiraldi is the inventor of the company’s namesake AeroClay, a lightweight, biodegradable aerogel composed of 96 percent air that can be used for such diverse purposes as sopping up oil spills and insulating furnaces. The company continues to partner with the university on important research projects and has hired several Case Western Reserve graduates.

MAR Systems also was recognized with an innovation award from NorTech. The clean water technology company was founded by Claude Kennard (MGT ’91) and has partnered consistently with the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering.

Hiroyuki Fujita (GRS ’98), president and CEO of the medical imaging company Quality Electrodynamics, earned NorTech’s the 2011 Regional Impact Award. He and Kennard co-hosted  last year’s Entrepreneurship Celebration at Case Western Reserve.

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philanthropic investment


Timken Donates Equipment


Longtime partner the Timken Company recently donated a significant piece of equipment that will help keep the Case School of Engineering competitive: An FTIR Spectrometer System that will expand research and education capabilities in the Department of Chemical Engineering. A second piece, a Bruker X-Ray diffraction unit (pictured), is scheduled to be donated as soon as lab renovations are complete, which will increase the capabilities of the Swagelok Center for Surface Analysis of Materials. 

For several years, Timken has also supported the Master of Engineering and Management program by hiring participants as commercialization associates. The company also has partnered with the university’s Career Center and has hired Case Western Reserve graduates.

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marketing and visibility 


KeyBank, Cleveland Airport Systems Sponsor Lecture Series


KeyBank and Cleveland Airport System generously sponsored this year’s Power of Diversity Lecture Series, the signature event of Case Western Reserve’s Office of Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity. The series seeks to promote diversity through inclusive thinking, mindful learning and transformative dialogue.

To this end, the university invited two international thought leaders to campus this year. Charles Ogletree Jr., the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and author of The Presumption of Guilt: The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Race, Class and Crime in America, discussed why diversity matters in the Obama era. Julianne Malveaux, PhD (pictured), author, labor economist, commentator and president of Bennett College for Women, presented the economic case for diversity.

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Human capital development 


Students, Companies Learn From Each Other


The Masters of Engineering and Management  degree program allows students to add an experiential learning component to their education by cultivating opportunities for students to interact with companies. One such opportunity is the Commercialization Associates Program, which places students in part-time internships with companies such as Lubrizol, Parker Hannifin, Momentive and ASM International, where they gain valuable engineering and management experience. 

Likewise, the program’s Product and Process Design, Development and Delivery course takes an integrated approach to helping students understand and practice the complex relationships among customers, designers and manufacturers. The class’ capstone project emphasizes different aspects of the product and process design and development activities by dividing students into cross-functional teams. Each team is matched up with one of about six companies, and team members flex their engineering and business skills to help the company confront a real-world issue, such as developing product commercialization and business plans, exploring new market opportunities and analyzing market potential to develop new business forecasts. Among the companies participating recently were Timken, Vadxx, Underwriters Laboratories and Rolls Royce Fuel Cells Systems.

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