Clare Rimnac

Distinguished University Professor and Wilbert J. Austin Professor of Engineering

Teaching Information

Teaching Interests

Professor Rimnac's teaching interests include fatigue and fracture, mechanics of materials, materials selection in design, and musculoskeletal biomechanics.

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Mechanical behavior/ materials characterizations of bioactive and bioinert polymeric, metallic, and ceramic biomaterials
  • Mechanical behavior and characterization of bone tissues
  • Implant evaluation and performance assessment, including registry research
  • Lifetime and degradation science and reliability engineering
  • Additive manufacturing

Additional Information

Prof. Rimnac received her B.S. in Metallurgy and Materials Science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1978, and her M.S. in 1980 and Ph.D. in 1983 in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering from Lehigh University.  Prior to her faculty appointment at CWRU in 1996, she was a Scientist in the Department of Biomechanics at The Hospital for Special Surgery (affiliated with Cornell Weill College of Medicine) in New York City.

Over the years, Prof. Rimnac’s research has been funded by the NIH, orthopaedic industries, or private foundations including the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative and is directed towards orthopaedic biomechanics, with a focus on implant retrieval analysis and device registry research, mechanical behavior and modeling of materials used in total joint replacements, lifetime and degradation science, and damage and fracture behavior of bone tissue. She and her colleagues and students have made notable contributions to the materials science and clinical orthopaedics literature on the topic of oxidative degradation and fatigue and fracture resistance of ultra high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) and other polymeric biomaterials, including PEEK; these contributions have advanced the development of improved long-term durability of total joint replacements.  Along with her students and collaborators, Prof. Rimnac has published more than 150 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.  She has been an invited speaker or workshop organizer and participant at numerous national and international meetings.

Among other honors, Prof. Rimnac has served on two NIH study sections.  Along with her collaborators, she has been the recipient of an American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Kappa Delta Award (the highest research award in orthopaedics), two Hip Society Awards, and a Knee Society Award. She was honored with the Orthopaedic Research Society Women's Leadership Award and with the Case Alumni Association Meritorious Service Award in 2013.  In 2017, Prof. Rimnac received the ORS/OREF Distinguished Investigator Award and the J.R. Neff Research Award of the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation.  In 2018 she became an Inaugural Fellow of the ORS and in 2019 she became a Fellow of International Orthopaedic Research. In 2018, Prof. Rimnac was honored to be name a Distinguished University Professor, the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Rimnac has held a number of leadership roles in her field, including President of the Orthopaedic Research Society and Deputy Editor for the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.  She is currently a Senior Associate Editor for Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research. 
Professor Rimnac is the Director of the Center for the Evaluation of Implant Performance at CWRU.  This program works in close collaboration with the Center for Joint Replacement and Restoration at University Hospitals Case Medical Center.