Case School of Engineering to honor 12 endowed professorships

Maltz Performing Arts Center

The Case Western Reserve University community is invited to join in a celebration honoring 12 recently endowed engineering professorships on Wednesday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m. at the Milton and Tamar Maltz Performing Arts Center.

Honorees include Alexis Abramson, Ozan Akkus, Rohan Akolkar, Roger French, Robert Gao, Mehmet Koyuturk, Anant Madabhushi, Mehran Mehregany, Mohan Sankaran, Alp Sehirlioglu, Nicole Seiberlich and Dustin Tyler.

An hors d'oeuvers reception will follow the ceremony. Complimentary on-site parking is available. RSVP to or 216.368.1149.

The honorees

Alexis Abramson
Alexis Abramson

Milton & Tamar Maltz Professor of Energy Innovation

Abramson has been with the Case School of Engineering since 2003, where she has focused her research on novel techniques for thermal characterization of nanostructures; the design and synthesis of unique nanomaterials for use in alternative energy applications; virtual energy audits for building energy efficiency; and strategies to accelerate technology commercialization at universities and research institutions. On temporary assignment to the federal government from 2011-2013, Abramson provided strategic leadership and oversight to the Emerging Technologies Team at the Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office, which invests about $90 million per year in the research, development and commercialization of energy-efficient and cost-effective building technologies that are within five years of being market-ready. Abramson’s work focused on public engagement, peer-reviewed quantitative analysis and a re-structured prioritization of federal investment projects. From 2006 to 2009, Abramson was a Senior Fellow at NorTech, Northeast Ohio’s tech-based economic development organization. There, she focused on enabling economic development in Northeast Ohio by leveraging technology development and commercialization opportunities at companies and academic institutions in the region. Abramson received her PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and her BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.


Ozan Akkus
Ozan Akkus

Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering

Akkus was born in Istanbul Turkey on Nov. 27, 1971. He received a BS in mechanical engineering and MS in engineering sciences from the Middle East Technical University. In 2000, he received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve. Following a postdoctoral training fellowship at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, he moved to University of Toledo in 2002 as a tenure track assistant professor. In 2006, he was appointed as an associate professor at Purdue University Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering. He left Purdue for Case Western Reserve in July 2011 where he became a tenured full professor in 2013 in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. In his career, he has raised close to $10 million in research funding and trained dozens of postgraduate students, some of whom are working as faculty in universities around the world. Along with his collaborators and trainees, he has published close to 100 journal papers and 200 conference abstracts. His research on biomaterials for repairing damaged and diseased tissues is internationally known and well respected. He is a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.


Rohan Akolkar

F. Alex Nason Professor

Akolkar is the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Advanced Energy Research, the associate director of Electronics Design Center and the faculty director of Ohio’s Center of Excellence on Energy Storage. His research spans many different areas of electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering, including electrodeposition, electrometallurgy and electrochemical materials development for applications in nano-electronics, batteries, and extraction or refining of metals.  His research has been recognized by the Case School of Engineering Research Award, the Norman Hackerman Young Author Award of the Electrochemical Society, and numerous industry awards and patents during his eight-year tenure in R&D at Intel Corporation. His research has been supported by federal and industrial funding agencies including DOE ARPA-E, NSF, State of Ohio, Atotech, Medtronic and Lam Research Corporation. Akolkar holds memberships of reputed professional societies including the Electrochemical Society, the International Society of Electrochemistry, the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society, and the American Vacuum Society. He has delivered numerous invited lectures around the world, and has co-instructed tutorials and summer schools on electrochemistry and electrochemical engineering in Europe and Asia. Akolkar holds PhD in chemical engineering from Case Western Reserve and a Bachelor of Chemical Engineering degree from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India.


Roger French

Kyocera Professor of Ceramics

French is the director of the SDLE Research Center at Case Western Reserve, an Ohio Third Frontier, Wright Project center focused on lifetime and degradation science of long lived technologies and data science and analytics. His group of more than 20 students and associates uses vacuum ultraviolet and optical spectroscopies, spectroscopic ellipsometry, and computational optics to study optical properties, electronic structure, and radiation durability of optical materials, polymers, ceramics and liquids. He is a member of ANSI/IEC “Solar Photovoltaic Energy Systems” US-Technical Advisory Group; the Standards Technical Panel of UL; and ASTM Committees on Weathering and Durability: Service Life Prediction and Photovoltaic Electric Power Conversion. He was a recent member of the U. S. Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Science Advisory Committee. Prior to joining Case Western Reserve in 2010, French was a Research Fellow in Central Research and Development at DuPont Co. and adjunct professor of materials science at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his BS from Cornell University and his PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both in materials science. He has published 130 journal articles, 94 proceedings papers, five book chapters and given 147 invited talks and 232 conference presentations. He has 28 issued U. S. patents and four active filings.


Robert Gao

Cady Staley Professor of Engineering

Before joining Case Western Reserve in February 2015, Robert Gao was the Pratt & Whitney Chair Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut. Since receiving his PhD from the Technical University of Berlin, Germany in 1991, he has been working in the areas of physics-based sensing, design and characterization of mechatronic systems, data analytics, and sensor networks for improving observability in manufacturing processes and product quality control. Gao is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), and International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), an elected member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering (CASE), and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society and IEEE Electron Devices Society. Together with his students and collaborators, he has published two books and over 300 technical papers, including over 120 journal papers. He holds 11 patents, and has advised over 40 PhD and MS students. He is a recipient of multiple honors and awards, including the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society’s Technical Award, multiple Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards, Outstanding Junior and Senior Faculty awards, Outstanding Research Award, and an NSF CAREER award.


Mehmet Koyuturk

Timothy E. & Allison L. Schroeder Associate Professor of Computer Science & Engineering

Koyuturk received his PhD degree in computer science from Purdue University, and his BS and MS degrees from Bilkent University, respectively in electrical engineering and computer engineering. He also holds a secondary appointment at the Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics at the Case Western Reserve University School Medicine, and serves in the steering committee of Case Western Reserve’s graduate programs in systems biology and bioinformatics. His research focuses on the analysis of biological networks, systems biology of complex diseases, and computational genomics. He is particularly interested in contributing to life sciences through development of computational algorithms that can utilize large-scale data to provide mechanistic insights into the functioning of living systems. Koyuturk has published more than 75 papers on computational biology, data mining, scientific computing, and algorithms. He is an associate editor for IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, and he has been continuously serving on the program committees of leading computational biology conferences, including ISMB, RECOMB, ACM-BCB, and APBC. Koyuturk also received an NSF CAREER Award in 2010.


Anant Madabhushi

F. Alex Nason Professor

Madabhushi received his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from Mumbai University, India, in 1998 and his master’s in biomedical engineering from the University of Texas, Austin, in 2000. In 2004 he obtained his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rutgers University as an assistant professor in 2005, and in 2012 he joined Case Western Reserve University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, where he directs a center on computational imaging and personalized diagnostics. Madabhushi has authored more than 115 peer-reviewed journal publications  and more than 150 conferences papers and has delivered over 175 invited talks and lectures. He has 23 issued patents in the areas of medical image analysis, computer-aided diagnosis and computer vision. He has received a number of awards for both research as well as teaching, including the Department of Defense New Investigator Award in Lung Cancer, the Coulter Phase 1 and Phase 2 Early Career award and the Excellence in Teaching Award. He is also a Wallace H. Coulter Fellow, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and a Senior IEEE member. In 2015 he was named by Crain’s Cleveland Business as one of Forty under 40 making positive impact to business in Northeast Ohio.


Mehran Mehregany

Veale Professor of Wireless Health Innovation

Mehregany is an innovator, researcher, educator and an entrepreneur. His interests are in sensors, micro/nano-electro-mechanical systems, silicon carbide microsystems, wearables, wireless health and enterprise innovation models. He received his MS and PhD in electrical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986 and 1990, respectively. He joined Case Western Reserve University in 1990 and is the founding director of Case School of Engineering San Diego, where he developed and launched graduate programs in wireless health and wearable computing. Previously, he was a consultant to the Robotic Systems Research Department at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where he was a key contributor to groundbreaking research in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). From November 2009 through August 2010, was the founding executive vice president of engineering, chief of engineering research, and the Gary and Mary West Endowed Chair of Wireless Health Technology at the West Health Institute. During this period, he formulated the institute's engineering program, recruited the initial talent and launched the initial research activities and product developments. .Mehregany is well known in research, education and commercialization in his areas of interest. He has approximately 400 publications describing his work, holds 20 U.S. patents and is the recipient of a number of awards/honors. Mehregany is the editor of the first wireless health textbook titled Wireless Health: Remaking of Medicine by Pervasive Technologies.


R. Mohan Sankaran

Leonard Case Jr. Professor of Engineering

Sankaran received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1998 and his PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 2004. He joined the Department of Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve in 2005. His research focuses on the application of plasmas to lithographic-free nanomaterials synthesis and spans a range of topics including atmospheric-pressure plasmas, gas breakdown at micron to submicron length scales, nanoparticle synthesis, carbon nanotube and silicon nanowire growth, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, plasma-assisted electrochemistry, electrostatic charging of materials, and flexible devices. He has been recognized with the CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Young Investigator Program Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Peter Mark Memorial Award from the American Vacuum Society. He has been recognized for his teaching with the Outstanding Professor Award from the Society of Women Engineers and the Tau Beta Pi Srinivasa P. Gutti Memorial Award from the School of Engineering, and mentoring with the J. Bruce Jackson Award from Case Western Reserve University. He is currently an associate editor of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology and a member of the Editorial Board of Plasma Chemistry Plasma Processing and Scientific Reports.


Alp Sehirlioglu

Warren E. Rupp Distinguished Assistant Professor

Sehirlioglu graduated with a BS degree from the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering at Middle East Technical University in 1997. He completed his MS in ceramic engineering at Alfred University in 2000 and his PhD in materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005. He joined Case Western Reserve University in 2006. There are two thrusts to Sehirlioglu’s work: Energy conversion and storage materials, and 2D behavior. All of his research topics are united under creation and control of interfaces and elucidating their effects on the electrical and thermal properties of materials. He received two NASA Special Achievement Team Awards as a part of PPU Capacitor Failure Investigation Team and Thermoelectrics Team. He has received mulitple awards, including the AFOSR Young Investigator Award, the Charles F. Lucks Award by International Thermal Conductivity Conference, Inc., and the Young Alumnus Award from Department of Materials Science and Engineering at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. He has published over 30 papers and given two plenary talks, 12 invited talks and 16 invited national and international seminars. Sehirlioglu is a senior member of the IEEE- Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control (UFFC) and has been serving in the Ferroelectrics Committee since 2011.


Nicole Seiberlich

Elmer Lincoln Lindseth Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Seiberlich was born in Milwaukee and graduated summa cum laude with a BS in chemistry from Yale University in 2001. She worked for two years at Oliver, Wyman & Company as a management consultant, and left financial services to start her PhD in physics at the University of Würzburg (Würzburg, Germany) in 2003, graduating with honors in 2008. Following her graduate studies, she moved to Cleveland to work as a post-doctoral researcher at University Hospitals in the Department of Radiology. During this time, she was selected for the prestigious NIH/NIBIB K99/R00 award to help fund her research in signal processing methods for rapid cardiac MRI. Seiberlich moved to the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University as an assistant professor in 2011. In this position she has been awarded two R01 grants from the NIH and an NSF CAREER Award for her work in rapid MRI. She is also the recipient of several teaching and mentorship awards, including Case Western Reserve’s Diekhoff Award for Excellence in Graduate Mentorship and the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine Outstanding Teacher Award. She has published more than 40 peer-reviewed manuscripts, and has been invited to give more than 35 national and international seminars.


Dustin Tyler

Kent H. Smith Professor of Engineering

Tyler received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1999 and his BS in electrical engineering from Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Mich., in 1992. He has more 25 years of experience advancing neuromodulation technology with extensive publications and patents about his work. His research activity ranges from early innovation to clinical implementation of neural interface devices and systems designed to restore natural sensation and control in limb loss. He spent 1998-2002 in industry commercializing neural prosthesis for restoration of function in spinal cord injured and stroke patients, leading research and development efforts, as well as, managing the development of clinical programming software for medical devices. Since 2002, he has been a biomedical engineer research scientist at the Cleveland VA Medical center and was awarded a prestigious Research Career Scientist award in 2016. He has been a faculty member in the biomedical engineering department at Case Western Reserve University since 2004. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and has secured more than $26M in funding from the VA, NIH, NSF and DARPA. He has published in Science, Nature: Nanotechnology, Science Translational Medicine, and many other discipline specific journals.