November message from Dean Balakrishnan

For many of our students, a Case School of Engineering education doesn’t end with our undergraduate programs. In fact, nearly a third of our students are currently pursuing graduate-level degrees with the goal of advancing their careers as professional engineers.

With that in mind, the Case School of Engineering established the Office of Graduate and Professional Programs in early 2020. Led by Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs, Sunniva Collins, a CSE alumna and associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the goal of the office is to better address the needs of engineering business professionals. This includes developing new professional learning programs and overseeing existing programs, such as our Master of Engineering and Management program, which confers a dual-degree from the CSE and the Weatherhead School of Management. 

We are also looking at ways to expand our online degree offerings, including finalizing a new online master’s degree program in Computer and Data Sciences. These new programs will open the doors to a bigger pool of potential students, enabling them to receive an exceptional engineering degree from CWRU with the flexibility to study anywhere in the world.

That flexibility has been particularly important for one student in our online Biomedical Engineering master’s program. Lieutenant Ciera McCrary, who earned her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy, found herself stuck at sea aboard the USS Howard when the pandemic hit. Despite limited and often unstable internet access, she was determined to continue her studies, and found the support she needed from her CSE professors—who, she notes, are the best part of her Case Western Reserve experience. “If you do have those problems like I have, in that I can’t finish things on time or I have to finish them early, they are always willing to be open and understanding and talk through thoughtful options.”

We are fortunate to have such dedicated faculty to teach the next generation of engineers. Whether from a lecture hall in Wickenden or over an internet connection to an active-duty officer, their passion to provide a high-quality education remains the same.

My best wishes to you and yours for a happy and safe start to the holiday season. Thank you for your continued support of the Case School of Engineering. Please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions or feedback at

Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan
Charles H. Phipps Dean, Case School of Engineering

November 19, 2020