October message from Dean Balakrishnan

Homecoming 2020 was, in some ways, a celebration unlike any we have previously experienced as events moved to virtual engagement and digital platforms. In the most important ways, however, Homecoming 2020 was just like the celebrations of years’ past: filled with joy, pride and community spirit.

A number of traditions were able to continue virtually, including the selection of the Homecoming Court—which included two current CSE students. Rachel Beller, a chemical engineering and spanish double major, and Corey King, a mechanical engineering major, are both active in extracurriculars ranging from marching band and Greek life to varsity athletics, and are fantastic representations of the well-rounded students we pride ourselves on at CSE.

The Homecoming Awards Ceremony was a highlight for me as Dean. I was immensely proud to see two of our own recognized for their professional accomplishments, service and overall achievements.

The 2020 Daniel T. Clancy Alumni Service Award was presented to Ka-Pi Hoh, PhD (CIT ‘84, GRS ‘87, 89, macromolecular science). Hoh, a business leader for process mining and director of organizational change management at The Lubrizol Corp., is specifically focused on helping women in STEM at Lubrizol and through Case Western Reserve.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Donald E. Knuth, PhD (CIT ‘60, GRS ‘60, mathematics, HON ‘80). Knuth, known as the “father of the analysis of algorithms,” is the author of The Art of Computer Programming, often referred to as the “bible” of computer science pedagogy. He’s remained active with CWRU, and today serves as a member of the Case School of Engineering Silicon Valley Think Tank.

I’ve been incredibly proud to hear from alumni about many of their recent successes. Over the course of the pandemic, a number of CSE alumni joined the charge to find solutions for the front-line workers and patients impacted by COVID-19. And just this fall we announced that the U.S. Army committed up to $11 million for polymer research undertaken by our own macromolecular science and engineering faculty in partnership with PolymerPlus LLC, a Cleveland-based polymeric development company founded at the university in 2010 and led by its President, Mike Ponting, PhD (GRS ‘10, polymer science), a Case Western Reserve alumnus.

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 CSEUpdates@case.edu

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

October 20, 2020