Oh what a night

 E Week 2019

Distinguished alumni brought prestige and passion to the 2019 Engineers Week Reception, where aspiring engineers heard a call to action. 

On its triumphant return to campus, the Engineers Week Reception drew more than 400 people to the Tinkham Veale University Center Ballroom Thursday night, Feb. 28, for a toast to biomedical engineering. 

The crowd applauded the passion of keynote speaker Adriana Velazquez Berumen, MS ’86, the medical device lead at the World Health Organization, as she shared a perspective gleaned from witnessing healthcare challenges around the world. 

E Week 2019Medical innovations like x-rays, dialysis and pacemakers changed the lives of millions, she observed. But so did stethoscopes and syringes, clean scrubs and smartphone apps. 

Velazquez Berumen, a native of Mexico City who earned her master’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Case School of Engineering, said medical devices need not be technological marvels to work wonders. It’s often enough, she said, that they are simple, safe and effective. 

“Always put yourself in the place of the patient and the place of the healthcare worker who is trying to help that patient,” she told an audience sprinkled with biomedical engineering majors. “First listen, than help.” 

She added that engineering knowledge must be sharpened with personal passion to bring about change, especially when the challenges are tall. 

“You need passion to keep driving,” she said. 

The spotlight shone upon another alumnus, Katie Wheaton ’01, E Week 2019an instructor in the Department of Civil Engineering. She received the Srinivasa P. Gutti Memorial Teaching Award, which is presented by Tau Beta Pi to an outstanding undergraduate teacher. 

The audience viewed a video that that chronicled Wheaton’s transition from a structural engineer working in industry to one of the most popular teachers on Case Quad. It included testimonials from students like Patricia Cheng, a senior majoring in civil engineering. 

“She’s taught me everything I know about steel and concrete design and that’s important,” Cheng said. “But I think the most important thing she’s taught me is that there’s more than one way to be a good engineer and there’s more than one way to be a good person.” 

The night celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Department of Biomedical Engineering with the theme “Bridging Medicine and Healthcare.” BME faculty were prominent and more than 50 BME students presented their research with exhibits and poster boards, which attendees viewed during a networking reception. 

E Week 2019Dean Venkataramanan Balakrishnan welcomed the guests and Velazquez Berumen sent them off with a call to action. Alluding to the CWRU motto, she declared, “Let’s think beyond the possible and together we can improve global health.”

Read more about Adriana Velazquez Berumen and how Case helped launch her toward global impact. https://www.casealum.org/2016-responsive/pages/alumni/adriana-velazquez-e-week-2019