Class Notes

Class Notes
James Reilly ’39 
Lakeway, Texas
James celebrated his 102nd birthday April 26 surrounded by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Case School of Applied Science and went on to a fruitful career as an engineer and a patent attorney. His daughter Ann Harris wrote to say, “I like to think he may still have some classmates out there enriching the world.” 

Class Notes
Christopher Mathewson, ’63, PhD
College Station, Texas
Chris received the James Hutton Lifetime Service Award from the National Association of State Boards of Geology in recognition of service leading to the significant advancement of the profession of geology. He’s an emeritus professor of geology at Texas A&M University. Chris earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

Hans Biserod
Hans Biserod ’64
Raufoss, Norway
Hans flew in from Norway in early April to tour his alma mater with his cousin in law, Professor Sunniva Collins. He came to Case Institute of Technology as an international student in the early 1960s, working the transatlantic liner to pay his passage. He met his late wife, Solfrid, at a Norwegian Independence Day party in Cleveland and returned to Norway with a wife and a mechanical engineering degree. The couple raised four children. Before his retirement, Hans helped modernize the Norwegian armed forces as an engineer for the government munitions manufacturer NAMMO.

Class Notes
James. L. Smialek ’68, MS ’72, PhD ’81
Strongsville, Ohio
Jim retired last October as a senior research scientist after 50 years with the NASA Glenn (Lewis) Research Center. He authored nearly 200 research papers, journal articles, patents, book chapters, received two NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and was elected Fellow of the Metallurgical Society of AIME (TMS), the American Ceramic Society and the American Society for Materials (ASM). Jim maintained connections with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and often collaborates with faculty and students.  Last October, he joined other CIT Metallurgy graduates from the class of ’68, (Ron Krupitzer, John Shields, Lee Swanger, Ed Gesdorf, Bill Timmons and Hank Vernon),

Class Notes
Gee-Yin “Brian” Chow, MS ’69, PhD '69
Santa Monica, California
 Brian is now an adjunct physical scientist at RAND Corporation after working as a senior physical scientist from 1989 to 2015. Before joining RAND in 1989, he was an adviser to the President's Science Advisor, the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Brian earned his doctorate in physics from Case Institute of Technology.

Class Notes
Don Thomas ’77
Towson, Maryland
Don delivered the commencement address May 4 at the 143rd Commencement Ceremony of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College. A NASA astronaut since 1991, he orbited the Earth nearly 700 times and served as a mission specialist on four space shuttle missions. He also served as International Space Station Program Scientist from 2003-2006. A Cleveland native, Don earned his bachelor’s degree in physics from Case and a master’s and doctorate in materials engineering from Cornell. He now does public speaking and makes school presentations on astronaut life. 

Class Notes
Leslie Swanson ’80
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Leslie, the President & CEO of eXalt Solutions, has more than 30 years experience in the technology industry as an innovator and an entrepreneur. In April she shared her “Secrets for Success for Women in IoT” with the tech newsletter IoT for All. Among her observations: “You will definitely fail if you don’t show up, but if you do show up you have chance at success. My number one piece of advice for women in tech is to assume that you are welcome and show up.” She earned her bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

Class Notes
Walter Copan, PhD ’82
Monument, Colorado
Walter is the director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, a government agency that promotes U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology.  In 2017, Congress confirmed him as Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director. After earning dual degrees in chemistry and music from Case Western Reserve University in 1975, Walter began his career in chemicals and materials research at Lubrizol Corporation. He earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from Case in 1982.

Class Notes
Michael Ciancone ‘83
Houston, Texas
Michael is the author of Forward to Spaceflight, an illustrated bibliography of pre-1958 publications on rocketry and space travel published by Apogee Books. As an engineer for the Johnson Space Center in Houston, he serves as the Lead for Safety and Mission Assurance of the European Service Module of the Orion Program. Michael earned his bachelor’s degree in fluids and thermal sciences from Case Institute of Technology. He also earned a bachelor’s in psychology from CWRU. 

Class Notes
Jeen-long “Daniel” Liao, MS’84
Shanghai, China
Daniel was appointed to the board of directors of Amkor Technology, a Phoenix-based semiconductor packaging and test services company.  He’s a senior executive at Lam Research, a semiconductor processing equipment company, and serves as Chairman of Lam Asia Pacific Operations. Daniel earned his master’s in electrical engineering and applied physics from Case Institute of Technology. He has held engineering management positions at Integrated Device Technology and at Intel. 

Class Notes
Randall S. Dearth MS '89
Sewickley, Pennsylvania
Randall joined GCP Applied Technologies, a Cambridge, MA developer of advanced construction technologies, as president and chief executive officer. Previously, he was president and CEO of Calgon Carbon Corporation, LANXESS Corporation (North America) and Bayer Chemicals Corporation (North America). Randall earned his master’s degree in polymer science and engineering from Case.

Class Notes
Jeffrey Barkehanai ’90
Lake Forest, California
 Jeff, a product definition manager for the engineering and industrial software developer AVEVA, reports that he recently attained his first patent. He gave a presentation on “OEE in the Cloud, Model Driven MES and Quality” at the 2019 Manufacturing Industry User Conference of Wonderware California. Jeff earned his bachelor’s in chemical engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

Class Notes
Anne E. Hines MS '90, PhD '94
Denver, Colorado
Anne was honored by the College of Engineering at Boston University for her career achievements and support of her alma mater and the world community. Anne and her husband are co-founders of the Colorado Nepal Alliance, a Denver nonprofit that works to enhance the lives of people in rural Nepal. She received her bachelor’s degree from BU and earned her master’s and doctorate degrees in biomedical engineering from Case. 

Class Notes
Lars-Ake Norling, MS ’92
Stockholm, Sweden
Lars is an investment director and sector head of TMT at the Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, a position he assumed in fall 2018. He has more than 20 years experience in management positions in the TMT sector in Northern Europe and in emerging markets. Previously he served as CEO of Total Access Communications (DTAC) in Bangkok, Thailand. Lars earned his master’s in systems and control engineering from Case Institute of Technology.

Class Notes
Tshilidzi Marwala ’95, PhD
Johannesburg, South Africa
Tshilidzi was one of the keynote speakers at the 2018 Science Forum in Pretoria, South Africa, in December. He talked about the Moravec paradox and skills needed in the fourth industrial revolution.  Tshilidzi is Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Johannesburg. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Case, his master’s from the University of Pretoria and a PhD in artificial intelligence and engineering from the University of Cambridge. He was also a post-doctoral research associate at the Imperial College of London. 

Class Notes
Kirsten Bowen ‘96
Sagamore Hills, Ohio
Kirsten was named Member of the Year by WTS International, a trade group that advances women in the transportation industry, at the group’s annual conference in May. She’s an associate vice president for Michael Baker International, a Pittsburgh-based civil engineering firm, where she’s the Surface Transportation Lead for the Great Lakes region. Kirsten earned her degree in civil engineering from the Case School of Engineering. 


Class Notes
Alexander Wellems ’05
Blue Point, New York
Alex, a pharmaceutical scientist, is Director of Clinical Supplies Operations in the Small Molecule Product Development team of Allergan. He’s also active in his Long Island community, serving as vice president of the Blue Point Community Coalition. Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at Case.

Class Notes
Sarah Hosack (Gill) ‘08
Mars, Pennsylvania
Sarah is a project manager for Equitrans Midstream Corp., which provides midstream services to the natural gas industry in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Previously, she was a project manager for EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh and a project engineer for Westinghouse. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Case.

Class Notes
Vedang Kothari ’12, MEM ‘13
Cleveland, Ohio
Vedang is president and CEO MeReva Phototherapy, a Cleveland biotech company he recently launched to treat a side effect of cancer treatments. He began developing the technology during an internship at Lumitex, in Strongsville, as a student at the Case School of Engineering. Vedang came to Case from San Jose, California, to study biomedical engineering and earned a master’s degree in engineering and management. 
Class Notes
Austin Leeds PhD ’18
Orlando, Florida
Austin is a research manager at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. He earned his doctorate in biology at Case, where he completed his dissertation on markers of social bonding in gorillas and the implications for the care of gorillas in zoos while working for the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.