New Engineering Hiring Plan to Focus on Human Health, Energy and Advanced Materials

Roger French

A prolific researcher in optical materials and nanoscale assembly is the first faculty member appointed under a new strategic hiring initiative at the Case School of Engineering.

Roger French, a longtime scientist at DuPont, chose to leave industry for Case Western Reserve because of the rich opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration he sees on the campus.

“This is an opportunity to accomplish things that are bigger than just what I can accomplish myself,” French said.

This desire to work with others to achieve major research breakthroughs was one of the first qualities that moved leaders of the hiring effort to make French its first recruit.  

“The new faculty will bring the current faculty–not only from the school of engineering but other schools–to clusters with common themes,” said Distinguished University Professor Hunter Peckham, the leader of the search effort.

French comes to the university after spending a quarter century at DuPont in positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as a Research Fellow.

He has been appointed the F. Alex Nason professor of materials science and engineering.

The university also is making diversity a priority in this effort, to increase the proportion of women and underrepresented minorities among the engineering faculty. Read more.

Campus News

October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and frequent phishing attacks have been recently reported within the university setting. Phishing is the fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.  If you receive an email asking to “verify” your account, do not click the link. Doing so directs users to a fake Single Sign-on login site that closely replicates CWRU’s page. If you provide your CWRU Network ID and password through the fake site, or to anyone, then others can steal your campus identity, spam other institutions, and gain access to other applications within your department. Both sites hosting the fake SSO pages have been shut down. Visit the IT help desk. If you have given your credentials to these fake sites, change your CWRU Network ID password immediately and contact the CWRU Information Technology Services Help Desk at 216.368.HELP (4357).

For National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Bookstore will donate $1 for every fan on Facebook who changes his or her profile picture to the pink awareness ribbon (It's currently the Bookstores profile picture; you can save it to your desktop to use) and then comments on the Bookstores Facebook page so that the ribbon photo can be seen by all.  You needn't keep the ribbon as your picture for the entire month, just until you leave the comment. Join the Bookstore at Facebook to help make a difference.

For Faculty and Staff

On Friday, President Barbara R. Snyder will deliver the annual State of the University Address to campus.  It will be held in Thwing Ballroom at 12:30 p.m.  Faculty and staff are invited. Cookies and beverages will be provided for attendees. When President Snyder is finished with the question and answer session following her remarks, a brief meeting of the University Faculty will continue. Professor Alan Levine, chair, Faculty Senate and Professor Ken Ledford, chair, Faculty Senate Committee on By-laws, will present the proposed changes to the Constitution of the University Faculty.

Women's Assistant Basketball Coach Freeman Blade and the Case Western Reserve women's basketball team will conduct a basketball clinic for the children of Case faculty and staff 4-6 p.m. Oct. 24 at the Veale Center. Cost for two hours of training and teaching is $25, which goes toward funds for the team to play in Italy and Netherlands in August 2011. It’s a great way for kids to learn the game of basketball and support the women’s basketball team.  Register by email as soon as possible. Call 368.3626 for more information.

For Students

Students are encouraged to give blood.

The Center for Civic Engagement and Learning would like to extend a special congratulations to Sigma Phi Epsilon for its participation in the Sept. 22 American Red Cross Blood Drive.  Of the fraternities co-sponsoring this drive, Sigma Phi Epsilon had the highest percentage of members present to donate.  Congratulations to this fraternity for contributing. The next on-campus blood drives will take place on Oct. 20 at Wade Fireside Lounge and October 26 in Fribley 2-7pm.  Visit the Red Cross website to make an appointment and save a life. Learn more at the Student Affairs website.


The Case Center for Imaging Research and the Department of Radiology are celebrating the opening of the new radiopharmaceutical lab on Friday with a special lecture by Joanna Fowler, Imaging Addiction in the Human Brain.  Fowler is currently at the Brookhaven National Lab and is a recipient of the National Medal of Science.  The seminar is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in the Wolstein Auditorium with a reception to follow.  More information is available online.


Distinguished nucleic acid chemist and inventor Muthiah Manoharan will talk about using the powerful biological process of RNA interference to make and deliver treatments for disease when he gives the Ford Distinguished Lecture at Case Western Reserve University at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 25.


The views and opinions of those invited to speak on campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.

Et al.

A Plain Dealer article discusses a national reclaiming vacant properties conference that is going on this week, and references the work that the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development is doing in partnering with other local government and non-profit groups. Frank Ford, NPI [Neighborhood Progress Incorporated]'s senior vice president for research and development, said the conference will highlight local initiatives such as the data system known as NEO CANDO, which was developed by Case Western Reserve University researchers and provides certain demographic, economic and property data online and for free. The conference–Reclaiming Vacant Properties: The Intersection of Sustainability, Revitalization and Policy Reform–runs today through Friday and is expected to draw about 900 people.

Oct. 13, 2010

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In the News

Synapse Wins FDA Nod
for ALS Treatment, Oct. 12, 2010
Synapse Biomedical Inc. received a preliminary approval from the Food and Drug Administration for the company's NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System, developed largely by Ray Onders, MD, over two decades at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, in certain amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease) patients. It is designed to help patients breathe.

Stuck In Nepal, Local Woman
In Adoption Nightmare, Oct. 9, 2010
The United States is not recognizing adoptions of children from Nepal, leaving some adoptive parents stranded. “If the State Department says, ‘We are concerned about irregularities in this country,’ do not go,” says Victor Groza, Grace F. Brody Professor  of Parent-Child Studies, an expert on adoption from Case Western Reserve University.

CWRU Community
Stands Up to Bullies, Oct. 11, 2010
Case Western Reserve University Deputy Provost Lynn Singer says CWRU has been ahead of the curve in terms of supporting LGBT rights. More than a decade ago, it offered LGBT couples insurance coverage. On Monday, a vigil was held to commemorate LGBT victims of bullying.

Higher Ed News

A Modern Scholar's Ailments:
Link Rot and Footnote Flight

Chronicle of Higher Ed, Oct. 10, 2010
Authors and journal editors link to Web-based resources in citations meant to last, but the phenomenon of “link rot”—when links, or URLs, stop working—can undermine the usefulness of those references. If a URL leads nowhere, another researcher might not be able to find the source material. In medical research, the consequences could reach much further than inconvenience.