Biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and computer science chairs named

Case Western Reserve University has appointed Robert F. Kirsch chairman of the biomedical engineering department and Kenneth A. Loparo chairman of the electrical engineering and computer science department.

Kirsch and Loparo are prolific researchers, proven leaders among their peers and consistently highly regarded in annual student reviews.

“They are doers who will take action and move the departments forward; in both cases, shaping the vision for the future rather than reacting to the future,” said Jeffrey Duerk, dean of the Case School of Engineering.

Loparo and Kirsch lead the two largest engineering departments. The electrical engineering and computer science department was established from three departments and continues to offer four different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Biomedical engineering is shared by the Case School of Engineering and the School of Medicine, with faculty appointed from each.

“Bob has emerged as one of the true leaders on the Case Western Reserve campus,” said Pamela Davis, dean of the School of Medicine. “The chair of biomedical engineering occupies a pivotal position in our research and education activities and I can think of no one more suited to this challenge than Bob.”

Kirsch has earned an international reputation in the field of rehabilitation and functional neural restoration. He is director of the Functional Electrical Stimulation Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center and has won major awards in new methods to connect the brain to paralyzed or prosthetic limbs and restore movement and control.

Kenneth Loparo
Kenneth Loparo

This summer, Loparo was tapped to lead electrical engineering and computer science.

“He is a big thinker, a forward thinker, a great communicator, very direct and a passionate advocate for students and Case’s traditional standards of excellence, adapted to the marketplace today,” Duerk said. “He is the ideal person to lead the department into a future.”

Duerk pointed to Loparo’s research in systems engineering spanning all aspects of the department and into energy, controls, health care and more. Loparo has been chair of the former systems engineering department, associate dean of engineering, chair of the faculty senate and president of the Case Alumni Association. He is also a sought-after consultant to national companies.