Case Alumni Association announces 2012 award recipients

The Case Alumni Association, representing graduates of the Case School of Engineering and math and science alumni of Case Western Reserve University, announced its 2012 award recipients, who will be honored at the 127th annual Case Alumni Association All-Classes Reunion Banquet on Sept. 28.

This year’s event will take place at the Union Club in downtown Cleveland beginning at 5 p.m. The Gold Medal Award winners are two alumni representing illustrious careers in the fields of academia and health care technologies: Roger W. Brockett (CIT ’60, GRS ’62, ’64, engineering), the An Wang Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Harvard University, and Joseph B. “JB” Richey II (CIT ’62), president of Invacare Technologies Division and senior vice president of Electrical and Design Engineering.

Brockett has been a member of the Harvard faculty for the past 42 years and is founder of the Harvard Robotics Laboratory. Prior to his time at Harvard, Brockett worked at MIT.

In 1991, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the theory and practice of linear and nonlinear control systems. He has published many books and papers considered core instructional material for control engineering curricula worldwide, including Finite Dimensional Analysis, largely regarded as one of the leading books on the topic. Brockett is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Richey was named to his current position with Invacare, the world’s top manufacturer of home medical products, in September 1992. The company’s adaptation of X-ray tub and electronics technology created the first full-body CAT scan. Prior to joining Invacare as a director in 1980, Richey worked at Technicare Corporation, Harshaw Chemical Co. and Keithley Instruments. He holds more than 40 patents in the medical field, is the author or co-author of several technical publications and has been honored for his inventions by several engineering and scientific organizations.

In fall of 2011, Richey, along with Invacare Chairman of the Board A. Malachi Mixon III, was part of a $5 million commitment to name the Richey-Mixon building at the Case School of Engineering. The space will house the school’s think[box] programs—a collection of initiatives that seek to leverage and enhance the university’s culture of innovation.

Lawrence M. Sears (CIT ’69), adjunct faculty in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case School of Engineering, will receive the Samuel H. Givelber ’23 Award in honor of his fellowship and service to the Case Alumni Association, the Case School of Engineering and the university.

Sears founded Hexagram, Inc., (now ACLARA RF Systems) in 1972 as a “design and build” one-of-a-kind supplier of electronic instruments and controls. He holds or co-holds 19 patents relating to a variety of industrial products. Sears is a senior member of IEEE and a member of the Board of Trustees of Case Western Reserve University, and he was instrumental in establishing the Undergraduate Design Lab and think[box] program on campus.

Meritorious Service Award winners include Enrique Conterno (CWR ’89), senior vice president and president, Lilly Diabetes; Walter Culver (GRS ’62, ’64, engineering), retired vice chairman, SI International Inc. and chair of the advisory board of Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve University; and Marvin Schwartz (CIT ’68, GRS ’73, computer science), chief scientist of the Case Connection Zone at Case Western Reserve University.

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