Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund

“There’s an urgent need and we’re responding as fast as we can. Any donation to the Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund is not only helping our response to this crisis, it’s helping the Case School of Engineering help our community, our region and our world.”

— Dean Venkataramanan “Ragu” Balakrishnan

The Case School of Engineering has partnered with the Case Alumni Association to support the Dean’s Strategic Initiatives Fund. This fund lends the dean flexibility to support research and projects that address the pandemic and that could help provide solutions and even breakthroughs.


Here’s a sample of the work that’s underway:

  • The team at Sears think[box] is helping design Personal Protective Equipment for hospitals
  • Ian Charnas ’05, Director of Innovation and Technology at think[box], is using think[box]’s rapid prototyping capability to bring new designs for face shields to local manufacturers
  • Working with University Hospitals, think[box] staffers are reverse engineering obsolete but badly-needed parts for medical devices, so that they can be manufactured again

Our top researchers have pivoted to focus on the current crisis—without waiting for research grants. Your help could propel them forward.


  • Professor Anant Madabhushi is leveraging his work on predictive analytics to try and diagnose the coronavirus. The university just boosted his access to high-performance computers.
  • Professors Fanny Ye and Ken Loparo and their students at the Case School of Engineering developed an AI-driven online tool that helps people map their coronavirus risk in specific locations in real time.
  • Professor Jing Li is working with infectious disease experts at Cleveland Clinic to apply data science to the virus’s genome and trace its transmission patterns. The National Science Foundation awarded him an emergency research grant. 
There’s more to come, the dean promises.
“This is emergency mode,” he said. “There’s an urgent need and we’re responding as fast as we can.”


Click below for frequently asked questions and answers.


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A message from the dean

Our Stories

All hands on deck

The Case School of Engineering is marshalling its resources to confront the pandemic.

Think[box]'s time to shine

Staff at Sears think[box], including alumnus Ian Charnas, are engineering quick solutions for hospitals and their suppliers.

Engineering solutions

Turner Montgomery ’18 joined The Ventilator Project, a nationwide muster of engineers, to help address the shortage of ventilators needed by COVID-19 patients. He shares his experience with Janna Greer of the Case Alumni Association.

Tackling COVID-19

Collaboration and expertise at the Case School of Engineering help researchers join the quest for solutions.