Dr. Gary E. Wnek

Associate Dean of Academics, Case School of Engineering; Joseph F. Toot, Jr., Professor of Engineering


Gary Wnek received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1977 and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, in 1980. He has been a member of the faculty and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT and the Department of Chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and was Founding Chair of the Chemical Engineering Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2004, he joined Case Western Reserve University as Professor of Chemical Engineering, the Joseph F. Toot, Jr., Professor of Engineering and Co-Director of The Institute for Management and Engineering (TiME). In 2006, he became Faculty Director of TiME and was Chair of the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering from 2006-2009. He is also the Faculty Director of think[box], a new institute at Case Western Reserve University focused on innovation and entrepreneurship. Gary's research interests include polymers for applications in drug delivery and regenerative medicine, macromolecular constructs that mimic the physiological functions of nerve, microfluidic devices, new applications of renewable polymers, and materials for energy storage. He has co-authored over 160 papers, co-edited four books and the Encyclopedia of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and holds 30 U.S. and two European patents. Over the past 15 years, three start-ups were launched that built on polymer materials technology that emerged from his research group. Gary received the 2007 John W. Hyatt Award (benefit to society) from the Society of Plastics Engineers for his work on polymer nano- and microfibers for regenerative medicine and related biomedical applications. He has also been active in promoting entrepreneurship education in the engineering curriculum, and in 2006 was named a Kern Fellow of the Kern Entrepreneurship Education Network.