Contact Us


Professor Malcolm Cooke, Executive Director

(216) 368-0514 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 223

Malcolm Cooke has over 35 years’ combined experience in academia both in England and for the last 21 years in the U.S. For most of this time he has focused on design, and advanced manufacturing, and for the last 25 years his manufacturing focus has been in the growing field of additive manufacturing.

Malcolm received his Bachelor of Engineering degree from Coventry University, his Master of Science degree from Warwick University, both located in England, and his Ph.D. (2004) from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. Malcolm has been a faculty member at CWRU for 16 years.

Malcolm is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Case Western Reserve University and the Executive Director of the Sears think[box]. Sears think[box] is CWRU’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, located in the Richey Mixon Building which is a 7-floor, 50,000 sq. ft. facility located on the edge of the campus. Malcolm and his team regularly consult on the design, management and operation of ‘Makerspaces’, and to date this is in excess of 100 academic institutions.

Malcolm’s research interests are focused on applying additive manufacturing technologies to address biomedical challenges, and in particular the design and manufacture of biocompatible, biodegradable implantable porous scaffolds for the repair of hard and soft tissue defects. Also Malcolm collaborates with local surgeons to provide 3D printed anatomical models from patient CT and MRI data that are used for resident training, patient communication and research-based surgical planning.



Larry Sears, Trustee Advisor

Mr. Sears received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Case in 1969. Three years later, he founded Hexagram, Inc (now ACLARA Wireless Technologies), a company that is responsible for many of the largest installations of fixed-network, automated meter-reading systems in the United States. In 2006, Mr. Sears established the Undergraduate Design Lab at Case. This lab features workstations with state-of-the-art equipment, project rooms, and student activity space, providing Case Electrical Engineering students with valuable hands-on experience. Mr. Sears holds or co-holds 19 patents and is currently a member of the Adjunct Faculty of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case. He lectures on circuit and product design, is a Senior Member of the IEEE, and is a Trustee of Case.



Ian Charnas, Manager

(216) 368-1492 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 345

Ian Charnas is the manager of think[box], a 7-story Makerspace at Case Western Reserve University that is free and open to the public. He graduated from CWRU in 2005 with B.S. degrees in both computer and mechanical engineering. His personal work blends art and technology in creatively-themed group projects, including the World's Largest Twin Musical Tesla Coils, a Magical Mustache Mirror, and a Waterfall Swing. Mr. Charnas and his work have been featured on and Wired Magazine, NPR and NPR online, Popular Mechanics, IEEE Spectrum, Boing-Boing, Make Magazine, PitchFork, and Hack-a-Day. He aims to inspire creativity at think[box] and the belief that you can do anything.



Ruth D'Emilia, Department Administrator

(216) 368-4393 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 221

Ruth D’Emilia is the department administrator at Sears think[box] where she oversees the day-to-day business operations and manages student project funds. Prior to joining the think[box] team, Ruth worked as a freelance graphic designer specializing in print material for nonprofit community organizations in the Cleveland area. 

Ruth completed the Staff Mentoring Circles program and earned the Women in Leadership certificate from the Weatherhead Executive Education program. She was awarded the Case School of Engineering Staff Leadership award in 2017.

Ruth has been active in a number of community organizations including the CH-UH schools, the Cleveland Animal Protective League and FutureHeights.

Ruth earned a B.F.A. from the Cleveland Institute of Art. 




Raymond Krajci, Operations Manager

(216) 368-4704 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 345

Raymond Krajci graduated from CWRU in 2013 and loved his student job at think[box] so much he stuck around to become the Operations Manager. Besides his work in think[box], Raymond designs electronic fashion projects for fun and profit and develops products for tabletop gaming.



Marcus Brathwaite, Fabrication Manager

(216) 368-2096 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 345

Marcus Brathwaite graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2013 with a B.F.A. degree in Ceramics. As a member of the team his mission is to bridge the gap between science and the arts by facilitating and developing art experiences in and around think[box]. His artwork investiges the past, present and future of human relationships to technology.




Tiffany McNamara, Outreach Director

(216) 368-6357 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 219


Tiffany McNamara has been at Case Western Reserve for over 10 years, largely in support of energy innovation in various capacities at the Great Lakes Energy Institute. In addition she worked on the planning committees of the inaugural CWRU Innovation Summit and International Symposium on Academic Makerspaces. Tiffany received her degree in biology from the University of Toledo and is pursuing an MBA at Weatherhead School of Management.


Ainsley Buckner, Prototyping Manager

(216) 368-6732  • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 345

Ainsley Buckner graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2011 with a B.F.A in General Fine Arts, concentration in Sculpture and Print Making. Prior to working at think[box] Ainsley worked at Progressive Arts Alliance, a non-profit organization providing arts-integration programming in the Cleveland Public schools with a focus on STEM and project-based learning. She believes integrating art and science through collaboration and making helps build and strengthen community.


Marshall Nill, Specialist

(216) 368-0778 • • Richey Mixon Building - Room 345


If the research community were to identify a gene linked to "making", Marshall Nill would likely have it. The middle of three boys, Marshall had a uniquely hands-on upbringing thanks to his parents and grandmother. From being one of the principal designers and fabricators for a public art installation at age 11 to leading theatrical roles, both onstage and behind the scenes, to creating and performing dazzling displays of science and physics to the delight of young audiences, all before graduating from high school, Marshall has dabbled in array of fields. Marshall initially matriculated to Lehigh University in their IDEAS (Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts, and Sciences) program but transferred to Case Western Reserve University to complete his studies. He brought his design and manufacturing experience to think[box] where he continues to work behind the scenes, doing his part to help build and maintain an efficient, organized, and well equipped innovation-focused makerspace.



Doug DeGirolamo, Program Manager • Richey Mixon Building - Room 217

Doug has been with Case Western Reserve University since 2016. He started in the School of Medicine planning and coordinating fundraising events to benefit medical research and educational opportunities for students. He also managed The Young Scientist Foundation's Summer Research Program, placing high school and undergraduate students in medical research labs for a hands-on experience. Doug graduated from Baldwin Wallace University with a BA in English in 2013 and a MAEd in Leadership in Higher Education in 2016.