Contact Us


Professor Malcolm Cooke, Executive Director

(216) 368-0514 • • Nord 523A and 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.



Professor Gary Wnek, Faculty Director

(216) 368-3116 • • Kent Hale Smith 416

Gary Wnek received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  He has served as faculty at MIT, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2004, he joined Case Western Reserve University as a Professor of Chemical Engineering. A co-author of over 130 papers, co-editor of 4 books and an encyclopedia, he also holds 21 U.S. and 2 European patents. Technology from his research group has stimulated launchs of three start-ups, and he recently co-founded a new company focused on polymeric materials for medical applications. Dr. Wnek's research interests include polymers in medicine, microfluidic devices, and polymers in energy storage.



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 Assistant

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

Ruth D'Emilia received her undergraduate degree in Graphic Design from the Cleveland Institute of Art.



Raymond Krajci, Operations Manager

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

Raymond Krajci graduated from CWRU in 2014 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 217


Tiffany McNamara has been at Case Western Reserve for over 8 years, largely in support of energy and sustainability research in various capacities at the Great Lakes Energy Institute. In addition she worked on the planning committee of the inaugural CWRU Innovation Summit. Tiffany received her Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Toledo.


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.