Parker Hannifin Foundation Commits $2 Million to Endow CWRU Engineering Chair

Ken Loparo will be the first person to hold the position

Released: 4-Sep-2014 9:20 AM EDT
Source Newsroom: Case Western Reserve University
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Newswise — The Case School of Engineering at Case Western Reserve University has received an extraordinary gift from the Parker Hannifin Foundation: a $2 million commitment to create the Arthur L. Parker Endowed Chair in the electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) department. The position is named in honor of Parker Hannifin Corporation’s founder.

Ken Loparo, current chair of EECS at the Case School of Engineering, will be the first person to hold the chair.

“This endowed chair reinforces our company’s connection to Case Western Reserve and furthers our goal to support education in the communities where we do business,” said Parker Chairman, CEO and President Don Washkewicz. “Through this commitment, we are providing a foundation that we hope will inspire today’s students to become the inventors of tomorrow in the spirit of our founder Art Parker.”

Parker, a 1907 graduate of the Case Institute of Technology, founded the Parker Appliance Co. in a small Cleveland loft in 1918. The 33-year-old engineer had invented a pneumatic braking system for trucks and buses. Almost a century later, that same company, today known as Parker Hannifin Corporation, is a leading global manufacturer of motion and control technologies, employing 57,500 people in 50 countries and tallying annual sales of more than $13 billion.

“We have a shared vision in innovation, disruptive technology and ensuring that our product—the highly qualified workforce of tomorrow—is aligned with the needs of companies like Parker,” Case School of Engineering Dean Jeffrey Duerk said. “We greatly appreciate the foundation’s pledge to help us continue to advance our critical work in research and education.”

University officials say endowed, named professorships are critical to attracting and retaining top faculty members who elevate departmental rankings and reputation through cutting-edge research. They, in turn, draw the most promising students, who then become sought-after employees.

“The endowment provides not only salary support, but discretionary funds to kick-start special initiatives and opportunities, support graduate student travel to conferences and more,” Loparo said.

The university provides the company with students, interns, co-ops and employees and works cooperatively on projects, he said. Parker Hannifin, meanwhile, sponsors university events and supports scholarship and innovation in the university’s programs for engineering, medicine, nursing, management and law.

Loparo and Washkewicz attended Cleveland State University together in 1968. Both went on to pursue graduate degrees at Case Western Reserve and have maintained their friendship over the years.

Loparo earned a doctorate in systems and control engineering and joined the university’s engineering faculty in 1979. He has gone on to win multiple teaching and research awards. Loparo is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a distinction reserved for those who have achieved exemplary expertise in the field. He became chair of EECS in 2013.

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About Parker Hannifin Corporation

With annual sales of $13 billion in fiscal year 2014, Parker Hannifin is the world's leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 57,500 people in 50 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 57 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company's web site at www.parker.com, or its investor information web site at www.phstock.com.

About Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University is one of the country’s leading private research institutions. Located in Cleveland, we offer a unique combination of forward-thinking educational opportunities in an inspiring cultural setting. Our leading-edge faculty engage in teaching and research in a collaborative, hands-on environment. Our nationally recognized programs include arts and sciences, dental medicine, engineering, law, management, medicine, nursing and social work. About 4,200 undergraduate and 5,600 graduate students comprise our student body. Visit case.edu to see how Case Western Reserve thinks beyond the possible.


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