Three CBE alumni among those honored with College of Engineering awards
A medical researcher whose licensed patents have led to the translation of pharmaceutical products that improve clinical management of human disease; an expert in delivering innovative technology solutions for multiple "brand name" companies; and a US director for Microsoft are three CBE graduates among the 13 alumni who were honored during the 2023 College of Engineering Alumni Awards ceremony on October 20.
The celebration recognizes alumni from across the College of Engineering who have achieved distinction in their fields or through their extraordinary service contributions since graduating from The Ohio State University.
“This is among my favorite nights of the year,” Dean Ayanna Howard, the Monte Ahuja Endowed Dean’s Chair, shared with distinguished alumni and their guests. “You make me proud to lead an institution that produces such inspiring alumni.”
Three graduates of the William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering were honored with awards recognizing their unique achievements. Laura Ensign was bestowed with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, and Sravana Karnati and Wendy McCall received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement.
Dr. Laura Ensign, 2007 BS
Distinguished Alumni Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Dr. Ensign's translational research in nanomedicine-based drug delivery recently earned her the Controlled Release Society's Rising Women in Science Award (July 2023). Ensign has co-founded three startup companies at various stages of clinical trials and is a co-inventor on 29 awarded and 33 pending patents, including patents in nanomedicine drug delivery technology and a gel-forming eye drop drug delivery technology. She is also a CTO and board member of Novus Vision, co-founder of two other startup companies, and chair of the Scientific Advisory Board for Freya Biosciences.
Ensign's research efforts have the potential for clinical translation with major health impacts and significant implications for the biopharma industry. The interdisciplinary nature of her work is aptly described by her title(s). At Johns Hopkins University, where she also obtained her doctoral degree, she is the Marcella E. Woll Professor of Ophthalmology and professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Gynecology and Obstetrics, Infectious Diseases, and Oncology.
Among other honors, she is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), and the Controlled Release Society (CRS).
She has also been active in promoting STEM to involve more women in the field and has worked for Habitat for Humanity.
Dr. Sravana Karnati, 1994 PhD
Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement
Dr. Karnati has over 25 years of leadership experience at multinational companies in the retail, travel, media, high-tech and chemical industries, including Amazon, AspenTech, Disney, Egencia, Expedia, Oracle and SterlingCheck. He is currently senior vice president and chief technology officer of Walmart International where he leads a team that develops solutions for everything from POS (point of sale) to eCommerce to power a $100B+ business spanning 5,200+ stores and 550,000+ associates in 23 countries.
Karnati, who was the keynote speaker at the department's 2022 Graduate Research Symposium held last fall, obtained his Ohio State PhD in chemical engineering with AI applications after having worked for several years at a computing firm in India and realizing that his full potential was not being used.
Wendy McCall, 1998 BS
Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement
Alumna Wendy McCall is a US alliance director for Microsoft, leading two of Microsoft's largest strategic alliance partnerships with Capgemini and Cognizant. She and is responsible for a team of applications and sales professionals in charge of all strategy, sales, and marketing for the US market; led the strategy development and execution to meet market demand for Open AI solutions using Microsoft's Azure platform; and manages roughly $2.5 billion in cloud revenue. During her 13 years at Microsoft, she also led the creation of Microsoft's new-to-Microsoft workforce development program and the development of an "Internet of Things" solution to provide data-driven quality improvements on the manufacturing floor.
In addition to her career accomplishments, McCall takes time to volunteer in various capacities. At her alma mater, she founded the Women in Engineering Buckeye Scholarship in the College of Engineering and is an active member of Buckeye Engineering Women in Executive Leadership (BEWEL). In her community, she is a city commissioner for the City of San Mateo (CA) ahd a graduate of the San Mateo City Academy for citizens who advance city government. She volunteers with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation's AIDS LifeCycle event and the Samaritan House.
Read about all 13 of the 2023 COE Alumni Award winners.