HD video communications allows engineering research teams at Ohio’s top-ranked university to collaborate with clients across continents

High definition video communications from Lifesize is helping Case Western Reserve University become a global engineering resource for clients around the world. Using Lifesize HD video conferencing systems, Case links faculty at the university’s Science and Technology Application Center (STAC) located in San Diego, Calif., with researchers and students in Case’s department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in Ohio, enabling the university to bring Case’s world-class talent base and Northeast Ohio’s lower-cost structure to the Pacific Rim and Asia for applied technology research.

In 2007, Mehran Mehregany, Goodrich Professor of Engineering Innovation, was asked by the university to establish a presence for Case in Southern California to connect to global research clients. Striving to maintain relationships with the large group of graduate and Ph.D. students he leads, communicating without video conferencing systems was challenging.

“Communicating with my students over video has entirely changed the quality of our interactions,” Mehregany said. “This technology is a significant enabler for the work we are doing.”

“For the first six months, we didn’t have Lifesize,” Mehregany said. “Email and conference calls were our only modes of communication, which was not effective at all. There is just something about the human psychology of seeing one another and our interactions were missing that.”

Mehregany has a Lifesize system set up in his office at Case and an identical system at his home office in San Diego. So when students want to meet with him, they just drop by his office for a chat. Mehregany and his team also use the built-in H.239 data-sharing capability and a document camera, allowing them to collaborate in real-time, sharing computer data or studying tiny electric motor drives.

“When I do come to Case, my students don’t feel like I have been away, said Professor Meregany. “One colleague told me that when people ask, ‘where’s Mehran?’ they say, ‘he’s on TV.’”

“Case Western Reserve University is a world leader in the innovative use of HD video, and Lifesize is proud to count them among our earliest customers,” said Craig Malloy, CEO, Lifesize Communications. “Lifesize technology is helping bring valuable research projects to Case in Ohio from all over the world, giving global companies access to an incredible pool of talent.”

Case: The Connected Campus

Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as Ohio’s #1 undergraduate university, Case Western Reserve University has long been a pioneer in advanced communication technology. In 2005, surgeons at University Hospital in Cleveland performed the world’s first live telesurgery in high definition. On campus, the School of Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, the Campus Career Center and the Housing and Greek Life Departments all use video on a regular basis.

  • Through their partnership with University Hospitals of Cleveland, Lifesize video conferencing equipment allows surgeons at the hospital to broadcast surgery instruction back to the Case Medical School student classrooms.
  • At the Case Career Center, students can have their first interviews with potential employers over Lifesize video.
  • In both the Housing Department and Greek Life Department, north and south campus residents used to drive or ride the bus to fraternity and sorority meetings and study groups. Now, they have Lifesize units in the student unions at both locations, eliminating travel and increasing focus.
  • In the School of Nursing’s graduate-level informatics courses, a combination of healthcare management and information systems, many of the students are currently working as nurses in regional hospitals. Now, they can attend class via Lifesize in this distance learning application.

To read more about how Case Western Reserve University is putting Lifesize video conference & telepresence solutions to work, read the case study.

About Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University is located in Cleveland’s University Circle, the 500-acre, park-like home of more than 40 cultural, medical, educational, religious, and social service institutions. The only independent, research-oriented university in a region bounded by Pittsburgh and Rochester on the east, Nashville on the south, and Chicago on the west, Case Western Reserve holds membership in the Association of American Universities, and is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and by several nationally recognized professional accrediting associations. For more information, visit the university’s Web site at http://www.cwru.edu.