Under Dr. Alexander's leadership, Case Western Reserve University established the Great Lakes Energy Institute. The purpose of the institute is to develop, through farsighted energy research and energy-use strategies, innovative energy technology platforms that will provide low cost, reliable and sustainable energy resources and by implementing short-term solutions today, build and sustain tomorrow’s industries.
Dr. Alexander is the Cady Staley Professor of Engineering and Chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Case Western Reserve University and since 2007 has been the faculty director of CWRU’s Great Lakes Energy Institute. His undergraduate work was in Geology and Oceanography (B.Sc., U. Wales, Swansea, 1977) and his Ph.D. research (Washington State, 1981) involved the stability of layered fluids deformed at constant strain rates associated with the geological problem of the buckling of layered strata. Dr. Alexander’s research interests now cover a number of topics ranging from the physics and mechanics of fluid interfaces, computational fluid mechanics and energy transport to crystal growth and solidification. For the last fifteen years his research has included theoretical studies, computational simulations and experiments, particularly those processes associated with materials preparation and also with fluid surface dynamics. He was also involved with 5 space experiments, three involving semiconductor crystal growth, one liquid diffusion experiment and an acceleration measurement experiment. Dr. Alexander serves on a number of national committees, is an AIAA associate fellow and has chaired two Gordon Research Conferences (Gravitational Effects in Physical-Chemical Systems and Thin Film and Crystal Growth Mechanisms), and is internationally recognized for his work on microgravity fluid processes.
From 2005-2010 he was the director of the National Center for Space Exploration Research (NCSER), a research center that is collocated at NASA’s Glenn Research Center. At the NCSER he was directly involved in implementing the center’s vision to become a focal point for fluids and combustion research on fluid and transport processes in space exploration technologies and advanced human support systems under weightless and reduced gravity to provide a knowledge base for the design of future space exploration systems and technologies. Dr. Alexander was awarded NASA’s Exceptional Service Medal in August 2008.
Feb 2012 "Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University Form Research Consortium" http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-02/cwru-ccc020612.php