Paul Casanova

Lending a hand, hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, or even a foot is all in a day’s work for RIT alumnus Paul Casanova. As Project Engineer for Wright Medical Technology (WMT), near Memphis, Tenn., Casanova and his colleagues manufacture joint and extremity implants.

“We produce standard and customized devices that are implanted into people,” says Casanova. “Thousands of patients, some as young as 4 years old, rely on our implants to improve their lives.”

His keen intellect for things mechanical started early and grew rapidly. At age 9 Casanova took apart an old lawn mower to understand how it worked. A top math and science student at Clarke School in Northampton, Mass., Casanova skipped the ninth grade to start high school in the 10th grade at Cathedral High School in Springfield. He entered NTID’s Industrial Drafting (now Computer Aided Drafting Technology) program, graduated in 1988, and earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from RIT in 1991.

Casanova joined Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Columbus, Ga., as a tool designer and was promoted to a methods engineer in 1996.

“Aerospace industries were going through erratic ups and downs during that time,” Casanova recalls. “Medical manufacturing companies provided stability and growth. I joined WMT as a manufacturing engineer in 1998.”

Promoted to project engineer in 2005, Casanova creates new machining and programming concepts.

“Paul is an excellent programmer,” says David Barnett, senior director of operations engineering. “When we have a major project with a short timeline, we give it to Paul. He is bright and always positive. He doesn’t let anything affect his capabilities and initiative. He is a true asset to WMT.”

Casanova’s colleague, Jeff Turner, agrees with Barnett.

“He is an ace with CAD/CAM systems,” says Turner. “One weekend, Paul worked to iron out problems with an R&D engineer’s instrument prototype. Paul’s mechanical engineering background, modification tests and trials led to success. Paul is a special person—very knowledgeable and a good friend.”

Married to 1988 NTID Business alumna Belinda McWhorter, the Casanovas are parents to twins, Burton and Rosalyn, 7.

This story appeared in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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