The Security Expert
Michael Sherman, E’68
It’s fitting that innovative radio technology has served as the foundation for Michael Sherman’s success. As a young man, this security expert’s hobby was amateur radio. Today, his state-of-the-art alarm systems are found in American embassies and consulates the world over.
Sherman’s business, AES Corp., of Peabody, Mass., produces and installs leading-edge security products. It began as a contract product-development and manufacturing company in 1974. An important early client, the Department of State, marked the beginning of AES’s growth. Today, the company’s technologies protect organizations and households in more than 130 countries around the world.
Like all good innovators, Sherman has kept his business ahead of the curve through continual product innovation. First, AES branched out into design and installation services. Later, it developed IntelliNet, a mesh radio network revolutionary for its capacity to operate even in remote corners of the globe. Then, Sherman parlayed IntelliNet’s mesh radio technology into alarm and security communications products needed closer to home to protect households and commercial facilities.
Two Northeastern themes crop up as Sherman talks: co-op, which he credits with giving him the confidence to tackle any obstacle, and his definition of innovation, which focuses on the use-inspired side of engineering. “Sometimes you develop a product for one application only to later determine that the best commercial use was not the original intent,” he says.
Sherman holds three patents for mesh radio technology, has two additional patents in the works, and is confident about the future market for his products. “Security will continue to be one of the more significant trends in our lives,” he says.
“I learned so much by succeeding at Northeastern,” adds Sherman. “It truly amped up my self-confidence and abilities.”