Sherman Center Values
Our mission is to enable interdisciplinary student entrepreneurship in the broadest sense by providing education about tools, concepts, and resources to foster creativity and the ability to develop commercially viable ideas.
Since its opening in May 2014, the new program’s curriculum is designed to arm engineering students with the appropriate entrepreneurial skills to successfully pitch and commercialize their innovations. Workshops and courses are led by Northeastern faculty and innovators from industry.
I received both my B.S. and Ph.D. from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) at MIT, in 1996 and 2001, respectively. My Ph.D. advisor was Professor Subra Suresh, now the Dean of Engineering at MIT. The topic of my dissertation was the mechanical behavior of small volume structures, for thin film and patterned line applications. I also worked in nanoindentation experiments, and experimental atomic simulations using bubble rafts.
In Feb 2001, I looked for something new to research and found it in the Physiology Program at the Harvard School of Public Health. There, I worked as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow on lubrication between the lung and chest wall during breathing. It was during this time that my interest in macroscopic, physiologically relevant mechanics began to develop.
In June 2003 I joined the faculty of The State University of New York at Stony Brook, in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. I had a joint appointment with the Center for Thermal Spray Research. I made the simple decision to join the faculty there while on a research trip to GE in Schenectady, NY. There, I worked on mechanics of heterogeneous, multilayered systems, with a special focus on Thermal Spray Coatings, and developed my current program in Lung Mechanics. Homesick for Boston and seeking new opportunities, I left Stony Brook in December 2007.
Most recently, I assumed the role of Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Northeastern University. My current interests include Mechanics of Heterogeneous Systems, Industrially Relevant Fundamental Mechanics of Thermal Sprayed Coatings, Respiratory (Lung) Mechanics and of course, Indentation Across Size Scales and Disciplines, the topic of my 2005 NSF CAREER Award. I am also developing programs in mechanics and detection of child abuse, and educational outreach such as Bringing Education and Lifelong Learning to Adults (BELLA).
Michael J. Sherman, College of Engineering alumnus and tech innovator, is the man behind Northeastern University’s Michael J. and Ann Sherman Center for Engineering Entrepreneurship Education.
Mr. Sherman has 40 years of experience in communications hardware and software development, including wireless applications for military, government, and commercial use. His business, AES Corp., of Peabody, Mass., produces and installs leading-edge security products for organizations and households in more than 130 countries around the world.
“We need to ensure that engineering students are able to communicate in the commercial world,” says Sherman, who graduated with a bachelor of science from Northeastern’s College of Engineering in 1968. In some ways, he said, the “commerciality of innovation is more important than the innovation itself. “It doesn’t matter how good your product is,” he explained. “If you can’t make a business case for its viability then you won’t be able to bring it to market.”
“Michael’s passion for turning innovative engineers into savvy entrepreneurs resonates deeply with our mission at Northeastern,” says Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “Our students thrive on infusing their knowledge with real-world experiences. Michael’s support will be instrumental for our engineering students and the sustainability of their inventions.”
Sherman grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and moved to Boston in 1963 to attend Northeastern. He credited co-op with giving him the confidence to excel in the business world. “Gaining experience in the work environment made me realize that I could accomplish the business objectives I desired,” he said. “I have always considered Northeastern integral to my career success.”