James Sherwood faculty bio head shot

James A. Sherwood, Ph.D.

Dean of Francis College of Engineering

Southwick 250


James Sherwood is the Dean of the Francis College of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He joined UMass Lowell as an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering in 1993 and promoted to Full Professor in 2002. He served as the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Francis College of Engineering during 2013-2019. He is the current Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sports Engineering and Technology. He earned his BS in Engineering Science, MS in Applied Mechanics and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at the University of Cincinnati.

His research interests lie in areas of composite materials and sports engineering. He is the Co-Director of the Advanced Composite Materials & Textile Research Lab (ACMTRL) at UMass Lowell. He founded the UMass Lowell Baseball Research Center (UMLBRC) in 1998 with sponsorship from Major League Baseball and Rawlings Sporting Goods and is the Director of the UMLBRC. His Composite Materials research is directed at making the link between the composite manufacturing process and the in-service structural performance. This research has been applied in the automotive, defense, sports and wind turbine industries. His Sports Engineering research has included the development of test standards for baseballs and bats, the certification of baseball bats for collegiate and high-school baseball, the development and application of test protocols for the durability of wood baseball bats and on-field sensors for biometrics and bats. In 2009, Sherwood worked with a team of wood experts to understand why the number of wood bats breaking into multiple pieces in MLB games was increasing. The team proposed a set of action items that resulted in a 70% reduction in the breakage rate. His research has been sponsored by Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Army Research Lab, Department of Energy, Institute for Advanced Composite Manufacturing and Innovation, Mass Clean Energy Center, Major League Baseball, National Science Foundation, NCAA, National Federation of High Schools, and a number of sporting goods manufacturers.

Before joining UMass Lowell, he was an assistant professor at the University of New Hampshire and worked for five years in industry at Pratt & Whitney Aircraft in Connecticut and the Aerospace Division of BF Goodrich in Ohio as a Structural Engineer. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and New Hampshire. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the American Society of Engineering Education and the International Sports Engineering Association. He has over 200 journal and conference presentations spanning sports engineering, composite materials and engineering education.