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Sheri Sheppard

Sheri Sheppard

Professor, Mechanical Engineering


Bldg. 550-119


  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, 1985
  • M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, 1980
  • B.S. Engineering Mechanics, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1978


Sheri Sheppard teaches both undergraduate and graduate design-related classes, and conducts research on fracture mechanics and applied finite element analysis, and on how people become engineers. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study. In addition to publishing technical papers, reports, and textbooks, she has led or co-led several large, multi-institutional projects to build new educational research programs and related resources, such as the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE), The National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter), and a program on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experience includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three” — Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin, and her PhD at the University of Michigan. At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, as associate vice provost for graduate education, and is the longtime faculty founder of and adviser to the graduate student group MEwomen. Her work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the Walter J. Gores Award, Stanford University's highest award for excellence in teaching and the Chester F. Carlson and Ralph Coats Roe Awards of the American Society for Engineering Education in recognition of distinguished accomplishment in engineering education, and for outstanding teaching and notable contributions to the mechanical engineering profession.

Research Interests

  • Engineering Education
  • Structural Analysis

Professional Affiliations and Organizations

  • American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE)
  • American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME)

Honors & Awards

  • 2018 S. Sheppard, “Shifting Engineering Limits: The Critical People Factor,” 2018 Tetelman Lecture, Jonathan Edwards College, Yale University, October 25, 2018.
  • 2017 Named Richard Weiland Professor of Mechanical Engineering
  • 2016 JEEN Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award. (New Orleans, June 2016)
  • 2014 U.S. Professor of the Year-Doctorial and Research Universities.  Program sponsored by CASE and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; only national program to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching and mentoring. (Ceremony in Washington DC, Nov. 20, 2014)

Selected Publications/Presentations

Steuer-Dankert, L., Gilmartin, S., Muller, C., Dungs, C., Sheppard, S., Leicht-Scholten, Ca., “Expanding Engineering Limits—A Concept for Socially Responsible Education of Engineers,” International Journal of Engineering Education Vol. 35, No. 2, pp. 1–16, 2019.

Brunhaver, SR, RF Korte, SR Barley, and SD Sheppard. April 13, 2018. Bridging the Gaps between Engineering Education and Practice. In R. Freeman, and H. Salzman (eds.), U.S. Engineering in the Global Economy, Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Gilmartin, SK, AA Antonio, HL Chen, SR Brunhaver, and SD Sheppard. April 13, 2018. Career Plans of Undergraduate Engineering Students: Characteristics and Contexts. In R. Freeman, and H. Salzman (eds.), U.S. Engineering in the Global Economy, Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

S. D. Sheppard, K. Macatangay, A. Colby, W. Sullivan, Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field, Jossey-Bass, 2009.

Stanford VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab, "Early Career Pathways", Spring 2019 Corporate Program Meeting. 

Hobbies and Interests

Yoga, Language Learning, Travel, Uke Playing, Hiking, Reading