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Martin B. Sherwin is a retired vice president of W.R. Grace, which he joined in 1980 and where he held various positions, including executive vice president of the Research Division, corporate vice president, and president of the Office of Commercialization (New Ventures). After retiring in 1998 he formed ChemVen Group Inc., a small consulting company that specialized in handling orphan technologies for Fortune 500 clients. In 2003 he retired a second time and is active in community affairs, advisory committees, and limited consulting.
Dr. Sherwin’s first professional position, in 1960, was with Scientific Design Company, where he was engaged in process research, development, and plant startups. In 1967 he joined a consulting-research startup, Chem Systems, and served as vice president of research and managing director of European consulting services in its London office as the small startup prospered. His 40+-year career is best characterized as having a process-oriented focus on technology development and its commercialization. He has amassed successes first in the process area and later in the product area, participating in or directing the development of three landmark polymer intermediate processes, the development and commercialization of industrial membranes for gas purification and refinery processing, a family of natural pesticides for use with “organic foods,” sulfur chemicals, and many others. He has worked in a variety of fields, including natural gas processing, synthetic fuels, petrochemicals, catalysts, building products, artificial organs, and 3D printing inks. He is experienced in project and portfolio management and has participated in a number of mergers and acquisitions. In 2003 he was recognized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of the 100 foremost Chemical Engineers of the Modern Era.
Dr. Sherwin is an inventor on 37 US patents, has authored over 30 journal papers, and has made numerous presentations at technical meetings. He has also served as an advisor to a number of university engineering schools.
He was elected to the NAE in 1998 for technical leadership in the development of artificial organs, environmentally friendly insecticides, gas-separation membranes, and important petrochemical processes. He was elected treasurer in 2013 and chairs the NAE Finance Committee on which he has served since 2009. As treasurer, he is also a member of the NAE Council and NRC Governing Board. He has served on the NAE’s Chemical Engineering Peer Committee and Nominating Committee, and on the NRC’s Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology, Panel on Catalytic Process Technology for Manufacturing Applications, and Committee on Technologies for Preparing Beryllium Metal, and participated in NRC report reviews.
He received a BChE degree from the City College of New York in 1960, an MSChE degree from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1963, and a PhD in engineering from the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1967, the first PhD in engineering granted by CUNY.