Plane Design

Martins named Pauline M. Sherman Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering

New Professorship awarded to Martins for his research and dedication to service

Joaquim R.A.A. Martins has been appointed as the Pauline M. Sherman Collegiate Professor of Aerospace Engineering, effective March 1, 2022. Martins is renowned for his research, teaching, and service roles at the University of Michigan Aerospace Engineering Department and for his leadership in aircraft design and multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO).

A faculty member at the University of Michigan since 2009, Martins heads the  MDO Lab in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. He is a leading researcher in computational methods for the design optimization of engineering systems. The methods he developed have been applied to the design of aircraft, wind turbines, hydrofoils, cars, and satellites. He recently published a new book, “Engineering Design Optimization” (Cambridge University Press), and has co-authored over 300 journal and conference papers. Of the 26 Ph.D. students, he advised, five are now tenure-track university professors. Three of his former post-doctoral fellows are also faculty members.

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the College of Engineering. I am especially grateful to the MDO Lab members and colleagues who collaborated with me over the years.”

Collegiate Professorships are set up to honor the professorship holder and are named after former University faculty members who have made significant contributions while at the University of Michigan.

When I think about the impact of the work done by Pauline Sherman who was the only female faculty member (and the very first) in the College of Engineering, Quim Martins comes to my mind as someone who embodies the values of academic excellence, innovation, creativity and service that represents the future of our global and inclusive department. I’m thrilled to have him recognized through this collegiate professorship. It is a very well deserved and well earned honor.

Prof. Anthony M. Waas – Aerospace Department Chair

Martins grew up in the Azores, Portugal. He moved to London, UK, to pursue his passion for aircraft at the Imperial College Department of Aeronautics, obtaining an M.Eng degree in 1995. After completing his military service in the Norwegian Army, Martins moved to Stanford University. There, he received an M.Sc. (1997) and a Ph.D.  (2002) from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, with a Ballhaus prize for best thesis in Aeronautics. Three days after obtaining his Ph.D., he started his first tenure-track faculty position at the University of Toronto, where he held a Tier II Canada Research Chair in MDO. Martins moved to the University of Michigan in 2009 as an Associate Professor.

Martins is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He has served as Associate Editor for the AIAA Journal, Optimization and Engineering, and Structural and Multidisciplinary Optimization. and is currently an Associate Editor for the Journal of Aircraft. He chairs the U-M Aerospace Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, guiding departmental activities that foster an environment of acceptance and opportunity for all.

About Prof. Pauline M. Sherman

Pauline Sherman was the first female Professor of Aerospace Engineering at UM and the first woman to be appointed as a professor in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.

Born in New York City in 1921 to parents who emigrated from Russia, Sherman received her B.S.E in engineering mechanics from U-M in 1952. In 1953 she earned an M.S.E. degree in mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also worked as a research engineer.

In 1956 Sherman returned to U-M as an associate research engineer at the Department of Aerospace Engineering and worked on problems in hypersonic flow and other related research. She joined the department as an assistant professor in 1960; becoming the first woman faculty member in the College of Engineering. Her research work was outstanding, colleagues say, and she was promoted to associate professor in 1963 and professor in 1971.

Sherman taught both theoretical and laboratory courses in aerodynamics and propulsion. She conducted fundamental research in jet noise, low-density flows, two-phase flows and especially hypersonic flows. She was supervisor for the design and construction of a hypersonic “hot-shot” wind tunnel. This involved a great deal of responsibility because of the high energies involved. At the time this wind tunnel was completed it was a unique facility in the country.

In addition to her academic responsibilities, Sherman presented lectures on hypersonic facilities in Europe on a NATO-AGARD lecture tour. She also consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Lawrence Livermore Berkeley Laboratories. She also served on the Advisory Committee for Women in Science. She was elected to serve on Michigan Faculty Assembly, the Rackham Graduate School Science Board and the Faculty Senate Advisory Review Committee. After her retirement in 1987, Sherman did volunteer work for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Watch Sherman explain the U-M ‘Hotshot’ Wind Tunnel, minutes 18:00-23:15