Sherwood, born in Columbus, Ohio, July 25, 1903, was one of America's great chemical engineers; his energy, research contributions, applied engineering achievements, and influence on chemical engineering education were prodigious.
Sherwood came to M. I. T. in 1923 for graduate work in the chemical engineering department and completed his doctoral thesis under Warren K. Lewis, entitled "The Mechanism of the Drying of Solids" in 1929. From 1930 to 1969 he was professor at M. I. T, contributing decisively to the standards of excellence of this famous institution.
Sherwood's primary research area was mass transfer and its interaction with flow and with chemical reaction and industrial process operations in which those phenomena played an important part. His rapid rise to the position of world authority in the field of mass transfer was accelerated by the appearance of his book, "Absorption and Extraction", the first significant text in this area, published in 1937. Completely rewritten, with Pigford and Wilke in 1974 under the title "Mass Transfer", the book has had enormous influence. The worldwide use of Sherwood Number is a memorial to that effort.
In addition to three honorary doctorates many awards were bestowed on Sherwood, such as the U. S. Medal for Merit in 1948 and the Lewis Award in 1972. He died on January 14, 1976.