Thomas Kilgore Sherwood was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 25, 1903 and became 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 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1923 to do his graduate work in the Chemical Engineering Department and completed his doctoral thesis on The Mechanism of the Drying of Solids under Warren K. Lewis in 1929. From 1930 to 1969 he was Professor at MIT and contributed decisively to the standards of excellence of this famous institution.
Sherwood's primary research area was mass transfer and its interaction with flow, 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, published in 1937 as the first significant text in this area. Although completely rewritten, with Pigford and Wilke in 1974 under the title Mass Transfer, the book has maintained enormous influence and worldwide use of the "Sherwood Number" is a memorial to that effort.
In addition to three honorary doctorates, Sherwood received
many honors and awards, including: The U.S. Medal for Merit in 1948 and
The Lewis Award in 1972. He died January 14, 1976.