Dr. Eric James Sheppard is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering.
Dr. Sheppard had previously served 5 ½ years as a program officer at the National Science Foundation. At NSF, he spent two years in the Division of Undergraduate Education and 3 ½ years managing the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). While working in GRFP, he guided the development of an online system for over 3000 fellows, replacing a 50-year old paper-based process. Prior to his service at NSF, he spent 4 ½ years on the faculty of the Aerospace Science Engineering Department at Tuskegee University, including one year as acting Department Head.
Dr. Sheppard is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and grew up there and in Westbrook, Maine. He received his Bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Boston University and his Master's (S.M.) and Doctorate (Sc.D.) degrees in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His areas of interest are propulsion and power (particularly electromagnetic thrusters), design, analytical and computational methods in fluid and aero-dynamics, alternative energy, plasma flows, reacting flows, as well as undergraduate engineering education, and the pathway to graduate education.
Other Professional activities and affiliations include:
- Associate Fellow, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
- Member, Member of Accreditation Committee, past Chair of the Aerospace Division, past Chair of the Minorities in Engineering Award Committee, ASEE
- Chair, Interdisciplinary Consortium for Research and Education Access in Science Engineering (INCREASE), 2007-present
- Member, Board of Trustees, USRA, 2009-2014
- Member, Tuskegee Airmen, Incorporated National Youth Committee, 2013-2015
- ABET-EAC Evaluation Visitor, Aerospace Programs (2001-present)
- Member, Visiting Committee of the Corporation, Dean for Undergraduate Education, MIT (2008-2010)
- Member, Advisory Board, Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering Department, Boston University, 2001-2008
- Content Expert (Consultant) for NSF-MSP program evaluation, 2004-2006
- Member, Advisory Committee for GPRA Performance Assessment, NSF, 2005-2007
- Invited presenter, NSB Workshop on Engineering Education, 2006
- GK-12 Sub-Chair, Committee of Visitors for GK-12 and IGERT programs, NSF, August 2008
Dr. Eric J. Sheppard joined Hampton University in January 2004 as Dean of the School of Engineering and Technology, a position he held until summer 2016.