My name is Sheryl Ehrman and I'm an engineer. Why am I an engineer? Coming up through San Jose’s public schools, I realized in high school that I loved chemistry, but I was most interested in seeing how knowledge of chemistry could be applied to help people on a large scale, in particular with respect to improving environmental sustainability and health. I chose chemical engineering as a major, not knowing a single chemical engineer at the time I chose the major (I met one later as a sophomore) and off I went.
After a few twists and turns in my career, I’m now back in San Jose, and proud to lead the Davidson College of Engineering, which was ranked No. 3 in the nation among the best engineering programs offering bachelor’s and master’s degrees (excluding private and service universities) by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. Part of what makes the college exceptional is our focus on experiential learning as part of the core curriculum; each of the eight departments has their own showcase lab designed to create real-world experiences for students and expose them to the most modern technologies.
SJSU provides more entry-level engineers to Silicon Valley companies than any other university (#1 at Cisco, #1 at Apple). As the largest contributor to the technology workforce in Silicon Valley, we are ideally positioned to address critical challenges such as clean energy, smart transportation, sustainable production, and cybersecurity.
Our location in Silicon Valley is a unique advantage, placing our students squarely within an exploding technology market. Our students learn and contribute research as new technology and tools are invented, tested, and built -- and equally, they learn important ethical questions and how tough business lessons play across the Valley’s public stage.
Our college stands on the Pacific Rim; our history flows within California’s robust environmental and feminist movements, and we proudly inherit our state’s championship of equality for all. Thus: global perspective, sustainability, inclusiveness, and diversity are not just buzz words here, but they are, in fact, how we operate at SJSU.
We have steadily been growing our student body, particularly our graduate programs, and expanding the size of our faculty. This is part of our strategic five-year plan that clearly outlines the College of Engineering’s direction and goal of growth to better serve California and the world. We will continue to follow and build on that strategic plan for some time to come, truly being "student-centric" in everything we do.
Although our backgrounds and methods are diverse, we share a unified commitment to inclusive academic excellence, practical education, and social responsibility. You can read more about my biography and credentials here.
The Don Beall Dean
Charles W. Davidson School of Engineering