Tom Sheahan was appointed Senior Vice Provost for Curriculum and Programs in July of 2019. Prior to this appointment, he served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering since 2011, overseeing undergraduate education, graduate programs in both traditional and applied degree fields, cooperative education, and a number of operational functions for the College. He was also previously responsible for College faculty affairs and oversaw the college budgeting process. From 2007 through 2010, he served as Interim Chair for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he has been on the faculty since 1991.
His technical expertise is in geotechnical engineering, specifically experimental methods for studying the mechanical behavior of soft ground and its relationship to environmental contaminant problems. He has been funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, first on a basic research (R01) grant related to aquatic sediment remediation, then as Training Core Leader for the Superfund Research Program center known as PROTECT. He has also received funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation, including serving as education and training lead on two international grants related to his technical area. Professor Sheahan is the author of over 90 publications, including a seminal textbook on geotechnical engineering, and has co-edited a number of conference proceedings.
Prof. Sheahan was the co-editor of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Geotechnical Testing Journal, and served on the editorial board of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) journal in his field. He was a member, and then chair of the National Academies Transportation Research Board committee on soil and rock instrumentation. He has been an ABET accreditation evaluator since 2008 and was appointed an ABET commission member in 2017.
Prof. Sheahan has been recognized with outstanding teaching awards at Northeastern, and received the national Tau Beta Pi McDonald Mentoring award for his work as a faculty advisor, mentor to junior faculty, and advising of student groups. He was also presented with various awards from both ASTM and ASCE for his outstanding service to those organizations.