Sherburn (’04) Brings Scientific Perspective to Winterfest

Dr. Jesse Sherburn

Dr. Jesse Sherburn is grateful for a job with positive impact—no pun intended.

Sherburn (’04), a Research Mechanical Engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, MS, returned to campus recently to speak to the student body during Winterfest week. He took a short respite from duties that include helping the Army develop structures that can more effectively withstand enemy attack.

“We are doing things that protect people’s lives,” Sherburn said. “That is something that has some innate satisfaction.”

Sherburn’s primary responsibility is to model explosions and their effects on defensive structures. His research, for example, can help evaluate a mobile cover that would protect a medical facility from an incoming rocket-propelled grenade. The structure would absorb the blast, protecting the doctors, nurses, and patients.

“Every boy is curious about how things blow up, and I was always fascinated with weapons,” Sherburn said. “My mom has told me, and can document, that I wrote about wanting to do research when I was in second grade. A couple of science faculty members in college told me that they thought my brain was wired for research.”

In his time away from work, Sherburn is a passionate follower of creation science research. In 2008, he presented a paper that supports the physics behind rapid post-Flood glacier movement. He plans to present a paper in 2013 that describes how the earth’s lithosphere (crust and uppermost mantle) could have broken up and reformed in the time frame described in the Bible.

“I would like to do the same thing in churches that I’m doing this week—presenting scientific evidence that confirms what we believe,” Sherburn said. “When I was 18, I realized I could trust God’s Word entirely. I know there have to be other young people out there like me who need to hear this.”

Attending a conference on creationism helped Sherburn meet a Mississippi State University professor who helped him secure a research assistant job there. That job effectively paid for Sherburn to earn both his master’s degree and doctorate in a dual-credit program. It was during a graduate class that Sherburn met a Corps of Engineers employee who helped him find his present job.

“Federal employees have the advantage of stability,” Sherburn said. “If the government goes under, well, we’ll have much bigger problems to deal with than just finding another job.”

Barring a governmental collapse, then, Sherburn plans to go on saving lives for a living.

“I am grateful for the job I have, but my faith is still the biggest part of my life,” Sherburn said.