SHANKLAND, ROBERT SHERWOOD (11 Jan. 1908-5 Mar. 1982), physicist-educator and noted acoustical designer, was born in Willoughby, Ohio, to Frank N. and Margaret Jane Wedlock Shankland. After graduating from Willoughby High School, he attended Case School of Applied Science, receiving a B.S. in 1929 and an M.S. in 1933 (see CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY). He then went to the University of Chicago, teaching there until 1935 when he received his Ph.D. in Physics.
Shankland returned to Case in 1937 and rose rapidly through the academic ranks, becoming chairman of the Physics Department in 1940 and the Ambrose Swasey Professor of Physics in 1941. He resigned as chairman in 1958 but continued to teach until he retired in 1976. During WORLD WAR II he was director of the Underwater Sound Reference Laboratory at Columbia University, charged with calibration and testing underwater sound equipment. During his career as a scientist and teacher, Shankland's interest centered on nuclear and reactor physics and architectural acoustics. He worked in nuclear physics research at the University of California in Berkeley for several summers and served as acting techical director of the Materials Testing Reactor operated by the Atomic Energy Commission in Idaho Falls. Shankland published extensively on architectural acoustics and acted as consultant for many churches and concert halls, including SEVERANCE HALL.
Shankland married Hilda C. Kinnison in Philadelphia 15 June 1931. They had 5 children: Sherwood, Ruth (Fielder), Dorothy (Eisenhour), and twins Lois (McIntyre) and Ava (Prebys). After his wife's death in Sept. 1970, Shankland married Eleanor Newlin. Shankland is buried in Willoughby Cemetery.