DigiM's basic team principle is P3 -- people, productivity, and process. We work with the most passionate people, both internally and from our customers, solve the most challenging problems productively, and make the process enjoyable.


Shawn Zhang, Ph.D.

Shawn is a co-founder and managing partner of DigiM. Shawn graduated from Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in Computational Physics and a minor in Computer Engineering. Before starting Boston-based DigiM, Shawn held senior positions at leading CAE software company Fluent (now Ansys) and leading electron microscopy company FEI (now ThermoFisher). Shawn is passionate about the combined power of imaging, AI, and computational physics. With over hundreds of publications, patents, and software products, Shawn leads DigiM to becoming a trusted partner in microstructure science across multiple industries. Learn more about Shawn’s work in Google Scholar or LinkedIn.

James Howard, Ph.D. 

James manages image-based rock physics applications to a range of geoscience-related projects. James has nurtured a long-standing interest in the application of high-resolution images to solve a range of petrophysical challenges in reservoir rocks. James was involved in a wide range of projects to enhance material characterization tools at pore-scale. Among those developments are the application of NMR-MRI technology to measure petrophysical properties and to monitor fluid-flow experiments, the use of SEM-based mineral mapping technology to improve understanding of fluid-rock interactions in reservoir rocks, and new methods for measuring multi-phase fluid flow in very low permeability reservoirs. He has published extensively over his career and remains an active lecturer on a range of topics. James has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry.

Aiden Zhu, Ph.D.

Aiden joined DigiM with 15+ years of experience in pharmaceutical industry. His research interests focus on a variety of imaging modalities from drug substance, drug products, medical devices, small animals, all the way to human patients. Prior to DigiM, Aiden manages the imaging lab at Mass General Hospital and Pfizer. Aiden has a Ph.D. in physics and a M.S. in computer science. He has over 30 publications in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters.

Advisory Board

Derek Swaim- Business Adviser

Derek advises DigiM on strategic business decisions. As a Managing Director at Aeris Partners, Derek has over 20 years of financial advisory experience, with a focus on high growth SaaS application and enterprise software companies. Derek’s previous experience includes Harris Williams & Co., Goldman Sachs, Broadview International and Berkshire Capital. Derek was also a Board Member of the Boston Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth. Derek received an AB in Economics from Harvard University and MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Administration.

Juergen Schieber- Geoscience Adviser

Juergen advises DigiM on geoscience technology and applications. Juergen, also known as “The Shaleman”, is the world-renowned expert and pioneer in unconventional resources. His work, characterized by a holistic approach to shales long before the industrial shale revolution, consists of an integration of field studies (facies, stratigraphy) and lab studies (thin sections, electron microscopy, and geochemistry) that leads to a fundamental understanding of shales. He is a professor of geology at Indiana University, with extensive publications (152 papers, 20 guidebook chapters, 4 books, and 292 conference abstracts). He is a member of the science team that currently explores the geology of Gale Crater on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Patrick Marsac- Pharmaceutical Science Adviser

Patrick advises DigiM on pharmaceutical science technology and applications. Patrick is a world recognized leader in solid dispersion and particle sciences. He is currently an associate professor with College of Pharmacy, University of Kentucky. Before UKY, Patrick was a principle scientist at Merck where he championed the application of 3D microscopic imaging and image-based analytics for pre-formulation and formulation of drug products and delivery systems.