B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy M.S. from Vanderbilt UniversityPh.D. from Vanderbilt University

Smith’s research interests include systems engineering and the design process; reliability assessment and design, particularly using probabilistic methods; prediction of material properties and/or structural system responses using statistical methods; and pedagogical research focused upon the design process, as well as student reasoning and communication skills. In addition, she is working to bring materials testing tools and methods to the Mechanical and Aerospace undergraduate curricula. Smith is a registered professional engineer with the state of Main. She has 20 years of combined active and reserve service as an officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps (Seabees). Before coming to U.Va., Smith was a military instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana.


  • Air Force Research Lab Fellow (2X)
  • Navy Commendation Medal (3X)
  • Navy Achievement Medal (2X)
  • Pott College Award for Excellence in Advising

Research Interests

  • Reliability-based design
  • Multidisciplinary optimization
  • Probabilistic methods
  • Materials testing methods,
  • Pedagogical research for undergraduate engineering courses