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Faculty
Faculty

Sonya T. Smith (she/her)

Professor & Director, Atmospheric Sciences Program

  • Department of Mechanical Engineering, CEA
  • Graduate School

Biography

Dr. Smith obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The University of Virginia (UVA) and was the first African-American woman to do so. She joined the Howard University faculty that same year and is the first female Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Smith has established an interdisciplinary theoretical and computational research laboratory entitled the Applied Fluids-Thermal Research Laboratory (@FTERLab).  Her expertise is in developing customized simulations for a variety of engineering applications. Current projects include thermal management of electronic packaging in fixed-wing, UAV and space vehicles; as well as modeling and simulation of biomechanical systems. She has received support for her research from NSF, NIH, NASA, DOD and industry.

Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,  a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME),  and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).  Her memberships in other professional societies include, the American Merelorology Society (AMS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Technical Association (NTA) and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

Dr. Smith’s personal goal is to be a mentor and resource for all students and young faculty/professionals, but especially to those traditionally underrepresented in STEM.