Distinguished Alumni Awards
Frederick A. Smith Jr.
Brigadier General and Dean of the Academic Board, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
PhD, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, 1968
General Smith's major contributions to engineering have been in the development and conduct, in a climate of excellence, of a modern program of engineering education, especially in mechanics, at the United States Military Academy. In 1960, there were four mechanics courses in the curriculum at West Point; now there are twenty, in an institution that does not offer engineering majors. These courses provide the background for later graduate specialization in engineering, at which West Point graduates have enjoyed outstanding success, and provide every graduate with an appreciation of the importance of engineering in an increasingly technological world. Significant among General Smith's accomplishments is his role in the development of the faculty of the Department of Mechanics at the United States Military Academy, which is composed entirely of military officers. In his years at West Point, General Smith has had a major impact on many of these officers, in sharpening their engineering skills, developing their proficiency as teachers, and in sending forth future leaders into the military profession who are also outstanding representatives of the engineering profession.
His military service includes overseas combat duty during World War II, and in Korea and Vietnam. He was assigned permanently to the Military Academy in 1965. In 1974 he was appointed to his present position of dean of the Academic Board and promoted to brigadier general.
Current as of 1976.