Title: Educator, Researcher
Company: University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology
Location: Mendota Heights, Minnesota, United States
Thomas J. Smith, Educator and Researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in Ergonomics.
Ergonomics and human factors are the study of how people shape their environment to suit their needs and comfort. They are also the subject for Dr. Smith’s research, carried out since 1996 at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology. He teaches courses and conducts research to develop insights into better environments. Dr. Smith was instrumental in evaluating occupancy quality for neonatal units, successfully transitioning one from an open bay to a private room environment. He is proud of providing research consultation support to the Children’s Hospital of Minnesota in 2008 and 2012.
Dr. Smith was greatly inspired by his father, who established the first civilian human factors laboratory in the United States in 1947. Later, he and his father co-authored papers together after Dr. Smith joined him in the field. He holds a BA in chemistry and molecular biology as well as a PhD in Physiology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1966, he also accrued an MSc in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Smith was appointed an assistant professor of the Simon Fraser University School of Kinesiology in Burnaby, Canada from 1980 to 1987. He worked with the Human Factors Research Group and the U.S. Bureau of Mines at the Twin Cities Research Center as a supervisor from 1987 to 1996.
Dr. Smith has also given his time to the Dakota County Extension Committee of Minnesota, and has been a monograph editor for the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society from 2000 to 2006. His research has been supported by grants from the Minnesota Department of Transportation in 1998, 2001, 2004, and 2007. Dr. Smith has also received the support of his wife, Mary Jill Clemens, and his sons, Steven Thomas and Michael Karl. In his free time, Dr. Smith enjoys bicycling, canoeing, writing, and gardening. He was selected to receive an Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award, and has appeared in the 65th edition of Who’s Who in America.
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