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Posted 5/9/2016

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U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center

Dr. Jane McKee Smith, a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi, was presented with her Scientific and Professional (ST) flag during an ERDC ceremony Apr. 19, marking her selection to the ST classification for her body of work at ERDC. Smith is assigned to the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory, with the flag presentation coming at CHL’s recent town hall meeting.

“It's an honor to serve as the Army Senior Research Scientist for hydrodynamic phenomenon, and I'm enjoying the new challenges. In this position I am gaining an even greater appreciation of all the amazing work performed by ERDC,” said Smith. Her appointment was effective Dec. 30, 2015.

The ST designation covers non-executive positions classified above the GS-15 level, and involves performance of high-level research and development in the physical, biological, medical, or engineering sciences, or a closely-related field. Many of the federal government's most renowned scientists and engineers serve in ST positions. There are approximately 470 ST positions nationwide, serving across several government agencies. Career ST employees can also be nominated for Presidential Rank Awards to recognize sustained extraordinary accomplishments.

Smith’s accomplishments include pioneering work co-developing the Steady State Spectral WAVE, or STWAVE, numerical wave transformation model, used by engineers around the world for projects on sediment transport, storm surge and wetland inundation that enables the safety, health and welfare of coastal communities. In addition to her work on STWAVE, Smith has contributed to major research advancing the knowledge of coastal hydrodynamics. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed portions of the Gulf Coast, Smith analyzed wave dynamics and the impact of storm surge on coastal Louisiana and Mississippi.  She was a leading member of the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET), serving as team leader for wave modeling. Her efforts played a major role in the design and construction of the rebuild project.

Smith has also developed predictive and descriptive capabilities for hurricane inundation for island environments. This research has led to better designs for evacuation and emergency planning, and is used by many government organizations, academics and project engineers.

As an ERDC researcher, Smith has shaped research in the United States and abroad through teaching, model development, and publications. She has authored 145 proceedings papers and reports and 41 refereed journal publications and book chapters. She has also served as editor of the International Coastal Engineering Conference Proceedings from 2002-2012, and currently sits on the editorial boards for the Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering and Coastal Engineering.

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree from South Dakota State University, a master’s degree from Mississippi State University and a doctorate from the University of Delaware.

The Minnesota native began her career in 1983 at the then Waterways Experiment Station. 

The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center is one of the most diverse research organizations in the world, with seven laboratories located in four states and more than 2,100 employees, more than $1 billion in world class facilities and an annual program exceeding $1 billion. The U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center supports the Department of Defense and other agencies in military and civilian projects. Principal research mission areas include Soldier support, military installations, environment, water resources and information technology.