Dr. Jane McKee Smith, a research hydraulic engineer with the Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory at the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) in Vicksburg, was recently awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for Professional Achievement from South Dakota State University. Smith’s research focuses on coastal hydrodynamics, including nearshore waves and currents, storm surge, wave-current interaction, wave generation and shallow-water wave transformation. Her completed projects include theoretical and numerical studies as well laboratory and field experimentation. She was the wave modeling lead scientist for Hurricane Katrina’s Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force.
In addition to her official duties at ERDC, Smith is president of the Coasts, Oceans, Ports and Rivers Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and serves on ASCE’s Coastal Engineering Research Council. She is a registered professional engineer in the state of Mississippi and an adjunct professor at Mississippi State University. Smith has served on master’s and doctoral committees for Texas A&M University, Louisiana State University and the University of Florida. She also serves on the University of Delaware external advisory council for the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department.
Smith’s accomplishments include being named ASCE’s Government Civil Engineer of the Year for 2010. She is recognized as a diplomate by the Academy of Coastal, Ocean, Port and Navigation Engineers and was named the Waterways Experiment Station’s Woman of the Year in 1987. Smith’s work on numerical wave and surge modeling was recently featured on the “Megastorm Aftermath” episode of the PBS series NOVA, which aired Oct. 9.
Smith resides in Vicksburg, along with her son, Tyler, and her husband, Dr. Ernest Smith.