Andrew Smith
Andrew W. Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Scientist
Mechanical Engineering
Chicago - Downtown

Dr. Smith’s extensive background in experimental physics and data analysis have allowed him to apply his skills to a variety of industries and client needs. Since joining Exponent he has focused on investigations of consumer products (including mechanical, thermal, and electromagnetic performance), failure analysis of construction and manufacturing equipment, statistical analyses, intellectual property disputes, and assisting clients in navigating and applying consensus standards. Through his participation in multiple astronomical facility construction projects, Dr. Smith has gained a background in the dynamics of large optical support structures and coating/degradation processes in mirror surfaces.

Prior to joining Exponent, Dr. Smith’s research focused on the development and application of radiation detector technology, including work in modeling and developing detector packages (using both solid state and scintillating crystal detectors), characterizing light detectors (photomultiplier tubes and avalanche photodiodes), and the commissioning of fast (nanosecond scale) signal processing and communication electronics. As part of this work Dr. Smith held a joint research faculty appointment at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland where his research activities were focused on satellite and ground based gamma-ray detectors. He has taught a range of physics courses at the University of Maryland, Northwestern University, and the University of Utah. Dr. Smith also has an extensive background in the modeling and analysis of large data sets, having been awarded multiple grants from NASA to conduct multi-wavelength time series analysis of astronomical objects and a grant from the Naval Research Laboratory to develop software tools utilizing advanced methods in Fourier analysis for detecting signal echoes.

Dr. Smith has been invited to present lectures on a wide variety of topics in physics at conferences and workshops in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has served as a grant proposal reviewer for both NASA and the National Science Foundation; as well as peer reviewer for the magazine Nature. He has served as both a primary and contributing author on over 50 peer reviewed articles in the physical sciences.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, UK, 2008
  • M.Sc., Particle Physics, Durham University, England, 2002
  • B.A., Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 2001
  • Pre-doctoral Research Fellowship, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2005-2008

Prior Experience

Associate Research Professor, Particle Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/University of Maryland, 2014-2017

Associate Research Professor, Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 2011-2014

Visiting Lecturer, Physics, Northwestern University, 2009-2011

Postdoctoral Researcher, Argonne National Laboratory, 2008-2011

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, UK, 2008
  • M.Sc., Particle Physics, Durham University, England, 2002
  • B.A., Astrophysics, University of California, Berkeley, 2001
  • Pre-doctoral Research Fellowship, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 2005-2008