Sonya T. Smith

Sonya T. Smith

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Howard University

Director, Atmospheric Sciences Program, Howard University

Visiting Professor 2021-2022

Professor Wesley Harris, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Sonya Smith


Dr. Sonya T. Smith obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from The University of Virginia (UVA) and was the first African-American woman to do so. She joined the Howard University faculty that same year and is the first female Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Smith has established an interdisciplinary theoretical and computational research laboratory entitled the Applied Fluids-Thermal Research Laboratory (@FTERLab).  Her expertise is in developing customized simulations for a variety of engineering applications. Current projects include thermal management of electronic packaging in fixed-wing, UAV and space vehicles; as well as modeling and simulation of biomechanical systems. She has received support for her research from NSF, NIH, NASA, DOD and industry. Dr. Smith has been elected as a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).  Her memberships in other professional societies include the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), the American Meteorological Society (AMS), the American Geophysical Union (AGU), and  the Society of Women Engineers (SWE),

Dr. Smith’s personal goal is to be a mentor and resource for all students and young faculty/professionals, but especially to those traditionally underrepresented in STEM.


Legacy: My Education & Research Journey with Dr. Sonya Smith, 5 April 2022

Sonya T. Smith: Research and increasing women in STEM careers, 24 February 2022