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 Phillip Rollfing  

COSC professor
elected to NAC

Former head of COSC Smith elected to
National Academy of Construction



Texas A&M Construction Science Professor
elected to National Academy of Construction

Jim Smith, professor and former head of the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University, has been elected to the National Academy of Construction (NAC), an independent organization made up of industry leaders widely recognized for their outstanding contributions to the engineering and construction industry.

Similar in scope and purpose to the National Academy of Science and the National Academy of Engineering, the NAC focuses specifically on the construction industry. Its members, all acknowledged construction industry leaders, serve in a public advisory capacity as need arises. Through its awards program, NAC members identify and recognize fresh and novel industry achievement. They also provide a network system of linkage between past and present participants in the industry.

Smith and nine other new members from across the nation will be inducted into the NAC during Oct. 5-6, 2006 ceremonies in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Other 2006 inductees include: Bill Pulte, founder of Pulte Homes, Don Vaughn, CEO of M.W. Kellogg, and William Heine, president, American Constructors.

Smith joined the Texas A&M Department of Construction Science faculty in 1996, specializing in project acquisition, alternate delivery systems, design-build and public-private partnerships. He holds D. Engr. and M.S. degrees in civil engineering from Texas A&M University and a B.E.S. from Johns Hopkins University.

“Dr. Smith’s election to the National Academy of Construction is unique for a couple of reasons,” said Charles Graham, interim head of the Department of Construction Science at Texas A&M University. “First, very few academicians are elected to the academy. Most of its members are from the construction industry. Second, this particular academy is relatively new, so Dr. Smith’s election is coming at a time when those elected are obviously pioneers in the field.

“ The faculty and students in the Department of Construction Science,” Graham continued, “are honored that Dr. Smith’s many contributions are being recognized in this way because it brings great honor to us all.”

Smith’s NAC membership nomination recognized him as a leader of one of the world’s preeminent programs of construction higher education; a futurist and critical thinker who has had a major influence in developing a vision for world-class construction management programs. He is unique among college professors because of his successes in a very diverse set of careers including academia, construction, design, government service and the military.

Prior to joining the Texas A&M faculty, Smith served for five years as vice president of the Civil Business Unit of Brown and Root Construction, where he was responsible for the acquisition of new business, the execution of infrastructure projects, and for the design and construction of transportation, water resource and building projects worldwide. He was directly responsible for strategic planning, marketing, business development and related activities with an annual revenue of $500 million and 2,500 employees.

From 1988-90, he served as president of the CRSS Commercial Group, where he was responsible for the firm’s architecture, infrastructure and project control/quality management work. From 1986-88, he was president of the CRSS Infrastructure Group, which was responsible for the firm’s public sector work, including defense, transportation and water resources.

Between 1975-85, Smith worked as a professional staff member of the United States Senate Committee for Armed Services, managing the Department of Defense Military Construction, where in 1985 alone more than 7000 projects were initiated in 1,500 locations for a total of $9.3 billion.

This job required Smith to interact and advise high government officials in the Congress and Department of Defense. He had to conduct and manage research and investigations, prepare for congressional hearings and mark-up sessions, support committee chairmen in legislative debate, and prepare legislation, as well as reports on legislation.

His background in the defense department led to his appointment in 1988 to the commission charged with overseeing the closure and realignment of military bases across the nation. In 1991, with U.S. Senate approval, Smith was reappointed to the second such commission by President Bush.

Smith has been active in the American Council of Construction Education (ACCE), in which he has chaired a number of visiting accreditation teams at universities across the nation. He led a team that studied, re-engineered and re-aligned the organization.

He is currently co-authoring a series of papers on effective construction management teaching and program leadership. Throughout his career, he has earned numerous awards and has been, and remains, active in numerous professional and academic organizations including: the National Council for Public Private Partnerships, the Design Build Institute of America, and the American Institute of Constructors.



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Jim Smith