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
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
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.