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Jim Smith

Discipline: Engineering

Jim Smith is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia. His research and teaching focuses on sustainable methods for the delivery of potable water to the worlds poorest global communities. In particular, he studies point-of-use (e.g. household-level) water treatment technologies including silver-impregnated ceramic water filters, natural plant coagulants, and the Safe Water System. His research on these topics have ranged from fundamental laboratory studies to community-level interventions. In the field, he has conducted research in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, San Mateo Ixtatan, Guatemala, and Limpopo Province, South Africa. Some of his work on ceramic filtration technology in S. Africa is described at He has been awarded the 2011 Rudolph Hering Medal for his research paper documenting his work in Guatemala. Professor Smith has been the recipient of a number of teaching awards, including the Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Chair, which is the highest teaching award given by the University of Virginia. He is also one of 37 members (University wide) of the University of Virginia Academy of Teaching. He has served at the William R. Kenan Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University and has received the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science. Professor Smith will be traveling with his wife, Gail, and his 17-year-old son, Matthew. This will be their first time participating in Semester at Sea.