2011: Professor Rod Smith

2011: Professor Rod Smith

Professor Rod Smith 

126th President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Professor Smith is the Research Professor of Railway Engineering and Chairman of the Future Railway Research Centre at Imperial College London.

He was previously a lecturer in the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge and Professor of Mechanical and Process Engineering at the University of Sheffield, including a period as Head of Department. He was then Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College. Smith is a frequent expert witness in legal cases involving railway engineering and is often invited as a keynote speaker at international conferences. He is the author of more than 300 publications on fatigue and fracture of metals and latterly on many aspects of railway engineering.

Smith has previously been a member of the British Rail Board’s Research and Technical Committee, a Trustee of the Science Museum and a member of the Advisory Board of the National Railway Museum. He was Editor in Chief of the IMechE Proceedings Part F - the Journal of Rail and Rapid Transit - for over 10 years and has been a member of several other international editorial boards.

Smith joined the Institution of Mechanical Engineers as an affiliate in 1968, becoming an Associate Member in 1970 and a Fellow in 1991. He was first elected to the Institution’s Council in 1999, elected a Trustee in 2006, Vice-President in 2008 and Deputy President in 2009. He became the Institution’s 126th President in May 2011. He has also served as Chairman of the Technical Strategy Board, Regional Strategy Board & Strategy Advisory Committee.

Professor Smith was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 1999 and is also a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

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