Mechanical Engineering alumnus Robert E. Smith will receive the 2005 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Rochester on Sunday, May 15. This award is given to School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) alumni “for exemplary contributions to technology, business, education, and society.” He will be the keynote speaker at the SEAS diploma ceremony.
A Rochester native, Smith graduated from the University in 1959. He completed three years with the U.S. Air Force before returning to New York State to begin his career in the electric power industry. At Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), he was involved in the design and construction of the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant, and eventually a chief engineer. His last 10 years at RGE were as its senior vice president of energy operations. He retired in 1998 as CEO of the New York Nuclear Operating Company.
Smith has served on several national industry boards including the National Nuclear Accrediting Board, and was a charter member of the World Association of Nuclear Operators. He also aided in developing safety protocols at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant after its 1986 disaster.
Smith serves on the University of Rochester SEAS’s Trustee Visiting Committee and is a trustee of Roberts Wesleyan College.