Michael Smith received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from CMU in 1968 and subsequently received an MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1975. He and his wife Lonna (a fellow CMU alum) have one son and one grandson, and have lived in San Jose, CA since 1977.
Michael spent his entire professional career as an engineer and engineering manager at General Electric, primarily working in the areas of thermal-fluids design and analysis, systems engineering and nuclear safety. After graduating from CMU, he initially joined GE’s aircraft engine business in Cincinnati before transferring to the nuclear power business in San Jose. He immersed himself in civic affairs after choosing early retirement and has spent the past 20+ years serving on, and often chairing, a wide variety of local government boards, commissions and committees. Highlights of this experience have included two one-year terms on the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury, ten years on the City of San Jose Ethics Commission and over a dozen years on a series of bond and parcel tax oversight committees for the San Jose Unified School District.
Michael is a long-time collector of antique postcards and other ephemera and has a broad interest in historical documents and photographs. His collecting interest in items associated with CMU naturally led to a connection with the University Archives and, subsequently, the broader scope of the University Libraries. He has served on the Libraries Dean’s Advocacy Council since its formation in 2019.
Michael has maintained and strengthened his connection to CMU over the years and is a strong supporter of the University Libraries as well as the Department of Mechanical Engineering and (through Lonna) the School of Music. In recognition of their volunteer service to the University, Michael and Lonna were honored with a 2021 CMU Alumni Service Award.