Office location and address
M.S. Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech, 1984
Ph.D. Civil Engineering, Princeton University, 1992
James A. Smith is the Henry L. Kinnier Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Virginia. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech in 1983 and 1984, respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Princeton University in 1992.
He worked as a research hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey from 1985 to 1992. In 1992, he accepted his current position as a faculty member in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Virginia.
Mr. Smith has served as the UPS Foundation Visiting Professor of Environmental Engineering at Stanford University (1998-99) and as the William R. Kenan Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University (2004-05). At the University of Virginia, he has been the recipient of the Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award (1997) and has held the Cavalier’s Distinguished Teaching Chair (2000-02). He was selected to receive the AEESP/McGraw Hill Outstanding Teaching Award in 2002. In 2017, he was selected as a Fulbright Research Fellow and conducted research during Fall 2017 in Limpopo Province, South Africa at the University of Venda.
Mr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is the founder of PureMadi, a not-for-profit organization working to solve global water and health problems by working at the interface of water, societal, and human health disciplines. He is also a member of the Water and Health in Limpopo (WHIL) program in collaboration with the University of Venda in Thohoyandou, South Africa.
Mr. Smith is the inventor of the MadiDrop, a silver-embedded porous ceramic tablet for purification of household drinking water. He is the co-founder of MadiDrop Public Benefit Company (PBC) based in Charlottesville, VA. MadiDrop PBC is currently producing and selling MadiDrops around the world to improve water quality, human health, and quality of life.
His research interests include sustainable point-of-use water treatment technologies for the developing world and their impact on human health, the disinfection properties of zero-valent nano-silver and nano-copper particles, organic vapor transport in the vadose zone, low-impact development (LID) teachnologies for stormwater runoff, the fate and transport of emerging environmental pollutants, the engineering properties of organoclays, and bacterial transport and chemotaxis in porous media.
- Fulbright Research Fellow 2017
- Juror, University of Oklahoma WaTER Prize 2016
- 7 Society Honoree, 25th Annual Monticello Dinner Series, Morven Farm 2015
- Edlich-Henderson Innovator of the Year Award 2015
- Diplomate, American Academy of Water Resources
- Fellow, American Society of Civil Engineers
- Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow 2014
- Elected by Eminence to the American Academy of Environmental Engineers 2009
- Founder and Chairman of the Board of PureMadi 2012-PRESENT
- 7 Society Honoree, Monticello Dinner, Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia 2012
- Recipient of the Rudolph Hering Medal from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the best paper published in an ASCE water journal 2011
- Jack H. Dillard Best Paper Award, Virginia Transportation Research Council 2004, 2006, AND 2008
- Civil Engineering Teaching Award 2006
- William R. Kenan Visiting Associate Professor for Distinguished Teaching, Princeton University 2004-05
- Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) Award for Outstanding Teaching in Environmental Engineering and Science 2002
- University of Virginia Cavaliers’ Distinguished Teaching Professor 2000-02
- UPS Foundation Visiting Professor of Environmental Engineering, Stanford University 1998-99
- University of Virginia Alumni Board of Trustees Teaching Award 1997
- Lilly Foundation Teaching Fellow 1993
- U.S. Geological Survey Outstanding Performance Award 1992, 1988, 1986, 2004-05
- U.S. Geological Survey Special Achievement Award 1992
- U.S. Geological Survey Excellence Performance Award 1991, 1987
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Graduate Research Fellowship 1983