Natasha Smith headshot

Natasha Leigh Smith

Associate Professor
Unit: School of Engineering and Applied Science
Department: Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Office location and address
130 Chemistry Dr
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
B.S. in Ocean Engineering from the United States Naval Academy
Master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University

Smith’s research interests include systems engineering and the design process; reliability assessment and design, particularly using probabilistic methods; prediction of material properties and/or structural system responses using statistical methods; and pedagogical research focused upon the design process, as well as student reasoning and communication skills. In addition, she is working to bring materials testing tools and methods to the Mechanical and Aerospace undergraduate curricula. Smith is a registered professional engineer with the state of Main. She has 20 years of combined active and reserve service as an officer in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps (Seabees). Before coming to UVa, Smith was a military instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy and Associate Professor of Engineering at the University of Southern Indiana.

MAE 2330: Mechanics Laboratory
Credits: 2
Application of experimental methods for the mechanical behavior of components and materials. Topics include mechanical measurement systems (load cells, accelerometers, extensometers, rotary sensors, etc.), truss design, destructive material testing methods (e.g. tensil test), connections, data analysis, experiment design and technical writing. Co-requisites: MAE 2320 Dynamics and MAE 2310 Strength of Materials.
ENGR 2595: Special Topics in Engineering
Credits: 1–4
Special Topics in Engineering.
MAE 3230: Thermal Fluids Laboratory
Credits: 2
Application of experimental methods for thermal-fluid behavior. Topics include fluid properties, pressure and buoyancy, jet momentum, dimensional analysis, pipe flow, data analysis, particle image velocimetry, and measurement uncertainty. The laboratory experience will include activities to reinforce principles from Thermodynamics (MAE 2100) and Fluid Mechanics (MAE 3210). Co-requisite: MAE 3210 Fluid Mechanics
MAE 3620: Machine Elements and Fatigue in Design
Credits: 3
Applies mechanical analysis to the basic design of machine elements; basic concepts in statistics and reliability analysis, advanced strength of materials, and fatigue analysis; and the practical design and applications of materials to fastening systems, weldments, power screws, springs, journal and anti-friction bearings, gears, brake clutches and flexible power transmission elements. Prerequisites: MAE 2000 and MAE 3310.
MAE 3810: Experimental Methods Laboratory
Credits: 3
The study of basic concepts and methods in engineering measurements and data analysis. Basic topics include mechanical and electrical sensors and measurement instruments, measurement uncertainty, statistic and data analysis. Additional topics include digital signal processing and data acquisition systems using Labview. Applications are to mechanical and aero/thermofluids devices. Two lectures and two laboratory hours Prerequisite: PHYS 2415, MAE 2320; corequisite: APMA 3110
MAE 3820: Aerodynamics Laboratory
Credits: 2
Application of experimental methods to the design of experiments. Topics include data acquisition, hypothesis testing, and uncertainty assessment. Includes two experiments to investigate wing aerodynamic behaviors in a low speed wind tunnel and supersonic flow over a model or through a nozzle. Additional activities and experiments may vary to meet student interest.
MAE 3840: Mechanical Engineering Laboratory
Credits: 2
Application of experimental methods to the design of experiments. Topics include data acquisition, hypothesis testing, and uncertainty assessment. Students will complete an array of experiments requiring the examination of test equipment and procedures for heat transfer, mechanical and fluid systems.
MAE 4512: Mechanical Engineering Special Project
Credits: 2
Individual survey, analysis, or apparatus project in the mechanical engineering field, concluded with the submission of a formal report. Subject originates with students wishing to develop a technical idea of personal interest. One hour conference per week. Prerequisite: Professional standing and prior approval by a faculty member who is project supervisor. Prerequisite: fourth year standing.
ENGR 4595: Special Topics in Engineering
Credits: 1–3
Advance projects course to be taken in parallel with STS 4010, 4020, or can be used for an advanced undergraduate course on a topic not covered in the course offerings. Prerequisite: instructor permission.
MAE 4610: Machine Design I
Credits: 3
Coverage of the design process including project management, specifications, budgeting and case histories, Conceptual, preliminary, and detailed design phases. Technical proposal and report preparation and technical presentations. Organization of design teams to work on specific semester long mechanical design projects selected to illustrate the design process. Prerequisite: MAE 3620.
MAE 4620: Machine Design II
Credits: 3
A continuation of MAE 4610 that applies the design process to projects. Organization of design teams to work on specific semester-long design projects, including oral presentations and written reports. Prerequisite: MAE 3620.
MAE 4740: Mechanical Vibrations
Credits: 3
Studies free and forced vibration of damped and undamped single and multiple degree of freedom systems. Includes modeling of discrete and continuous mass systems; application to vibration measurement instruments; analysis of concepts of modal analysis; concepts of linear stability; application to rotating machinery, Prerequisite MAE 2320, corequisite MAE 3710
MAE 6230: Vibrations
Credits: 3
Topics include free and forced vibrations of undamped and damped single- and multi-degree-of-freedom systems; modal analyses; continuous systems; matrix formulations; finite element equations; direct integration methods; and eigenvalue solution methods. Cross-listed as CE 6731. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
MAE 8897: Graduate Teaching Instruction
Credits: 1–12
For master's students.
MAE 9897: Graduate Teaching Instruction
Credits: 1–12
For doctoral students.

Air Force Research Lab Fellow (2X)

Navy Commendation Medal (3X)

Navy Achievement Medal (2X)

Pott College Award for Excellence in Advising