Professor Smoot has been recognized as a national leader in the coal-combustion and gasification field, where he has received two national honors for his research. He is also known as the "man who saved Academy Square." His leadership in restoring the Education Building of the old Brigham Young Academy—now the Provo City Library at Academy Square—provided vision and helped bring about vital fund-raising. Smoot is a grandson of Abraham O. Smoot, one of BYU's founding fathers.
Professor Smoot earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington in 1960. He then spent three years as an assistant professor at BYU, followed by four years at the Lockheed Propulsion Company and the California Institute of Technology. He rejoined BYU permanently in 1967, eventually serving as Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology for 17 years.
More information is available at http://magazine.byu.edu/?act=view&a=1858 andhttp://byunews.byu.edu/archive06-Oct-homehonor.aspx.