A 1970 UND graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mathematics and education, Smith earned a Ph.D. in instructional design and development from Florida State University in 1984 and a Master of Arts in educational technology from Arizona State University in 1975. While at UND, he was named an NCAA football All American.
As Director of Training at Delta Airlines in Atlanta, GA. He was responsible for ground training of Delta’s pilots, initial recruitment and training of flight attendants, and a major portion of maintenance training for technical operations and management of day to day operations of Delta's training center.
Before joining Delta, Smith was with Hughes/Raytheon Training Inc. (1991-98) as Program Manager responsible for the program management of new and ongoing Raytheon Programs at Boeing Commercial Airplane Group (1997-98). He was Senior Scientist responsible for technical direction, leadership and consultation within Hughes Training Inc. for all instructional design, education and training capabilities (1992-97).
Smith is nationally known and recognized as a leading authority in the aviation training field. He is the author of more than 40 technical reports and refereed journal articles in the areas of human performance, aviation training, and aircrew training systems. He spent eight years as a flight instructor with the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. and USAF Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams Air Force Base, AZ.