Newbern Smith


Newbern Smith
Newbern Smith
Philadelphia, PA, USA
Associated organizations
National Bureau of Standards
Fields of study
IEEE Harry Diamond Memorial Award


Newbern Smith (A'41-SM'46) has been advanced to the rank of Chief of the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards, following the retirement of J. Howard Dellinger (see July Proceedings of the IRE, page 889). Dr. Smith's new post will call for him to plan and direct basic theoretical and experimental radio wave propagation research, head the operation of the world-wide network of radio propagation observatories, and direct development of radio measurement standards at frequencies from 10 kc to 300,000 Mc.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1909, Dr. Smith attended the University of Pennsylvania in that city, receiving the bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, the master's degree, also in electrical engineering, in 1931, and the doctorate in physics in 1935.

Awarded the Moore Fellowship in electrical engineering in 1930, the following year he taught that subject at the University and in 1933 he served as a research assistant. From 1934 to 1935 he taught physics at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathy.

After securing the Ph.D. degree, Dr. Smith joined the staff of the National Bureau of Standards as a physicist in the radio section of the electricity division. When the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory was organized in 1946, he was appointed assistant chief.

Dr. Smith has conducted considerable research in ionosphere measurements, oblique-incidence radio transmission, and radio critical frequencies in relation to solar eclipses and sunspot cycles. During the war he served as technical head of the Interservice Radio Propagation Laboratory set up by the U. S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Author of many technical papers, Dr. Smith has been a faculty member of George Washington University, and is a member of a number of professional fraternities.