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Mark Robert Smith's Retirement

February 23, 2022

Wish Robert “Bob” Smith congratulations on his retirement 2-4 p.m. tomorrow, Feb. 25, in the IRIC Atrium. A 20-year U of I faculty member, Smith is the distinguished professor of subsurface science. Learn more about his career.

Smith is a geochemist with 40 years of experience in industry, national laboratories and academia. He’s contributed to and led complex multi-interdisciplinary educational, research and engineering projects focused on energy development, production and their environmental consciences. He has served in numerous leadership roles for U of I including senior associate vice-president for Research and Economic Development and center executive officer for the U of I Idaho Falls. He is a founding associate director for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, a research partnership between regional universities and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Laboratory.

Smith earned a bachelor’s in geology from Oregon State University and went on to New Mexico Tech for a master’s in geochemistry and a doctorate in geosciences. His awards include the 2015 Partnership for Science and Technology’s Energy Advocate Award, the 1999 Lockheed Martin Corporation’s NOVA Award for technical excellence for pioneering scientific research, and the 1985 New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology’s Founders Award for significant contributions to the institute through exemplary scholarship and research. His research has focused on aqueous biogeochemistry, groundwater contamination remediation, nuclear waste disposal and management, geological carbon sequestration and geothermal energy.

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 11,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. Learn more at


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