Wesley Smith, a professor of physics at Lehigh University for 43 years, died Jan. 2, 2010, at the age of 81.
Smith received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from Lehigh in 1951 and 1953, respectively. He earned a Ph.D. in physics from Princeton in 1957. After a short stay at Lockheed Corp.’s propulsion group, Smith joined the Lehigh faculty in 1958. Until he retired in 2001, he shared his enthusiasm for physics with generations of Lehigh students and was an avid participant in the university’s academic and social life.
He specialized in shock waves, high-speed mass transfer, and elastic and inelastic waves in metals. In addition to other outside organizations, Smith did research for the U.S. Office of Naval Research. He received the Alfred Noble Robinson Award for outstanding service to Lehigh.
His lifelong interest in the arts, teaching, and the sciences continued after his retirement to Florida, where he gave generously of his time to tutor local students.
Smith is survived by his wife, Geraldine; three sons; three daughters; and eight grandchildren.
Graduate memorials are prepared by the APGA.