The Smead Program honors outstanding faculty through three different programs, each founded through the generous support of Ann and H. Joseph Smead, the aerospace department's namesake:

  • A. Richard Seebass Endowed Professorship (established 2001)
  • Smead Faculty Fellows (established 2007)
  • Smead Endowed Chair of Space Technology (established 2017)

Each program serves as an important recruitment and retention tool for leading faculty researchers to the department, providing financial support and discretionary funding. Honorees have made outstanding contributions to their field and represent the best of aerospace engineering sciences.

The A. Richard Seebass Endowed Professorship was the first endowed professorship in the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences, established in 2001. It honors the memory of Seebass, who was dean of the College of Engineering from 1981 to 1994, a period of great expansion, and served as chair of the aerospace department from 1994 to 1999. Joe Smead met and befriended Seebass in 1993 as a result of their shared interests in the engineering programs at CU Boulder.

The Smead Faculty Fellows began in 2007 and the Endowed Chair of Space Technology followed in 2017.

Up to two tenure-track aerospace department faculty may be selected to be Smead Faculty Fellows. They are chosen for their outstanding research records and mentorship qualities, and support both groundbreaking science and the Student Scholars.

The Smead Endowed Chair of Space Technology recognizes leadership, creativity, and technical excellence specifically in space systems.