Excellence in academia and research arise from a collaboration between outstanding faculty and students who have an environment that can foster opportunities to explore interests, gain understanding, and contribute to solutions of important research questions. 

The Smead Program seeks to provide a well-rounded community for support and collaboration between the Smead Scholars, the Seebass Chair, and Smead Faculty Fellows. Through the fellowships, the Smead Program makes the pursuit of graduate studies more financially feasible, provides a more enriched academic experience and supports the Seebass Chair. 

Students pursuing graduate degrees in aerospace engineering within the College of Engineering and Applied Science at CU Boulder are recognized and rewarded for their excellence through the nationally-celebrated Smead Program.

The Smead Graduate Student Fellowships were established in 2006 to honor the memory of Dr. H. J. “Joe” Smead. 

Original funding for the Smead Graduate Student Fellowships was provided in 2006 by Joe’s widow, Ann, and Michael Byram, then president of the University of Colorado Foundation, in honor and respect for a man who achieved so much and was so modest about his accomplishments and generous philanthropy. To qualify and be selected as a Smead Graduate Student Fellow is a singular and distinguished honor in an individual’s academic career. 

Each year, (2) Smead Scholars are selected and receive additional stipends to help defray costs of a graduate eduation. As well, Fellows participate in yearly enrichment activities that include: 

  • An annual dinner with founders Ann Smead and Michael Byram
  • Annual workshops with invited speakers
  • Annual seminar/lectures given to the Aerospace Engineering Graduate Student Organization
  • Student conference travel and support 
  • Attendence at the Smead Fellows Symposia in Vail, Colorado

One to two faculty whose research provide value and mentorship to Smead Scholars are selected as Smead Faculty Fellows.