Henry I. Smith received the BS degree from Holy Cross College in 1958, and the MS and Ph.D. degrees from Boston College in 1960 and 1966, respectively. From 1960 to 1963 he served as an officer in the US Air Force. He was an Assistant Professor of Physics at Boston College, 1966–68. From 1968 to 1980 he was at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where he worked on surface-acoustic-wave devices and pioneered the development of techniques for fabricating nanometer structures. He founded the Submicrometer Technology Group at Lincoln Lab in 1977 and served as its leader until 1980 when he left to pursue full-time teaching and research at MIT. He was appointed a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the NanoStructures Laboratory, which he founded. From 1990 to 2005 he held the Joseph F. and Nancy P. Keithley Chair in Electrical Engineering. He relinquished the chair in 2005 but continued to supervise graduate-student research until the end of 2013 when he became Professor Emeritus.
Prof. Smith and his co-workers were responsible for a number of innovations in nanoscale science and engineering, including: comformable-photomask lithography, x-ray lithography, the phase-shift mask, the attenuating phase shifter, spatial-phase-locked e-beam lithography, achromatic-interference lithography, coherent-diffraction lithography, immersion photolithography, zone-plate-array lithography, absorbance-modulation optical lithography, interferometric alignment, graphoepitaxy, subboundary entrainment, templated self-assembly, nanomembrane assembly, and a variety of quantum-effect, short-channel, single-electron, nanomagnetic, photonic-crystal and microphotonic devices. Prof. Smith holds over 40 US patents and has published over 400 technical articles.
Prof. Smith is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the IEEE, the Optical Society of America, the National Academy of Inventors and the International Society for Nanomanufacturing. He is a recipient of the Cledo Brunetti Award of the IEEE, the Baccus Award of SPIE, the Nano 50 Innovator Award, the Robert H. Hill Memorial Award, the Professional Excellence Award of the Boston College Alumni Association, a citation from the Electrochemical Society and an honorary Doctor of Science from Holy Cross College. He has been a visiting scientist at: University College, London (1972); Thompson CSF, Paris (1974); The Norwegian Institute of Technology (1976); Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp., (1990); the University of Glasgow (1990); the University of Canterbury, New Zealand (1999); the University of Goettingen (1999); and the Max Planck Institute (1999) under a Humboldt Research Award for Senior US Scientists.
Prof. Smith serves on the International Advisory Board of the MacDiarmid Institute of New Zealand, the Advisory Committee of the International Conference on Electron, Ion, and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication and the International Program Committee of the Micro and Nanoengineering Conference. He is a cofounder and the President of Lumarray, Inc. an MIT spin-off, and Chief Scientific Advisor to NM2, also an MIT spin off. At MIT Prof. Smith serves as the Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA and as Mentor for the Women’s Varsity Tennis Team.
Prof. Smith’s nonprofessional interests include tennis and yearly trips, in both winter and summer, to Nunavik in the Canadian Arctic, for hiking, photography and fly fishing for salmon and Arctic char. He serves as a special assistant to an Inuit outfitting operation in the village of Tasiujaq. Prof. Smith and his wife, Mary Anne, reside in Sudbury, MA. They have three children, Elizabeth, Timothy, and Eileen, and seven grandchildren: Andrew, Duncan, and Cameron Freedman; Hannah and Zachary Babbitz; Sabana and Catalina Smith.