Professor Sean Smith is Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction (ISC) and Professor of Construction Innovation.
In 1992 graduated with BSc Building Economics and Quantity Surveying and was awarded Ph.D. from Heriot-Watt University in 1997. His research was funded by the EPSRC and the Defence Evaluation Research Agency developing SEA mathematical models for predicting sound and vibration in complex structures. He was an invited post doctoral researcher at the Italian government research laboratories in 1998 and German government research laboratories (PTB) in 1999. He joined the Edinburgh Napier University’s Building Performance Centre in 2001 and was RC UK Academic Fellow for five years. During 2007-08 he served as interim Associate Dean for Knowledge Transfer and Commercialisation. In 2008 he was appointed as Professor of Construction Innovation.
In 2010 he was appointed Director of the Institute for Sustainable Construction as and has led many national and international research and knowledge transfer projects. During his period at Edinburgh Napier University he has undertaken over 400 research, knowledge transfer and expert services contracts. He has undertaken research and knowledge transfer projects funded by the EU, Innovate UK, Scottish Government, SFC, DCLG, Defra and many industry organisations.
He led the HBF Robust Standards Details Project resulting on Robust details methodology for sound insulation and between 2004 and 2016 over 900,000 UK homes have been built incorporating these specifications and design details. He was principal investigator of the Low Carbon Building Technologies Gateway, supporting with his staff over 250 new innovative products and processes for low carbon buildings. In 2012 he was principal investigator for the Scottish government “review into offsite construction” which forecast the strategic growth and importance of this sector to the economy. He has given evidence to various parliamentary committees in relation to carbon reductions, skills and low carbon economy and construction. During 2010-13 he chaired EU COST Action WG3 relating to harmonization and robustness of standards involving 32 countries. In 2013-14 he led the eleven universities partnership with industry to establish the £7.5 million Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC).
His has significantly contributed and led the submissions for both 2009 and 2015 Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education awarded to his research teams and staff for housing innovations and quality of life (2009) and sustainable construction, timber engineering and wood science (2015).
The impacts of his construction research projects and innovative processes developed for industry organisations have led to over £300 million in benefits for the sector. He is co-author of five patents involving 16 innovative product solutions for acoustic, thermal and structural performance within buildings, which are manufactured in the UK and licensed to multinational companies. In 2016 he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland due to the positive impact of his work on sustainability and quality of life in the built environment. In 2018 he was invited by Scottish Government to chair the SLWG for New Housing and Future Construction Skills Requirements.