Representative of a Board
David Smith is currently the Faculty Education Director and Undergraduate Dean for the Faculty of Science, and Deputy Head of the School of Chemistry.
David was born and brought up in Durham. As an undergraduate, he studied Natural Sciences at Girton College, Cambridge, where he remained to perform research in infrared laser spectroscopy, being awarded his PhD in 1992. Following post-doctoral work at the Universities of Birmingham and Southampton, he was appointed to a lectureship in the School of Chemistry at the University of Exeter in 1997. Whilst in Exeter, he acted as undergraduate admissions tutor for four years and was involved in undergraduate teaching at all levels, in just about every area of physical chemistry. His interests and experience in undergraduate teaching saw him go on to take over responsibility for the teaching of both Chemistry and Biological Sciences at Exeter.
In 2005 David moved to Bristol to join the team leading the Bristol ChemLabS Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning project. He also acted as Admissions Tutor for the School of Chemistry and Faculty Admissions and Widening Participation Officer for the Faculty of Science for a number of years. David remains active in outreach, having been a member of the Chemistry for our Future Advisory Group, and played a similar role for the regional HE-STEM programme. He was awarded the 2007 Engagement Award in the Faculty of Science by the Engaged University Steering Group.
David was appointed as Faculty Education Director in 2012, and promoted to professor in 2013. As Faculty Education Director, David not only takes responsibility for all aspects of undergraduate education in the Faculty of Science, but also has special responsbility for a number of University-level initiatives. These include acting as project lead for the partnership with FutureLearn, which has already seen the University launch two highly successful MOOCs. Other particular interests include supporting undergraduate students in making the transition from school or college to university education and in developing study skills.
David is currently leading on the innovative Bristol Futures initiative, which aims to build on the University of Bristol’s strength in research-informed education, by putting a renewed emphasis on the development of wider graduate attributes and skills. He has particular responsibility for the development of three open FutureLearn courses, in Innovation & enterprise, Global Citizenship and Sustainable Futures, as well as ensuring that all University of Bristol students have the opportunity to engage in Professional and Community Engagement activities.
Outside the University, David is chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry's Committee for Accreditation and Validation and is involved in a number of publishing projects in science education with Oxford University Press.