Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, James Smith is an Assistant Professor in Construction and Facilities Management (CFM) in the School of Technology at BYU. Before arriving at BYU Fall 2016, James had been an assistant Professor at Clemson University. He received his undergraduate degree and master’s in Construction Management from BYU and his PhD from Texas A&M University in Architecture. James lives in Vineyard, Utah with his wife of 16 years and 5 children ages 2-14.
James is working to improve interdisciplinary classrooms and discover and share best practices for managing interdisciplinary classrooms. In order for a class to be truly interdisciplinary, as opposed to multidisciplinary, students need to be at high levels of proficiency in their disciplines so that team interactions and contributions are productive. There are many pedagogical considerations to plan for in such interdisciplinary courses, but the learning benefits are worthy of the effort.
Project wise, James is pursuing NSF funding for a multi-university sponsored project (BYU, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Clemson University). This project consortium is exploring integrated project delivery methods for industry applications.
James’ dissertation developed a model to assist in the establishment and maintenance of trust, crucial ingredients in the interdisciplinary needs required in successful construction management projects. This model helps those who are trustworthy, but who may not come across as trustworthy, to develop skills that support trust building. Currently, he is collaborating with a professor of Psychology to enhance the trust building model with the aim to publish in a top tier journal.
Courses that he teaches include: CFM 105 Introduction to Construction and Facilities Management; and Construction and Facilities Management Capstone.