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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Cyril Smith (1903-1992) was a British metallurgist. He was married to the historian Alice Kimball Smith.

In 1942 he was called into service to work on the War Metallurgy Committee in Washington, DC.  He was transferred to Los Alamos to continue work on the Manhattan Project, directing the preparation of fissionable metal for the atomic bomb and other materials for nuclear experiments. 

He was present at the Trinity test in July 1945 and later wrote: “At the instant after the shot, my reactions were compounded of relief that ‘it worked’; consciousness of extreme silence, and a momentary question as to whether we had done more than we intended.”

After the war, Smith founded the Institute for the Study of Metals at the University of Chicago. He was one of the original nine members of the United States Atomic Energy Commission’s General Advisory Committee, and a member of the President’s Science Advisory Committee.  

Cyril Smith's Timeline
1903 Oct 4th Born in Birmingham, England.
1924 Received B.S. from the University of Birmingham.
1926 Received D.Sc. from MIT.
1926 Began work at the American Brass Company.
19421945 Worked on the Manhattan Project at the War Metallurgy Committee in Washington, DC and at Los Alamos.
1945 Founded the Institute for the Study of Metals at the University of Chicago.
1946 Received the Medal for Merit.
1961 Became Institute Professor at MIT.
1992 Aug 25th Died in Cambridge, MA.

Los Alamos ID badge photo

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