Richard Harbert Smith graduated from Moores Hill College in 1915.
While there he met Marie Sophia King, the daughter of the Rev Harry Andrews King, the then current President of Moores Hill College (which became the University of Evansville).
Richard Harbert Smith earned an SB from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1918..
He attended Cambridge (Greater Boston), Massachusetts.
He earned a MA from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland in 1928, and then earned a PhD in 1929.
After World War I, Prof. Richard Harbert Smith worked as an assistant at the United States Naval Research Laboratory.
In 1929, he was an associate physicist at the Navy's laboratory when he was hired by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as an associate professor of aeronautical engineering, being promoted to full professor in 1931.
During the World War II period, Prof. Smith coordinated the MIT Civilian Pilot Training Program and was also instructor for several classes of female engineering trainees for the Curtiss company.
In 1945, he left MIT to go to Brazil, hired by the Brazilian government, in a venture led by Casimiro Montenegro Filho, then lieutenant-colonel of the Brazilian Air Force, to establish an institute of aeronautics, the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (Aeronautical Technology Institute), of which he became the first rector.
Richard Harbert Smith died aged 63 on 6 Jul 1957 in Alexandria, Virginia. 
Richard Harbert Smith (15 January 1894, Dillsboro, Indiana – 6 July 1957, Alexandria, Virginia) was a professor and researcher of aeronautical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), from 1929 to 1945.
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