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James Andrew Smith

Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Graduate Attribute Lead, P.Eng


Electrical Engineering & Computer Science


Dr. James Andrew Smith is an Assistant Lecturer in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department of York University’s Lassonde School of Engineering.

Dr. Smith received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Alberta. Following the completion of his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University, he undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Jena's Institute for Sports Science, in Jena, Germany. In a previous position at Ryerson University he directed the undergraduate biomedical engineering program and helped lead the program to successful accreditation with the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board.

In addition to his interest in STEM pedagogy, Dr. Smith applies his background in robotics, biomechanics and 3D printing to the development of dynamic human birth models.

He has won teaching awards at Ryerson University as well as the University of Alberta. Dr. Smith was the recipient or co-recipient of four IEEE Real World Engineering Projects awards from 2007 to 2010. He was also co-recipient of second place in the design competition at the 2012 Healthcare Innovation Conference in Houston, Texas.

Research Interests

  • STEM education / pedagogy
  • Human birth modelling
  • Legged robotics
  • Embedded systems
  • Biomechanics / Biomedical Engineering

Selected Publications

Recent Presentations

  • J. A. Smith,  “Grassroots Advocacy for Improved Air Quality during a Pandemic” , Lassonde Faculty Council, (https://youtu.be/JmXPt9gvAbE), Dec. 2021
  •  J. A. Smith, “Scholars Breaking Boundaries: Making Your Knowledge Impact the Real World”, YorkU Research Commons, Nov 2021
  • J. A. Smith "Supporting Inductive Learning in Engineering Courses" Maple Virtual Users Summit, Feb. 27, 2014.
  • J. A. Smith “Applying MapleSim to Online Education” presentation, MapleSoft MapleSim Academic Engineering Summer Workshop, Hamilton, ON, June 20, 2013.
  • J. A. Smith, “Using Biology to Inspire Engineering”, TEDxRyerson Talk, Nov. 2011.



I Epstein, M. Baljko, K. Thumlert, E. Kelly, J. A. Smith, Y. Su, J. Zaki-Azat, N. M May, “‘A Video of Myself Helps Me Learn’: A Scoping Review of the Evidence of Video-Making for Situated Learning”, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 14(1), 2020. (2 citations)

M. J. Luk, D. Lobb and J. A. Smith, “A Dynamic Cervix Phantom Robot for Latent Labour Simula- tion”, Soft Robotics, 5(3):330–338, 2018 (2 citations)

J. A. Smith, J. Jivraj, R. J. Wong, and V. X. D. Yang, “30 Years of Neurosurgical Robots: Review and Trends for Manipulators and Associated Navigational Systems”, Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 44:836, 2016. (58 citations)

J. A. Smith “Galloping in an Underactuated Quadrupedal Robot”, International Journal of Robotics and Automation, 30(4):322 – 332, 2015. (10 citations)

J. A. Smith and J. Jivraj, “Effect of Hind Leg Morphology on Performance of a Canine-inspired Quadrupedal Robot” Journal of Bionic Engineering, 12(3):339–351, 2015. (6 citations)

R. Wong and J. A. Smith, “Regenerative Effects in the Sit-to-Stand and Stand-to-Sit Movement”, Robotica, 33(1):107–126, 2015. (4 citations)

R. Wong, J. Jivraj, B. Vuong, J. Ramjist, N. A. Dinn C. Sun, Y. Huang, J. A. Smith, and V. X. D. Yang, “Development of an integrated optical coherence tomography-gas nozzle system for surgical laser ablation applications: preliminary findings of in-situ spinal cord deformation due to gas flow effects”, Biomedical Optics Express, 6(1):43-53, 2014. (5 citations)

J. A. Smith, “Objet: Rossard et al, ‘Maturation cervicale par sonde `a ballonnet sur ut ́erus cicatriciel: ́etude r ́etrospective sur trois ans.’”, Journal de Gynecologie Obstetrique et Biologie de la Reproduction, 42(6), 2013

J. A. Smith, “Balloon Dilators for Labour Induction: a Historical Review”, Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 2013 (21 citations)

J. A. Smith, “A Simplified Cervix Model in Response to Induction Balloon in Pre-Labour”, Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 10(58), 2013 (4 citations)

J. A. Smith, “re: Termination of second and early third trimester pregnancy: comparison of 3 meth- ods”, Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 2012

J. A. Smith, “Re: “Zastosowanie cewnika Foleya do preindukcji porodu? by Patro-Malysza et. al.”, Perinatologia, Neonatologia i Ginekologia, 5(4), 2012

J. A. Smith, R. J. Wong, “Introduction to Robotics Through Sensors and Measurement” Computers in Education Journal (American Society of Engineering Education), 21(1), 2012

J. A. Smith, I. Poulakakis, M. Trentini and I. Sharf, “Bounding With Active Wheels and Liftoff Angle Velocity Adjustment” Int. J. of Robotics Research, 29(4), 414-427, 2010 (36 citations)

J. A. Smith and I. Sharf, “Velocity adjustment in a bounding quadruped”, J. Biomech., 40(S2):S305, 2007.

J. A. Smith and A. Seyfarth “Elastic leg function in a bipedal walking robot”, J. Biomech., 40(S2):S306, 2007.

I. Poulakakis, J. A. Smith and M.Buehler. “Modeling and experiments of untethered quadrupedal running with a bounding gait: The Scout II Robot”, Int. J. of Robotics Research, 24:239–256, April 2005. (287 citations)


J.A. Smith, “Pedagogy in a Pandemic: Teaching without Exams”, 2021: Proceedings of the Canadian

Engineering Education Association (CEEA-ACEG) Conference June 20 - 23, PEI, Canada, 2021.

F. Newland, H. Sadek, and J. A. Smith, “Adapting waterfall design to an eight-month capstone course”, Proc. 2018 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA18) Conf., Vancouver, Canada, 2018.

J. A. Smith, “Re-engaging Students by Teaching from the Middle and Back of a 500-seat Lecture Hall”, Proc. 2017 Canadian Engineering Education Association (CEEA17) Conf., Toronto, Canada, June, 2017.

K. Faria and J. A. Smith, “Development of a Sports Bra Tester”, Lassonde School Undergraduate Summer Research Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada, August, 2016.

J. A. Smith, “Zombie Metaphors and Other Strategies for Teaching Inclusive & Open-Minded Design”, X University Faculty Conference, X University, Toronto, Canada, May, 2015.

R. Ramakrishnan, J. Kim, and J. A. Smith, “Effect of Compression on Acoustic Performance of Fibrous Materials, Acoustics Week in Canada, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Oct 7, 2014.