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Growing the Green Team

imageol4bq.pngMichelle Smith has joined the UMass Chan Medical School Facilities Management team as the new energy and sustainability engineer, taking the lead on a range of green programs on campus.

“Michelle brings tremendous experience with green building design and management, which is a perfect fit for our campus,” said Suzanne Wood, associate director of sustainability and campus services at UMass Chan. “We are fortunate to find someone with her passion for sustainability and track record of success.”

Wood served as energy and sustainability manager from November of 2014 through March of 2020. Smith fills that role, and will work collaboratively with Wood to enhance and expand sustainability programs at UMass Chan.

“I’m super excited to join the UMass Chan Medical School team, and the UMass family as a whole,” Smith said. “The school has made some fantastic progress on the environmental sustainability front, and I look forward to continuing to move things forward. There are great opportunities to think outside the box and be creative about what energy innovation on a clinical, research-intensive campus looks like.”

Smith has more than 15 years of experience in higher education facilities planning and management, most at the University of Vermont. At UVM, she was the green building coordinator from 2006 -2018 and worked on integrating the LEED process for all new construction and major renovation projects.

Smith managed several renewable energy installations, as well as student-inspired clean energy demonstration infrastructure projects at UVM, working closely with diverse campus constituents and external groups. In 2018, she became the assistant director of green campus operations at UVM. Over the years at UVM, she successfully led long-range planning and special projects to assess and advance campus-wide sustainability objectives and strategic goals.

Smith started at UMass Chan in January, and is already plugged into the design and construction management processes for the New Education and Research Building, which is in the early phase of a three-year construction schedule. Smith is also working with the GreenerU consulting team to put the finishing touches on the new five-year UMass Chan Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, which has been in development for more than a year.

“The new plan had a lot of community input from many stakeholders across UMass Chan, so it’s been a great way for me to learn some of the history here. I’ve been able to come up to speed on the energy and sustainability issues the campus is facing, and contribute to the implementation plan that we will use to progress our goals,” Smith said.

Smith earned a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental studies at UVM and a master’s in mediation and applied conflict studies at Champlain College. She is a LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional) and a Qualified Commissioning Process Provider (Certificate, University of Wisconsin-Madison).

An avid outdoors person, Smith enjoys kayaking, hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing. She’s in the process of moving to central Massachusetts and is looking forward to connecting with the community. “Since I’m still new to Massachusetts, I’m always open to recommendations and new friends to enjoy activities with,” Smith said.

Smith can be reached at