Smedsrud has a wide experience in polar oceanography.
He is now a professor II at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), and help coordinating the research group on atmosphere, cryosphere, ocean processes at the Bjerknes Centre.
Smedsrud accomplised his PhD in 2000 on frazil ice formation and sediment entrainment in polar waters, and has worked with projects related to sea ice formation in the Arctic and melting of ice-shelves in Antarctica since then. Smedsrud has extensive field experience, has been cruise leader during the International Polar Year, participated in several international laboratory experiments, and worked with a number of numerical models. Modelling activity includes vertical column modelling of the Arctic Ocean and sea ice cover, sub ice shelf circulation under the Fimbul Ice Shelf in Antarctica, polynya dynamics on Svalbard, and melting and export of sea ice in Global Earth System Models.