Record-breaking attendance, leadership changes at CAV workshop

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State College of Engineering’s Center for Acoustics and Vibration (CAV) had lots to celebrate at its Spring Workshop held April 24-25 at the Nittany Lion Inn, including record-breaking attendance and new directorship.

More than 130 corporate sponsors, international liaisons, U.S. government liaisons, and Penn State CAV faculty and students attended the Technology Transfer Workshop. Free to all participants as a benefit of membership, the workshop featured technical presentations, lab tours and social activities, as well as the opportunity for sponsors to meet graduate students and provide feedback on CAV activities and performance.

New directorship of the CAV also went into effect at the beginning of the workshop. George Lesieutre, who provided 25 years of leadership as the Center’s director from 2009 to 2018 and as associate director from 1993-2008, stepped aside from the role in order to focus his energy on his new position as associate dean of research and graduate programs in the College of Engineering.

“It has been an honor to serve the CAV in various ways over the years. We have a great faculty and students, with a tremendous collective reputation around the globe,” said Lesieutre. “I will miss the regular interactions with all the people in the CAV community. I always enjoy hearing about challenges — technical and otherwise — and successes of the folks involved. It’s especially rewarding to feel one has had a hand in the successes.”

Steve Hambric, research professor in the Fluid Dynamics and Acoustics Office at the Applied Research Laboratory and professor of the Graduate Program of Acoustics, Penn State, has been named the new director of the CAV. Hambric served as the Center’s associate director since 2009. Cliff Lissenden, professor of engineering science and mechanics, has been named associate director.

“Steve brings a wealth of technical expertise, leadership and managerial experience, and great ideas and enthusiasm to the role,” said Lesieutre. “He and Cliff are both long-time contributors to the CAV and are truly invested in the success of our industry partnerships and our young faculty researchers. They will be a great team.”

As director, Hambric’s main role is to recruit corporate sponsors, which sustain the CAV. His additional responsibilities include focusing on budgets, personnel, equipment and facilities, as well as maintaining its website.

“I am taking over the CAV during an exciting time of transition. We just reorganized some of our technical groups to take advantage of new research areas and dynamic young faculty,” said Hambric. “These young faculty are highly motivated, and I’m looking forward to working with them and helping bring in new sponsors in biomedical acoustics and ultrasound, acoustic metamaterials and adaptive structures and noise control.”

Hambric received a B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Virginia Tech and a D.Sc. in mechanical engineering from the George Washington University. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Noise Control Engineering (INCE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, as well as vice president of the Americas region of International INCE.

“Most acousticians are ‘accidental,’ and I am no exception,” said Hambric. “A chance meeting with a program manager at my former job led to a small project I did to simulate the noise radiated by a turbomachine. The manager liked the work, and it kept growing. It turned out I had stumbled onto the organization’s highest priority project, and it wasn’t long before acoustics and vibration was my main job.”

He continues, “Like most young acousticians, though, I had to learn on the fly as there aren’t many universities that teach that subject. That’s what makes the CAV, and our friends in the Graduate Program in Acoustics, so unique, and what keeps our sponsors engaged so closely with us.”

Lesieutre adds, “I believe there are excellent opportunities to expand our interactions with industry and increase our reach and impact. I hope we can maintain our leadership and partnerships in acoustics and vibration for many years to come.”

Established in 1989, the CAV ensures the continued excellence of acoustics and vibration research in the new millennium. The Center’s primary missions are to strengthen basic and applied research in related engineering areas; foster graduate education in acoustics and vibration engineering; and provide a base for technology transfer to industry. Learn more at www.cav.psu.edu.