Academic Programs -Explore Graduate programs in Acoustics
Acoustical Society of America-Austin Student Chapter –get involved and connect with other students in acoustics
John Cormack received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Rochester in 2014, where he performed undergraduate research in computational cochlear mechanics. He started at UT Austin in the fall of 2014 as that year’s ARL:UT McKinney Fellow. Under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hamilton, John studies models for nonlinear wave propagation in materials such as polymers, rubbers, and soft tissue, investigating the ways that complex viscoelastic effects influence nonlinear wave processes such as shock formation. He plans to complete his PhD work in the Fall of 2018.
Daniel Corona received a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering with a second major in Music Arts from Vanderbilt University. During undergrad he worked for the Valentine Nano-scale Optics and Materials Research Lab developing a software package utilizing computer models and genetic optimization algorithms to intelligently design nano-structures for optical devices. Now he is pursuing his M.S./Ph.D in Dr. Neal Hall’s Acoustic MEMS Lab, supported by the Thrust 2000 Fellowship, currently applying similar techniques to design a new type of low-noise piezoelectric microphone. He also develops software models and tools to facilitate fabrication and testing of devices.
Justin Dubin is a current MS student at the University of Texas at Austin and graduate research assistant at Applied Research Laboratories. Before coming to UT in 2016, Justin graduated summa cum laude from William Paterson University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Sound Engineering Arts. Justin studies sediment acoustics under the guidance of Drs. Preston Wilson, Megan Ballard, and Kevin Lee. His projects include developing acoustic measurement systems for in situ data collection, characterizing shear and compressional wave transducers, and analyzing field sediment through scanning electron microscopy.
Dan Hemme was brought to the study of acoustics through his interests in music and the physical sciences – his primary areas of study are room acoustics, mechanical systems noise control, and audio. Previous to graduate school, Dan received a Bachelor’s degree in Architectural Engineering from UT Austin; he also has over 15 years experience in audio recording and sound reinforcement. Dan’s research involves the determination of typical sound spectra for HVAC chiller units utilizing helical screw compressors, of various capacities and under various operating conditions. Dan is pursuing his Master’s degree while working full time as an acoustical consultant.
Watch featured video of Dan’s reasearch on Acoustics of Screw Chillers
Samuel Hord is a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his BS in Applied Physics from Brigham Young University in 2015, where he worked with Dr. Kent Gee and UT alumnus Dr. Traci Neilsen to study the acoustics of rocket noise. He is currently working in Dr. Neal Hall’s Acoustic MEMs group, where he designs and fabricates prototypes for acoustical sensors.
Jay Johnson is entering the second year of his MS/PhD work this fall. After earning Bachelor’s degrees in physics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison he came to UT to study acoustics. He is currently working on two projects with Dr. Wilson. The first is investigating the acoustics of coffee bean roasting. During the roasting process, coffee beans emit two distinct ‘cracks’. These could ultimately be used to monitor the beans during the roast. The second project is studying sound propagation through various seagrass species. The goal is to determine the health of an aquatic environment with acoustic sensing alone. Jay hopes to finish his Master’s degree next year and continue at UT for his Ph.D.
Watch featured video of Jay’s reasearch on Acoustics of Coffee Bean Roasting
Lucas (Luke) Shearer is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering with the acoustics department at The University of Texas at Austin. Luke earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of Hartford in mechanical engineering/acoustics and prior to that had served honorably as a United States Marine. His thesis work is conducted at the Applied Research Laboratory at UT under the direction of Dr. Marcia Isakson as they develop metrics relevant to ocean sediment characterization. Echo sounder data gathered from around the globe are analyzed using various signal processing techniques to quantify acoustic and physical properties of the ocean floor and its biological inhabitants.
Colton Snell, is a Master’s Degree student in the Acoustic MEMS group working under Dr. Neal Hall and is an employee of Sandia National Laboratories. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from UT Austin in the Spring of 2015. His acoustics studies began with an undergraduate research position at Pennsylvania State University in the Summer of 2014, where he worked under Dr. Michelle Vigeant in the Sound Perception and Room Acoustics Laboratory (SPRAL) to design and construct a 3D loudspeaker array used for auralization of concert hall environments in an anechoic chamber. In the Acoustic MEMS group, his research is in design, fabrication, and testing of new micro-scale acoustic transducers.
Ben Treweek is pursuing a PhD at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a graduate research assistant at Applied Research Laboratories, where his work is supported by the McKinney Fellowship in Acoustics. He investigates acoustic radiation force in soft tissue with guidance from Drs. Mark Hamilton, Yurii Ilinskii, and Evgenia Zabolotskaya. Previously, Ben graduated from the University of Michigan with Highest Distinction in April 2011, earning bachelor’s degrees in both Physics and Music. He then spent two years living and working in San Francisco before moving to Austin in August 2013 to begin graduate school.
Before arriving at UT, Gabe Venegas received his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Boston University. He currently works with Dr. Wilson on the ONR sponsored acoustic characterization of the ocean bottom. Gabe conducts laboratory experiments using a resonance tube to measure low frequency compressional wave speed and attenuation of ocean floor sediments. He has recently attended a sea trip to the New England Mud Patch, where he measured sediment samples cored directly from the ocean bottom. Gabe is finishing his Master’s degree and will ultimately continue to PhD under the same project.
Randy Williams is working towards his PhD with Dr. Neal Hall in the UT Acoustic MEMS group, developing novel micro-machined acoustic transducers for audio and measurement applications. Randy is currently working on the design and fabrication an underwater acoustic intensity sensor with unprecedented sensitivity, capable of measuring 20-dB below some of the quietest deep-water measurements to date. Randy previously earned the BS degree from Texas A&M University and the MS degree from The University of Texas, both in Mechanical Engineering, and is a registered professional engineer licensed to practice in the state of Texas.
Watch featured video of Randy’s reasearch on Acoustic MEMS
Matthew Zeh is a first year MS/PhD student within the Mechanical Engineering Acoustics department at University of Texas. Before attending UT, Matthew received a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a BM in Music Education from West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV. He plans to work under Dr. Preston Wilson within his group studying the acoustics of marine sediments.
See featured article on Matt’s involvement with the Silent Room Project at South By Southwest 2016
Watch featured video of Matt’s reasearch on Acoustics of Ocean Infauna and Glacier Acoustics
Anthony Bonomo graduated from The University of Texas at Austin acoustics program with a Master’s degree in 2014 and a PhD in 2017. While at UT, Anthony worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at the Applied Research Laboratories, studying the interaction of underwater sound with sandy ocean sediments under the supervision of Drs. Marcia Isakson and Nicholas Chotiros. He also served as the Vice Chair of the university’s student chapter of the Acoustical Society of America for the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 academic years and as the chapter’s Chair for the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 academic years. Dr. Bonomo is currently an engineer specializing in structural and computational acoustics for the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division in West Bethesda, MD.
*Posted February 2018
Nicole Sieck graduated with her AuD (Doctor of Audiology) degree from the University of Texas in 2016. Prior to studying at UT, she completed her bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University. Currently, she works at the Medical University of South Carolina in the Hearing Research Program. She works as a Research Audiologist under Judy Dubno, PhD, and completes data collection and analysis for a longitudinal study of age-related hearing loss.
*Posted May 2017
Michael Muhlestein received his Ph.D. from UT in the Fall of 2016. While at UT he worked in acoustic metamaterials under Dr. Michael Haberman, developing theoretical schemes to determine the effective material properties of composite materials. Michael currently works at Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory (CRREL) in Hanover, NH. CRREL is part of the Engineering and Research Development Center (ERDC), which in turn is part of the Army Corp of Engineers. His current project is studying the propagation of sound through random forest environments.
*Posted January 2017
Danika Lindsey came to UT after completing a bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a concentration in physics at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. Her master’s work at UT with Dr. Hamilton involved testing synthetic acoustic contrast agents in a laboratory setting. She completed her master’s degree in August, 2015. She currently works at Trident Research as a Research Associate on a project involving acoustic location of sound sources in open ocean environments.
*Posted August 2016
Laura Coco graduated with her AuD (Doctor of Audiology) degree from the University of Texas in 2015 and is now working towards her PhD in Hearing Sciences and Public Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her research focuses on addressing healthcare disparities and unequal access to services. Currently she is working on a project on the US/Mexico border that measures quality of life improvement in hearing impaired individuals and their communication partners that are enrolled in education and rehabilitation classes.
Watch featured videos of Laura’s past research on Teleaudiology and the KUDUwave Portable Audiometer
*Posted August 2016
Ashley Hicks came to UT after receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics from the University of Central Arkansas. At UT, she worked with Drs. Wilson and Haberman on an acoustic meta-material research project. Specifically, her work focused on the development and testing of a thin panel isolator filled with cylindrical air bubbles. Ultimately, thin panels may prove to be a useful tool in improving the underwater sound environment for marine life. She was also heavily involved with the Austin student chapter of the Acoustical Society of America. She finished her Masters degree in August of 2015. She currently works as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Central Arkansas.
*Posted September 2015
Dan Tengelsen was raised in Bozeman, MT. Dan came to UT to work toward a doctoral degree in acoustics, and graduated in the spring of 2014. He worked with Dr. Hamilton developing semi-analytic models for bubbles near soft-tissue. He now works in the Acoustic Research group at Bose Corporation in Boston MA.
*Posted October 2015
Nick Joseph is originally from Crosby TX. Nick studied acoustics at UT in the MSME program and graduated in 2013. He is now working as an acoustical engineer in transducer research at Bose Corporation in Boston MA.
*Posted September 2015
Scott Schoen Jr. was born and raised outside of Boston, MA. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in physics and music from Tufts University in Medford, MA in 2011, he entered the acoustics program at UT. His research under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hamilton involved determination of the material properties of encapsulated microbubbles at low frequencies to evaluate their potential for use as contrast agents in seismic (sub-resonance) applications. Upon completion of his master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2013, he joined Trident Research LLC in Austin, which specializes in precise acoustic localization systems for both land- and sea-based applications.
*Posted October 2015
Joelle Suits graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013 with a master’s degree in mechanical engineering specializing in acoustics. Ms. Suits’ graduate research focused on improving the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standard NFPA 1982. This research involved measuring different noise sources found on the fireground, the effects of wearing firefighting equipment on hearing, and how noise affects the search for downed firefighters. Joelle is from Colorado Springs, CO where she did her undergraduate work. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with a minor in Aerospace Engineering. Currently she is working as an acoustic consultant with Cross-Spectrum Acoustics (CSA) in Salt Lake City, UT. CSA primarily consults with transit noise, but provides noise, vibration, and acoustic consulting to a wide range of projects.
*Posted September 2015
Bryant Tran was born and raised in Austin, Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at UT and continued to graduate school studying Acoustics, researching 3D finite element method (FEM) models for rough surface scattering, advised by Dr. Marcia Isakson and Dr. Preston Wilson. Since graduating with his master’s degree in December 2013, he works in the acoustics group at Cirrus Logic, an Austin-based fabless semiconductor company that specializes in mixed-signal audio products.
*Posted September 2015
If you are a graduate from the University of Texas at Austin Acoustics Program and would like to be featured on the Former Student Biographies list, please send an email to Texas.Acoustics.UT.Austin@gmail.com . We’d love to hear from you!