Meet the Student Council
- Architectural Acoustics
- Animal Bioacoustics
- Acoustical Oceanography
- Biomedical Acoustics
- Engineering Acoustics
- Musical Acoustics
- Physical Acoustics
- Psychological and Physiological Acoustics
- Structural Acoustics and Vibration
- Speech Communication
- Signal Processing in Acoustics
- Underwater Acoustics
Student Council Chair: Kieren Smith
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Kieren is a Ph.D. student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying Architectural Engineering. She came in to acoustics, as many do, through a love of music. She studied Music (Sound Recording) at BYU, minoring in Physics and in Math. She discovered a passion for research with the BYU Acoustics Research Group, studying musician noise exposure in the large musical ensemble environment. Her current research interests span somewhere between Noise and Architectural Engineering, with favorite projects including work with a crowd-sourced restaurant noise awareness app and work studying the acoustics of an opera that premiered inside an art gallery.
Aside from research, Kieren enjoys hiking, climbing, and baking and is always eager to discover a new trail or learn a new recipe.
Architectural Acoustics Representative: Mallory Morgan
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Mallory is an Architectural Acoustics PhD student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where she also earned her MS in Architectural Acoustics. Her current work focuses on deploying machine learning techniques and microphone arrays for environmental sound classification in the Lake George, NY watershed. Mallory hopes her work will help answer ecological questions from an acoustical perspective, by estimating populations, mapping ranges, or assessing the impacts of human-generated noise, for example. She has also worked to automatically classify human emotion from recordings of collaborative meetings in order to predict individual leadership and contribution. She first fell in love with acoustics while making sound field diffusivity measurements in a variety of spaces as a physics/mathematics double-major at Vassar College.
When not in the data mines, Mallory enjoys boxing, hiking, gardening, escape rooms, and the oxford comma.
Animal Bioacoustics Representative: Kali Burke
University at Buffalo, SUNY
Kali is a student in the Cognitive Psychology PhD program at the University at Buffalo, SUNY. She received a BA in Psychology from Daemen College, with an undergraduate honor’s project on head injuries, cognitive functioning, and memory outcomes. In Dr. Micheal Dent’s animal bioacoustics laboratory she has studied mouse vocalizations in response to a variety of social situations and has investigated whether there are individual specific or sex specific features to these vocalizations. She has also worked with Dr. Marieke van Heugten in the Buffalo Babylab looking at how children and adults make inferences about word meanings differently when a speaker has an accent. Kali is now working on her dissertation investigating how traumatic brain injuries affect the auditory system and auditory perception in mice.
In her free time, Kali enjoys playing board and card games as well as challenging any takers in Super Smash Brothers on the N64.
Acoustical Oceanography Representative: Liz Weidner
University of New Hampshire & Stockholm University
Elizabeth Weidner is a jointly appointed PhD student at the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire and at the Geological Sciences Department of Stockholm University in Sweden. Prior to her PhD work, Elizabeth received her BS in Oceanography from the University of Washington, worked as a geophysicist in industry for several years, and received her MSc in Earth Sciences from the University of New Hampshire. Her current research focuses on the broadband discrimination and characterization of bubble seeps, stratification interfaces, and freshwater plumes in the ocean environment.
When she’s not working, you can find her hiking in the White Mountains or training for the next road race. Come find her and introduce yourself during the next ASA meeting, or reach out via email with any questions.
Biomedical Acoustics Representative: Asis Lopez
Asis, an NSF IGERT Fellow and Past SACNAS Board Member, received his Bioengineering B.S. in rehabilitative biomedical robotics from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). As a post-bac in the University of California, San Francisco Pediatric Device Consortium he worked on the development of an FDA pre-approved medical device to treat pectus carinatum. He returned to UCSC and worked in the Genome Sequencing Center optimizing the center’s library prep for next generation sequencing with automation. Currently, Asis is in the Bioinnovation PhD program at Tulane University combining his passion for translational research and entrepreneurship by developing tools for ultrasound applications. As an NSF-FDA Scholar-in-Residence fellow at the FDA he investigates vessel-rupture thresholds through high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound for blood-brain barrier applications. At Tulane, he is developing a therapeutic device for spinal cord injury through low-intensity ultrasound. Asis is also an NSF I-Corps awardee working towards the commercialization of a technology — in this case, a levitation device providing blood coagulation analysis.
Asis enjoys watching all types of horror movies including the classics, international films, and cult favorites. When not watching movies he participates in water sports such as Hawaiian Outrigger. As a curious individual he appreciates new foods, activities, and books.
Engineering Acoustics Representative: Thomas Blanford
Pennsylvania State University
Thomas is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Program in Acoustics at Penn State. There he works at the Applied Research Laboratory researching arrays and signal processing for underwater acoustic navigation. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Prior to coming to Penn State, Thomas spent five years in industry in Boston, MA developing high performance, low power MEMS microphones for hearing aids and consumer electronics. His research interests include the design and modeling of transducers and arrays, acoustic navigation, and signal processing for synthetic aperture sonar.
In his spare time, Thomas enjoys biking, cooking, and playing the mandolin, guitar, and banjo.
Please introduce yourself during the next ASA meeting, and feel free to contact him with any questions you have.
Musical Acoustics Representative: Eric Rokni
Pennsylvania State University
Eric Rokni is currently a PhD student in the department of Acoustics at Penn State. In 2018 he received his Bachelor’s degree at Rollins College in both physics and music. While studying for his undergraduate degree, he performed musical acoustics research where he investigated the nonlinear contributions of wooden components in the piano to its overall sound. Eric is currently doing biomedical research at Penn State, but musical acoustics will always be a passion of his.
In his time off, Eric enjoys playing cello and tennis as well as cheering on his favorite hometown Wisconsin sports teams.
Noise Representative: Aaron Vaughn
Brigham Young University
Aaron is physics graduate student at Brigham Young University. As an undergraduate at BYU, he performed spectral decompositions of supersonic laboratory-scale and high-performance military aircraft jet noise. This work helps improve noise field characterization of military aircraft which in turn will aid future noise mitigation efforts. Continuing in this research as a graduate student, he now focuses on the perceptual feature of crackle in jet noise. This current research involves beamforming crackle-related events in the near field of an aircraft and relating it to subjective listening studies of waveforms collected in the far field.
Outside of his academic endeavors, Aaron enjoys video games, basketball (go Jazz!), volunteering annually as a translator for a Japanese marching band at the Rose Parade, and playing trumpet in a funk band.
Physical Acoustics Representative: Will Doebler
Pennsylvania State University
Will Doebler is pursuing a Ph.D. in Acoustics at Penn State University. He earned a B.A. in Physics with Honors from Gustavus Adolphus College in Saint Peter, MN. At Gustavus, Will worked on quantifying the nonlinear acoustic radiation force from air-coupled ultrasound transducers for nondestructive, noncontact modal analysis. In 2015, he was an Honorable Mention Thomas D. Rossing Physics Scholar. At Penn State, Will studies aircraft sonic boom phenomena. From 2015-2016, he was an Applied Research Laboratory and FAA Walker Fellow working on techniques to remove the effects of atmospheric turbulence from ground measurements of sonic booms and analysis of sonic boom metrics regarding turbulence. Currently, he is a NASA Aeronautics Scholarship and Advanced STEM Training and Research (AS&ASTAR) Fellow with NASA Langley working on understanding the effects of the atmosphere on sonic boom ground ensonification zone sizes and loudnesses.
Psychological and Physiological Acoustics Representative: Daniel Guest
University of Minnesota
Daniel is originally from Austin, TX and received his BS in Psychology from the University of Texas at Dallas. At UT Dallas, he worked in Dr. Peter Assmann’s Speech Perception Lab studying the perception of voice gender and age in children’s speech. Daniel is currently pursuing a PhD in Psychology in the Cognitive and Brain Sciences program at the University of Minnesota, where he works in Dr. Andrew Oxenham’s Auditory Perception and Cognition Lab. His research uses psychophysical and computational methods to investigate the role of pitch in auditory scene analysis and the neural code for pitch.
When he’s not doing research, Daniel spends his time reading, cooking, biking, and playing synthesizers. Introduce yourself at the next ASA meeting and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions.
Structural Acoustics and Vibration Representative: Colby Cushing
University of Texas at Austin
Colby is a Mechanical Engineering graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin working on the experimental validation of underwater acoustic metamaterials. He received his BS in Aerospace Engineering at Penn State focusing in aircraft function and design. He also worked for General Dynamics Electric Boat designing nuclear submarines in both fluids systems and acoustic signatures. His current research includes deeply subwavelength attenuation panels for remotely operated underwater vehicles, testing of 2D and 3D pentamode structures, testing of anisotropic inertial metamaterials, and testing of underwater Helmholtz resonators for bianisotropic applications.
In his free time, Colby enjoys singing, playing beach or indoor volleyball, and ice skating. He is very active in the regional ASA chapter in Austin, having served as Treasurer and then being elected Chair. Come find him at the ASA conferences and introduce yourself, or contact him via email.
Speech Communication Representative: Miran Oh
University of Southern California
Signal Processing in Acoustics Representative: Michael Rollins
University of Cincinnati
Michael is a PhD Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Cincinnati (the original UC:). He invested his undergraduate experience at BYU studying speech and acoustics, culminating in capstone research about vocal changes in response to a room’s reverberation. He was literally reinventing the international phonetic alphabet (IPA) chart for English and Spanish consonants before he discovered that speech science is an existing field. Now, he studies speech disorders in children using field data and 3D printed bench models of the vocal tract.
Michael balances his scientific endeavors by playing piano for musical theatre and church; pondering puzzles, puns, and recreational mathematics; and summarizing his life in third person.
Underwater Acoustics Representative: Alex Padilla
University of New Hampshire
Alexandra Padilla (aka Alex) graduated from the University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Applied Mathematics. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering with a focus in Underwater Acoustics. Her research is focused on the acoustic scattering properties of gas bubbles in a fluid medium (in this case the ocean… or in a test tank) and understanding how the shape of the bubbles affect their acoustic response.
If she is not in the lab, you will find her either baking treats for her friends, talking to herself in Spanish (so if you speak Spanish find her) or reading in a corner with music.