College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Acoustical Engineering Program

The Acoustical Engineering program at the University of Hartford offers two unique ways to incorporate acoustics into an undergraduate engineering degree.

Questions?

Contact Program Chair Bob Celmer for more information.

About Acoustical Engineering

What is Acoustics? 

Acoustics is the science of sound; how it is produced, how it travels, and how it can be detected. It covers a broad range of disciplines, including mechanical engineering, music, electrical engineering, biology, audiology, and physics.

What Does An Acoustical Engineer Do?

Those who choose the field of engineering to study acoustics have their own broad areas to choose from. These include: Audio Engineering (high fidelity sound system design), Architectural Acoustics (design of concert halls, recording studios and music rooms), Musical Acoustics (design of musical instruments), Noise Control and Sound Quality (of machinery, jet engines, automobiles, environmental regulations), and Bio-Engineering (design of hearing aids, replacement parts for the ear, hearing test equipment).

CETA's Acoustical Engineering Program offers two majors: 

Acoustical Engineering and Music, BSE

This nationally recognized interdisciplinary engineering program is offered in conjunction with The Hartt School, the University’s acclaimed performing arts conservatory. Since the process of Acoustical Design involves the sense of hearing, therein lies the synergy of the course work taken at The Hartt School.

Courses in ear training, private lessons, and orchestra, enable our students to become better listeners, and thus enhance their abilities as acousticians. Whether designing a lecture hall for high speech intelligibility, or designing a quieter machine, a well-trained ear can play a role in confirming, scrutinizing, and critiquing the success of the design.

The mission of the Acoustical Engineering and Music Program is to provide excellent educational experience for its students, with an emphasis on preparing graduates for professional practice in engineering and/or graduate school.

Mechanical Engineering, BSme, with Acoustics concentration

This unique degree program combines a robust mechanical engineering curriculum with the same core and elective classes as our Acoustical Engineering & Music BSE program. Both programs lead to a great variety of acoustical careers.

Degree and Admission Requirements

The following course highlights and admission requirements are below for each of the acoustics majors:

Acoustical Engineering and Music

Core Classes
  • ME 265 | Fundamentals of Architectural and Musical Acoustics
  • ME 242 | Acoustic Engineering by Design Project
  • ME 466 | Advanced Topics in Engineering Acoustics
  • ME 350 | Vibrations I with Applications
  • ME 405 | Vibrations 2
  • ME 471 | Acoustic Capstone Preparation
  • ME 461 | Acoustics Capstone Design Project for Engineering
Electives
  • ES 493 | Acoustic Research Project
  • ME 533 |Turbomachinery Noise Control
  • MPT 450 | Sound Technology I, II
  • WRT 215W | Introduction to Professional Writing

Music History electives may include:

  • AFR 131 | African American Music, 1890–1945
  • HTA 340 | History of Music Theatre
  • HLM 200 | World Music Survey
  • HLM 212 | Perspectives on Music History
  • HLM 216 | History of Popular Music in the United States
  • HLM 463 | Music Literature of the 20th Century

See a complete list of classes in the course catalog

Acoustical Engineering and Music Admission Requirements

To be accepted into this curriculum, applicants must have the math and science background required of all engineering students and must successfully pass the entrance requirements of The Hartt School, including an audition.

See additional admission requirements for all of CETA here.

Mechanical Engineering with Acoustics concentration

Core Classes
  • ME 265 | Fundamentals of Architectural and Musical Acoustics
  • ME 242 | Acoustic Engineering by Design Project
  • ME 466 | Advanced Topics in Engineering Acoustics
  • ME 350 | Vibrations I with Applications
  • ME 405 | Vibrations 2
  • ME 471 | Acoustic Capstone Preparation
  • ME 461 | Acoustics Capstone Design Project for Engineering
Electives
  • ES 493 | Acoustic Research Project
  • ME 533 |Turbomachinery Noise Control
  • MPT 450 | Sound Technology I, II
  • WRT 215W | Introduction to Professional Writing

See a complete list of classes in the course catalog

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING WITH ACOUSTICS CONCENTRATION ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS 

To be accepted into this curriculum, applicants must have the math and science background required of all engineering students.

See additional admission requirements for all of CETA here.

Career Outlook

student-life

The Class of 2019 graduates from the Acoustical Engineering and Music program along with students from the Mechanical Engineering program with an Acoustics concentration received a 100% job placement (or graduate school acceptance) following graduation. These graduates went on to work at companies such as Apple, Bose Loudspeakers, Cerami Consultants in Acoustics, Metropolitan Acoustics, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Starkey Hearing Aids, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, and Veneklasen Associates.

Student Accolades

Ethan Wagner ’19 Earns Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence at 2019 Commencement

Please join the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) in congratulating Ethan Wagner ’19 on earning the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence.

The Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control is a National Award from the Institute of Noise Control Engineers. Named for Dr. Leo Beranek, a legend in the field of Acoustics, this medal honors a student who has contributed to the betterment of techniques for the control of noise in Buildings, Vehicles and Outdoors, as well as a demonstrated ability to reduce noise produced by loud sources in the course of their studies.

Ethan graduated summa cum laude last month with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a concentration in Acoustics. A native of Metuchen, New Jersey, Ethan Wagner has accepted a position as an acoustical engineer at Bose Corporation, in Framingham, MA.

Acoustics Students receive Commendation Award at 2016 National ASA Design Competition

Sara Gambacorta ’16 of Getzville, New York and Christopher Springthorpe ’16 of Welwyn, England, were awarded a commendation prize for this year's design tournament sponsored by the Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics of the Acoustical Society of America. The 2016 competition specified the design of a performing arts complex located in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ginnie and Ethan submitted their entry in the competition while undergraduates at The University of Hartford. Their submission was a poster presentation demonstrating room acoustics, noise control, and acoustic isolation techniques in building planning and room design. Individual students or teams of two or three undergraduate or graduate students were eligible. Almost all of the 12 poster submissions from the United States and around the world were from graduate programs in acoustics. The anonymous entries were displayed and professionally judged at the society's May 2016 meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sara received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, summa cum laude, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. She has accepted a position with Jaffe Holden Acoustical Consultants in Norwalk, CT. Chris received his Bachelor of Science in Engineering, magna cum laude, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. He has accepted a position with Threshold Acoustics Consulting firm, located in Chicago.

Acoustics Students receive 2015 Beranek Noise Control Medals

For five straight years, acoustical engineering students at the University of Hartford have won a highly selective award called the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control. The team of Christopher Cutler and Kevin Zheng were presented the awards as a surprise announcement during the May 2015 Commencement Ceremonies.

The student team undertook a statistical analysis of road traffic noise in the vicinity of I-84 and I-91. Twenty-four hour measurements were made for over 4 weeks using remote measurement equipment, installed on an outdoor balcony of the Connecticut Science Center in downtown Hartford, CT. SImultaneous meteorological conditions were also monitored and the resulting noise plots indicated strong diurnal patterns especially during Monday–Friday commuting days. These data laid the groundwork for subsequent phases of road traffic characterization and prediction.

Chris graduated in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. Originally from Granby, CT, Chris Cutler is currently an acoustic specialist at the Volpe Center of the US Department of Transportation in Cambridge, MA.

Kevin graduated magna cum laude in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. A native of Colchester, CT, Kevin Zheng is currently an acoustical engineer in the Ship Signatures department at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, CT.

Acoustics Students receive Commendation Award at 2015 National ASA Design Competition

Following up our 1st place finish in last year's International Design competition, Virginia Demske ’15 of Hamburg, New York and Ethan Bourdeau ’15 of South Hero, Vermont, have received a commendation award in this year's design tournament sponsored by the Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics of the Acoustical Society of America. The 2015 competition specified the design of a performing arts complex located next to a casino in urban Pittsburgh, PA.

Ginnie and Ethan submitted their entry in the competition while undergraduates at The University of Hartford. Their submission was a poster presentation demonstrating room acoustics, noise control, and acoustic isolation techniques in building planning and room design. Individual students or teams of two or three undergraduate or graduate students were eligible. Almost all of the 18 poster submissions from the United States and around the world were from graduate programs in acoustics. The anonymous entries were displayed and professionally judged at the society's May 2015 meeting in Pittsburgh.

Ginnie received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, magna cum laude, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. She has accepted a position with Cerami & Associates Acoustical Consulting firm in New York City. Ethan received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, cum laude, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. He has accepted a position with Longman-Lindsey Acoustical Consulting firm, also in New York City.

Acoustics Students win International ASA Design Competition

At the 2014 Acoustical Society of America conference in Providence, R.I., it was announced that the submission by the University of Hartford's undergraduate acoustics program had won FIRST HONORS in an Architectural Acoustics Student Design Competition.

The UHart team was comprised of Lucas Johnson ’14 and Wesley Axtell ’14, both graduates of our BSE Acoustical Engineering and Music program, and Rachael Kline ’14, who graduated with a BS in Architectural Engineering Technology.

This competition is intended to encourage students to express their knowledge of architectural acoustics and noise control in the design of a facility in which acoustical considerations are of significant importance. Designs are submitted as posters, and are judged by practicing architects and acoustical engineers. All posters are judged solely on their content and are anonymous — the names of the students and school are placed in an envelope on the back of the poster, and are not revealed until the winner has been selected.

There were 15 posters submitted, and nearly all of the other posters were submitted by graduate programs in acoustics. Submissions came from not only across America, but from Europe and Asia. In fact, the runners-up were from the graduate acoustics programs at Chalmers (Sweden) and the Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Lucas Johnson is from Chatham, Illinois, and has recently accepted a position with AKRF Acoustic Consultants in New York City. Wesley Axtell is from Londonderry, N.H., and is currently a graduate student in the master's program in acoustics at Penn State University. Rachael Kline, Axtell's fiancee, has accompanied him to State College, PA.

Acoustics Students receive 2014 Beranek Noise Control Medals

For the fourth year in a row, acoustical engineering students at the University of Hartford have won a highly selective award called the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control. The team of Adam Paul and David Arena were presented the awards as a surprise announcement during the May 2014 Commencement Ceremonies.

Activity noise can be a significant component of the ambient sound in occupied spaces such as hospitals.The team studied the effects of resilient flooring on the noise levels produced by a variety of hospital activities. Noise from footfalls, rolling medical carts, etc., is highly dependent on floor treatments within a given indoor environment. They found that it was possible to choose certain resilient floor products that produced low sound levels similar to carpet, but had surface textures that could meet the disinfection and ease of maintenance requirements in a health care environment. The team engineered novel testing apparatus to make their acoustics evaluations.

Adam graduated summa cum laude in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. Originally from East Falmouth, MA, Adam Paul is currently an acoustical engineer with Shen, Milsom & Wilkie, LLC in New York City.

David graduated cum laude in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Concentration in Acoustics. A native of Shrewsbury, MA, David Areana is currently an acoustical engineer at Lewis S. Goodfriend & Associates, Inc. in Whippany, New Jersey.

Acoustics Students receive 2014 Newman Medals for Architectural Acoustics

At the 2014 CETA diploma ceremony, Adam Paul and Christopher Vincent were surprised to hear they had been awarded the Robert Bradford Newman Student Medal for Merit in Architectural Acoustics.

This highly selective national award, administered by the Acoustical Society of America, is named for Robert B. Newman of BBN (Bolt, Beranek & Newman, one of the original acoustical consulting firms). Students selected for the Newman Medal must have demonstrated excellence in this discipline and in the application of acoustical design principles in the course of their studies. Chris and Adam were honored for their work with Smith-Edwards Architects on the design of a proposed music arts center for Trinity College. The project involved acoustic modeling of a rehearsal hall, music bistro, practice rooms as well as recommendations for reduction of ventilation noise.

Adam graduated summa cum laude in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. Originally from East Falmouth, MA, Adam Paul is currently an acoustical engineer with Shen, Milsom & Wilkie, LLC in New York City.

Christopher graduated magna cum laude in May 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in Acoustical Engineering and Music. Originally from Golden, CO, Mr. Vincent is currently a systems analyst with Titan Lenders Corporation in Denver, Colorado.

Our Facilities

The Acoustics Laboratory, part of the Engineering Applications Center, is a professional acoustics facility which serves the educational needs of our students, research needs of faculty, and consultation needs of businesses and organizations throughout the United States.

Our new Acoustics Lab features the Paul S. Veneklasen Research Foundation (P.S.V.R.F.) Anechoic Chamber (dedicated October 2010), and a Reverberation Room (dedicated May 2014). Both are Eckel Chambers and have 100 Hz third-octave low frequency cutoffs. Equipment includes Brüel & Kjær Pulse spectral measurement systems, Dual–Channel FFT and 1/24 octave spectrum analyzers, portable sound level meters, impedance tube, community noise monitoring equipment, vibration & modal analysis equipment, and room acoustics & auralization simulation software. Students work on real–life acoustics application projects coordinated with sponsors from across the USA.

Accreditation

The Acoustical Engineering and Music program and Mechanical Engineering program are accredited by ABET - Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC). The Acoustical Engineering and Music program is also accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Accreditation for Acoustical Engineering and Music

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

The Acoustical Engineering and Music program seeks to prepare men and women for productive, rewarding careers in the engineering profession.

During their careers our alumni:

  1. Will become successful practicing engineers in a wide range of acoustical engineering fields and will advance professionally by accepting responsibilities and, potentially, pursuing leadership roles;
  2. Will advance their knowledge of engineering and music, both formally and informally, by engaging in lifelong learning experiences; and
  3. Will, as contributing members of multidisciplinary engineering teams, successfully apply the fundamentals of engineering analysis and design to the formulation and solution of emerging technical problems.

Student Outcomes

The student learning outcomes are aligned with the student learning outcomes of ABET EAC (a through k), and prepare graduates of the program to attain the program educational objectives.

Student outcomes (a) through (k) are articulated as follows:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
  12. be able to have an understanding of musical theory and history, and a demonstrated ability in ear training and music performance or composition.

Accreditation for Mechanical Engineering with Acoustics concentration

Program Educational Objectives (PEOs)

The Mechanical Engineering program seeks to prepare men and women for productive, rewarding careers in the engineering profession. During their careers our alumni:

  1. will become successful practicing engineers in a wide range of mechanical engineering fields and will advance professionally by accepting responsibilities and, potentially, pursuing leadership roles;

  2. will advance their knowledge of engineering, both formally and informally, by engaging in lifelong learning experiences; and

  3. will, as contributing members of multidisciplinary engineering teams, successfully apply the fundamentals of engineering analysis and engineering design to the formulation and solution of emerging technical problems.

The engineering design experience is distributed over the entire engineering curriculum. The curricular sequence ensures that there is one-half year of credits devoted to design content, which begins in the first-year course Engineering and Design and continues through the senior year's Capstone Design Project. The majority of the design work is incorporated into the junior and senior years to ensure that the students have taken sufficient preparatory engineering science courses.

Basic concepts of physics, chemistry, and mathematics create the foundation on which all engineering education is built. Basic tools of engineering practice, such as graphic communication, computer-aided drafting/design, and computer programming and applications, are also required knowledge. The basic engineering sciences, such as statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, material science, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, electrical circuits, design of machine elements, and control theory, complete the introductory phase of the program.

Mechanical engineering is generally considered to consist of a number of engineering subject areas, such as:

  • Energy Conversion
  • Fluid Flow
  • Heat Transfer
  • Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning
  • Instrumentation
  • Machine Design
  • Manufacturing Industrial Engineering
  • Materials
  • Mechanics of Solids
  • Mechanisms
  • Noise Control
    Refrigeration
    System Control

All mechanical engineering students have the opportunity to take elective courses in any of the above subject areas. Through proper choice of electives, a student may become specialized in one or two of these areas. The Mechanical Engineering department has formalized three of the areas (acoustics, energy and sustainability, and manufacturing) as designated concentrations, with a separate curriculum listing.

Extensive laboratory experience enhances the theoretical course work. There are several required laboratory courses in the sciences and engineering. Written and oral communication of laboratory results is required.

Oral presentation by the students is introduced in the first year and continues through to the capstone design course, as well as in several other required advanced and elective courses.

Through participation in the All-University Curriculum and in additional elective courses in the humanities and/or social sciences, students are given the opportunity to broaden their perspectives and to take part in the larger learning community of the University. It is imperative that engineers understand and appreciate the special role that technology plays in our society and the interactions between and among the various components of our society.

Student Outcomes

The student learning outcomes of the Mechanical Engineering program leading to BSME degree are aligned with the student learning outcomes of ABET EAC (a through k), and prepare graduates of the program to attain the program educational objectives.

Student outcomes (a) through (k) are articulated as follows:

(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data

(c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability

(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams

(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility

(g) an ability to communicate effectively

(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context

(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning

(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues

(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

Faculty & Staff

Robert D. Celmer
Program Director, Acoustical Engineering Program; Professor
Mechanical Engineering
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Eoin A. King
Coordinator, Honors Program; Associate Professor
Mechanical Engineering
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Christopher Jasinski
Assistant Professor
Mechanical Engineering
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