The ASA Student Council

Organizing and representing the students of the ASA

The Student Council is charged with promoting the interests of Student Members in the Society. Activities of the Student Council include providing support to student members of the Society via a website and other means of disseminating information of mutual interest, advocating participation of students in Society activities and meetings, and promoting Society membership benefits to potential members. Students with general questions and concerns should contact their particular representative for more information.

Periodically, members of the Council graduate or move on with their career in acoustics. These transitions leave openings on the Council membership roster. If you are interested in being a representative for your technical committee, please don’t hesitate to contact the current Council chair, Trevor Jerome [].

Student Council Chair: Trevor Jerome

Location: The Pennsylvania State University

Trevor is a student in the Graduate Program of Acoustics at Penn State University. He received a B.S. in Applied Physics from Brigham Young University, with an undergraduate capstone about referee whistle noise exposure. At an internship with the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety, he studied firearm impulse noise. During a fellowship with the US Army Aeromedical Research Lab, he studied 3D audio and shock tube impulse noise. The Applied Research Lab at Penn State, a U.S. Navy University Affiliated Research Center, is where Trevor does research now. He’s studying structural nonlinear damping on unmanned aircraft.

If you’ve been searching for the [literally] cutest toddler ever, look no further. Aria earns her dad the title of “world’s luckiest guy,” and also “solar system’s luckiest guy,” barring any yet-to-be-discovered living contenders on one of Jupiter’s moons. Those were appellations he held before Aria’s birth, however, because he is married to Karin, a ballerina from Maryland. Trevor imagines spending free time frequenting the movie theater, playing his cello, learning languages, wrestling, and playing football, ultimate, and soccer.

Representative for Architectural Acoustics: Jay Bliefnick

Location: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Jay Bliefnick Business Portrait_1 copyJay is a Ph.D. student in the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. He received a B.S. in Acoustics from Columbia College Chicago in 2014. With a background in music performance and production, the study of Architectural Acoustics was natural progression. It comes as no surprise that his preferred area of study is room acoustics, with a particular interest in performance venues. His current research primarily focuses on quantifiable and sensorial measures of diffusion. In his spare time, aside from still playing bass guitar, he enjoys spending time with his dog, traveling, watching movies, and following the Chicago sports teams. Go Hawks!

Representative for Animal Bioacoustics: Michaela Warnecke

Location: Brown University

Ela_small copyEla is from Germany and received her B.S. in Cognitive Science from the University of Osnabrück in 2011. She then spent several years working with Jim and Andrea Simmons in the Bat and Frog Lab at Brown University in Providence, RI. Ela loves cooking, baking and plays the saxophone, much to the dislike of her tiny pet rabbit.

In her free time, she is working to receive her Ph.D. from the department for Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University, studying bat echolocation and behavior. Specifically, she is interested in (1) the flow of echoes that the bat experiences as it navigates its environment and how they influence the bat’s behavior, and (2) how bats deal with interfering signals from other bats in order to navigate successfully.

For all those not understanding why in the world one would study bats, please be convinced by the guy who coined the term ‘echolocation’ that bats are quite wondrous little creatures:

“Bats are such unusual creatures that some effort is required to think of them as actual animals living in a world of common sense and concrete reality. Beyond the realization that they are mammals, which can really fly, and that they prefer to fly at night, even scientists tend to ignore them as insignificant curiosities of nature. (…) Yet it is the very success and ingenuity of the live, furry, chittering, flitting bats, and their adaptation for unusual way of life, which make them so different from the animals we know best and at the same time so odd and puzzling. What rational animal would spend most of its life hanging torpid, head downward, in the dark – abandoning this posture only to pursue flying insects through the night? (…) [T]he truth about bats is intriguing and also more surprising than the mythology, so that a little understanding of these animals goes far towards dispelling the fog of mystery and prejudice. “

-Don Griffin, 1958

Representative for Acoustical Oceanography: Matt Zeh

Location: University of Texas at Austin

Matt is a third year PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin in the Graduate Program in Acoustics within the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Originally from Morgantown, WV, he attended West Virginia University where he received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.M. in Music Education. At UT, Matt is currently studying the acoustic environment of glacierized fjords with a specific interest in the contributions made by the release of bubbles from compressed air within glacier ice. Although his current work is concentrated in AO, Matt’s research interests and experiences stem into other branches of acoustics, including architectural and physical acoustics.

When he’s not busy performing research, Matt enjoys keeping up his “chops” playing music (percussion), traveling with his wife, Sarah, and taking his dog Watson on crime-solving adventures/walks. If you run into him at a future ASA conference, make sure to introduce yourself! Or, feel free to contact him via email.

Representative for Biomedical Acoustics: Tao Sun

Location: Tufts University

Tao is a PhD candidate working in the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. Advised by Profs Nathan McDannold and Eric Miller, Tao is pursuing his PhD in Electrical Engineering at Tufts University for the work of cavitation control and image guidance during microbubble-mediated focused ultrasound therapy. His current work involves with targeted drug delivery for treating brain cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, array signal processing (array beamforming), and microbubble dynamics. Prior to his study in Boston, He received a B.S. in Acoustics (joint program of Electrical Engineering and Physics) at Nanjing University and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. His Google Scholar profile can be found here.

Tao enjoys traveling, serious cooking, judging restaurants, swimming and hanging out with friends in his leisure time. He is a sucker for chubby cats.

Representative for Engineering Acoustics: Vahid Naderyan

Location: University of Mississippi

Vahid is pursuing a Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Mississippi. He received a B.Sc. in Physics from IUT, Iran in 2012, where he did his final project on Musical Acoustics. He conducted his M.Sc. research on wind-induced ground motions at the University of Mississippi and National Center for Physical Acoustics (NCPA). After he received his M.Sc. degree in 2015, he interned at Knowles, working on MEMS microphones, and balanced armature speakers for hearing aids. Currently, he is doing his Ph.D. research on the MEMS microphones, in collaboration with Knowles. Vahid enjoys playing music (Tanbour), reading, cinema, playing soccer, traveling, hiking and mountain climbing. Please introduce yourself during the next ASA meeting, and feel free to contact him with any questions you have.

Representative for Musical Acoustics: Martin Lawless

Location: Pennsylvania State University

Lawless - Headshot_1 copyMartin currently pursues a PhD in Acoustics from the Pennsylvania State University, researching the brain’s emotional response to concert hall stimuli using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with Dr. Michelle Vigeant. He received a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. For his senior design project, Martin developed and taught a Musical Instrument Design class. During his undergraduate education, he interned twice at Pratt & Whitney located in East Hartford, CT, where he specialized in data modeling and development.

When he is not in the lab, Martin enjoys swing dancing, reading, cooking, and playing his musical instruments. Please introduce yourself during the next ASA meeting, and feel free to contact him with any questions you have!

Representative for Noise: Jonathan Weber

Location: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Jonathan is pursuing a PhD in Architectural Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his BS in Engineering Mechanics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MS in Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His current research involves the characterization of hospital noise. Focused in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, he is studying the effects of noise on infant physiological response and the impact of staff-led behavioral modification. He is currently pursuing the development of new acoustic metrics and thresholds to help guide noise control strategies and future hospital design.

Outside the research lab, Jonathan likes playing trumpet, basketball, tennis, golf, fishing, and board games. He had the unique opportunity to perform in European halls including Smetana Hall and Gewandhaus. He is an avid Chicago sports fan and enjoys visiting stadiums nationwide to view the architectural designs and of course watch his Chicago teams.

Representative for Physical Acoustics: Brent Reichman

Location: Brigham Young University

IMG_0620_2Brent is a PhD student at Brigham Young University in the Physics department. As an undergraduate he studied active noise control while completing his BS in Physics, also at BYU. His PhD research focuses on nonlinear propagation of jet and rocket noise, in particular investigating metrics used to gauge shock formation and the importance of cumulative nonlinear effects. Research highlights include presentations at multiple ASA meetings, an internship at Los Alamos National Labs performing nondestructive evaluation of metal plates, and an opportunity to participate in the ASA-sponsored Physical Acoustics Summer School. When not spending his time doing research, Brent enjoys ultimate frisbee, skiing, doing his best Frank Sinatra impression, and spending time with his wife and son.

Representative for Psychological & Physiological: Kelly Whiteford

Location: University of Minnesota

Kelly is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota in Psychology (Cognitive and Brain Sciences), with a graduate minor in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences. Kelly’s interests in research began while pursuing her BA in Cognitive Science and minor in Music at UC Berkeley. After graduating, she worked as a lab manager at UC Berkeley for two labs, one related to cross-modal perception and the other to understanding speech perception in multi-talker environments. Her current research examines individual differences in pitch perception in normal and disordered hearing.

Outside the lab, Kelly enjoys swimming, listening to music, cooking (but mostly eating), and spending time with friends.

Representative for Structural Acoustics & Vibration: T.J. Flynn

Location: University of Michigan

T.J. is a Mechanical Engineering PhD candidate at the University of Michigan, developing remote acoustic sensing techniques for structural health monitoring. He received his BS in both Mechanical Engineering and Physics at the University of Kentucky where he did research ranging from UAV design for atmospheric measurements, to the development of composite microscale devices. T.J.’s current research interests include the generation and prediction of structural-borne sound, remote acoustic sensing in challenging environments, fluid structure interactions, and the applications thereof. T.J. has attended numerous ASA Meetings, was a member of the 2016 Physical Acoustics Summer School, and is always interested in finding more outlets for communicating and improving his research.

In his free time T.J. enjoys playing guitar and tinkering with musical electronics, going to concerts, cooking, and playing Ultimate Frisbee. He also enjoys planning and participating in STEM outreach events, so if you have any ideas feel free to contact him via email or find him at the next ASA Jam!

Representative for Speech Communication: Shae Morgan

Location: The University of Utah

Shae is a PhD/AuD student at the University of Utah in Communication Sciences and Disorders. He studied Communication Disorders at BYU where he received his BS. His research interests lie in social, cognitive, and emotional factors that affect speech perception. He was diagnosed with a mild hearing loss in high school, which ultimately led him to pursue this career to understand how hearing (and the loss thereof) affects speech communication and social interactions. He has thoroughly enjoyed teaching in communication disorders, and hopes to find a job in academia.

Outside the lab, Shae enjoys table tennis, reading, and spending time with friends and family.

Representative for Signal Processing in Acoustics: Sarah Young

Location: Brigham Young University

Sarah is currently a Masters student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Brigham Young University. She received a B.S. in Physics from Brigham Young University – Idaho in 2015 after completing a senior thesis studying the outdoor propagation of spherical acoustic shock decay. Spherical shocks were obtained by means of blowing up large oxyacetylene balloons, which was pretty cool.  At an internship for Starkey Hearing Technologies, she developed testing methods for hearing aid microphone directionality. Sarah’s current research uses time reversal to study micro-cracks in steel.

Sarah’s life has been described by many as a real-life musical due to her propensity to break into song and dance at regular intervals regardless of her surroundings. While this can often be difficult in an acoustic lab space, Sarah managed to procure a research project involving vibration in solids, eliminating the need for silence during testing. On a day free from research, Sarah enjoys reading, hiking, biking, and playing pretend games with her six nieces.

Representative for Underwater Acoustics: Brian Worthmann

Location: University of Michigan

Brian is a PhD student at the University of Michigan in the Applied Physics program, and is entering his 4th year. He is originally from southern NJ, and attended Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ for his undergraduate work, where he received a B.S. in Engineering Physics and a B.E. in Chemical Engineering. His PhD research combines underwater acoustics and signal processing, specifically for the task of high frequency source localization in the shallow ocean. He has attended many ASA meetings, the 2016 Physical Acoustics Summer School (PASS), as well as a few international conferences, including WESPAC2015 in Singapore and ICA2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

When not researching or preparing for a conference, Brian can be found teaching, helping grad students communicate their research to non-experts, traveling somewhere, or relaxing with some craft beer. If you see him at a conference, be sure to say hi!

To ASA student members,

Announcement for the application acceptance towards open ASA Student Council representative positions will be posted here. For aspiring students applicants, below here is the general information you need to know about the student council representative position.

Appointment to the Student Council is for a two-year term, starting immediately upon selection or at a specified future date. Student Council representatives are expected to attend both the Fall and Spring ASA meetings during their appointment, and will be reimbursed up to $750 for travel to each ASA meeting attended during tenure on the Student Council. It is important that the representative attends each biannual ASA meeting while on the Student Council, as this is where the Student Council conducts most of its business. General responsibilities of the representative include serving as a conduit for information for students within this Technical Committee, attending Technical Committee meetings and reporting on student activities, promoting the interests of students in the Society, and developing student-related activities within the Society.

Students interested in serving on the Student Council should be generally knowledgeable about the society and its activities and have attended at least one ASA meeting before applying. Applicants must be ASA student members. Preference will be given graduate students, pursuing either a masters or doctoral degree. Students who are members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

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