The Acoustical Society of America honors Dr. Per V. Brüel, a leader in acoustics and acoustic instrumentation, who passed away on April 2 2015, just after his 100th birthday, March 6, 2015. For more than 75 years Dr. Brüel has been in the forefront of acoustic measurement techniques and analysis. Through development and production of high-quality instruments for nearly all kinds of acoustic measurements, he has had a decisive influence on the high standard of acoustic measurements of today and on our present knowledge of acoustical phenomena. Dr. Brüel was born in Copenhagen and on his 100 birthday he can look back on a career in which he has played a substantial role in acoustics as an engineer, a visionary inventor, founder of a major global corporation, an enthusiastic pilot and explorer who personally pioneered new markets and as a scientist with a major influence on research and development in acoustics at university laboratories and at companies all over the World.
Dr. Brüel, in collaboration with his friend Viggo Kjær, founded the company, Brüel & Kjær in November 1942. While Viggo Kjær stayed in Denmark to gain experience in other companies, Per Brüel went to Sweden, and in 1944 he was offered and accepted a time-limited associate professorship at Chalmers University for three years. After he returned to Denmark in 1947 he was the director for Danish Decca Navigator A/S for a year, but starting in 1948 he worked full time as an engineer at Brüel & Kjær A/S where he was responsible for product planning, research and sales. He was also responsible for the ideas that led to the development of numerous instruments produced over nearly 50 years. These included, for example, the level recorder used to make registrations of sound level versus time, the series of condenser microphones for sound measurements, the pistonphone for calibration, frequency analyzers and intensity analyzers, accelerometers and amplifiers, and electrodynamic shakers. Noise-induced hearing damage has been a field of interest to Per Brüel, and for his results in this field the Institute of Acoustics in England in 1975 awarded him the Lord Rayleigh Gold Medal.
Dr. Brüel’s is a member of the Danish Academy of Technical Sciences, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering in USA. He also received honorary professorships and doctoral degrees from many universities. In 1992 Per Brüel sold his shares in Brüel & Kjær A/S and started his new company, Brüel Acoustics, where he continued his activities on development of instruments and technologies for use in sound and vibration.
A more comprehensive article on Dr. Per Brüel and his life will be published in a forthcoming issue of Acoustics Today. Leif Bjørnø