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   Ask an Acoustician: Lily M. Wang
Lily M. Wang and Micheal L. Dent
    Meet Lily M. Wang
In this “Ask an Acoustician” essay, we feature Lily M. Wang, recent president and vice president of the Acoustical Soci- ety of America (ASA). Lily has been honored many times by the ASA, including being named a Fellow and winning the Student Council Mentor Award, the R. Bruce Lindsay
Award, and the F. V. Hunt Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Acoustics. She has served on and chaired many commit- tees in the ASA at some point. I will let her tell you the rest.
A Conversation with Lily Wang, in Her Own Words
Tell us about your work.
I’ve been a faculty member in the Architectural Engineer- ing program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) since March 2000 (see My research inter- ests are on the effects of noise and reverberation on human performance and comfort and linking room acoustic sub- jective perception with objective metrics. For the past eight years, I have also served as an academic administrator in the UNL College of Engineering: first as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Faculty Development (2013–2018), then as Associate Dean for Faculty and Inclusion (2018– 2021). In early July 2021, I moved into a department leader position as director of the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.
Describe your career path.
When I was younger, I wanted to design concert halls! I learned about acoustical engineering in a high-school text- book, and it instantly clicked that this fit my passions. I love singing and have played piano since the age of 4, but I knew early on that I was not talented enough to make it a living. Architectural acoustics combined my love of music with my enjoyment of math and science. While deciding on which college to attend, I didn’t know of undergraduate programs in architectural acoustics, so instead I pursued a
Bachelor of Science (BS) in civil engineering with a certifi- cate in architecture at Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey. I incorporated acoustics in other ways during those years. I had summer internships in acoustics (one at Geor- gia Tech, Atlanta, with Yves Berthelot and another at Jaffe Holden Scarbrough in Norwalk, Connecticut) and wrote my undergraduate senior thesis on the acoustic and structural properties of fabric tension membrane structures under the advisement of David Billington.
I was unable to secure a job in acoustical consulting after finishing undergraduate studies, so I joined the Graduate Program in Acoustics at the Pennsylvania State Univer- sity, University Park. I intended to complete a Master of Science degree only, but faculty member Victor Sparrow encouraged me to pursue a PhD, convincing me that it would open doors rather than close them, as acoustical consultants had cautioned. I am so glad that I did! My doctoral dissertation focused on using near-field acoustic holography to study sound radiation from bowed violins, supervised by Courtney Burroughs.
I was then ready to join an acoustical consulting firm but felt extraordinarily lucky to be selected for the one postdoc- toral fellowship I had applied to, the ASA Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to study room acoustics and subjective testing at the Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, with Anders Christian Gade. Because there were few aca- demic role models in the United States who taught and did research in architectural acoustics, I never had considered becoming a professor. But while in Denmark, I learned
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 66 Acoustics Today • Winter 2021 | Volume 17, issue 4

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