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  Technical Committee Report: Committee on Engineering Acoustics
Michael R. Haberman
   Editor’s Note: This is the final report in the Acoustics Today series on the contributions of Technical Commit- tees to the Acoustical Society of America. In addition to
being in the pages of the magazine, this report will be added to all of the technical committee reports in “AT Collections” at
The Technical Committee on Engineering Acoustics (TCEA) of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) is concerned with the evolution and improvement of acoustical tech- niques and apparatus, and with the promotion of new applications of acoustics for useful purposes.
The TCEA includes scientists and engineers with a very wide range of interests and expertise. Indeed, the area of engineering acoustics is highly cross-disciplinary, encompassing the theory and practice of creating tools to generate and investigate acoustical phenomena and then to apply the knowledge of acoustics to practical utility. This includes the modeling, design, and fabrication of acousti- cal and vibrational transducers, arrays, and transduction systems in all media and frequency ranges. Engineering acoustics is further concerned with the design of acoustical instrumentation, metrology, and calibration of acoustical systems as well as the associated aspects of fabrication and computational techniques as they relate to the generation and sensing of acoustical phenomena.
Accordingly, members of the TCEA have highly diverse tech- nical backgrounds and virtually all members are very active in at least one other ASA technical committee, primarily Noise, Physical Acoustics, Signal Processing, Structural Acoustics and Vibration, or Underwater Acoustics. Due to the practical bent of a large numbers of our membership, the TCEA also has significant representation in the ASA Com- mittee on Standards, which develops new standardization projects, revises existing standards and technical reports, and reaffirms globally disseminated and widely used stan- dards in acoustics and vibrations (see
As implied from the description above, the research topics in the TCEA are incredibly varied. A representative, but not exhaustive, set of topics include (1) detailed studies on the fundamental physical principles of materials used to sense, generate, absorb, and otherwise control acous- tic fields; (2) the design of sensor arrays and processing techniques for the detection and identification of sound sources or to perform nondestructive evaluation of struc- tures and materials; (3) the design and characterization of electroacoustic devices for scientific, industrial, or enter- tainment purposes; and (4) the development of standards to ensure that measurement methods and devices are uni- formly employed across all domains in acoustics.
The technical disciplines of engineering acoustics are applied every day across an extremely broad spectrum of applications in the academic, governmental, and industrial workforces. Indeed, one of the primary animating principles of members in TCEA is the desire to translate fundamen- tal research into practice. Some of the earliest examples of this type include research on piezoelectricity to generate underwater sound by the physicist Langevin (CNRS, 1950) and the fundamental works of Mason (1930) and Firestone (1933) on the representation of acoustical elements and electromechanical systems, respectively, using equivalent circuits. Together, those works greatly facilitated the design of acoustic transducers and their integration into acoustical systems for a wide range of applications in acoustics.
Other notable early examples include the transition of fun- damental science to applications in the design of sonar systems that were central to the militaries of the world during World Wars I and II (Muir and Bradley, 2016) and the creation of the electret microphone by Sessler and West (1966), a technological contribution that led to the devel- opment of low-cost and high-quality sound measurement for a wide range of applications (Busch-Vishniac and Elko, 2021). Somewhat more recent historical examples include the use of pressure-induced changes to the optical index of
©2021 Acoustical Society of America. All rights reserved.
  72 Acoustics Today • Winter 2021 | Volume 17, issue 4

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