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Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering Professor Preston Wilson has been awarded the Acoustical Society of America’s Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education. 

The Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education was established in 2003 from a generous gift made to the Acoustical Society Foundation by Thomas D. Rossing, a professor of acoustics at Stanford Univeristy, to recognize individuals who make significant contributions toward furthering acoustics education through distinguished teaching, creation of educational materials, textbook writing and other activities.  The award was presented at the 178th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which was held in San Diego, CA in December 2019.

Wilson is a professor in the acoustics and dynamic systems and control programs of the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and is the Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor in Engineering. He holds a joint appointment as research professor at Applied Research Laboratories.  Wilson has taught both undergraduate and graduate acoustics courses, and mentored graduate students in acoustics here at UT Austin for the past 17 years.

From 2009 through 2015, Wilson served as the chair of the Education in Acoustics Committee within the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), and currently serves as an associate editor for education for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. From 2016 through 2019, Wilson was a member of the executive council of the ASA, which is the Society’s governing body. Through these positions, Wilson helped to increase the focus of the ASA toward education in acoustics and acoustics outreach, in part through the ASA’s development of a website devoted to K-12 acoustics education.

Wilson's current research interests include ocean acoustics, physical acoustics and engineering acoustics, with concentrations on sound propagation and scattering in the ocean and in multiphase media, such as bubbly liquids and water-saturated sediments, found at the upper and lower surfaces (respectively) of the ocean.  Wilson also studies animal bioacoustics, novel acoustic materials and transduction. Wilson works in the area of underwater anthropogenic noise abatement using large encapsulated bubbles, and technology developed in Wilson’s research group at UT is being commercialized for use in abating noise associated with off-shore construction, such as the installation of marine wind farms. AdBm, LLC was founded for this purpose in 2012.  Finally, if the above is not diverse enough, one of Wilson’s most-downloaded papers is on the acoustics of coffee roasting.

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