Past Graduate Members
Jonathan Broyles, M.S. Architectural Engineering 2020 – LinkedIn
Jonathan Broyles joined SPRAL as a research assistant in the Fall of 2018. His initial research pertained to the annoyance and preference of different transportation sounds; particularly Mach-cutoff signatures. Jonathan eventually switched into Department of Architectural Engineering, where he picked up the research that became his Master’s thesis (“Structural-Acoustic Optimization Of Shaped Concrete Floors In Buildings“). Dr. Vigeant served on his thesis committee. Before attending Penn State he received his BS in Civil Engineering (emphasis in structural engineering) with a Minor in Music Performance from Clemson University in May 2018. Jonathan has an extensive background in percussion performance and continues to combine his passions of structures and acoustics. Jonathan is now seeking a Ph.D. in Architectural Engineering at Penn State under Dr. Nathan Brown’s Building Design Group.
Matthew Neal, M.S. 2015, Ph.D. 2019 – LinkedIn
Dr. Neal earned his M.S. in Acoustics (thesis: “Investigating the sense of listener envelopment in concert halls using third-order Ambisonic reproduction over a loudspeaker array and a hybrid room acoustics simulation method”) in 2015 and his Ph.D. in Acoustics (dissertation: “A Spherical Microphone and Compact Loudspeaker Array Measurement Database for the Study of Concert Hall Preference“) in 2019, both under SPRAL. Matthew’s MS work involved the design and construction of the AURAS facility, and he used this facility to conduct an initial test on the perception of listener envelopment in concert hall simulations. For his Ph.D. work, Matthew conducted extensive measurements of concert halls throughout the US and Europe using the Eigenmike and SPRAL’s custom-built sound sources, creating a database of spatial room impulse response measurements. This database allowed for direct comparison on a wide range of concert halls objectively using beamforming techniques and subjectively using loudspeaker-based auralization and listening tests. The subjective testing focused upon the perception of envelopment in concert halls and overall factors that influence a person’s overall room impression and preference. Matthew also holds a BAE in Architectural Engineering from Penn State. After earning the Ph.D., Matthew began a post-doc under Dr. Pavel Zahorik in the Zahorik Auditory Perception Laboratory at the University of Louisville.
Martin Lawless, Ph.D. 2018
Dr. Lawless earned his Ph.D. in Acoustics in 2018. His dissertation is “Assessing the Auditory and Reward Responses to Room Acoustics and Music Using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging.” Martin holds a B.E. in Mechanical Engineering from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art (2013). While there, he developed and taught a Musical Instrument Design class for his senior design project. During undergrad, Martin twice interned at Pratt & Whitney, a jet engine company located in East Hartford, CT. Following graduation, Martin has accepted a position as a visiting assistant professor at The Cooper Union.
Peter Moriarty, M.S. 2017 – LinkedIn
Peter Moriarty graduated in 2017 with his Master of Science degree in Acoustics with his thesis “The Acoustics of Emotion: Creation and Characterization of an Emotional Speech Database“. Peter hails from the great town of Lexington, Massachusetts, where his passion for acoustics first took hold. He received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Boston University College of Engineering in 2011, and put the degree to use in the city of Boston for a short time. Peter has worked as a freelance designer, Design Manager of the John Silber Studio at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as Technical Designer and Fabricator at the Boston Museum of Science. Peter currently works as an Acoustical Engineer at Bose Corporation.
Dave Dick, Ph.D. 2017 – LinkedIn
Dave Dick graduated in 2017 with his Ph.D. in Acoustics – the first SPRAL Ph.D.! His dissertation is “A New Metric to Predict Listener Envelopment Based on Spherical Microphone Array Measurements and Higher Order Ambisonic Reproductions.” Dr. Dick is currently an engineer at Bose Corporation, where he had also worked before joining SPRAL. Dave also holds a BS in Electrical Engineering, a BSE in Acoustical Engineering and Music with a jazz guitar concentration, and a minor in math from University of Hartford (2010).
Kristina Sorensen, MEng 2017 – LinkedIn
Kristina Sorensen’s work focused on the perception of warmth in concert halls. During much of her time at Penn State, she played flute in the Penn State campus orchestra. She graduated in 2012 from Utah State University with a BS in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Physics.
Quincey Smail, MEng 2016 – LinkedIn
Quincey Smail completed his M.Eng. degree as a member of SPRAL in the Graduate Program in Acoustics in 2016. Before Penn State, he studied physics and music in Pella, Iowa at Central College, where his interest in the two fields grew. In 2013, he earned a BA in Physics with minors in Music, Math, and German. As a member of SPRAL, Quincey worked on a project, suggesting potential acoustical recommendations to improve a instrumental rehearsal room at Penn State’s School of Music. Currently, Quincey is an acoustical consultant at Acoustics By Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Matt Kamrath, Graduate Research Assistant 2013-2014
Matt Kamrath was a member of SPRAL during the 2013-2014 school year. As a SPRALite, he worked on a Federal Aviation Administration sponsored projected looking how aircraft noise impacted children’s learning and cognition. Currently, Matt is a Ph.D. student at the École Centrale de Nantes, and he works at the French Building Research Center (Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment, CSTB) in Grenoble, France. His current research is in the area of urban noise mitigation techniques.
Past Undergraduate Members
Evan Savage, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2016 – Spring 2018 – LinkedIn
Evan Savage was an undergraduate student in the Schreyer Honors College at Penn State studying Computer Science with minors in Music Technology and Arts Entrepreneurship and a member of the Penn State Blue Band. He did an REU with SPRAL, but continued as a research assistant for multiple years afterward. Evan assisted in studying the perception of listener envelopment, investigating specific time ranges in a room’s impulse response that were important to creating changes in a listener’s sense of envelopment. Evan will be continuing his education through graduate studies in Music Technology at McGill University in Montreal.
Molly Smallcomb, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2016 – LinkedIn
Molly was a student at the University of Hartford in Connecticut majoring in Acoustical Engineering & Music (vocal emphasis) when she applied for an REU through SPRAL. For this summer of 2016, Molly helped construct a compact spherical loudspeaker array that can replicate the directivity of symphony orchestra instruments. This sound source can be used for obtaining concert hall measurements with a distributed array of sources on stage. Molly is now a member of the BASiL lab in the Graduate Program in Acoustics here at Penn State.
Colton Snell, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2014 – LinkedIn
When working with SPRAL as an undergrad, Colton was a senior majoring in electrical engineering at UT Austin, and he participated in an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates during the summer of 2014. For his project, he helped with the design and construction of the 3D loudspeaker array facility at Penn State, used for auralization of concert hall environments. Colton is currently an Electrical and Acoustical Engineer at Sandia National Labs.
Carol Tadros, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2014 – LinkedIn
Carol was a senior majoring in electrical engineering at Penn State when she joined SPRAL for the summer. Carol worked on a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates during the summer of 2014, where she helped with the design of an omni-directional sound source. This sound source was developed to use as a controlled sound source in concert hall measurements.
Acadia Kocher, Undergraduate Research Assistant, Summer 2013
Acadia Kocher was a member of SPRAL during the summer of 2013. Working on a NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates, Acadia worked on a research project studying how different subjective attributes of concert hall acoustics relate to overall preference of concert halls. Acadia was a sophomore from Northwestern when she joined SPRAL for the summer.