Center for Acoustics and Vibration


Research in acoustics and vibration is one of Penn State's enduring strengths. The Center for Acoustics and Vibration (CAV) ensures the continued excellence of acoustics and vibration research at Penn State.

The CAV:

  • performs basic and applied research,
  • supports graduate education, and
  • transfers technology to industry.

The Center includes faculty, graduate students, and staff in laboratories throughout the College of Engineering and at the Applied Research Lab. These laboratories perform both disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research in areas related to acoustics and vibration.

Areas of research activity include: active and passive vibration and noise control, adaptive structures, biomedical acoustics, flow-induced noise and vibration, propagation and radiation, rotorcraft acoustics and dynamics, structural vibration and acoustics, systems and structures health management, and acoustic materials and metamaterials.

News and Upcoming Events

This year's CAV Spring Workshop will be held 7-8 May at the Nittany Lion Inn. The agenda will feature the usual talks from our 8 CAV groups, as well as updates from our international liaisons and corporate and government sponsors, along with our annual CAV workshop student poster competition, judged by our workshop guests. (Last year's winners are shown below.) Also, Olivier Robin, from our International liaison at the University of Sherbrooke, and Micah Shepherd of Penn State will give a demonstration of how to use optical deflectometry to measure the entire vibration field on a plate.

2018 CAV workshop student poster competition winners

From left: Steve Hambric (CAV Director) with the winners of the 2018 CAV workshop student poster competition: Sean Gauntt, Trevor Jerome, and Nicholas Ortega.

Immediately following the workshop on 9 May we will hold a short course on the hot topic of Acoustic Black Holes (ABH), structural indentations tuned to reduce vibration and sound radiation. The example below is from Yu Xiong's PhD research (directed by Drs. Stephen Conlon and Ed Smith), and shows vibrations in a plate treated with an ABH array, along with a sound radiation field. Yu is optimizing tuning masses within the ABH indentations which adjust the cuton frequencies, which in turn impact the lower frequency limit of vibration and sound reduction. Dr. Conlon, assisted by Dr. Micah Shepherd, are assembling the one day short course to be taught by an international panel of leading experts in this field.

ABH array in plate

Vibrations and radiated sound field for a plate treated with a tuned ABH array.

Please welcome these new CAV corporate sponsors:

You can learn more about some of our new sponsors in our 2017-18 Newsletter..

Steve Hambric

Steve Hambric, a Research Professor at the Applied Research Lab at Penn State, is the Director of the CAV. Steve is also a Professor in the Penn State Graduate Program in Acoustics. You can reach Steve at

Cliff Lissenden

Cliff Lissenden, a Professor in the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department at Penn State, is the Associate Director of the CAV. You can reach Cliff at

Diane Bierly

Diane Bierly is our CAV coordinator, and also helps support the Engineering Science and Mechanics Department. You can reach Diane at