Center for Acoustics and Vibration


The Penn State Center for Acoustics and Vibration (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.

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 was held 7-8 May at the Nittany Lion Inn. The agenda featured overviews 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. (This year's winners are shown below.) Mark your calendars for next year's workshop, which is moving to the Fall on 27-28 October. We're also moving to a larger, nicer, more modern venue: Heritage Hall at the Penn State Hetzel Union Building (HUB)!

2019 CAV workshop student poster competition winners

Winners of the 2019 CAV workshop student poster competition: (from left) Molly Smallcomb, Eric Rokni, and Gage Walters.

Immediately following the workshop we held a short course on the hot topic of Acoustic Black Holes (ABH), coated 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.

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 2018-19 Newsletter..

Steve Hambric

Steve Hambric, a Research Professor at the Applied Research Lab at Penn State, directs 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 contact 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