Spectrum Logo
A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Tech engineers receive $2.5-million Navy grant

By Liz Crumbley

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 21 - February 23, 1995

The U.S. Office of Naval Research has awarded a $2.5 million grant to the Vibration and Acoustics Laboratories (VAL) in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering to conduct research on noise control.

Chris Fuller, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the VAL, said his research group will work in conjunction with researchers at Pennsylvania State University to develop structures that can sense an unwanted noise and then radiate other sounds to effectively cancel the noise.

Penn State researchers will build the noise-emitting structures. Fuller's group at Virginia Tech, consisting of two faculty members, 20 graduate students, and eight research associates, are developing acoustical techniques and equipment to process and radiate the cancelling sounds.

The project, titled "Active Control of Radiated Sound with Integrated Piezoelectric Composite Structures," is funded for three years. Fuller has worked for the past seven years on the concepts underlying this project. "Now, we must develop structures for realistic applications of those concepts," he said.

Ultimately, the U.S. Navy will use the products of this research to control noise radiated from marine vessels. Fuller foresees eventual spin-offs of the noise control structures for industrial applications, including use by the airline industry for control of cabin noise and by others in places where the public and machine operators constantly are bombarded by noise.