James West is well-known for his 1960s work pioneering electret microphones, the kind most widely used today. More recently the research professor with Johns Hopkins University in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has specialized in electro, physical, and architectural acoustics. West currently focuses on noise mitigation inside hospitals, and spoke on this April 30 at The Durham School, part of the UNL College of Engineering's Omaha programs.
The World Health Organization (WHO) set guidelines for noise levels in hospitals, but in studies most hospital noise levels are as much as 20-40 decibels higher than WHO guidelines. West discussed new practices for mitigating hospital interior noise, methods of control and related challenging issues.
West's visit was hosted by the Nebraska Engineering chapter of the Acoustical Society of America. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow and past President of the ASA, and a Fellow of the IEEE. He holds 47 US and more than 200 foreign patents, and was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1999.
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