Underwood receives two prestigious ASA graduate fellowships

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Samuel Underwood, Ph.D. student in architectural engineering.
Samuel Underwood, Ph.D. student in architectural engineering.

Samuel Underwood, a Ph.D. student in architectural engineering with an emphasis in acoustics, has been selected to receive two prestigious fellowships from the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) to support his graduate studies.

The Leo and Gabriella Beranek Scholarship in Architectural Acoustics and Noise Control, which was first awarded in 2016, is a $30,000 award. The Frank and Virginia Winker Memorial Scholarship for Graduate Studies in Acoustics, first awarded in 2017, is a $3,000 award.

Underwood is advised by Lily Wang, director of The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction and professor of architectural engineering. He is conducting primary research that explores the applications of Building Information Modeling (BIM) software to the prediction of noise in HVAC systems. His other research interests include exploring the effects of ambient acoustical conditions on native Spanish speech comprehension in comparison to the effects on native talkers of other languages and laboratory test methods for determining the sound power level generated by HVAC equipment.

The two fellowships, Underwood said, are "a tremendous blessing" that will help with the financial demands of pursuing a doctoral degree.

"With this funding supporting my studies, I will be able to craft a unique and challenging dissertation project that is suited to my research interests. I am very thankful for my advisors and colleagues that encouraged me to apply," Underwood said.

Underwood looks forward to completing his doctorate in 2024 or 2025 and beginning a career.

"My primary career goal is to support and inspire the next generation of engineers by bridging the gap between academia and industry," Underwood said. "I envision this will put me in a role shaped by some combination of research, teaching, and industry practice - all with ties to acoustics in the built environment."

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