Pierce’s Work in Acoustics Earns Him International Award

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Professor Allan Pierce (AME) was honored by the The Acoustical Foundation for Education and Charitable Trust of India with the 2007 Stanley Ehrlich Gold Medal for his contributions to physical, environmental and structural acoustics and acoustics education.
Professor Allan Pierce (AME) was honored by the The Acoustical Foundation for Education and Charitable Trust of India with the 2007 Stanley Ehrlich Gold Medal for his contributions to physical, environmental and structural acoustics and acoustics education.

The Acoustical Foundation for Education and Charitable Trust (AFECT) of India has selected Professor Allan D. Pierce (AME) as the recipient of the 2007 Stanley Ehrlich Gold Medal for his contributions to physical, environmental and structural acoustics and acoustics education. In conjunction with the award, Pierce will present the Stanley Ehrlich lecture at the 2007 National Symposium on Acoustics in Tiruchengode, India.

According to AFECT, the Gold Medal is presented to an eminent acoustician or surgeon, irrespective of nationality, age, or society affiliation to promote international brotherhood in the diverse field of acoustics. The award honors Stanley Ehrlich, an American acoustician whose work strengthened professional relations between acousticians in India and the United States.

“It’s an honor to receive this award,” Pierce said. “Foreigners receive this medal only every so often. They could have picked anyone and they chose me.”

Pierce is only the third American to receive the AFECT award. As editor-in-chief of the Acoustical Society of America, Pierce became familiar with acoustical activity and research in India when the country became home to the first ASA chapter outside the US. He was nominated for the award and lecture by AFECT President Hari Paul.

A member of the AME department since 1993, Pierce served as chairman from 1993-1999.

“This award allows me to learn more about India and international relations,” said Pierce. “Acoustics are a strong, emerging area in the country.”

Over the course of his career, his diverse acoustical interests have blended physical insight and mathematical rigor. His early research focused on determining the magnitude of an explosion by its measured waveform, which was used to verify the ban on atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons and estimated the magnitude of eruptions on Mount St. Helen’s. He has been recognized for research in laser generation of sound, diffraction around thick barriers and is studying sound propagation in the ocean with fellow AME Professor William Carey. His book, “Acoustics: An Introduction to Its Physical Principles and Applications,” is one of the best-selling ASA books.

The Gold Medal is the most recent in a long line of acoustical awards received by Pierce during his career. The ASA awarded Pierce a gold medal in 2005 and a silver medal in 1991. He was the first recipient of the Rossing Prize in Acoustic Education in 2004, and was awarded the Per Bruel Gold Medal for Noise Control and Acoustics in 1995, and the Senior US Scientist Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1976.