The Catholic University of America

 Acoustic Classes Offered

This semester, Fall 2016

Introduction to Acoustics, ME 560
Wave Propagation Analzysis, ENGR 626 


ME 559 – Fundamentals of Ocean Acoustics

Scientific interest in the underwater ambient acoustic environment began during the Second World War II. Initially, military interest led research but later a wide variety of civilian and commercial research began. This class will begin with an overview of general acoustics. The reminder of the course will focus on the particular features of the ocean environment that effect sound propagation as well as applications including sonar. The class is mathematical based but the goal of establishing this foundation is to support a physical understanding of the subject.  


ME 560 – Introduction to Acoustics

The goals of this course include exposing students to mathematical foundations of acoustics. Topics include a brief introduction to one degree of freedom vibrations followed by an in-depth examination of the acoustic wave equation.  This knowledge will then provide a foundation for the semester’s remaining topics, which include: acoustic metrology, sound propagation, Matlab signal processing, reflection, and transmission.


ME 561: Acoustics & Wave Propagation

Vibrating systems; simple, damped, and driven oscillators; strings; bars; membranes and plates. Plane, cylindrical, and spherical waves in a fluid: transmission, refraction, reflection, and absorption. Radiation from point, line, and piston sources.


ME 563: Acoustics Media & Design

This applied course covers design and measurement related issues in acoustics. Topics include the acoustics of natural and artificial porous media like gravel, mineral wool, foams and grass. The course addresses the use and design of data acquisition systems, the design of sound absorbers materials as well as the design of apparatuses for measuring acoustic properties. Experimental topics includes, impedance tube measurements, room acoustic measurements and design topics includes, design of sound absorber materials, design of acoustic measurement apparatus: porosity, flow resistivity and tortuosity apparatus. Prerequisite: ENGR 222 or equivalent.


ME 565: Atmospheric Acoustics


ME 566: Advanced Vibrations and Structural Dynamics I

Free and forced vibrations of single degree of freedom systems under a variety of time dependent loads. Damping in structures. Unit impulse response functions. Frequency domain analysis. Free and forced vibrations of multi degree of freedom systems. Modal Analysis, eigenvalues, eigenvectors. Numerical integration, time history analysis, and modal analysis of MDOF systems. Introduction to vibration of continuous systems.


ME 568: Experimental Vibration and Acoustics

Properties of acoustic and vibration sensors and actuators, collection of large data sets using robotically positioned transducers, automated data acquisition and signal processing. Post-processing techniques including statistical analysis, reduction of multi-dimensional data sets, and image generation. Comparison of experimental results with theoretical predictions of acoustic and vibration behavior. Prerequisite: ME 392 or graduate status.



ME 573: Marine Bioacoustics

The course takes an interdisciplinary approach that links areas in ocean acoustics, marine biology, and environmental sciences.  The topics covered ranging from physics of underwater sound, marine animal communication and hearing, acoustic methods in marine biology studies, digital signal processing, underwater noise impacts on marine animals, marine ambient noise and soundscape, and current hot topics in marine bioacoustics research.  Students will be required to carry out a research project and to report their findings.


ME 660: Intermediate Acoustics

The course will cover issues related to linear acoustics that stem from an understanding of the acoustic wave equation. The topics include acoustic metrology, attenuation of sound, radiation and reception, wave-guides human hearing and transduction. These analytic concepts will be applied to applied topics including musical instruments, audio, and biomedical ultrasound. Prerequisite: Graduate student status.


ME 661: Acoustics Metrology

General topics in acoustics are covered from an experimental perspective. Students will collect data and use MATLAB to characterize the acoustic performance of transducers in air and underwater. The course will cover signal processing from a practical perspective. These topics will include digital filtering, calibration and digital data acquisitions. 


ME 663: Transduction in Acoustics/Vibration


ME 664: Modal Analysis

Theoretical modal analysis. Random vibrations. Estimation of natural frequencies and mode shapes from experimental data. Experimental techniques for vibration measurements. Vibration sensors. Signal processing and data handling. Prerequisite: ME 666.


ME 666: Advanced Vibrations and Structural Dynamics II

Vibration of single degree of freedom systems. Multi-degrees of freedom systems. Introduction to modal analysis: natural frequencies and mode shapes. Distributed parameter systems: vibration of beams and plates. Analytical dynamics: LaGrange equations and Hamilton's principle. Prerequisites: ME 344 or Graduate Student Status.


ME 668: Active and Passive Vibration Control

Passive surface damping treatments: visco-elastic materials and sandwich structures. Active damping treatments. Application of optimal control techniques to vibration reduction. Adaptive control techniques. Magnetic damping treatments. Prerequisites: ME 507, ME 666.


ME 669: Nonlinear Vibration

This course includes derivation of nonlinear equations of motion for large amplitude mechanical vibrations (such as of beams and plates) but focuses on the analysis of the dynamics of nonlinear oscillators (such as Duffing, Van der Pol, and Mathieu/Hill equations). Topics considered include phase-plane analysis and stability, asymptotic and perturbation methods such as Lindstedt-Poincaré, multiple scales, and Krylov-Bogoliubov-Mitropolsky, the harmonic balance method, external excitation, primary and secondary resonances; parametric excitation, Floquet theory, and multi-degree of freedom systems including nonlinear normal modes and center manifold theory.


ME 703: Advanced Problems in Vibration and Acoustics

Topics include longitudinal and transverse waves in solids: bars, plates, and cylindrical shells; dispersion and impedance. Sound radiated by vibrating structures, effect of fluid loading on structural vibrations, sound-induced vibrations and fluid/structure interactions.


ME 760: Advanced Topics in Acoustics

Research oriented course focused on sound environments. This course covers ocean and atmospheric acoustics as well as architectural acoustics. This course also includes topics related to nonlinear phenomenon such as shock wave propagation and parametric arrays. Prerequisite: ME 560


ME 761: Acoustic Imaging

This is a research oriented class covers several types of acoustic imaging including sonar, biomedical ultrasound and airboarn side scanning synthetic aperture imaging. Students will be exposed to the theory as well as the hands-on applications. This class includes experimental as will have computations work.