February 28, 2013
Professor Prasad advocates better design to reduce environmental noise
When a building is designed, structural integrity and visual appeal are carefully taken into consideration and optimized. The same cannot be said for the acoustic design of buildings, which is often overlooked. As a recognized leader in reducing noise pollution and the Director of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, Dr. Marehalli Prasad of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology gave the keynote presentation on the importance of acoustics and noise control in the design of buildings at the 2013 International Conference on Advances in Building Science held at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras on Feb 13-15, 2013. He discussed the various approaches to achieving optimal acoustic environments in different types of structures.
Dr. Prasad delivers the keynote
“Stevens is dedicated to engineering that makes a positive impact on society, and Dr. Prasad’s expertise in the field of acoustics and vibration promises to improve the standard of living for millions,” says Dr. Michael Bruno, Dean of the Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering and Science. “His keynote presentation provided an opportunity to share his expertise and communicate the importance of noise control.”
Acoustical considerations are very important in many aspects of design and construction. Noise in and aroundbuildings affects a majority of the population during a substantial portion of an average day. Regular exposure to noise can have wide-ranging effects on the psychological and physiological health of populations. In excess, it can lead to elevated blood pressure and lost sleep, and can interfere with communications in the workplace, leading to accidents.
Though the technology to control noise both inside and outside buildings is well-advanced and widely available, it is seldom implemented. “The design of HVAC systems, ducts, pipes, walls, floors, ceilings and doors should enhance the acoustics of indoor spaces,” says Dr. Prasad. “Acoustically designed environments reduce communication interference and improve the quality of life.”
"Dr. Prasad has spent over 30 prolific years at Stevens working not only to develop innovative solutions to control noise, but to build understanding and awareness of its impact," says Dr. Constantin Chassapis, Deputy Dean of the School of Engineering and Science and Director of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Prasad presented at the conference in Chennai, India, with experts in the field from around the world in attendance. Hosted by the Building Technology & Construction Management Division of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, the conference provided a forum for researchers, practicing engineers, material and systems providers, applicators and analysts to exchange ideas and network.
Dr. Prasad has a long history of making significant contributions to the field. He built the Noise and Vibration Control Laboratory at Stevens in 1984, installing anechoic and reverberation chambers to study sound waves. The Laboratory studies the propagation of sound and develops noise reduction techniques. In 2006, he was elected a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America for his pioneering work with ducts and mufflers. In 2010, he was honored with the Bharat Gaurav (Pride of India) Award by the Indian International Friendship Society. Dr. Prasad is also a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and Acoustical Society of India (ASI). He has published over 100 papers, two of which have received awards, and made several invited presentations at national and international meetings. He has worked as a Noise Control Expert for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and chaired ASME Technical Committee on Duct Acoustics.