Acoustics Research Facilities

Facilities and Labs

Sound Perception & Room Acoustics Laboratory

The  Sound Perception & Room Acoustics Laboratory (SPRAL) is a research laboratory housed in the Graduate Program in Acoustics at Penn State. The research team consists of both graduate and undergraduate members and focuses on topics related to room acoustic measurement techniques, virtual acoustics, spherical array processing, the subjective impression of room acoustics, neuroimaging, emotional processing of speech and music, and impact of noise upon learning and performance. Most SPRAL students are pursuing graduate degrees in acoustics, but SPRAL also offers a wide range of different backgrounds, including electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, architectural engineering, signal processing, math, computer science, and physics. 

Key Faculty:

Biomedical Acoustics Simon Lab

TheBiomedical Acoustics Simon Lab (BASiL) is a research laboratory in the Graduate Program in Acoustics, led by Julianna Simon, assistant professor of acoustics and biomedical engineering. The research activities in BASiL primarily focus on diagnostic and therapeutic applications of ultrasound with an emphasis on technologies that can benefit human spaceflight. Current graduate students have undergraduate degrees in acoustics, physics, and bioengineering.

Key Faculty: 

Lab Features:

  • VantageTM 128-channel Verasonics(R) Research Ultrasound System
    • Verasonics(R) L22-14
    • Philips/ATL P4-2, L7-4, and C5-2
  • High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) Transducers
    • 64-mm, 1.2-MHz, f#=1 with 3.6 MHz third Harmonic
    • 64-mm, 1.5 MHz, f#=0.7 with 42-mm center opening for co-axial alignment
    • Fiber Optic and Capsule Hydrophones

The Sound Innovation of Metamaterials and Biomedical Acoustics (SIMBA) lab

The SIMBA lab draws principles from mechanical wave physics and mathematics to develop the next generation of wave functional materials, diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound, and computational methods for acoustics. Yun Jing and SIMBA students strive to adopt new technologies to facilitate a host of applications such as noise control, health care, energy harvesting, and sensing.

Key Faculty:

Lab Features

  • VantageTM 128-channel Verasonics(R) Research Ultrasound System
  • B&K Impedance tube
  • PCB shaker and accelerometer

Applied Research Laboratory

Established in 1945 at the request of the U.S. Navy, the Applied Research Laboratory (ARL) at Penn State is an integral part of the University. Originally focused on undersea weapons technology development, ARL now includes a broad research portfolio addressing the needs of various sponsors. 

ARL supports national security, economic competitiveness, and quality of life through education, scientific discovery, technological demonstration, and successful transition to application. 

As a Department of Defense (DoD) designated University Affiliated Research Center (UARC), ARL conducts essential research, development, and systems engineering in support of our nation’s priorities, free from conflict of interest or competition with industry. 

Applied Science Building

Located on the west side of Penn State University Park, the Applied Science Building (ASB) is home to the Graduate Program in Acoustics.  

The ASB auditorium has a large seating capacity, used for many conferences and seminars. It is equipped with a video projection system capable of displaying VHS, DVD, and computer workstation graphics and has an internet connection. The setup is configured such that the classroom audio and video equipment can be relocated here. 

A study lounge for acoustics graduate students provides lockers for students. Once a student begins work on a research project, a desk is usually assigned, typically within the specific research group. 

A small lounge within the student area allows for some relaxation time between classes and work, and houses the main collection of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA). 



Founded in 1965, Penn State's Graduate Program in Acoustics has become the leading resource for graduate education in acoustics in the United States. The interdisciplinary program leads to the degrees: Master of Engineering in Acoustics (M.Eng.), Master of Science in Acoustics (M.S.), and Doctor of Philosophy in Acoustics (Ph.D.)

Graduate Program in Acoustics

College of Engineering

The Pennsylvania State University

201 Applied Science Building

University Park, PA 16802