UTA undergrad wins national award for noise control engineering

Singh wins Beranek Medal, marking third time in four years award has gone to UTA

Thursday, Sep 29, 2022 • Herb Booth : Contact

For the third time in four years, a student at The University of Texas at Arlington has won a prestigious national award for noise control engineering.

Manya Singh
Manya Singh

Manya Singh, a senior mechanical engineering student, has earned the Leo Beranek Student Medal for Excellence in the Study of Noise Control from the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the USA (INCE-USA). Singh won for her work to decrease cabin noise in autonomous rideshare cars owned by May Mobility, which operates around the UTA campus.

“It’s definitely an honor to win this award. It was a great opportunity to work with autonomous vehicles,” Singh said. “Having this experience gives me a lot to talk about with potential employers.”

Singh and her senior design team worked with May Mobility and the city of Arlington on the project, which focused on reducing loud noise from a computer fan mounted in the rear of the vehicles that was creating an uncomfortable environment for riders. The team was instructed not to touch the equipment, so the only choice was to enclose the source of the noise. They did so with PVC pipe measuring 4 inches in diameter and K-Flex elastomeric foam.

The team put a test dummy in the vehicles with microphones in each ear and a microphone in the rear seat and rode around campus to collect noise data. Their solution worked, reducing the noise from 75dB, about as loud as a dishwasher or shower, to 50dB, or about as loud as a quiet refrigerator.

Singh performed much of the on-road testing and data collection and later wrote a paper on her findings, which she submitted for consideration for INCE-USA’s conference.

“I am very proud of our students’ achievement in the noise control of autonomous vehicles. I believe it will have a big impact on people’s experience with autonomous vehicle technology and the advancement of urban mobility,” said Yawen Wang, assistant professor of research and director of the Vibro-Acoustics and Sound Quality Research Laboratory at UTA. “I also appreciate the partnership with May Mobility and the city of Arlington and the support of the College of Engineering’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.”

The Vibro-Acoustics and Sound Quality Research Laboratory develops integrated computational, experimental and analytical approaches to powertrain/structure dynamics, vibro-acoustics, active noise and vibration control, and data-driven techniques for condition monitoring and prognostics. Wang and his team work with companies such as Daimler, Ford, General Motors, John Deere, Toyota, Oracle and many others.

The previous two winners of the Leo Beranek Medal were graduate students. Ashish Dev Kotian, a master’s graduate in mechanical engineering, was honored in 2019 for his work designing, fabricating and testing a muffler for the University’s Formula SAE team, and Chia-Ching Lin, a doctoral student in aerospace engineering, was honored in 2020 for his research in hypoid gear noise and vibration control in automotive rear axle systems.

- Written by Jeremy Agor, College of Engineering