Pioneering URI engineering professor awarded Acoustical Society’s Trent-Crede Medal

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KINGSTON, R.I. – September 7, 2011– Peter R. Stepanishen, professor of ocean engineering at the University of Rhode Island, was selected the recipient of the Acoustical Society of America’s Trent-Crede Medal.

The award, which will be presented in November at the Society’s annual meeting in San Diego, recognizes Stepanishen “for his pioneering research in transient vibration and acoustic radiation.”

“I feel deeply honored to receive the Trent-Crede Medal from the Acoustical Society of America, which is composed of many acousticians whom I feel privileged to know both professionally and personally,” said Stepanishen, a resident of Westerly. “While I have been fortunate to make some contributions to acoustics as a researcher, by standing on the shoulders of past recipients of the Trent-Crede Medal and fellow researchers, I have also been fortunate as an educator to have taught undergraduate and graduate level courses on acoustics to hundreds of students.”

During his 37 years teaching at URI, he developed and taught a sequence of courses in acoustics, including vibrations and signal processing. In recognition of his teaching, he received the Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Engineering in 1986. In addition, Stepanishen has lectured in England, France, and China, and was a visiting professor at Cambridge University, Stanford University, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the University of Southampton, in England.

Although his principal research interests at URI have been in the area of underwater sound generation, transmission and reception, his early research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and focused on biomedical ultrasonics for diagnostic purposes. Stepanishen’s research in underwater acoustics has been principally supported by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and the Office of Naval Research, and it encompassed a broad range of areas, including transducer and array theory, transient wave propagation, structural acoustics, acoustic imaging and hydro-acoustics.

Stepanishen earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Michigan State University in 1963. While employed at General Dynamics/Electric Boat from 1963 to1974, he worked on submarine control and noise reduction problems. He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1966 and earned a doctorate in engineering acoustics from Penn State in 1969.

He was elected a Fellow of the Acoustic Society in 1976 and has been honored with the A.B. Wood Medal and Prize, awarded by the Institute of Acoustics.