NUWC mechanical engineer wins award for structural acoustics

ANDREW HULL, a mechanical engineer in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department, received the Decibel Award for his research in structural acoustics. / COURTESY MCLAUGHLIN RESEARCH CORP./RICH ALLEN

NEWPORT – Portsmouth resident Andrew Hull, a mechanical engineer at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport, has earned a Decibel Award for his work in structural acoustics.

Hull, a member of the NUWC Undersea Warfare Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department, received the award at an April ceremony in Newport. The award, according to a news release, is presented to a distinguished scientist, engineer or naval officer who has achieved distinction in the field of sonar or underwater acoustics.

The award was established more than 70 years ago, NUWC said, at the Navy Underwater Sound Laboratory in New London, Conn. The laboratory combined with the Naval Underwater Weapons Research and Engineering Station in 1970 to form the precursor organization of NUWC Division Newport.

Over the past 28 years, according to NUWC, Hull’s research in structural acoustics has been cited by researchers in Europe, East Asia, Russia, Australia, South America, China and Iran. He has worked on mathematical problems that have addressed torpedo sonar, towed arrays, structural acoustics, parameter estimation, dynamic system models and more.

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Vittorio Ricci, NUWC Division Newport’s chief technology officer, said Hull is often consulted by the Office of Naval Research and the Office of Naval Intelligence. He is requested as a reviewer for prestigious journals, said Ricci, securing millions of dollars in funding for NUWC Division Newport.

“One of Hull’s first papers described his research in the dynamics of running shoes using finite element methods,” Ricci said. The research was sponsored by Brooks Athletic Shoes, which based some of its shoe designs on Hull’s analysis.

A fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, Hull is a National Science Foundation senior member on the Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation Panel and an associate editor for structural acoustics for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America.

He is also an active mentor to university students seeking U.S. Navy careers, according to NUWC.

Susan Shalhoub is a PBN contributing writer.