Acoustics student turns down the noise for military service men and women

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While most of her fellow freshmen were focused on trying to pass American Heritage, Jazmin Myres was looking into taking a senior level Introduction to Acoustics class.

Though she started out as a math major, Myres found a new love after a tour of the acoustics research facilities. After getting permission to take such a high level course so early in her undergraduate career, Myres dove right in.

“I met Jaz when she visited my office, hoping to enroll in a senior level acoustics course as a sophomore,” said physics professor Kent Gee, who co-advises Myres. “Although I had initial misgivings, her diligence and enthusiasm were sufficient to earn a high grade in the class. Toward the end of the semester, she decided to become involved in our research of the noise from military aircraft.”

Acoustics student Jazmin Myres recently won the Robert W. Young Award for Undergraduate Student Research from the Acoustical Society of America for her work to reduce military jet noise. Photo courtesy Jazmin Myres
Acoustics student Jazmin Myres recently won the Robert W. Young Award for Undergraduate Student Research from the Acoustical Society of America for her work to reduce military jet noise. (Photo courtesy Jazmin Myres)

Myres’ early exposure to researching military jet noise has allowed her ample time to find success in the field. She was recently honored with the Robert W. Young Award for Undergraduate Student Research in Acoustics by the Acoustical Society of America. Though this award is a great honor, Myres is just grateful to be involved in the project, which is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research.

“I am working to reduce hearing loss for military personnel,” she said. “The government currently spends $2 billion a year on hearing loss compensation — its biggest compensation expense.”

Myres’ research has led to her being published twice so far in the Journal of Acoustical Society of America, and Myres anticipates a third publication after she finishes her thesis. Her success also secured her an internship with The Boeing Company this past summer, where she worked in the Noise Engineering Group.

Myres, who plans to graduate next April, cites her encouraging advisers as having been greatly influential in her undergraduate career, and her advisers have greatly enjoyed the opportunity to work with her.

“Jaz is highly motivated and a lot of fun to work with,” said Traci Neilsen, Myres’ co-advisor. “Jaz works very hard at both her schoolwork and her research. She has pushed forward even when the path wasn’t clear, which is often the case in research. She has been willing to try many different approaches to the problem as part of her investigation.”

Myres isn’t sure what the future holds for her yet, but she hopes to eventually get a Master’s of Education degree and teach introductory science courses to high school or college students.

To students just starting out their university journey, Myres offered advice.

“Be willing to explore other majors,” she said. “If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have found acoustics.”