BYU student prepares to present research findings at national conference

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BYU sophomore Matthew Yancey and several of his peers have been preparing to present their findings and research plans regarding rocket acoustics at a national conference for the Acoustical Society of America on May 8-12.

Yancey is part of a research group on campus dedicated to acquiring acoustic literacy and understanding. With a focus on rocket acoustics, he said the team’s main goal is to create a sound model for rocket sounds and frequencies.

Yancey is working towards a physics and mathematics degree and said he hopes to do research and development for the government professionally someday. Yancey is motivated by his desire to “increase the quality of daily life” in one way or another. 

He has been a part of the research group for the past year and a half and said he has discovered a new passion for rocket acoustics and he appreciates how “impactful” their research is. He said the research can have a direct impact on local communities and the world around them if their research is applied effectively.

Yancey discusses the direct impact of their research. (Kaitlyn Schreiner)

“If we can understand the sound model, maybe they can make quieter rockets in the future to help increase the standard of living for a lot of people,” Yancey said.

Provo resident Elisabeth White grew up near the Hill Air Force Base, which is a major U.S. Air Force base located in Davis County. Growing up, she said she was sometimes frustrated with the loud planes that flew over her home and school.

White said if Yancey’s research could make rockets quieter, she looked forward to the impact his research could have on airplanes. Although on a smaller scale, White said the impact on the local communities would be the same.

Yancey said the conference is catered to people who study acoustics whether it is for academics, engineering, research or direct application. 

Professionals from around the nation will gather in Chicago in May to share what they have been learning, researching and proving. Yancy said it is impressive to “work and collaborate with others in the field.” 

Draugui Salazar, a fellow student, said “the more understanding and research we do on possible sound contamination, the greater our ability to prevent disruption within our communities.”

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