National Center for Physical Acoustics at UM Announces Restructuring

Resources to be focused on established research programs

OXFORD, Miss. – The National Center for Physical Acoustics, located on the campus of the University of Mississippi, has announced plans to restructure its operations to focus more of the center’s internal resources on its well-established research programs in aero-acoustics, atmospheric acoustics, geophysical acoustics and ultrasound.

Alice Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs, said the decision by the NCPA research leaders is a strategic investment aimed at further enhancing the longstanding success of NCPA, which was established in 1989. Interim Executive Director James Chambers said, “We want to ensure that NCPA’s research programs, which are the core of its mission, will continue to flourish and contribute high-quality discoveries and innovations.”

The restructuring plan calls for the elimination of up to nine nontechnical positions, ensuring funds will be focused on research with the greatest possible return on investment. The university will provide employment through February 2013 for the affected employees and will provide those employees with career counseling and re-employment assistance.

The streamlining efforts would focus resources on NCPA’s four research specialties, all of which have demonstrated proven impact and competitive strengths. Research currently under way in the aero-acoustics group is aimed at developing new innovations to reduce jet engine noise, a major cause of hearing loss in the nation’s military personnel. Atmospheric acoustics advances infrasound methods for studying hurricanes and tornadoes. Geophysical acoustics research has a range of potential applications, such as determining the integrity of earthen levees and dams. Research in ultrasound is presently aimed at establishing standards to ensure the safety of medical diagnostic ultrasound devices.