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Acoustics lecturer earns Lifetime Achievement Award

Fri, 02/28/2014

LAWRENCE — Earlier this month the National Association of Systems Contractors announced that Robert Coffeen, acoustics lecturer for the Department of Architecture, has won its annual Per Haugen Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We’re honored to pay tribute to someone who continues to move the industry forward,” says NSCA Executive Director Chuck Wilson. “Bob has committed his professional life to combining architecture and audio technology. He serves as a great example to many new leaders within our industry. I had the great fortune of learning most of what I know about audio systems from him.”

Coffeen began teaching at KU in 1992 after owning and operating his own acoustic consulting firm for more than 35 years. During his tenure the firm completed more than 3,000 projects worldwide.

He is well-known to students for his ingenious audio demonstrations and talent for making the extremely complex physics of sound understandable without watering it down.

But perhaps his most lasting contribution to both the field and KU is Coffeen's role as a mentor. Several dozen of his former students are now employed in the acoustics field professionally.

“Any architect should be able to walk into a space and look at the materials there and figure out what the room is going to sound like. Most KU architecture graduates can, and that’s unusual,” he said.

Coffeen adds the Haugen Award to a wall full of industry accolades. He has also received NSCA’s University Educator of the Year award three times and the Acoustical Society of America’s Rossing Prize for Education in Acoustics. The Bose Corporation’s Professional Systems Division awarded him its Education Excellence Award in 2012.

The Per Haugen lifetime achievement award is given to an individual who exhibits dedication to philanthropy and social responsibility, and business practices with high ethics and integrity, in addition to active leadership in the NSCA. It is a not-for-profit association that represents the commercial low-voltage electronic systems industry.



Travel to New York and perform on one of the greatest stages in the nation? KU's Wind Ensemble did just that. In March 2013, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble made the trip of a lifetime to perform the world premiere of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s Symphony No. 4, In the Shadow of No Towers at Carnegie Hall. http://bit.ly/1nXMXr9 Tags: University of Kansas Wind Ensemble KU School of Music Carnegie Hall #KUdifference #music #symphony
Journey to Carnegie Hall
One of America’s most esteemed concert bands, the University of Kansas Wind Ensemble, came to Carnegie Hall to introduce a commissioned work with the potential to resonate well beyond the usual college circuit... - New York Times review

Boy with autism benefits from KU student’s undergraduate research Two-year-old Mark’s first haircut in a salon was pretty traumatic. He screamed. He cried. His dad had to restrain him – Mark has autism and a haircut wasn’t part of his routine. But there’s a happy ending. The experience led KU senior Kristin Miller to seek an Undergraduate Research Award (see http://bit.ly/1xod9VT) to develop ways for children with developmental disabilities like Mark to learn how to accept routine health care treatment, such as going to the dentist — or even getting a buzz cut. Watch the video to see why it has been especially rewarding for Miller to help children like Mark.


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