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Winter 2004 | Volume 26, Number 5 | Alumni
Alumnus Philip Marston Wins National Award for Research in Physical Acoustics

Professor of Physics Philip Marston ’70 received the silver medal in physical acoustics from the Acoustical Society of America in November 2003. Only nine other scientists have received the award since its initiation 28 years ago.

Recognizing his contributions to the advancement of science, engineering and human welfare through the application of acoustic principles, the award was presented to Marston at the Society’s biannual meeting in Austin, Texas. He was cited as being a “renaissance scientist, using experimental and theoretical techniques to uncover fundamental physical processes.”

Marston’s research has produced theories of acoustical scattering and acoustical manipulation of fluids. “Scattering research contributes to naval operations since underwater sound is used to sense the environment,” says Marston. Acoustical manipulation has been used to manage fluids in reduced gravity and has potential applications for homeland security.

His interest in acoustics, says Marston, began when he was a high school student. “The people at Seattle Pacific were very helpful in nurturing my interest in physics,” he says. It didn’t hurt either that Otto Miller, the late Seattle Pacific professor of physics, was Marston’s next-door neighbor.

In previous years, Marston’s other highprofile experiments have been performed on NASA space shuttles and reduced-gravity flights in Houston and in Cleveland, Ohio. Much of his work continues to be funded by grants from NASA and the Office of Naval Research.

Marston says he has a long line of people to thank for the success of his research: colleagues, students and mentors. At the end of the day, he says, that’s what counts. “You work really hard on physics — doing science — but the important thing is how you relate to people. That’s what I always try to remember.”

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