Scott D. Sommerfeldt, who has served as chair of the Brigham Young University Physics and Astronomy Department since 2003, has accepted an appointment by Academic Vice President John S. Tanner as dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

He replaces Earl M. Woolley who will retire on July 1. In addition, Dana T. Griffen of the geological sciences faculty and Thomas W. Sederberg of the computer science faculty will continue their service as associate deans.

Introduced to acoustics by his clarinet teacher in high school, Sommerfeldt completed a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s degree in physics at BYU. In 1989, he completed graduate studies at Penn State University where he received his doctorate in acoustics.

Following graduation, he accepted a Penn State University faculty position, which he held for six years. He joined the BYU Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1995 focusing in the area of acoustics with much of his research centered on the study of active noise control.

Sommerfeldt and his fellow researchers from General Electric’s Aircraft Engine business unit and Hersch Acoustical Engineering received the “Turning Goals into Reality” award from NASA in 1999. In 2002, he was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and in 2004 received the Martin Hirschorn Prize, along with Kent Gee, from the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

He has published more than 60 technical papers and has received funding for his research from both industry and government agencies. Sommerfeldt has served on the Technical Council of the Acoustical Society of America and on the board of directors of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

For more information, contact Lynn Patten at the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at (801) 422-4022.

Writer: Cecelia Fielding