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Sounds good to him

Published: June 25th, 2009

Category: Spotlights

Gary W. Siebein

Gary W. Siebein

Architecture Professor
College of Design, Construction and Planning

In his 30-year career, architecture professor Gary W. Siebein has become a world-renowned expert in architectural acoustics. Perhaps more than anyone else’s, his research has established the profession’s state-of-the-art practices and designs.

But Siebein says he is just carrying on a legacy.

“I came to the University of Florida as a young graduate student to work with professor emeritus Bertram Y. Kinzey Jr., who became my mentor and, eventually, a colleague,” he said. “His vision of a research-based graduate program in an architecture school focusing on the environmental technologies was decades ahead of its time.”

Now, it’s Siebein who is mentoring students in the School of Architecture’s cutting-edge graduate program in the College of Design, Construction and Planning.

His methods – sophisticated measurement and modeling systems that enable architects to “see” sound during the design process – have served as the basis for the courses he teaches. With his students, Siebein conducted research on classroom acoustics that shaped the requirements of the American National Standards Institute ANSI 12.60, which is the basis for the acoustical component of the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

“Students are a constant source of inspiration to me,” he said. “The dedication, enthusiasm and rigor with which they pursue their studies are awesome. To be able to work with young people on a quest for knowledge that they find deep in meaning is truly a wonderful thing to be able to share with them.”

Outside of the classroom, Siebein has employed his techniques to complete more than 1,200 design projects. Some of these projects can be seen, or rather heard, around the UF campus – from Turlington Hall and chemistry lecture rooms to WUFT, University Auditorium and the new Steinbrenner Band Building. Through his Gainesville firm, Siebein Associates Inc., he has worked on concert halls and theaters, theme park attractions, airports, athletic facilities and professional and residential buildings across the state.

“Research-based learning is an inherent part of any real professional design project,” Siebein said. “Working on many building and environmental design projects helps researchers identify the current issues in the field and then educate students about these issues, so they are prepared for their work to shape the future of their profession.”

In May 2009, Siebein was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. This prestigious honor recognizes and affirms the high quality and integrity of accomplishments that integrate research, teaching and professional practice. Siebein is one of only a few architects in the world who are fellows of both the AIA and The Acoustical Society of America.

Photo credit: Ray Carson – University Photography

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