Michael Haberman, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Cockrell School of Engineering, has been selected to receive a 2018 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program (YIP) award for a project titled “Acoustic Wave Redirection and Sensing using Bianisotropic Acoustic Metamaterials.” The award totals more than $500,000 over three years. Haberman is one of 31 scientists across multiple disciplines of science and engineering selected to receive the YIP award. 

The Office of Naval Research’s Young Investigator Program seeks to identify and support tenure-track academic scientists and engineers who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The program's objectives are to attract outstanding university faculty members to the Department of Navy's research program, to support their research and to encourage their teaching and research careers. 

Research supported by this award will focus on the modeling, design, and experimental demonstration of advanced acoustical materials, known as bianisotropic acoustic metamaterials, to control acoustic and elastic waves. Haberman’s group will explore applications of these new materials to improve sensing and redirection of sound in the underwater environment. This work has high potential to significantly advance underwater navigation and communication by improving devices that transmit and receive acoustic waves underwater. The research will make use of facilities in the Mechanical Engineering Department, at Applied Research Laboratories at UT Austin, and through collaboration with the Acoustic Signal Processing and Systems Branch of Naval Research Laboratories in Washington, DC.

“Dr. Haberman is an exceptional research scientist and this award is reflective of his impressive accomplishments and stature in his field,” said Rick Neptune, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. “With this award, he will be able to advance acoustic metematerials and significantly improve underwater navigation and communication.” 

Haberman’s current research focuses on the fundamental behavior and applications of advanced materials for the control and sensing of mechanical waves. He focuses on modeling, design, and testing of dynamic structures, composite materials, and acoustic and elastic metamaterials. His research finds application in technical areas that require the absorption, sensing, redirection, and isolation of acoustical, vibrational, and impulsive energy. His work has led to novel materials and structures the enable acoustic cloaking, non-reciprocal acoustic wave phenomena, negative stiffness structures crush when subject to an impact and recover to their original geometry, and the first direct experimental observation of acoustic bianisotropy.

Haberman earned his PhD and master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2007 and 2001, respectively, and received a Diplôme de Doctorat in Engineering Mechanics from the Université de Lorraine in Metz, France in 2006. His undergraduate work in Mechanical Engineering was done at the University of Idaho, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 2000.