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Professor Dr. Michael Prairie will explore links between music and engineering in Dana I Category Lecture

Norwich University professor Dr. Michael Prairie has long found an intriguing link between two of his favorite topics — engineering and music.

At noon Wednesday, in a Dana Category I lecture, the electrical engineering professor and 1984 Norwich graduate will discuss how studying ancient flutes’ acoustics presented parallels with transmission line theory and fluid dynamics. He’ll explore how those lessons apply to learning laboratory instrumentation and measurement, specialized tool design, testing hypotheses and data crunching.

Dana Category I grants go annually to tenure-track faculty who demonstrate superior scholarship, teaching ability and university service. To receive the grants, the recipients agree to give a presentation on a topic of their choice. The grants come from a foundation started by Charles A. Dana (1881-1975), and his wife, Eleanor Naylor Dana. (Charles Dana founded vehicle axle, driveshaft, transmissions and sealing equipment supplier Dana Inc.)

prairire 1
Dr. Michael Prairie discusses a light-emitting diode spectrophotometer with Susan Murcott, a visiting lecturer from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in October 2020. (Photo from video by Ronny DiMasi.)

In 2018, Prairie told the Norwich Record his flute fascination started in the late 1990s, when he saw a wood-flute player at a craft show, and deepened a few years later when he attended a Native American flute festival. He bought a kit to make one of the pipes the Native Americans played and continues making them.

When his flutes were out of tune in the one octave, Prairie used his engineering knowledge to study acoustics and correct the flaw. 

In his outline for Wednesday’s talk, Prairie, a one-time Regimental Band musician and a U.S. Air Force veteran, said he’ll describe how teaching, student engagement and faculty research intersect.

“I’ll highlight several projects in which I was fortunate enough to work with students to explore unanswered acoustics questions as they learned about their engineering craft,” wrote Prairie, whose teaching focuses on courses involving sensors, including electronics, electromagnetics and control systems. “I hope to inspire others to find ways to bring their own unlikely passions into their teaching and scholarship.”

* * *

— I’VE JUST SEEN A FACE: The Campus Activities Board presents a Mardi Gras mask scavenger hunt from 8 a.m. to 4:45 Tuesday. Students can find the masks hidden across campus, pose for selfies with the #NorwichCAB hashtag when they find them, and join a group photo at Wise Campus Center when the hunt ends. 

mardi gras mask min
A mask scavenger hunt will bring a touch of Mardi Gras to Norwich University’s campus Tuesday. (Photo from video by Izzy Park/Unsplash.)

Mardi Gras, the day before Ash Wednesday, marks the start of Lent in the Christian faith. The scavenger hunt masks come in three colors: purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power. 

From 9 to 11 p.m. Thursday, the board will present trivia night in the Wise Campus Center’s Mill. Teams of up to four people can compete for prizes and bragging rights.

— FUTURE STOCK: The Career and Internship Center’s information sessions continue this week with a “Career Pop-Up” table from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday in the Wise Campus Center’s “fishbowl” lounge and a reprises of "Résumés that Rock” from 1 to 2 p.m. Wednesday in Wise Campus Center, Room 228. 

— NORWICH SERVES: During Spring Break, teams from Norwich University’s Center for Civic Engagement will visit Puerto Rico and the Florida Gulf Coast for posthurricane relief projects. The Puerto Rico trip will include environmental conservation tasks; the Gulf Coast trip will include work with community organizations, including food banks and after-school programs.

* * *

See a complete list of Norwich University activities. This column will be off for Spring Break next week along with the students.


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Norwich News

  • All
  • Alumni News
  • Athletics
  • Athletics News
  • Breaking News
  • Campus Life
  • Faculty News
  • Leadership
  • Norwich In Photos
  • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich On The Road
  • President's Message
  • Service
  • Special Events
  • Student Experience
  • Student Life
  • Student Success
  • University Publications
  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    Norwich's Men's Cross Country Coach Michael McGrane named GNAC Coach of the Year after championship season

    • Athletics News
  • Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    Applications are open for the June 2023 GenCyber Teacher Training Camp.

    • Special Events
  • Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    Norwich University's Dr. Rachele Pojednic featured in Eating Well article on the health benefits of celery.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    Norwich Men's & Women's Basketball host the 25th Ed Hockenbury Classic Dec. 2 - 4 in Andrews Hall.

    • Athletics News
  • The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    The 2022 Journal of Peace and War Studies is published by the Norwich's John and Mary Frances Patton Peace & War Center.

    • University Publications
  • 'So Much to be Thankful for'

    'So Much to be Thankful for'

    • President's Message
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