Adnan Akay-Mechanical Engineering - Carnegie Mellon University

Adnan Akay

Lord Professor and Head Emeritus, Mechanical Engineering

5000 Forbes Avenue
Scaife Hall 319
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Dr. Akay started his tenure at Carnegie Mellon as a professor and head of the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1992. In 1997, he was awarded the endowed Lord Chair in Engineering.  Between 2005 and 2008, Dr. Akay served as the Director of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division at the National Science Foundation. Currently he is serving as Vice President and Professor, and founding head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. Professor Akay has held visiting appointments at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics Department, the University of Rome "La Sapienza," and Institut National des Sciences Appliquées (INSA) de Lyon in France and other institutions. Dr. Akay continues to serve as a member of industry boards and regularly consults with international industries as a technical advisor and serves on advisory boards of several universities and government agencies including the US NSF - Taiwan NSC Summer Institute on Bio-inspired Sensing & Bio-inspired Actuation Technology. Professor Akay is an active member of the engineering professional community, and has been recognized for his contributions to research, education and professional service. Professor Akay is the recipient of the ASME Per Brüel Gold Medal (2005) and Humboldt Research Award (2011). He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, and a member of several honor societies.


North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina
B.S. (Hon) (1971); M.M.E. (1972); Ph.D. (1976)
Mechanical Engineering, Minor: Mathematics


Professor Akay’s research lies in applied mechanics with emphasis on vibrations, acoustics, tribology, and dissipation theories.  His earlier research that addressed impact and transient noise mathematically described conversion of energy associated with the acoustic mass to sound during transient motion. His work on fluid-layer damping later led to a discovery and visualization of streaming that develops within a thin fluid layer. Much of his current research focuses on friction-induced sounds and on contact damping. A current collaborative research project with the University of Rome applies the concept of thermalization of vibrations, inspired by the dynamics of atoms in a solid, to reduce vibrations in complex structures. This work is now extended to model dissipation in thermal baths that surround nano-scale devices. His current research with colleagues at INSA-Lyon focuses on measurement and modeling of parameters that can describe tactile sensation and wave generation between sliding surfaces.  Most recently, he has started a center on design and manufacture of microsystems at Bilkent University and is working on MEMS-based vector acoustic sensors.

Selected Publications

  • A. Akay and A. Carcaterra, “Damping Mechanisms,” Active and Passive Vibration Control of Structures, (P. Hagedorn and G. Spelsberg-Korspeter, Eds., CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences) Springer 2014,  pp. 259 – 299.
  • N. Roveri, A. Carcaterra, and A. Akay, “Frequency intermittency and energy pumping by linear attachments,” J. Sound and Vibration, 333, 4281 – 4293 (2014).
  • A. Akay, B. Echols, J. Ding, A Dussaud, A. Lips, "Measurement of sound, vibration and friction between soft materials under light loads" Wear  (2012)
  • A. Carcaterra, A. Akay, and C. Bernardini, "Trapping of vibration energy into a set of resonators: Theory and application to aerospace structures,"   Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, Vol. 26, 1-14 (2012)  
  • A. Carcaterra and A. Akay, "Dissipation in a finite-size bath," Physical Review E 84, 011121 (2011)
  • R. Fagiani, F. Massi, E. Chatelet, Y. Berthier, and A. Akay, "Tactile perception by friction induced vibrations," Tribology International, Vol. 44, 1100–1110 (2011)
  • A. Akay, O. Giannini, F. Massi, and A. Sestieri, “Disc brake squeal characterization through simplified test rigs,” Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, Vol. 23, 2590 - 2607 (2009)
  • N. Roveri, A. Carcaterra, and A. Akay, "Energy equipartition and frequency distribution in complex attachments" J. Acoust. Soc. Amer. 126, 122-128 (2009)
  • N. Roveri, A. Carcaterra, and A. Akay, "Vibration absorption using non-dissipative complex attachments with impacts and parametric stiffness" J. Acoust. Soc. Amer. 126, 2306-2314 (2009)
  • A. Akay, “A Renaissance in Engineering PhD Education,” European Journal of Engineering Education  Vol. 33, 403 - 413 (2008)
  • A. Carcaterra, A. Akay, and F. Lenti, “Pseudo-Damping in Undamped Plates and Shells, J. Acoust. Soc. Amer.  Vol. 122, 804 – 813 (2007)
  • X. W. Tangpong, J. A. Wickert and A. Akay, “Distributed friction damping of traveling wave vibration in rods," Phil. Transactions of the Royal Society: Part A, Vol. 366, 811 - 827 (2008) 
  • J. Ding, F. W. Tsaur, A. Lips, A. Akay, “Acoustical observation of bubble oscillations induced by bubble popping,” Physical Review E, Vol. 75, 041601  (2007)