University of Texas at Austin
Preston S. Wilson




phone (512) 475-9093

Preston S. Wilson

Affiliated faculty (non-Core)

Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor in Engineering

Professor Mechanical Engineering

Research Interests

Computational Mechanics


Dr. Wilson is a Professor in the Acoustics and Dynamic Systems & Control programs of the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, holds a joint appointment as a Research Professor at Applied Research Laboratories, is a faculty affiliate of the Oden Institute, and is the Paul D. and Betty Robertson Meek Centennial Professor in Engineering. Wilson obtained the PhD degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University in 2001, and the MS and BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, in 1994 and 1990, respectively. He joined the Cockrell School of Engineering faculty in 2003 after serving as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at Boston University, where he studied sound propagation and scattering in bubbly liquids, and the acoustics of water-saturated marine sediments. Previous experience also includes 3 years as a research engineer at Applied Research Laboratories, The University of Texas, 1994–1997, where he studied the acoustics of marine mammal sonar, developed a seismoacoustic mine detection sonar, seismoacoustic vehicle detection sensors and the Combustive Sound Source (a safe and inexpensive alternative to explosive sound sources for use in ocean surveys and seismic prospecting). In 2004, Dr. Wilson received the Office of Naval Research Entry-Level Faculty Award in Ocean Acoustics, in 2007 received the A.B. Wood Medal and Prize from the UK Institute of Acoustics, and in 2020 received the Rossing Prize in Acoustics Education from the Acoustical Society of America (ASA). Wilson is a Fellow of the ASA, is the past Chair of the Education in Acoustics Committee within the ASA, was elected to the Executive Council of the ASA during 2016–2019, currently serves as an associate editor for the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and is the Chair of the ASA Ethics and Grievances Committee. Wilson is the author of over 100 peer-reviewed journal and conference proceedings papers. Work conducted in the Wilson group has been reported in Scientific American, National Geographic, The Alcalde, The Austin Business Journal, and via radio reports on KUT and NPR. Wilson co-founded AdBm Technologies, Inc, to commercialize underwater noise abatement technology and currently serves as a science advisor to the company, which provides underwater noise abatement solutions for the domestic oil and gas market and the international marine wind and offshore construction markets. Wilson currently holds six US patents.

Dr. Wilson's current research interests are ocean acoustics, physical acoustics and engineering acoustics, with concentrations on sound propagation and scattering in the ocean and in multiphase media, animal bioacoustics, novel acoustic materials, metamaterials, and transduction. Wilson also works in the area of underwater anthropogenic noise abatement using large encapsulated bubbles. Another area of interest is vibration control, focusing on the use of nonlinear systems such as buckled beams and other negative-stiffness structures.