Professor, Chair

Adnan Akay


Department of Mechanical Engineering
Bilkent University
06800 Bilkent, Ankara





Adnan Akay currently serves as the Provost and chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Bilkent University. He joined Bilkent on January 1, 2009 as Vice President and to start a new Mechanical Engineering Department, taking a leave of absence from Carnegie Mellon University. Previously, Dr. Akay served at the U.S. National Science Foundation as the Director of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division. Prior to serving at NSF, Dr. Akay was a professor and the head of Mechanical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon University where he was awarded the endowed Lord Chair in Engineering. From 1978 to 1992, he was on the faculty at Wayne State University where he held the DeVlieg Chair in Engineering. Between 1976 and 1978 he was a visiting staff fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health. He has held visiting appointments at MIT, the University of Rome "La Sapienza", and at Institut National des Sciences Appliquees de Lyon in France. Professor Akay is an active member of the engineering professional community, and has been recognized for his contributions to research, education and professional service. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Acoustical Society of America, and a member of several honor societies. Dr. Akay serves on advisory boards of several universities and regularly consults with international industries as a technical advisor.


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


Professor Akay's research lies in applied mechanics with an emphasis on acoustics, vibrations, noise control, and tribology. His research covers fundamental issues related to generation and transmission of sound and vibration, as well as engineering aspects of noise and vibration control. The research on these topics focuses on understanding the physics of the underlying phenomena and involves theoretical modeling and experimental investigations. Much of his current research focuses on friction-induced vibrations and sounds, addressing diverse topics as brake noise and contact damping aimed at reducing system vibrations. At present, his efforts are concentrated on modeling and measurement of friction, friction-induced sounds, and thermodynamics of vibrations. A collaborative research effort is underway on friction-induced vibrations and sounds with specific applications to aircraft and automotive braking systems, and friction devices in general. For this research, Professor Akay and his students developed a special “laboratory brake” that allows detailed investigation of brake noise and vibration problems with the ultimate goal of developing design guidelines for controlling friction-induced sounds and vibrations. Research is also underway on techniques to predict and measure damping in built-up structures --such as automobiles, aircraft, naval vessels, and other mechanical systems-- to provide design guidelines for reduced noise and vibration. Several novel damping methods involving particle dampers and friction dampers are under development. To measure damping and stiffness properties of friction contacts, Professor Akay’s research team designed and constructed a unique test rig that accurately measures friction and identifies its properties. His research on contact damping is aimed at reducing gas turbine blade vibrations as well as inducing damping in complex structures through their joints and connections.

A current collaborative research project with the University of Rome "La Sapienza" applies the concept of thermalization of vibrations, inspired by the dynamics of atoms in a solid, to reduce vibrations in complex structures. Professor Akay and his co-workers are extrapolating results of these studies to larger-scale structures. More recently, he has been investigating sound and vibration during tactile sensing and developing measurement methods. Dr. Akay's research combines analytical and experimental work. In addition to his research efforts, Dr. Akay's current focus is to promote a "renaissance" in engineering education, one that emphasizes knowledge creation and recognizes the individual student. Professor Akay's research projects also include radiation and scattering of sound, and noise control of such diverse products as electric motors, fans and antennas.


    Journal Paper
  • A. Akay (2021). "Noise Control Engineering and Education", The Bridge, v.51(2) p.13-18, Full Text
  • A. Akay, G. G. Fleming, R.D. Hellweg, G. C. Maling, Jr., and E. W. Wood (Eds.) (2020). "Engineering a Quieter America: Noise Control Engineering Education", Technology for a Quieter America (ISBN: 978-1-7325986-3-8), Full Text
  • A. Akay, G. G. Fleming, R.D. Hellweg, G. C. Maling, Jr., and E. W. Wood (Eds.) (2020). "UAS and UAV (Drone) Noise Emissions and Noise Control Engineering Technology: Workshop Final Report", Technology for a Quieter America (ISBN: 978-1-7325986-2-1), Full Text
  • A. Akay, (2018) "Bilkent University: A World-Class Academic Community," in Bilkent: Thirty Years in Historical Perspective, Full Text
  • A. Akay, G. G. Fleming, R.D. Hellweg, G. C. Maling, Jr., and E. W. Wood (Eds.) (2017). "Commercial Aviation: A New Era", Engineering a Quieter America (ISBN: 978-0-9899431-9-2)
  • A. Akay and A. Carcaterra (2014). "Damping Mechanisms," (Active and Passive Vibration Control of Structures, Hagedorn P., Spelsberg-Korspeter G., Eds., CISM International Centre for Mechanical Sciences) Spr p.259 – 299.
  • A. Carcaterra and A. Akay (2016). "Fluctuation-dissipation and energy properties of a finite bath", Physical Review E, v.93 p.032142
  • Roveri, N., Carcaterra, A., Akay, A. (2014). "Frequency intermittency and energy pumping by linear attachments", Journal of Sound and Vibration, v.333 p.4281-4294
  • Akay, A., Carcaterra, A., Bernardini, C. (2012). "Trapping of vibration energy into a set of resonators: Theory and application to aerospace structures", Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, v.26 p.1
  • Carcaterra, A., Akay, A. (2011). "Dissipation in a finite-size bath", Physical Review E, v.84 p.011121
  • Fagiani, R., Massi, F., Chatelet, E., Berthier, Y., Akay, A. (2011). "Tactile perception by friction induced vibrations", Tribology International, v.44 p.1100
  • Pierce, A., Akay, A. (2009). "Intrinsic damping models and their role in predicting structural response", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.125 p.2602
  • Carcaterra, A., Akay, A. (2009). "Vibration absorption based on cluster of beams", J. Sound and Vibration
  • Akay, A., Giannini, O., Massi, F., Sestieri, A. (2009). "Disc brake squeal characterization through simplified test rigs", Mechanical Systems and Signal Processing, v.23 p.2590-2607
  • N. Roveri,, A. Carcaterra,, Akay, A. (2009). "Vibration absorption using non-dissipative complex attachments with impacts and parametric stiffness", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.126 p.2306-2314
  • N. Roveri,, A. Carcaterra,, Akay, A. (2009). "Energy equipartition and frequency distribution in complex attachments", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.126 p.122-128
  • Tangpong, X., Wickert, J., Akay, A. (2008). "Finite Element Model for Hysteretic Friction Damping of Traveling Wave Vibration in Axisymmetric Structures", ASME Journal of Vibration and Acoustics, v.130
  • Tangpong, X., Wickert, J., Akay, A. (2008). "Distributed friction damping of traveling wave vibration in rods", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Part A, v.366 p.811-827
  • Akay, A. (2008). "A Renaissance in Engineering PhD Education", European Journal of Engineering Education, v.33 p.403-413
  • Akay, A., Carcaterra, A., Lenti, F. (2007). "Pseudo-Damping in Undamped Plates and Shells", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer, v.122 p.804-813
  • Carcaterra, A., Akay, A. (2007). "Theoretical Foundations of Apparent-Damping Phenomena and Nearly Irreversible Energy Exchange in Linear Conservative Systems", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.121 p.1971-1982
  • Ding, J., Tsaur, F., Lips, A., Akay, A. (2007). "Acoustical observation of bubble oscillations induced by bubble popping", Physical Review E, v.75
  • Carcaterra, A., Akay, A., Koc, I.M. (2006). "Near-irreversibility in a conservative linear structure with singularity points in its modal density", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer, v.119 p.2141-2149
  • Giannini, O., Akay, A., Massi, F. (2006). "Experimental analysis of brake squeal noise on a laboratory brake setup", J. Sound Vibration, v.292 p.1-20
  • Koh, K., Griffin, J.H., Filippi, S., Akay, A. (2005). "Characterization of turbine blade friction dampers", J. Engineering for Gas Turbines and Power, v.127 p.856-862
  • Akay, A., Carcaterra, A., Xu, Z., Koc, I. (2005). "Experiment on vibration absorption using energy sinks", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.118 p.3043-3049
  • Koc, I., Carcaterra, A., Xu, Z., Akay, A. (2005). "Energy Sinks for Vibration Reduction: Optimum Frequency Distribution", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.118 p.3031-3042
  • Carcaterra, A., Akay, A. (2004). "Transient Energy Exchange Between a Primary Structure and a Set of Oscillators: Return Time and Apparent Damping", Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, v.115 p.683-696
  • Filippi, S., Akay, A., Gola, M. (2004). "Measurement of Tangential Contact Hysteresis During Microslip", ASME Journal of Tribology, v.126 p.482-489
  • Akay, A. (2003). "The renaissance engineer: Educating engineers in a post-9/11 world", European Journal of Engineering Education, v.28 p.145-150
  • Karpenko, Y., Akay, A. (2002). "A numerical method for analysis of extended rough wavy surfaces in contact", ASME J. Tribology, v.124 p.668-679
  • Akay, A. (2002). "Acoustics of Friction", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.111 p.1525-1548
  • Karpenko, Y., Akay, A. (2001). "A numerical model of friction between rough surfaces", Tribology International, v.34 p.531-545
  • Çelik, C., Akay, A. (2000). "Dissipation in solids: Thermal oscillations of atoms", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer, v.108(1) p.184-191
  • Bengisu, M.T., Akay, A. (1999). "Stick-slip oscillations: Dynamics of friction and surface roughness", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.105(1) p.194-205
  • Tzou, K., Wickert, J.A., Akay, A. (1998). "In-plane vibration modes of arbitrarily thick disks", ASME J. Vibration and Acoustics, v.120 p.384-391
  • Akay, A., Xu, Z. (1998). "Experiments on acoustic streaming in a fluid layer between vibrating surfaces and amplitude-dependent damping of vibrations", J. Acoust Soc. Amer., v.103 p.865-871
  • Tzou, K., Wickert, J.A., Akay, A. (1998). "Frequency clusters in the spectrum of annular cylinders", J. Applied Mechanics, v.65(4) p.797-803
  • Bengisu, M.T., Akay, A. (1997). "Relation of dry friction to surface roughness", ASME J. Tribology, v.119 p.18-25
  • Rhee, J., Akay, A. (1996). "Dynamic response of a revolute joint with clearance", Mechanism and Machine Theory, v.31 p.121-134
  • Kang, J., Akay, A., Xu, Z. (1995). "Intertia effects on compressible squeeze films", ASME J. Vibrations and Acoustics, v.117 p.94-102
  • Bengisu, M.T., Akay, A. (1994). "Stability of friction-induced vibrations in multi-degree-of-freedom systems", J. Sound and Vibration, v.171 p.557-570
  • Swayze, J., Akay, A. (1994). "Effects of system dynamics on friction-induced oscillations", J. Sound and Vibration, v.173 p.599-609
  • Gaunaurd, G.C., Akay, A. (1994). "Isolation of the 'spectrograms' and 'rosettes' of insonified sets of submerged, concentric, thin shells", ASME J. Vibration and Acoustics, v.116 p.573-577
  • Akay, A., Ingard, K.U. (1993). "Radiation from bending waves in the presence of a flow boundary layer", ASME J. Vibration and Acoustics, v.115 p.411-416
  • Uras, H., Akay, A. (1993). "Mechanical engineering capstone design course", J. Mechanical Engineering Education, v.21 p.347-354
  • Akay, A., Sener, S., Gaunaurd, G.C. (1993). "Acoustic scattering from fluid-filled, concentric, submerged, cylindrical elastic shells", J. Acoustical Society of America, v.94 p.3277-3294
  • Wu, X.F., Akay, A. (1992). "Sound radiation from vibrating bodies in motion", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.91 p.2544-2555
  • Latcha, M., Akay, A. (1992). "Effects of viscous and thermal losses on radiation from an infinite plate", ASME J. Vibration and Acoustics, v.114 p.415-419
  • Akay, A. (1992). "Normal and angular motions at rough planar contacts during sliding with friction- Discussion", ASME J. Tribology, v.114 p.578
  • Akay, A. (1991). "Scattering of sound from concentric cylindrical shells", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.89 p.1572-1578
  • Onsay, T., Akay, A. (1991). "Vibration reduction of a flexible arm by time-optimal open-loop control", J. Sound and Vibration, v.147 p.283-300
  • Akay, A. (1990). "Radiation from a finite array of simple sources", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.87 p.1449-1454
  • Ingrad, K.U., Akay, A. (1987). "Acoustic radiation from bending waves of a plate", J. Vibrations, Acoustics, Stress and Reliability in Design, v.109 p.75-81
  • Ingrad, K.U., Akay, A. (1987). "On the vibration damping of a plate by means of a viscous fluid layer", J. Vibration, Acoustics, Stress and Reliability in Design, v.109 p.178-184
  • Bengisu, M.T., Hidayetoglu, T., Akay, A. (1986). "A theoretical and experimental investigation of contact loss in the clearances of a four-bar mechanism", J. Mechanism, Transmission, and Automation in Design, v.108 p.237-244
  • Latcha, M., Akay, A. (1986). "Application of the Helmholtz integral in acoustics", J. Vibration, Acoustics, Stress and Reliability in Design, v.108 p.447-453
  • Akay, A., Tokunage, M., Latcha, M. (1984). "A theoretical analysis of transient sound radiation from a clamped circular plate", J. Applied Mechanics, v.51 p.41-47
  • Akay, A., Bengisu, M.T., Latcha, M. (1983). "Transient acoustic radiation from impacted beam-like structures", J. Sound and Vibration, v.91 p.135-145
  • Akay, A., Latcha, M. (1983). "Sound radiation from an impact-excited clamped circular plate in an infinite baffle", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer, v.74 p.640-648
  • Akay, A. (1982). "Mathematical modeling of transient vibration and acoustic radiation from impacted systems", J. Mathematical Modeling, v.3 p.535-541
  • Cook, R., Hamm, C.W., Akay, A. (1981). "Shock measurement with noncontacting fiber optic levers", J. Sound and Vibration, v.76 p.443-456
  • Salt, N., Konishi, T., Cook, R., Akay, A. (1981). "Comparison between the effects of continuous and impact noise on cochlear potentials of guinea pigs", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.69 p.1746-1752
  • Akay, A., T. H. Hodgson (1978). "Sound radiation from a accelerated or decelerated sphere", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., v.63 p.313-318
  • Akay, A., T. H. Hodgson (1978). "Acoustic radiation from the elastic impact of a sphere with a slab", Applied Acoustics, v.11 p.285-304
  • Akay, A., E. Saibel (1978). "Fracture time of composites under tensile loading", J. Composite Materials, v.12 p.262-274
  • Akay, A. (1978). "A review of impact noise", J. Acoust. Soc. Amer, v.64 p.977-987
  • Akay, A., E. Saibel (1976). "Fracture of polymeric materials under tensile loads", Wear, v.37 p.377-381