Mauricio Villa

Mauricio is a third year Ph.D. student in the Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science (MEMS) department at Duke University.

Mauricio graduated Cum Laude from Duke with a B.S.E in Mechanical Engineering with Departmental Distinction, and a certificate in Aerospace Engineering in 2014. During his undergraduate career, he performed research with Dr. Bliss on innovative noise reduction methods for ground and aerial vehicles. That experience was so rewarding that he decided to stay at Duke to continue working with Dr. Bliss on his acoustics research. 

Mauricio’s PhD studies focus on the prediction of the spatial variation of sound pressure within enclosures and the sound transmission between acoustics spaces. His goal is to be able to apply a first principles, energy and intensity based approach to sound field modeling that does not rely on empiricism and experience when applying engineering assumptions. His current research efforts are dedicated to developing models for the coupled structural-acoustic vibration of boundaries typical of real enclosures that reflect and transmit sound, and the resulting coupling of adjacent acoustic spaces. Mauricio has been awarded both a Master’s and PhD GEM Fellowship with Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory as his sponsor. He has also been awarded the Acoustical Society of America Minority Fellowship and the Duke Halsted Scholarship for his PhD studies.

In his free time, Mauricio likes to shoot lights out from just a foot inside the 3-point line in pick-up basketball games. He also enjoys going out with friends, exploring new places to eat, the occasional latin dance, and weekend road trips for new adventures.


  • B.S.E., Mechanical Engineering, Duke University, 2014
  • Master of Science with Thesis - "Reflection and Transmission of Oblique Acoustic Waves by a Sub-Critical Elastic Barrier with Discontinuities Using Analytical Numerical Matching", Duke University, 2017

Research Interests

Structural dynamics, analytical numerical matching (ANM), fluid loaded elastic structures, mathematical modeling, teaching outreach