Young Professional Spotlight: Drake Hintz

Early Life and Passion for Acoustics

IP Design Group is happy to announce that Drake Hintz has been added as a full-time member of the team as an Acoustical Designer. Drake is currently finishing his thesis work for a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering at The University of Nebraska—Lincoln and has made valuable contributions to both the design efforts of IPDG while also making significant findings in acoustical engineering.

Drake’s journey into acoustical engineering is rooted in an early passion for music and mathematics. During his high school tenure, Drake was fascinated with physics and math classes as well as participating in band, learning guitar, and soaking up knowledge on all things music. His love for math and science would eventually evolve into pursuing a degree in physics. Drake’s fascination with problem-solving and developing a deep understanding of topics and concepts allowed applied mathematics to come to him naturally.

After completing his undergraduate work, he discovered his love for music, physics, and problem-solving was rolled up neatly into one profession and study: acoustical engineering.

“It felt like it was the best of both worlds.” Drake explained, “The choice for what I wanted to pursue seemed pretty clear.

Graduate Work and Industry Perspective

Drake’s newfound graduate studies have quickly become fruitful. Drake is a member of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) along with the Nebraska Acoustics Group. His recent work and research on spatial hearing in anechoic and reverberant environments study the effect reverberation has on spatial auditory cues in both monaural and binaural listening conditions in both school-age children and adults. His findings earned Drake the honorary Student Travel Award in 2022 designated by the National Council of Acoustical Consultants.

“It was an honor to be selected for the award and to have the opportunity to attend the conferences.” Drake stated, “Having the opportunity to attend and learn about pressing topics in the field from individuals with a wide range of backgrounds is fascinating and is something I look forward to continuing.”

Acoustical designer, Drake Hintz, sets up equipment to test a corporate office space.
Acoustical designer, Drake Hintz, sets up equipment to test a corporate office space.

In addition to learning more about the field from experienced researchers and leaders, Drake’s passion for acoustical engineering has grown as his involvement has increased. The industry outlook and ongoing studies have revealed more about sound measurement methods and the nature with which sounds move throughout spaces, equipment, walls, and more. Understanding the nature of sound and how to measure it more accurately are topics that Drake finds exceptionally exciting.

“It’s a young field relative to other engineering disciplines,” Drake explained, “With new acoustic treatments and products coming out frequently there are always discussions happening about the best ways to test and predict acoustic performance and how to standardize procedures.”

More specifically, Drake is fascinated by sound propagation in HVAC systems, where research is still emerging and has only been studied for the past couple of decades. Drake explains that the nature of sound propagation inside ducts is dependent on multiple variables including duct dimensions, duct shape, and the frequency distribution of sound energy.

“Sound travels and flows a lot differently in a duct network that turns at 45-degree angles as opposed to 90-degree angles,” Drake explained, “There’s a lot more research to be done and I’m excited to see how these studies develop.”

IPDG staff observe listening room during "Ears on Experience" acoustical consulting demo.
Drake and other IPDG staff members observe a listening room during an acoustical consulting demo.

Onto the Future…

In his free time, Drake balances his continued work on his Master’s thesis with spending quality time with his wife. He continues to celebrate his love for music by participating as a leader of his church’s worship ensemble. On top of all of this, Drake and his family are also raising a newborn puppy. Suffice it to say, there is no shortage of activities in the Hintz household.

Drake has found that the collaboration and culture of IP Design Group have allowed him to thrive. Although he is a young professional, Drake is not new to his role and multiple years spent as an intern has helped hone his skill. He is also inspired to design with confidence thanks to his background, resources, and encouragement from his IP Design Group team.

“It’s really great to be part of such a dynamic, passionate team,” Drake concludes, “Even though I’m young and still have a lot to learn, I feel confident because I know I have support and can lean on the wisdom of others around me.”

Group picture of the 2022 Student Travel Award winners.
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