Bill Lang

Bill Lang’s Passing

I am very sorry to say that Bill Lang passed away recently. His obituary is included in this edition. I had just been with him at the Technology for a Quieter America Workshop in Washington, DC, ten days before. It was a real shock to learn of his death. Bill was a real pioneer in the field of noise control and was an active participant up to the last days of his life. There was a session honoring Bill’s contributions at INTER-NOISE 2015 where he and George Mailing received medals for their contributions to the field. For more on Bill’s contributions, clickhere.

Bill went from playing a fundamental role in the development of noise regulations in the United States to playing a leading role in the founding of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the United States (INCE-USA) and the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE). Bill wrote an early history of INCE-USA, which can be found on the INCE-USA websitehere, or viewed as a PDF documenthere.

We have lost one of the pioneers of noise control and an outstanding individual. Bill be missed by many, but his contributions to the field and the institutions he helped to establish will live on.

Jim Thompson
Managing Editor

William Warner Lang Obituary


William Warner Lang (1926–2016)

William Warner Lang, 90, physicist, b. Boston, August 9, 1926; d. October 23, 2016. The only son of William Warner and Lila Gertrude (Wheeler) Lang, Bill joined the Navy and served from 1944 to 1947. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserve and was promoted to Captain in 1968. He studied physics and received BS and PhD degrees from Iowa State University and a MS from MIT. In the summer of 1954, he met the love of his life, Asta Ingard, visiting her brother, Uno, from Sweden. They were married 2 months later and spent nearly 50 happy years together.

After finishing his PhD in acoustics in 1958, Bill was recruited by IBM to build an acoustics laboratory in Poughkeepsie and develop a noise control program for the company. In the early 1970s, Bill worked with Senate staff in Washington, DC, on details of what would become the Noise Control Act of 1972. This initiative led to the formation of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE) in 1971, of which he was a founding member. He was also a founder of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE) in 1974 and the INCE Foundation in 1993. Bill was recognized for his contributions to noise control throughout his career with fellowships in the Audio Engineering Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Acoustical Society of America, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He was a fellow, Distinguished Noise Control Engineer, and a past president of INCE-USA, as well as an honorary member of the Institute of Acoustics (UK) and the National Council of Acoustical Consultants. He encouraged others to become engaged and was a mentor to many noise control engineers. The achievement he was most proud of was his election to the National Academy of Engineering in 1978. He was honored to represent IBM not just in the field of acoustics but all of engineering. He realized that IBM could benefit from a similar institution to recognize its best engineers and nurture collaboration. He pushed his idea to create the IBM Academy of Technology, which today boasts more than 800 members from 40 countries. Bill dedicated his career to influencing US and global noise policies through annual INCE-sponsored international congresses, now in their 44th year. His work continues today through the NAE Technology for a Quieter America initiative.

Bill was an active member of the community. In his “free” time, he counseled students as a member of the MIT Educational Council, started a Toastmasters Club—which he attended every week—was an Adjunct Professor of Physics at Vassar College, was a member and President of the Poughkeepsie/Arlington Rotary Club, and was a devoted member of Christ Episcopal Church where he sang in the choir. Bill loved life and challenged himself mentally and physically every day. He skied until he was 87, went to the gym, and walked every morning. Always cheerful and positive, he loved his family, friends, and animals big and small.

He is survived by his son Robert, daughter-in-law Bogumila, and 2 grandsons Lucjan Olaf and Colin.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, at Christ Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 20 Carroll St., Poughkeepsie, NY  12601.

Source: Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Oct. 30, 2016.