Getting to Know You: Bob Bernhard, Incoming I-INCE President

Quick Stats

Name:             Bob Bernhard

Title:               Vice President for Research, University of Notre Dame

Location:        South Bend, Indiana, USA

Years with I-INCE: I’ve been a member of INCE-USA (one of the member societies of I-INCE) since about 1982 and have been a member of the board of directors of I-INCE since about 2000.

Born and raised: On a typical family farm in northern Iowa, USA, in the 1950s and 1960s.

Education: BS in Mechanical Engineering, PhD in Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University, and MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Favorite music artist: Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan

Favorite pastime or hobby: Hanging out at the beach on Lake Michigan

Favorite sports team (if applicable): Notre Dame Women’s Basketball (2018 national champions)


What is the most important part of your job?
Growing the research and scholarship programs at Notre Dame. The university has very high aspirations and has given us the resources to build the research programs commensurate with the reputation of a great university of the twenty-first century.

What’s the best part about I-INCE?
I’ve been involved with I-INCE for a long time and worked with outstanding people from across the world. The strength of I-INCE is the INTER-NOISE congresses that continue to grow and evolve. I’m encouraged to see new topics and new faces every year. I take these as great signs of the importance and vitality of I-INCE. But I’m also pleased to see other activities of I-INCE. The Young Professionals Program is a great success at connecting younger noise control engineers with our profession. I congratulate Patricia Davies and her predecessor, Raj Singh, for growing this program. I hope we can continue to develop additional programs than promote noise control, disseminate understanding of noise control principles, and connect practitioners worldwide.

What do you want people to know about I-INCE during your tenure?
For my tenure as president, I plan to focus on renewal and inclusion. I plan to visit as many of the member societies as possible, either for leadership meetings or for annual technical conferences. In ways large and small, I am hoping to listen to members of the member societies to understand how I-INCE can be even more relevant to their professional lives and how we can include them in our activities.


Tell us about your family.
My wife Deb and I have 4 grown children: 3 sons and a daughter. They are all engineers and all live on the East Coast of the United States. Two are married. We have 4 grandchildren, all boys, including a pair of 18-month-old twins.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
All I imagined as a child was getting a professional job that would be secure. I would never have envisioned the career path that eventually played out. I’ve been blessed with surprise opportunities at various points that I had not anticipated. I’ve also been blessed that the opportunities were always great learning opportunities that ultimately led to my current position, which is a great fit to my talent, experience, and personality.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I’ve had great mentors who helped me identify my weaknesses and see how I was perceived by others. They also introduced me to literature in organizational psychology that I’ve found both relevant to my positions and interesting. Collins’s book Good to Great had the most influence on me, but a number of other books, including those by Stephan Covey and Daniel Pink, have had a significant influence on my thinking.