Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Listening for Looseness

PostedAugust 2, 2009

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Randy Atkins: Joe Guarino, a Boise State University mechanical engineer, is using a unique combination of devices – sledgehammers, stethoscopes, sound-processing software – to…  

Joe Guarino: …reproduce “shop foreman’s ear,” listening to say a machine running and say: “gee, this isn’t sounding right.”

Randy Atkins: Guarino’s gently banging bolted steel beams.  It sounds one way if all the bolts are tight…

Nat. Sound:

Randy Atkins: …and another way…

Nat. Sound:

Randy Atkins: …if they’re loose.  The research could lead to monitoring devices for bridges, buildings, and other structures if they can…

Joe Guarino: …home in on certain frequencies that are indicative of looseness.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103-point-5 F-M and WTOP-dot-com.


  • Guarino's paper on this method.