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William Warner Lang


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William Warner Lang Obituary
William Warner Lang

William Warner Lang, 90, physicist, b. Boston, Aug 9, 1926; d. Oct 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 1970's, Bill worked with Senate staff in Washington D.C. 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 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 it's 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 U.S. 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, a member and President of the Poughkeepsie/ Arlington Rotary Club and a devoted member of Christ Episcopal Church where he sang in the choir. Bill loved life and challenged himself mentally and physically everyday. 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 11am on Saturday, Nov 19, at Christ Episcopal Church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Episcopal Church, 20 Carroll St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
Published in the Poughkeepsie Journal on Oct. 30, 2016
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