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Mary Lea Simpson, a promising audio engineering student, is memorialized by an AES Educational Foundation scholarship endowed in her honor.


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Contact: Robert Clyne
Tel: (615) 662-1616 x17




The Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation Selects Christian Steinmetz as First Recipient of the Mary Lea Simpson Memorial Scholarship for Recording Engineering Students

New York, NY, September 20, 2018 — The AES Educational Foundation is proud to name Christian Steinmetz as the first Mary Lea Simpson Memorial Scholarship winner. Steinmetz is completing a dual major BS in Electrical Engineering and BA in Audio Technology at Clemson University. Steinmetz is Chief Engineer at the Clemson radio station, WSBF-FM, and producer for WSBF Live Sessions. He served an internship with Cirrus Logic, designer of DSP integrated circuits. He also works as a researcher, pursuing work related to audio signal processing and machine learning for music production.

Steinmetz recently won first place at the IEEE SoutheastCon Student Paper Competition for his paper “Real-time phase analysis utility for improving microphone placement in multi-microphone multi-source scenarios” and competed in the Saul Walker Student Design Competition at the 2017 AES New York Convention. He is an accomplished musician whose goal is to design intelligent signal processing tools, and his submitted recording was highly regarded by the Mary Lea Simpson Scholarship Committee. Steinmetz intends to continue his work as mix and mastering engineer after completion of graduate studies in audio.

Mary Lea Simpson was a graduate of the Audio Production Program at New England Institute of Art, who died in 2013 in a tragic building collapse in Philadelphia. Mary received the Naked Ear Records Achievement Award for Best Music Production in 2012.

The Mary Lea Simpson Memorial Scholarship is for full tuition for final year of undergraduate studies at a North American college or university Audio Engineering/Recording Arts Program. It is being offered to a student member of AES who shows a proficiency in recording, mixing or mastering skills, as well as academic achievement. 

This scholarship is endowed by Mary’s family, father and mother Dr. Zachary W. Simpson and Starr Harris Simpson, and brother George B. Simpson, and is administered by the Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation (Don Puluse, President). Barry Marshall is Chair of the Foundation’s Mary Lea Simpson Scholarship Committee. This scholarship complements the Audio Engineering Society Educational Foundation’s mission to encourage entry of talented students into the profession of audio engineering. Since its establishment in 1984, the Foundation has awarded over one million dollars in grants to hundreds of exceptional applicants, worldwide, for graduate studies in audio.

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Photo Caption: Mary Lea Simpson, a promising audio engineering student, is memorialized by an AES Educational Foundation scholarship endowed in her honor.

About the Audio Engineering Society
The Audio Engineering Society, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2018, now counts over 12,000 members throughout the U.S., Latin America, Europe, Japan and the Far East. The organization serves as the pivotal force in the exchange and dissemination of technical information for the industry. Currently, its members are affiliated with 90 AES professional sections and more than 120 AES student sections around the world. Section activities include guest speakers, technical tours, demonstrations and social functions. Through local AES section events, members experience valuable opportunities for professional networking and personal growth. For additional information visit aes.org.

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