Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sound measurement pioneer celebrates!

Gunnar Rasmussen founder of G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration, celebrates his 90th birthday on 23 November 2015.

Gunner Rasmussen
As an engineering student Gunnar Rasmussen already showed great promise, and shortly after his graduation he was hired by the Danish audio pioneers Brüel & Kjær. In the 1950s the company sent Gunnar Rasmussen to the United States to promote its products and manage the after-sales service. The inquisitive microphone specialist also took the opportunity to get acquainted with America’s futuristic technologies and to forge ties with a wide range of industries.

World class accuracy and durability
The fast growing American automotive, aerospace and consumer industries in the 1950s had a continuous demand for more and better acoustic measurement microphones. Through his intense involvement in all kinds of acoustical measurement projects, Gunnar realised that the microphones available at that time needed some serious improvements. After returning to Denmark, he set out to develop a new generation of microphones using the most advanced materials and assembly techniques. The outcome was a new, revolutionary and simple design, which for the past 60 years has been preferred for all types of professional acoustic measurements and has been internationally standardized.

G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration
At the age of 67 where most people are heading for retirement, Gunnar Rasmussen left founded G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration in 1994. Starting out as a small family business, run by Gunnar Rasmussen and his wife Hanna Hertz, the new company quickly grew into a respected and leading manufacturer of measurement microphones, turning many of its founder’s so-far unexploited ideas and inventions into commercial successes. Today, the company offers more than 100 different microphones types, employs 90 people, and has offices or affiliates in approximately 40 countries worldwide.

Gunnar Rasmussen’s and Hanna Hertz’ sons, Per Rasmussen and Peter Wulf-Andersen now play key R&D roles at G.R.A.S. Sound & Vibration, while Lars Kjærgaard, who joined the company in 2011, has been serving as CEO since 2014. As Chairman, Gunnar Rasmussen continues to inspire with his extraordinary vision and guiding principles for the company.

Honors and accolades
He was appointed as chair of the ISO committee, made a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and he received the Danish Design Awards for his design of measurement microphones and sound level meters. The famous conductor Leonard Bernstein turned to Gunnar Rasmussen for help producing a better recording microphone for classical music. Gunnar Rasmussen earned a CETIM award and the IEC Award. In 2008 he was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievements in Acoustics award by the European Acoustics Association. However, Gunnar Rasmussen does not dwell much on accolades. On the contrary, he seems to be looking ahead to solve the next problem.

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