Justin works on room acoustics, sound isolation, and noise and vibration control for a wide range of projects. Justin draws from his background in physics, computer science, material science, and music to solve technical acoustic problems. He recently graduated from Rice University, where he wrote his thesis on acoustic metamaterials and used cutting-edge techniques to study how sound waves interact with low-symmetry geometries. Justin applies his interest in computational methods and prior experience with small engineering consulting teams to develop modeling tools tailored to Kirkegaard’s analytical process behind each acoustic design decision.

Do you or have you played a musical instrument? If so, which and why?

I play the electric guitar because I love blues music and enjoy jamming with friends. I’m also drawn to the parallels between luthiery and room acoustics design. The instrument is a musician’s interface and voice; in this way, the room is an extension of the instrument. A great guitar, just like a great performance space, is the result of many small but deliberate choices that make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.

What excites you about the architecture and engineering industry?
It’s been humbling to witness architectural design – both process and product – evolve over the course of a global pandemic. I’m curious to see how it will continue to respond to advancements in building design tools and construction techniques and materials. I’m especially excited about the application of parametric design, 3D-printing, and material science to break the mold of what we think is possible with architectural acoustics.

What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
Recently I’ve been making carnitas fried rice to combine a dish I love from taco trucks in Houston with a dish I grew up eating in Hong Kong.

Justin Yau - Specialist


  • BS in Computational Physics, 2019, Rice University