Education Background

Ph.D. - Purdue University
M.S. - Purdue University
B.S. - Brigham Young University

Research Interests

Dr. Erath’s research interests encompass the field of fluid mechanics, with a particular focus on the laryngeal aerodynamics of voiced speech. Voiced speech is produced by complex fluid-structure-acoustic interactions within the larynx. A more complete understanding of this nonlinear problem is critical for accurate diagnosis and treatment of vocal pathologies that disrupt the normal speech process. Dr. Erath’s work is focused on both experimental investigations and computational modeling of the speech process.

A primary research thrust is to identify the viscous flow behavior that is produced in the unsteady, pulsatile environment of voiced speech. This is accomplished by applying experimental fluid mechanics techniques (e.g. particle image velocimetry, laser Doppler anemometry, etc.) to capture the fluid dynamics in synthetic, life-size, self-oscillating models of the vocal folds. These measurements are performed in tandem with high-speed imagery that tracks the dynamics of the vocal fold structure. Diseased speech conditions are also replicated in order to understand the disruption of the energy-exchange process due to common vocal pathologies.


  • Pirnia, A., Peterson, S. D., Helenbrook, B. T., Erath, B. D., 2020, “Pressure field estimation from planar velocity measurements using an Eulerian finite element approach," Experiments in Fluids, in press.
  • Motie-Shirazi, M., Zañartu, M., Peterson, S. D., Mehta, D. D., Kobler, J. B., Hillman, R. E., Erath, B. D., 2019, “Toward development of a vocal fold contact pressure probe: Sensor characterization and validation using synthetic vocal fold models,” Applied Sciences, Invited submission to a special issue on Computational Methods and Engineering Solutions to Voice, 9:3002.
  • Hadwin, P. J., Motie-Shirazi, M., Erath, B. D., Peterson, S. D., 2019, “Bayesian inference of vocal fold model properties from glottal area waveforms using a 2D finite element model,” Applied Sciences, Invited submission to a special issue on Computational Methods and Engineering Solutions to Voice, 9:2735.
  • Pirnia, A., Hu, J-C., Peterson, S. D., Erath, B. D., 2017, “Vortex dynamics and flow-induced vibrations arising from a vortex ring passing tangentially over a flexible plate,” Journal of Applied Physics, 122:164901.
  • Erath, B. D., Zañartu, M., Peterson, S. D., 2017, “Modeling viscous dissipation during vocal fold collision: The influence of tissue viscosity and thickness with implications for hydration,” Biomechanics and Modeling in Mechanobiology, 16:947-960.



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Office Location: 362 CAMP Building

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