Brigham Young University
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.
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “Three-dimensional laryngeal flow fields induced by a model vocal fold polyp,” International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, vol. 35, pp. 93-101, (2012).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “Impact of wall rotation on supraglottal jet stability in voiced speech.,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 129, no. 3, pp. EL64-70, (2011).
 B. D. Erath, S. D. Peterson, M. Zañartu, G. R. Wodicka, and M. W. Plesniak, “A theoretical model of the pressure field arising from asymmetric intraglottal flows applied to a two-mass model of the vocal folds.,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, vol. 130, no. 1, pp. 389-403, (2011).
 B. D. Erath, M. Zañartu, S. D. Peterson, and M. W. Plesniak, “Nonlinear vocal fold dynamics resulting from asymmetric fluid loading on a two-mass model of speech.,” Chaos, vol. 21, no. 3, p. 033113, (2011).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “Viscous flow features in scaled-up physical models of normal and pathological vocal phonation,” International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow, vol. 31, no. 3, pp. 468-481, (2010).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “An investigation of asymmetric flow features in a scaled-up driven model of the human vocal folds,” Experiments in Fluids, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 131-146, (2010).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “An investigation of jet trajectory in flow through scaled vocal fold models with asymmetric glottal passages,” Experiments in Fluids, vol. 41, no. 5, pp. 735-748, (2006).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “The Occurrence of the Coanda Effect in Pulsatile Flow Through Static Models of the Human Vocal Folds,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., vol. 120, pp. 1000-1011, (2006).
 B. D. Erath and M. W. Plesniak, “An investigation of bimodal jet trajectory in flow through scaled models of the human vocal tract,” Experiments in Fluids, vol. 40, no. 5, pp. 683-696, (2006).