Susan Voss

Achilles Professor of Engineering

Susan Voss

Contact & Office Hours

Ford Hall 112



Ph.D., M.S., Massachusetts Institute of Technology

B.S., Brown University


Susan Voss is an electrical engineer and scientist in the field of speech and hearing. Her research focuses on sound transmission in normal and diseased ears. Her work has applications in audiometric instrumentation, surgical auditory implants and aids for the hearing impaired.

Voss’s research lab focuses on basic science questions related to the structure and function of the peripheral auditory system. One current project measures and models ear-canal reflectance in order to develop a noninvasive diagnostic tool for middle-ear problems, including detection of fluid in newborn and infant ears. A second project aims to develop a noninvasive tool to monitor changes in intracranial pressure using the auditory response of otoacoustic emissions.

Voss received her bachelor of science in engineering from Brown University (1991) where she worked on computer speech recognition. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), she received her master’s degree (1995) from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and her doctorate (1998) from the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Voss joined the faculty of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College in January 2001. She has taught several courses, including Introduction to Engineering, Circuit Theory, Signals and Systems, Neuroengineering, Digital Signal Processing, and Acoustics.

With her sister Amy, Voss was a member of the U.S. Sailing Team (1990–92). Together they won the 1991 Pan-American Games in Havana, Cuba, and placed third in the 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials. Voss grew up in Holmdel, New Jersey, and now lives in Northampton with her husband, Paul Voss, and their two children. She enjoys biking, gardening and walking her two German Shepherd dogs.

Recent Publications

Bershad EM, Urfy MZ, Pechacek** A, McGrath** M, Calvillo E, Horton NJ and Voss SE. “Intracranial pressure modulates distortion product otoacoustic emissions: A proof of principle study” Neurosurgery. 2014; 75:445-455.

Abur D.**, Horton NJ, Voss SE. “Intra-subject variability in power reflectance,” Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2014; 25:441-448.

Voss SE, Stenfelt S, Neely, ST, Rosowski, JJ. “Factors That Introduce Intrasubject Variability Into Ear-Canal Absorbance Measurements.” Ear and Hearing. 2013; 34:60s-64s.

Voss SE, Merchant** GR, Horton, NJ . “Effects of middle-ear disorders on power reflectance measured in cadaveric ear canals.” Ear and Hearing. 2012; 33:195-208.

Selected Honors and Awards

  • R15 AREA grant from NIH for her project: “Development of a normative database for wide-band acoustic immittance measures” July 2014 - June 2017.
  • Young Investigator Talk at the 2013 American Auditory Society Meeting: “Translational Research: Engineering, clinical relevance, and the liberal arts”
  • NSF CAREER AWARD: Acoustic Energy Flow Through Normal and Abnormal Middle Ears
  • Frontiers in Education New Faculty Fellow
  • AT&T Graduate Research Program for Women Grant
  • Tau Beta Pi National Laureate Award