Expert Witness


Jason E. Summers, Ph.D.


Dr. Summers has served as an expert witness in civil and criminal trials at the federal and state level, in U.S. District Court (Middle District of Florida), Supreme Court of the 5th Judicial District of New York State, as well as Circuit and General District courts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. He has served as a court-appointed expert and been retained by private counsel and the U.S. Department of Justice. In support of these trials, Dr. Summers has carried out detailed field measurements and computational reconstructions to visually and aurally recreate events. His testimony has been used to establish whether an event—such as a motor vehicle, aircraft, or gunshot—or warning signal was audible and at what time, the accuracy of “earwitness reports” with respect to estimating direction of a sound source, and the accuracy of measurement instruments such as sonar and radar at estimating position and speed.

Subject-Matter Areas
  • accidental death and injury
    • compliance of warning signals with safety ordinances and standard safety practices
    • audibility of warning signals or approaching vehicles
  • building acoustics
  • outdoor and community noise
    • compliance with noise regulations
    • environmental impact
  • forensic/gunshot acoustics
  • occupational noise
  • product liability
    • potential to cause hearing damage
    • potential to interfere with audibility of warning signals
  • psychoacoustics/human perception of sound
    • ability of a listener to detect an event, vehicle, or warning signal
    • ability of a listener to determine the location of an event, vehicle, or warning signal
  • radar
    • accuracy of police moving Doppler radar systems
  • sonar

Dr. Summers is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in signal processing for Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), in theoretical and computational modeling of acoustic processes in air and in the ocean, and computational, mathematical, and psychological investigations of human spatial hearing and auditory classification. He has extensive experience, publications, and intellectual property in the areas of computational simulation of sound in the ocean and in rooms, perception of sounds by human listeners—including detection, classification, and  localization—antisubmarine warfare and Navy sonar systems, architectural acoustics, and acoustical measurements in buildings, outdoors, and in the ocean. His recognition by his peers as an international leader in these fields is demonstrated by his over 85 technical publications, his leadership as associate editor of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America and within professional societies, his honors and awards, and his appearance as an expert in commercial news outlets, including CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post.

A key figure in the development of both the theoretical underpinnings and computational implementations of multiple computational models now in active use by the US Navy and commercial customers, Dr. Summers served as Technical Lead for the Advanced-Development Team of NAVSEA’s Surface ASW Synthetic Trainer (SAST) Program. In this capacity he oversaw development of the first fully physics-based system for shipboard and school-house training on surface-ship sonar. Dr. Summers also provided R&D support for the award-winning Submarine Multi-Mission Team Trainer (SMMTT). Working in the field of room acoustics, he developed and validated improved mathematical and computational models able to address the pressing problem of predicting sound fields in coupled-room concert halls, introducing modifications to one of the primary commercial software packages used in room acoustics (CATT-Acoustic). These models have been broadly cited in the literature and widely adopted by the worldwide consulting community. The new insight and renewed rigor Dr. Summers brought to the problem led Leo L. Beranek to nominate him for the MacArthur “Genius” Award in 2004. 

Dr. Summers maintains close ties with partners in academia, serving on dissertation committees at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Aalto University, Finland and regularly lecturing in the graduate program in acoustics at RPI.

Expert-witness inquiries should be directed to