Acoustics Consultant Passes Away

Denis Milsom, vice president of Shen Milsom & Wilke, passed away on May 5 following a brief illness. Milsom graduated from the U.S. Army Engineering School at Fort Belvoir, Va., and began his professional career in the Army. In January 1986, Milsom and a friend, Fred Shen, formed their own acoustic consulting firm, Shen Milsom & Associates
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Acoustics Consultant Passes Away

May 10, 2005 12:29 PM

Denis Milsom, vice president of Shen Milsom & Wilke, passed away on May 5 following a brief illness. Denis started his professional career in the Army, serving in the United States and overseas. His education included graduation from the U.S. Army Engineering School at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Denis started work at a New York acoustics firm in the late 1970s. There he met Fred Shen, and the two became friends immediately. In January 1986, they formed their own acoustic consulting firm, Shen Milsom & Associates. The firm later expanded into audiovisual systems design and, after joining forces with Hubert Wilke, changed its name to Shen Milsom & Wilke in 1988.

A few of the hundreds of projects he worked on, and of which he was proudest, are television studios for FOX, ABC, MTV, ESPN, and FX Cable; the New York Public Library Rose Reading Room, Bloomberg Headquarters, Goldman Sachs, Trump Tower, the Asia Society, and Viacom—all in New York City; numerous healthcare facilities, including Brigham & Women's Hospital and Procter & Gamble Health Care Research Center; many Millennium Partners projects across the United States; the U.S. Navy CINCPACFLT Fleet Briefing Room in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; and the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Conn.

As an acoustician, Denis brought clarity of thought to the projects on which he worked. His ability to take on a sticky problem and find a clean, clear, and practical way to solve it won him respect and support among the architects, engineers, developers, and contractors he worked with throughout the country. His effectiveness saved his clients money and time.

As a member of the Acoustical Society of America and former member of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants, Denis worked to better his profession. His office walls contained certificates and badges from continuing education sessions he attended or chaired.

All of these accomplishments are important, yet Denis was probably most admired for his calm, easygoing manner. He supervised dozens of projects simultaneously, managed a staff of talented acousticians, and juggled work in Shen Milsom & Wilke's multiple offices. Yet he never raised his voice, never had a confrontation, and consistently smoothed ruffled egos and frustrated clients with his soft voice and kind, gentlemanly manner.

Denis mentored dozens of young people. "He always took the time to work through and explain, with seemingly little effort, the project issues that stumped the rest of us," says one person who came to Shen Milsom & Wilke as a college graduate and has been with the firm for more than 15 years. Many of those he worked with have achieved success at Shen Milsom & Wilke, at other firms, or at their own firms.

Adds another associate: "It is not until someone like Denis leaves us that we realize how much he shaped us."

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