Larry J. Argiro (‘47 BS)
Larry J. Argiro, a native of Fairmont, W.Va., graduated from West Virginia University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1947.
One month before his scheduled 1943 graduation, he was drafted, to the U.S. Army’s basic training camp at Bend, Ore., and asked to serve in the Army’s Signal Corps. From a list of three universities offered – MIT, Cal Tech and WVU – he chose his alma mater for a nine-month advanced training curriculum. He later went through the Officer Training Program and served stints in several states and in Japan where he worked on the communications systems designed to support the top secret Manhattan Project.
In 1947, he joined what is now the Annapolis Detachment of the Naval Surface Warfare Center as an electronics engineer. His first assignment involved working in machinery noise reduction. As an outcome of World War II, the submarine and its associated acoustical technologies rose in importance.
Argiro took over the Signal Processing Branch in 1957, pioneering sophisticated methods of acoustic data collection and analysis. Six years later, as head of the Trials and Analysis Branch, he directed 50 scientists and engineers researching acoustic signal processing and machinery noise.
In July 1967, he was selected to head the Machine Silencing Division, spending the next 21 years directing research by 100 engineers on shipboard machinery noise reduction on nuclear submarines and anti-submarine warfare ships.
In 1986, Argiro was named associate director and head of the Propulsion and Auxiliary Systems Department, later renamed the Machinery Research and Development Doctorate. Under his direction, with a budget in excess of $90 million, four divisions of about 370 scientists, engineers and support staff directed research and development of naval shipboard machinery and electrical systems including stealth and energy conservation.
He retired in August 1994 as a leading technical authority in the field. Because of his efforts, the U.S. Navy enjoyed the strategic military advantage of having the quietest ships in the world. He has authored more than 75 publications and technical reports and is a member of the Senior Executive Service.
He has received numerous awards including: American Society of Naval Engineers Harold E. Saunders Award; ONR Captain Robert Dexter Conrad Gold Medal Award for Scientific Achievement; American Society of Naval Engineers Gold Medal Award; Navy Distinguished Civilian Award; Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America; and WVU College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni.
Mr. Argiro is a lifetime member of ASNE, a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, member of the Institute of Noise Control, and is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland.