Kathleen Wage’s research is a multi-disciplinary synthesis of array processing, acoustics, and oceanography. Her current work applies random matrix theory to problems in sonar signal processing and underwater acoustic propagation. Other recent projects explored the design of sparse arrays for underwater environments and investigated ambient noise in the deep ocean. Much of Dr. Wage's research incorporates real data from ocean experiments. During her career she has spent over 100 days on research ships in the North Pacific and Philippine Sea. She has a consistent record of funding that includes an Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator award (2005) and an ONR Ocean Acoustics Entry-Level Faculty Award (2002).
Dr. Wage is passionate about teaching and incorporates active learning in all her courses. In collaboration with John Buck she developed the Signals and Systems Concept Inventory (SSCI), a standardized exam designed to measure conceptual understanding of linear systems. In 2016 she received the Harriet B. Rigas Award from the IEEE Education Society and Hewlett-Packard for “championing active learning, developing an internationally recognized assessment instrument, and cultivating a sustainable and supportive environment for female engineering faculty”. She also received the John Toups Presidential Medal for Excellence in Teaching from George Mason University in 2019 and the Mac E. Van Valkenburg Early Career Teaching Award from the IEEE Education Society in 2008.
She has been an Associate Editor for the IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering (2005-2019) and chair of the IEEE Underwater Acoustic Signal Processing Workshop (2013-2017). Dr. Wage is a member of the IEEE, the Acoustical Society of America, the American Society for Engineering Education, the American Geophysical Union, and Sigma Xi.