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The Department of Engineering Systems - Acoustics Group
The Acoustics Group has a 30 year track record of acoustics research and has developed an international reputation for its research. In the Research Assessment Exercise 2008 under General Engineering the Acoustics Group was part of a submission rated as having 60% of the research rated world leading (4*) or of international excellence (3*). This is equivalent to a 5* rating under the terms of the 2001 RAE.

The Acoustics Group undertakes research, consultancy and enterprise with an income for 2006-8 of £1 million. Recently, the Masters in Environmental and Architectural Acoustics has formed a 3 year agreement with telent plc to sponsor an MSc student each year. Past students have been awarded the Acoustical Society of America prize for best Architectural Acoustics student and had their work published by the Institute of Acoustics. Each year the students attend one national acoustics conference, and the following year the best students present their dissertation work. The very best students then get taken on as summer interns and have the option to go on to do a PhD.

Over the years the groupís research has been instrumental in the introduction of new legislation, notably the Railway Noise Insulation Regulations of 1995, and, more recently, the 2003 Building Regulations on the acoustic design of schools. The research thrust have recently expanded to include market led research, as well as EPSRC funded projects, and the Centre currently holds three Knowledge Transfer Partnership grants. The Group aims to continue to increase links with industry and to work with Government departments and legislative bodies on issues relating to noise and acoustic design of buildings.

The current main research themes include:

  • Room Acoustics Modelling
  • Noise from Urban Rooftop Wind Turbines
  • Effects of Noise on Children
  • Classroom acoustics
  • Open Plan Schools
  • Speech Intelligibility in Underground Stations
  • Low Noise Measurements
  • Noise Exposure and Hearing of Classical Musicians
  • Acoustics in Hospitals

Collaborations-National and International Links
In the last 5 years the Acoustics Group has collaborated with the following institutions:
  • Universities: ISVR (Southampton University), Institute of Education, Salford University, Royal Academy of Music, University College of London (Ear Institute), University of Liverpool, Royal College of Music
  • Companies: Telent plc, Sound Research Laboratories, JEM Safety Management, Tubelines, London Underground, Arup Acoustics, Capita Symonds
  • Other organisations: DfES, Hear-It, Voice Care Network, London Philharmonic Orchestra

External examining has been undertaken at Cambridge, Liverpool, Bradford, Salford, City, Open, Reading and Sheffield Hallam Universities, and visiting lectures given at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, Southampton University and at the Royal Academy of Music.

Profile of the Acoustics Group
The Centre is represented on the Council, Executive Committee, Education and Publications committees of the Institute of Acoustics, and on committees and working groups of organisations including DfeS, Department of Health, National Society for Clean Air, British Council for School Environments, International Institute for Noise Control Engineering.

In 2006 Professor Shield was awarded Honorary Fellowship of the Institute of Acoustics.

The Centre has had considerable media exposure including national television, radio and press coverage:
  • BBC2 programme on the Royal Festival Hall; interview on the Robert Elmes Show - May 2001
  • BBC1 News item on classroom acoustics; interviews on national, local and forces radio - April 2002
  • Invited lecture to British Festival of Science; press conference and reports in national newspapers - September 2003
  • Poster exhibition on classroom acoustics at Royal Institution evening lecture - February 2004
  • Interview by Guardian for article on acoustics - Summer 2004
  • BBC Radio 4 programme "Acoustic Shadows" - September 2004
  • Times Educational Supplement, interview on design of schools - January 2005
  • Numerous articles in building press on acoustic design of schools - 2005-2007

In 2007 Dr Dance was award the Schultz Prize by the Acoustical Society of America for Architectural Acoustics Education



Page updated by Stephen Dance
18 July 2009

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