Specialist Groups

The Institute reflects the broad spectrum of the science and application of acoustics and several Groups have been formed to foster contacts between members of the various specialist areas.
Building Acoustics

The Building Acoustic Group is involved in all aspects of Building Acoustics: room acoustics, sound
insulation, HVAC design and vibration isolation.  And we are interested in all types of buildings: Arts
and Media, Healthcare, Sports and Leisure, Education, Residential and Hotel Accommodation,
Commercial and Industrial.
The committee is composed of Acoustic Consultants, Academics and Manufacturers with a good
mixture of age and experience.  The team organise high quality sessions at the Institute’s
Conferences and specialist meetings throughout the year.  We also advise and comment on a wide
range of standards and guidance which aim to improve the quality of acoustics in buildings.





The Electro-Acoustics Group of the IOA is the home for specialists in all aspects of sound equipment and sound systems design. 
The group holds an annual conference, called Reproduced Sound, usually in late November. This event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in Brighton in 2009, attracts delegates from all over the world. 


Reproduced Sound meetings cover topics such as loudspeaker and microphone design, multi-channel audio, speech intelligibility and leaks into the Noise at Work Act as it pertains to the entertainments industry. 

The group is also discussing ways to improve the outcomes of the use and installation of equipment, by trying to get involved in training initiatives in the industry. A critical concept we are exploring is "training the teachers", a way that expertise can be transferred to those in the front line of education, to help them with resources to improve their delivery, and thus the quality of graduates coming into industry. 

Environmental Sound


The IOA’s old Environmental Noise Group is now known as the Environmental Sound Group, as discussed in Graham Parry’s article in the November/December 2021 issue of Acoustic Bulletin on pages 63-65. The change in name refl ects a widening of the group’s remit to include positive aspects of environmental sound and soundscapes. As chair of the Environmental Sound Group, I see this as an opportunity to reinvigorate the group, and expand our activities into this important area. To help the Committee understand the issues and steer the group in the right direction I would like to invite IOA members with experience and enthusiasm for soundscape assessment to join the committee. Please send details of how you can help to me by 25 February 2022, and the committee will review the nominations. Email: Steve [at] MitchellEnvironmental [dot] co [dot] uk

The Environmental Sound Group comprises members of the Institute of Acoustics with a particular interest in assessment and control of environmental noise and vibration. The aim of the group is to provide a forum for members to exchange information and discuss developments within this general field of interest including noise and vibration control, prediction methods and the effect on receptors (not just people). 

The ESG committee is elected, but is controlled to ensure a broad range of representation, including Environmental Health Practitioners, Consultants, Education and Governmental Organisations. It organises events of interest to the membership, issues regular communications and represent members’ interests within the IOA and on relevant external bodies. It also briefs Council on related consultation documents.

Measurement and Instrumentation


M&I Group Mission Statement 

• To act as a forum for members and other professionals with an interest in the measurement and analysis of sound and vibration.

• To promote a wider understanding of the technology associated with the measurement of acoustic and dynamic events among both professionals and the general public.

• To facilitate academic, scientific and practical meetings for the interchange of information and experiences in the subject area.

• To provide technical commentary on the measurement aspects of both proposed and current sound and vibration regulations.

• To support and encourage education in the assessment and investigation of sound and vibration.

• To recognise exceptional achievements in the promotion or understanding of the subject

Musical Acoustics


The MAG has a very important part to play in the understanding and research of many aspects of acoustics. The obvious connections between music and acoustics include the design of opera, concert and recital performance venues, studio and practice room acoustics and design. 
However, aspects such as musical instrument design, music technology, music therapy, musical perception, the singing voice, the use of electronics in musical performance and reproduction also encompass a wide field of acoustical knowledge. 
The mission of the MAG is as follows:
• To encourage closer working with professionals in related disciplines such as architects, musical instrument designers and builders, sound engineers, performing musicians and composers, musical education, music in health and wellbeing.
• To be a forum for members and other professionals with an interest in all aspects of musical acoustics.
• To promote a wider understanding of musical acoustics to academics, professionals in all related fields and increase public awareness.
• To hold regular meetings (with access available to related professional disciplines) for the interchange of information and experiences.

Noise and Vibration Engineering


Noise and Vibration Engineering Group: members, committee and mission


The NVEG is a special interest group within the IoA comprising members with some combination of the following interests:

- Engineering noise control
- Vibration control
- Assessment of workplace noise and vibration
- NVH assessment
- Low noise design
- Noise source mechanisms
- Measurement methods for source identification
- Noise and vibration prediction methods

Members are likely to have other related interests, such as the physical effect of noise on humans, measurement methods and standards, noise or vibration induced fatigue, underwater acoustics, etc. The activities of NVEG should reflect the fact that these interests may also be represented by other IoA Groups, and that joint meetings may be appropriate.

The members of NVEG will generally have to work closely with people outside the field of acoustics (safety officers, designers, architects, etc.) and are thus likely to be interested in events organised jointly with other appropriate organisations.


The purpose of the committee is to:
- organise events of interest to NVEG members
- represent members interests within the IoA
- represent the IoA on external bodies with respect to noise and vibration engineering issues.
- keep members informed via a newsletter or other communications


The Noise and Vibration Engineering Group comprises members of the Institute of Acoustics with a particular interest in assessment and control of noise and vibration. The aim of the group is to provide a forum for members to exchange information and discuss developments within this general field of interest, including engineering methods for noise and vibration control, workplace noise or NVH assessment, low noise design, source identification methods, source mechanisms and prediction methods. The NVEG committee organises events of interest to the membership, issues regular communications and represent members’ interests within the IoA and on relevant external bodies.

Physical Acoustics


Physical acoustics is the fundamental science that underpins the acoustics we work with every day. The way sound propagates, scatters, attenuates, how it interacts with structures and measurement equipment should concern us all. Having a basic knowledge of physical acoustics enables us to make better decisions, design better products, make better measurements and write more accurate reports. The study of physical acoustics is also developing new ways of interpreting acoustical data including medical ultrasound and imaging, the use of advanced materials for sound absorbers and noise barriers, and many more applications for now and in the future.

The aim of the Physical Acoustics Group is to provide:

Specialists and novices alike from academic or industrial backgrounds a forum to discuss, disseminate, and develop physical acoustics at all stages of development from theory to the provision of exploitable technology in industry.

IOA members who have a particular interest in physical acoustics with a programme of events that captures the essence of latest research and the state of the art understanding of; fundamental acoustic interactions from sound sources, via various media (solid, liquid or gas) to receptors.

Representation of the IOA at Institute of Physics (IOP) PAG events, and vice versa. The IOP also have a PAG, so we coexist with a common cause to further the field by supporting events from each institute.

In addition, the group acts as a point of contact for individuals and organisations from all backgrounds that share a common interest, and welcomes their suggestions for topics and their involvement in providing presentations and organising events.

Senior Members Group


The SMG was created at the behest of the Vice-President Groups and Branches when it was felt by the IOA that retired members, and those approaching retirement, were being neglected and where a resource of experience that could be utilised by the IOA.

It is an opportunity for experienced members to get together from time to time formally and semi formally to discuss issues arising from the IOA and to listen to speakers covering all aspects of acoustic science. At the same time there is an opportunity for members to meet sociably and to network.

One of the objectives/aims of the group is to communicate with those members of the IOA who have retired and are living overseas.

It is recognised that Senior Members live all over the country and that travel is not only expensive but can present challenges to attend meetings. Consequently all communications between the committee and Senior Members is by email.

Senior members are available to help the CPD Committee and with the Early Careers Group.

Speech and Hearing


The Speech and Hearing Group provides a forum for IOA members with an interest in acoustic aspects of speech and hearing. These include speech intelligibility, perception and production, hearing protection, audiology, assistive and other technologies for speech and hearing, and speech and language therapy.

The Speech and Hearing Group committee is active in organising meetings aimed at raising awareness of the subject and advancing technical development through the sharing of knowledge and experience. The group acts as a point of contact for individuals and organisations from all backgrounds that share the common interest, and welcomes their involvement.

Underwater Acoustics


The aim of the Underwater Acoustics Group (UAG) is to attract the interest and commitment of all professionals from industry, academia and government who work in underwater acoustics in order to help advance our understanding of this field. 

The group covers a wide range of topics including natural and anthropogenic sound and its generation underwater; sonar transducers; sonar signal processing; sonar performance predictions; multi-beam and bathymetry sonar systems; underwater communication; the propagation, reflection and scattering of sound in the underwater environment including the seabed and the sea surface; and bioacoustics. 

The UAG Committee represents the members of the IOA who have an interest in underwater acoustics and generally supports the subject within the UK. The Committee’s three main roles are:

• Work with professionals to arrange conferences for the underwater acoustics community. 
• Provide feedback to international standards committees.
• Recommend the recipient of the A B Wood Medal. 

The A B Wood medal and attendant prize is aimed at innovative underwater acousticians under the age of 40 for distinguished contributions to the application of underwater acoustics. The award is made annually, in even numbered years to a person from Europe and in odd numbered years to a person from the USA/Canada. Nomination forms and details can be found here

Early Careers Group


The IOA's active Early Careers Group aims to bring together a diverse network of acoustic professionals in the early stages of their career. This is by promoting peer knowledge sharing and support, and providing a link to the knowledge of established acousticians and a platform for the continuing development of new and existing skills.

As well as being a good introduction to the IOA, the Early Careers' Group organises a variety of activities, such as social networking events, presentations and architectural tours.

To find out more about Early Careers Group’ activities in your region, log-in to the IOA website, and under ‘My Account’, join the Early Careers Group. Under ‘My Details’ you must also add your regional branch. IOA Early Careers Members are normally under 35 years old or within the first five years of their career.

We look forward to welcoming you to our group and helping wherever we can!


Sound, Noise & Health Group


The Sound, Noise and Health Group is a relatively new group, launched in 2022. It comprises members of the Institute of Acoustics with a particular special interest in understanding and assessing the effects of sound, noise, and vibration exposure on human physical and mental health and wellbeing. Its remit includes sound in external and internal environments, and the influence of non-acoustic factors. The main aim of the group is to provide a forum for members to exchange information and discuss developments within this rapidly developing area of acoustics.

The SN&HG has a controlled committee of at least five, and no more than nine full members, which include voting rights for terms of 2 years. Up to 3 co-opted members can be added for the terms of one year (see TOR’s for more detail). The aim is for the committee to maintain a broad spectrum of representatives from central and local government, agencies, academia, third sector and liaison with other professional bodies, ensuring a good oversight of this broad topic area. It may be necessary to invite special advisors to the committee where input is needed in overlapping specialist areas. The committee will organise events of interest to the membership, represent members’ interests within the IOA and on relevant external bodies, and feed-in to the Parliamentary Liaison Group and its activities. It will also brief Council on related consultation documents, and draft suggested responses.