Angela Lamacraft - how I discovered my acoustics career
by: Angela Lamacraft
I was a sound engineer a couple of evenings a week at a live music venue in Harlow when studying for my A-levels, but realised very few people get to turn it into a ‘proper’ job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career, so decided to do Audio and Music Technology at Anglia Polytechnic (now Anglia Ruskin) University as it involved some studio work, creative work, computing and electronics. It turns out it also involved the physics of acoustics, which I really enjoyed learning about. The careers department at the university didn’t know about acoustic consultancy, so when I left university and moved to a new town I took up a temporary job in an office to make money to pay rent and bills. After completing the foundation of an accounting qualification I realised accounting wasn’t for me and searched through online telephone directories for companies that included noise or acoustics in their description.
A noise control company employed me and put me through my IOA Diploma, which is an excellent foundation on which to build a consultancy career. I then joined a multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, then a global consultancy and finally joined ACCON, a small environmental consultancy, in 2017. I have completed environmental noise assessments for projects of all sizes, from one dwelling to large mixed-use developments. I have also assessed noise at work, worked on noise nuisance cases and completed sound insulation assessments.
Consultancy has aspects of engineering, but often not to as much technical or mathematical detail as an engineer would typically use, and it usually includes more of the non-engineering skills such as communication to non-engineers, commercial aptitude and thinking beyond one’s own field of expertise. My favourite part about consultancy is that it is incredibly varied: I use noise modelling software; undertake noise measurements; write reports; liaise with design teams, clients, local authorities and members of the public; complete calculations; and manage a team of consultants. No two days are ever the same! And wouldn’t life be dull if you knew what was going to happen week in week out?
Angela is a member of the IOA Council
Angela is an acoustic consultant, mainly specialising in environmental and industrial acoustics within the retail, commercial and residential sectors. She has also project managed acoustics projects and multi-disciplinary ones. Angela has worked on very small projects (such as preparation of Noise Impact Assessments for single dwellings) and very large ones (such as providing construction noise and vibration advice for aspects of national infrastructure projects). She states that some of the most interesting projects she has worked on include prediction of vibration from mining activities; noise from a hydropower scheme in the river Thames; and large mixed-use developments in challenging environments.
Angela is passionate about helping the IOA stay relevant to members, believing that we all benefit from the unique ideas that a diverse active membership brings. As a working mum she is also keen to explore ways the IOA can help working parents find a good balance between their home life and their career.