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“So, You Want to be an Engineer?” current engineers sought for inspiring Y12 pupils


by: Katie Douglass  Director of Engineering & ICT Team Principal for Firefly Racing

I have a very keen group of Yr 12 pupils at my school  (St Paul's School, London) who have started a podcast called “So, You Want to be an Engineer?”. In it they want to interview people who actually work in Engineering to find out what their job entails and also students studying Engineering at university, to find out...


The 'IOA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control' 2020/21 - available via Distance Learning for International Students


by: Kapil Thirwani

The boom in infrastructure, construction and entertainment started since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. Acoustics in the build environment has been an integral part of projects. Primarily international acoustic consultants have been involved with architects and planners to stress on the norms and the best practices.

As early as 2002 there were no standalone taught courses in the country and everyone was...


Acoustics Events in Focus 2020


IOA Events coming up



8-9 October 2020, Crown Plaza, Chester

This year’s annual conference, exhibition and awards dinner will be held in the ancient and historic city of Chester.   



Helping out on the lack of PPE for frontline health workers

by : Kelvin Griffiths  CEng BEng(Hons) MIOA, Electroacoustic Design Limited

In the past weeks a news item that has been prominent is the lack of PPE for frontline health workers. 

I was recently contacted about this from a friend in our local 3D printing community who advised that there are currently initiatives afoot to help this sector in supplying face shields.  Aiming to directly supply PPE in the shorter term, the idea is to communicate...


Heralding a new ERA in Acoustics audience experience


By: Peter Rogers, Founding member of ERA

Dear all, In a typically British way in the face of adversity a group of us have got together to form an alliance we are calling the Events Revival Alliance. We are attempting to usher in a new ERA in audience experience.  This includes myself, Ed Clarke (Clarke Saunders) and Jim Griffiths (Vanguardia) to use acoustics to reconnect people. This is a not for profit venture to see if...


Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College 'Deep Learning' session for Year 9 Students explores Acoustic Engineering


By: Suzana Zekic, STEM Ambassador

The all-girl Norbury Manor Business & Enterprise College recently held a “Deep Learning” session where Year 9 students had an opportunity to learn about different careers prospects and the typical daily responsibilities that they entail. The day was supported by the STEM Ambassador Suzana Zekic, an acoustician and the trustee of R70L – an education charity that assist the school running Design...


Vibrotactile stimuli to allow a profoundly deaf person to perceive music through feeling the vibration

by: Professor Carl Hopkins

A few months back the Acoustics Research Unit at the University of Liverpool posted a video on the IOA blog about using vibrotactile stimuli to allow a profoundly deaf person to perceive music through feeling the vibration  - see More...


Wind Energy Development Guidelines (WEDG) for consultation for Irish Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPLG)


By: Jim Singleton, TNEI Services 


On the 12th December 2019 the Irish Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPLG) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment (DCCAE) released a draft update to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines (WEDG) for consultation. The publication of the draft followed a review of the original WEDG, which were published in 2006. The period of...


The Art of Being a Consultant workshop - for those new to acoustics



New acoustics technician apprenticeship launches to industry on 22 January, 2020


by: Paul Shields, AECOM head of acoustics, Vice Chair ANC and member of the Trailblazer Group (who developed the programme)


AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure firm has signed up to an employer-led initiative which aims to support aspiring acoustic technicians. The first apprenticeship scheme for acoustics in the industry will be supported by the Association of Noise Consultants and the Institute of Acoustics as well as...


IOA Low Noise Design workshop videos from September 2019


Awareness of the need to protect workers from damaging noise levels has never been higher, and buyers and users of machinery and tools now expect suppliers to refine their products for reduced noise, achieving better than minimum legislation. Best practice in noise control has also developed significantly in recent decades, and new methods and technologies abound. The aim of a recent workshop was to share knowledge and experience on recent developments in "...


'My World of Sounds' international school competition


The International Year of Sound (IYS2020) is organized by ICA (International Commission of Acoustics) and it follows naturally as an important contribution to the UNESCO Charter of Sound, Resolution 39 C/59 25 September 2017 on “The Importance of Sound in Today’s World: Promoting Best Practices”.

The IYS2020 is a global initiative aimed to highlight how the sound environment is a key component in the equilibrium...


Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating Guide launch & workshop


The AVO Guide is now available

The Acoustics, Ventilation and Overheating Guide is intended to be used by acoustics practitioners as well as all those involved in the planning, development, design and commissioning of new dwellings. It recommends an approach to acoustic assessments for new...


'The search for tranquility' full journal is now open access! Check it out.

Check out the special issue entitled 'The search for tranquility' by the environmental SCIENTIST.  The IOA contributed to this special publication.


A quick tour around the IOA's HQ Christmas Decorations


Each year something strangely peculiar happens at the IOA office.  The staff arrive and the office has had a mysterious visitation (perhaps by one of Santa's hard working elves who has found a way in that avoids detection by our alarm system), and leaves behind a pleasant assortment of Christmas Decorations. This year is no different!  Behold!



Recognising Your Professionalism, video presentation


by: Blane Judd FCGI CEng FIET, Engineering Manager IOA

Presented at Central Branch Meeting on 29 October 2019 at our Milton Keynes HQ

How to gain professional recognition and Engineering Council registration through the Institute of Acoustics. 




Rayleigh Medal Lecture 2019 and award presentation video in October in Denmark


Congratulations to Professor Claus Elberling for being awarded The Rayleigh Medal 2019.  Here's a chance to watch the award being presented in Denmark last month and to view the full lecture by Professor Claus Elbering. 

Every year, The Institute of Acoustics award the prestigious Rayleigh Medal to someone of ‘undoubted renown for outstanding contributions to acoustics’. The Rayleigh Medal is the Institute of Acoustics' premier award and it has many...


The November/December 2019 issue of Acoustics Bulletin will be with members soon


by: Nicky Rogers, Editor, IOA Bulletin

Content includes:
A list of international events for 2020 that you might want to visit
How one member promoted the understanding of acoustics to Year 4 pupils as part of their STEM curriculum (take away from this experience – take ear defenders)
News reports from IOA Branches, including a report by the Yorkshire and North...

UK Scholarships Available for Acousticians


By : The Worshipful Company of Constructors, Chartered Institute of Building and the University College of Estate Management


Sustainability Scholarship


The Worshipful Company of Constructors, Chartered Institute of Building and the University College of Estate Management are inviting applications for the Sustainability Scholarship for 2020.


Postgraduate Student Opportunity: Multiple PhD and Masters' positions in acoustics and mechanical metamaterials


By University of Auckland and The Acoustics Research Centre (ARC)

Are you interested in metamaterials and their potential to improve people's living conditions?  The Acoustics Research Centre at the University of Auckland is inviting applications from highly motivated students to participate in an exciting new research programme on acoustics and mechanical metamaterials for radically improving...


Open plan office acoustics – one day event


by Jack Harvie-Clark, Apex Acoustics Ltd

We are co-organising and presenting at a one day event on acoustics for open plan offices. This is an exciting and fast-changing area for acoustic design, and acoustic considerations are rapidly gaining the importance that they have for occupants of open plan offices. Office accommodation is increasingly being seen as a service, rather than an asset – it needs to meet the functional, operational and well being...


Join the upcoming The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Risk Assessment (CCWNRA ) short course taking place in Birmingham w/c 30th September, 2019


9th September, 2019


We have a few places left to join our upcoming short course running w/c 30th September 2019 in Birmingham for The Institute of Acoustics (IOA) Certificate of Competence in Workplace Noise Risk Assessment (CCWNRA ).

The course runs for 5 days and the MAKE UK Member rate is £1,300+ VAT with the non-member rate £1,495.


Who to contact?

The course is provided by the MAKE UK Technology Hub, contact...


Would you like to showcase your industry to young people? Be part of TeenTech.

by Maggie Philbin,

9th September, 2019

Would you like to showcase your industry to young people? Many people will know me from my years as a tech reporter on Tomorrow’s World but for the past ten years I’ve led a charity called TeenTech which helps young people understand the opportunities which are not only invisible to them but to their teachers and parents too.

Over the past ten years we’ve worked face to face with over 35,...


Noise control – free diagnosis and engineering control option evaluation



A joint event IOA Noise & Vibration Engineering Group and Health & Safety Executive (HSE)

Want to take advantage of free noise control advice in your factory workspace?


As part of the Buy Quiet Low Noise Design workshop on 18th September at The Royal Society, there will be a live diagnostic and noise...


“Noise is just a part of the job” – True?

by: Sarah Haynes

No!  There are lots of new and improved methods for designing out industrial noise without needing to rely on cumbersome and expensive hearing protection.

The IOA and HSE are running a one day workshop for anybody designing, manufacturing or buying machinery and for the acoustics specialists advising them. 

Delegates are invited to submit examples of problem noise in their own premises for on the day...


CIEH has recently re-launched the CIEH Noise Survey for 2019


The CIEH has recently re-launched the CIEH Noise Survey for 2019.

The data from the noise survey has previously been adopted into the Public Health Outcomes framework, administered by PHE, which establishes an important link between noise and health outcomes. In order for the noise public health indicator to be established this year, it is important to get a high survey...


Salford Acoustics has created the first ever acoustic scale model of a prehistoric site.

by Trevor Cox

Salford Acoustics has created the first ever acoustic scale model of a prehistoric site. The 1:12 scale model of Stonehenge allows the acoustics from 4000 years ago to be explored. The current site has many stones missing and so doesn’t sound like it did in the past. The model uses English Heritage's laser scan dataset from 2011 and the latest archaeological evidence to properly model the layout, size and shape of the stones.



Musical Vibrations


by Professor Carl Hopkins

Eleven million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss (approximately one in six people), and there are more than 900,000 people with a severe or profound hearing loss. Whilst communication tends to receive the most attention in research, access to music, and participation in music-making can be important too. To quote Dame Evelyn Glennie, “People think that music means nothing to the deaf; but it is...


Sharing Sound Experiences at Big Bang South East


By Vicky Stewart

The Big Bang Fair South East is the largest regional fair in a national programme led by EngineeringUK. It is the culminating event of Crawley STEMFest. Crawley STEMFest and the Big Bang Fair South East are organised by STEM Sussex, the University of Brighton's STEM Outreach Department. The event has been running annually for eight years. It has grown in attendance from 1,980 to 13,000 in 2019....


The A&E Audio Project –from the lab to the living room

By: Lauren Ward

Last week the A&E Audio Project launched on BBC Taster – short for Accessible and Enhanced Audio. The project is a collaboration between University of Salford, BBC R&D and Casualty, led by PhD student and IOA member Lauren Ward.

The project trials a new feature in the BBC’s media player which allows audiences to adjust the mix based on their hearing needs and preferences. You can try it out for yourself here:...


IOA joins forces with independently set up Milton Keynes Noise Assessment Committee (MKNAC) for live citywide sound recordings during its May annual conference

MILTON KEYNES, famous for roundabouts and being as close as you can get to an American style city in the United Kingdom, is about to go through a major soundscape live evaluation on 13 – 14 May when Acoustics 2019 takes place at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Milton Keynes Stadium.

Acoustics 2019, the UK’s largest annual conference on acoustics, will run a ‘live’ lab on the real time evaluation of positive and negative urban...


Looking for members to join the IOA Publications Committee

The IOA Publications Committee is currently on the lookout for a couple of new members to join us to help shape and steer the future communications of the Institute for its members and various stakeholders.

We’re active in developing and improving the IOA’s website presence; enhancing our social media; overseeing bimonthly issues of our very popular Members’ Bulletin; shaping monthly newsletters; varied promotional material; and so much more...


Acoustics events in focus 2019

This is a list of some of the main upcoming events for acousticians in the UK and abroad.

Let us know if there are other events that ought to be of interest to fellow members, and we’ll be sure to include them in future issues. 

Please email:


13-14 May ACOUSTICS 2019, Milton Keynes, UK The IOA’s Annual Conference will be held 13-14 May 2019. It will include...


IOA Strategy Day 2019

On Tuesday 5th February, 2019, the IOA ran a full strategy day at the Jurys Inn in Milton Keynes. 

The aim of the workshop was to discuss the strategic development of the Institute and to agree priorities for the next 5 years.

The role of the Institute is “to promote and advance the art, science and technology of acoustics in all their aspects”.  The IOA is a membership organization. This means the IOA has to deliver two distinct but overlapping aims:...


The role of noise and vibration engineering in a sustainable economy.


Living sustainably involves meeting the needs in the present without compromising the needs of the future. This applies to social, environmental, political and economic domains. Environmental resources underpin social and economic standards with political ideologies seeking to find ways to manage these domains.

The role of engineers is to deliver technology which makes the best use of resource available to benefit humankind. Many advances in...


IOA has contributed to new white paper on healthy homes and buildings

The IOA has contributed to the All Party Parliamentary Group for healthy homes and buildings White Paper that was published on 24th October 2018, entitled ‘Building our Future – Laying the Foundations for Healthy Homes and Buildings White Paper October 2018.’

Extract from page 10 of the report as follows:

‘The Institute of Acoustics explained that there are many areas where the shared responsibility of different government departments can impinge on the...


International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day

March 2018

International Women’s Day 2018 is a good time to reflect on the role of gender in our industry.

Headlines from Hollywood have highlighted extremes of ugly behaviour that still occur in the workplace, but we also have to tackle the less prominent issues of gender balance, responsibility and opportunities.

A recent poll of UK construction companies...


Draft excluders, part 2: what makes a bad report?

By Rodger Munt, edited by David Trew, Angela Lamacraft & Mike Lotinga, February 2018

Dr Rodger Munt FIOA is a retired scientist with 45 years of research experience. As a long-standing employee of the former Royal Aircraft Establishment, he led successive research teams where vetting of scientific reports for non-technical customers was routine. He regularly sees the reports issued to...


Draft excluders, part 1: what makes a good report?

By Rodger Munt, edited by Angela Lamacraft & Mike Lotinga, December 2017

Dr Rodger Munt FIOA is a retired scientist with 45 years of research experience. As a long-standing employee of the former Royal Aircraft Establishment, he led successive research teams where vetting of scientific reports for non-technical customers was routine. He regularly sees the reports issued to local...


Things that go bump in the night…

Mike Lotinga, October 2017. Thanks to Dan Pope for helpful comments.


The ancient Celtic pagan festival of Samhain was a time in which the doorways between the spirit-world and ours were thought to be traversed by dead souls, invited to enjoy hospitality in the homes of Gaelic folk, some dressed in costumes representing the spirits and receiving offerings for them...


Acoustics and music: a forgotten link?

Luis Gomez-Agustina, September 2017

It is well accepted and understood that acoustics is the physical underlying phenomenon and vehicle of music production, performance and composition. It deals with the aural interactions between the instruments, performer, listener and the environment where sound is produced.

This essential link between acoustics and musical performance, however, appears to have been ignored or taken largely for granted by...


Acoustics in the Edinburgh International Science Festival

César Bustos - August 2017

Earlier in March I had an amazing experience taking part in the Edinburgh International Science Festival. In the beginning I was a bit reluctant at the thought of committing myself to this type of extracurricular activity, as I’d had no experience working with younger pupils and, like any other young professional, I had heavy work-related commitments. But then I remembered reading a...


Dog, deer or Djokovic?

Mike Lotinga - July 2017

As the Wimbledon 2017 finals approach this weekend, it’s the time of year to revisit the annual debate: to grunt or not to grunt?

Tennis ‘grunting’ is a popular but controversial subject, such that it even has its own Wikipedia page. Maria Sharapova’s shrieks...


Getting Chartered

April 2017

View from the registrant: Mike Lotinga, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff

Our company recently held a ‘Professional Institutions Week’ in which speakers from various engineering and professional bodies gave talks aimed at introducing the benefits offered by institutions to those in early stages of their careers. I volunteered to give an account of my recent experience in getting registered with the...


Feel the noise: turning sound into touch

Adam Price, January 2017


One of the areas in which the IOA is doing a great job is in explaining to the world that acoustics is more than just musical or architectural in nature.  If you’re involved in acoustics then you’ll know that it’s a discipline that covers everything from bioacoustics to ultrasound imaging.

But even the well-informed may be surprised to find out how we’re using acoustics – and specifically ultrasound – at Ultrahaptics....


ISVR Challenge

Angela Lamacraft - November 2016

This autumn saw the Musical Instrument Scrapheap Challenge for first year students studying the acoustics MEng at the University of Southampton. The challenge: create a working musical instrument from items of scrap and a limited budget for essential materials. The criteria: design rationale, ingenious use of scrap parts, timbre, tuning, control of loudness, style and aesthetics, and presentation skills. The result: seven...


(Almost) All you wanted to know about consultancy – but were afraid to ask

Stuart Dryden – October 2016

On my first day in consultancy I didn’t even get a desk before I was despatched to join the company’s multi-disciplinary engineering team working in the client’s office on a new Wafer Fabrication Facility. As you might know (and I was soon to find out) this requires very low levels of vibration in the fabrication area and highly filtered laminar airflow provided by extremely large fans typically installed on the floor below....


Dispatch from Inter-noise 2016: Towards a Quieter Future

Michael Lotinga – October 2016

The 45th International Congress and Exposition of Noise Control Engineering landed with a splash in the civilised surroundings of Hamburg, along with around 1,500 acousticians from over 60 different countries.

Set over 4 days, with corresponding satellite events in Berlin, the German Acoustical Society had selected a venue next door to the famous...


Acoustic problem-solver: Soft skills for consultancy

Ben Saunders - August 2016

For the uninitiated, the job title of acoustic consultant implies an expert advisor, a fountain of knowledge or some kind of walking library. From personal experience, this can seem very daunting to those looking to start their career. While a working knowledge of acoustics and academic proficiency is important, there are many skills that underpin the role that are equally as important.

One of my first experiences of acoustic...


Are You Listening?

Gareth Davies - July 2016

We live in a technological world. Everywhere we go we can summon the power of technology to help, inform or entertain us. Innovation is moving so fast that once unimagined technology is now deemed necessary within the space of a few decades; for instance, the Internet. Perhaps evidence of this continual progression is most pertinent in the quick birth and death of gadgets such as pagers, and mini-disc. Largely, reliance on...


Deaf Acousticians & Blind Architects

James Hill - May 2016

Whilst it’s not often I buy a textbook based on a catchy title, Robert Apfel’s “Deaf Architects & Blind Acousticians” is one that has always stuck in my mind. More often than not, I recall it as “Blind Architects and Deaf Acousticians”, perhaps due to my own questionable hearing abilities but perhaps the mix-up is not as far-fetched as one might think.

Cymatics, speaking simply, is...


Making Waves


Inspiring the Next Generation

Vicky Stewart - March 2016

I am so thrilled to be writing this month’s YMG blog for you on inspiring the next generation, it is a subject close to my heart.

In addition to my day job as an Acoustic Consultant at Atkins, I have been regularly volunteering in schools since about 2008. Last year I was a finalist in the STEMNET awards and I have just started a new role as national coordinator for all school volunteering for Atkins.



4 tips for avoiding airport security headaches for the travelling acoustician

James Hill - February 2016

Any of you who have attended one of the IOA “Art of being a consultant” meetings will have seen that one of the more glamorous aspects to the life of an acoustician is the opportunity to travel. Whilst I can count the number of glamour destinations I’ve visited on one hand (a shame more power plants don’t get built next to beach resorts) – I thought I would cover some of the more interesting trips for the IOA blog.


Welcome to the IOA Blog

Happy New Year! Welcome to the Institute of Acoustics blog.

I’m thrilled to introduce this blog which will be written by a member of the IOA Young Members’ Group (YMG) or Publications committee each month. We will use this opportunity to cover a wide range of topics over the following months in line with the Institute’s aim to maintain and improve science and engineering education, research and practice.

This month I’d like to provide some information...