IOA research award for Liverpool professor

A professor at the University of Liverpool has received an award from the IOA for his “outstanding contributions to acoustics research and education”.

Barry Gibbs, Professorial Fellow within the university’s Acoustics Research Unit, was presented with the Institute of Acoustics’ R W B Stephens Medal by the President, William Egan, at the Institute’s Acoustics 2015 conference in Harrogate. The award, named after the Institute’s first President, is awarded every two years.

Below is the full citation.

“Professor Gibbs has made outstanding contributions to both acoustics research and education which is entirely in the spirit of the R W B Stephens award. This is evidenced by highly-cited research publications, sustained research funding over more than three decades, and the impact of his research on European and International Standards. Barry has been instrumental in the inclusion of acoustics and noise control in architecture and building engineering degrees and is fondly remembered by generations of PhD students for his supervision.

Barry’s main research contribution has been on structure-borne sound. Machines generate vibration transmission paths which contribute to the sound pressure in buildings and vehicular structures. Whilst the transmission is complicated, engineers and consultants require practical methods for noise and vibration control. He has developed such methods and investigated the uncertainty i.e. the loss of accuracy, resulting from simplifying measurements and calculations. The industrial relevance of his research is seen in recent collaborations with R&D groups in the UK and Germany on domestic, mechanical and heating systems, and with Boeing Commercial Aircraft (Seattle) on services motors and pumps.

Barry was founding editor of the journal Building Acoustics, now into its third decade. He has authored and co-authored about 90 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and almost 200 conference papers. He has been keynote speaker at conferences in Brazil, Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as the UK. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics and of the Acoustical Society of America, and was President of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration.

In education, his university career has involved the development and delivery of programs appropriate to the technical requirements of both engineering and architectural students. Indeed, his appointment at Liverpool was as liaison between the then separate departments of Building Engineering and the Liverpool School of Architecture. Barry enjoyed the challenge of integrating acoustics into these larger general courses and in highlighting its relevance and excitement. During his period as Head of the Acoustics Research Unit at Liverpool, the unit initiated short courses for industry, including courses accredited by the Institute of Acoustics. The ARU is presently the venue of the Institute’s Diploma laboratory schools. Barry has supervised over 20 PhD students and has been external examiner to over 40 PhD degrees in Europe, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and, of course, the UK.”