PhD Studentship – Lightweight Acoustic Meta-Partitions for Low-Frequency Noise Control

University of Southampton

Institute of Sound & Vibration Research

For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

Closing Date
30 June 2022

More info

Be a part of a new and exciting field emerging within Acoustical Engineering and contribute to making our world less noisy and more sustainable!

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD studentship working on Lightweight Acoustic Meta-Partitions for Low-Frequency Noise Control. You will join a world-leading research team based within the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton, a member of the Russell Group and ranked in the world’s top 100 Universities. The ISVR was founded in 1963 and is a dedicated Institute for teaching and research in audiology and acoustical engineering.

Acoustic partitions can be found almost anywhere, where protection from noise sources is required (for example in buildings, cars, aircraft, or wind turbines). In most designs, these partitions typically consist of a wall or two walls with an air gap and filled with porous sound absorbing materials (e.g. glass wool). These single or double wall designs are excellent sound insulators for frequencies above ~1000 Hz, but in the low-frequency range these partitions need to be very heavy and/or thick to be effective.

Acoustic metamaterials could be the solution to this problem: These metamaterials consist of small so-called unit cells which are arranged in a periodic pattern (like the atomic lattice in crystals) and allow the manipulation of the propagation of sound waves in unprecedented ways! For example, by carefully designing the structure of the unit cells, metamaterials with – apparently – negative density can be created, in which the propagation of sound waves is not possible.

While acoustic metamaterials are certainly promising for the use in lightweight partitions, there still is a lot of research to be done: You will investigate different metamaterial types – and potentially develop new types of acoustic metamaterials – that can be used to greatly improve the low-frequency noise insulation of acoustic partitions without increasing their weight. You will identify materials and manufacturing methods that will keep the cost of these meta-partitions at acceptable levels. You will optimize your designs using mathematical models and numerical simulations, build up prototypes, and demonstrate their exceptional acoustic performance using noise insulation measurements within the world-leading test facilities at the ISVR.

Motivated candidates with knowledge/interest in engineering acoustics, applied physics, noise control, and numerical methods are encouraged to apply. Any experience with acoustic metamaterials and sound transmission loss measurements would be beneficial

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).