Communication and Room Acoustics

Group co-ordinator(s)

Prof Mark Plumbley University of Surrey
Dr Stephen Dance London South Bank University

If you are interested in joining the Communication and Room Acoustics SIG, please contact the SIG leader directly

Introduction

The Special Interest Group for Communications and Room Acoustics (SIG-COMMS) will bring together researchers and practitioners developing solutions to improve communication and the internal environment for people. The aims of the group are aligned with those of the Network, focusing in particular on generating and developing research activity in speech, hearing, communication, electro-acoustics and room design to facilitate the targeting of key national and international research challenges and priorities. The SIG will act as a forum for those working within communication and room acoustics to exchange ideas and to address critical issues, such as improving the outreach of acoustic research and solutions, optimising electro-acoustic systems or fathoming ways to reproduce the acoustics of rooms for the benefit of all people. The SIG will also facilitate access to and sharing of resources in order to accelerate the UK’s position in this field. Since communication is fundamental to people, and as such underpinning a diverse range of acoustics applications, the SIG-COMMS will work to encourage outreach research activities.  In particular, the SIG-COMMS will coordinate with the Speech and Hearing Group within the Institute of Acoustics, the Audio Engineering Society, and the Technical Committee for Architectural Acoustics in the Acoustical Society of America and the Newman Advisory Panel. The SIG COMMS will encourage participation and contributions from industrial developers, contractors, and consultants in the fields of communication, speech and hearing. electro-acoustics, and architectural acoustics.

Challenges

Whilst the applications and objectives of research for improving communication for people in rooms may vary across industry and universities, there are still a number of common technical issues that need to be addressed: (i) the creation of an exhaustive guide to room acoustic simulations involving numerical approaches in computer modelling (e.g. numerical schemes, their intrinsic accuracy, computational limitations, etc.); (ii) the development of cutting-edge electro-acoustic solutions to improve communication in indoor and outdoor spaces; (iii) share and improve state-of-the-art measurement techniques to quantify or visualise sound fields in rooms more accurately; and (iv) improving and democratising the state of audio reproduction and recording techniques particularly for virtual reality applications.

Activities

A range of activities is proposed. The SIG-COMMS will be part of the annual summer school event for early career researchers (ECR) run in conjunction with the whole network. The event is open to senior SIG representatives of the acoustics community to lead some activities and to provide guidance for others. Some activities for this event would include professional development, leadership, team working, managing your supervisor, making your voice heard, presentation skills, planning your career development and media training. The other activities will be technical presentations by leading researchers, industrial users or commercial partners on specific topics. The SIG-COMMS will work closely with the Institute of Acoustics supporting the annual Reproduced Sound conference, and the bi-annual Institute of Acoustics Auditorium Acoustics meeting. These presentations will facilitate discussions focussed on identifying key challenges in this field of research. There will also be brainstorming sessions where research growth areas will be identified, pooling problems that need addressing. These activities will be followed a sandpit to develop competitive proposals for pilot studies to be funded by the Network. Secondly, the SIG-COMMS will support short exchanges for ECRs, advanced researchers, industry users or commercial developers to work in another organisation in the UK in acoustics, whether academic or commercial. This activity will promote training, interaction and cross-fertilisation of ideas and techniques. Finally, the SIG-COMMS will support outreach activities that will be coordinated centrally for the Network. Media training can be included in the summer school event for ECRs or funded separately. A section on communications, electro-acoustics and room acoustics will be compiled by group members and developed into an acoustics Wiki. A brief introduction to each challenge will be available through this resource, with links to further information, recent papers, commercially available software and users providing commercial consultancy.

Communication and Room Acoustics Members

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Mr Adam Fox
Mason UK Ltd

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Adam Oliver
Tektite Solutions Ltd

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Dr Syed Muhammad Ahsan Raza Jafri
The University Of Sheffield

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Mr Aitor Lopetegi
AMC-MECANOCAUCHO

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Miss Rita Campos
dbx Acoustics

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Mrs Angela Lamacraft
ACCON UK Ltd

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Dr. Ersen Arslan
Figes Engineering

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Ms Beth Paxton
Apex Acoustics

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Mr Cameron Salisbury
AECOM

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Cecilia Casarini
University of Strathclyde

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Mr Chris Parker-Jones
ParkerJones Acoustics Ltd

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Mr Chris Pike
British Broadcasting Corporation

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Mr Chris McCollin
Temple Group

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Dr Dan Goodman
Imperial College London

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Mr Daniel Goodhand
Institute of Acoustics

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Mr Dean Chapman
Bickerdike Allen Partners

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Mr Daniel Clare
RSK Acoustics

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Mr Dominic Grantley-Smith
Winchester Science Centre

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Dr Emmanouil Benetos
Queen Mary University of London

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Dr Fang Liu
University of Reading

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Mr Gavin Stevenson
BDP

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Mr George Gibbs
Noise Consultants Ltd

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Mr Guillermo Jimenez-Arranz
Seiche Ltd

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Mr Howard Masters
Dragonfly Consulting

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Mr Jack Smith
ERM

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Mr Jameson Musyoki
Peter Brett Associates, now part of Stantec

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Mr Jason Clouston
Scotch Partners LLP

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Mr Jason Swan
Sandy Brown Associates LLP

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Dr Jake Ward
National Physical Laboratory

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Dr Julian Palacino
Feichter Electronics

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Ms Lisa Lavia
Noise Abatement Society

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Mr Mattia Cobianchi
Goldsmiths University of London

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Dr Marcos Simon
Audioscenic Limited

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Dr Matthew Robinson
Sandy Brown Associates

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Professor Michael Akeroyd
University of Nottingham

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Monika Kosecka
Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), University of Highlands and Islands (UHI)

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Mr Andrea Muciaccia
Hoare Lea LLP

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Mr Nagaraju Padigela
Renault Nissan Technology & Business Center India

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Nigel Burton
Temple Group Ltd and Association of Noise Consultants (ANC)

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Dr Nishal Ramadas
Honeywell & University of Warwick

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Dr Philip Coleman
University of Surrey

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Mr Paul Shields
AECOM

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Dr Philip Harrison
University of York

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Dr Richard Cookson
PDA Ltd

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Dr Simone Graetzer
University of Salford

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Dr Sang Hee Park
Acoustics Research Unit, University of Liverpool

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Mrs Susan Witterick
dBx Acoustics Ltd

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Mr Tim Simmons
Woolly Shepherd Ltd

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Türker S Talayman
Talayman Acoustic Design & Consultancy

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Director - Acoustical Engineering Tucker York
SVI Dynamics

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