Research Fellows Directory
Dr Alexander Southern
To artificially create a listening experience that is indistinguishable from the real thing has exciting implications and applications such as virtual reality, music, immersive computer gaming and cinematic experience. These are recreationally motivated applications but this kind of technology can be more beneficial to the wellbeing of society in non-recreational ways. e.g. what will a new road, rail or windfarm development sound like in nearby houses and gardens with and without sound barriers? How will a new school classroom, or public building sound without the right acoustic treatment?
The acoustics of our environment and the buildings within in it are fundamentally important to the health and well-being of society. Developments or changes made to these environments might impact on us in unexpectedly adverse or beneficial ways. These environments include both indoor (architectural) and outdoor (environmental) acoustics and the ability to listen to the predicted sound of new buildings and consider the audible impact of a development prior to construction is the overarching focus of the fellowship research.
Considering outdoor acoustics, in the UK, the Office for National Statistics predicts that by 2033 the population will increase to 71.6 million from 61.3 million in 2008. The increasing and ageing population is in common with other European countries and it suggests that more people are likely to be contributing to and be affected by environmental noise, especially road traffic noise, in the future. It is important to sustainably manage noise pollution from road traffic and for planners to optimise designs at the planning stage for noise. Currently objective measure of noise level are used whereas human hearing is sensitive to, and subjectively interprets, the varying time-frequency dependent characteristics of a soundfield rather than average level. This project develops tools to allow planners to optimise design for sound quality rather than quantity