Salford Acoustics

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Salford Acoustics
Salford acoustics.jpg
MottoAltiora Petamus
"Let us seek higher things"
TypeDepartment, public university
Campus Urban, Parkland
Colours Red, Black and White
Affiliations University of Salford

Salford Acoustics offers Acoustics and Audio Engineering Courses, [1] undertakes public and industrial research in acoustics, [2] carries out commercial testing, [3] and undertakes activities to engage the public in acoustic science and engineering. It is based in two locations: (i) 3 km west of Manchester city centre, UK, in the Newton Building on the Peel Park Campus of the University of Salford, and (ii) on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal at MediaCityUK.


History and current structure

The second anechoic chamber at University of Salford Measuring a diffuser in an anechoic chamber.png
The second anechoic chamber at University of Salford

The first acoustic laboratories were established in Salford in 1965; in the early 1970s the Department of Applied Acoustics was formed. [4] In 1996 the University merged with University College Salford and a Department of Acoustic and Audio Engineering was formed. A couple of years later, this joined with another department to form Acoustic and Electronic Engineering. Finally, when the University greatly reduced the number of schools in the organisation, Salford Acoustics joined the School of Computing, Science and Engineering. [5] Research work comes under the auspices of the Acoustics Research Centre. [2]


The Department of Applied Acoustics first taught an undergraduate degree in 1975, namely the BSc (Hons) in Electroacoustics. This was later renamed Beng (Hons) Acoustics. In 1993, Salford Acoustics set up the BEng (Hons) in Audio Technology. [4] These two undergraduate degrees are now taught under a single banner, BEng Audio Acoustics, with two pathways to represent the different interests of the cohort. [6] Salford acoustics has also taught masters in acoustic engineering and audio for many decades, currently offering an MSc in Audio Acoustics [7] and an MSc in Environmental Acoustics. [8] The Acoustics Research Centre offers masters and doctoral research degrees. [9]



The Acoustics Research Centre achieved the top research rating of 6* in RAE 2001 as part of the Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment's submission to Unit Of Assment 30, Architecture and the Built Environment. [10] In 2008, the RAE submission including the Acoustics Research Centre finished top of Research Fortnight’s ‘Research Power’ table for Architecture & the Built Environment. 90% of the research was graded at international standard and 25% at world-leading. [11]


Research is carried out in the following sub-disciplines of acoustic engineering and science

Public engagement

Breaking glass with sound shot by Salford Acoustics and used in curriculum materials for schools

Examples of public engagement work include:


Most of Salford's Acoustics and Audio Laboratories are based on the Peel Park campus, but some are at MediaCityUK: [12]

Commercial work

Salford Acoustics is a calibration and test house for construction, government, military, audio R&D and the motor industry. [13]

Current Staff


Prof Jamie Angus Audio Engineering Society Silver Medal2019
Dr Jon Hargreaves Institute of Acoustics Tyndall Medal2016
Professor Yiu Wai Lam Institute of Acoustics Rayleigh Medal2012
Dr James WoodcockIMechE Railway Division: Best Young Researcher2012
Dr Olga Umnova Institute of Acoustics Tyndall Medal2010
Trevor Cox Institute of Acoustics Promoting Acoustics to the Public2009
Prof Jamie Angus Institute of Acoustics Peter Barnett Award2004
Trevor Cox Institute of Acoustics Tyndall Medal2004
Dr Francis Li Institute of Acoustics Peter Barnett memorial student award2003
Professor Yiu Wai Lam Institute of Acoustics Tyndall Medal2000

Notable staff

Alumni and Former Staff

The following past members of Salford Acoustics have been President of the Institute of Acoustics:

Professor Peter Lord1978-80
Professor Peter Wheeler1992-94
Geoff Kerry2002-04
Dr Tony Jones2004-06
Professor Trevor Cox2010-12
Jo Webb2016-18

See also

Related Research Articles

Acoustics Branch of physics involving mechanical waves

Acoustics is a branch of physics that deals with the study of mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including topics such as vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics technology may be called an acoustical engineer. The application of acoustics is present in almost all aspects of modern society with the most obvious being the audio and noise control industries.

Room acoustics describes how sound behaves in an enclosed space.

Acoustical engineering branch of engineering dealing with sound and vibration

Acoustical engineering is the branch of engineering dealing with sound and vibration. It includes the application of acoustics, the science of sound and vibration, in technology. Acoustical engineers are typically concerned with the design, analysis and control of sound.

Sound pressure or acoustic pressure is the local pressure deviation from the ambient atmospheric pressure, caused by a sound wave. In air, sound pressure can be measured using a microphone, and in water with a hydrophone. The SI unit of sound pressure is the pascal (Pa).

Acoustic absorption refers to the process by which a material, structure, or object takes in sound energy when sound waves are encountered, as opposed to reflecting the energy. Part of the absorbed energy is transformed into heat and part is transmitted through the absorbing body. The energy transformed into heat is said to have been 'lost'.

Archaeoacoustics is the use of acoustical study as a methodological approach within the field of archaeology. Archaeoacoustics examines the acoustics of archaeological sites and artifacts. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes archaeology, ethnomusicology, acoustics and digital modelling, and is part of the wider field of music archaeology, with a particular interest in prehistoric music. Since many cultures explored through archaeology were focused on the oral and therefore the aural, researchers believe that studying the sonic nature of archaeological sites and artifacts may reveal new information on the civilizations scrutinized.

Meyer Sound Laboratories is an American company based in Berkeley, California that manufactures self-powered loudspeakers, multichannel audio show control systems, electroacoustic architecture, and audio analysis tools for the professional sound reinforcement, fixed installation, and sound recording industries.

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to acoustics:

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Brüel & Kjær Danish multinational company

Brüel & Kjær is a Danish multinational engineering and electronics company headquartered in Nærum, near Copenhagen. It is the world's largest manufacturer and supplier of sound and vibration measurement equipment, systems and solutions. Brüel & Kjær is a subsidiary of Spectris.

Jens Peter Blauert is a German scientist specializing in psycho-acoustics and an emeritus professor at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, where he founded the Institute of Communication Acoustics. His major scientific fields of interest are spatial hearing, binaural technology, aural architecture, perceptual quality, speech technology, virtual environments and tele-presence.

Gerhard Steinke is a German sound engineer.

Trevor Cox is an English academic and science communicator. He was a Senior Media fellow for EPSRC, and is a past-President of the Institute of Acoustics.

Kirill Horoshenkov is a Russian-born British academic, professor at the University of Sheffield. He is an expert in outdoor sound propagation, acoustic materials and instrumentation. In recognition of his contribution to the field of acoustics, he was awarded the prestigious Tyndall Medal by the Institute of Acoustics in 2006. He was elected a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America in 2014.

Olga Umnova is Russian-born British academic, lecturer in Theoretical Acoustics in the Acoustics Department at the University of Salford. In recognition of her contribution to the field of acoustics, she was awarded the prestigious Tyndall Medal by the Institute of Acoustics in 2010.

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The Virginia Tech Stability Wind Tunnel is a medium-scale wind tunnel located at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. With a test section measuring 6 by 6 ft and maximum wind speeds of approximately 262.6 ft/s (80.0 m/s), it is one of the largest university-owned wind tunnels in the United States, and is used for a wide variety of research projects within the college as well as being contracted out for commercial use, especially product testing. Professor William Devenport is the current Director, and Dr. Aurelien Borgoltz is the Assistant Director.

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Coordinates: 53°29′10″N2°16′24″W / 53.48611°N 2.27333°W / 53.48611; -2.27333