We are 14 young researchers from 7 countries with very different backgrounds, but with a common interest: SONORUS
Chalmers University of Technology
Originated from Greece, I was still really curious on how the materialistic world works at the end of my -teens. While the physics BSc degree at the University of Ioannina, Greece, has partially fulfilled this curiousness, along the way and in between my part time studies, working and social activities (sometimes a bit too much), other more mental parameters squeezed their way in. Music being one of them, when I graduated in 2011 I tried to find a way to bridge my studies on the physical representations, with our environmental stimuli and especially the auditory ones. As a result, I graduated from the acoustics engineering MSc programme of University of Salford, UK, in 2013. Without any time gaps and as a continuation of my pursuits, my PhD studies commenced at the applied acoustics department of Chalmers University in Göteborg, Sweden by joining the SONORUS project, offering grounds to achieve a golden ratio between research, and activities that had to be dropped during the last years.
Research project: the individual project inside the SONORUS programme that I will be responsible for, includes auralization and perceptualization of urban sound environments and traffic noise. Computational models for sound propagation will initially be developed exploiting different mathematical models like the finite difference time domain (FDTD), and programming techniques, in order to achieve realistic and efficient auralization tools, which they will act as a testbed on urban sound planning models from other researchers of the programme.
Chalmers University of Technology
I was born in Mexico and lived there for 21 years, but my life has always been linked to Spain. I moved to this country were I continued my studies in Architecture, which I began in Mexico and finished in Barcelona. The idea of studying Architecture was born many years ago. I started as a volunteer in native communities collaborating with the rehabilitation of villages. Here I began to understand that the main human impact on the environment is the result of land use, which includes many fields, but also acoustics. After working as an Architect, I decided to specialize and study a Master in Acoustics and Vibrations at the University of Valladolid (Spain). Afterwards, I started working in the Applied Acoustics Laboratory in the University of León (Spain), mostly developing noise maps and action plans against noise.
Research project: the project that I am carring out within the SONORUS is related to the Optimization of urban areas with respect to traffic noise and other environmental factors. For this purpose, a holistic approach is developed in the planning of acoustic environments, including town planning, mobility, city perception and annoyance caused by noise, healthcare costs.
I come from a very small island in north Greece called Skopelos, but the past six years I was living in Manchester U.K. where I did my BSc and MSc in Acoustics and Audio Technology at the University of Salford. I also spent some time in Bristol, where I worked as an Acoustics Consultant for Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is a multinational engineering and planning company. I joined SONORUS in June 2013 and I am based at Eindhoven University of Technology. My research topic is acoustic auralization modeling of inner city environments.
Research project: existing auralisation studies in urban areas rely on simplified prediction methods that are sufficient for rural situations without too many reflections with vertical planes. In inner city environments however, with multiple (specular and diffuse) reflections from façades, a more sophisticated auralisation method is highly needed. The overall objective of this project is to establish a hybrid acoustic modeling technique that enables to realistically auralize inner city environments. To reach this aim, the project can be split into various objectives:
The development of a wave-based method for auralization in inner city environments including moving sources and Head Related Impulse Responses (HRIRs);
The development of a hybrid computational auralization methodology for auralization in inner city environments;
Evaluation of the appropriateness of the proposed auralization methodology by auralizing inner city environments based on the computations as well as on measurements.
I was born and raised in small historic town, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, situated in the north west of Madrid province in Spain. My background studies are electrical engineering and I have been working for many years in Technical University of Madrid (UPM) at I2A2 acoustic research group. In the beginning, I took part in the establishment of an acoustic calibration laboratory (LACAINAC) and afterwards I spent most of the time working on environmental, building and room acoustics. At the same time, I worked for the Spanish Accreditation Body (ENAC) as lead assessor and acoustic technical expert. Last years of my work in Spain were at Centre for Applied Acoustics and Non-Destructive Evaluation (CAEND), a share center between the Technical University of Madrid and the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
As you can see, my professional life has always been linked to the university and research centers, but my work was normally more related with consultancy than with research. I took the decision to continue my education to get closer to the research field. In 2009, I started a Master on Sound and Vibration at Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg, Sweden. My favourite research areas in acoustics are structure-borne sound, outdoor sound propagation and modelling of acoustic problems. Nowadays, I am joining the SONORUS project at TU/e where, additionally, I am working towards my PhD degree.
About my personal life, I would say that I am mainly interested on human and social sciences such as politics and philosophy. My favourite sport is scuba diving, I like the sensations of being in another world when I am under water. But since I cannot practice scuba diving as often as I would like, I practice swimming and biking. Traveling is another one of my passions, meeting people from other cultures is part of my learning and inspiration for life. Last thing I want to mention is that as an acoustician I cannot forgive myself for not playing any instrument, but I will keep it as a challenge for the future.
Research project: I am conducting my research within the project SONORUS “Numerical modelling for creating and preserving quietness near major roads in urban areas”. The research focuses on a further development of numerical models to compute sound propagation in urban areas and to quantify the level differences between roadside and nearby noise-protected areas from a systematic study using the numerical methodologies developed in the first part. For the first part, a wave-based sound propagation model, the PseudoSpectral Time-Domain method (PSTD), is further developed to enable accurate wave-based modelling of urban sound propagation for the lower frequency range. This concerns the accurate modelling of frequency dependent boundary conditions by applying the recently developed technique of the Fourier continuation method to PSTD, as well as the hybrid Chebyshev-Fourier PSTD method. For the higher frequency range, the diffusion method will be implemented. These developments will be incorporated in the openPSTD software (www.openpstd.org) . The second part of the project is directed to using openPSTD to compute noise levels near busy roads to analyze in terms of level differences the following aspects: Building configuration strategy near roads: orientation, building dimension, street width; the influence of faade openings to roadside courtyards; the influence of green roofs, green faades and green faade openings. The results will lead to quantified recommendations for building configurations near busy road in order to create and preserve quietness.
Second University of Naples
I was born in Puerto de Santa Maria (Cadiz), a small city in the south west of Spain, where I have lived most of my life.
After obtaining the Master Degree in Architecture at the University of Seville, my professional career was linked to edification and urban planning. I collaborated with several architectural studios as a consultant freelance. I also worked for the Building Permits Department of the Municipality of Puerto de Santa Maria, and developed projects of urban renewal for the Provincial Council of Cadiz.
I decided to direct my career towards the world of acoustics, and in 2012 I finished a Master Degree in Acoustic Engineering at the University of Cadiz. I took part of the working group of the Acoustics Engineering Laboratory (University of Cadiz) that built up Cadiz Strategic Noise map, developing the traffic model simulation. I kept on collaborating with them till I join SONORUS Project in July of 2013. Now, I am starting a PHD in built environmental control at the Second University of Naples.
Research project: within the SONORUS Project, my research has the aim to develop new approaches for the classification of urban historic areas based on subjective perception, expectation and emotional dimensions linked to environmental parameters.
It will be conducted through the involvement of people, by means of community based measurement techniques. The information obtain with the citizen participation will be useful to assess the social and psychological factors together with the environmental stimuli that influence the perception and emotional reaction of people in an urban context.
An important part of the investigation will be focus on the proposal of new perceptual dynamic maps (built up with a wider perspective than the traditional noise maps) for the multidimensional representation of historic urban areas. These maps will take into account other sources present in the cities rather than traffic or industries, and will consider the positive and restorative component of certain existing sound environments in a city.
The overall objective of this research project is to give policy makers a tool to identify and diagnose noise problem to take urban renewal decisions and to make more effective and sustainable projects.
Second University of Naples
I was born in Ningbo, China, and spent the first 19 years of my life there. Had the Geography Department of Beijing Normal University been open to applicants from my hometown province at the year of 2006 I would probably end up working in the field of geography now. I turned to study Urban Planning in Tianjin University so I did not went too far from my initial interest. I was actually very happy with my choice then and had some chances to work on both urban design and town planning projects at the later stage of my undergraduate study.
Planners really need to be versatile, but I also wanted to develop some expertise and go deeper. I started my PhD in The University of Sheffield in 2011, working on audio-visual interaction of traffic noise and visual intrusion of motorways. I was more experienced with GIS, 3D modelling, landscape assessment etc. for the visual part of the work, knowledge on acoustics was relatively new to me in the beginning, but as a person who is unreasonably sensitive to noise for sleep, I was (and still am) very motivated to learn and progressed well.
After work, I enjoy playing tennis. It is a good way to relax and socialise with local people. Sometimes it is also like some mental training as one really needs to be mentally tough for matches especially for those of which the scores will be put onto the club notice board. A bonus of being in Italy is that the clay courts here are slightly more friendly to my forever-injured left knee.
Research project: the project I am currently working on within the SONORUS is the development of new methodologies for the noise assessment of urban projects via multisensory approaches. The first stage of the work is to test the correlation of several sense stimuli with the noise annoyance perception, and then the next stage is to develop a multisensory tool for the evaluation of urban projects. Immersive virtual reality (IVR) will be used for the work to simulating multisensory stimuli and the individual-environment interaction in a controlled way.
University of Sheffield
I was born and raised in one of the most controversial cities of the modern world, Naples. I graduated (Master Degree) in Architecture in 2010 at the Second University of Naples; during my education years I also spent six months in the Escuela Politecnica Superior of the San Pablo-CEU University of Madrid (2007) under the Erasmus Programme. In 2011 I started my PhD at the Second University of Naples where I developed my interest for soundscape and the use of Virtual Reality techniques for sound perception. I also worked as a freelance professional for both private and public customers (Monumental Building Office of the Municipality of Naples, Mathematics and Physics Department of the Second University of Naples). In 2011 one of my studies was awarded as Best Phd Student Presentation by the Togliatti State University (Togliatti, Russia) within an International Conference. I have published some papers for national and international conferences and journals, but I keep working because time flies and good results donÕt grow on trees! Even if I am working in Sheffield for the Sonorus Project, in this moment I am the National Representative for my country (Italy) of the Young Acoustician Network within the European Acoustics Association (EAA).
Research project: The aim of my Project within the Sonorus Network is to define an indicator (or a set indicators) for the description of soundscape perception. After a first stage based on the review of the available tools (indicators and models) that are suitable for this purpose, my work will focus on the selection of a case study and on field surveys and measurements, corresponding to the initial soundscape factors identified. Afterwards the initial soundscape indicator model is supposed to be refined based on the case study data and eventually validated and finalized through a new practical application.
University of Sheffield
I was born and raised in Athens, the capital of Greece, where direct democracy was invented more than 2,400 years ago. In 2007, I received my first degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Thessaly. My interest in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) motivated me to attend the MasterÕs Degree Program of Geoinformatics during the period of 2007-2009 at the National and Technical University of Athens, emphasizing more on spatial analysis, neighbourhood accessibility and spatial autocorrelation issues. Generally I enjoy applying GIS tools in order to create maps and discover new spatial relationships in micro or macro scale. In the field of urban planning I had the unique opportunity to use my background knowledge, working as a Special Advisor on the Structure Plan of Athens in the Ministry of Infrastructure.
Afterwards, I decided to concentrate on the research field by keeping on with my PhD, conducted in the laboratory of Geography and Spatial Analysis. Hopefully, I will have finished it by 2016 enriched with the research results achieved in the field of urban sound planning. Currently, the theme of investigation as a SONORUS member is the effect of vegetation in noise reduction in high-density urban areas.
In my free time I enjoy practising pistol shooting (member of the Greek National Shooting Team, 2009), playing basketball and investing time in true relationships. Finally, after a short period of adjustment, I now believe that Sheffield is a unique place to live, work and study.
Research project: The research deals with the effects of vegetation in noise reduction in high-density urban areas. From a planning viewpoint a relation between vegetation, built areas and sound quality is investigated taking into consideration various noise mapping indicators. Through the application of GIS modeling techniques which integrate vegetation in a series of typical urban configurations, guidelines will be developed on the effectiveness of vegetation in noise reduction.
I was born and raised in the capital of Spain, Madrid.
I obtained my Master Degree in architecture at the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), and since then Iâ€™ve been developing my profession as an architect in several architecture companies in Madrid and Rome.
I have always been in touch with music. I have studied piano at the Music Conservatory for ten years, and recently studied lyrical singing.
My passion for music motivated me to understand how sound behaves in architectural space and I decided to enroll in the Master Program of Acoustic Engineering in Building and Environment at the EUITT (UPM)
I realized the serious distance between acoustics and urbanism, and the unawareness of the impact that urban decisions have on urban sound environment. Therefore my Master Thesis was about noise propagation in several streets of Madrid taking into account canyon geometry. The results were presented at the VIII Iberoamerican Congress of Acoustics “Tecniacustica 2012” where I received a grant, and won the Spanish Society of Acoustics 2012 award for the best Master Thesis in Engineering Acoustics. I continued the research encouraged by the Research Group of Architectural Acoustics at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.
I am currently involved in the Sonorus project researching solutions for improving urban sound environments taking into account urban geometry at low scale and audio-visual interaction. Additionally, I am pursuing my PhD in Acoustics at Ghent University.
Research project: One of the main environmental problems that significantly affect the quality of life of its citizens is the sound environment. Currently, the approach to reducing extensive mechanical and unwanted noise is mainly based on corrective methods that are applied ex post; when the problem already exists, but noise pollution in the city should also be dealt with preventive methods, implemented in urbanism and architecture.
Within the Sonorus Project, my research is involved in the improvement of urban sound environment at a low scale. This will be achieved by optimizing building typologies, targeted introduction of green, sound absorbing elements, and by audiovisual co-design. The latter includes increasing our knowledge on multisensory perception of the living environment.
The first item methodology to control urban noise through architectural design is analyzing the exact variations of sound pressure level due to geometry with a punctual sound source.
The second one is intended to reduce citizen’s noise annoyance through the control of audio-visual perception. The influence of visual perception in sound sensation has already been proved. Therefore it is possible to develop urban strategies and architectural tools to reduce noise sense by controlling the perceptible features of urban landscape.
I come from Croatian capital, Zagreb, where I finished all of my studies at both engineering and musical. I attended University of Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing where I received my Bachelor of Science in 2010 and Master of Science in 2012, both in Electrical Engineering and Information Technology with specialization in Acoustics. Afterwards, I have started my PhD working as a research assistant at the Department of Electroacoustics at the same faculty. As for my musical studies, I attended and finished University of Zagreb Academy of Music and obtained Master of Music in cello playing in 2011.
During my Erasmus exchange at Aalborg University, and later when attending COST action Training school of Soundscapes, I realized that soundscape research field is something I wish to investigate more. Therefore, I wrote my Master Thesis on Evaluation of urban soundscapes, and continued towards obtaining PhD in the same field. Now, as a part of SONORUS project, I am in Acoustics Research Group at Ghent University investigating how soundscape and attention relate, and how this can be utilized in the design of urban soundscapes.
Research project: The general theme of my research in SONORUS project is auditory attention and soundscape. The goal is to increase the understanding of the complex auditory phenomena involved in perception and appraisal of environmental sound. In particular, I will be developing computational models that mimic how humans perceive the sounds that can be found in the urban environment. These developed auditory perception models would later be used to improve the current measurement techniques and evaluations of soundscapes. Finally, the models would allow accounting for the influence of human auditory attention. Therefore, they would be utilized for evaluation of the acoustic design measures as suggestions for improving the quality of urban soundscape.
Müller BBM GmbH
I come from Portugal, from a city by the sea near Oporto called Póova de Varzim. My backgrounds are Applied Mathematics and Business Management. I have dedicated some years of my professional life to quality management systems and later I was invited to work at an accredited acoustic laboratory (ISO 17025) as quality manager. Acoustics sparked my interest and I attended several short-courses in environmental acoustics, building and room acoustics, occupational noise exposure and auralisation. Later I had the opportunity to become both technical director and associate of the Acoustic Laboratory. For these new positions I needed a more advance training in Acoustics, so I decided to pursuit a Master of Science in Environmental Acoustics. The acoustics department of the University of Salford is recognized as an excellent research centre and I applied to the Environmental Acoustics MSc. My dissertation project “A revision of the Uncertainty Guide for Environmental Noise Measurements”, implied research about noise descriptors and environmental noise measurement methodologies associated with traffic and railway noise.
Research was always an objective and Environmental Acoustics is a passion, SONORUS combines both. I hope to be able to contribute to improve the acoustic outdoor environment in urban areas. My individual research project consists of: carrying out a comprehensive research and critical analysis on the state-of-art process of planning urban sound environments with particular emphasis on the spectrum of noise control technologies. The potential of including all related elements and tools of sound urban planning at an early planning state will also be investigated. Develop a holistic approach to the complex problem of sound urban planning relating all the research fragments and apply them into real life achieving a good acoustic environment, is the most ambitious milestone.
Besides my son, my next passion is the SEA. Sailing is one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had which is hard to describe with words: just put the sails up and go with the wind, with the beautiful sound of the waves and nothing else! (The best soundscape) I also enjoy scuba diving and the quietness associated with it. Besides the sea, I also like to take long walks or biking at German parks.
Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA)
I come from Greece. I was born in the historic and biblical city of Thessaloniki, located in the region of Macedonia, northern Greece. I was raised in Katerini, a town situated at the foot of the famous mount Olympus.
After my graduation from the University of South Bank, London, UK with a M.Sc. degree in Environmental and Architectural Acoustics, I initiated my professional career as an acoustics lecturer, teaching groups of students of three academic levels at private educational institutions in Thessaloniki. In continuation, I have been increasingly active in the Ôsound and vibration measurementÕ market in Greece through two companies: since 2007, I have been an environmental noise and vibration specialist, high level sales / technical support consultant for a distribution company focusing on the procurement of sound and vibration measurement instrumentation to the public and private sector. Moreover, since 2009, I have been directing a company that focuses on the provision of acoustic consultancy services for environmental, architectural and industrial applications. A recent independent and self-funded research on the acoustics of the legendary ancient theatre of Epidaurus, which had as a result my first scientific publication, reveals my strong research interests that I am now looking forward to further pursue, through the achievement of SONORUS research objectives.
Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
I grew up in a small town in the Netherlands called Goudswaard. Interested in physics I decided to study Engineering Physics in Rijswijk. An internship during my studies at the Dutch consultancy company DGMR in The Hague was the first real contact I had with the field of acoustics. My bachelor thesis on thermoacoustics I wrote during a second internship, for which I went as an Erasmus exchange student to the Swedish Technical Research Institute SP in BorÃ¥s, Sweden.
After finishing my bachelor studies I worked for another year at DGMR on topics like tonal noise, source localization in the far field and sound recognition/classification. In 2011 I enrolled at the Sound & Vibration programme at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden. After the first year I went for a summer job to Oslo, Norway, where I worked at the acoustics group of Det Norske Veritas with ship noise. In the summer of 2013 I finished my studies after having written my master thesis while backpacking through the amazing northwestern part of India.
The SONORUS project then brought me to ZÃ¼rich, Switzerland. I am working at the department of acoustics of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, commonly known as Empa. My research topic is â€˜Auralisation of aircraft noiseâ€™. The goal of my research is to develop a tool for simulating aircraft noise in an urban environment. Work includes developing a source and propagation model as well as the final reproduction of the sound. Some physical phenomena to consider are Doppler shift, atmospheric absorption, wind and temperature gradients, reflections and diffraction. The research also encompasses estimating atmospheric influences like decorrelation due to turbulence.
Besides spending long and tough days on the work, I enjoy being in the outdoors. I like hiking in the mountains as well as climbing them. Luckily the mountains in Switzerland are slightly more challenging compared to those in my home country.
SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden
I was born in Valladolid, a city in the north-west quarter of Spain, where I studied telecommunications. Soon my interest in such subject faded and went more into acoustics, choosing this option for a Master in architechtural and environmental acoustics right after finishing my diploma thesis. That could not be a better choice, since it allowed me to live in my favourite city, Madrid, and also provided me with two amazing experiences in acoustic consultancy companies. But after some time, the need of new challenges came up and took me to Germany to work in the NVH world for a year and a half, measuring internal noise in cars at Daimler’s factory, in Stuttgart.
Trying always to improve and not to feel too comfortable, the SONORUS opportunity came at the appropriate time, and without thinking twice, decided to move again to an unknown country hoping to learn from and work with the bests in order to be one of them. Right now, I work at the SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden involved in the acoustic protection and development of quiet areas through auralisation of non-traffic sources.
Research project: quiet areas have to be specially considered when developing acoustic urban plans. They are critically sensitive to every kind of acoustic sources, and therefore, these ones have to be uniquely determinated. My research project involves studying the different measurement techniques and the auralisation of non-traffic sources that may affect such quiet areas, such as heat pumps, fans and others.