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PhD in Soundscapes, Environmental or Neighbour Noise

University of Salford - UoS, School of Science, Engineering & Environment

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Salford
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: The PhD is fully funded, with budget for research training support. Costs for your involvement in the cohort activities will be fully funded. (UK ONLY)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th June 2024
Closes: 1st July 2024

This PhD is a collaboration between the University of Salford and DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to forge a less noisy and better sounding future.

Noise is the second most harmful environmental pollutant, according to the World Health Organisation. It is also ‘neglected’ and in need of more research according to a 2023 House of Lords Report.

You will focus on one of the following:

  • Environmental sound assessment and aural diversity

This PhD will devise and test ways of adapting current assessment methods to better represent the response of an aurally diverse population. There are many possible approaches, but it is envisaged that the research will examine two or three different kinds of hearing differences.

  • Perception-influenced engineering for e-mobility and future soundscapes

E-mobility will introduce entirely new sound sources. Novel air vehicles will bring unconventional sound signatures and will operate over urban communities not usually exposed to aircraft noise. On the ground, electric vehicles must generate sound artificially to alert other road users, with potentially non-harmonious consequences for local communities.

The evidence gathered and tools learnt during the PhD will aid the development of robust methods for the assessment and design of soundscapes with a diversity of novel unconventional sound sources.

  • Neighbour noise

Neighbour noise is a widespread problem that negatively impacts millions of people globally. This PhD project aims to address these gaps by developing a more comprehensive understanding of neighbour noise, improving methods for assessing neighbour noise and developing better statistical methods to quantify the impact of neighbour noise on health and wellbeing. This project will use a mixed-methods approach, combining quantitative data collection with qualitative analysis of resident experiences.

The research would suit graduates in psychology, science or engineering who have an interest in psychoacoustics. Experience in statistics and programming will be useful.

The PhD will begin in September 2024. The Acoustics Research Centre at the University of Salford is a world-renowned institution with a vibrant research community. You will benefit from expert supervision from leading academics in acoustics, access to state-of-the-art research facilities, the opportunity to collaborate with researchers from other disciplines and a supportive, inclusive and stimulating research environment.

In Autumn 2025, you will then join the new Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Sustainable Sound Futures. The CDT is an unprecedented collaboration for doctoral training between four universities and over 50 project partners. They will provide extensive training that goes far beyond what is normally available for standard PhDs in Acoustics.

A mixture of week-long residentials, masterclasses, theme days and online training will develop technical skills for acoustics and key skills for research. Placements in industry or academic partners will also play an important role in ensuring students learn about context and how to create impact.

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