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Acoustics and audio research has been conducted at Salford since before 1965. Research is funded by research councils, national and international government bodies, and industry. Our research has fed into products that companies make and sell worldwide, as well as regulations and standards used in the UK, Europe and internationally.

We currently have 12 research active staff, 7 post-doctoral research fellows and a lively community of PhD students who have authored many prizewinning publications including two major texts on acoustics.

The acoustics laboratories are world class having been completely rebuilt in 2005 at a cost of £2.5M. They include a listening room, reverberation rooms, three anechoic chambers, an accredited calibration laboratory and state of the art equipment and instrumentation. Through the laboratories we are able to bring much of our fundamental research into real life applications.

The Acoustics Research Centre is the primary partner for Acoustics research in the BBC Audio Research Partnership

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), our acoustics research was singled out by the panel for Architecture and Built Environment. Outputs showed ‘particular strengths in acoustics’ and there was ‘outstanding impact in acoustics for the built environment.’ Our REF impact case study on Acoustics was used by EPSRC and the Royal Academy of Engineering to highlight the economic benefits of research.

Environmental noise and vibration surveys

Specialist test methods for automotive, aerospace, marine, energy and building

Acoustics properties of materials

  • Shock tube, flow resistivity and impedance tube measurements
  • Meta materials


Standard laboratory measurements and calibration

Building elements and acoustic treatments

Predicting sounds in rooms

Design of the acoustics of spaces

Measurement in architectural acoustics

Perception of sound in rooms

Audio signal processing


Example projects include:

Environmental Acoustics Projects

Porous materials


Sonic crystals 


Environmental noise and vibration 

Perception of sound in rooms 


Product sound quality 

Teaching of sound within schools and colleges 

Acoustics chamberThe acoustics laboratories are world class. They include a Listening room, Reverberation rooms, 3 Anechoic chambers, an accredited calibration laboratory, and a state-of-the-art equipment and instrumentation.

Find out more about our world-class acoustics laboratories...

The Acoustics Research Centre has a thriving and growing student population studying a PhD program in subjects such as:

A research degree, such as a doctorate or masters by research, gives you an opportunity to explore an area of acoustics or audio that you find particularly interesting. The research challenge is usually to discover new science through measurement, prediction and developing an in-depth understanding of the subject.

Suggested future PhD Acoustics projects

Next steps towards a doctorate or other research degree in acoustics

  • Find out if we carry out research in areas of acoustics, audio, vibration and noise engineering that interest you; each research group contains a list of members to help you discover which members of acoustics research staff carry out work you find interesting;
  • Email these members of staff outlining the areas of research that interest you along with a brief CV. If you don’t have a definite funding source, detail what you are doing about this. Please only email one member of staff at a time to avoid us duplicating work.
  • If you are unsure who to contact, email the Acoustics Research Centre
  • Consult and follow the formal application procedure. This includes details about the information and documents you will need as well as guidance about submitting your application online.  

What jobs do our postgraduate researchers go on to do?

Find out more information about typical jobs our acoustic postgraduates take up at the end of their studies. In addition, some use a PhD or other research degree as a stepping stone to a career in academia.

Head of Research Group (Acoustics)
Prof David Waddington
Tel: (0044) 0161 295 4989

Enquiries for specific areas of Acoustics research

Acoustics Measurements: Andy Elliott at

Architectural and Building Acoustics: Trevor Cox at

Audio Engineering: Ben Shirley at

Computer Modelling of Sound: John Hargreaves at

Environmental Noise and Vibration: David Waddington at

Materials for Acoustics: Olga Umnova at

Psychoacoustics: Bill Davies at

Public Engagement:  Trevor Cox at

Vibro-acoustics: Andy Elliott at

Acoustics Research Centre events