London South Bank University Faculty of Egineering, Science and the Built Environment
Project - Identifying a Sound Environment for Secondary Schools (ISESS)
LSBU in association with

Research team

The research is being undertaken by a team of acousticians and psychologists at three institutions: London South Bank University (LSBU), London University Institute of Education (IoE) and the University of Salford (UoS).

Professor Bridget Shield

Bridget Shield

Professor Bridget Shield BSc, MSc, PhD, HonFIOA

Bridget Shield is Professor of Acoustics in the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Built Environment at London South Bank University.

Email: shieldbm@lsbu.ac.uk

Bridget has many years' experience of teaching, research and consultancy in environmental and architectural acoustics. She has received many government research grants, including nine SERC/EPSRC grants, and is the author of over 70 published papers. Her research interests have included prediction of industrial noise, community response to railway noise, concert hall acoustics (with Professor Trevor Cox), and annoyance caused by low frequency noise. In the past few years her research has focused on the effects of noise and poor acoustics on children and teachers in primary schools. This research, which has been carried out in collaboration with Professor Julie Dockrell of the Institute of Education, London University, has informed new legislation on the acoustic design of schools. In 2003 Professor Shield was appointed by the Department for Education and Skills as editor of Building Bulletin 93 which contains the statutory acoustic performance specifications for schools under the Building Regulations. Professor Shield is a member of the Acoustical Society of America and in 2007 was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics, the UK's professional body for people working in acoustics, noise and vibration. Bridget has been a member of the Council of the Institute of Acoustics, for many years and is currently President-elect of the Institute. In 2011 Bridget was the recipient of the Institute of Acoustics R W B Stephens medal, in recognition of her outstanding contributions to acoustics research and education. In 2011 Bridget was also awarded the John Connell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Noise Abatement Society, recognising her outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue throughout her career.

back to top

Professor Julie Dockrell

Julie Dockrell

Professor Julie Dockrell BSc, Dip Ed, MAppSci, Dip Clin Psych, PhD

Professor Julie Dockrell, a qualified clinical and educational psychologist, is Professor of Psychology and Special Needs at the Institute of Education, London.

Email: j.dockrell@ioe.ac.uk

Julie carries out research in language and learning and the 2 factors that act as barriers to learning in typically developing children and children with special educational needs. A central theme in this research has been the application of evidence based research. Professor Dockrell has published 4 books and has over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Her book "Children's learning difficulties: a cognitive approach" has been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and there is a Norwegian Talking book and Braille edition. Recent research has included the factors underpinning the acquisition of vocabulary knowledge in science lessons. Research funding has been obtained from a range of sources including ESRC, EPSRC, Wellcome Trust and various charities. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and an Academician of the Social Sciences (AcSS). She has been editor of the British Journal of Educational Psychology, associate Editor of the International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders and is currently joint editor of the Afasic Abstract.

IOE profile

back to top

Professor Trevor Cox

Trevor Cox

Professor Trevor Cox BSc, PhD, MIOA

Trevor Cox is Professor of Acoustic Engineering at the University of Salford.

Email: t.j.cox@salford.ac.uk

Trevor is President of the Institute of Acoustics (IoA), the professional institute for Acoustics in the UK. He is a Senior Media Fellow funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and has presented a number of science documentaries on BBC radio.

Trevor carries out research in performance room acoustics, investigating how room conditions can be improved for good speech communication (e.g. schools), and quality music production and reproduction (e.g. concert halls). Trevor is probably best known for his work concerning surface diffusers and has authored a text book on acoustic treatments; his designs can be found in rooms Worldwide. A couple of years ago, Trevor was awarded the prestigious Tyndall Award by the Institute of Acoustics.

Trevor has also used artificial intelligence means to model objective and subjective acoustics; investigated the socio-economic effects of hearing loss on the elderly, and researched the sounds and smells in the urban environment. He has an interest in perceptual testing. He was investigator on a project concerning sustainability and the 24 hour city, and was the instigator and Director of the EPSRC Ideas Factory on A Noisy Future? Other perceptual work includes looking at product sound quality testing for the DTI and running a mass participation website to find the worst sound in the world and the funniest whoopee cushion sound.

Trevor has a long track record of communicating acoustic engineering to the public. Trevor was a finalist at Famelab, a pop-idol style competition to find science communicators for television. He has been involved in EPSRC projects to produce resources for teaching acoustics for GCSE and AS/A level students. He developed and presented the Beautiful Music - Horrible Sounds show (assisted by Steve Mesure). This was a joint venture between the Royal Institution and the Royal Albert Hall and reached an audience of 4500 key stage 2, 3 and 4 children across the two shows. (He used to hold a Guinness World Record for the World's largest whoopee cushion based on a stage prop used at the show). Trevor gained worldwide news coverage for stories such as "Does a duck quack echo?" and "The Worst Sound in the World". He has appeared in features on BBC1, Teachers TV, Discovery and National Geographic Channel, and as an expert in news items on a variety of TV and radio channels.

Trevor is resident scientist on BBC Radio Manchester and has presented documentaries for BBC radio:

Salford University profile

back to top

Dr Daniel Connolly

Daniel Connolly

Dr Daniel Connolly BSc DPhil PGCE

Daniel Connolly is a research psychologist in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at the Institute of Education.

Email: d.connolly@ioe.ac.uk

Daniel specializes in research with children and young people. He has a PhD in developmental psychology and has worked as a researcher investigating hearing, children's cognitive development and children's interactions with technology. He is an experienced psychology lecturer and a qualified teacher.

IOE profile

back to top

Dr Robert Conetta

Rob Conetta

Dr Robert Conetta BSc (Hons) (Salford), PhD, AMIOA

Robert Conetta is a research fellow in the Acoustics Research Centre at London South Bank University.

Email: conettar@lsbu.ac.uk

Rob read his undergraduate degree in Audio Technology at the University of Salford. In 2006 he became a post-graduate research student at the Institute of Sound Recording, University of Surrey, where he contributed to the QESTRAL project, funded by the EPSRC, Bang & Olufsen and BBC Research & Development. He completed his PhD in 2011.

Rob is a committee member of the Institute of Acoustics Speech and Hearing Group and Young Members Group. His research interests include room acoustics, spatial audio, psychoacoustics, subjective acoustics and sound quality. In 2010 he was the recipient of the University of Surreys Research Student of the Year award for his work on the QESTRAL project.

back to top

Charlie Mydlarz

Charlie Mydlarz

Charlie Mydlarz BSc (Hons) (Salford)

Research Assistant PhD, University of Salford.

Email: c.mydlarz@salford.ac.uk

Charlie completed his Audio Technology BSc at The University of Salford in 2007, and continued onto a 2 year Research Assistant PhD post on an EPSRC funded public engagement project investigating peoples appreciation of their sound environment (soundscape) using mobile technology. The project allowed members of the public to record and comment on the sounds around them using their mobile phones or PDA's via a small Java Mobile Edition and Windows Mobile application. The participants recordings and responses are displayed on the "World Soundscape Map" on the project site at http://www.soundaroundyou.com.

Charlie's role in the Sound Around You project was to develop the mobile and PC applications for use by project members, create and maintain the website and publicise the project using internet social media platforms as well as more traditional media outlets. The pilot studies used to refine the methodologies were run in local schools around Manchester with key stage 4 students trialling the web and mobile applications and through an iterative development process, allowing them to be robust enough for the national launch.

As of October 2009 Charlie is continuing with his PhD part time, working with the data gathered as part of the Sound Around You project with a bid to uncover the influential factors in soundscape appreciation. A major element of this process will be the development of a set of lab based soundscape simulations of virtual environments for subjective testing, allowing the past projects inferences to be validated.

Salford University profile

back to top