Professor Bill Davies
School of Science, Engineering and Environment
Associate Dean (Academic), Professor in Acoustics
I received my first degree in acoustics from Salford in 1987 and, after messing about in the music business, got a PhD in acoustics also from Salford in 1992. A brief stint of post-doc research and three years lecturing at Leeds Metropolitan University followed. I returned to Salford as a lecturer in 1995 and I’ve been here ever since. I was elected Vice-President of the Institute of Acoustics in 2010 and became Associate Head (Academic) of the School of Computing, Science and Engineering in 2012.
Areas of research
Soundscape, Psychoacoustics, Spatial audio, Room acoustics, Environmental noise
I currently teach courses to undergraduate and postgraduate students on introductory acoustics, psychoacoustics and room acoustics. I supervise student dissertations, mainly in room acoustics and environmental noise.
I have research interests in room acoustics, perception and environmental sound/soundscapes. I'm always interested in hearing from potential research students in any of these areas. The procedure we like applicants to follow is outlined here.
In environmental acoustics, I recently led a large consortium project to develop new ways of evaluating soundscapes. The Positive Soundscape Project (PSP) was a £1M, three-year effort involving five universities. Unusually for an EPSRC project, it involved artists and social scientists as well as acoustics researchers. The outputs from the project included new scientific methods for measuring soundscape perception, advice and help for urban planners, a major exhibition of soundscape art, soundscape radio programmes, and a soundscape sequencer toy for people to play with and gain a greater understanding of their aural environment. PSP span off a smaller project investigating how to apply soundscape techniques to UK noise policy. Prior to the soundscapes work, I ran a project to evaluate noise from pubs and clubs and another using social science methods to capture the effects of poor acoustics on older people with a hearing loss.
In room acoustics, I have researched the acoustic absorption of concert hall seating and audiences, validating a test technique which is now used in our commercial tests. I have also led projects to develop a method for measuring auditory spaciousness in reproduced sound, to assess diffusion on stages, to control low-frequency reponse in small rooms and to measure the difference limen of reverberation time and level with music.
- PhD Room Acoustics, Salford (1992).
- BSc (Hons), 1st class, Electroacoustics, Salford (1987).
- Vice-President (International) of the Institute of Acoustics
- Member, Acoustical Society of America