University of Salford (UOS)
The Acoustics Research Centre (ARC) within the University of Salford was awarded a 6* rating in the 2001 UK Research Assessment Exercise, the highest rating possible. In the most recent Research Assessment Exercise the Centre doubled the number of staff submitted and, as part of the Research Institute for the Built and Human Environment, came top in the UK in Research Fortnight’s ‘Research Power’ tables for Architecture and the Built Environment. The Centre is a well-established unit with a long history of successful research and consultancy work. It has a balanced portfolio of fundamental and applied research projects and a healthy income from research councils, government bodies, and industry. It has a unique range of acoustics, psychoacoustics and project management skills, as well as extensive acoustic test facilities and instrumentation. The Centre’s team brings expertise and experience across a broad range of acoustic and audio activity. The Acoustics Research Centre has an established track record not only in traditional building and room acoustics but also audio and related broadcast technologies. Based in the Directorate of Computing, Acoustics & Future Media, within the School of Computing, Science & Engineering, the Centre has a broad view of audio, video and acoustics as a unified identity and brings its unique expertise in acoustics to audio and video broadcast technology. In WP1 University of Salford will contribute to user requirements and related access issues, an area in which Salford has considerable experience having led projects such as the ITC / Ofcom Clean Audio Project. In WP2 University of Salford have responsibility for task T2.3, developing a 3D sound acquisition system for scene capture. In WP5 University of Salford will be working closely with DTO to develop a format agnostic interactive sound rendering package with interactive navigation capability. The user assessment of his system will be carried out utilising many different reproduction systems including an existing wave field synthesis (WFS) system that has been developed at Salford. University of Salford also has a role in WP6 (Demonstrations) and WP7 (Dissemination).
Ben Shirley was principal investigator on both phases of the ITC and Ofcom funded Clean Audio Project. Results from this project were presented at DVB CM-AVC in Geneva and have informed ITU IPTV and EBU guidelines. Mr Shirley was a founding member of UK Clean Audio Forum with Ofcom and the BBC. He has been principal investigator on a BBC funded project looking at independent component analysis for broadcast applications and has developed test methodologies for assessment of speech clarity and intelligibility of broadcast material for hearing impaired people. Mr Shirley’s most recent work is in assessment of new ‘intelligent’ adaptive implementations of ‘clean audio’ for broadcast and also conducting assessments of new audio codecs.
Dr Rob Oldfield is a Research Consultant at the university and has been involved in a large variety of research projects since coming to the University to complete his MSc (by research) in 2004. His main areas of interest are spatial audio, audio processing, broadcast audio and room acoustics although he is also experienced in computational modelling, environmental noise and audio for the hearing impaired. He obtained his PhD from the University of Salford in 2013 in Wave Field Synthesis, specifically looking at focused source reproduction for spatial audio applications.