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  Dr J Hargreaves  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The studentship is with the Acoustics Research Group at the University of Salford.

Academic Supervisor: Dr Jonathan A. Hargreaves

Final date for applications: 19/08/2022

Interviews will be held on: 05/09/2022

The candidate must register by: 19/09/2022


We are looking for a PhD candidate to work on developing improved methods for High Intensity Acoustic Testing (HIAT). The successful candidate will be expected to develop analytical theory and numerical simulations of transducers, test configurations, and control systems, and undertake extensive experimental trials. This is an enterprise-funded studentship, so will involve close collaboration with technicians and commercial staff who are piloting a new High Intensity Acoustic Testing Service aimed at space, aerospace and military sectors. The candidate will benefit from involvement in real industrial tests and access to state-of-the-art hardware.


There is growing demand for and research into high-intensity acoustic testing. In the space sector, payloads must be experimentally proven to be able to survive extreme acoustic conditions of rocket launch before launch providers will carry them. Aerospace / defence suppliers must also meet strict standards which include methods to test components’ performance when exposed to extreme noise levels during take-off / in flight. This project will focus primarily on Direct Field Acoustic Noise (DFAN) testing, which uses large arrays of high-power loudspeakers instead of the enormous reverberation chambers that have historically been dominant. Using loudspeakers has the key advantage that the test may be taken to the article to be tested which it is costly and risky to transport. This is especially important for expensive and delicate test articles such as satellites. It also opens up a myriad of research possibilities such as development more advanced control systems and rendering acoustic fields that are more representative of flight conditions than what a reverberation chamber can create. But there are serious technical challenges too. The sound pressure levels required are right on the limit of what is possible with existing loudspeakers, and thermal, mechanical and electrical failures are common. This project will select a subset of these challenges and avenues to research, while also being grounded by the demands of the new commercial testing service that it runs alongside.

A recent review of Direct Field Acoustic Noise (DFAN) testing can be found at Notably section 6.1 summarises areas of future development, which is a useful resource for guiding this research project.


We are looking for high quality candidates with expertise in the following areas:

  • Cognate acoustics, mathematical, physics, or engineering background
  • Good computer programming skills (e.g. MATLAB/PYTHON)
  • Experience of experimental design and measurement, preferable noise
  • Multi-Channel data acquisition systems and transducers (desirable)
  • Highly numerate with experience of data analysis
  • Ability to work independently and within teams
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills


Informal enquiries to Dr Jonathan A. Hargreaves [Email Address Removed]

CV and supporting statement to [Email Address Removed]

Note to applicant: In addition to applying for this role all shortlisted applicants will also be required to complete the University application process which applies to all students wishing to study at The University of Salford. How to apply for research studies can be found here: This includes writing a research proposal.

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded and includes:
• Full fee waiver
• Full stipend of £16,062 per annum for 3 years full time / £8,031 per annum for 6 years part time
• Bench fees and consumable costs
• Funds specifically allocated for conference travel
• Eligibility: Since this project is likely to involve working with companies from the UK defence sector, it is only available to students who are UK nationals.
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