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Mobile app for portable Acoustic Measurements - MapAM


   School of Energy and Electronic Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3-year full-time or 6-year part time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the School of Energy and Electronic Engineering and will be supervised by Dr Ludo Ausiello.

The work on this project could involve:

  • Designing, debugging and testing a smartphone application to perform acoustic measurements with minimal equipment cost
  • Designing and prototyping electro-acoustic actuators (exciters) to maximally exploit the driving capabilities of smartphones’ headset output jack
  • Designing and prototyping a smart actuator capable of receiving digital signals (via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or USB), amplifying them, providing an alternative (future proof) solutions for smartphones which don’t have a physical output jack
  • Plan and deploy an extensive measurements’ campaign to collect primary data, check the User Interface, and gather feedback from several potential users (musicians, sellers, manufacturers).

Project description

Are you passionate about music? 

Are you curious about how to measure in an innovative way the performance of most acoustic instruments? 

This project wants to bring together music technology, programming skills and manufacturing processes. It takes its first steps from a measurement method, the Sine-Sweep technique, which was published by Prof Farina in the early 2000s. Such technique has been a revolutionary tool to improve, for example, how loudspeaker manufacturers perform their quality controls, or how acousticians measure the acoustical performance of spaces (e.g. music halls, recording studios). 

Now it’s time to show that the same approach could be successfully applied to musical instruments and their performance. It’s also time to try to minimise the cost and the equipment required to perform such important measurements, in order to offer this tool to a large and diverse community of users: musicians, sellers, and of course manufacturers.

The team you’ll be working with, led by Dr Ludo Ausiello, has been researching this topic for the past 5 years, and has shared with the community seminal papers which now require your initiative and creativity to be involved!

We want to design, validate and test a stand-alone measurements’ application which could be used on any smartphone platform, thus minimising the requirements in terms of equipment to measure musical instrument’s responses. 

The app will be eventually used to generate a large database, which will become another research tool, once we’ll start developing classifiers and algorithms based on artificial intelligence to correlate quantitative data (acoustic measurement) with users’ preferences, for example.

Join us in this project and you’ll soon find out how both the word of academia and the private sector are eager to employ a person like you, who has practiced for several year his imagination and practical skills in such multidisciplinary research!

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements

Additional desirable skills are:

  • Capability to design, debug and document modular and expandable sw
  • Capability to perform electro-acoustic measurements (both in labs and on the field)
  • Independent learning and out-of-the-box thinking
  • Willing to travel to attend conferences and engage with the community of manufacturers of musical instruments

How to Apply

We encourage you to contact Dr Ludo Ausiello () to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code below.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Electronic Engineering PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV. Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: SENE5641023.


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