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PhD or Masters’ position in building acoustics and mechanical metamaterials

Department of Mechanical Engineering

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Dr Andrew Hall , Dr George Dodd Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Are you interested in metamaterials and their potential to improve people’s living conditions? The Acoustics Research Centre at the University of Auckland is inviting applications from highly motivated students to participate in an exciting new research programme on acoustics and mechanical metamaterials for radically improving sound insulation.
Funded PhD or Masters by Research studentship is available which include tuition fees, a stipend, and support for research-related activities such as consumables and travel.

The research
In a world of population densification, increased traffic flows and high power home entertainment systems, noise pollution at home and in workplaces is becoming a large problem. It can result in annoyance, loss of concentration, disturbed sleep and reduced productivity. We are also realising that a loss of acoustic privacy in dwellings is sensed as a loss as important as a loss of visual or spatial privacy.
Mechanical, that is acoustic and elastic, metamaterials are able to achieve extraordinary properties that go beyond (”meta”) those of their constituent materials. This is an opportunity to create systems with previously impossible vibroacoustic performance.
Research topics within this programme include the development of new, more compact acoustic metamaterials based on Helmholtz resonators for very low frequencies; of new mechanical metamaterials that suppress bending waves in the coincidence frequency region; of computational intelligence techniques and generative design of metamaterials; innovation in acoustic metamaterials for integration into double-glazed window systems; and translation to industrial scale.
Novel acoustic insulation systems materials are an expected outcome of this research, with considerable potential for commercialisation.

The candidates
The project will suit driven, ambitious candidates interested in building acoustics, mechanical metamaterials and their practical applications.
We are looking for strong backgrounds in some combination of acoustics, engineering, physics, computational science or a suitably related field.
Skills in computational modelling and simulation of dynamics and vibroacoustic systems would be a big plus. Alternatively, strong skills in the experimental measurement of complex vibroacoustic behaviours and signal processing would be highly desirable.
Good written and oral communication skills in English, and a strong sense of humour.

About us
The Acoustics Research Centre (ARC) was formed in 2017 and now has 8 staff, 2 post-docs and 21 postgraduate students. ARC activities are supported by experimental facilities that include an anechoic chamber, reverberation rooms, absorption and sound transmission loss measurement, laser vibrometers and other equipment.
The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s highest ranked university, and the only New Zealand university in the top 100 according to the QS World University Rankings 2020.

Funding Notes

Fully funded by the New Zealand Governments Endeavor fund smart Ideas grant, the project is titled Making New Zealand Homes Quieter: a sound investment.
Opportunities for addition paid work at the University of Auckland's acoustics testing facility. Team has strong ties to industry for future job prospects


Mason, J., and Fahy, F. (1988). The use of acoustically tuned resonators to improve the sound transmission loss of double-panel partitions. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 124(2), pp. 367–379.

Fahy, F., and Schofield, C. (1980). A note on the interaction between a Helmholtz resonator and an acoustic mode of an enclosure. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 72(3), pp. 365–378.

Andrew Hall, George Dodd, Gian Schmid, Pearl D’Souza and Jen Wong, Helmholtz Resonators as a tool for suppressing the Mass-Air-Mass resonance in Cavity Partitions, XXIVth Biennial Conference of the Acoustical Society of New Zealand

E.P. Calius, X. Bremaud, B. Smith, and A. Hall, “Negative mass sound shielding structures: Early results”, physica status solidi (b), 246 (9): 2089-2097 (2009).

E.P. Calius, A.Hall, E. Wester, K.L. Chan, B. Smith, G. Dodd, “Locally resonant structures for sound shielding applications”, First International Symposium on Acoustic Metamaterials (ISAM 2011), May 2011, Beijing, China.

A.J. Hall, E. P. Calius, E. Wester, G. Dodd and R. Halkyard,“Modeling and experimental validation of complex locally resonant structures”, New Zealand Acoustics, 24(2): (2011).

Hall, Andrew, Dodd, George, Calius, Emilio, Diffuse field measurements of locally resonant partitions, Acoustics 2017 Perth: Sound, Science and Society

Hall, Andrew, Development and application of locally resonant metamaterials for acoustic barriers, PhD thesis, University of Auckland, New Zealand

Sorokin, V. S. (2016). Effects of corrugation shape on frequency band-gaps for longitudinal wave motion in a periodic elastic layer. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 139 (4), 1898-1908. 10.1121/1.4945988 URL:
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