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The Impact of Positive Soundscapes in Indoor Built Environments

Project Description

Acoustics research at Heriot-Watt University aims at integrating engineering and perceptual approaches to reduce noise in the built environment and improve quality of life. This is in line with the soundscape approach, which relies both on physical characteristics and qualitative perception of the aural environment. Soundscape research includes the promotion of positive sounds (e.g. water, birdsongs, bells and wind in trees) and combines engineering and social science methodologies, in view of developing solutions aimed at improving well-being and comfort. An example of research recently carried out at Heriot-Watt University is given by the acoustical and perceptual assessment of water sounds and their use for road traffic noise masking.

A PhD scholarship is available to further develop soundscape research at Heriot-Watt University. The proposed project will focus on the impact of positive sounds in indoor environments (e.g. receptions and lobbies, offices and restaurants), when these are used for promoting relaxation and psychological restoration, as well as for masking indoor noise (e.g. providing privacy between nearby spaces). The project will be mainly concerned with acoustical design, cognitive performance and assessing restorative experiences. It will include a combination of experimental work, auditory tests and theoretical modelling.

Informal enquiries should be directed to the primary supervisor, Dr Laurent Galbrun.

Applicants should have a first-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a 2.1 honours degree plus Masters (or equivalent). Scholarships will be awarded by competitive merit, taking into account the academic ability of the applicant.

Please complete our online application form and select PhD programme Construction within the application and include the project reference, title and supervisor on your application. Applicants who do not include these details on their application may not be considered.

Please also provide a written proposal, at least one side of A4, outlining how you would approach the research project. You will also be required to upload a CV, a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts and one academic reference. You must also provide proof of your ability in the English language (if English is not your mother tongue or if you have not already studied for a degree that was taught in English). We require an IELTS certificate showing an overall score of at least 6.5 with no component scoring less than 6.0 or a TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 90 points.

Applicants MUST be available to start the course of study in October 2019.

Funding Notes

Scholarships will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend of approximately £14,999 for the 36 month duration of the project.

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