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.
To make an application please visit the website.
The scholarship will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend of approximately £15,009 for the 36 month duration of the project and is available to applicants from the UK, EU and overseas.