News and events

2 May 2014

Pioneering noise reduction technology recognised at the 5th Enterprise Awards

Pioneering noise reduction technology developed at Lougborough University was recognised at the fifth annual Enterprise Awards.

Now in their fifth year, and hosted on the University's Science and Enterprise Parks, the awards recognise the impact of the University's research partnerships and its game-changing graduates. Enterprise Pro Vice Chancellor, Professor Steve Rothberg, revealed the winners which, this year, were decided by 12,500 public votes.

Dr Daniel Elford received the Intellectual Property Award for Sonobex, whose innovative technology addresses noise problems in transport and industry. Launched last year, Sonobex has recently completed its first major investment, achieved the CE certified barrier for High Speed Rail and gone into manufacture with Metsec plc.

The development began in 2007, when Daniel Elford and Luke Chalmers began their PhDs at Loughborough University, building on sonic crystal research led by Professor Feodor Kusmartsev and Dr Gerry Swallowe of the Department of Physics. The breakthrough technology attracted significant funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Royal Academy of Engineering, Technology Strategy Board, European Regional Development Fund and East Midlands Transport iNet, to accelerate its commercialisation.

The Sonobex technology harnesses the powerful sound dampening effect of sonic crystal design to control, direct and manipulate sound. Sonobex’s products are designed to address the specific noise spectrum in question delivering increased sound reduction over competing products. Sonic crystal designs also allow air flow to combat over heating issues and overcome the need for expensive cooling systems required for current industrial enclosures, and provide up to a 40% reduced wind loading effect in acoustic barriers. Sonobex’s products can be made of any material including re-cycled plastics, galvanised steels and clear poly-carbonates to provide a multitude of solutions for differing requirements and applications.

With strategic transport test sites in the UK demonstrating the environmental and economic impacts and a first international sale in the power generation sector, Sonobex has the potential to revolutionise the way sound problems are addressed in global markets in Road, Rail, Industrial Engineering and Construction.

Films about all the nominations and photography from the Awards are available on the Enterprise Awards website →

To read a feature about noise reduction see Loughborough University's research magazine, The View.