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2 May 2012 | PR 12/82

Sound barriers win prestigious Enterprise Fellowship for Loughborough academic

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Loughborough University acoustics expert Dr Daniel Elford has won a prestigious fellowship to continue developing a new type of noise barrier.

Dr Elford, 26, was one of six outstanding innovators at UK universities to be awarded an Engineering Enterprise Fellowship – a grant which will enable him to spend 12 months developing the commercial potential of his research.

The Royal Academy of Engineering chose six projects for their new fellowships, which provide up to £85,000 of funding and support per awardee.

Each winner also receives business training and mentoring from Academy Fellows with entrepreneurial experience, as well as access to business angels and venture capitalists.

Dr Elford’s novel noise barrier technology was pioneered through a new area of physics called sonic crystals - a periodic array of wave scatterers that severely reduces sound waves in specific frequency ranges.

His noise barriers are more cost-effective than current solutions and, crucially, can be tailored to cut certain types of noise and allow light and air to pass through, making them more useful for an array of industrial situations.

Dr Elford is working with Loughborough University’s Enterprise team who are actively seeking licensing partners from the private sector with whom to commercialise the research.

Loughborough University Pro Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) Professor Steve Rothberg said: “This ground-breaking acoustics research offers significant environmental and aesthetic benefits over existing noise reduction solutions. These Fellowships are very prestigious and underline the real commercial potential of the project. I’m delighted for Daniel and he will continue to enjoy our full support for this venture.’’

Ian Shott CBE FREng, Director of Shott Consulting Ltd and chair of the Fellowships selection panel, said: “It is vital to the UK economy and the engineering sector that cutting edge research is directed to effective innovation. Business-minded engineers need investment and support from industry to exploit their research, filling gaps in the market and providing solutions to industry problems, which could become the commercial success stories of tomorrow.’’

Dr Elford has worked on acoustic meta-materials within the University’s Physics Department alongside Dr Luke Chalmers and completed his PhD at Loughborough under the supervision of Dr Gerry Swallowe and Professor Feo Kusmartsev. To find out more about the research, go to: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/microsites/enterprise/noise/

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Sarah Hall
Marketing and Communications Officer (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228684
E: S.Hall@lboro.ac.uk  

Notes for editors:

About the Royal Academy of Engineering
Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship - comprising the UK's most eminent engineers - provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain's engineering community.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables.

In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK. And it was the top university in England in the 2012 Times Higher Education poll measuring best student experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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