The first IAS Sound Summit was formally launched on 30th October 2019.

The summit brought together seven leading national and international researchers to Loughborough as IAS Visiting Fellows for the official launch of the Sound Theme, with a high-profile panel discussion around the question of ‘Why Sound Matters’.

Marsha Meskimmon opens the IAS Sound Summit 1

Professor Timothy Leighton (FRS FREng) from Southampton University gave a keynote speech on “Bubble acoustics: the aim is to save billions of lives”. His research on the acoustical physics of bubbles, especially their nonlinear behaviour and numerous applications fascinated the audience.

Professor Timothy Leighton during his presentation at the Sound Summit 1.

Professor Trevor Cox from Salford University has recently published the popular science book ‘Now You’re Talking’ and his keynote addressed the past, present and the future of human voice and speech. Mixing biology, physics and psychology, Trevor explored the workings of the voice looking at accents and different singing styles.

Professor Trevor Cox during his presentation at the Sound Summit 1.

After the keynote speeches, Stephen Robinson, the Principal Research Scientist of the National Physics Laboratory chaired the panel discussion.

Three ‘Sound’ theme seminars were organized around the summits. On the 24th October, Dr Enrique A Lopez-Poveda from University of Salamanca gave a talk on “What the Brain Tells the Ears at a Cocktail Party: Better Hearing in Noise with Brain Inspired Auditory Prostheses” in the International House.   

On the 31st October, two ‘Sound’ seminars took place in the Design School on ‘Sound requirements in medical equipment & systems’ by Dr Abdusselam Selami Cifter from the Faculty of Architecture of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; and “Using sound as a design tool and expressive medium in unexpected contexts” by Professor Julia Cassim from Kyoto Institute of Technology.

A ‘sound’ design workshop was organized on the 29th October by Prof Julia Cassim and the composer and sonic artist Pip Greasley, engaging industrial design students who visited many sites on campus (e.g. Swimming pool, badminton Centre, Medical Centre, STEM Lab) to collect sound, and compose sound pieces according to the rhythm, information and mood.

The ‘Sound’ theme synergised Loughborough University’s expertise in sound research across various disciplines including engineering, science, art, design and social sciences, and the team and the fellows enjoyed coffee mornings and discussions throughout the week.

IAS Sound Summit 1 Coffee Morning

Last but not least, all the ‘Sound’ fellows were interviewed as 'Talking Heads' and these are available to view online below.

There are two further summits in the next academic year and more sound fellows coming!

  • Sound - a design conversation (March 2020)
  • Sound - art, space and ecology (June 2020)

Talking about the upcoming Summits, Hua Dong said: “I am looking forward to working with so many experts from different disciplines to explore the topic ‘sound’. Through the themed summits, workshops, seminars and coffee morning conversations, I hope many people will be engaged in the process and get inspired.”