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PhD position – Investigating acoustic comfort in the built environment using a higher order ambisonics system (HOA)

Apply till 2021-08-15
Location: Izola, Slovenia

The InnoRenew CoE is seeking a well-qualified individual to work on a PhD research project at the InnoRenew CoE, Izola, Slovenia. The primary objective of this position is to investigate various aspects of acoustic comfort in the built environment.

Over the last decades, our lifestyle has changed, the work processes have become more fluent and, since the pandemics, also carried out largely at homes. The required multi-functionality and flexibility of the built environment has to be included into its design. In combination with emerging building technologies the design of the building commonly includes unconventional and untested solutions. Furthermore, compromises have to be taken which are, in context of acoustics, difficult. In fact, there is no general agreement which acoustic aspects are the most essential to achieve acoustic comfort – enable high productivity, reduce annoyance and give users the chance to rest and be creative.

Nowadays, noise levels, sound insulation ratings and room acoustic parameters are commonly used to rate the acoustic quality in the built environment, although it is known that such quantification is very limited and incomplete. In fact, several relevant aspects are excluded, such as the specific nature of noise and its context for the particular user. Moreover, perceptual evaluation of the environment is challenging and needs to consider potential test subject’s biases and uncertainties. With technological advances, acoustic environments can nowadays be recreated in laboratory conditions, giving the possibility to mitigate some of the challenges and the opportunity to holistically investigate influencing factors that relate to acoustic comfort. This window of opportunity will be exploited by the proposed PhD research.

The successful candidate will be employed full-time at the InnoRenew CoE and will be required to enroll into a PhD study program Renewable Materials for Healthy Built Environments at the University of Primorska.

 

Goals and Tasks

The overall goal of the PhD project is to identify and investigate a broad range of influencing factors that relate to acoustic comfort in the built environment. The higher order ambisonics system (HOA) of InnoRenew CoE’s acoustic laboratory will be used to create artificial and reproduce recorded acoustic environments in laboratory conditions. Special focus will be given to the specifics of wooden buildings that face several acoustic challenges. The candidate’s main tasks will be to:

  • prepare and execute a research plan,
  • review existing approaches to investigate acoustic comfort in the built environment
  • develop perceptual evaluation testing procedures and interfaces that will be implemented into HOA
  • evaluate and integrate best performing higher order ambisonics hardware and software solutions
  • organize and perform test subject’s evaluation of recreated built environments using HOA, analyze and interpret the obtained responses
  • suggest, develop and evaluate innovative building solutions to improve the acoustic comfort in wooden buildings.

The successful candidate will be involved in the preparation of scientific publications and presentations at renowned conferences to extend the impact their research. Additionally, the candidate will prepare at least one research project proposal to further extend the scope of the studied topic.

 

Preferred qualifications

  • Master’s Degree in Electrical, Mechanical or Civil Engineering, Computer science, Physics, Acoustics or any related area
  • High motivation for studies and working within interdisciplinary research projects
  • Excellent communication skills in written and spoken English
  • Ability to formulate and communicate new research ideas (research proposal preparation, scientific publications, prototype scientific instrumentations, software tools)
  • High interests in acoustics and digital signal processing
  • Experience with acoustic measurements and the joy of mastering measurement equipment and procedures
  • Basic programming skills (python, Matlab, R or similar) with the motivation to grow the skills.

 

What we offer

The InnoRenew CoE was established based on a flagship project funded by the European Commission and the Republic of Slovenia.

  • 1-year contract with an option for renewal (recommended duration for doctoral studies is 4 years)
  • Competitive salary
  • Access to the top scientific instrumentation including acoustic cameras and a HOA (Eigenmike, 65 loudspeaker reproduction system, anechoic chamber).
  • Opportunity to work on prestigious H2020 projects, such as InnoRenew CoE and other national and international projects.

 

How to apply

Interested applicants should send:

  • Curriculum vitae
  • Motivation letter for this doctoral position (maximum one A4 page)
  • Summary of their previous research experiences or implemented scientific projects/prototypes
  • Certified copy of master’s degree certificate and official transcript of records, including their translations if the originals are not in English or Slovene

All materials should be in English and submitted in PDF format no later than 15 August 2021 via e-mail to coe@innorenew.eu

The candidate should clearly state if graduating in 2021.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For further information about the research topic or position please contact dr. Rok Prislan (rok.prislan@innorenew.eu).

Employment opportunities, admissions policies, activities, services, and the facilities of the InnoRenew CoE do not exclude any person based on race, colour, age, sex, gender, religion, national origin, or disability. In processing your application, the GDPR will be respected and your information will not be shared outside of the relevant staff at the InnoRenew CoE. By submitting your application, you agree that the data you provide is reviewed by InnoRenew CoE.

The InnoRenew CoE reserve the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Learn how to apply at https://innorenew.eu/jobs.

Learn more about the InnoRenew CoE at https://innorenew.eu or by e-mailing: coe@innorenew.eu.

Working with us

Research at the InnoRenew CoE is focused on supporting restorative solutions for the built environment through renewable materials research and sustainable building research that creates positive impacts for the environment, building users, and society. While working with us, you will conduct cutting edge research with researchers from around the globe, collaborate with industry members, interact with the public, and support policy development for a sustainable future.

Working in Slovenia

Slovenia is a beautiful country to live and work in with easy access to the rest of Europe. The InnoRenew CoE is located on Slovenia’s welcoming coast that is dotted with historic cities, wineries, olive groves, and stunning vistas. The food is great, the people are open and welcoming, and the lifestyle is as active or relaxed as you want it to be, with many outdoor activities to take part in or cafés to relax in.