During his lifetime and through a significant gift made in his Will, Sir Michael Cobham’s tremendous philanthropic support and encouragement has helped the University take forward its essential research into cochlear implants and the human response to vibration.
For over forty years The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) has worked on the interface between technology and humans, playing a major part in making aircraft quieter, developing more efficient cochlear implants for people with hearing loss and improving sound systems. To take the Institute’s world leading research forward into the 21st century, the University identified that a new purpose built facility was needed on the Highfield Campus.
We were delighted to open the new building in 2008 and the new facilities now provide complete clinical and staff accommodation for the ISVR South of England Cochlear Implant Centre, where children and adults with severe to profound hearing loss receive life-changing technology, allowing them to communicate via speaking and listening. The Institute is also home to the Human Factors Research Unit (HFRU), which houses unique specialist laboratories for understanding how humans are affected by all forms of vibration. These include a motion simulation laboratory which has the world's only six-axis simulator for investigating the effect of motion on people's performance and comfort. The new building has made it possible for the University’s researchers to expand their service to cochlear implant users and move into new areas of research on human response to vibration.
Sir Michael often said how honoured he felt to be involved with Southampton but it was truly the University which benefited from his encouragement, support and enthusiasm and we were delighted to celebrate this by naming the Cobham Terrace within the new building in his honour.
Sir Michael’s support has and will continue to contribute to an exciting and lasting future for the ISVR. These cutting-edge facilities make it possible for us to progress world-class research, shaping the future and creating life-changing solutions to human problems.