The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

Jack Oclee-Brown Head of Acoustics, KEF

MEng Acoustical Engineering, 2004. PhD, 2012.

Jack Oclee-Brown's Photo

The MEng Acoustical Engineering course is distinctive because it crosses over different engineering disciplines including mechanics, vibration and fluid flow; it doesn’t just involve sound engineering as you might initially think.

Why did you choose to come to the University of Southampton?

I always wanted to design loudspeakers so, when I finished my A levels and looked at what courses there were around the country, the Acoustical Engineering degree at Southampton was the obvious one to choose.

There are so many engineering courses here, it’s such a good engineering facility with expert lecturers across the board.

What was distinctive about your course?

I really enjoyed my time at Southampton. Having the resources at my disposal such as the engineering workshops, the library, and experienced lecturers I could talk to about what I was working on and the idea I had, was tremendous. There was a great deal of practical work as well and, as that is an essential part of any engineering course, it will be important in your career later on.

The MEng Acoustical Engineering course is distinctive because it crosses over different engineering disciplines including mechanics, vibration and fluid flow; it doesn’t just involve sound engineering as you might initially think. This gives you a far greater knowledge of the subject.

How have you used the skills and knowledge you developed here in your career?

I’m Head of Acoustics at KEF, a company that designs high quality loudspeakers, we’re based in Kent and work on a range of products that are made and sold worldwide. I use the results of my postgraduate research at Southampton in my job today.

It wasn’t easy to study for a PhD alongside working at KEF and it took me six years to complete my degree but it was probably the highlight of my professional career so far and I’m continuing with my research into loudspeaker modelling in my present role. My PhD involved compression drivers, these are the type of loudspeakers used in big concerts and cinemas to deliver high sound levels for lots of people. At KEF, we are now coming up with some products that have been designed using the methods I came up with during my research which is incredibly satisfying.

What was it like to come back to talk to students about your work?

Today, I was back at Southampton to give a seminar about the work I did for my PhD. It was great to talk to people who I knew would appreciate learning more about the kind of research I did here. I really enjoy teaching and it’s part of my job today whether I’m mentoring other engineers, talking about ideas to customers or even to the managers, it’s all about information transfer, explaining things in simple ways.

I would definitely recommend the University of Southampton and studying Engineering as a career path. Coming to university is the first step to what could be a long and fulfilling career with the potential for progression and the opportunity to continue to learn and develop.

The ISVR is really well known in acoustics. When you’re are in the industry and you talk to people in similar fields you will find 60 to 70 per cent of them will have gone to the ISVR. When I’m hiring people, if I see ISVR on their CVs, it’s a mark of quality, I know they will be good candidates.

http://www.kef.com/html/gb/

Jessica Fletcher Dyson

Jessica Fletcher - Noise and Vibration Engineer, Dyson

“I was interested in music and physics and wanted to study a subject which encompassed both of these elements. Southampton offered a degree which fitted the bill. I came here on an Open Day and the staff really inspired me.”

Ben Mercer Dyson

Ben Mercer - Noise and Vibration Engineer, Dyson

"The University of Southampton is well known for its excellence in engineering. ISVR has professional quality anechoic and reverberation chambers, I don’t think many other universities have access to such facilities."

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