The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

Jessica Fletcher Noise and Vibration Engineer, Dyson

MEng Acoustical Engineering, 2014

Jessica Fletcher's Photo

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.

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

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. They organised a tour of the facilities but also staged a workshop demonstrating interesting phenomena such as the difference between the excitation of a glass bottle and a wine glass. These demonstrations really grabbed my attention and I knew that Acoustical Engineering was for me.

What was distinctive about your course?

I really enjoyed my degree. The staff were wonderful and I have learned so many fundamental skills that have been essential in my job at Dyson. Our Group Design Project (GDP) was with the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre. We investigated noise shielding of a silent aircraft and had the opportunity to use the large anechoic chamber for a whole week; not many universities have such impressive facilities. In a team of three, we completed the project and also learned skills for the workplace such as negotiation, time management, team work and communication.

Jessica and her group with their model in the anechoic chamber
Jessica and her group with their model in the anechoic chamber

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

I use the computing skills I learned at Southampton, such as working with the programming language Matlab every day, alongside other skills such as signal processing and design . For our GDP we had to manufacture a plane from scratch using CAD, 3D printing and CNC routing and my experience in that project has been very applicable to the practical aspect of my role at Dyson. The MEng Acoustical Engineering course gave me a solid understanding of acoustics from which to build my career from and connections to academic staff who are pioneers in their field.

Did you go on any placements?

During my time at Southampton I had two placements. The first was with a consultancy in Nottingham working on HS2 high speed rail. Then, between my third and fourth years, I stayed at the University to carry out an aeroacoustic summer project which gave me a real interest in research, which feeds directly into my career. At Dyson my title is Noise and Vibration Engineer and I work within the aeroacoustic research team. It’s a problem solving role mainly, people come to me with a question or a problem about a product and I work with the team to solve it.

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."

Jack Oclee-Brown KEF

Jack Oclee-Brown - Head of Acoustics, KEF

“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.”

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