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Research group

Acoustics Group


We explore the science and real-world application of acoustics. Our research includes underwater acoustics, aeroacoustics, and virtual acoustics.

Part of Engineering


We've worked with industry partners to discover the implications for areas like science, the ecosystem and quality of life.  

Ultrasonics and underwater acoustics (UAUA)  

At the UAUA we take projects from science to real-world use. Our work brings together a range of different specialisms and our areas of focus include:  

  • exploring how a waterfall might sound on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and whether this could benefit the Cassini-Huygens probe mission  
  • studying how dolphins think, and how this knowledge could help us protect shipping  
  • producing 3D pictures of shipwrecks, allowing archaeological research without disturbing a wreck  

Biomedical and high-power ultrasonics  

We research a range of biomedical issues, such as how we can use ultrasound to change chemical reactions. This can help industries become cleaner and more efficient.  

Our research has led to developments in many areas, including:  

  • a 'smart stethoscope' to assess the effectiveness of ultrasound in destroying kidney stones  
  • an ultrasound system to detect osteoporosis and the general health of bone  
  • a method for assessing muscle quality using ultrasound  

Aeroacoustics and nonlinear acoustics 

Our programme of research in aeroacoustics includes exploring how to reduce aircraft noise. This noise affects the quality of life of those who live near airports, and is an environmental barrier to the growth of commercial aviation.  
We've focused on:  

  • the design of acoustic liners to reduce noise from intake and bypass ducts  
  • the development of improved models for jet noise  
  • developing and exploiting measurement techniques for rig and full-scale engine noise testing 

Research highlights

People, projects and publications


Professor Alan McAlpine


Research interests

  • Aeroacoustics
  • Aircraft engine noise
  • Aircraft engine installation acoustics

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Alec Wilson

Professor Computational Aeroacoustics

Research interests

  • As Director of the Rolls-Royce UTC in Propulsion Systems Noise Alec develops, leads and participates in a range of European and UK collaborative research programmes in the field of aeroplane noise, with particular emphasis on aeroengine noise sources and sound propagation.
  • While at Rolls-Royce Alec played a pioneering role in the application of aerodynamic CFD codes to predict turbomachinery tone noise generated by real engineering geometries, and Alec’s own research at the University of Southampton still centres on the development and application of analytic and numerical modelling techniques to real-world engineering issues and opportunities.
  • An example of Alec’s current research is the development of a new prediction method based on eigen analysis.  Eigen analysis has been used for many years to provide a fast, computationally efficient method for predicting noise propagation in ducts, but the methods used have been limited to simplified geometries and mean flow which has limited their usefulness in practice.  The new method being developed retains the computational efficiency of previous methods, but can be applied to any smoothly varying mean flow and duct geometry.  The initial target of the research is to provide a method to predict acoustic propagation through a three-dimensional aeroengine intake at a computational cost that permits multiple calculations during the design optimisation process.

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Chaitanya Paruchuri

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Aeroacoustics 
  • Duct acoustics

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Professor Filippo Fazi


Research interests

  • 3D audio capture and reproduction, including binaural audio, cross-talk cancellation, Ambisonics, studies of the Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF)
  • Loudspeaker and microphone arrays
  • Sound field control
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Dr Jack Lawrence

Senior Research Fellow
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Dr Long Wu PhD, BEng

Research Fellow
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Dr Matthew Wright

Professorial Fellow (Education)

Research interests

  • Musical instrument acoustics
  • Thermoviscous acoustics
  • Computer-enhanced learning

Accepting applications from PhD students

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Dr Rie Sugimoto

Senior Research Fellow
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Professor Rod Self


Research interests

  • Rod Self carries out research into how aircraft noise is produced, predicted and assessed. In particular he is interested in developing robust methods that can be used by industry to predict the noise produced by turbo-fan engine exhausts and other engine components. He also studies methods to predict noise around airports and how people who live nearby react to it.
  • Rod is a member of the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Propulsion Systems Noise where he leads the jet noise team and leads the UTC's involvement in a number collaborative aircraft noise research projects with both UK and European partners. Current work being undertaken focusses on developing a prediction methodology for the noise produced when the exhaust jet flow mixes with the ambient air and how the noise varies depending on the design of the engine nozzle and the engine's mounting in close proximity to the wing (jet-wing interaction noise). These studies involve experimental investigations at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research's Doak Laboratory as well as theoretical studies.
  • The main aim of aircraft noise research is to find ways of reducing the noise burden experienced by communities living around airports. To this end Rod has led a research team in developing methods to predict the noise from likely future novel aircraft designs -- including electric aircraft. This involves understanding how such aircraft produce noise and predicting how it is distributed over the ground around airports.
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Dr Sergi Palleja Cabre

Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Propeller interaction noise
  • Fan broadband noise
  • Duct acoustics

Accepting applications from PhD students

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My main research area is the numerical studies of aircraft engine fan noise propagation and radiation and acoustic liner design, optimisation and predictions.
Senior Research Fellow