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PhD Perceptual sensitivity in constructing Virtual Acoustic Environments

Research / Academic
Eindhoven
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Department of the Built Environment is looking for a PhD student Acoustics (full time)

Work Environment

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is one of Europe's top technological universities, situated at the heart of a most innovative high-tech region. Thanks to a wealth of collaborations with industry and academic institutes, our research has real-world impact. In 2015, TU/e was ranked 106th in the Times Higher Educational World University ranking and 49th in the Shanghai ARWU ranking (engineering). TU/e has around 3,000 employees and 2,300 PhD students (half of which international, representing about 70 nationalities).

Project description

The sound of real environments can be made audible in virtual reality, a technique which is advancing in the building industry. The aim of this project is to map the perceptual sensitivity to the physical accuracy with which virtual acoustic environments are simulated. The project leads to directions for realistic virtual acoustic environments.

In the building industry, virtual acoustics embedded in a virtual reality framework (i.e. both 3D sound and visuals) is getting more popular, both for perceptual research purposes as in communicating acoustics of real-life environments. The PhD project is part of the project 'Required modelling and geometrical accuracy for auralization purposes', which is part of the research line on obtaining a realistic virtual acoustic environment. The work is carried out at TU/e, in close collaboration with an industrial partner in the field.

In the Building Acoustics research group, acoustic modelling methods have been developed to reproduce the acoustics of indoor and outdoor spaces, to be used in a virtual reality sense. Currently, a hybrid modelling method is being developed, using a detailed modelling method for the low part of the frequency range, and more simplified modelling methods for the high frequency range. With this approach, we aim to provide an efficient yet realistic reproduction of the sound field. For virtual experiences, the group utilizes a virtual reality headset including head tracker, installed in a listening booth.

Some key questions in terms of the perception related acoustic modelling methods for virtual acoustic environments are still open, and the aim of this PhD project is to shed light on this matter: for constructing a realistic auralization based on an acoustic modelling approach, how accurate should the available acoustic material properties of a room be, how accurate should available geometry details be, and how accurate should the acoustic modelling approach be? This PhD project is therefore strongly perceptually oriented.

In the Building Acoustics research group, you will directly work together with another PhD student who is working on the acoustic modelling approach of this project.

The Building Acoustics research group is a lively group currently consisting of 15 researchers (https://maartenhornikx.net/phd-postdoc), all working on a research topic of acoustics in the built environment. The group has a focus on developing computational acoustics methods for the built environment. The group closely collaborates with the human technology interaction group at TU/e, specialized in perception of acoustics.

Requirements:

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with:
  • a background in in psychoacoustics;
  • an interest in auralization technology;
  • strong communication skills;
  • an attitude to participate successfully in a multidisciplinary team

Salary Benefits:

We offer:
  • A full-time appointment for a period of 4 years, with an intermediate evaluation after nine months;
  • A gross salary of €2,325 per month in the first year increasing up to € 2,972 per month in the fourth year;
  • Support for your personal development and career planning including courses, summer schools, conference visits, etc.;
  • A research position in an internationally renowned research group;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, saving schemes, excellent sports facilities, and child daycare).
Work Hours:

38 hours per week

Address:

De Rondom 70