Acoustics industry is key to meeting UK’s Grand Challenges, say Sheffield researchers
A major cash boost will help further research into the world of acoustics.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced £1.3 million funding for the EPSRC UK Acoustics Network Plus (UKAN+) which is a four-year grant led by the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London.
UKAN+ will build on the success of the UK Acoustics Network to coordinate high impact acoustics related research and knowledge exchange with industry.
Given how acoustics plays a crucial role in a vast range of technologies throughout society, the new network aims to enable the UK to remain at the forefront of the global industry.
The grant will help to develop further research and innovation in acoustics in order to address the four ‘Grand Challenges’ set by the government: clean growth, healthy ageing, future of mobility, artificial intelligence (AI) and data.
The acoustics industry, which is often hidden from sight, plays an essential role in modern society underpinning all vital technologies we rely on in healthcare, defence, construction and environment.
However, despite its importance, the industry is still poorly understood by people outside of the sector.
Professor Kirill V Horoshenkov, Professor of Acoustics at the University of Sheffield and Director of the EPSRC UK Acoustics Network+, said: “The initial task of UKAN+ is to develop a roadmap and action plan for acoustics to cover the four Grand Challenges set by the government through involving representatives from relevant non-academic sectors.
“UKAN+ members will ensure that the new roadmap accurately reflects all of the relevant acoustics challenges and maps them appropriately on the four Grand Challenges to ensure acoustics related research and the UK’s industry benefits from this research and are internationally competitive.”
Professor Richard Craster, Co-Director of the EPSRC UK Acoustics Network+, said: “Acoustics – the science of sound – impacts many aspects of our everyday lives, from using sound to monitor our health to reducing sound to make transport and cities more comfortable. The UK has unrivalled expertise and experience in many of these areas, and this investment in acoustics research and applications will support the future growth of this area.”