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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R005001/1
Title: UK Acoustics Network
Principal Investigator: Horoshenkov, Professor KV
Other Investigators:
Craster, Professor R
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Acoustic Sensing Technology Ltd Adler Pelzer Armacell Uk Ltd
CNRS Group Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL DEFRA
Digusonic Ltd Dyson Limited Hoare LEA
John Cotton Group Ltd Le Mans University QinetiQ
Rolls-Royce Plc Thales Ltd
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Network
Starts: 06 November 2017 Ends: 05 November 2020 Value (£): 561,807
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Acoustics Materials testing & eng.
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine Manufacturing
Transport Systems and Vehicles Water
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
06 Jun 2017 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 6 and 7 June 2017 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This network grant is focused on acoustics and pursues two main aims: (i) transfer new experimental techniques, models and scientific insights; (ii) promote mobility between universities, industry and other non-academic beneficiaries. In this respect, the UK has a critical mass and international reputation in acoustics which needs to be maintained and enhanced. Acoustics-related research in the UK is internationally leading and underpins key technological areas such as healthcare, manufacturing, defense, energy, digital communications and transport. However, the knowledge transfer and adoption of recent developments in physical acoustics, signal processing and numerical methods by industry and other end users (e.g. consultants and government bodies) needs improving. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, there is no existing single point of access network/central hub in the UK which brings the key academic and industry players together. Acoustics-related research in the UK's universities is fragmented, often applied to specific topics and length scales and suffers from inadvertent duplication. As a result, it is difficult for industry to engage with, or understand what is happening in, academia, how acoustics research relates more widely to industry needs and who in academia is the right person or which organisation to engage with in order to solve a particular industry need. Secondly, academia is clearly failing to demonstrate to the end users the value of their acoustics-related research in applications, thus failing to overcome the sector inertia for their research to have a stronger non-academic impact. Thirdly, there is no network/central hub for the coordination of the acoustics-related research through which a university can engage beyond their very specific, parochial partners, disseminate their work more widely and efficiently to the sector and generate a future road map of research which bears support from a majority of end users.

We will establish a network for the wider coordination of acoustics-related research to enable better communication with industry and multiple avenues of research and innovation. It will support the EPSRC/UKRI Delivery Plan to promote the success of the UK's industry and academia through top quality research. This Acoustics Network aligns with the EPSRC expectation for a research network, which is "... expected to lead to new collaborative multidisciplinary research proposals and some may develop into virtual centres of excellence, providing critical mass of analytical expertise." The current RCUK/UKRI funding of acoustics-related research amounts to £94M which includes £62M support from the EPSRC. This funding covers research in general acoustics, audio engineering, ultrasonics and noise. Unlike other research disciplines, acoustics related research is not currently directly supported by an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT). However, there are several CDTs which can directly benefit from acoustics related research. Therefore, there is a clear need for better coordination for the activities in acoustics to reduce fragmentation and overlap, and to use existing and future funding streams more efficiently. This is important to ensure that the quality of the critical mass of the acoustics-related research in the UK continues to stay internationally leading in the foreseeable future. Given the importance of acoustics and the value of the research funding in this area, the Acoustics Network will serve to promote this research discipline and to communicate the ongoing work beyond the acoustics research community and to the general public. In this respect, the network will be able to establish a website, software depository, hold workshops and conferences, produce newsletters, use publications by Learned Societies and Trade Associations and social media to communicate their work much more widely that is currently done.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk