New funding will connect researchers and industry, amplifying the contribution of acoustics – the science of sound – to modern society.
The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has announced £1.3m funding for the UK EPSRC UK Acoustics Network Plus (UKAN+), which is a four-year grant led by Imperial College London and the University of Sheffield.
Our vibrant network of both academic and industrial partners will turn insights into innovations, supporting the UK’s goals for growth. This will help create a society that supports health ageing, mobility, clean growth and which makes use of big data and artificial intelligence. Professor Richard Craster
The acoustics industry plays an essential role in modern society – underpinning many of the vital technologies we rely on in healthcare, defence and construction, for example through voice-control technologies, managing sound in cities and transport, and using ultrasonic testing in manufacturing.
According to a report published in 2019, The UK acoustics industry contributes £4.6 billion to the UK economy annually, employing over 16,000 people in at least 750 companies nationwide.
The new network will allow the UK’s leading academic experts to join forces with industry and drive forward research and innovation in acoustics. It aims to put the UK at the forefront of the global industry and use acoustics to address the UK’s Grand Challenges outlined in its Industrial Strategy, including clean growth, healthy ageing, mobility, AI and data.
Supporting the UK’s goals for growth
Professor Richard Craster, Professor of Applied Mathematics at Imperial College London and 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.
“Our vibrant network of both academic and industrial partners will turn insights into innovations, supporting the UK’s goals for growth. This will help create a society that supports healthy ageing, mobility, clean growth and which makes use of big data and artificial intelligence.”
More than 1000 members
Professor Kirill V Horoshenkov, Professor of Acoustics at the University of Sheffield and Director of the EPSRC UK Acoustics Network+ (UKAN+), 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+ will be based on the 15 Special Interest Groups which unite over 1000 members working in acoustics and cover a range of acoustics related topics.”
UKAN+ brings together the UK’s leading academic acoustics experts from Loughborough University, Salford University, London Southbank University, Nottingham Trent University, University of Surrey, The University of Manchester, Bath University, Reading University, the University of Southampton and a broad range of non-academic partners.
Based on a press release by the University of Sheffield.