What is your job?
I’m responsible for the sound quality of the audio systems fitted in Jaguar and Land Rover cars.
Why did you choose to work in acoustics?
When I was at school, Music was a big hobby of mine and science was one of my favourite subjects, so when I discovered that I could combine the two with the subject of Acoustics I knew it was something I would enjoy.
What route did you take to get into acoustics?
I studied Music, Maths & Physics at A Level before going on to the University of Salford to study Acoustics at degree level. I have been working in the acoustics industry ever since, and have recently gone back to university to further my studies in Acoustics even more.
What do you do on a typical workday?
Most of my time is spent ‘tuning’ audio systems, where I use software to control the sound that comes out of the loudspeakers in a car. I do this using specialist test equipment to measure the sound as well as my own ears to listen – one of the most important parts of my job is listening to music inside a car!
What do you love about your job?
I spend a lot of time working in brand new prototype vehicles which have not been revealed to the public yet, so I am always one of the first people to see and experience new models.
What is most challenging about your job?
Everybody has their own opinions and preferences about what is good to listen to. This can make engineering a sound system very difficult, as you try to satisfy as many people as you can, but you have to accept that you may not please everyone.
Which of the subjects you studied at school, college or university do you use most in your job?
Understanding how the human ear works & how our brains process the different sounds we hear is very important, so I can make sure the audio system inside the car is enjoyable to listen to in all of the seats.
What are the most important and personal qualities skills to have in your job?
There are two very important key skills needed in my work. First, I need to interact with many different people within the company, so it is vital that I can communicate clearly and efficiently, whether it be meeting up with someone in person, talking over the phone or writing an email. The second key skill is problem solving; being able to methodically work though a situation in order to understand what has caused something to happen and how I can prevent that same problem from happening again.
What’s one of the most exciting projects you’ve ever done?
I have recently worked on the Range Rover Sentinel, which is a special edition bulletproof & blast proof vehicle typically used by VIPs. The extra safety features meant that many of the loudspeakers inside the car had to changed, so I carried out extra work to ensure the audio system still met the high standards of a luxury Range Rover.
Tell us a fun acoustic fact!
The loudest animal on land is the Howler monkey found in South America and its cries can be as loud as a jet engine!