PhD: Room acoustic modelling of open plan spaces (V38.2873)

PhD: Room acoustic modelling of open plan spaces

Title research project: Room acoustic modelling of open plan spaces One PhD position (4 years) in the field of building acoustics for an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) within the H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions in the European project Acoutect. The research project will focus on the development of two acoustic numerical modelling methods to predict the acoustics of open plan spaces. The position includes a comprehensive and coherent scientific and transferable skills training programme for the ESR.
Faculteit Bouwkunde
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Job description


Acoutect is a European training network that has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie action (H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016). Acoutect marries “Acoustics” and “Architect” and responds to the important role that Acousticians have in the design of modern buildings.


Acoutect project includes a comprehensive and coherent scientific and transferable skills training programme for the ESRs. The training is provided via the individual research projects, summer schools, courses, workshops and secondments. The main goals of the training are:

  • provide ESRs with the prerequisites to undertake research and development in the field of building acoustics, ensuring acoustic quality of modern and future building concepts,
  • build excellent perspectives for a career of the ESRs in industry or academia within the area of building acoustics.


The acoustics in modern open plan spaces play an important role with regard to the work or study performance of the occupants and their health. Often, the sound environment in these spaces does not fully support the user's needs. Acoustic modelling plays an important role in the design of these spaces, as well as in improving existing spaces. However, using state-of-art acoustic modelling approaches, mostly based on geometrical acoustics, could lead to incorrect predictions. Therefore, the aim of this research project is to develop other acoustic prediction modelling approaches for large open (interconnected) spaces, including non-line-of-sight source-receiver paths, that are better suited to predict acoustics or can be used in complement to the current methods. At one hand, we aim for a wave-based acoustics method, a high-detailed method but computationally slow. The challenge is to implement a wave-based method (already in use in our group) for room acoustic purposes and validate its applicability. At the other hand, we aim for a simplified approach (image source/diffusion equation) for the high frequencies. The advantage of this method is that it is fast, but the question is how appropriate it is for open plan spaces.

Your research project will focus on the development of two acoustic numerical modelling methods (see above) to predict the acoustics of open plan spaces. It contains development and implementation of the methods, and validation of the methods by comparing with real-life scenarios.

Job requirements

All candidates must be fluent in spoken and written English. The R&D is highly multidisciplinary. An ideal candidate has a MSc in engineering (e.g. acoustics, computational engineering, physics).

Knowledge of computational modelling, programming languages and signal processing is a strong advantage.

All members of the network are equal opportunity employers.

Conditions of employment

  • Full-time employment as a PhD-candidate for a period of 4 years;
  • Annually 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end of year allowance;
  • Additional funding for participation to courses, workshops, international conferences, etc. is ensured;
  • Support with your personal development and career planning including courses, summer schools, conference visits etc.;
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, child care, moving expenses, savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities)

Information and application


The applicant may be of any nationality but in order to be eligible for the positions the following criteria apply to all applicants:

  • At the time of recruitment you shall be in the first four years of your research career and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • You must not have resided or carried out your main activity in the country of the host institute for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the recruitment.


The application process will be open until all positions are filled. However, the evaluation process will start from 1st of April 2017 and it is not guaranteed that applications received after 31st of March 2017 will be evaluated.

Applicants must submit at

Questions regarding the recruitment can be sent to: