Consolidation in acoustics - The Aalto Acoustics Lab is raising the profile of the field and enabling closer cooperation


'The field of acoustics is growing and there could be a danger of a shortage of labour', says Professor Vesa Välimäki.

'We have worked together before, but now cooperation is closer than ever. With a shared laboratory nobody will be conducting research alone and we will be able to demonstrate the full extent of acoustical research at Aalto’, says Professor Välimäki.

Research into acoustics is conducted in three schools at Aalto in three different departments.

'We noted that it makes sense to set up a shared laboratory in which everyone gets a chance to utilise our common special acoustic spaces, for example.'

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On the practical level setting up a laboratory has meant the relocation of the researchers at the Department of Computer Science to the premises at Otakaari 5.  The researchers at ARTS are located elsewhere on the Otaniemi campus, for now. Founding a laboratory also means more shared research and student projects, funding applications, and other cooperation. Researchers convene over coffee once a week at an event where everyone is invited to listen to presentations. The newly opened web pages are also the result of cooperation.

The Acoustics Lab was founded officially in the spring of 2017. The first joint effort was the international Sound and Music Computing conference and summer school held in the summer. Each year 3-4 people defend their doctoral dissertations in acoustics and about 10 Master's theses are written. The major of acoustics and audio technology within an international Master's programme has brought in excellent students from abroad.

'A possible shortage of labour in the field is in sight. More experts are needed, for instance when the EU drafts new directives affecting regulations concerning noise. Our major has attracted brilliant applicants, and it would be important to get them to stay in Finland to work in the field of acoustics', Välimäki says. 

Start-ups have also emerged in the field, such as Hefio, involving numerous skilled experts in acoustics with an Aalto background. 

The Aalto Acoustics Lab is a multidisciplinary research center of the Aalto University. The Acoustics Lab gathers professors and research teams from three different units: Department of Signal Processing and Acoustics, Department of Computer Science, and Department of Media. Their research and teaching focus on audio processing and spatial sound technologies. Read more >>