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Keith Attenborough


Keith Attenborough is Research Professor of Acoustics at the Open University.  He was Head of Engineering at the University of Hull between July 1999 and April 2002 and research profesor in Engineering between 2002 and 2007.  Previously he held a Personal Chair in Acoustics at the Open University where he worked from 1970 to 1999. He has carried out theoretical and experimental studies on linear and nonlinear acoustical characteristics of porous surfaces, acoustical methods for surveying soils, sound propagation through suspensions and emulsions and on outdoor sound propagation.

These activities have been supported by eighteen Research Council Grants (3 SERC, 12 EPSRC, 2 AFRC and 1 BBSRC) and fifteen grants or contracts from other sources (including Ferranti International, Thorn -EMI, TRL, BRE, DOE, T&N Technology, ESDU International, MOD (QINETIQ), EC, DSTL, AEA Technology and the US Army). This research has resulted in twenty Ph.D. theses, 122 papers in refereed journals and over 150 international conference presentations (including 10 invited).

An important output of previous SERC and US Army-funded research on outdoor sound propagation and acoustic-to-seismic coupling, has been the development of a numerical Fast-Field propagation prediction code FFLAGS which has been used in research for Thorn -EMI (now TME) and by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Other numerical outdoor sound prediction codes developed at the OU for predicting outdoor sound propagation have been used by ESDU International plc. Recent research experience includes projects on sonic crystal noise barriers and non-invasive acoustic-seismic monitoring of soils supported by EPSRC and a project ‘Holistic and Sustainable Actions against Noise by combinations of Natural and Artificial means’ (HOSANNA) supported by EC FP7. In 1996 Keith was awarded the Rayleigh Medal for contributions to acoustics by the (UK) Institute of Acoustics. In 2012 Keith was awarded the Silver Medal (Noise) of the Acoustical Society of America for contributions to the acoustics of porous materials and to outdoor sound propagation. In 2013 he was awarded the Medaille Etrangere by the French Acoustical Society.

Present research is concerned with acoustical meta surfaces and materials in which periodicity is used to enhance the acoustical properties.

Although not involved in teaching at the Open University, Keith works as (part time)  Education Manager for the Institute of Acoustics which offers a Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control as well as five short courses in various aspects of professional practice in acoustics and noise control includiung workplace noise risk assessment, measurement of environmental noise, management of occupational exposure to hand-arm vibration, builkding acoustics measurements and the Anti-Social Behaviour Act (Scotland).

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