Helping Tim take his business services to the next level

Tim already ran an independent acoustics consultancy when he decided to study our MSc Applied Acoustics course, as he wanted to expand the skills and knowledge gained from studying the IOA Diploma at the University of Derby. Since graduating from the course, Tim has become an Associate Lecturer at Derby delivering the IOA short courses, IOA Diploma and is a second marker for the MSc Applied Acoustics.

Expanding professional services

Tim’s acoustic consultancy focuses predominantly in the field of environmental acoustics. This work involves monitoring both proposed and existing sites across England and Wales with the outcomes informing planning applications, noise control requirements or in some cases noise nuisance. When the case goes to appeal, Tim has the responsibility to provide rebuttal statements, written proof of evidence and evidence as a professional witness.

Opening doors to new opportunities

Alongside his consultancy role, Tim now also works as an Associate Acoustics Lecturer at the University of Derby and states “both roles complement one another, helping me to stay current with a wider range of acoustics than I practice and to bring real world anecdotes into the broad-ranging discussion with students, who themselves are practitioners in a wide range of acoustics.”

When asked why he studied the MSc Applied Acoustics course, Tim replied:

“Primarily, I took the MSc course to develop the knowledge-based skills of the IOA Diploma. With the Diploma the understanding of the scientific processes is key, but the MSc gave me the opportunity to challenge how these are applied to real life. Both subjective impacts and context could be explored in a safe environment away from commercial pressures and their real-life impacts. In addition to developing these skills, there is a status from achieving an MSc that is beneficial to my business. It demonstrates an ability to give depth of thought to projects, which is a distinct advantage when writing reports, critiquing reports and particularly when giving evidence.”

Everything you wanted to know about church bells but were afraid to ask

During the course, Tim undertook a thesis exploring how church bells during the daytime should be measured and assessed. Church bells are currently assessed with indices and standards that address noise. This opened up the discussion with 101 people who were surveyed about the potential impacts of culture and the historical role of the church in individuals lives and whether the ringing of church bells is seen as music. Tim then asked whether people’s opinions rendered the assessment processes available as irrelevant or could another element allow existing techniques to be adapted.

2 church bells on a tower

Tim reported that “the MSc thesis gave me the opportunity to use and challenge existing scientific processes in an environment free from the constraints of normal work. It required the use of less common forms of measurement and analysis than those occurring in my typical daily workload. It also led me to consider the perception of the impact of the bells and why both current and historical associations with the bells gives them a status greater in people’s minds than just that of noise. These processes required the use of analytical skills, research and testing of the science by the context in which it exists. These skills have been supremely useful in my daily work.”

When Tim set out to study his masters course his goal was to develop his business into areas which he found most rewarding, rather than expanding. “This included providing justification and arguments where the scenario is not straightforward, critiquing existing reports and involvement in training and academic environments where there is a free exchange of ideas. The Masters course at Derby has provided the platform for achieving this goal.”