Prof. Trevor Cox
Trevor Cox is an English academic and science communicator. He was a Senior Media fellow for EPSRC, and is a past-President of the Institute of Acoustics,. He was awarded the Tyndall Award by the IOA as well as their award for Promoting Acoustics to the Public.
Trevor’s research in performance room acoustics investigates how room conditions can be improved for good speech communication and high quality music. Trevor’s research employs both qualitative methods (focus groups, interviews, sound-walks) and quantitative methods (perceptual testing in laboratories and over the Internet) to explore responses to sounds from products (such as washing machines), in outdoor spaces (such as cities) and various sound types (such as horrible sounds).
He written feature articles for New Scientist, National Geographic and The Guardian. He is author of Sonic Wonderland for which he won a science writing award. His latest popular science book is Now You’re Talking. He has presented 26 science documentaries for BBC radio including Sound Architecture; Giving up Music for Lent and The Physicist Guide to the Orchestra. He currently holds the Guinness World record for producing the Longest Echo in the Inchindown Oil Tanks.
*Photo by Jeff Henschel Picture & Sound.
Trevor's presentation is titled: Architectural Defects? A Celebration of Acoustic Aberrations:
Acoustic engineers expend considerable effort designing rooms that sound good. Potential problems such as echoes and excessive reverberation are carefully designed away. But what if these acoustic phenomena were not viewed as defects, but instead celebrated? There are a few places where a remarkable sound effect is integral to a tourist attraction, such as the multiple echoes from the dome of the Imam Mosque in Isfahan or the whispering gallery in London’s St Paul’s Cathedral. I will also look at less well-known examples of extraordinary architectural sounds. Included will be a disused World War II oil tank, which Guinness awarded with the record for the ‘longest echo’. Many sonic wonders are an accidental by-product of geometry, but what could be achieved if we deliberately set out to maximise acoustic aberrations?