The Institute of Acoustics—Always Ready to Tread the International Stage
The Institute of Acoustics (IOA)—the UK’s professional body for those working in acoustics, noise, and vibration—has been celebrating the successful staging this summer of one of its biggest ever international conferences. The 24th International Congress on Sound and Vibration (ICSV24), which the IOA organized on behalf of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV), attracted more than 1,000 delegates from 54 countries around the world to London in July. The event, covering the whole spectrum of acoustics and vibration, was the first major international congress to be held in the UK capital since the 1974 International Congress of Acoustics.
The scientific program presented a huge organizational challenge. Featuring more than 932 papers, including 135 posters, it was structured into 16 themes. Each theme contained structured and regular sessions, with papers presented in the 17 rooms of the congress venue and organized in parallel sessions corresponding to the subject areas.
Since its formation in 1974, the IOA has gained a worldwide reputation among acousticians for its mastery in the organization of big international events. ECUA (European Conference on Underwater Acoustics), Euronoise, ICBEN (International Commission of the Biological Effects of Noise), and INTER-NOISE and are just some of the conferences etched on its “roll of honor.”
And although the dust has barely settled on ICSV24, plans are already well advanced for two more large events in 2018: the 4th International Conference on Synthetic Aperture Sonar and Synthetic Aperture Radar in Lerici, Italy, on September 5–7, and the 10th International Conference on Auditorium Acoustics, which is to be held at the recently opened and much-acclaimed Elbphilamornie in Hamburg on October 4–6 and supported by the German Acoustical Society (DEGA).
Before that, the Institute will stage the 33rd incarnation of Reproduced Sound—subtitled Sound Quality by Design—in Nottingham on November 21–23, and its annual conference, Acoustics 2018, in Cardiff on April 23–24. It could be said the IOA’s “conference wheel” never really pauses, even for a brief moment.
IOA membership has grown steadily since its creation and is now approaching the 3,400 mark, with members ranging from acoustic consultants to students, and from academics and researchers to central and local government officers. To cater to their interests, the Institute has nine specialist interest groups and 11 regional branches that, between them, organize a series of regular meetings throughout the year.
As a registered charity, the Institute has a special commitment to education and as such offers a range of highly regarded courses across the UK and in Ireland. Its “flagship” is the Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control, which is now widely established as the leading specialist qualification for the professional practitioner in acoustics. Normally studied over a year, it is available at accredited centers or—and this is an increasingly popular choice among overseas students—via tutored distance learning, which offers a Skype option for those unable to attend monthly tutorials. Also offered are short certificate courses in building acoustics, environmental noise measurement, management of occupational exposure of hand-arm vibration (HAVS), and workplace noise risk assessment.
As an accredited body with the UK’s Engineering Council, the Institute is able to offer a route to Chartered and Incorporated Engineer status, and currently has some 310 members who have achieved chartership.
In addition to the ICSV24 success, the Institute has recently published much-acclaimed guidance on a recommended approach to the management of noise within the planning system in England, which it hopes will eventually be endorsed by the UK Government. Entitled Professional Practice Guidance on Planning and Noise (ProPG), the document was produced with the Association of Noise Consultants and the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.
The Institute of Acoustics
St Peter’s House
45-49 Victoria Street