Jul 18, 2024  
Rensselaer Catalog 2013-2014 
Rensselaer Catalog 2013-2014 [Archived Catalog]

Architectural Sciences (Concentration in Architectural Acoustics) Ph.D.

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Advanced study in Architectural Acoustics represents a unique opportunity for students to combine existing coursework with research in an educational experience that integrates scientific, computational, cognitive, and psychological research with experimental applications. The work is both multidisciplinary in scope and application-oriented, relating closely to design and to the needs of practitioners and industry.

Architectural Acoustics is an interdisciplinary field of science tied intimately to the design and optimization of buildings and interior spaces, wherein the physical sound and noise field of a space and its corresponding aural quality are primarily determined by architectural parameters such as shape, volume, surface, and structure properties. The acoustical quality of spaces and products is relevant not only for cultural venues but also for any environment that values human health, performance, and productivity. Architectural Acoustics is necessary for the accurate and realistic simulation of virtual spaces for prototyping, education, training, and design, as well as for noise and vibration control engineering. In addition, advanced acoustic modeling leads to new developments of “aural architecture” and noise control and evaluation.

Architectural Acoustics thus encompasses and links many traditionally disparate disciplines to the discipline of design: physics, hearing perception, mathematics, computer modeling, engineering, music, psychological and physiological acoustics, noise and vibration, cognitive science, and electro-acoustics. Thus the Ph.D. in Architectural Acoustics can also involve communication acoustics in its widest sense.

Examples of current research topics include:

  • architectural acoustics, acoustics in performing arts spaces
  • modeling and numerical predictions of both room and environmental acoustics properties
  • noise and vibration, sound quality and design
  • acoustical measurement techniques
  • signal processing in acoustics
  • physical acoustics
  • communication acoustics


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