The Institute of Sound and Vibration Research

The University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR) in the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment was established in 1963.  It celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013. Industrial and vehicle noise control, fatigue of aircraft and spacecraft structures and hearing conservation constituted the main challenges in the early days.

Today research groups in the ISVR investigate a much wider range of topics including aircraft, rail, automotive and marine vibration and noise, underwater acoustics, human responses to sound and vibration, audiology, hearing and balance, cochlear mechanics, and ultrasonics for biomedical applications. Over 30 academic staff teach undergraduate and MSc students and support more than 90 PhD students.

For over four decades research has been put into practice by ISVR Consulting in solving industrial and environmental noise problems.

Since 1990 the University of Southampton Auditory Implant Service (formerly the South of England Cochlear Implant Centre) has treated over 800 severely to profoundly deaf adults and children. The Institute has an international reputation for research, teaching and translating research into practice, and in 2006 was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education.

The anniversary was marked by a two-day symposium in the Turner Sims Concert Hall at the University of Southampton on 11-12 July 2013. Past members of staff and students from across the world returned to hear invited speakers giving leading presentations on sound and vibration topics having scientific, engineering and societal impact. The highlight was the EJ Richards lecture (named after the Institute’s founding director, Professor Elfyn Richards) which was given by alumnus Rob Harris, Global Acoustics Leader at Arup, who expertly and entertainingly covered Thirty Years of Auditorium Design.

To mark the anniversary we produced a website.  The website began as an advertisement for the symposium, but soon developed into far, far more with articles on the history of the ISVR, a timeline, interviews with current and former staff, and contibutions from many sources.  The Symposium was a great success, but that's not the end. We are updating this website which we intend to maintain as a record of the ISVR, ISVR Consulting and the Auditory Implant Service, past, present and into the future.  We hope you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed writing it.

Although the Symposium has passed, you can find the details of the presenters and abstracts archived on this site.