Assistant Professor Acoustic Materials

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 01 Oct 2022

The Department

The Department of the Built Environment houses a unique wide spectrum of disciplinary knowledge in the fields of architecture, urban planning and building technology (e.g. structural design, building physics, materials technology and building information modelling). We act at various levels of scale, from materials to buildings to cities and pay attention to the impact of design and technology on humans. This diversity profiles us, and we cherish it. Our mission is to educate students and advance science and technology from the perspective of the built environment and for the benefit of humanity. We integrate teaching, research and design in one educational program to empower students to become thought leaders, to (re)shape cities and the construction industry beyond the limits of the current imagination.

The department employs about 260 academic staff members, including approximately 190 PhDs, PDEngs and Postdocs, organized in disciplinary units. Scientists within the units are encouraged to team up over the borders of their own field of expertise in cross-disciplinary research and education on the themes: energy transition, sustainability and inclusiveness. Through cooperation with other departments in the TU/e institutes on Energy Transition (EIRES ), Artificial Intelligence (EAISI ) and the self-founded Urban Development Initiative (UDI ) we create new ecosystems with governmental agencies and industry and thereby contribute to a healthy, sustainable and inclusive built environment.

Academic field and positioning

The Building Acoustics research group of the Department of the Built Environment at Eindhoven University of Technology is looking for an assistant professor (on a tenure track position) in the area of acoustic materials. The position has been made possible through means of the Dutch sectorplan engineering, which aims to strengthen the disciplinary basis at universities.

Sound is everywhere around us in the built environment. It is created by natural and human sources of sound. Sounds can be pleasant and informative but they can also be a serious threat to our health. Unfortunately, sound is the second biggest environmental problem affecting health, causing annoyance, sleep disturbance and cardiovascular diseases. Yearly, it is estimated that 1,6 million disability-adjusted life years in Europe are lost from environmental noise. Continuously, new sources of sound arise (e.g. wind turbines, drones) as well as new building concepts. These facts face the Building Acoustics chair of the unit BPS with ever emerging challenges where adverse health effects due to sound sources should be minimized and the acoustic quality of spaces (for example to enhance speech intelligibility) should be guaranteed.

The essence of the research area of the chair is to study the influence of the built environment on the propagation of sound from sources to our ears. For this reason, it revolves around the continuous development of computational and experimental acoustic methods. The aim of these methods is to a) support fundamental and strategic research on understanding production (e.g. footsteps on a floor), propagation (wind effects outdoors) and perception (providing auralization tools) of sound in the built environment as well as to develop solutions and b) offer researchers and designers tools to integrate and optimize acoustics for a sustainable (re)design of the built environment. The research areas of the group are in Virtual Acoustics, Environmental Acoustics, Acoustic Materials and Effects of the Sound Environment on Humans.

Together with the impact of noise and the set aim towards a circular society regarding the use of materials in the building industry, it is important to keep developing sustainable materials for the built environment that possess favourable properties in terms of blocking but mostly absorbing sound and vibration. The research arena on this topic is recently accelerated by an increased involvement of additive manufacturing techniques. It is the purpose of this assistant professor position to develop such sustainable materials, with either a focus on numerical or experimental techniques, targeting to integrate them for built environment applications. The Building Acoustics research group has access to experimental facilities via the Building Acoustics laboratory Echo on the TU/e campus, and to 3D printers.

Research activities

The candidate is expected to carry out high quality scientific research in the field of acoustic materials for the built environment. It is the challenge to develop such materials that are lightweight, thin, sustainable, act in a wide frequency range, and have the potential to be constructed in real life. For this purpose, the candidate is expected to exploit 3D printing techniques, and where possible combine various absorbing or damping mechanisms. The assistant professor may have a focus within this research topic. The candidate is expected to acquire research funding to carry out the research together with junior researchers as PhD candidates and postdocs.

Research results should be communicated in high quality scientific journals, which should continue to strengthen the high impact of the Building Acoustics research group. Besides, the group is developing an open research software and data policy and the assistant professor is expected to collaborate in this direction such that the related academic field can benefit from these developments and to pave the way to engineering applications.

At TU/e, there are plenty of opportunities to collaborate within and outside the Building Acoustics group, which is in the spirit of the university and department. For example, there is the Building Materials research group and the 3D Concrete Printing group. Internationally, the candidate is expected to play an active role in the research community on acoustic materials, which is in line with the profile of the Building Acoustics group.

Besides academic collaboration, involvement of industry and stakeholders is essential to transfer knowledge and products to industry. For this reason, it should be targeted to collaborate with such partners in research projects if appropriate.

Teaching activities

The candidate is expected to contribute to courses as well as to guide students in individual and group projects, both related to courses and projects of the Building Acoustics research group as well as in inter/multi-disciplinary and thematic courses and project work. The assistant professor is expected obtain his/her university teaching qualification (UTQ) and to become responsible for a course. The research area of the assistant professor is connected to courses both at the Bachelor's and Master's level.

Management and leadership skills

The assistant professor is expected to play an important role in the development of the Buiding Acoustics research group and its daily working atmosphere, as well as the department as a whole. This requires an open, collaborative, respectful and inspiring attitude to all coworkers and students with strong written and verbal communication skills.

Whilst not sharing final responsibility, the assistant professor will share the daily management tasks with postdocs, and the other staff members of the group, such as finances, personnel and HR, project acquisition and recruitment of PhD students and post-docs, daily supervisor and co-promotorship of PhD students. The candidate will also be involved in a departmental-wide management committee.

Future expectations

The assistant professor has his/her own research profile and is expected to develop his/her own research team when tenured, as an autonomous senior scientific research and educator taking initiative in high quality research and delivering high quality education. This team of the assistant professor is expected to be strongly intertwined with the Building Acoustics research group as a whole. The candidate is expected to be open for collaboration in research and education.

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