Student audio project wins gold award in international competition

photo from private archive of Bartłomiej Chojnacki

Bartłomiej Chojnacki, BSc, a student of Acoustic Engineering at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics, has won a gold award in the international competition of student audio projects “Student Design Competition”. The winning project “Room sound field scanner – engineering method for acoustic fault detection” is related to research on acoustic field distribution in concert halls, and is part of a master thesis supervised by Adam Pilch, DSc, of the Department of Mechanics and Vibroacoustics.  

On the basis of the developed software, computational algorithms, and performed measurements, the AGH UST student can calculate a precise direction and amplitude of an acoustic wave reaching a given point in the concert hall in which the microphone is located. By means of analysing the directional distribution of a wave travelling at a given time period, the author of the project can determine whether the reflections are spread evenly, if the field is distributed well, and whether we deal with strong localisation of the sound source, which may be a major fault of the hall. Eventually, with the use of these methods, Bartłomiej Chojnacki can diagnose the acoustic faults of the room when it is still at the phase of design. The innovative solution is extremely helpful in designing concert halls, as well as in projects carried out by the AGH UST Laboratory of Technical Acoustics.  

The Student Design Competition is intended for students from all over the world. It is held twice a year (once in a European city, and once in New York) alongside a convention of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) – the largest organisation in the world that unites audio engineers. The competition consists in the presentation of student projects related to any field of audio engineering.  

This year, the event took place in Milan during the 144th conference Audio Engineering Society Convention. It was entered by 30 projects from all over the world which had been submitted by individual students or teams composed of several people. Alongside AGH UST, Poland was represented by two teams from the Gdańsk University of Technology. In order to be accepted for the competition, it was required to provide an abstract of the project, and then an article with its description. Additionally, the finalists had to make a poster advertising their projects, and during the poster session, observed by conference participants and the competition jury, they had to present their ideas and developments. The jury was composed of scientists and professionals in the field of audio engineering. Not only did they asses the scientific value of the projects, but first of all, their innovativeness, usability, and a possibility of application.  

Six projects qualified for the competition final. They had been submitted by students from the Graz University of Technology (Austria), the Hamburg University of Applied Sciences (Germany), McGill University (Canada), the AGH University of Science and Technology, and the Gdańsk University of Technology. One silver award and two gold awards were given. The AGH UST student received in-kind gifts worth USD 2,000.  

Bartłomiej Chojnacki, BSc, also had another success – he was elected Vice-President of the Board of the Audio Engineering Society Student Delegate Assembly (AES SDA), which is a student section of the Audio Engineering Society. The Assembly comprises nearly 6,000 members from all over the world, and the board consists of four people (two from Europe, and two from North/Latin America). AES SDA is part of the AES Education Committee, and its role is to express opinions and set trends in education for the entire organisation.  

Please be informed that Bartłomiej Chojnacki had also been successful in the Student Design Competition in the previous years: he won a silver award in Paris in 2016, and in New York in 2017.