In Memoriam: Neville Thiele

3 October 2012

Albert Neville Thiele (born 1920) died on the 1 October after a period of illness. He had a long association with the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning, through his engagement with the graduate program in audio and acoustics, in which he taught a course in loudspeaker design.

Neville was an honorary associate from 1994 to 2010, and during this period he regularly participated in the Friday lunchtime research seminars held by the audio and acoustics research group. In 2008 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture (honoris causa) by the University of Sydney. Although his lectures were not easy, he was a great inspiration to many students, in both coursework and research, as well as to the staff in audio and acoustics. Difficult theory was balanced by anecdotes from Neville's long and varied career in audio.

Neville was one of the most influential figures in audio, and is best known for his role in the development of the 'Thiele-Small parameters'. As a consequence, virtually every loudspeaker in the world has a specification sheet with these parameters.

It was a great honour to work with Neville - someone whose name is known and revered by everyone in his field around the world - and who was charming, engaging and humble.

Densil Cabrera is the head of the Audio and Acoustics program and fondly remembers his time with Neville.