News

Jingfeng Xu, was Awarded the CIOB Australasia Excellent Building Postgraduate (Research) Award


21 May 2007

Jingfeng Xu is a PhD graduate and honorary associate of the Faculty. As part of his PhD he developed a new optimized method for making inexpensive anechoic rooms. For this he was awarded the CSR Bradford award for excellence in acoustics, and has also just been awarded the CIOB Australasia Excellent Building Postgraduate (Research) Award.

An anechoic room is a room with no echoes, used for acoustic measurements. Conventional anechoic rooms have walls, ceiling and floor lined with expensive fiberglass wedges. However, anechoic wedge linings are only effective for high frequencies, where the wavelength is less than four times the wedge length. Dr Xu's research allows anechoic rooms to be constructed from layers of common inexpensive building materials (normally used for thermal insulation and sound absorption), achieving a lower anechoic cutoff frequency for a given lining thickness than wedge designs. His research has already been implemented in two anechoic rooms in Sydney, and will be used for the restoration of the University of Sydney's acoustics laboratory, which was destroyed by fire in October 2005.