Professor Ben Cazzolato

  Org Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
  Telephone +61 8 8313 5449
  Location Floor/Room 2 29 ,  Engineering South ,   North Terrace

Ben Cazzolato began research in the field of acoustics and vibrations as an undergraduate at the University of Adelaide in the School of Mechanical Engineering & graduated with 1st Class Honours in a Bachelor of Engineering degree (Mechanical Engineering) at the University of Adelaide in 1990.


After completion of undergraduated studies, he commenced employment with VIPAC Engineers & Scientists as a consulting engineer where he worked on a varied number of projects:

  • Industrial Noise Surveys, including assessment of risk to hearing damage,recommendations for noise control, ranking of sources and generation of noise contour maps (S.A. Brewing Co.).
  • Ground Vibration Monitoring and damage assessment (PRA - Mobil, Koukourou & Partners, Coffee & Partners).
  • Sound absorption and Transmission loss measurements of materials (Lysaght Industries).
  • Modelling and design of acoustic panels to increase transmission loss (James Hardie).
  • Significant experience in underwater-acoustics including towed array performance testing, involving data acquisition, instrumentation support, signal processing of hydrophone and accelerometer signals, data analysis, interpretation and reporting (Commonwealth Procurement Office, Defence Science & Technology Organisation, GEC Marconi Systems).
  • System modelling of land based flow noise testing facilities for the purpose of understanding array performance (Commonwealth Procurement Office, Defence Science & Technology Organisation, GEC Marconi Systems).
  • Vibration Condition Monitoring of rotating equipment (Bridgestone Tyre Division, APCEL, Dept. of Marine & Harbours, Adelaide Brighton Cement, Detroit Engine & Turbine Co.).
  • MFP Environmental Impact Statement support (PPK).
  • The design, construction, testing and supply of a ground based acoustic system to detect wheel flats and bearing faults of railway rolling stock (Australian National).
  • Design and testing of Hercules C-130 rear wing flaps for acoustic fatigue.



In 1998 Ben completed his PhD thesis titled "Sensing systems for active control of sound transmission into cavities" with the Active Noise and Vibration Control Group at the University of Adelaide, South Australia.


Whilst undertaking postgraduate and post-doctoral research he was also involved in numerous consulting projects in conjuction with MechTest Pty Ltd, University of Adelaide:

  • Vibration measurements and fault diagnosis on a diesel generator set (Cavpower).
  • Sound intensity and sound power measurements on an electric motor (Pope Electric Motors).
  • Sound power level measurements in a reverberant chamber (Dadanco).
  • Compliance testing of gymnastics equipment (Acromat).
  • Design, installation and testing of an active noise control system for an exhaust stack (Adelaide Brighton Cement)
  • Reactive silencer design for an exhaust stack (NAP Silentflo).
  • Sound Transmission loss measurements of fire wall materials (Mitsubishi Motors Australia), acoustic insulation (Tontine Industries) & rubber panels (bounce-back).
  • Insertion Loss measurements of flexible ducts (DuctAir).
  • Vibration Condition Monitoring and fault diagnosis of electrical motors (Pope Electric Motors).
  • Telescope truss design using FEA (Dept. of Physics, University of Adelaide).



In 2000 Ben was awarded an Anglo-Australian PostDoctoral Fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering to undertake research into Optimal Focusing of Underwater Acoustic Source Arrays. From the press release "Beating the dolphins at their own game":

Five more young research stars from Australia have won Anglo-Australian Postdoctoral Fellowships to work for a year at British universities and research institutions in the second year of a Government scheme covering engineering, science and the social sciences. The programme is funded through the UK Office of Science & Technology and the Australian Research Council finances a reciprocal arrangement for UK researchers to go to Australia.

The Royal Academy of Engineering, with support from the Royal Society and the British Academy, selected the successful candidates from among 64 applications. Three researchers were appointed to the first round of fellowships in 1998.

Dr Ben Cazzolato, 30, an acoustic engineer from the University of Adelaide, will spend a year working with Philip Nelson, Professor of Acoustics at the University of Southampton. Cazzolato will study new signal processing techniques to avoid distortion of active sonar signals. Sound travelling underwater often suffers from reflections from both the ocean surface and the sea bed. Southampton's Institute of Sound & Vibration Research is collaborating with the Defence Evaluation and Research Agency at Winfrith to solve this problem. They aim to use inverse filters to compensate for the distortion, preserving even a signal transmitted by an array of sources.



  • Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical, Honours), The University of Adelaide, Australia, 1991
  • PhD, The University of Adelaide, Australia, 1999

Subjects Taught


Ben commenced employment with the University of Adelaide in 2001 as an academic. He is currently teaching two control automatic control subjects; Dynamics and Control II and Advanced PID Control. Dynamics and Control II is focussed on understanding and controlling dynamic systems from a state space perspective. Advanced PID control, as the name suggests, is focussed on developing PID control skills within a theoretical and practical framework.


One key interest for teaching is the development of physical platforms to demonstrate control theory. These include the Quanser Aerospace Systems, the Ball and Beam System, the Quanser Tightrope Walker, the Inverted Pendulum, and many others.


Honours Design Projects


Each year, honours students in the School of Mechanical Engineering undertake a Design Project of approximately 400 hrs. These projects typically involve some degree of research and risk, but are also a lot of fun. Some of the recent projects supervised by Ben are listed below:


  • Development of an automatic swabbing machine for Amcor (Awarded the Best Project Overall and the Best Mechanical Project)
  • HAVOC - Haptic Autonomous Vortex Cannon (Confidere 84 Award)
  • Sound directivity from high temperature exhaust stacks (Awarded the best Acoustics and Vibration Project)
  • Cat falling robot lands on its feet (Systems Engineering Prize)
  • Performance and assessment of archery bow-arrow interaction














For a complete list of past projects, please see the School's Design Project Webpage.


Current Areas of Research

A complete list of research projects that Ben is currently involved with can be found on the Acoustics, Vibration and Control Group Projects Web Page and the Robotics Group Web Page. A few of the projects currently active are:

Design of a vibration isolation table with non-contact magnetic springs Magnets
Thermoacoustics Submarine
Active Vibration Control of a Piezoelectric Laminate Plate using Spatial Control Approach


Development of communications system utilising adaptive inverse filtering Inverse Filtering
Modern control theory for a VTOL aircraft Vertical Take Off and Landing
Generalising Acoustic Radiation Modes for Active Noise and Vibration Control of Large Structures Acoustic Radiation Modes from a plate
Passive Noise Control in Rocket Payload Bays


Active vibration control of engine noise in submarines Submarine
Development of next generation mirror mechanism Twin Motor
Advanced actuator technologies for automotive mirror control Dual Axis Motor
Virtual sensing and active noise control using structural transducers Virtual Structural Sensors
Virtual sensors for active noise control Virtual Sensors

Digital Acoustic Energy Density Probe


Postgraduate Students

Past Students

Pierre Dumuid, Alex Dunstone, Simon Hill, Danielle Moreau, Jackie Munn, Dick Petersen, Zebb Prime, Rogan Shimmin, David Thompson, Rohin Wood, Stuart Wildy, Luke Zoontjens.

Current Students

Pouria Aryan, Md Ayub, Zahra Bagheri, Mohsen Bazghaleh, Javad Derakhshandeh, Boyin Ding, Farzin Ghanadi, Peter Hardy, Alex Laratro, Chenxi Li, Jayesh Minase, Will Robertson, Tao Zhu.

Competitive Research Grants over past 10 years

Higher-order virtual sensors for remote active noise control systems (Adelaide University Small Research Grants Scheme, 2002) $12,000
Development of Next Generation Rear Vision Mirror (CRC-IMST SP1.6, 2003-2005) $300,000
Virtual acoustic sensors for active noise control systems (ARC Discovery, 2004-2006) $280,000
Development of a VTOL RC Aircraft (Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Fund, 2004) $40,000
Application of Passive Control Devices to a Launch Vehicle (US Air Force, 2000-2005) $340,000
Scanning 3D laser vibrometer for non-contact in-plane and out-of-plane vibration measurement (ARC LIEF, 2005) $542,000
A control moment gyroscope (Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Fund, 2010) $30,000
Establishment of a Large Scale Wind Tunnel Facility at the University of Adelaide, (Sir Ross and Sir Keith Smith Fund, SA Premier's Science and Research Fund and the University of Adelaide 2010) $550,000
Scramjet-based access-to-space systems (ASRP Stream B, Round 1, 2010) $5,000,000
Prosthetic attachment for transfemoral amputees (MDRG, 2011) $20,000
Mechanisms of sound absorption at the nanoscale (ARC DP, 2013) $300,000
Upgrade of 3D scanning laser Doppler vibrometer (DVCR Strategic Equipment Round, University of Adelaide, 2012) $85,000
Total competitive funding past 10 years $7,498,000

A complete list of publications may be found by clicking here.







Member of the
Australian Acoustical Society SA Division
Member and Associate Editor of the
Acoustical Society of America
Member of the
International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration


Acoustics and Vibration, Control and Automation

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Entry last updated: Thursday, 21 Jan 2016

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