MECH ENG 7027 - Engineering Acoustics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The fundamentals of sound wave description and propagation, the hearing mechanism, acoustic instrumentation, noise criteria, sound source types and radiated sound fields, outdoor sound propagation, sound power measurement techniques, sound in enclosed spaces, sound transmission loss, acoustic enclosures, mufflers.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MECH ENG 7027
    Course Engineering Acoustics
    Coordinating Unit School of Mechanical Engineering
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 4 hours per week
    Course Description The fundamentals of sound wave description and propagation, the hearing mechanism, acoustic instrumentation, noise criteria, sound source types and radiated sound fields, outdoor sound propagation, sound power measurement techniques, sound in enclosed spaces, sound transmission loss, acoustic enclosures, mufflers.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Professor Carl Howard

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand the principles of acoustics.
    2 Be able to assess complex occupational and environmental noise problems using acceptable assessment criteria.
    3 Understand the importance of protecting the community from excessive noise and how it damages the hearing mechanism.
    4 Be able to use instrumentation for noise measurement and understand the type of measurements appropriate for various situations.
    5 Understand noise source types and of how sound propagates outdoors.
    6 Understand sound fields in rooms and how they may be controlled.
    7 Be able to design noise control fixtures and develop strategies to reduce occupational and environmental noise to acceptable levels.
    8 Have a deep understanding of the responsibility of engineers to the community in terms of providing a safe healthy environment.
    9 Understand the need to undertake lifelong learning
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-8
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 1-8
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 1-8
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 1-8
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 1-8
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 9
    A commitment to the highest standards of professional endeavour and the ability to take a leadership role in the community. 9
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Course notes – these are essential and required.

    Bies, D.A. and Hansen, C.H., Engineering Noise Control, 4th edition, Spon Press, London, (2009)

    Recommended Resources


  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The required time commitment from the beginning of semester to the end of the final exam is 40 hours attendance at lectures, 40 hours of self directed learning, 40 hours completing assignments and 40 hours of revising course material and preparing for the exam.

    Learning Activities Summary
    • wave equation and its application
    • sound power, sound pressure, energy density and sound intensity
    • plane and spherical waves
    • sound pressure addition and subtraction
    • noise reduction combination

    • noise measurement instrumentation
    • practical measurement procedures

    • various measures to quantify noise
    • hearing damage risk
    • speech interference
    • ambient noise specification
    • occupational and environmental noise criteria
    • psychoacoustics

    • monopoles, dipoles and quadrupoles
    • line sources
    • coherent and incoherent plane sources
    • directivity and reflection effects
    • sound propagation outdoors; ground effects, air absorption, atmospheric turbulence and temperature gradient effects.

    SOUND POWER (5%)
    • radiation impedance and the radiation field of a sound source
    • sound power measurements
    • sound pressure measurements in the laboratory and in the field
    • sound intensity measurements
    • surface vibration measurements.

    • low frequency analysis
    • high frequency analysis
    • reverberation time, reverberant and direct sound fields
    • sound absorbers
    • measurement of the room constant
    • prediction of sound levels generated by interior sound sources
    • flat and long rooms
    • applications of sound absorption

    • flow resistivity and its measurement
    • sound propagation in porous media
    • measurement and prediction of statistical sound absorption coefficients

    • sound transmission loss, STC rating, single and double walls
    • acoustic enclosure design
    • acoustic barrier design
    • pipe wrappings.

    • ENC: engineering noise control software
    • SoundPlan
    Specific Course Requirements


  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    All assessment tasks are summative. There are 5 assignments, each worth 6% of the assessment and an open book exam worth 70%. All assignments are due by 5pm on the due date. Details of each task are tabulated below.

    Assessment Task Task Type Due Weighting% Learning Outcome
    Assignment 1 Assignment on Chapter 1 in the text. Refer to Practise problems 1
    in MyUni.

    6 1
    Assignment 2 Assignment on Chapters 2, 3 and
    4 in the text. Refer to Practise problems 2 in MyUni.
    6 2,3,4
    Assignment 3 Assignment on Chapters 5 and 6
    in the text. Refer to Practise problems 3 in MyUni.
    6 5
    Assignment 4 Assignment on Chapter 7 in the text. Refer to Practise problems 4
    in MyUni.
    6 6
    Assignment 5 Assignment on Chapters 8
    in the text and Acoustic Software Refer to Practise problems 5 in MyUni.
    6 7,8,9
    Laboratory Practical Measurement of sound absorption in the acoustic reverberation chambers 10 1,4,6,7
    Final Exam Exam on all parts of the course Exam period 60 1-9
    Assessment Related Requirements


    Assessment Detail

    Assignments are provided as part of the learning experience. Students are expected to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the subject matter through completing the assignments, so they are regarded as formative rather than summative. The assignments are marked and the results included in the final assessment to ensure that students actually do the assignments and take them seriously. Solutions are discussed in class and also provided on MyUni at the end of semester. Assignments are also used to help assess whether the required graduate attributes are being developed.

    The laboratory classes are intended to provide students with some practical experience in using acoustic instrumentation as well as experience in report writing and communicating their results. Again, this assessment is intended to be formative and students receive written feedback on their work.

    The examination is a summative assessment and is intended to assess the student’s knowledge and understanding of the course material and how it fits into the global engineering context.


    Assignments must be submitted by the due date and via MyUni electronic assignment submission. All assignments must be accompanied by an assessment cover sheet available from the front office S116 or next to the assignment submission box. Late assignments will be penalised 10% per day. Extensions for assignments will only be given in exceptional circumstances and a case for this with supporting documentation can be made in writing after a lecture or via email to the lecturer who set the assignment. Assignments will be assessed and returned in 2 weeks of the due date. There will be no opportunities for re-submission of work of unacceptable standard.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.