The Laboratory for Acoustics is situated in the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the Science Faculty of Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium). Besides physical acoustics, an important part of the research activities at ATF are dedicated to room, building and environmental acoustics. The expertise in the field of architectural acoustics is illustrated by articles on classroom, sport hall, open plan office and concert hall design, universal design, soundscape, acoustic comfort predictions, and by substantial amount of different acoustical consultancy works. Recently, the research in the laboratory was directed also towards psycho- acoustics and acoustic perception, with generic extensions towards cognition and multi-sensorial perception, and impact of sound on cognition and health. The laboratory also has a long tradition of using optical techniques to excite (photoacoustics) and detect (scanning laser Doppler vibrometry and full-field photorefractive and interferometric vibrometry) acoustic waves for investigating materials from mm to nm scale, such as diamond coatings on silicon, fibers in porous materials, and carbon fiber reinforced composite plates. Laser vibrometry is also used in the research group for visualizing and analyzing the vibrations of structures, with the aim of non-destructive testing (by visualizing the linear or nonlinear interaction between acoustic waves and defects, as well as building acoustics research. Besides a long teaching experience in physical acoustics and building and room acoustics, the staff involved make part of different didactic teams teaching higher courses of acoustics and EU training schools.

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The Laboratory for Acoustics contribution to the project:
  • acoustical consultations of a product at the stage of creating guidelines i.e. helping in preparation of the multibook concept on the basis of experience, concerning an acoustic projects,
  • responsible for preparation of the scientific content which explains the nature of acoustic phenomena in an efficient way,
  • professional verification of materials in the aspect of scientific accuracy at the stage of realization of particular chapters.

Monika Rychtáriková

obtained her Ph.D. degree in 2004 on the topic “Room Acoustic prediction of Halls for Music Performance,” at the Slovak University of Technology (STU), Bratislava, Slovakia. After a postdoctoral stay at TU Delft in the Netherlands, she joined Laboratorium voor Akoestiek en Thermische Fysica (ATF) at the Physics and Astronomy Department of KU Leuven in 2005, where she has since then been active in different fields in building physics in general and room acoustics, environmental and virtual acoustics in particular. In 2010 she defended her habilitation (“Room acoustical simulations in multidisciplinary context”) and became an associate professor at the STU Bratislava, Slovakia. During the year 2012 she has worked at the Institut für Technische Akustik, RWTH Aachen. Until now, she has been supervising 16 Master students and 10 Ph.D. students. She is a member of the editorial board of two international journals, of several national (Slovakia, Belgium, Netherlands) and European (EAA) and International (ICA) acoustical societies, and of the board of the Dutch Acoustical Society (NAG). Since 2011, she is the chair of the European Technical committee for Room and Building acoustics (TC-RBA). She has contributed to 3 monographies, she is author of two book chapters, 2 course text books, 7 papers in peer reviewed international journals, 22 other scientific papers, and over 100 proceeding articles. She has given more than 60 talks at conferences, of which 2 plenary and 30 invited. Monika Rychtáriková has been involved in over 40 acoustical consultancy projects on room acoustics, 4 windcomfort studies and 7 architectural projects.

Christ Glorieux

born July 12, 1965, in Kuurne, Belgium, studied physics at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven), Belgium, and graduated in 1987 with a thesis on “Investigation of the structure of amorphous silicon by electron spin resonance and electrical conductivity measurements.” He obtained his Ph.D. degree in 1994 on the topic “Depth profiling of inhomogeneous materials and study of the critical behavior of gadolinium by photoacoustic and related techniques,” in the Laboratorium voor Akoestiek en Thermische Fysica (since recently renamed to Soft Matter Physics and Biophysics (BIOSOFT)) at the Physics and Astronomy Department of K.U. Leuven. After working one year as an R&D engineer in an industrial company he continued his research into thermo-elastic properties of soft condensed matter by photoacoustic and photothermal techniques in ATF, with a postdoctoral visit at the Department of Chemistry of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, USA in 1999 and 2000. Now he is associate Professor at KU Leuven, and is active in research and teaching physics and sounds and waves, general physics, and experimental physics to undergraduate and graduate students. He is leading a research group of typically 5 to 10 young researchers in the field of photothermal applications and laser ultrasonics for the fundamental study of the thermophysical properties of complex soft and heterogeneous matter, the development of measurement techniques for characterization and depth profiling of thin (sub- micron) layered structures, and non-destructive evaluation (see also He is also leading a research division with consulting activities in physical acoustics, room acoustics, building acoustics and environmental acoustics. In 2009, he organized the 15th International Conference on Photoacoustic and Photothermal Phenomena (ICPPP15). In October 2014 he had 145 articles published in international peer reviewed journals (h-index 24).
His current research activities are:
  • Thermophysical properties of soft and heterogeneous matter – glass transition and phase transition
  • Experimental determination of thermal and elastic properties of very thin layers, multilayers and functional gradient materials
  • Study of thermo-elastic phenomena with very high temperature resolution (materials undergoing phase transitions) and till very high frequencies and short time scales (supercooled liquids) by means of photoacoustic and photothermal methods
  • Experimental research and theoretical modeling of the interaction between ultrasonic waves and heterogeneities and defects in materials by non-contact interferometric scanning and full-field imaging techniques
  • Experimental method development for non-destructive testing of materials and structures
  • Depth profiling of various physical parameters of functional gradient materials and solving inverse problems by neural network recognition (photothermal, photoacoustic, ellipsometric, eddy current, x-ray diffraction spectra, binaural sound source localization)
  • Development of a self-accomodating electro-optic intra-ocular ‘bionic eye lens’
  • Development of a high-resolution, high-sensitivity, high accuracy adiabatic scanning calorimeter for the determination of the specific heat capacity and enthalpy of materials
  • Scanning and full field laser vibrometry in applications of non-destructive testing and acoustics of small (mm to sub-micron) and large (building) structures