Why do I need an Acoustic Engineer? We get this question often. So, here we will attempt to answer it. So, when do you need one and what do they provide?

Being an acoustical engineer, people often ask me what I do and what do I produce and deliver to my customers. If it’s a research and development effort, my answer is straight forward—working on new ideas, concepts, and methods to make products and devices quieter, or developing new technology to solve more complex acoustic and noise problems.

As an acoustic engineer working on the application of noise control engineering, my answer shifted towards seeking practical solutions to solve noise issues and problems. The answer might be too broad and vague. I try to articulate my response saying that I practice source-path-receiver strategy and include performance and cost trade offs to arrive the optimal solutions. Whenever cost is a factor, the scenario gets more complicated. People start to question “what if?” and “how about this and that?” It’s welcoming – the discussion becomes more interesting and technical. I would take this opportunity to address the noise source strength and characteristics, distribution, noise budget in dB, ranked order of importance, flanking paths, return of investment, acoustical solutions, and options, etc.

If the discussion is getting convoluted, I might try to use an analogous but simple example. Consider comparing an Acoustic Engineer to a medical Doctor. A patient is sick, and to remedy that sickness they go and see a doctor. The doctor diagnoses the patient by using various examinations and testing to determine the root cause of the illness. Based on the  results of those diagnostics, the doctor prescribes the appropriate medications and discusses treatment methods and options.

As a professional acoustic engineer and acoustic practitioner, the ultimate goal is to provide an unbiased, technical based and cost-effective solution to the customer.