Data-driven Room Acoustic Modelling for Augmented reality (DRAMA)

A studentship funded by Facebook Technologies to conduct research into the future of room acoustic modelling for Augmented Reality applications.

Start date

1 July 2022


4 years

Application deadline

Funding source

Facebook Technologies

Funding information

  • Tuition fees at national or international level (currently £17,600 per year)
  • Stipend of £20,000 per year (well above the current UKRI rate of £15,609)
  • Generous equipment and conference travel allowance.


In augmented reality (AR) applications, virtual sound sources need to be rendered in a manner that is consistent with the acoustics of the room where the user is physically in. This is necessary for the virtual sources to be perceived as believable and correctly externalised, and for the overall auditory experience comprising real and virtual sound sources to feel seamless and natural. Data-driven room acoustic models are particularly well suited in this context as they can leverage measurements of the actual room. DRAMA will define new data-driven models that are specifically tailored to applications in AR, enabling end-users to benefit from DRAMAtic improvements in the quality of the auditory experience.

Funding is provided for 48 months full-time study commencing in July 2022 or shortly thereafter. 

Related links

Supervisor : Enzo De Sena IoSR Research

Eligibility criteria

This studentship is open to UK and international candidates.

You will have a strong interest in audio and demonstrate a high level of academic achievement in relevant subject areas and a clear aptitude for research. We will need to be happy that you have the necessary background subject knowledge and the necessary research skills to begin your doctoral training.

You will ideally have a Masters in a relevant discipline and will definitely have a 1st or 2:1 Bachelors degree (or equivalent). You will be able to demonstrate excellent mathematical, analytical and computer programming skills. Advantage will be given to applicants with experience in one or more of: signal processing, machine learning, mathematics, programming, acoustics, and psychoacoustics.

Furthermore, you will have excellent research skills evidenced by a significant Bachelors/Masters research project, involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and/or computer-based simulations, and a formal dissertation-style report.

You will be enthusiastic and happy to work in a team, including with colleagues from Facebook Technologies.

At Surrey we are committed to providing an inclusive environment that offers equitable opportunities for all, in the pursuit of Surrey’s vision to be a leading global University. We work together to create a truly inclusive culture. We place great value on diversity and welcome applicants from all backgrounds. We are seeking to increase the diversity within our community and would particularly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups, such as women, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic groups, and people with disabilities.

How to apply

Applications should be made online via the Sound Recording PhD programme page. Please mark clearly on your application that you wish to apply for the “DRAMA Project”. The deadline to apply for this position is Friday 20 of May 2022.

Interviews will be carried out shortly thereafter. Informal enquires are welcome and should be made to Dr Enzo De Sena

Please use the “Research Proposal” section of the application to explain why you want to pursue a PhD and how your skills and previous experiences meet the “Entry requirements” specified in this ad.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Enzo De Sena
07 BC 03
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686505


Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR)

The Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR) is a leading centre for research in psychoacoustic engineering, with world-class facilities and significant funding from research councils and industry. Our work combines elements of acoustics, digital signal processing, psychoacoustics (theoretical and experimental), psychology, sound synthesis, software engineering, statistical analysis and user-interface design, with an understanding of the aesthetics of sound and music.

Our world-class facilities include industry-specification sound-recording studios and edit suites, and an ITU-R BS.1116 standard critical listening room equipped with a 22.2-channel reproduction system.

The IoSR is also home to the Tonmeister degree in Music and Sound Recording, which produced a stream of highly successful graduates, including three Oscar winners, seven Grammy winners, and twelve BAFTA winners.


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.