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Personal profile

Research Biography

I am passionate about the environment and I believe that it is crucial that society adopts a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle before it is too late. Part of my love for the environment stems from my fascination with nature and I am continually trying to understand the physics behind various phenomena. These personal attributes have naturally led me to my current area of research which involves investigation of the noise generated by wind turbines.

It is widely accepted that society needs to make the transition to renewable energy to reduce greenhouse emissions, improve air quality and avoid the depletion of natural resources for future generations. However, despite these clear benefits, the rapid expansion of wind energy has resulted in widespread community complaints regarding noise emission. therefore, the aim of my research is to provide new data, noise measurement strategies and evidence needed to support improved noise monitoring and regulations to better protect the health and wellbeing of people living near wind farms. Moreover, through identification and quantification of the signal components responsible for annoyance and sleep disturbance, the source mechanisms responsible for these components can be identified and potentially mitigated through improved noise abatement strategies. These are important priorities that must be fulfilled to ensure public acceptance of existing and future wind farms to help Australia meet its Renewable Energy Targets by 2020.

Research Interests

My research is aimed at identifying and quantifying the characteristics of wind turbine noise (WTN) that are responsible for increased annoyance and sleep disturbance. One such characteristic is the spectral imbalance of sound inside a residence near a wind farm that is caused by the dominance of the low frequency part of the spectrum. Another characteristic is the constantly changing loudness of the noise, referred to as amplitude modulation (AM), which makes it difficult for those exposed to ignore it. A third characteristic is the presence of tonal components, which are known to be more annoying that broadband noise. Combined together, these three characteristics can produce noise that is often described as €œthumping €, €œrumbling € or €œan aircraft that always seems to be taking off €. There is no current consensus on which noise characteristic (or combination of characteristics) is responsible for annoyance and sleep disturbance and therefore my research aims to address this issue. This research is important, as the intended outcome will result in more appropriate compliance testing procedures to support improved noise regulations and public acceptance of wind farm generated clean energy.

I am currently involved in two major research projects which involve field measurements, community surveys, laboratory tests on human subjects and a comprehensive community engagement program. The main aim of the NHMRC project is to use gold-standard measurements of sleep and physiological activation responses to a range of noises to systematically evaluate wind turbine noise impacts on sleep, compared to no noise and traffic noise controls. The main aim of my DECRA project is to identify the aspects of WTN most responsible for annoyance and sleep disturbance, and to establish suitable thresholds that could be used by regulatory authorities to protect the amenity of the Australian and international communities.

Research Areas

  • Material, mechanical and manufacturing engineering

Supervisory Interests

  • Wind farm noise
  • Sleep
  • Environmental noise
  • Flow control


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