Matt Hickling is a full time technician instructor in the specialist facilities group at Solent University. He joined Solent in 2011 after graduating from the BSc (Hons) Audio Technology degree. Alongside teaching he continued his academic and professional development by studying the post-graduate diploma in ‘Acoustics and Noise Control’, underwritten by the Institute of Acoustics, and subsequently topped this up with a Master’s degree in Applied Acoustics. Matt has maintained a professional corporate membership to the Institute of Acoustics (MIOA) since 2014.
Matt’s teaching is primarily laboratory based with the responsibility for a range of units starting with the first principles of applied physics, acoustics and audio engineering; to more involved electroacoustic and psychoacoustic testing and finally; system design, integration and optimisation. He also takes some of the audio production sessions such as music studio recording practices and live sound techniques.
Matt’s main technical responsibilities include the outside broadcast vehicle, a 7.5 tonne mobile broadcast studio that travels to various music festivals, sporting events and smaller-scale productions at which the students gain invaluable industry work experience. He is also responsible for the Dolby Atmos certified digital cinema situated on campus in which students can edit, mix and master to the latest Dolby Atmos protocols utilising a 96-seat auditorium with 29 loudspeakers and an industry standard Barco digital cinema projector.
Matt presented one of his projects, ‘Speech intelligibility rating using a head and torso simulator’, at the Institute of Acoustics 40th Anniversary Conference, NEC, Birmingham, Oct 2014. The project explored the relationship between typical monaural intelligibility rating measurements, and a binaural measurement set under the same conditions. The method included a variation in measurement angle and masking noise levels. He regularly attends the IoA Southern branch meetings to maintain up-to-date knowledge within the field, and continues to aid external consultancy work in environmental and building acoustic measurement.
Matt is also a trained audiometrist and audiological impression taker from the British Society of Audiology, and has an interest in hearing protection and noise exposure within the media technology field. His other main interests include audio recording techniques and workflow, audio system design and testing, room acoustic design and measurement, and emerging broadcast technologies.