About us

Our group, “Hearing Systems,” is concerned with speech communication, auditory signal processing and perception, audiology, objective measures of the auditory function and hearing-instrument signal processing.

The majority of our research is conducted at our Centre for Applied Hearing research (CAHR) and the Centre for Hearing and Speech Sciences(CHeSS). The goal of this research is to increase our understanding of the functioning of the human auditory system and to provide insights that are useful for technical applications such as hearing aids, speech recognition systems, hearing diagnostics tools and cochlear implants.

Currently, our group consists of 45 academic staff members including 22 PhD students and 9 postdocs and senior researchers. Furthermore, our group consists of a coordinator, a journalist, an audiologist and two technicians. Our research strategy and student supervision are mainly driven by our faculty, Ewen MacDonald (speech science and audiovisual communication), Bastian Epp (auditory modeling and physiological acoustics), Jeremy Marozeau (music perception in hearing impaired listeners), Tobias May (signal processing and machine learning), Abigail Kressner (speech intelligibility and spatial perception in aided listening) and the head of the Hearing Systems group Torsten Dau. Our research has been supported mainly by grants from the Danish Research Council, the Danish hearing aid industry, private foundations, DTU, and the EU. The tools and facilities used for research and teaching include acoustically and electrically shielded testing booths, anechoic chambers, EEG recording systems, an otoacoustic emission recording system, an audiological clinic, a virtual auditory environment, and a master hearing-aid research platform.

Beyond our research, we also foster and support the education of engineers at both the masters and doctoral level. Together with our colleagues in the Acoustic Technology group, we offer the international M.Sc. “Engineering Acoustics” program. Many of the graduates of this program, who are interested in pursuing research, continue with our group as PhD students. Graduates have been well received by the national and international hearing-instrument industry and as postdocs at other prestigious universities.

For our group, the largest news of the past years was the establishment of the Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences (CHeSS). The research focus of the new centre is on fundamental aspects of hearing research. As part of the new centre, we have been building exciting new facilities. One of the new labs is an audiovisual immersion lab where we will be able simulate both visual and acoustic cues of different rooms and spaces. With this system, it will be possible to examine fundamental questions regarding the interaction of spatial hearing and the integration of audiovisual stimuli and the impact this has on listening in complex, real-world situations. Over five years, the centre has supported nine PhD students and four Postdocs.

A new research consortium with support from Oticon, Widex and GN ReSound, with focus on applied hearing research (including the development of new Danish speech perception tests as well as the design and development of new sound recording and reproduction techniques) is complementing the fundamental research at CHeSS.

Hearing Systems has been a member of several EU networks like the European Marie Curie Initial Training Networks on “Improved Communication through Applied Hearing” (ICanHear) and“Reading the world with Two Ears” (Two!Ears). Furthermore, the Hearing Systems group has been a part of the Erasmus Mundus Program “Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience” (ACN) Program and the Cognitive Control of a Hearing Aid Horizon 2020 (COCOHA). These networks are particularly valuable and we expect that we will be able to continuously attract excellent researchers to our group both at junior and senior levels.Several other EU projects has been conducted and now completed.

The Hearing Systems group is now also involved in collaborative project Better Hearing Rehabilitation (BEAR) between the University of Southern Denmark, Aalborg University, the Technical University of Denmark (Hearing Systems, Elektro) independent tech company DELTA, Danish hearing aid manufacturers Oticon, WS Audiology and GN Resound and the university hospitals in Odense, Aalborg and Copenhagen.The goal is to improve quality of hearing care so that people with hearing loss can benefit more from their hearing aids.

Supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation, a new interdisciplinary synergy project “Uncovering hidden hearing loss” (UHEAL) will combine magnetic resonance imaging technology with audiology and neurophysiology to establish methods for measuring this nerve damage in humans. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with Hartwig Siebner and colleagues from the Danish Research Centre for Magnetic Resonance and Charles Liberman from Harvard Medical School.

Hearing Systems HEA-Newsletter-13-September-2020