Lab opening

Wednesday 01 Jul 15

More than a hundred people filled the new buildings on Friday, June 26, at the opening of the Hearing Systems laboratories, DTU Elektro. After the speeches, everybody had a chance to try the new facilities.

“I’m happy to see so many people turned up to celebrate this event with us” Kristian Stubkjær, Head of Department, DTU Elektro, began.
“Thanks to the Oticon Foundation for their donation to make it possible to have the most advanced technology and lead the direction towards more fundamental research at a world class level. Also, thanks to the three hearing aid companies GN ReSound, Widex and Oticon. What a fantastic journey we have been on, a few people growing into a research group at about 35 skilled researchers. I think the next ten years will be even more fantastic.”
“Congratulations and thanks to the Oticon Foundation. Something really unique is taking place,” Anders Bjarklev, President at DTU added:
“It is our strategy to make DTU a world-class learning environment and be an attractive campus for researchers from all over the world. DTU’s vision is to
develop and create value using the natural sciences and the technical sciences to benefit society. This would be absolutely impossible without state of the art infrastructure to create a framework for collaboration, a key note for new jobs and growth, and Hearing Systems is an excellent example of this.”

Supporting the Future
With the three leading hearing aid companies, Denmark is at the very front of hearing aid development.
“Therefore, we also have an obligation to make donations to the world; to science, research and also other significant tribute to further progress in this field,” Søren Nielsen, General Manager, Oticon A/S said on behalf of the Oticon Foundation.
A lot of research has to be done to understand the “Cocktail Party Problem”. There is a long history of knowledge about hearing related issues in Denmark exemplified by three Danish companies Widex, GN ReSound and Oticon who produce half of all hearing aids in the world. We want Denmark to maintain this position at the very forefront in an international context and for the researchers in this field at DTU to be the very best. The three companies together employ more than a thousand engineers working with the uniqueness of making products that help people with hearing problems. We can only support this with a very strong university environment. Competing for the best talents in the world is also a question about offering the most interesting research fields and facilities,” he concluded and gave credit to Torsten Dau for his passion, drive and commitment.

"We want Denmark to maintain its position at the very forefront in an international context"
Søren Nielsen, General Manager, Oticon A/S

Black Diamonds
Barbara Olrik, architect at Rørbæk and Møller, described some of the challenges for this kind of project that are rarely met anywhere else in the world. The new laboratories "The Black Diamonds" were designed with inspiration in sound waves; the pattern of the facades fades in and out like sound waves, and has been nominated for the Architecture Award for Lyngby Taarbæk Municipality.
To give a broader perspective of the hearing issue area, Søren Hougaard, Chairman at the
European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association, gave some examples of the misconceptions of this area.
“I think we have a huge mountain in front of us to access. Most people with hearing loss have chosen not to wear their hearing aid. And this is truly a pity. People with untreated hearing loss are inclined to be less promoted in their jobs. They don’t get the job they deserve, and they don’t get the salary they deserve; this has been consistent in all our surveys across countries. New research coming out from France these days shows that hearing aids put cognitively declined on hold. This is the first time ever that this has been proven. We also see that hearing aid users are less exhausted in the evening, physically and also mentally. Hearing aids improve your quality of life,“ Søren Hougaard concluded.
Torsten Dau, Group leader showed the video (below) of the construction of the new audio-visual immersion lab, as a giant weaving in several layers with the listening chair hovering in space mounting speakers at the bottom in the middle of the room and on top:
“In the end, I will like to stress that although my name was mentioned a couple of times all this has only been possible because of a fantastic collaboration with the engineers and architects and an amazing group work, both in the Hearing Systems group and in the Acoustic Technology." Torsten Dau cloncluded.

1 Anders Bjarklev, President at DTU; stressed the need for the
state of the art of infrastructure to create a framework for  collaboration

2 Søren Nielsen, General manager, Oticon A/S;
emphasized supporting a very strong university environment competing for the best talents in the world
The virtual reality environment will consist of a sound reproduction system of 64 loudspeakers and a large curved screen

4 The many loudspeakers in alldirections
create realistic conditions that a listener would encounter in a cocktail party or at a restaurant

5 Sinnet Greve Bjerge Christensen, Interacoustics Research Unit (left); Jens Hjortkjær, Postdoc at Hearing Systems and Ture Andersen,
Clinical Associate Professor University of Southern Denmark at demos in the Physiology Labs

Watch the video of building the audio visual lab

Music: Avaruusmiehen lyhyt matka (Spaceman's Little Expedition) by Aleksi Eeben, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.5.

DTU has supported the new buildings with 10 million
The Oticon
Foundation supported the Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Science, CHeSS, with 36.5 million for laboratories equipment and making it possible to employ a considerable number of scientists, visiting professors, postdocs and PhD students, who will work together on a number of carefully selected basic research projects in the field of audiology. The new Laboratories can be used to develop hearing devices in authentic surroundings.


Between 86 and 57 % of people with self-reported hearing loss do not wear their hearing aids
People with untreated hearing loss are inclined to be less promoted in their jobs. They don’t get the job they deserve, and they don’t get the salary they deserve. There is smaller risk of being depressed if you use hearing aids. However, hearing aids users are less exhausted in the evening and get better sleep quality Based on surveys with more than 4000 people (Ehima)