Two former DTU Elektro students go their own way

Friday 01 Mar 19


Jonas Brunskog
Associate Professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 39 35


Finn T. Agerkvist
Head of Group, Associate professor
DTU Electrical Engineering
+45 45 25 39 41




Acoustical Engineers Pedro Costa and Golam Sadeghnia talk here about the reasons for starting up on their own.

Founder and CEO of Auricle, Pedro Costa studied engineering acoustics at DTU Elektro from 2009 - 2012. His interest in acoustics came about quite simply because of the hearing loss he has lived with all of his life. Although he feels his reasons may not be plausable to some, he strongly believes that his mission is to contribute better and more conscientious hearing solutions to the world.

 "A hearing aid is a device that goes into the ear canal; this results in two large problems; ear canal related problems and direct hearing obstuction problems. The occlusion effect, which is the sensation of increased loudness of self-produced sounds like own voice, chewing and footsteps, is an example of a problem originated from obstruction in the ear canal. The way that hearing aid companies lessen these problems only marginally solve them and more importantly, have a negative impact on sound quality. The occlusion effect is also a problem in consumer products in the normal hearing market like headphones, hearables and headsets"

Pedro Costa - Founder of Auricle

Pedro Costa - Founder of Auricle  

Pedro has been a hearing aid user all of his life and has worked with hearing aids for 5+ years at companies like Oticon and Cochlear. After identifying and understanding how to solve these problems, he founded his own startup, Auricle and started developing a solution. Using bone-conduction technology and dedicated DSP software, the auricle device delivers top sound quality, un-affected direct hearing and puts an end to ear-canal nuisance. 

More information about Auricle can be found in the HUB, an online platform tailored to the needs of growth startups.

Founder of OKTO Acoustics, Golam Sadeghnia studied Electronics Engineering at DTU from 2001 to 2005 and then returned to DTU to study Engineering Acoustics from 2016 to 2018, after having worked with developing data analysis algorithms for eye tracking solutions in usability and user-machine interaction in DK and abroad. "I had spent years in an industry matured by technological advancements in wireless, large-scale data transmission and synchronization across wearable devices, I found it odd that we as acousticians and scientists were still using cabled microphones for field work and fixed absorbents for room acoustics.

After spending long hours during field work moving around microphones and reconnecting cables and equipment, I started working on my own solution using old smart phones for collecting data. Eventually, I replaced the phones with dedicated hardware and founded OKTO Acoustics on the idea of making sound field measurement and analysis wireless, smartly connected, and with an interface readily available for seamless integration into 3rd party solutions and workflows. The technology opens up for performing large-scale sound field measurements with possibilities in source separation, building acoustics, real-time soundscape analysis for urban city noise mapping, monitoring live concert sound quality and offering a potential for many industries that have been waiting for a real-time, seamless solution.

"As a hobby musician, I've always wanted to combine my interest in music and concert halls with my line of work"
Golam Sadeghnia

An ambition along the way has been to use the same technology and connectivity for deploying data-driven, parametric acoustic surfaces for variable room and concert hall acoustics. In this application the technology allows to calibrate, optimize and vary physical acoustic properties of a room to changing needs, making the same room acoustically fit for different uses and changing interior. Quite modestly, I wanted to set a modern standard for bringing acoustic measurement, analysis and treatment into the smart, data-driven era. Two years later that vision is a reality with OKTO, an acoustics IoT-platform for measuring and deploying real-time solutions for architectual and environmental acoustics.

Wireless IoT devided developed by OKTO Acoustics

Wireless IoT device developed by OKTO Acoustics

OKTO Acoustics is partly funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. Both Pedro and Golam are working at and supported by Vækstfabrikken Lydens Hus, a development environment for sound related entrepreneurs.  

Associate Professors Jonas Brunskog and Finn Agerkvist from DTU Elektro, believe it is important that students on the MSc program are aware of the opportunities startups provide, as an alternative to other career paths into well established companies and organizations. Jonas Brunskog says "Danish acoustics and audio industry is important for society and for the future of the industry and as a teaching establishment, it is relevant for us to support these companies. The startups and Lydens Hus also provides a lively, intellectual environment that can come up with interesting and relevant projects for our students - and perhaps at some point may also result in research collaborations and Industrial PhD projects. Partnership between Lydens Hus via the MONICA project is an existing example of this collaboration".