A graduate from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, Southampton University, UK, Richard Barham joined the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in 1986 where he continued his academic pursuits, gaining a PhD (again from Southampton University) in 1995. In 2016 he left the NPL to start Acoustic Sensor Networks, a new private business set up to exploit his knowledge and technical expertise developed during his 30-year career at NPL.
Barham’s research interests lie in electroacoustics and measurement science for all airborne sound applications. Working initially with measurement microphones, his interests soon extended to ear simulators and the measurement of human hearing. Some of his innovations include the development of methods for measuring acoustic impedance, now incorporated in IEC 60318-1, and for pioneering the transient response which is set to change the way traceability for objective audiometry techniques is established. His latest research in this field is on new specifications for ear simulators designed for children, where he is working within a consortium of European measurement institutes and most recently was instrumental in obtaining significant new research funding to continue this important work, under the project known as Embodied Audition for RobotS (EARS).
Barham’s predominant research interest is currently the development of new measurement systems exploiting acoustic micro-sensors based on MEMS technology, for which Acoustic Sensor Networks has been set up. However, he is maintaining an active role in acoustical metrology, standardization and training.
As a long-standing expert in acoustics and electroacoustics, Barham represents the UK on IEC technical committees. He is now Chair of IEC TC 29: Electroacoustics. He also convenes TC 29/Working Group (WG) 5 on measurement microphones, and makes significant contributions (through leading projects and developing strategic goals) to WG 10 on audiometric equipment and WG 21 on head and ear simulators.
Barham is a regular contributor to Institute of Acoustics (IOA) activities.
He has been voted chair of IEC TC 29 for the period of 2018-04-01 to 2024-03-31.
The SMB has approved the extension of the term of office of:
- Christian Eric Bruzek, chair of IEC TC 90: Superconductivity, for the period of 2018-04-01 to 2021-03-31.
- Alan Hodgson, Chair of IEC TC 119: Printed electronics, for the period of 2018-04-01 to 2021-03-31.
- Paul Holdstock, Chair of IEC TC 101: Electrostatics, for the period of 2018-05-01 to 2021-05-01.