Earlier this year, Anne Budd was elected to the board of the Association of Noise Consultants (ANC). She talks to PBC Today about her priorities in her new role
Putting the professionalism of the acoustics consultant firmly on the radar is a key remit of Anne Budd. She joins the ANC leadership team after being appointed at the trade association’s AGM – and is the first woman to be elected to the board in its 45-year history.
Illustrating the unique skillset of the acoustics industry and its ability to tackle even the most complex challenges is a key driver for Budd.
ANC represents a dynamic and highly skilled membership based throughout the UK, who provide consultancy advice across all areas of the acoustics, noise and vibration sectors to support the built environment, transportation and entertainment industries.
Members also aid the wellbeing and comfort of building users across the whole spectrum of use in public, private and commercial places – and their expertise creates usable environments from the most challenging sites.
The professional standard
The promotion of acousticians’ unique skillset and ability to support fellow construction professionals will be a major driver of Budd’s activity on the ANC board.
“One area I am particularly keen to focus on is increasing the profile of the professional acoustician,” she said.
“We want to illustrate the unique skills of our UK-based acoustic and noise professionals and their innovative approach across the built environment, transportation and entertainment sectors.
“We need to get the message across about the skills and ingenuity of our members, particularly to the other chartered professionals we work with. It is important we emphasise our engineering and scientific backgrounds.
“In highlighting these unique skills, it is important we ensure the ANC and our industry is not moving towards becoming a group of technicians undertaking a box-ticking exercise.”
Budd also wants to see the acoustics industry not just maintain but raise standards and take responsibility for professional decisions.
Another area where Budd is keen to focus her attention is the promotion of the views of smaller acoustic consultancy members based in the regions.
These micro-acoustic consultancies face very different challenges to the larger SMEs and multi-disciplinary – in some cases multi-national – firms based closer to the capital in areas including recruitment and in developing training and education opportunities.
A wealth of experience
In her appointment to the ANC board, Budd brings 21 years’ experience in the acoustics industry, accrued in a variety of environments.
She has a long-standing commitment to the industry and is a member of the Institute of Acoustics’ Building Acoustics Group, the Acoustical Society of America and the Women’s Engineering Society.
Her career began with a BEng in Electroacoustics from the University of Salford.
International opportunity then beckoned with a role in 2000 at Bruel & Kjaer’s headquarters in Copenhagen, where Budd was an application specialist for the electroacoustics team and product manager for the ear and mouth simulators.
In 2002, she joined Professor Bridget Shields’ team at London South Bank University as a research assistant, investigating room acoustics in classroom environments and their effects on children and teachers.
Three years later, she moved to Scotland to take up a role with New Acoustics consultancy based in Clydebank. After six months, she became a director of the company and is now the company’s majority shareholder, with responsibility for all aspects of its technical work and administration.
The STEM agenda
The acoustics industry has provided Budd with a rewarding career and she, in turn, is keen to highlight the opportunities it offers to a new generation of students.
“We want to promote what we do not only to fellow industry professionals, but to people looking for career inspiration,” she said.
“Broadening the appeal of our profession to a wider range of potential candidates is a really important area.
“This can be achieved through a variety of ways, including increased STEM activities and also the promotion of ANC events. Ours is an industry with superb opportunities, and it would be great to be able to highlight this.”
Budd is now eager to make some noise about the acoustics industry.
“Ultimately, it is a privilege to be put in a position on the ANC board to highlight expertise in the industry and to inspire the next generation of acoustic consultants,” she said.
“It’s an exciting time. There is a lot to be done and I am really looking forward to working with the other members of the ANC board on these industry matters over the coming years.”
Association of Noise Consultants
Tel: +44 (0)208 253 4518