University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

Location: Vienna Austria



Position: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Researcher, Early Stage (VRACE, ESR2), Full-Time

Hosting Institution


University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW)

Department of Music Acoustics (IWK)

Closing Date: 01/06/19             Application email:
Salary: Basic salary (€40103 per annum, according to the collective agreement in Austria)
Additional payments: Mobility: €600  per month, Family (if applicable) €500 per month



The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will undertake research in the framework of the project “VRACE: Virtual Reality Audio for Cyber Environments”, and will be funded for 36 months through the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme. VRACE will establish a multidisciplinary training and research programme focusing on the analysis, modelling and rendering of dynamic 3-dimensional soundscapes for applications in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), delivered by nine cooperating European Universities and their industrial partners, including Siemens, Mueller BBM, Sennheiser and Facebook Reality Labs (former Oculus). The ESR will be an active member of the research project team at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) assisting in the delivery of research and training activities of the VRACE Network and required to work towards the expected results of the MDW-led project entitled “Spatial modelling of sound radiation of a range of musical instruments including wind instruments and grand piano”. In addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education through a dedicated training program in the various fields of expertise of the consortium partners, which includes active participation in workshops, conferences and outreach activities.



  1. Conduct research in computer simulation techniques with the aim to develop radiation models for musical instruments that can predict complex directivity patterns appearing during transients
  2. Carry out the research and training activities specified by a personal career development plan (PCDP) and contribute to the PCDP development.
  3. Study and follow the technical literature including academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast with the state-of-the-art in the project topical area.
  4. Record, analyse and write up results of research work and contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  5. Prepare regular progress reports on the performed research and training activities and present the research outcomes at meetings, project workshops, and to external audiences to disseminate and publicise research findings.
  6. Work closely with researchers of other consortium members and facilitate knowledge transfer within the VRACE consortium and in accordance with the consortium agreement.
  7. Undertake mandatory training programs and secondment as required at the facilities of other consortium members in Europe and the US.
  8. Actively participate in training activities and submit reports in fulfilment of the project requirements.
  9. Participate in outreach, dissemination, and administrative activities promoting the VRACE Network including contributing to the consortium webpages and to organisation of VRACE project training workshops and events.




  1. Have or about to obtain a M.Sc. in psychoacoustics, engineering or a related discipline, with a strong statistical background and adequate computational and engineering skills.
  2. Strong enthusiasm to participate in highly interdisciplinary research spanning across acoustics, optics, machine learning, virtual reality, and music.
  3. Relevant experience in computer programming.
  4. Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  5. Ability to logically conceptualise and summarise the research findings.
  6. Excellent verbal and writing communication skills in English.
  7. Ability to interact with colleagues and staff.
  8. Ability to organise resources, manage time and meet deadlines.
  9. Be willing and able to participate in training programs at the facilities of other consortium members across Europe and in the US.
  10. At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This four-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree that would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  11. Must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Austria for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their selection for this post.



  1. Masters Qualification in a relevant subject.
  2. have a strong interest in psychoacoustics and/or signal processing and/or measurement techniques or better even have background knowledge in these fields
  3. Proficiency in a programming language (e.g. Python, C/C++)
  4. Be eligible and qualified for enrolment in the PhD programme at MDW.


The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is committed to the equal treatment of all qualified applicants regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, world-view, age, or disability.

The University is particularly interested in increasing the percentage of women working in the artistic, scientific and general university personnel ranks. It therefore particularly encourages female candidates to apply, the VRACE network strives to improve gender balance in research.



General information about VRACE can be found on the consortium website:


ESR2 Project Title: Spatial modelling of sound radiation of a range of musical instruments including wind instruments and grand piano

This project will belong to the work stream of Work Package 1, which focuses on reconstruction of complex sound fields, considering near field characteristics of individual sources. Research in this project will be conducted in collaboration with industrial partner Mueller-BBM GmbH.


Objectives:  Investigate methods to quantify experimentally the directional radiativity properties of a range of musical instruments, paying particular attention to the relevance of such measurements for real-world situations and applications. Use of microphone-array and motion capture techniques to collect sound radiation data for different playing styles and dynamic ranges. Use of these experimental data to validate and inform related physics-based and fully-embedded acoustic simulations in the time domain. Extract directivity functions from experimental data and numerical simulations which allow deriving a realistic near field sound based on dry music recorded in an anechoic chamber.

Tasks and methodology: Musical instruments do not simply create sounds; they create sound fields with complex directivity patterns which change dynamically just as the sound does. Creating a perfect illusion for a listener moving around in a virtual orchestra requires to continuously know how all instruments radiate their sounds. The researcher will study transient, dynamic and expressive aspects of radiated sound fields of several instruments. Based on these measurements radiation characteristics based on parameters like register, dynamic range and playing posture or technique will be modelled. These models will predict the time varying spatial sound fields that are missing for recordings from anechoic environments. The predicted signals will additionally be validated experimentally.


Expected Results: Directivity functions for predicting the time varying spatial sound field during playback of anechoic recordings. Validation of these predictions by comparing them to measured sound fields. Improved numerical algorithms for including complex sources in physics-based acoustic simulations. The overall approach and methodology will be applicable to other large-scale acoustic environments across engineering and architectural acoustics.


Supervision: Prof. Wilfried Kausel (MDW), Prof. Malte Kob (HfM)


For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Alex Hofmann (


The application must contain information about education, exams and previous employment.

Applicants should send the following:

  • Motivation Letter
  • CV
  • A list of all publications with bibliographical references
  • Copies of diplomas and attestations

Applicants are asked to send a link to an electronic document containing their Master’s Thesis.


Please be aware that your documents may be shared with the named beneficiaries within the consortium, as part of the application review process.


Flexible starting date between 15 July 2019 and 15 August 2019.


It should be specifically mentioned, however, that applicants who are invited to the audition will not receive remuneration from the university for incurred travel and hotel expenses.



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