John Zeman, alumnus, MSc Environmental and Architectural Acoustics, Senior Associate at Veneklasen Associates
John Zeman wanted to combine his love of sound and his interest in architecture; the Acoustics course at LSBU allowed him to do just that
John chose an MSc in Environmental and Architectural Acoustics at LSBU for several reasons, namely the location, facilities, course reputation and the course director.
"The reverberation and anechoic chambers are some of the largest of any university in the United Kingdom. The course at LSBU is fully recognised by the IOA, and is known in the industry for producing competent and successful consultants and academics."
John enjoyed studying in the heart of London, but the real highlight of the course was the chance to use one of the largest anechoic chambers in England, which allows students and researchers to measure and record noise levels in almost perfectly quiet conditions. While on the course, John worked as an intern for the Acoustics Group - an independent acoustical consultancy made up of LSBU acoustics tutors and lecturers.
"This placement was a great introduction to what it meant to be an Acoustical Engineer and how to consult directly with clients," said John.
"Those months working with clients put me far ahead of most of the other graduates I was competing against in the job market."
LSBU provided academic background and knowledge, but they stressed implementation in a real-world environment outside of the classroom – how to talk to clients, how to write reports and how to explain difficult engineering theories to laymen.
"All the lecturers and tutors were more than happy to provide knowledge that was critical for success in my industry and field of practice. As a student, if you put in the time and effort required, you'll reap the rewards."
Working in California
Before enrolling on the course John was working in the IT sector, so this course has offered him a route to a completely new career. When he began to look for work after graduation he found he had an advantage over many American graduates thanks to his placement experience and the practically focused training he received at LSBU. He now works as Senior Associate for Veneklasen Associates in Santa Monica, California.
"Living in Los Angeles allows me to interact with all sorts of clients; commercial, residential, entertainment and more. There's so much noise in Los Angeles. At work I'm doing exactly the sort of thing that LSBU prepared me for – consulting with clients, carrying out acoustical calculations and measurements and designing architecture for acoustical purposes."