Mark Kubis - IOA Diploma in Acoustics & Noise Control

Now Noise Control Engineer: Consultant & Solution Designer at Acoustica (a division of Elta Fans Ltd)

It was an easy choice to make between embarking on the LSBU classroom Diploma course versus the apparently more convenient and time-saving distance learning variant offered by the IOA. The reason wasn’t that I lacked the motivation and self-discipline required for the online course. On the contrary, I’m self-motivated but knew that my circumstances would make me better suited to a ‘real-world’ small classroom environment.  I didn’t resent waking up early once a week to travel from Bury St Edmunds to LSBU to physically attend classes because this was far outweighed by a style of learning environment that benefitted me more.  Face-to-face tuition lends a greater opportunity to ask questions which was a priority for me considering my history in Acoustics.

15 years ago I got a job at a generator company that required me to design and test acoustic enclosures. I had almost no knowledge of Acoustics despite having studied for a degree in Mechanical Engineering, which contained just a single hour of tuition. I frantically started reading all I could about Acoustics and learned how to use a noise meter. I became self-taught which meant I wasn’t confident about my understanding. I got a new job 6 years ago as a Noise Control Engineer at Acoustica, a manufacturer of noise control solutions, who sponsored me to do the Diploma. This was just what I needed, exposure to tutors who knew more about Acoustics than I did and who’d continuously test my knowledge and put me right. I welcomed corrections to my work and accepted the risk of saying silly things in class. This is the best way to learn and why I felt compelled to attend a small class in the real world.

Furthermore, the Diploma broadened my knowledge as it encouraged me to discover things about Acoustics that weren’t directly relevant to my job, which I wouldn’t otherwise have learnt. Thankfully, all tutors conveyed information and concepts, sometimes complex, using plain English. At LSBU there are frequent ‘hands-on’ practical sessions using top-end instruments in well-equipped acoustics laboratories. Exchanges of ideas in class and break times with fellow students were also invaluable and these opportunities would have been less available via the IOA’s distance learning option. I’ve even worked on two projects with a former classmate since graduating.

At LSBU I felt I wasn’t being trained in Acoustics in the way a dog is trained. Rather, the course quickly developed into a stimulating intellectual adventure that inspired critical thought thereby making the experience an education. Completing the Diploma wasn’t the end goal but an important part of my life journey. I’ve been enjoying advancing my education in Acoustics since and became a corporate member of the IOA in 2021. Acoustics is an expanding industry with strong employment prospects.

You only get out what you put in and the opportunity to thrive is thereby joining the LSBU Diploma course and taking full advantage of all the benefits face-to-face tuition in a small class can offer. It worked for me. Thank you LSBU.

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