Graduate Acoustics Engineer 2024

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From helping shape entire cities to adapting infrastructure to deal with the climate emergency, a career at Vanguardia (A Buro Happold Company) presents the chance to make a difference. With a world class reputation, our creativity and our people have delivered positive change to clients, the environment, and communities alike. If you want to be part of something bigger, this is your chance.

What is Acoustic Engineering?

Outcome focused design

‘Reverse engineering’ from the people-centric results our clients want from their buildings, we develop and use the most advanced computational tools to inform our designs. Good examples include the AVIVA Studios, Manchester where we created a mathematical prediction of the response to mounting the building façade on bearings to contain music noise, or at a well-known web giant’s European HQ in central London where we used novel modelling techniques to predict how much colleagues would be distracted by each other’s noise in an open plan office.


But it’s not about the tools – our focus is on being able to communicate the results to our clients across key technical areas such as noise break-in, internal sound transmission, reverberation control, building services noise, structural dynamics, audio-visual design, public address and voice alarm, and vibration. A key focus is engagement. An example of this is our work with the prestige gym chain Equinox which often retrofit their facilities inside existing listed buildings.

Our relationship allows us to understand the unique aspirations of each site, and tailor a dynamic, vibration isolation and sound insulation solution to each development based on the specific activities proposed. Another example was the new Faculty of Arts building at Warwick University, where a significant part of our role was simply to listen to the requirements of the different faculties and translate these into the language of engineering solutions.


We’re excited and motivated by the challenging, complex and difficult. Our team loves applying industry-leading innovation on the hardest challenges, from the ultra-high-tech (such as the award-winning Dyson campus and Imperial College Michael Uren buildings) to the curiously unusual (such as the one-of-a-kind architectural form of the Museum of the Future).

What sort of projects would I work on?

Recent and current projects:

The Sphere, Las Vegas, 2019 - 2023

The world’s largest and latest immersive experience. Our team of acoustic and audio technology experts from Vanguardia has worked on the project since 2019. Our team was engaged to deliver a third-party review of the innovative audio technology that was being developed specially for the venue and to analyse the architectural acoustics and where possible minimise the need for structural acoustic insulation.

The principal acoustic challenges came as a consequence of the venue’s striking spherical shape. A sphere would naturally cause an almost infinite number of acoustic reflections, making soundwaves very difficult to control within the space.

Co-op Arena, Manchester, 2017 - ongoing

Co-op Live will be the UK’s biggest indoor arena, able to offer a warm Manchester welcome to over 23,000 people. Vanguardia have provided the acoustic and audio-visual design since the onset. This is an exciting project nearing competition in 2023, where Vanguardia are due to carry out commissioning and optimisation of the venue.

YTL Arena, Bristol, 2021 - ongoing

Once home to aviation icon the Concorde, the legendary Brabazon Hangars will now be transformed into the number one live destination for the South West. Sustainability will be centre stage, and it’s the goal to create the most responsible and sustainable arena in Europe, and to be carbon neutral from day one.

Vanguardia are currently working on the Acoustic and Audio-Visual design for this unique venue. It’s going to be special and has already staged the legendary Queen + Adam Lambert.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, UK, 2014 - ongoing

Vanguardia have worked with Spurs to create a truly outstanding multi-use stadium that has quickly become a major landmark in London for supporters, visitors and the local community since opening in 2019. Our work has been recognised with a nomination in this years’ prestigious AV Awards.

Our relationship with Tottenham Hotspur FC goes back as far as 2014, when we were invited to review their existing AV systems at White Hart Lane. When they announced ambitious plans to build a new, worldclass stadium on the same site, Vanguardia were the natural partner of choice. Being part of the project right from the outset enabled us to fully define the client requirements before designing and managing a comprehensive AV solution throughout the stadium that exceeded their high expectations.

BBC Concert Studios, London, 2017 – ongoing

The new home for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the world-famous BBC Maida Vale recording studios, this development will provide rehearsal, recording and performance space for some of the world’s most famous and well-known artists. Maida Vale studios are historically renowned for recording and broadcasting sessions from legendary acts such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin through to modern megastars such as Amy Winehouse and Ed Sheeran. Buro Happold are the acoustic engineers overseeing the build and the transition into this new world-class home.

What would I do?

  • Sound system design
  • Sound insulation design
  • Acoustic surveys, benchmarking and commissioning
  • Room acoustics design and reverberation control
  • Venue, performance space and concert hall design
  • Structural vibration isolation and dynamics
  • Control of external noise break-in and façade & ventilation design
  • Audio visual and sound system design
  • Design and assessment of internal and external building services noise and vibration
  • Public address and voice alarm design

What degree would I have studied

  • Acoustics
  • Acoustical Engineering
  • Sound and Vibration studies
  • Engineering Acoustics
  • Architecture
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Music Technology
  • Audio & Broadcast Engineering
  • Physics
  • Sound Engineering

What's in it for you?

  • Broad insight within a team, mentored by a subject matter expert. The opportunity to experience our culture and value, and learn what sets us apart from other organisations. Exposure to a wide range of portfolios, including local community led projects and global large scale clients. The diversity of the projects we work on is one of the many reasons Engineers love to work at Buro Happold.
  • A plethora of interesting and challenging projects to stretch your professional skills, a friendly and close knit team, flexible working and a competitive reward package. The opportunity to work on multidisciplinary projects aside a range of specialist engineers and designers both within Buro Happold and our collaborators.
  • Opportunity to be supported (or even join) our Young Employee's Forum in your local office, join bi-annual events/trips, and contribute your experience and learnings to the next generation of engineers through various outreach activities.
  • Our Graduate Connect program allows our Graduates to learn the fundamentals of design and technology whilst building a base in consulting and professional skills. This is a blended learning programme where participants gain experience against our internal professional and technical frameworks in relation to their specialism.
  • We see membership of a professional body and professional registration as crucial to the development of our engineers and offer substantial support to those aspiring to achieve this. We aim to support employees to achieve the highest level of membership and registration their academic background allows.

How long does the process take?

The recruitment timeline can vary depending on the role and team you are applying to. Successful applications are progressed to interview stage within 2-3 months from the closing date of the advert, but it is good to know that the whole process can take up to 6 months. We will endeavour to keep you informed throughout the time that your application is being considered, however, due to the volume of applications received and the size of our team, we are not able to respond to individual requests for status updates.

Interested? Intrigued? Inspired?

This role is for current students or recent graduates for an Autumn 2024 start.

DEADLINE 2nd January 2024