I started my career in acoustics at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, researching the application of acoustic techniques to the instrumentation of Nuclear Reactors.  This led to three years as a sales manager for a firm producing data acquisition and analysis systems with emphasis on underwater acoustic data collection and processing.  

Philip Dunbavin


From 1981 I have been an acoustic consultant, working first for a manufacturing company and then for a large acoustic consultancy, Sound Research Laboratories. Throughout that period my particular interest was in developing computer modelling techniques for the solution of noise and vibration problems, in particular ‘Noise Control at Source’ techniques. Whilst at Sound Research Laboratories I co-authored a text book ‘Noise in Building Services’ and presented numerous technical articles.

In 1988 I left Sound Research Laboratories to found Philip Dunbavin Acoustics Ltd.  PDA is now widely regarded as one of the foremost acoustic consultancies in the country.

In 1997 I became the Honorary Secretary for the Association of Noise Consultants which allowed me to assist in many aspects of the industry including work on British Standards and many ISO standards.  To see a list of the BSI and ISO Committees I serve on please click here to download my CV.

In 1999 I took on the role of Vice Chairman of the Association of Noise Consultants and was elected to the position of Chairman in May 2001 and in May 2003 became the Immediate past chairman.

Between July of 2002 and July of the following year, together with a fellow acoustician, Professor Sean Smith of Napier Edinburgh University, I helped run the steering group of the House Builders Federation’s Robust Standard Details research project.  This culminated in the formation of Robust Details Ltd which is now viewed by many as the model for achieving almost total compliance with Building Regulations.  I was a director of Robust Details Ltd in its early years and still run the Inspectorate to this day.

Between 2005 and 2010 I was the Chairman of the ANC’s Pre-Completion Testing Committee for domestic sound insulation measurements in accordance with Approved Document E of the Building Regulations.  In May 2010 I stepped back from this role to give myself the time to rejoin the board of the ANC as Honorary Secretary for the second time. In May 2012 I took on the role of Chairman, also for the second time.  Since May 2014 I have sat on the ANC board as the immediate past chairman.

In late 2009 I had, as part of my retirement planning, I stepped out of full time consultancy with PDA Ltd and became semi retired.  I now provide consultancy services from my personal practice which I established in 2005 to enable me to work on those areas that really fascinate me.  I still own PDA Ltd and am its CEO and Chairman of the board.

In December 2011 I took on the role of Convenor of Working Group 1 of the COST Action TU0901 – Integrating and Harmonising Sound Insulation Aspects in Sustainable Urban Housing Constructions.  Working Group 1 developed the  harmonised sound insulation descriptors and classification schemes in Europe.  The project involved acousticians from 29 European countries as well as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.  The project reached its conclusion at the end of 2013 and the summary report is available for download from the Published papers page of this site.

This web site will tell you about what I am doing now and how to contact me if you need my services.  Please use the navigation bar at the top of this page.