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Joe Conaghan – My career in Acoustics

17 Oct 23

Patience rewarded after graduating in Architectural Technology

Joe Conaghan

Role at Cahill Design Consultants

Senior Acoustic Consultant

Experience working in Acoustics:

9 Years

Top Tip for someone new to the industry:

Specifications and measurements need to be exact and accurate, but also don’t forget, every project is different. Address each individually, be pragmatic and use your common sense.

Joe’s Acoustic Journey 

I have always been interested in buildings and construction, so decided to do a BSc Architectural Technology degree at Sheffield Hallam University. I graduated in 2010, but the recession meant fewer architectural jobs were available, so I got a job working for a bank in Manchester instead.

In 2014, whilst visiting my in-laws in Suffolk, I found out that the acoustic consultancy that my father-in-law used to run was looking for people with a construction background. I applied for the role and got started from there as a Graduate.

In 2016, I achieved my IOA diploma and progressed in my roles from there.

Interesting projects

I was in a team working on an extension for Great Ormond Street Hospital. With MRI machines and other medical equipment, a lot was going on. It was interesting to be a part of. Papworth Hospital in Cambridge was another project in the medical sector. I was part of the commissioning stage – it was a big undertaking.

Funny Experiences

I’ve been in a few odd situations… Performing sound insulation testing in winter at night – the lights got turned off on the site I was on. I navigated around using the torch on my phone. A neighbour saw the light and called the police. On their arrival I didn’t realise at first as I had ear defenders on! It was all ok in the end, though.

Another time, I measured noise levels in the cab of a pea harvester. Driving around pea fields in Norfolk all day – I’ve never seen so many peas!

And lastly, this didn’t happen to me but is a good one to learn from. I knew someone who left a noise logger padlocked to lamppost on a busy street in London. There was no notice or permission in place, and someone thought it was a bomb. The whole high street ended up being closed. Always get an agreement in place and label your equipment!

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