Fiona Smyth
Research Fellow, Mechanical & Manuf. Eng

Biography

Fiona Smyth is a Research Fellow in the School of Engineering at Trinity College Dublin, and prior to that was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. She is also a Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Scholar for 2015. Prior to completion of her doctoral work, she was a Research Fellow at the Urban Institute Ireland, and worked in architectural practice. Work from her Ph.D. dissertation was awarded both the Newman Medal for Architectural Acoustics by the Acoustical Society of America and the Stanley Smith Prize for Construction History by the Construction History Society. In 2017 she was awarded the Hawksmoor Medal by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. Her research has been supported by grants from European, British, Irish and US sources including the European Commission, the British Society for the History of Science, The Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, Creative Arts at MIT, The Royal Irish Academy, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, the Irish Arts Council, and the Irish Heritage Council. She is a member of the Institute of Acoustics.

Her present book project, funded by a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Global Fellowship from the European Commission, focuses on architectural acoustics in early twentieth-century Britain.

A second monograph, made possible by a Charlemont Scholarship from the Royal Irish Academy and a Research Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art is also underway. This project is a biography of the architect and acoustician Hope Bagenal.

Publications and Further Research Outputs

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Smyth, Fiona, Faith not Works: Building Science, Chance Encounters and the Germination of an Idea, SAHGB Annual Symposium: Architecture, the Built Environment, and the Aftermath of the First World War, London, June 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Smyth, Fiona, Symphony for Full Orchestra and Asbestos: Tuning the Albert Hall during WWII, Construction History, Queens' College Cambridge, April 2018, 2018 Conference Paper, 2018

Symphony for Full Orchestra and Asbestos: Tuning the Albert Hall during WWII in, editor(s)Campbell, J. et al. , Studies in the History of Services and Construction, Cambridge, Construction History Society, 2018, pp185 - 194, [Smyth, Fiona] Book Chapter, 2018

Hollerweger, Florian (MIT), Smyth, Fiona (Trinity College Dublin), Tzotzkova, Victoria (MIT), 'T60 or the Mystery of Acoustics', First Steps Towards a Theater of Sound, MIT, Council for the Arts MIT, 2017, - Music Production, 2017

Smyth, Fiona, Pistols in St Paul's Cathedral, Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Symposium, , Harvard University., June 2017, 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Smyth, Fiona (Trinity College Dublin) & Tzotzkova, Victoria (MIT), On Listening to Rooms and Pianos, MIT, November , 2017 Invited Talk, 2017

Smyth, Fiona, "Special Intelligence" to "Fundamental" Investigation: Controversy, Acoustics and a National Laboratory, History of Science Society Meeting, Toronto, November , 2017 Conference Paper, 2017

Smyth, Fiona, On Sound in Architecture, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University , 2016 Invited Talk, 2016

Smyth, Fiona, Building Performance/Shaping Response, Practice, Theory, Research, and Technology: Knowing Peak Performance, Cambridge, Massachusetts, November 2016, 2016 Conference Paper, 2016

Smyth, Fiona, Fine-tuning and Demolition: the First Acoustics Laboratory at Britain's Building Research Station, Further Studies in the History of Construction, Third Annual Conference of the Construction History Society Conference, Cambridge, April 2016, edited by Campbell, J.W.P. et al , The Construction History Society, 2016, pp371 - 380 Conference Paper, 2016

Smyth, Fiona, Music, Munitions and Misunderstandings: The First Government Laboratory for Acoustic Research in Britain , Acoustical Society of America: Greater Boston Chapter , Cambridge, Massachusetts, 28th April, 2016, Acoustical Society of America: Greater Boston Chapter Invited Talk, 2016

Tzotzkova, V. (Harvard University), Smyth, F. (Trinity College Dublin), Goldman, A. (Columbia University) , Practice, Theory, Research and Technology: Knowing Peak Performance, November 2016, In:Peak Performance, 2016, Cambridge, Massachusetts Meetings /Conferences Organised, 2016

Smyth, Fiona, Construction and Destruction: The First Acoustics Laboratory at Britain's Building Research Station, Modern Sciences Working Group, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, 2015 Invited Talk, 2015

Smyth, Fiona, Music, Acoustics & Medieval Architecture: The foundations of building science research in early 20th-century Britain, Cambridge, Massachusetts , 2015 Invited Talk, 2015

Smyth, Fiona, Building as Instrument: 'Designing for Musical Tone, Galpin, Society, Institute of Acoustics, Royal Musical Association Joint Conference,, Cambridge, Oct. 2015, 2015 Poster, 2015

Smyth, Fiona, 'Science as Applied to Building': Science, Construction, and Architectural Acoustics in Britain (1914-1954), History of Science Seminar Series, Department of the History of Science, Harvard University, 2015 Invited Talk, 2015

Smyth, Fiona, Designing the Question: Acoustic Surveys in the 1920s, IOA International Conference on Auditorium Acoustics, Paris, 2015 Poster, 2015

Smyth, Fiona, A Centenary of Architectural Acoustics: Hope Bagenal and Wallace Clement Sabine., Proc. of Institute of Acoustics, Institute of Acoustics 40th Anniversary Conference, Birmingham, Oct 2014, edited by IOA , 36, (3), IOA, 2014 Conference Paper, 2014

Smyth, Fiona, Acoustic Design in the 1930s: Robinson and Keefe's Church of Corpus Christi, Dublin, Proceedings of the First Conference of the Construction History Society, First Conference of the Construction History Society, Cambridge, April 2014, edited by Campbell, J.W.P. et al , Short Run Press, 2014, pp377 - 390 Conference Paper, 2014

Ní Chuinn, Rachel, 'The Shape of Sounds to Come', Lyric FM, 2014, - Broadcast, 2014

Smyth, Fiona, "More than a Machine for Living In: Science, Noise and Experimental Housing, Construction History, 29, (2), 2014, p105 - 122 Journal Article, 2014

Smyth, Fiona, 464 Forms of Construction: Siteworks and the Quest for Acoustic Data., 24th ICHSTM (International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine): 'Knowledge at Work', Manchester, July 2013, 2013 Conference Paper, 2013

Smyth, Fiona, Transatlantic Communications: Sound, Space, and Science, History of Science Society Meeting, Boston, Nov. 2013, 2013 Conference Paper, 2013

Scales of Interaction in Architecture and Music in, editor(s)Fontana-Giusti, G., Adler, G. & Brittain-Catlin, T , Scale: Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture , London, Routledge, 2013, pp88 - 98, [Smyth, Fiona] Book Chapter, 2013

Smyth, Fiona Muriel, From Concept to Application: Analytical Frameworks for Architectural Acoustics in a Contextual Study of Three Anglican Cathedrals , National University of Ireland, 2013 Thesis, 2013

Smyth, F. & Lennon, D., Data Capture, Modelling and Auditory Analysis in Christ Church and St Patrick's Cathedrals, Dublin, 3rd SPAR POINT Europe Conference on 3D Data Technology and Innovation, The Hague, 2012, 2012 Poster, 2012

Kearney, G., Gorzel, M., Boland, F., (...), Lennon, D., Rice, H, Real-time walkthrough auralisation of the acoustics of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, 8th International Conference on Auditorium Acoustics 2011, Dublin, 20-22 May, 33, (2), 2011, pp244-258 Conference Paper, 2011

Non-Peer-Reviewed Publications

Smyth, Fiona, A Legacy in Letters: Hope Bagenal and Wallace Clement Sabine, Acoustics, 40, (2), 2015, p26 - 29 Journal Article, 2015

Research Expertise

Projects

  • Title
    • SAAB - Science as Applied to Building: Science Construction and Architectural Acoustics in Britain (1914-1954)
  • Funding Agency
    • European Commission
  • Date From
    • July 2015
  • Date To
    • June 2018

Keywords

ACOUSTICS; Architectural Acoustics; Building Construction; building science; construction history; History of Architecture; History of Science & Technology

Recognition

Awards and Honours

Hawksmoor Medal, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain 2017

Royal Irish Academy Charlemont Scholarship 2015

Newman Medal for Architectural Acoustics, Acoustical Society of America 2014

Stanley Smith Prize, Construction History Society 2014

Memberships

Member Institute of Acoustics (MIOA) 2016

Construction History Society 2013 – Present

British Society for the History of Science 2013