Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

PhD in Music Acoustics on Informed Source Separation

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    University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria
    EngineeringSound engineering
    TechnologySound technology
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    01/06/2019 17:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Austria › Vienna
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


The Early Stage Researcher (ESR) will undertake research in the framework of the project “VRACE: Virtual Reality Audio for Cyber Environments”, and will be funded for 36 months through the prestigious Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Innovative Training Network (ITN) programme. VRACE will establish a multidisciplinary training and research programme focusing on the analysis, modelling and rendering of dynamic 3-dimensional soundscapes for applications in Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR), delivered by nine cooperating European Universities and their industrial partners, including Siemens, Mueller BBM, Sennheiser and Facebook Reality Labs (former Oculus).

The ESR will be an active member of the research project team at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) assisting in the delivery of research and training activities of the VRACE Network and required to work towards the expected results of the MDW-led project entitled “Informed source separation based on 3D sound fields and laser-based techniques for remote vibration sensing”.

In addition to their individual scientific projects, all ESRs will benefit from further continuing education through a dedicated training program in the various fields of expertise of the consortium partners, which includes active participation in workshops, conferences and outreach activities.

More Information


  • A remuneration package competitive with industry standards in Austria, a country with a high quality of life and excellent health care system. Basic salary of €40103 per annum, according to the collective agreement in Austria plus Mobility Allowance of €600 per month and Family Allowance (if applicable) of €500 per month.
  • An opportunity to pursue a PhD in Music Acoustics, typically a 3-4 year trajectory, in a stimulating and ambitious research environment at the world's top ranked University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna.
  • An opportunity to receive outstanding PhD-level training in both scientific and transferable skills.
  • An opportunity to boost your career by becoming member of an international excellence network including top-ranked Universities and industrial partners such as Siemens, Sennheiser, Mueller-BBM and Facebook/Oculus.
  • Living in Vienna, of course :-).


Eligibility criteria

Essential criteria

  • Have or about to obtain a M.Sc. in engineering, physics or a closely related discipline, with a strong background in signal processing and adequate computational and engineering skills.
  • Strong enthusiasm to participate in highly interdisciplinary research spanning across acoustics, optics, machine learning, virtual reality, and music.
  • Relevant experience in computer programming.
  • Strong analytical and problem solving skills.
  • Ability to logically conceptualise and summarise the research findings.
  • Excellent verbal and writing communication skills in English.
  • Ability to interact with colleagues and staff.
  • Ability to organise resources, manage time and meet deadlines.
  • Be willing and able to participate in training programs at the facilities of other consortium members across Europe and in the US.
  • At the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers and not yet have been awarded a doctorate. This four-year period is measured from the date of obtaining the degree that would formally entitle to embark on a doctorate.
  • Must not have resided or carried out their main activity in Austria for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their selection for this post.

Desirable criteria

  • Masters Qualification in a relevant subject.
  • Specialist knowledge in optical and/or acoustic measurement techniques, image processing and/or digital signal processing.
  • Proficiency in a programming language (e.g. Python, C/C++)
  • Be eligible and qualified for enrolment in the PhD programme at MDW.

Selection process

The University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is committed to the equal treatment of all qualified applicants regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, world-view, age, or disability.

The University is particularly interested in increasing the percentage of women working in the artistic, scientific and general university personnel ranks. It therefore particularly encourages female candidates to apply. The VRACE network strives to improve gender balance in research.

The application must contain information about education, exams and previous employment. Applicants should send the following:

  • Motivation Letter
  • CV
  • A list of all publications with bibliographical references
  • Copies of diplomas and attestations
  • Link to an electronic document containing their Master’s Thesis.

Selected candidates will be invited to an interview (either locally or remotely). It should be specifically mentioned, however, that applicants who are invited to the audition will not receive remuneration from the university for incurred travel and hotel expenses.


Additional comments

  • This position relates to ESR1 as defined in the VRACE-ETN project. General information about VRACE can be found on the consortium website: http://vrace-etn.eu/
  • Research Topic: Informed source separation based on 3D sound fields and laser-based techniques for remote vibration sensing
  • The advertised project belongs to the work stream of Work Package 1, which focuses on reconstruction of complex sound fields, considering near field characteristics of individual sources. Research in this project will be conducted in collaboration with Sennheiser (SENN).
  • Objectives: Reconstruction of near field sound of multiple sources from wave field analysis and additional cues obtained from sensors and prior knowledge (e.g. 3D environment model), study of laser-based techniques for sound source localisation and remote vibration sensing.
  • Tasks and methodology: The researcher will study current methods for wave field analysis and sound source localisation and investigate the usage of multi-beam laser interferometry and acceleration sensors on vibrating objects (musical instruments) in combination with different recording setups (e.g. 3D-360° microphones) and develop new informed source separation algorithms. These algorithms will combine established signal processing methods with new approaches from machine (deep) learning.
  • Expected Results: New or significantly improved informed source separation algorithms as required for spatial audio rendering for listeners moving around in virtual environments (in collaboration with ESR2), new laser-based techniques for remote vibration sensing
  • Supervision: Prof. Wilfried Kausel (MDW), Prof. Gianpaolo Evangelista (MDW), Prof. Thomas Moore (Rollins College, USA)
  • For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Alex Hofmann (hofmann-alex@mdw.ac.at). Please be aware that your documents may be shared with the named beneficiaries within the consortium, as part of the application review process.

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent
    Technology: Master Degree or equivalent
    Physics: Master Degree or equivalent
    ENGLISH: Excellent


Major Duties:

  • Conduct research in signal analysis and processing with the aim of sound source localisation and separation in 3D sound fields with additional information from multi-beam laser interferometry measurements
  • Carry out the research and training activities specified by a personal career development plan (PCDP) and contribute to the PCDP development.
  • Study and follow the technical literature including academic papers, journals and textbooks to keep abreast with the state-of-the-art in the project topical area.
  • Record, analyse and write up results of research work and contribute to the production of research reports and publications.
  • Prepare regular progress reports on the performed research and training activities and present the research outcomes at meetings, project workshops, and to external audiences to disseminate and publicise research findings.
  • Work closely with researchers of other consortium members and facilitate knowledge transfer within the VRACE consortium and in accordance with the consortium agreement.
  • Undertake mandatory training programs and secondment as required at the facilities of other consortium members in Europe and the US.
  • Actively participate in training activities and submit reports in fulfilment of the project requirements.
  • Participate in outreach, dissemination, and administrative activities promoting the VRACE Network including contributing to the consortium webpages and to organisation of VRACE project training workshops and events.

Work location(s)
3 position(s) available at
University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna, Austria
Anton von Webernplatz 1

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EURAXESS offer ID: 396186


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