BBC Research & Development is looking for an experienced scientist or engineer to co-lead the Audio Team within the Production applied research area. Our multidisciplinary team of around ten is formed of research scientists, engineers, developers, and producers. Our mission is to use our expertise in audio to help the BBC deliver innovative and high-quality audience experiences.
We work with BBC product teams to make audio more personalised and immersive. For example, we are working with iPlayer to make TV more accessible by allowing the audience to control the level of dialogue. We have a long track record of collaborating with production teams to trial new experiences, and to improve the creative process through cutting-edge technology. Recently, we worked with the BBC’s Natural History Unit to automatically analyse the audio from their live wildlife camera feeds, with Radio 1 to deliver innovative audio experiences for R1 Relax and R1 Dance, and with Casualty to improve the accessibility of the audio mix.
We are recognised as world leaders in broadcast research and our work directly influences the wider industry. We led the development of the Audio Definition Model (ADM) format, which has become the industry standard for object-based audio, and the Web Audio API, which is widely used to deliver audio on the web. Our standards work is supported through the development and publication of high-quality reference software and production tools, such as the EBU ADM Renderer (EAR), Binaural EBU ADM Renderer (BEAR), EAR Production Suite, and Audio Orchestrator. We also run the highly influential “Sounds Amazing” event series to promote innovation in sound.
We collaborate closely with academic researchers through the “BBC Audio Research Partnership”, by sponsoring and hosting PhD students and interns, and through collaborative research projects. Over the past decade, we have sponsored more than thirty students and launched ten collaborative projects worth £30M. Currently, we are involved in the “AI for Personalised Media Experiences” (AI4ME) project which, over the next five years, aims to produce and deliver personalised media at scale. We have published over 65 original research papers in recognised conferences and journals, including AES, ACM, and IEEE.
You will take a prominent role in setting the strategy of the Audio Team and managing day-to-day work towards the team’s ambitions. You will work closely with teams in other parts of the BBC to develop and transfer work, as well as steering research collaborations with academia and industry. Alongside your role as a team lead, you will be encouraged to continue your own technical research or development activities, and to maintain and grow your external profile.
You will work in collaboration with another Lead R&D Engineer in the audio team and the Head of Applied Research for Production. The division of responsibilities within the Audio Team will depend partly on your skills and interests.
You will have:
– A strong track record of, and reputation for, R&D work in audio in industry and/or academia
– Significant experience in leading research and development teams, including people management and/or academic supervision
– Ideally some experience of working in audio and media production environments
– Ability to clearly communicate and disseminate research to both specialist and general audiences, such as through conference/journal papers, blog posts, and presentations
– Experience in forming collaborations with other organisations, such as between industry and academia
– Time and resource management skills and ability to lead, motivate and direct support staff and contractors contributing to the project
– Expert knowledge in at least one of the following topics – experimental design and user research, psychoacoustics and perceptual testing, signal processing, machine learning and software development
How to apply:
Please apply through the BBC Careers Hub: https://careerssearch.bbc.co.uk/jobs/job/Lead-RD-Engineer-Audio/57755
Even if you don’t meet all of the above criteria but can bring additional diverse skills, please consider applying, as there will be opportunities to grow on-the-job.