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Seminar - Large-scale finite element generation of voice: from biomechanics to sound, by Oriol Guasch

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016. Time: 12 p.m.

Place: O.C. Zienkiewicz Conference Room, C1 Building, UPC Campus Nord, Barcelona.


The voice organ fits in a small space with a characteristic length no larger than 17 cm. Yet, the human voice encompasses very complex physics with turbulent airflows interacting with vibrating and colliding vocal folds, and with acoustic waves propagating in a dynamic contorted vocal tract. Numerical methods, and in particular the finite element method (FEM), have revealed as the most suitable option to solve many of those physical phenomena, and why not, attempting at a unified simulation, from muscle articulation and phonation to the emitted sound, in a not so far future. This talk will review some of the state of the art and current challenges in numerical voice production; from vowels and diphthongs to sibilants and the self oscillations of the vocal folds. Numerical methods can be very appealing because they allow one not only to listen to a simulated sound but also to visualize the sound sources and the propagation of acoustic waves through the vocal tract. However, care should be taken not to use FEM as a black box. Even if a fully unified simulation of the whole process of voice generation was possible in an ideal supercomputer, would this reveal all the physics beneath voice production?

Oriol Guasch

Oriol Guasch is the director of the Acoustics Area and associate professor at the Department of Engineering, La Salle R&D, Ramon Llull University. His academic background includes a Five year degree in Physics, an specialization on Earth and Cosmological Physics by the Faculty of Physics from the University of Barcelona (UB) and a PhD in Computational Mechanics and Applied Mathematics by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC).

Some of the research areas he is currently interested are computational aeroacoustics and computational acoustics, stabilized finite element methods, graph theory applied to statistical energy analysis models, theoretical and experimental noise and vibration transmission path analysis and ultrasounds.

Further information about the speaker

GTM. Grup de recerca en Tecnologies Mèdia. La Salle, Universitat Ramon Llull. C/Quatre Camins 2, Barcelona 08022, Catalonia, Spain.