PhD degree successfully defended by Naim Mansour

Monday 21 Jun 21

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Naim Mansour
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DTU Health Tech

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Torsten Dau
Head of Sections, Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 77

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Tobias May
Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 39 59

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Marton Marschall
Senior Officer
DTU Health Tech

On Friday June 18, Naim Mansour successfully defended his PhD project on “Assessing hearing device benefit using virtual sound environments,” supervised by Torsten Dau, Tobias May, Marton Marschall and Adam Westermann (WS Audiology).

Hearing well in noisy everyday situations can be challenging, especially for people affected by hearing loss. Hearing devices try to restore a hearing-impaired person’s ability to accurately perceive sounds and understand speech. However, many psychoacoustic tests currently in use to evaluate speech intelligibility and hearing device performance do not take the acoustic properties of complex real-world sound scenes into account, typically relying on artificial target speech and background noise signals presented over headphones or small sets of loudspeakers. While these laboratory settings provide highly controlled and reliable results, they may not reflect how people experience their real-world auditory reality. Naim increased the realism in psychoacoustic listening tasks inside controlled laboratory environments by employing “virtual sound environments” (VSE). By using VSEs in combination with spatially recorded real-world noise signals and spatialized target speech, he designed and implemented realistic speech intelligibility tasks. He showed that a newly devised method for evaluating subjective, listener-reported hearing ability in a more controlled way was applicable inside realistic VSEs.

The examiners were impressed by the care that Naim has taken to verify the match between real and virtual environments, and the variety of solutions that he has devised to solve notoriously difficult technical problems. The examiners were also impressed by Naim’s careful consideration of the trade-off between experimental control and realism. Most of the chapters have already been published (or are under review) in leading international journals.

Caption: (Leftmost): Co-supervisor Associate Professor Tobias May, PhD Naim Mansour and supervisor Professor Torsten Dau. Photo: Maria Asp.

The defence was held partly online. Other supervisors and the assessment committee:
Co-supervisor: Senior Officer Marton Marschall
Co-supervisor: Doctor Adam Westermann

Examiners:

Associate Professor Cheol-Ho Jeong, DTU Electrical Engineering
Research Associate Professor Virginia Ann Best, Boston University
Associate Professor Pavel Zahorik, University of Louisville School of Medicine
Chairperson at defence:
Associate Professor Bastian Epp




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