This week, explore Iustin Sandu‘s educational journey from Romania to Derby, pursuing an MSc Audio Engineering with us, eventually leading to a career as a Scientific Computing Specialist at d&b audiotechnik. Under the mentorship of our faculty, Iustin transitioned from music to the world of spatial audio, embarking on a promising career in audio engineering. His story highlights how Derby’s nurturing environment sparks passions and opens doors to remarkable career paths.
Iustin Sandu, Classe of 2018
Current job + employer:
Scientific Computing Specialist, d&b audiotechnik Gmbh & Co. KG
What did you do/study prior to coming to Derby?
Bachelor of Music, University of Birmingham, UK
Why did you choose to go to the University of Derby?
The MSc course seemed to cover a broad spectrum of topics from the audio engineering world, which was interesting for me since at the time I wasn’t decided which specific area I would like to specialise in. Also, the communication with Dr Adam Hill about the course details was very good, which was an important aspect for me – being able to communicate effectively with the lecturers and teaching staff.
Did you start the course with a specific focus or were you undecided?
I had some experience in live sound engineering, but I hadn’t decided if I wanted to do this as a career.
Did that focus change on the course? If so, how?
Yes. During the course I came in contact with other areas of audio engineering, specifically spatial audio and digital signal processing in combination with software engineering. I found these topics very interesting so I focused more in this direction.
Has that focus changed on graduating? If so, how?
After graduating I went on to work in areas directly connected with the topics mentioned above. I am still doing active work in the area of spatial audio, although my focus has broadened a bit to include other aspects of loudspeaker system simulation and development which I learned in the industry.
What was the most useful thing you learned on the course?
The most useful thing I learned was that if you have the right support and guidance, you can learn anything. From the more technical things, the most useful thing I learned was Matlab programming and the basic concepts of spatial audio, which I have been using ever since.
What did you do on the course that you never thought you would enjoy?
What was your favourite establishment in Derby (pub, bar, club, restaurant, etc.)?
There was a breakfast place near the uni where our lecturers sometimes had breakfast or lunch. I can’t remember the name and it was pretty basic but I liked it and the food was good 🙂
What is your most memorable moment from Derby?
The many days and nights I spent with my colleague Daniel Turner either in the uni or in a study room trying to understand different concepts that we’d been taught, or working through problem sheets or assignments.
What/who at Derby most influenced your life, and how/why?
I was significantly influenced by Dr Adam Hill. His vast knowledge and encouraging, always helpful attitude was very inspiring. Also, Dr. Bruce Wiggins opened the world of spatial audio and DSP for me, which led me onto my current career path.
What would you say to a Derby first year student, knowing what you know now?
Enjoy the time and try to get the most out of your assignments and lecturers’ knowledge.
What have you done professionally since graduating?
I have been working as a software engineer and scientific computing specialist for d&b audiotechnik in Germany.
Have any Derby alumni or staff opened any doors for you? If so, who?
The staff opened doors in that they were open to my proposals to write a very practical dissertation on an industry-relevant topic, and made everything work smoothly from the university side, and guided my work throughout the writing process.