Steve Jones, a 2002 graduate of the University of Derby’s live events programme, has achieved remarkable success in sound engineering, currently serving as the Head of Education & Application Support at d&b audiotechnik. He emphasizes the practical application of theory, a lesson learned from former programme leader (now retired), Simon Lewis, a pivotal influence in his life. Steve’s accomplishments include designing sound systems for iconic venues like Wembley Stadium and the Royal Albert Hall. His future ambitions involve pushing the boundaries of technology to enhance global audience experiences, a path illuminated by his time at the University of Derby. Steve’s career trajectory serves as a shining example for current and prospective students, proving that a solid foundation and a passion for learning can lead to immense professional achievements.


Photo of Steve Jones

Steve Jones, Class of 2002



Current location:


Current job + employer:

Head of Education & Application Support, d&b audiotechnik

What did you do/study prior to coming to Derby?

A levels – Maths, Physics, Music Tech

Why did you choose to go to the University of Derby?

It was the only course I could find that seemed to blend all the needed skills required for a role in the live events industry that I could centre around sound, whilst learning a wider appreciation for all relevant/associated disciplines.

Did you start the course with a specific focus or were you undecided?

I knew I wanted to focus on sound from the outset.

Did that focus change on the course? If so, how?

I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy the bigger understanding of event spaces, particularly acoustics as a separate topic to sound systems.

Has that focus changed on graduating? If so, how?

It always amazes how every part of the course has been relevant at different stages in my career. I still have a passion for acoustics and live sound and I’ve made a successful career out of this, but all other topics have been useful at different stages in my career.

What was the most useful thing you learned on the course?

Theory is nothing without good application. Simon Lewis blended the required theory really well with the need to keep grounded in the real world. I also found great use of ambisonics modules in the live sound world as the “immersive” world has become a bigger and bigger trend.

What did you learn on the course that you thought you’d never use, but that has come in handy during your career?

Appreciation for how many toilets an events space needs and house ring mains.

What did you do on the course that you never thought you would enjoy?

Building FM transmitters/modulators.

What was your favourite establishment in Derby (pub, bar, club, restaurant, etc.)?

Riverside Bar (gone now I believe).

What/who at Derby most influenced your life, and how/why?

Simon Lewis. He lived and breathed the events industry, despite his own personal challenges, he showed how to do our industry with a lot of fun, whilst building on good solid principles of science and problem solving

What would you say to a Derby first year student, knowing what you know now?

Have fun, work hard, and still start at the bottom of the career path when you leave uni, because that’s were a lot of the fun happens that will impact your career for the rest of your life. The university knowledge shouldn’t put you ahead in your career at first, but it will most definitely help you accelerate and stand out in the field.

What have you done professionally since graduating?

Had the joy of growing a pretty successful career, building great teams, building and delivering some fantastic training programs around the world, designing and delivering some sound systems into some of the most iconic venues in the world such as Wembley Stadium, Royal Albert Hall, Dubai Opera House, Bjork’s Cornucopia Tour.

Have any Derby alumni or staff opened any doors for you? If so, who?

I have worked with many co-alumni from Derby Uni in our industry from my own year and subsequent years in many companies around the world. There’s definitely a connection when you work with another Derby graduate!

What is your most memorable moment from your career so far?

Delivering the Royal Albert Halls’s new sound system, fixing generations of bad sound experiences.

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

To keep pushing ahead as an early adopter of technology to provide better experiences for audiences around the world, either through my own projects or helping to equip others to do so with better knowledge, equipment and practises.

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