Meet Haydon Cardew, a 2016 Derby MSc Audio Engineering grad, now a Senior Software Engineer at DTS. Haydon’s journey began with a BSc (Hons) in Music Technology & Production at Derby. He chose Derby for its equipment and city, later focusing on audio software and electronics within the MSc. Valuable course concepts like HRTFs have been surprisingly useful. Memorable moments include presenting at the Sounds in Space research symposium. Bruce and Adam’s guidance was crucial, aiding his job interviews. Haydon worked at MQA Ltd for six years and now shines as a Senior Software Developer at DTS, including demoing software at renowned London studios. Haydon’s education at Derby not only equipped him with essential technical skills but also opened doors to a fulfilling career in audio.


Photo of Haydon Cardew

Haydon Cardew, Class of 2016


Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Current location:

Thrapston, Northamptonshire

Current job + employer:

Senior Software Engineer – DTS

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

BSc (Hons) Music Technology & Production, University of Derby

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

Initially, I chose the University for my undergraduate study due to the equipment it owned. I’d also heard very good things about the city. I then chose to stay on for the MSc due to the course content.

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

I was mainly interested in audio software and audio electronics and hoping to get a career in that area of the industry.

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

Probably only got stronger (I quickly realised a career in live sound wasn’t for me). The course did introduce me to the area of C++/DSP/plugin development, which gave me a good area to focus my software development skills.

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

I have moved entirely into the software industry now.

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

Audio programming in C++.

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

Probably wrong to say ‘never use’ but it’s surprising how useful it has been to know about HRTFs.

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

Surprisingly, writing a 20,000 word dissertation was overall enjoyable. Really helps to pick something you’re interested in!

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

Happy hour at Turtle Bay.

What is your most memorable moment from Derby?

Presenting my dissertation work at Sounds in Space (an annual research symposium previously held at the University of Derby).

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

Bruce and Adam for sure. Great mixture of experience in audio software and electronics and fantastic tutors to learn from. Undeniably the reason why I was at a good enough level to get my first job in the audio software sector.

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

Use every resource the University is offering you (contact time with tutors, library facilities, etc) and always guide any work you do towards what you’re most interested in (or want to pursue a career in).

What have you done professionally since graduating?

Since graduating I got a job as a software developer at MQA Ltd and worked there for 6 years. I have now taken up a role as a Senior Software Developer at DTS.

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

Bruce got me in contact with a few different professionals in the industry, which led to interviews. Nothing came directly from them but the experience was definitely useful for later interviews.

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

I’ve been lucky enough to work on some broadcasting software which I’ve demoed on site at multiple studios in London (Milico, British Grove, Rocket).

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

Keep progressing in the audio software sector and see where that takes me!

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