This week we feature Paul Shields, Senior Lecturer in Applied Acoustics at the University of Derby, who brings extensive expertise in environmental acoustics, particularly in rail, industry, and construction. He chose Derby for its fantastic team, facilities, and opportunities to inspire the next generation of acousticians. Excited about the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and acoustics cameras in the field, Paul also enjoys cooking, dining out, and travelling to explore new cuisines overseas. His favourite museum? The Tank Museum at Bovington. With a fresh start in lecturing, every project is an exciting adventure for Paul.


photo of Paul Shields

Paul Shields

What is your name?

Paul Shields

What is your quest?

Enjoy life, spend time in good company, eat great food

What is your favourite colour?

Tough question, I guess my favourite colour varies – today it is white

What is your hometown?


What did you do before coming to Derby? 

Grew up and went to school in Darlington, left school at 17 and worked on the railway in Darlington as a trainee technician in Signalling and then got a job in Doncaster in the British Railway Research Tribology department.

When did you start at Derby?

January 2024

Why did you choose to work at the University of Derby?

Great team, great facilities and great opportunities to inspire the next generation of acousticians. I get to learn, innovate and interact with talented people. It’s in a great location and close enough so I can cycle to work.

What is your current role?

Senior Lecturer Applied Acoustics

What programme(s) do you teach on?

IOA Diploma in Acoustics and Noise Control
MSc Applied Acoustics
IOA short courses

What are your areas of expertise?

Environmental acoustics, particularly with respect to rail, industry and construction.

What has been your most memorable experience from your time working at Derby?

I am new to Derby Uni but have already had a great experience with how the staff have made me feel welcome and part of the team.

What do you think is the next “big thing” in your field?

I think there are two: increasing use of Artificial Intelligence for crunching data and acoustics cameras for locating sound sources.

What’s a hobby or interest you have outside of your university work?

I enjoy cooking and eating out, basically anything to do with food, and even better it involves travel overseas.

What is your favourite museum?

It’s got to be the Tank Museum at Bovington

Is there a work-related project you’re particularly excited about?

I’m new to lecturing so it’s all exciting!

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