Samuel Williams, a 2015 BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology and 2019 MSc Applied Acoustics graduate, has harnessed his Derby education to excel in diverse roles within the industry. Initially drawn to electroacoustics and live music, Samuel’s coursework equipped him to tackle intricate projects, grasp technology standards, and navigate regulations effectively. The course’s holistic approach inspired him to delve into venue and system design, expanding his career horizons. Now a Senior Systems Designer at Media Powerhouse, he applies his expertise internationally. Samuel’s journey, influenced by faculty like Simon Lewis and Kit Lane, reflects the multifaceted impact of a Derby education, propelling him towards his ambition of tackling intricate challenges in the world of entertainment spaces.



Photo of Samuel Williams

Samuel Williams, Class of 2015 (BSc (Hons) Sound, Light and Live Event Technology) and 2019 (MSc Applied Acoustics)



Current location:


Current job + employer:

Senior Systems Designer, Media Powerhouse

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

Prior to BSc: Derby College Extended Diploma in Music Technology BTEC
Prior to MSc: Institute of Acoustics Diploma in Acoustics & Noise Control

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

The reputation of the course for being an engineering degree with a proven track record of high-performing graduates. Also good links with manufacturers from an R&D perspective.

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

Tackling electroacoustics problems within the acoustic environment.
Live music driven, due my exposure at this time.

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

The course provided the right mindset to tackle large complex projects and break them down. Understand what the implications are and find solutions.
The course teaches how protocols work. Why we make these design decisions and here’s how we calculate or model them to verify our results is key. This allowed me to expand my knowledge and open up other career opportunities than I had originally intended.

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

As a result of the course, I was more interested in venue design and had a real interest in deploying better and better systems. My aspirations post-leaving are somewhat unchanged, I am less engaged with the development of loudspeakers purely by focusing on other interests like venue and system design and acoustics as they all work together and have greater potential for me to make a difference.

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

Standards, how things worked and technology pitfalls with examples of deployment.

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


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

Hard to say – it was some time ago now. I’m going to go with SCAT (a first-year module called Signals and Circuit Analysis Techniques).

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

Wherever our social group congregated – hard to say.

What is your most memorable moment from Derby?

Josh Maynard in my year made a “compact” subwoofer for his project. It was intended to be small, single-person movable, portable, high output, hide in a corner. It ended up taking two people to carry (whilst laughing) and it only fit through a door in one orientation. Top marks. (Josh and I remain great friends to this day)

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

Hard to Say – Simon Lewis, who was the course leader at the time, I had the most in common with from an electro-acoustics interest and probably influenced me the most towards the acoustics and consultancy opportunities available. However, Kit Lane’s teaching was probably the most valuable information I learned during the course that I wouldn’t have learned or filled the gaps on the rest of my journey through academia.

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

If you can pass SCAT you will be fine with the rest of the course.

What have you done professionally since graduating?

Since graduating, I have worked as an event freelancer, acoustic consultant, theatre/venue consultant and senior audio-visual systems designer in a huge variety of projects internationally.

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

Institute of Acoustics conference attendance helped me initially get into acoustics employment where I wasn’t actively pursuing anything other than my research interests.

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

Consulting, designing, project managing and commissioning the first ever all IP-based (video, audio, lighting, control) semi-automated multi-space entertainment venue. Either I am a genius or the only one mad enough to do it!

What are your future career plans/ambitions?

Continue working on projects with interesting and complex requirements.
Entertainment spaces would be preferred, but all challenges are interesting in their own way.

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