At the recent Acoustical Society of NZ (ASNZ) Conference held 28-29 June in Auckland, our esteemed comrade Keith Ballagh was awarded a Fellowship of the ASNZ. Chris Day had the honour of delivering the tribute speech where he highlighted some of the many accomplishments throughout Keith’s career. Here is a summary of the Encomium:
Keith began his acoustics journey after graduating from the University of Canterbury in 1974 with first class honours in Mechanical Engineering, joining the acoustics division as a Scientist, then Section Leader at the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. He went on to work at the PTB (Physikalisch - Technische Bundersanstalt) in Braunschweig, Germany, one of the world’s leading acoustic research centres, before joining Marshall Day Acoustics in 1987.
His work has included a full range of acoustical consulting, from room acoustics to industrial noise control, but it is his technical expertise that really stands him head and shoulders above the rest. Keith has been the technical backbone of MDA for 35 years, developing various software packages, including INSUL and Zorba, both of which have sold in more than 30 countries around the world. Keith also initiated and supervised the development of Iris, our 3D room acoustic measurement system.
Some project highlights include the Gallagher Concert Chamber at the University of Waikato – a beautiful space that is regarded as the best ‘chamber music’ venue in NZ; the Air NZ engine test cell in Chch – very large high velocity hot gas silencers with residents in close proximity. Keith has influenced generations of MDA, both young, and not so young, with his selfless manner (community before self) and enthusiasm for knowledge sharing.
“When I meet people at International conferences and they see I’m from MDA, they don’t register where I fit in, but say ‘oh, Marshall Day, you must work with Keith Ballagh. He is amazing… etc.’. He has an enormous international reputation.” – Chris Day
To become a Fellow involves a combination of his status in the field of acoustics, and his contribution to ASNZ over the years. Congratulations to Keith! All of us at Marshall Day are privileged to have worked with and learnt from this outstanding human being.