James Whitlock

James Whitlock

James Whitlock is an Associate with extensive experience in all aspects of acoustics and manages the Tauranga office. His interest in acoustics came from a background in music. He studied classical piano and violin from a young age and now plays the drums and percussion for various orchestras and bands. 

He joined Marshall Day Acoustics’ Auckland office in 2001, after two years with the University of Auckland’s Acoustic Testing Laboratory. With MDA, he has managed projects across their full range of services - building acoustics design and commissioning, room acoustics, and environmental noise and vibration prediction and management. He has experience with a range of 3D computer acoustic modelling packages and has provided expert witness in numerous consent hearings and Boards of Inquiry. 

James has maintained an active interest in classroom acoustics since his Masters’ thesis in 2003, carrying on with research about the aspects of acoustics that influence learning environments (particularly the Lombard Effect). He has also developed a specialty in environmental vibration, predicting and assessing building damage risk and human response to construction vibration and large infrastructure projects.

In July 2023 he moved to the Bay of Plenty and started the Tauranga office. He is actively involved in acoustical aspects of the city centre rebuild and major infrastructure projects.

Qualifications & Memberships

  • Bachelor of Science - Physics
  • Master of Architectural Studies (1st Class Honours) - Acoustics
  • Secretary and past-President of the Acoustical Society of New Zealand (MASNZ)
  • Council Member of National Foundation for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Member of NZ/Australian Standards AV-004, International Standards Organisation and Internationall WELL Building Institute advisory panels
  • Member of the Resource Management Law Association (RMLA)
  • Silver Member of Priority One (Western Bay of Plenty's economic development agency)


Speech Intelligibility in Classrooms Understanding the Lombard Effect A Review of the Adoption of International Vibration Standards in New Zealand State Highway Noise Mapping - Auckland Motorways Case Study The acoustics of open-plan learning spaces New Zealand is actively improving school acoustics with government-led initiatives

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