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Who we are

RobRob Harris

Born in London in 1954, Rob Harris was awarded a BSc (Hons) in Physics from Warwick University in 1975.

Rob was first a stage lighting designer and fringe theatre technical director, then a sound engineer in the West End of London and Canada, mixing major musicals such as Hair and Jesus Christ Superstar.

Rob obtained an MSc degree at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at Southampton University in 1977. He then worked in acoustics, mainly in the onshore and offshore oil industries.

In 1982 Rob returned to design for the performing arts with design consultancy Arup. He retired from Arup after 32 years in 2015, holding at that point the roles of Arup Fellow, Director of Ove Arup & Partners and the leader of acoustics, theatre design and the arts & culture business in the UK, Middle East and Africa. Today he is a leading independent international auditorium acoustic designer and theatre consultant.

His final integrated theatre consulting and acoustic design projects with Arup included a rehearsal / performance hall at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, facilities for the Royal College of Music London and feasibility studies for the refurbishment and upgrade of Stockholm Opera House and the proposed new concert hall in London, the Centre for Music.

Rob has researched, directed and presented on attracting new audiences to venues, the use of digital technology in the arts and a sustainable approach to performing arts centre operations.

Rob is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics and a Member of the Society of Theatre Consultants. In 2005 Rob was the first recipient of the Institute of Acoustics’ Engineering Medal and in 2009 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2016 he was appointed a Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Reasearch, Southampton University.

Sue Harris

Sue Harris is responsible for the administration of the business. She was awarded a BSc degree in Geography from Southampton University in 1979. Sue has a career background in central and local government and the private sector, with particular experience in personnel.

Rob’s auditorium acoustic design credits include:

  • Bridgewater Hall Manchester
  • City Recital Hall Sydney
  • Glyndebourne Opera House
  • Bruges Concertgebouw
  • Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff
  • Royal Opera House London
  • Copenhagen Opera House
  • Oslo Opera House
  • Kings Place recital hall London
  • Bord Gáis Energy Theatre Dublin
  • Kristiansand Performing Arts Centre Norway