Bob Stuart receives international award from Royal Academy of Engineering

posted on Monday, 14th September 2020 by Steve May

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AV industry luminary, creator of MQA and co-founder of Meridian Audio Bob Stuart has been awarded the Prince Philip Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) for ‘his exceptional contribution to audio engineering, which has changed the way we listen to music and experience films’.

A preeminent expert in audio coding, Stuart was responsible for MLP (Meridian Lossless Packing), the audio technology at the heart of DVD-Audio, which is now part of the Blu-ray Disc specification.

Awards given by the Royal Academy of Engineering celebrate engineering excellence and seek to recognise and reward the very best of engineering talent, from those whose achievements have a huge impact on society to early career engineers disrupting their fields of expertise.

The Prince Philip Medal is awarded to an engineer who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole through practice, management or education.

In accepting this award, Bob Stuart comments: “Audio engineering sits at an intersection between analogue and digital engineering, music and the human listener. My passion to enable great sound recording and playback has required a multi-disciplinary approach, but that quest to preserve and share music performances is very satisfying and important. I am honoured and humbled to receive this award from the Royal Academy of Engineering.”

George Massenburg, pre-eminent producer, inventor and teacher, says of the award: “For decades, research in modern digital audio has been confused by outdated foundational precepts, misled by chimerical goals or commercial pressure and hampered by ever-so-slowly evolving knowledge in the fields of science and hearing perception. Bob Stuart has risen above these challenges time and time again. Only the accomplished researcher whose heart and soul has been captivated by the sublime experience of superb, transparent music recording and reproduction could achieve so well what Bob has accomplished for so many years. Our job as producers is to connect an artist’s vision and intent with listeners; the ability to share our work has been deeply compromised in the last 30 years, with a seemingly endless “lowering of the bar” of audio quality. Thus, I’m deeply impressed by the performance and technology of MQA, its faithful rendering of nuance, complexity, sound stage and detail, lifts the veil. Knowing that my work can again be heard by an enthusiastic audience gives me a reason to go back into the studio. I feel strongly that Bob’s work, in MQA will have a tremendous impact on the music industry.”

Stuart is one of 16 winners announced by the The Royal Academy of Engineering for its 2020 medals and awards.

"These engineers help to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges in fields spanning medical, civil, digital, and materials, and deserve to be celebrated for the work they do,” says Professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE, Chair of the Academy’s Awards Committee.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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