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Sir James Lighthill Best Student Paper Award

The Award

The Award is for the best paper published in the Proceedings of IIAV Annual International Congress on Sound and Vibration (ICSV) by a person in the early stages of his/her career. The Award will be in the form of a certificate and when sponsorship is available, will be backed by a cash sum of $200. In addition, free membership of the IIAV, at an appropriate grade (normally Student) will be given to the winner for one year (see note 3 below).


The author of the paper must either be a student or within the first five years of full-time employment. He/she need not be a member of the Institute. In the case of multiple authorships, the early-career-stage criterion must be satisfied by the first- or second-named author. If other authors also satisfy the criterion, the cash Award is to be shared between all those authors satisfying the criterion, with each receiving a certificate. The free membership for a year is for the presenting author only (see note 4 below).

Nomination arrangements

All papers submitted by 31 March 2023, and satisfying the above eligibility criteria will be considered (see note 5 below). Abstract and paper deadlines must be observed for consideration by the Awards Committee. No late papers will be allowed.


The Awards Committee is not obliged to make the Award in any given year, if, in their opinion, there is no eligible paper of adequate quality. The criteria to be used by the Awards Committee are: the contribution to the advancement of scientific knowledge, originality, quality and industrial importance.


The Award will be fully reported in Institute publications and the IIAV Secretariat will issue details in a press release to the technical and engineering institutional press. A brief biography of the winner and his/her photo will be published in the IJAV issue following the annual ICSV Congress.


The Award will be presented at the ICSV30 Congress. The sponsoring organisation (when applicable) will be invited to decide who is to make the presentation, and the person chosen will be the Institute’s guest at the Congress Dinner when the Award is presented.


  1. The eligibility criteria are intended to be broad enough to include all students and those in the early years of careers in the fields of acoustics and/or vibration.
  2. The Award will be made mainly on the basis of the quality of the written paper, and to a lesser extent on the quality of the oral presentation. This will allow the judging process to be completed before the Congress. However, a check will be made by members of the Honours and Awards Committee to ensure that the quality of the oral presentation of the proposed winner is acceptable. Furthermore, candidates should demonstrate by the way they present the paper and answer any questions that they have made a substantial technical contribution to the paper. If multiple papers obtain the same score, the judging process will be completed at the Congress by a Panel on the basis on the quality of the oral presentation.

  3. Non IIAV members who receive the Award will receive free membership of the International Institute of Acoustics and Vibration (IIAV) for a year, normally at the Student grade, starting immediately after the Award is made. It is hoped that this will encourage the award-winner to become a long-term Member of the Institute. Existing members will receive free membership (at their existing grade) for the year following their next membership renewal. Note that the free membership offer is limited to the presenting author. 

  4. The requirement regarding the first- or second-named author aims to ensure that the person being presented with the Award has made a substantial contribution to the paper.

  5. Those wishing to enter the competition must indicate whether they are eligible or career-stage grounds and wish to be considered. Only authors submitting full papers for the Proceedings will be considered.

For additional information on the Sir James Lighthill student best paper award, please contact Len Gelman, Chair of the Honours and Awards Committee, at:


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