VCCA2024 – Program Highlights

The scientific program of VCCA2024 will combine interactive keynotes, featured and invited talks with scientific contributions and special sessions and workshops to highlight the wide range of world-class research and hot topics in computational audiology. Below are a selection of program highlights. More information will follow soon.

Keynote speakers:

Topic and Bio

Melanie Ferguson, PhD
Associate Professor Brain and Hearing at Curtin University Australia


Melanie Ferguson is Associate Professor in Brain and Hearing at Curtin University in Australia, and is a clinically-qualified audiologist. Her translational research interests are remote technologies and new service delivery models, listening and cognition including dementia, and outcome measures for adults with hearing loss. She has led research teams at the Ear Science Institute Australia in Perth, National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, and the NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, UK. She has had leadership roles in UK Audiology and UK hearing healthcare policy-making.

Her talk is titled: ” Shaping HearChoice: a co-design approach to empower choice and decision-making in hearing healthcare”. She will describe the participatory approach taken to co-design HearChoice, an online tailored intervention to enhance informed choice and decision-making in hearing healthcare. This has been guided by the experiences and contributions from adults with hearing loss, healthcare professionals, advocacy groups, professional bodies, manufacturers, and policymakers. The overall aim is to empower adults with hearing loss by offering them choice and control over their hearing health needs.

Dr. Manohar Bance
Professor of Otology and Skull Base Surgery, University of Cambridge, Honorary Consultant Cambridge University Foundation Trust.

In his keynote, Professor Manohar Bance will explore the  question: “Could we make cochlear implants work better?”
He is the inaugural Professor of Otology and Skull Base Surgery at the University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant at the Cambridge University Hospitals Trust (Addenbrookes), appointed in 2017Prior to his arrival in Cambridge, he was Professor and Head of the Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Dalhousie University in Canada, and Director of the EAR Lab there.

Dr.  Lars Bramsløw, PhD
Principal Scientist at the Eriksholm Research Centre, part of Oticon

Lars has 30 years of extensive experience in acoustics, hearing science and hearing aid research and development, including employment at House Ear Institute in Los Angeles, Eriksholm and Oticon headquarters in Smørum, Denmark. He is currently working on improved fitting of hearing aids for the individual and the application of deep learning algorithms in hearing health care.

His talk will be on potentials and challenges in future hearing aid technology, including application of artificial intelligence.

Deniz Başkent, PhD
University of Groningen & University Medical Center Groningen


Deniz is interested in all aspects of hearing, hearing loss, hearing aids and cochlear implants, and speech perception. Deniz’s current projects focus on children with hearing loss, voice and emotion perception, speech-in-speech perception, listening effort, and audiological diagnostic tests and rehabilitation approaches, such as music training and use of humanoid robots.



Featured talks:


Professor Andrew Hugill
Deputy Director, Institute for Digital Culture
University of Leicester

Andrew Hugill (b. 1957) is a composer, musicologist and computer scientist. He is a Principal Fellow of the HEA and a National Teacher Fellow. He has published many books and articles on topics ranging from digital music to pataphysics. He is the founder of the Aural Diversity Project and has led many conferences and concerts, workshops and media activities on that topic. He is the co-editor of the book Aural Diversity, published in 2022. His work often draws on his lived experience of invisible disabilties: autism, balance disorder and severe hearing loss.

In this talk, titled: “Aural Diversity: a general introduction”, Professor Andrew Hugill introduces the concept of Aural Diversity and discusses the scope of the field. Aural Diversity has become an increasingly influential idea in recent years across a range of disciplines including audiology and music, but also architecture and design, engineering and technology, computing and AI, and even literature and history. It starts from a premise that everybody hears differently and observes that current standards are inadequate to account for the many variations in hearing.

Andrew himself has severe unbalanced hearing loss, tinnitus and diplacusis thanks to Meniere’s Disease, and is also autistic, so brings a unique perspective to bear. He presents the work of the Aural Diversity project, which includes a network funded by the AHRC, a doctoral college funded by the Leverhulme Trust, a series of concerts, workshops, seminars and events, and a collection of partnerships with organisations such as GNResound, Arup, DEFRA and the Welsh Government.

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Special sessions: