Grant Emms



Dr Grant Emms is a physicist specialising in acoustics. He helps to develop grading systems for the sawmilling industry that measure the stiffness of structural timber using sound waves. Grant has also taken a lead role in developing acoustic insulation systems for wooden buildings.


  • PhD (Physics), The University of Auckland, New Zealand - 2001
  • MSc (Hons) (Physics), The University of Auckland, New Zealand - 1993
  • BSc (Physics), The University of Auckland, New Zealand - 1991

Research capabilities

  • Use of vibration, acoustics and ultrasonics to measure properties of wood
  • Use of microwaves to non-destructively measure moisture content, grain angle and other properties of wood
  • Sound insulation of lightweight timber buildings, including airborne sound and structural vibration transmission

Career highlights

  • Technical lead in the development of the A- Grader timber stiffness acoustic grading technology, including on-going technical support and technology improvements.
  • Principal scientist in industry-funded project- ‘Maximising impact sound resistance of timber framed floor/ceiling systems’
  • Council member of the New Zealand Acoustical Society and assistant editor of the society’s journal ‘New Zealand Acoustics’
  • Technical lead in the ongoing development of focussed-beam microwave technologies for use in the wood processing industry

Selected papers

Emms, G W; Walther, T (2010). Flanking Transmission Measurements: Part 1- Measurement Techniques. Building Acoustics, Volume 17, Number 1, Pages 15–34

Bogosanovich, M; Al-Anbuky, A; Emms, G W; (2010). Overview and comparison of microwave non-contact wood measurement techniques. Journal of Wood Science, 56(5), 357-365.

Jones, T.G., Emms, G.W. (2010). Influence of acoustic velocity, density, and knots on the stiffness grade outturn of radiata pine logs, Wood and Fiber Science, 42 (1), pp. 1-9.

Chung, H., Fox, C., Dodd, G., & Emms, G. (2010). Lightweight Floor/Ceiling Systems with Improved Impact Sound Insulation. Building Acoustics, 17(2), 129-141.

Chung, H; Emms, G W. (2008). Fourier Series Solutions to the Vibration of Rectangular Lightweight Floor/Ceiling Structures. Acta Acustica united with Acustica, Volume 94, Number 3, May 2008 , pp. 401-409(9).

Riley, S., Emms, G., Sargent, R., & Schöttle, L. (2008). A method for studying dynamic sorption behavior of small wood Samples. Drying Technology, 26(9), 1129-1134.

Dodd, G., Emms, G., McGunnigle, K., Schmid, G., (2006). Findings from listening to impacts on floors, New Zealand Acoustics, 19 (3), 17-24.

Chung, H., Emms, G. W., Schmid, G., (2006) Comparison between theoretical model and experimental data of a light-weight timber floor/ceiling structure, New Zealand Acoustics, 19 (1), 17-20.