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Biographical entry Byrne, Denis (1935 - 2000)

Born
2 February 1935
Died
23 March 2000
Gosford, New South Wales, Australia

Summary

Denis Byrne was Research Director at the National Acoustic Laboratories from 1989. He joined the company, then known as the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories in 1958 as a clinician. He was fundamental in the development and introduction of prescription hearing aids for the hearing impaired. This greatly improved the usefulness of hearing aids.

Details

After completing a degree in psychology in 1957, Denis Byrne joined the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories as a clinician. He was soon managing their clinics in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide where a standard, non-prescription hearing aid was issued to all patients. Byrne began to realise that if the aids could be adjusted and personalised to each patient they would provide a much better clarity of sound. This was not the common opinion at the time.

In 1971 he was put in charge of hearing aid research at the organisation's Sydney laboratories. Byrne soon discovered how to manipulate and select the frequency responses of hearing aids for customised use. This was the beginning of the technique which is used by the National Acoustic Laboratories (renamed in 1973) and throughout the world. In 1989 Byrne was appointed Director of Research at the newly restructured National Acoustic Laboratories, a position he held until his death.

Denis Byrne was a founding member and President of the Audiological Society of Australia and the editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Audiology since its inception in 1979.

Events

1957
Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA)? Completed
1958 - c. 1970
Career position - Clinician and Hearing Centre Manager at the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Adelaide
1971 - 1988
Career position - Researcher at the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories in Sydney
1989 -
Career position - Director of Research at the National Acoustic Laboratories (formerly the Commonwealth Acoustic Laboratories)
1999
Award - Inaugural Australian Hearing Lifetime Achievement Award received from the Australian Government

Published resources

Online Resources

Annette Alafaci