About me

I've lived in Melbourne, Australia since November 2005. Before that, I was in Cambridge, UK, for many years.

This page is mostly about my technical and commercial work. I'm also a photographer, sound engineer, filmmaker, and dancer, in no particular order. If you're looking for my photography pages, they're over at photos.troughton.org.

Professional background

By training I am an electrical engineer. My technical specialities are Bayesian statistics, audio engineering, and digital signal processing. However, my career has exposed me to a much wider range of companies and business situations in more diverse roles than is typical. I have found that I tend to be employed for my ability to communicate clearly and to think through commercial problems rationally, as much as for any technical know-how and mathematical ability.

Energy industry

I have a long-standing interest in the electricity industry, with a particular focus on sustainability and on understanding the side-effects of different market designs.

Since 2007, I have been working for Energy Response as Product Development Manager and as Generation Manager. Our aim is to address extreme peaks in electricity demand or spot market prices using resources, such as standby generators, which would otherwise stand idle. This is a cheaper and cleaner approach than simply building new infrastructure. It's an obvious and simple idea, but very complex to implement.

My previous experience in the industry was working for ECNZ during a year between degrees in the mid-1990s, where I was involved in a fascinating project assessing the nodal pricing scheme which was being proposed for the New Zealand Electricity Market.

Technology investment

Much of my work has involved assessing the prospects of businesses which are seeking investment. These are typically technology-oriented firms. My usual approach is to immerse myself in their field for a while and to interview many of the people involved. I can then find out whether what they are proposing makes sense, and work with the entrepreneurs or inventors to refine their plans if necessary.

I have done a lot of this kind of work in the areas of:

along with some projects in: and a few oddities such as timber processing, property development, and airline pilot training.

I have done this both independently, as a consultant to various investment groups and entrepreneurs, and while working as a Technology Analyst for RI Group. My role there was split between RI Capital, an investment bank, and RI Asset Management, which manages venture capital/private equity investments. I worked mostly with fairly young companies, at the start-up or expansion stage, but also on some buy-ins or buy-outs of more established firms.

I am also involved with Bluebox Devices, a digital media start-up with some very smart ideas.

Audio engineering

I've been involved in sound engineering for many years, starting with theatre sound design, diversifying into live music, and then researching and working in the field. I was Chairman of the Audio Engineering Society's UK section in 2003-04, and also chaired the 2003 UK conference, Live Sound.

Live music

I got roped into sound engineering in Clare Cellars when I first arrived at University. With a low, vaulted brick ceiling, the venue has a fantastic atmosphere, but extremely challenging acoustics. For a while I was Co-President of Clare Jazz Club, and I continued for several years to provide technical help with the live mix or recording on difficult or interesting nights, and to help train up new undergrads. I've been fortunate to engineer for many excellent bands and artists, including the hugely talented pianists Jason Rebello and Zoe Rahman and the so-soulful singer Aydenne Simone.

Research

I completed a PhD with the Signal Processing Group at Cambridge University, supervised by Simon Godsill. My research was into statistical methods for restoring distorted audio signals, and involved work in:

It resulted in techniques for blind restoration of audio signals which had suffered unspecified distortion, clipping, or coarse quantisation. They are, however, somewhat compute-intensive.

For further information, including a downloadable version of my thesis, see my list of publications.

Digital Sound Projector

I worked for 1 Limited from 1999 to 2003. Since it is an IP-based business, much of my work there is still shrouded in secrecy. I do, however, have a dozen or so patent applications to my name. The principal invention with which I have been involved is the "Digital Sound Projector", a phased-array loudspeaker system which forms multiple beams of sound. Its first application is in single-box home cinema speaker systems. The technology works very well -- everybody who hears it seems to want one.

The first products based on the technology were Pioneer's rather high-end PDSP-1 and Yamaha's more mass market YSP-1. The products have won a lot of industry awards. Yamaha is promoting its seventh sound projector model, the YSP-4000, with some rather ingenious television adverts.

Photography

Clinging on - Dominic's third month

I've been fascinated by cameras and photographs since an early age. My work has been exhibited, and I have worked professionally as an event and wedding photographer, as well as doing some corporate work. My work in black and white has proved particularly popular. If you'd like me to photograph anything around Melbourne, please let me know.

Friends

It seems rather old-fashioned now to have links to friends' homepages, but here are some:

Contact me

If you'd like to get in touch for any reason, please e-mail me.