MQA founder Bob Stuart awarded for exceptional contribution to audio engineering

Audio industry innovator Bob Stuart, the creator of MQA technology and the co-founder of Meridian Audio, has been awarded the Prince Philip Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering for ‘his exceptional contribution to audio engineering, which has changed the way we listen to music and experience films’.

The annual Prince Philip Medal is awarded to an engineer who has made an exceptional contribution to ‘engineering as a whole through practice, management or education’.

In addition to MQA, Stuart famously created MLP (aka Meridian Lossless Packing), the sound technology at the heart of DVD audio, which is now part of the Blu-ray Disc specification. 

Bob Stuart declared himself honoured and humbled by the award. “Audio engineering sits at an intersection between analogue and digital engineering, music and the human listener. My passion to enable great sound recording and playback has required a multi-disciplinary approach, but that quest to preserve and share music performances is very satisfying and important,” he says.

Multi-Grammy Award winning Mastering Engineer, Bob Ludwig, shared his thoughts: “Bob Stuart is a connoisseur of both engineering and music and that is what sets him apart. He is like a mastering engineer, he knows what music is supposed to sound like, so he isn’t blinded by theory or technology. If something does not sound right to his ear he will quickly reject it and explore a more musical way of accomplishing his goals. The invention of MQA improved the sound clarity that was blurred by digital components and as a musician, I am so delighted for my ears to be the recipient of Bob’s creation and to use it in my work.” 

Grammy-winning Producer and Engineer, Morten Lindberg adds: “With the invention and development of MQA, Bob has provided audio engineers and music producers all over the world with a mindset and tools to work with digital audio in an holistic perspective. His interdisciplinary research combining neuroscience, psychology and advanced physics with audio engineering now makes it possible for music production to maintain true analogue qualities in the digital domain. Bob is the kind of person who goes beyond the call of professional duty and ‘becomes’ his work.”

“Engineering underpins our daily lives,” says professor Raffaella Ocone OBE FREng FRSE, Chair of the Academy’s Awards Committee, “and these awards acknowledge and celebrate engineers and engineering achievements that are often hidden from public view.”

These engineers help to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges in fields spanning medical, civil, digital, and materials, and deserve to be celebrated for the work they do, she adds.