Research Group

Clinical and Technical Audiology

Group Leader: Abigail Anne Kressner


We believe that by recognizing the cross-disciplinary disconnects between engineers and clinicians and by working to remove these disconnects through the translation of research between DTU, the Copenhagen University Hospital, and our industrial collaborators, opportunities for improving the treatment of hearing impairment will emerge. We are especially well-suited for this cross-disciplinary work, given that we spend 50% of our time at DTU within the Hearing Systems Section and 50% of our time immersed among clinicians and their patients at the Copenhagen Hearing and Balance Center (CHBC) at Rigshospitalet. In this group, we are ultimately interested in improving the quality of life for hearing-impaired individuals. To accomplish this, we engage in both basic and applied research to better understand hearing impairment and how we can use technology to treat it.

Speech and spatial perception

In this line of research, we are interested in investigating how hearing device technologies influence speech and spatial perception. On the basic science side of the spectrum, our focus lies in understanding how hearing-impaired individuals understand speech in realistic, noisy environments—for example, in restaurants, classrooms, or in meeting rooms. On the more applied side, we are interested in understanding how hearing device technologies can be designed to improve speech intelligibility and spatial perception in these situations. We approach these questions using several different methodologies, including virtual sound environments, real-time hearing aid and cochlear implant simulators, and patient-reported outcomes.

Virtual sound environments are a tool for bringing realism into the clinic or laboratory, such that a listener placed within a loudspeaker array will have the feeling that they are in an authentic real-world listening environment rather than in the clinic or laboratory. We are using virtual sound environments to assess hearing device technology under more realistic conditions than was previously possible with more traditional setups.

Assessing and treating hearing loss

A second, broader research stream includes the assessment and treatment of hearing loss. An underlying theme throughout this research effort is to maintain focus on clinical relevance. In doing so, we hope to advance clinical care, and thereby, optimize hearing healthcare overall. Topics in this direction include the development of tools that facilitate better diagnosis and characterization of hearing impairment (e.g., measuring listening effort with pupillometry and measuring speech discrimination using functional near-infrared spectroscopy), as well as tools that help facilitate further research and development (e.g., creating a speech corpus and intelligibility tests and developing a speech intelligibility metric for cochlear implants). Moreover, we are interested in assessing the effects of hearing loss, and the treatment of it, in a broader clinical scope (e.g., characterizing the relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline).

We are interested in the development of tools that facilitate a better understanding of hearing impairment and the effect it has on daily life, and ultimately, to provide better care of patients in the clinic. We use a cross-disciplinary approach to connect engineers and clinicians to remove the disconnects between them.

Group Leader

Abigail Anne Kressner

Abigail Anne Kressner Assistant Professor Department of Health Technology

Abigail Anne Kressner received a B.Sc. degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2007 from Washington University in St. Louis, an M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2015 from the Georgia Institute of Technology. She has worked as a researcher at Knowles Electronics, LLC in Chicago, Illinois, USA, Widex A/S in Copenhagen, Denmark, the National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL) in Sydney, Australia, and at Cochlear, Ltd. In Melbourne, Australia. She joined Hearing Systems as a postdoctoral researcher in 2015 and then joined the faculty in 2019 as an Assistant Professor in a joint position with the Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) & Audiology Clinic at Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital.
ORCID: 0000-0003-4274-3948

Abigail Anne Kressner

Abigail Anne Kressner Assistant Professor Department of Health Technology