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Background and activities

Torbjørn Svendsen (1955) is a Professor at the Department of Electronics and Telecommunications. Professor Svendsen holds a MScEE, and a PhD both from the NTNU.

He is also the Director for NTNU's program for ICT as enabling technology.

Fields of interest and present research activities

My research interests have from the outset in 1979 been speech signal processing. The first period was focused on source coding, i.e. speech compression, which was also the subject of my doctoral thesis. From the mid 80’s the research interests have been mainly on automatic speech recognition, but also areas like spoken dialogue systems and speech synthesis have been included in my research.  Speech analysis methods and lexical modelling, e.g. pronunciation modelling have been two central areas. Realizing that current approaches to speech recognition seem to be nearing a saturation point in terms of performance, a major activity in the last 5-year period has been to investigate new paradigms for speech recognition, aiming to integrate phonetic and linguistic knowledge in a statistical framework based on detection of (language universal) phonetic features.

Work experience

  • NTNU (1979-1981 Research assistant, 1983-1984 doctoral fellowship, 1988-1995 Associate professor, 1995-present Professor), Research director ICT (2015-)
  • SINTEF (1981-1987, Research scientist)
  • Research visits at AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, NJ (1986-1987, 1990); Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia (1996-97); AT&T Labs, Florham Park, NJ (2000); Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia (2002-03); Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (2013)

Professional merits

Peer review and professional evaluation work:

  • Reviewer for international journals like IEEE Transactions (Communications; Signal Processing; Audio, Speech and Language Processing; Multimedia); EURASIP Journal on Applied Signal Processing, Signal, Image and Video Processing; and Speech Communication, and various conferences and workshops on speech and signal processing.
  • Member of Speech Communication journal Editorial Board
  • Reviewer for EU's Language Engineering program and the Information Society Research Programme of the Academy of Finland. Project reviews for the Norwegian, Australian, Swiss, Dutch, Belgian and South African Research Councils
  • Opponent/member of examination boards for 26 doctoral theses

Membership in academic and professional committees

  • Various appointments at the national level, e.g. in the Research Council of Norway, incl. grant committee member for the IKTPLUSS program, program board chair for the VERDIKT program, and in the Norwegian Language Council.
  • Member of advisory board, Norwegian Language Bank (“Språkbanken”)
  • Member of Technical committees, Eurospeech2001 and Interspeech2012, and organizing committee of Eurospeech2001.
  • Member, IEEE Signal Processing Society Speech Technical Committee (1998-2001)
  • Elected member, Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences
  • Board member, International Speech Communication Association (ISCA)

Other professional merits

  • Project manager, "Atomic Units for Language Universal Speech" (current), "Spoken dialog systems for telephony"; "Speech interfaces and reasoning systems"; "Norwegian corpus for language technology"; “Voice centric user interfaces for location based services”; “Tools for realistic speech synthesis in”; “Spoken Information Retrieval by Knowledge Utilization in Statistical Speech Processing”;  “Rundkast – A transcribed broadcast news for applications in language technology”(past projects).
  • Vice chair, COST action 278; WG chair COST actions 232 and 249; Advisory Scientific Board member, EU project ACORNS; Board member, Nordic Graduate School of Language Technology (former actions and activities)
  • Previous NTNU appointments: Department Head, Department of Telecommunications; Vice Dean, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Telecommunications; member of several NTNU committees
  • 16 PhD students graduated (2 as co-supervisor). Currently supervising 2 PhD students.
  • ~80 Master degree students graduated
  • ~85 papers in international journals and conferences

Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications