The Portuguese Acoustical Society (SPA) is an independent, non-profit making and non-governmental organisation. This society was conceived to be a specialised association intended to congregate the Portuguese acousticians and to promote and develop acoustics within the country, being simultaneously a forum to exchange information amongst its members. Similarly, another purpose of the SPA is to serve as link between several areas of different scientific fields that have acoustics as a common subject. It also aims at promoting technical and scientific advances in acoustics throughout the country and to facilitate the recognition – both in Portugal and abroad – of activities developed by those basically working in acoustics and by those who are simply interested in it.
The SPA was established in the seventies. At the time, some important initiatives were taken by the former group of SPA members with the purpose of encouraging technicians working in acoustics, to join and work together with a view to promote acoustics in Portugal. Additionally, some relations at an international level were established in order to support the creation of SPA. Amongst all these contacts and supports, special reference must be made to SEA (Spanish Society of Acoustics) and to the strong link that was created between these two societies in order to co-operate within the administrative space of the Iberian Peninsula. This link has been implemented in various events that have been prepared in conjunction by the two societies throughout the years. In this historically framework, mention must be made of the first international event promoted by SPA, which was held in Lisbon in 1978, under the theme environmental acoustics: “1º Congresso Luso-Espanhol”. That event launched a continuous series of important co-operating activities that have been emerged from this healthy collaboration between the two societies. Examples of this collaboration the Congress Acoustics 98, Acoustics 2004, Acoustics 2008, and several other events that have happened more recently, such as Seminar, meetings and Iberian Congress.
As a highlight, a special reference has to be made to one of the great “moments” for SPA; the joint organization with SEA of INTERNOISE2010, which was held in Lisbon, June 13th. This Congress has been considered one of the most attended, amongst all the Internoise Congresses ever held.
Actually, the SPA is an affiliated society of EAA, ICA, IIAV and of I-INCE. It is also a member of FIA (Ibero-American Federation of Acoustics). SPA has presently a representative number of effective members, including individuals and associates. There are also other individuals who have strong liaisons with SPA without being real members.
The SPA is also the Portuguese body for standardization in all areas of acoustics, holding several sub-commissions in tight connection with CEN and ISO groups.