After completing a degree in physics, Marion Burgess commenced working in acoustics in an Australian building research laboratory. Since then she has had over 50 years broad experience in many aspects of acoustics including building, environmental and occupational noise measurement, assessments, control and research. Although retired she continues research, teaching and consulting projects in her role as Honorary Associate Professor. She collaborates with colleagues at the Kensington campus in the School of Architecture and the School of Aviation and at the Canberra campus in the School of Engineering and Information Technology.
She was awarded the Order of Australia for her contributions to understanding of environmental noise and for her work in the International domain. She is an active member of the Australian Acoustical Society. Until 2021 she has been the chief editor of its Journal Acoustics Australia and was responsible for steering the journal from a society publication to a journal published by Springer . She is currently the Editor for a Springer series of books on behalf of Australian Acoustical Society Publications. She regularly participates in international conferences and has been involved in senior management of such organisations. Until 2022 she was the immediate Past President of the International Commission for Acoustics, the co-organiser of the International Year of Sound 2020-2021 and Past President of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering. She was the Chair of the International Congress in Acoustics held in Sydney in 2010 and is the international liaison member of the organising committee for the joint ASA/AAS/Wespac/Pruac conference to be held in Sydney in 2023. She is a member of a number of relevant Standards Australia committees.
In addition to research projects she has gained experience with providing specialist advise and working with teams of engineers on major projects for a range of government and non-government organisations. She continues to provide training courses via the School of Professional Studies, UNSW, Canberra, for various government agencies on noise measurement with a focus on workplace noise assessments.
Currently involved with supervision of PhD students involved with effects of noise on dynamic decision making and on managing soundscape in the built environment. She has an ongoing interest in the effect of noise from drones, especially when they interact with the built environment.