Archive for February, 2014

Report from UC Davis Noise and Air Quality Symposium

Friday, February 28th, 2014

First, congratulations to Dan Frazee, 2014 winner of the Walt Gillfillan Award!  Until very recently, Dan was Director of Airport Noise Mitigation at San Diego International Airport where his department oversaw an award-winning residential sound attenuation program, conducted noise data management and led the community Noise Information and Education Program. Previously, he served as Noise Abatement Officer and Airport Operations Officer for the Sacramento County Airport System. He holds an FAA Airline Transport Pilot rating and is an FAA Certified Instrument Flight Instructor. He is also a retired USAF pilot and Army aviator with over 8,000 hours in rotary and fixed wing aircraft and previous work as a military Air Traffic Controller. He holds a BS in Education from The University of North Texas, a MS in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas at Austin, and is a Certified Member AAAE, and served as Chair of the Aircraft Noise working Group on the Environmental Services Committee for ACI. More importantly, he is one of the nicest human beings you will ever meet, and a good friend to many of us at HMMH.  We wish Dan all the best in his “retirement”, which promises to be busy. 


This year’s symposium featured several new concepts, including a double-track (admittedly, not new, but something that hadn’t been done for a while), and a “Vendor Showcase” for folks to learn about new product offerings.  Session titles included the following:

  • Performance-Based Navigation: An Overview and Experiences
  • NextGen and NEPA
  • Recent Noise Research
  • Fuel Advances and Emissions Reductions
  • Helicopter Noise Issues
  • Noise Office Responses to Air Quality Inquiries
  • Sound Insulation: The Community View
  • A Decade of Research
  • Upcoming Significant Revisions to FAA Order 1050.1E
  • Health Effects of Aviation

I moderated this last one, and want especially to thank Dr. Anna Hansell of Imperial College London, who spoke about her work on the Aircraft Noise and Cardiovascular Disease near Heathrow, and Dr. Sarav Arunachalam of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who talked about his work on health impacts from aviation emissions.  This is a topic we should all monitor closely.

Speed Networking in DC

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

by Ruth Anne Mazur

I recently attended a DC Chapter Young Professionals in Transportation (YPT) event that introduced me to something new.  In honor of Valentine’s Day, the group held a mock speed-dating event that was instead focused on speed-networking (#HighSpeedNetworking).  As someone who has never been speed-dating, I was a bit skeptical about how much fun it might be to meet people in this setting.  I thought it might be difficult for a group of engineers and transportation professionals to make short conversation with a few rounds of new people, and so were the event organizers.  At the beginning of the event, everyone enjoyed a joke regarding how long we should make the time interval and how we would “see how awkward the silence was after 2 minutes”.  I was part of the group that stayed seated, which was more comfortable in some ways, but did not allow me to move around to other tables with different appetizer plates. As the speed-networking got started, I was excited to see who I would get to talk to and how the event would flow.  What we found was that there was no awkward silence at all, and the interval was moved to 3 and then 4 minutes, with even that amount of time seeming to fly by.  Not only was it easy to make small chit-chat with everyone, but it was also great to learn more about each person and their type of work in the transportation world. In the end, I think everyone agreed this type of event was great for networking and gave us all the opportunity to get to know members of the organization better.  The purpose of the event was to talk to new people and find out what they were about, and this made it very natural (and fun) to meet more people in one night than one might at a typical networking event.  I believe this idea originated in the San Francisco chapter of YPT, and Kim Lucas, the YPT DC Vice Chair of Programs, brought it to DC with flair.

Thanks to Kim and YPT for holding such a unique and enjoyable event for transportation professionals in DC!