TRB Noise and Vibration Committee Visits Home of the Pop-top

by Doug Barrett

During the last week in July, transportation noise enthusiasts convened in Dayton, Ohio for the Transportation Research Board’s Committee on Transportation-related Noise and Vibration (TRB Committee ADC40) annual summer meeting.

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The mission of the Transportation Research Board, one of six branches of the National Research Council, is to “provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multi-modal.”  With 31 technical presentations, a tour of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, vendor/sponsor displays, a chance to meet state DOT representatives one-on-one during a 90-minute “Speed Stating” session, and the official Committee meeting itself, this summer’s gathering was right on target with TRB’s mission statement.

ADC40 has long been an active committee, and I’m always impressed by how much valuable information is exchanged at these summer meetings.  With a total attendance of somewhere around  100 individuals, a large percentage of the attendees also are presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, or organizers.   The technical sessions are uniformly well attended, and the follow-up questions show that this crowd knows its audience well and presents topics that are pertinent to many in the group.  HMMH gave four presentations covering the range from a new ANSI standard for estimating noise-induced awakenings, to issues regarding highway noise barrier studies, to a noise-barrier design contest at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.  As in years past, other hot topics included research on tire/pavement noise, news on FHWA’s  updated version of the Traffic Noise Model (TNM 3.0), and policy updates from FHWA and state DOTs.

There was time for some fun too, including a chance to see the Dayton Dragons take on the Peoria Chiefs (Class “A” baseball) on Tuesday evening.  For aviation buffs though, a visit to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Forcewas a stand-out treat.  The museum covers the history of aviation, from the Wright Flyer to moon landings and beyond, with as impressive an assortment of vintage aircraft as you’re going to find under one roof – ok, actually three enormous roofs.  On the bus ride back from the museum, the driver treated us to a bonus monologue of Dayton history and trivia.  One got the feeling that the driver was readily capable of expanding our 15-minute version to a much more complete history, with the level of detail dictated by the length of the ride.  At any rate, if not for this, I may never have known that Dayton gave birth not only to the Wright Flyer, but also to the step ladder and pop-top can.

A final note, many thanks to the Organizing Committee for all their efforts, and congratulations to the successful meeting!

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