Posts Tagged ‘noise’

TBT: Noise Measurements at Idlewild

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

I’ve been spending a lot of time the last few weeks thinking about evolution of noise issues at the Port Authority (of New York and New Jersey), and thought some of you might also appreciate these photos of early efforts to measure noise levels at JFK (then-Idlewild).

Group in New York discussing noise measurements of the British Comet 4 jet aircraft, August 1958.  Laymon Miller (Bob Miller’s dad) is seated at the far left; Beranek wears glasses.  John Wiley and Austin Tobin are standing second and third from the left, respectively.  The others are representatives from British Airways and the Port of New York Authority.

Group in New York discussing noise measurements of the British Comet 4 jet aircraft, August 1958. Laymon Miller (Bob Miller’s dad) is seated at the far left; Beranek wears glasses. John Wiley and Austin Tobin are standing second and third from the left, respectively. The others are representatives from British Airways and the Port of New York Authority.

ICBEN 2014

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

by Nick Miller

I attended the recent (June 2014) conference held by the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) in Nara Japan. The presentations were all about the possible bad effects of noise on humans. Overall, it’s a confabulation of people who are engaged in rigorous scientific exploration of how noise might produce ill effects, and by and large everyone is quite circumspect about any tentative conclusions suggested by their work. But let the press get ahold of the summary information, and you can get headlines like: “Is the noise of modern life making you ill? It can trigger heart disease, blood pressure and weight gain – even when you’re asleep.”

But researchers on the same team can come to different opinions such as: “Yes noise probably does cause heart problems,” and “No, noise probably doesn’t cause heart problems.”

So what gives? What gives in my opinion is that research results usually show just slight probabilities of adverse effect, and I’m inclined to think personal leanings (some might say prejudices) influence the interpretations of results. I’m not saying that there’s anything political or ideological here, only that different people draw different conclusions from the same results. I think, and I believe I read this somewhere – probably something David Brooks wrote (how’s that for a reference?) – that people make their decisions emotionally and then look for supporting evidence.

Reflect for a minute on some of your strongly held opinions and dig deeply to see if there really is any logical basis for them. As far as the effects of noise are concerned, I’ve detected two basic prejudices at work: “Noise is guilty and you have to prove it’s not.” “Noise is innocent until proven guilty.” Which is yours?

Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan

Around conference area

Around conference area

Nara, Japan

Nara, Japan

TBT – HMMH’s First Model

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Yuki Kimura working with HMMH’s proprietary software StamPEDE – STAMINA Preprocessor for Easy Data Entry. It was used with a digitizer to enter coordinates for roadways, barriers and receivers to be used in the STAMINA highway noise prediction model.

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hmmh-1stModel02-yuki-500px

ERAU Is Pushing the Envelope Yet Again!

Friday, May 16th, 2014

by Diana Wasiuk

Graduates of my alma mater, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), have a reputation for ‘pushing the envelope’ in more than one way… The Small Aircraft Transportation System (SATS) was one of those forward thinking ideas that only a bunch of aviation nuts could come up with and commit to with boundless enthusiasm. And boy did we ever!  Here is an article on another example of ERAU pushing for innovation: developing electric propulsion systems to reduce noise and emissions:
http://daytonatimes.com/2014/05/15/e-rau-to-develop-an-electric-aircraft/.

Throwback Thursday – Where Are They Now?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

by Mary Ellen Eagan

The photo below is from HMMH’s first corporate brochure, which was published in 1984 (just before your humble author joined the firm).  The photo was taken at the Masonic Museum in Lexington.

HMMH-personnel-500px

Front: Chris Menge, Chris Conklin, Bob Miller, Cathy Abbot. Back: Carl Hanson, Monique Benoit, Andy Harris, Nick Miller, Ted Baldwin, Alice Sewall

Thought you might like to know where they are now:

Andy Harris  aka, “the first H”, is now fully retired and enjoying his retirement home near Naples, FL.  I still remember the day Andy ordered me to his cubicle to tell me I “had leadership potential, but needed to straighten up.”  Thank you, Andy.

Nick Miller (aka, “one of the M’s”) – they refuse to disclose who comes first, and btw, they are NOT brothers – is currently having the time of his life work with FAA to update the aircraft noise annoyance dose-response curve (the “Schultz Curve” – which is really awesome, since Ted Schultz was an early mentor of Nick’s at BBN.  But I digress).  He’s also trying to spend more time with his wife Andrea, kids and grand kids at his second home in Bar Harbor (ME).

Bob Miller (aka “the other M”) is also still fully engaged at HMMH, leading several NEPA projects, shepherding our federal projects, and still occasionally pulling an all-nighter (sometimes even work-related).  Bob juggles kids, grand kids, and tennis, and is happy to have Dana mostly to himself these days.  And lives for summer in Osawa.

Carl Hanson retired in 2011, and is spending much more time with his 1956 Jaguar, 1940’s-vintage Ford truck, wife Singe, and daughter Siri (not necessarily in that order).  He still stops by for an occasional social hour.

Alice Sewall was HMMH’s first Office Manager. When I met her, she was single-handedly refurbishing a beautiful Victorian worthy of This Old House.  She contributed to my workplace feminist outrage.  And taught me to knit.

Monique Benoit is now a travel consultant in Southern California.

Chris Conklin was a high school student who helped with a wide variety of tasks (in the old – pre-internet – days, it was a job called “go-fer”; now it probably has some lofty term).  I’m hoping HMMH was influential in his choosing to work in this field; he’s now a Principal at VHB in the Washington, D.C. area.

Cathy Abbot left HMMH in the late 1980s after having her third child (Carolyn recently graduated from Ithaca College with a PhD in physical therapy!).  Once all her kids were in school, Cathy spent 20+ years as a physics teacher at Lexington HS, and is now working as a content developer for a physics website.

Ted Baldwin is still very much with HMMH, and is currently working on as many Part 150s as he’s ever had at once!  He’s also Vice Chair of HMMH’s Board of Directors.  In his free time, he and Betsy sail the ‘Sarah B’, and spend lots of time with grandchildren.

Chris Menge is also still very active at HMMH, and manages our highway work for VDOT, MassDOT and other DOTs.  He and Ginny spend lots of time with family, too – including two grandchildren!