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News Archive 2014

HMMH Founders' Award 2014
November 11, 2014: Burlington, MA

“In recognition of outstanding performance that was uniquely challenging, technically innovative, and resulted in proven client satisfaction,” HMMH is pleased to present its annual award for excellence to NCHRP Report 791 – Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM).

This highly successful project was managed by HMMH Senior Vice President Christopher Menge and supported by a team of consultants; the announcement of the availability of the final report was issued by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) in October 2014.

Under NCHRP Project 25-34, HMMH was asked to investigate 16 different research topic areas to identify best practices and provide significant guidance on applying TNM to accurately, consistently, and efficiently model traffic-generated noise in a variety of settings that has not been previously addressed by TNM. The objective of NCHRP 25-34 was to supplement existing guidance on applying the TNM by identifying best practices to model structure reflected noise; bridge expansion joints; signalized interchanges; intersections; area sources (e.g., weigh stations, park and ride lots, toll facilities, and service plazas); median barriers; roundabouts; and tunnel openings. The research determines the sensitivity and accuracy of methods to model multi-lane highways, rows of buildings, topography, ground zones, and tree zones, and identifies best practices for input parameters. The research also synthesizes the state of practice for analyzing the effects of wind and temperature gradients on sound propagation.

According to Lori Sundstrom, the manager at TRB, “Chris stepped in as the new project manager magnificently and the change did not affect the project progress at all. He kept five (5) contractors on track and on schedule. Chris was always really timely with responses to comments and suggestions.  The progress reporting was excellent.”  Overall, Lori gave the project an “A+ with a terrific outcome.”

Adam Alexander, the FHWA panel participant said the project was “probably the most impressive research project he has seen.”  Not only was it “excellent research, but the results were turned into practical application” which he expects to recommend, and has already recommended, that state highway departments use the methods as though they were FHWA guidance.

Founders Award 2014 with Nick Miller, Chris Menge (recipient), Bob Miller and Carl Hanson

From left to right: Nicholas Miller, Founder; Christopher Menge, award recipient; Robert Miller, Founder; and Carl Hanson, Founder.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored ACRP Document 19: Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft
October, 18, 2014; Burlington, MA

HMMH was retained to conduct this research project for the National Academy of Sciences to determine the cause and recommend changes to the Integrated Noise Model (INM), which currently incorrectly computes the noise created by many of the General Aviation Jets. The study compared INM produced sound exposure levels and climb profiles with measured sound exposure levels and radar reported climb profiles. HMMH found that the INM assumed all aircraft used maximum power for takeoff, while in practice, pilots used a “derated” thrust to preserve engine life, creating lower takeoff altitudes, and generally lower levels than the INM computed. HMMH developed a method that would use the INM modeling in a realistic manner, duplicating the procedures used by pilots and are in communication with FAA to assist if possible in correcting the INM modeling. In the future, modeling would be more accurate, noise exposures realistic and better decisions will be made about land use and aircraft noise around airports where General Aviation jets operate. The result of the research conducted was released in October 2014 in ACRP Document 19 “Integrated Noise Model Accuracy for General Aviation Aircraft.”

Milwaukee County General Mitchell International Airport Awards Solar Feasibility Study to HMMH
October 17, 2014: Burlington, MA

Milwaukee County General Mitchell International Airport has awarded a contract to Harris Miller Miller & Hanson (HMMH) to prepare a solar feasibility study for a 1 MW solar project on airport property. The study will assess viable sites on the airport for a solar project considering FAA safety zones, existing aeronautical uses, environmental issues, and compliance with the FAA's Interim Policy on avoiding impacts of glare. For sites that are identified as preferred alternatives, HMMH will prepare a business plan which will identify estimated project costs, public and private funding options including engagement of a third party developer to own and operate the system, options to buy the power through a long-term contract, and factors required to make the project cost-competitive given existing and near future electricity prices. The feasibility study is a key step in helping the airport business by assessing potential financial opportunities associated with long-term alternative revenue and cost savings while integrating renewable energy into broader planning to enhance the reliability of the airport's electrical system. The information from the study will prepare the airport for opportunities driven by the private solar market and those available through FAA grant programs.

Solar panels on a sunny day

HMMH Awarded ACRP Projects on Aircraft Noise and Renewable Energy
July 29, 2014: Burlington, MA

HMMH is delighted to announce its award for the following two projects under the Transportation Research Board's Airport Cooperative Research Program: ACRP 02-47, "Assessing Aircraft Noise Conditions Affecting Student Achievement-Case Studies" and ACRP 02-56, "Developing an Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy."

Mary Ellen Eagan, President of HMMH, will serve as Principal Investigator and Lead Author for ACRP 02-47, "Assessing Aircraft Noise Conditions Affecting Student Achievement-Case Studies." This research study will require observation and measurement of responses at the classroom level to determine at what level aircraft noise events cause interruptions within the classroom environment and how student and teacher communication and behavior are affected. The objectives of this research are to (1) develop and implement a rigorous case study methodology to identify and measure those factors at the individual classroom, student, and teacher level that influence the impact of aircraft noise on student achievement, especially as it relates to reading comprehension; (2) identify appropriate metrics that define the level and characteristics of aircraft noise that impact student achievement; and (3) develop practical guidance for use by decision makers on how to reduce the impact of aircraft noise on student achievement.

Stephen Barrett, LEED AP, Director of Clean Energy at HMMH, will serve as Principal Investigator and Lead Author for ACRP 02-56, "Developing an Airport Business Case for Renewable Energy." The objective of this research is to produce a guidebook to help airports develop a business case to take advantage of renewable energy opportunities. Components of the guidebook will include criteria to evaluate the sustainable objectives in the business cases and a methodology/template for ranking all capital projects and initiatives, including renewable energy projects, to incorporate environmental, social, and economic metrics. The guidebook will also provide: best practices to compare and select, including trade-off analysis, between multiple renewable energy alternatives (e.g., solar PV vs. solar thermal); potential funding sources, mechanisms, and solicitation opportunities for renewable energy projects; and examples of renewable energy business cases to highlight lessons learned.

"HMMH has provided its expertise as Lead Investigator, Research Team Member, or Panelist on more than 15 ACRP projects and is thrilled to continue assisting the National Academy of Sciences with these current research efforts," said Mary Ellen Eagan, HMMH President and CEO.

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored Report on Aircraft Noise Annoyance and Sleep Disturbance
July 28, 2014: Burlington, MA

HMMH is pleased announce the release of Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 17: Research Methods for Understanding Aircraft Noise Annoyances and Sleep Disturbance. HMMH led a research team to develop and validate a research protocol for a large-scale study of aircraft noise exposure-annoyance response relationships across the US, and to propose alternative research methods for field studies to assess the relationship between aircraft noise and sleep disturbance for U.S. airports.

The first phase of this ACRP Study included the collection of data for the purpose of testing an aircraft noise annoyance survey, for use in a national study, to update the dose-response relationship between noise exposure and the percentage of people who are highly annoyed. The second phase, the sleep disturbance portion of the ACRP Study, included:
1) Developing at least two general research protocols to improve the understanding of the relationship between aircraft noise and sleep disturbance in a field setting; and
2) Identifying criteria to be used to test and evaluate the protocols.

The report describes the annoyance survey methodology that was developed and applied and the results relevant to the goals of the study. It also discusses airport-community relations and presents the final sleep disturbance study designs and the budget estimates for each type of study.

This project validated the approach that will be used in the surveys that FAA will conduct at 20 airports, with HMMH-led assistance. The HMMH team currently is working with the FAA to refine the survey methods based on the results of the Study and to develop an appropriate statistical process for randomly selecting the 20 representative airports.

HMMH Announces Promotions of Diana Wasiuk, Rhea Gundry, and Ruth Mazur
July 1, 2014: Burlington, MA

HMMH is pleased to announce the recent promotions of Ruth Mazur, Rhea Gundry, and Diana Wasiuk.

Diana Wasiuk has been promoted to Vice President. As Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Wasiuk is responsible for overseeing all consulting practices, including project delivery, financial performance, and client satisfaction. Ms. Wasiuk is a technical performer on studies supporting both airport environmental and planning efforts. Ms. Wasiuk has expertise in airfield and airspace operations of both complex commercial airports as well as smaller GA airports. She has a strong understanding of the National Airspace System and hands-on experience with modeling tools such as the Total Airspace and Airport Modeler (TAAM), Sector Design and Analysis Tool (SDAT), and Terminal Area Route Generation Evaluation and Traffic Simulation (TARGETS).

Rhea Gundry has been promoted to Senior Consultant. Rhea Gundry joined HMMH in 2009 with a strong background in math and physics. She has participated in projects that have included noise modeling/analysis for airports, aviation noise field measurements and data processing. She has provided technical assistance on a variety of projects by performing aircraft noise measurements and analysis, radar data analysis, and aircraft noise modeling. She has ample field measurement experience and has conducted extensive field measurements in a number of National Parks.

Ruth Anne Mazur has been promoted to Senior Consultant. Ruth is responsible for surface transportation noise and vibration measurement and analysis at HMMH. Her work has focused on rail and highway transportation projects. Ms. Mazur completed the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) Noise and Vibration course in 2009 and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Highway Traffic Noise course in 2012. She is an accomplished user of the FHWA's Traffic Noise Model (TNM) and ArcGIS. Prior to joining HMMH in 2009, Ms. Mazur worked in an acoustical testing laboratory and gained experience in reverberation time measurements and analysis. Ms. Mazur is based in HMMH's Virginia office.

"It is unusual in our industry to see women advance to senior positions. To have the opportunity to promote three women – all of them dynamite – and all on the same day – is truly a great thing!" said President and CEO, Mary Ellen Eagan.

In addition, Laura Taylor is now Contracts Administrator for HMMH. Ms. Taylor has over 25 years of professional support experience, including six years at HMMH providing both administrative and contracts support. Her responsibilities include reviewing contract language, preparing subcontract agreements, handling project insurance requirements, and project administrative recordkeeping. In recent years, Ms. Taylor’s FAR and contract management knowledge has grown significantly. She was also recently appointed Vice President of Communications for her local chapter of the National Contract Management Association.

Please join us in congratulating these women in their accomplishments!

Mary Ellen Eagan Featured in ACC Weekly
May 28, 2014: Burlington, MA

Mary Ellen Eagan, president and CEO of Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH), was recently interviewed and featured in the ACC Weekly online newsletter. During the interview Mary Ellen discusses her recent appointment as chair of the Aviation Group of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), her history with TRB, and the role the TRB Aviation Group committees play in the industry. Click here to read the interview.


HMMH's Ted Baldwin Quoted in Naples Daily News

May 16, 2014: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) senior vice president Ted Baldwin was featured in an article in the Naples Daily News earlier this week. The article focused on the efforts and accomplishments of the Naples Airport Authority Noise Compatibility Committee since the “Please Fly Safe Fly Quiet” campaign was launched in 2012. One example of this is that the committee and airport staff have increased compliance with the airport’s voluntary nighttime curfew (from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.) to 98 to 99 percent. The article also states that the Committee’s 2014-14 action plan is to focus on communication with pilots and aircraft operators to encourage them to do all they can to minimize aircraft noise. 

Mr. Baldwin was quoted saying “Naples Municipal Airport has earned a reputation for leadership in identifying, pursuing, and promoting innovative and effective noise-control techniques and the Noise Compatibility Committee serves as a model for stakeholders at other airports.”

HMMH, under the project management of Mr. Baldwin, has been providing airport noise consulting services to Naples since 1995.

Click here to read the full article (subscription required).

TRB Releases HMMH-Authored Report on Energy Projects and Airports and Airspace

May 9, 2014: Burlington, MA

HMMH is pleased to inform clients and colleagues of the official release of Transportation Research Board's (TRB) Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Report 108 “Energy Technologies Compatibility with Airports and Airspace.”  The HMMH-authored report reviews the aviation industry’s experience with a variety of energy technologies including solar, wind, oil and gas drilling, and traditional electricity generation and transmission, and provides guidance for future projects to avoid impacts on airports and airspace.  The report is timely given the country’s focus on domestic energy production to serve economic and national security interests and to diversify energy generation sources toward cleaner fuels, including renewables.  The guidance will help airports as they consider opportunities to lease out underutilized non-aeronautical property for energy production.

This report is the first in a series of ACRP Reports on energy and airports being released by TRB. HMMH is also currently working on ACRP 01-24 “Renewable Energy as an Airport Revenue Source,” which is expected to be released in the next year.  The report will provide the industry with business models and financial information to show how airports have gained financial benefits from renewable energy projects. 

Reports 108 and 01-24 will build on two previous references prepared by HMMH.  In November of 2010, HMMH co-authored “Technical Guidance on Selected Solar Technologies at Airports” for the FAA.  In October of 2011, HMMH authored “Investigating Safety Impacts of Energy Technologies on Airports and Aviation” which was the precursor study to ACRP Report 108.  HMMH continues to support airports and energy clients in the development of solar projects, including most recently at Indianapolis, Newark, and San Diego airports.

Mary Ellen Eagan Appointed Aviation Group Chair at TRB

April 15, 2014: Burlington, MA

Mary Ellen Eagan, President and CEO of Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH), has been appointed chair of the Aviation Group of the Transportation Research Board, a division of the National Research Council, which serves as an independent adviser to the President, the Congress, and federal agencies on scientific and technical questions of national importance. The Aviation Group consists of nine committees that propose research, share research findings, sponsor special activities, and provide a forum for transportation professionals to discuss today's and tomorrow's aviation-related transportation issues.

"As the out-going Chair of the Transportation Research Board's Aviation Group Executive Committee, I am pleased to hand over the reins to Mary Ellen Eagan. During the past six years Mary Ellen Eagan has chaired the Aviation Group's Environmental Impacts of Aviation Committee which, under her leadership, has become the primary location for sharing aviation-related research, and has received recognition for its numerous contributions to airport and aviation industry. As she assumes the Chair of the Aviation Group I am sure that Mary Ellen will bring a similar level of enthusiasm, creativity, and energy, and I wish her well." Peter Mandle, LeighFisher

About TRB

Organized in 1920, TRB is one of six major divisions of the National Research Council (NRC) — a private, nonprofit institution that is the principal operating agency of the National Academies in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The NRC is jointly administered by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), and the Institute of Medicine (IOM).

The mission of the TRB is to provide leadership in transportation innovation and progress through research and information exchange, conducted within a setting that is objective, interdisciplinary, and multimodal.

HMMH Wins New Hampshire DOT Statewide Air Quality and Noise Consulting Contract

January 30, 2014: Burlington, MA

The New Hampshire  Department of Transportation (NHDOT) has selected Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) to provide Statewide Air Quality and Noise Consulting Services.  HMMH will support NHDOT from its offices in Burlington, MA and Herndon, VA.  Christopher Menge, HMMH Senior Vice President, is Principal in Charge.

HMMH has three subconsultant firms on its team: Fay, Spofford & Thorndike, LLC - to provide structural, traffic and civil engineering support; WSP - to provide surveying support; and Sanchez Industrial Design - to provide support in noise measurement and analysis.

HMMH has performed numerous environmental air quality and noise studies as well as final noise abatement design studies for highway projects throughout the U.S. We have also conducted noise barrier priority ranking studies and many special studies such as for pavement types, truck engine braking and noise barrier materials.

HMMH Wins VDOT Statewide Noise Consulting Contract

January 30, 2014: Burlington, MA

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has selected Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) to provide Statewide Noise Abatement Engineering Services (RFP ENV 20131021).  This is a 4 year on-call noise consulting contract.  HMMH will support VDOT from its offices in Burlington, MA and Herndon, VA.  Christopher Menge, HMMH Senior Vice President, is Principal in Charge.

HMMH has two subconsultant firms on its team: Athavale, Lystad and Associates, Inc. has extensive experience in providing engineering drawings and construction plans to VDOT for sound barrier walls and other road project elements; H&B Surveying and Mapping, LLC have many years of experience providing civil survey services to VDOT.

HMMH has been providing statewide noise consulting services to VDOT since 1998. HMMH’s recent projects under the current contract have included final noise abatement design studies for I-66 Spot Improvements in Arlington, I-581 widening in Roanoke, and the Rt. 606 Dulles Loop widening south of the Dulles Greenway.