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News Archive 2011

TR News Airport Noise Mitigation Article

November 17, 2011: Burlington, MA

The current issue of TR News (September-October 2011) provides details on current communication initiatives at San Diego International Airport to mitigate noise. The article is authored by Dan Frazee, Director, Airport Noise Mitigation, San Diego International Airport. The article references research that HMMH conducted for the Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) earlier this year (ACRP Synthesis 16: Compilation of Noise Programs in Areas Outside DNL 65.

The entire article is located at http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166207.aspx.

ACRP Synthesis 16 is located at http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/Compilation_of_Noise_Programs_in_Areas_Outside_DNL_162086.aspx.

HMMH one of the Top 100 Women-led Businesses 2nd Year in a Row

November 16, 2011: Burlington, MA

HMMH once again made the list of top 100 women-led businesses in Massachusetts. In the Boston Business Journal/Commonwealth Institute survey, companies were ranked by 2010 revenue. An awards program is being held on December 1 at the Westin Copley Place Boston Hotel.

The Commonwealth Institute is one of the leading women’s organizations in Boston whose mission is to help CEOs, entrepreneurs, and corporate executives build successful businesses.

HMMH Presents 3rd Annual Founders Award

November 2, 2011: Burlington, MA

At HMMH’s Annual Meeting in November, HMMH presented its Founders’ Award for Excellence to Tim Johnson and Ruth Mazur for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) Streetcar Project. The award was presented “in recognition of outstanding performance on a project that was uniquely challenging, technically demanding and resulted in proven client satisfaction.”

TheDallas Streetcar Project was also awarded the Federal Transit Administration’s “Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Document Preparation.” This project involved developing preferred alternatives (none was pre-defined), extensive coordination, and an extremely tight schedule. HMMH’s team of Tim Johnson (Project Manager) and Ruth Mazur (Assistant Project Manager) accomplished their full analysis, including a vibration-propagation measurement trip, in under three months.

Our client said of the project, “HMMH can always be counted on. Were they extremely responsive? Absolutely! Did they deliver everything we needed on time? Absolutely!” HMMH’s Founders are delighted to see what may be thought of as the third generation carrying on the HMMH reputation for client satisfaction and technical excellence.

Dallas Area Rapid Transit Environmental Assessment Project Receives Outstanding Achievement Award

October 26, 2011: Burlington, MA

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) selected the Environmental Assessment for the Union Station to Oak Cliff Dallas Streetcar Project as the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award for Excellence in Environmental Documentation. The Award was presented to The North Texas Council of Governments, City of Dallas, and Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART).

URS Corporation, under contract to DART, led the team of consultants that worked on the project. HMMH, as a subconsultant, was responsible for detailed noise and vibration analysis on the project. HMMH’s support on the project helped to ensure an accurate and thorough assessment was completed within the constrains of the challenging schedule. HMMH has conducted noise and vibration analyses on dozens of projects for DART since 1990.

“FTA believes that a well-managed environmental process is critical to creating effective environmental documents that support great public transportation projects, which in turn, improve peoples’ lives. We hope this Environmental Assessment will be a beneficial example to other grantees of what teamwork can accomplish,” writes Lucy Garliauskas, Associate Administrator for Planning and Environment, Federal Transit Administration. “Thank you for your innovation and leadership,” she continues.

The award was created in 2008 by the FTA to acknowledge environmental work that is “streamlined and informative, yet consistent with laws and regulations.” More information on the award can be found on the FTA’s website at:http://www.fta.dot.gov/12347_8191.html.

ACRP Publishes HMMH Synthesis Report on Energy and Airports

October 21, 2011: Burlington, MA

The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) has published Synthesis Project 11-03/Topic S10-06, Investigating Safety Impacts of Energy Technologies on Airports and Aviation authored by HMMH’s Stephen Barrett, Director of Clean Energy, and Philip DeVita, Director of Air Quality. The ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agencies through funding provided by the National Academy of Sciences.

This Synthesis Report explores and summarizes existing literature, data, and ongoing research on physical, visual, and communications systems interference impacts from energy technologies on airports and aviation safety.

The energy technologies that are the focus of this report include:

  • solar photovoltaic panels and farms,
  • concentrating solar power plants,
  • wind turbine generators and farms, and
  • traditional power plants.

The information contained in this report will benefit airport operators, aircraft pilots, planning managers, energy developers, legislators and regulators responsible for aviation safety, land use compatibility, airport planning and development, and airport financial self-sustainability.

The Synthesis Report can be viewed and downloaded by navigating to http://www.trb.org/Publications/Blurbs/166099.aspx.

HMMH Awarded Contract to Support FAA in the Environmental Analysis of Chicago Midway Airport

September 19, 2011: Washington DC

HMMH was recently awarded a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist in the Environmental Assessment of Airspace and Procedure Proposed Actions at Chicago’s Midway Airport (IL).

“We look forward to supporting the FAA’s Air Traffic Organization (ATO) and other aviation stakeholders and to ample opportunities for applying our environmental and airspace planning expertise to further the ambitious and much needed improvements laid out by the FAA’s NextGen initiative," said Vinnie Khera, Director of Advanced Programs at HMMH.

As part of this study, HMMH will lead the environmental assessment of current and planned airspace and procedure efforts at Chicago’s Midway Airport.

HMMH’s team members for this study includes industry experts from two other highly accomplished aviation companies - URS Corporation and Mosaic ATM.

HMMH Awarded Contract to Support FAA in the Environmental Analysis of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

September 19, 2011: Burlington, MA

HMMH was recently awarded a contract with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to assist in the Environmental Assessment of Airspace and Procedure Proposed Actions at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (Sea-Tac) as part of the ‘Greener Skies’ initiative (WA).

“The Greener Skies initiative represents an excellent building block for broader-scale implementation of 'NextGen' at airports throughout the nation and we are grateful for the opportunity to support the FAA with this important initiative," said Vinnie Khera, Director of Advanced Programs at HMMH. "HMMH has made a considerable investment in supporting the FAA NextGen initiatives and our subject matter experts have been involved in virtually all aspects of NextGen planning.  We are delighted the FAA has recognized our leadership in environmental and NextGen planning, as well as airspace analysis, and has invited us to be a part of the implementation of such a critical element of the NextGen system,” said Khera.

As part of this study, HMMH will lead the environmental assessment of current and planned airspace and procedure efforts at Sea-Tac.

HMMH’s team members for this study includes industry experts from two other highly accomplished aviation companies – CH2M HILL and Mosaic ATM

Jason Ross Leads HMMH's Rail Group

September 16, 2011: Burlington, MA

HMMH is pleased to announce the promotion of Jason Ross, P.E., to Director of Transit Noise and Vibration.  In his new role, Mr. Ross is responsible for leading our transit noise and vibration services practice group, managing and supporting projects, business development activities and resource allocation.  Mr. Ross has previously held the positions of Principal Engineer and Senior Consultant at HMMH.

Mr. Ross’ project experience includes environmental assessments and impact statements, compliance testing, development of noise and vibration data measurement systems, analyses of vibration-sensitive equipment, public meetings participation, course instruction and expert testimony.  Mr. Ross is currently managing the update of the Federal Railroad Administration’s (FRA) Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment Guidance Manual and preliminary engineering of noise and vibration mitigation for the MBTA Green Line Extension Project. Mr. Ross has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, a Master’s degree in Acoustics and is a registered Professional Engineer in Massachusetts and Texas.  Mr., Ross also serves on HMMH’s Board of Directors.

“I am very excited to provide Jason an opportunity to expand his corporate leadership to one of our most exciting practice areas.” said Mary Ellen Eagan, President.  “Jason’s combination of solid engineering skills and consulting expertise will position us well in this dynamic field.”

HMMH Begins Work on ACRP 02-37

July 22, 2011: Burlington, MA

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies recently selected HMMH to lead the research team conducting Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) 02-37: Integrated Noise Model (INM) Accuracy for General Aviation (GA) Aircraft.

The goal of the 20-month research effort is to: 

  1. Assess INM accuracy for GA aircraft by comparing modeled noise levels to correlated measured noise levels from a collection of aircraft flight tracking and identification data within existing noise and operations monitoring systems (NOMS) at a number of airports;
  2. Identify causes of inaccuracies through a series of comparisons of INM-computed GA aircraft levels with measured levels for a number of GA aircraft types and modifying the INM input assumptions for each comparison;
  3. Identify solutions for a number of GA aircraft types by demonstrating the degree and type of modification that will most efficiently remove or minimize any statistical difference between the computed and measured values; and
  4. Derive implementation steps based on solution priorities.

HMMH will rely on our extensive working with the INM modeling, testing the accuracy of the INM, aircraft performance and certification, access to and use of permanent monitoring system noise and radar data and our ability to model individual flight tracks in an automated fashion.

“Many of our clients anticipate that the results of this project will improve and validate noise modeling results of GA aircraft operations.  Airports require accurate aircraft noise exposure contours and they need to know the contours represent the actual aircraft noise environment,” said Gene Reindel, Principal Investigator.

Jake Plante Assisting HMMH with Energy Initiatives

July 8, 2011: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. is pleased to announce that Jake Plante has joined.  His primary activities in the coming months include assistance on Environmental Assessments and business development activities for HMMH’s Climate and Energy Group.

Dr. Plante recently retired from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) where he was the Office of Airports’ National Resource Expert for Noise and Air Quality. His work included development of the Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program (VALE).  HMMH has had a long history of working with Dr. Plante at the FAA, including recent development of FAA Solar Guidance for Airports. We’ve also had previous interactions with Dr. Plante on National Park Service noise issues, hill effects studies, and other work.

HMMH Announces the Retirement of Dr. Carl Hanson

June 30, 2011: Burlington, MA

Dr. Carl Hanson, P.E., retired from Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) June 30, 2011. Dr. Hanson was Senior Vice President and a co-founder of the firm.

Dr. Hanson has specialized in noise and vibration control engineering projects for rail transportation since 1972 and with HMMH since 1982. He was lead author of FTA's Transit Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment, and FRA's High Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment, the guidance manuals for methods used in rail projects in the U.S. He has been principal instructor for the NTI/FTA Transit Noise and Vibration Course and has been involved in a wide range of transit and railroad projects across the U.S. and abroad.

In addition to his focus on rail transportation noise and vibration, Dr. Hanson’s career has spanned other areas in the field, such as wind tunnel design leading to aero- and hydrodynamic sound research at MIT and the Raytheon Company, highway noise modeling in Norway and at Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc., offshore oil platform noise and vibration analyses and mitigation in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, and acoustical design of airport terminals. 

As a result of his many years of experience, he was called upon by the National Academy of Engineering to serve as a member of the Committee on Technology for a Quieter America to study and recommend engineering controls for noise reduction in the United States. He has been a licensed professional engineer in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Texas and Florida, a Fellow of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering, and has served on committees of Transportation Research Board (TRB), the American Railway and Maintenance-of-Way Association (AREMA), and the international committee organizing the International Workshop on Railway Noise (IWRN).

As an industry leader, he has brought great value both to HMMH and the acoustics community at large. HMMH and its employees wish Dr. Hanson all the best in his next adventures in life. He will be missed! 

HMMH Updating FRA Guidance Manual

June 2, 2011: Burlington, MA

Harris Miller Miller & Hanson Inc. (HMMH) was recently selected by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to review and update the "High Speed Ground Transportation Noise and Vibration Impact Assessment" guidance manual in order to properly assess the potential impacts of and provide mitigation for high-speed rail (HSR) in the United States.

The manual was developed starting in 1995 and approved for use in 2005, and has been used on high-speed ground transportation projects, both steel rail and maglev, throughout the U.S. The update will consider recent noise and vibration developments of HSR from Europe and Asia.

The updated guidance manual is expected to be released in October 2011. 

TRB releases Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment e-circular

April 5, 2011: Burlington, MA

TRB Transportation Research E-Circular E-C148: Critical Issues in Aviation and the Environment explores the environmental media affected by aviation activities and processes that link aviation and the environment. The circular consists of nine individually authored sections representing the authors' expert opinions on these issues.

Many thanks to the authors of those sections:  

E-C148 updates and expands upon previous circulars while maintaining their cross-disciplinary approach to reviewing subjects of interest to the civil aviation community in the United States. The circular focus is on the state of science, rather than on policy, and on identifying priority research with the potential to yield benefits during the next several years to several decades.

HMMH Begins Work on NCHRP 25-34

March 29, 2011: Burlington, MA

The Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academies recently selected HMMH to lead the research team conducting National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) 25-34: Supplemental Guidance on the Application of FHWA’s Traffic Noise Model (TNM).

The goal of the 30-month research effort is to provide guidance on best modeling practices for scenarios for which there is currently limited or no technical guidance. In addition to recommending best practices, the research team will assess both the sensitivity of the model to the proposed methodologies and the accuracy of the results obtained using the practices.

“Since TNM’s release in 1998, practitioners have developed a wealth of informal modeling practices. This research project is a great opportunity to identify and test methodologies that are out there, and ultimately to provide recommendations for uniform best practices that can be used nationwide,” said Doug Barrett, Principal Investigator.