1. The 2017 China Conference on Acoustics Design and Noise and Vibration Control Engineering was held May 16–18 in Changsha, Hunan Province, China (http://www.nvct.org.cn). The theme of the conference was strengthening architectural acoustics and noise vibration control research and creating a better sound environment. Topics discussed included architectural acoustics, noise and vibration control theory and method, performance spaces acoustic and innovations, transportation noise and vibration, acoustic barrier acoustic design and test methods, acoustic measurement and environmental impact assessment, noise pollution control regulations and revisions of the technical guidelines for noise impact assessment, and development and application of new acoustic materials.
2. The 2017 Chongqing Automotive Acoustic Summit was held April 27–28. The Chongqing Automotive Acoustic Summit is hosted by the China Automotive Engineering Research Institute Co., Ltd (CAERI), Chongqing University, and the French Society of Automotive Engineers. It is organized by the State Key Laboratory of Vehicle NVH and Safety Technology. Top NVH experts from Europe, Japan, the United States, and China addressed the summit on the latest achievements and innovative technologies in sensitive areas such as new energy vehicle NVH, light weight conception, new power train technologies, and the future trends of global market and technology evolution. Key interest points of the summit included noise diagnostic and prediction, light weight concept of sound package, active vibration and noise control in mass production cars, and future evolution.
3. Revision drafts of two Chinese standards, GB/T 50355 Standard of limit and measurement method of vibration in the room of residential buildings, and HJ 453 Technical guidelines for environment impact—Assessment of urban rail transit, are published for consultation.
4. The 2017 Annual Conference of the Acoustical Society of China will be held in Harbin, China in September 2017(http://asc2017.csp.escience.cn). It will be organized in a new form to improve the high-level communication on research of acoustics and to broaden the platform to promote a rapid growth of more new-rising researchers. Therefore, much more plenary speakers will be present in this conference and a special forum and excellent paper awards for young scholars will be set up. Sixteen sessions will be held consisting of invited lectures from important fields of acoustical researches (e.g., environmental acoustics, noise and vibration control, structural and architectural acoustics, and mechanical vibration and shock).
5. Researchers at the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences have designed and fabricated an underwater acoustic carpet cloak using transformation acoustics—a scientific first. It is reported by several media such as Chinese Academy of Sciences (http://english.cas.cn/newsroom/news/201705/t20170503_176610.shtml), Eurekalert! (https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-05/caos-fuc050417.php), Asian Scientist Magazine (http://www.asianscientist.com/2017/05/tech/underwater-acoustic-cloak-demonstration/), Phys.org (https://phys.org/print413452191.html), and Science Newsline (http://www.sciencenewsline.com/news/2017050516290005.html). The photograph for its fabricated sample is shown in Figure 1. More information: Yafeng Bi et al., Design and Demonstration of an Underwater Acoustic Carpet Cloak, Scientific Reports (2017).DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-00779-4.
Announcement of ‘Noise Guidelines for Wind Power Generation Facilities’
The Japan Ministry of the Environment announced new noise guidelines for wind power generation facilities as advice based on the Local Autonomy Act to all prefecture governors, mayors, and heads of special wards on Friday May 26, 2017 (http://www.env.go.jp/air/noise/wpg/shishin_H2905.pdf in Japanese). Simultaneously, the ministry published a guidance manual for the measurement of wind turbine noise (http://www.env.go.jp/air/noise/wpg/sokuteimanual/manual_H2905.pdf in Japanese). The guidelines and manual were established based on the results of an investigation that the ministry carried out to examine the way to evaluate wind turbine noise appropriately for four years from fiscal 2013. The noise evaluation index is based on A-weighted sound pressure level. As wind power generation facilities are often constructed in extremely quiet regions, such as mountainous areas, the level of environmental noise changes dependent on the occurrence of transient sounds such as a car passing by. Thus, as shown in Figure 1 (bottom), the guideline value was set to be a level of ‘5 dB higher than the level of residual background sound.’ However, the level of residual background sound can be too low compared to the level of usual living sound environment, and a lower bound was introduced on the guideline value as shown in Figure 1 (top). The lower bound is set to 35 dB when the level of residual background sound is lower than 30 dB and when quiet must be preserved, such as schools, hospitals, and places where soundscape should be kept. Otherwise, it is set to 40 dB.
The 2017 Annual Assembly Meetings of INCE/J and ASJ
1. The assembly meeting of INCE/J was held on Tuesday May 30, 2017, at the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo. According to the annual report of INCE/J activities, the total membership is 882 members and 290 organizations as of the end of March 2017. The total of paper presentations and participants at the latest two technical meetings were 83/213 (November 19–20, 2016) and 17/122 (April 21, 2017), respectively.
In fiscal 2016, INCE-J performed social activities three times: participation in three events hosted by the Ministry of the Environment, Chiyoda-Ward, and Sumida-Ward of Tokyo Metropolis to increase social awareness on environmental preservation as social contribution. In addition, INCE/J held a workshop on the control of noise, vibration, and odor nuisance for administrative officers in local governments under the cosponsorship with Japan Association on Odor Environment on Monday October 31, 2016, in Tokyo.
INCE/J carried out two contract research works commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment. In one contract, INCE/J compiled a draft guidance manual for the measurement of wind turbine noise, prepared a plan of noise measurement and social survey for high-speed railway noise, and created a brochure for the dissemination of basic knowledge and noise control policy of Noise Control Act. The other was an investigation on the method of measurement and evaluation of aircraft noise toward the revision of the guidance manual for airport noise.
INCE/J awarded Junichi YOSHIMURA, Kobayasi Institute of Physical Research for his distinguished research works on building acoustics and sound insulation performance of architectural materials (Research Achievement Award); Ryu TOMITAKA and Kiyoshi MASUDA, TAISEI Corporation (Morita Sakae Paper Award); Shinya HYODO, Meijo University (Young Researcher Award); and The ZENITAKA Corporation and INC Engineering for the development of a silent tube to reduce low frequency noise (Environment Design Award).
After the assembly meeting, two plenary lectures were addressed: “The Trend of the National Noise Policy” by Mimi NAMEKI, Ministry of the Environment, and “Health Effects of Noise and Low Frequency Sound on Man—What We Know, What We Don’t Know and What You Should Study” by Toshihiko SATO (Aoyama Gakuin University).
The first issue of the bimonthly INCE-J Journal this year, Vol. 41 No. 1 (2017.2), focused on “Toward the Utilization of Numerical Analysis in Practice” with a general review and four commentary articles. The second issue of the Journal, Vol. 41 No. 2 (2017.4), focused on “Aerodynamic Sound and Fluidic Sound” with a general review and six technical materials. The third issue, Vol. 41 No. 3 (2017.6), focuses on “Sound Technology to Prepare for Natural Disasters” with a general review, four commentary articles, and three technical materials.
2. The assembly meeting of ASJ was held on May 29, 2017, in Tokyo. At the meeting, 20 members of the Board of Directors and 2 inspectors, appointed in member election, were approved for the next two-year term. The new President is Akio ANDO (Toyama University) and two vice presidents are Yoichi HANEDA (University of Electro-Communications) and Kazuya TAKEDA (Nagoya University). According to the annual report of ASJ fiscal 2016 activities, the total membership is 4003 members and 291 organizations as of the end of March 2017. The total of paper presentations and participants at the latest two research meetings were 512/926 (September 14–16, 2016) and 583/1336 (April 15–17, 2017), respectively.
The assembly nominated Youichi Ito, Nihon University, for an honorary member. The society awarded three members—Shigemi SAITO, Michihito TERAO, and Ichiro Yamada—for their distinguished services on research works in the fields of ultrasonic sound, noise and numerical analysis, and their contributions to the society (Achievement Award). The society also awarded two supporting organizations: OYO Electric Co., Ltd.; and ONO Sokki Co., Ltd. (Technology Development Award). In addition, at the 2017 spring research meeting, ASJ awarded two papers the “SATO Paper Prize,” one researcher the “Environmental Acoustics Award,” two young researchers the “ITAKURA Memorial Original Research Award,” two young researchers the “AWAYA Kiyoshi Young Researcher Award,” 21 students the “Student Excellent Presentation Award,” and 8 members the “Award for Contribution to the Activities of the Society.”
After the meeting, a plenary lecture was addressed: “Speech Recognition and AI Research Prospect” by Sadaoki FURUI (Toyota Technological Institute at Chicago).
The 2017 Autumn Research Meetings of INCE/J and ASJ
1. The ASJ autumn meeting will be held September 25–27, 2017, at Ehime University, Matsuyama Japan (http://www.asj.gr.jp/annualmeeting/ASJ2017autumnCFP(E).html). Abstract submission: Friday June 2–Monday June 19. Paper submission: Friday July 7–Friday July 21. The URL of online submission will soon be available on the webpages of ASJ (http://www.asj.gr.jp). The meeting is planned to have 10 special sessions including: (1) Information Disclosure and Symbiosis with Local Communities on Noise: From Transportation Noises to Nimby Problems, (2) Dynamic Aspects in Sound Design, (3) Measurements and Musical Acoustics, (4) Innovative Activities of Acoustical Techniques for Sports, (6) Current Trends and Issues of Hearing Assistive Technology, (7) ASJ Technical Guideline for Mass Notification Sound Systems and the Future, and (8) Handicrafts on Sounds and Acoustics that Can Be Constructed by Junior High School Students and School Children. In addition, it is planned to hold a joint special session “ASJ-ASK Joint Session” under the cosponsorship of the ASJ and ASK (Acoustical Society of Korea). The joint session will be a one-room/one-day session consisting of invited lectures mainly from the research fields of architectural acoustics, noise and vibration, speech.
2. The INCE/J 2017 autumn meeting will be held November 16–17, 2017, at Tokyo Denki University in Tokyo. The meeting is planned to include two structured sessions: (1) Application of Numerical Analysis to the Blocking of Sound and Vibration, and (2) Simple Introduction of New Technology by INCE/J Supporting Members.
Recent Trial on Sound Branding Strategy in Japan
Kyoto Tango Railway, a local train company near Kyoto, renewed signal sound melodies notifying train arrival and departure and background music in a special train “Tango Kuromatsu” and in the station building on Saturday April 1, 2017 (http://www.dreamnews.jp/press/0000150119/ in Japanese). Comfort and good impression in traveling and train waiting are intended to increase by sound design and branding strategy. The new sounds were designed featuring the images of regional characteristics of the three branch lines under the cooperation with Masafumi Komatsu, who is an environment music player as well as a research professor at Kyoto Seika University studying sound design in public space such as hospital, museum and planetarium.
(News sources) Japan Ministry of the Environment, Secretariats of INCE-J and ASJ, and Ichiro Yamada
2017 Joint Conference by KSNVE, ASK and KSME(DC)
The Joint Conference of the Korean Society of Noise and Vibration Engineering (President: Semyung Wang), the Acoustical Society of Korea (President: Wan-Sup Cheung), and the Korean Society of Mechanical Engineers (Division of Dynamics and Control, President Sungho Hwang) was held April 26–28, 2017, at Kim Dae-Jung Convention Center in Gwangju. Under the conference theme of “A Leap Forward Together with Motion and Sound,” more than 380 papers, along with 2 plenary lectures, 6 invited talks, 4 tutorials, and many exhibitors’ sessions were presented. The conference was attended by more than 800 participants, and sights and sounds offered by 42 corporate exhibitors and the traditional Korean folk music band added to the excitement.