From the Desk of I-INCE President
By Robert J. Bernhard, President, International INCE
With the calendar turning to 2023, my term as the President of I-INCE has come to conclusion. It has been an eventful 3-year period term. I have been referring to myself as the “virtual” President. For most of my tenure, the world, including I-INCE, has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. I only had the opportunity to preside over one INTER-NOISE congress in person. But as I’ve told my colleagues, I was probably the right person for the time. The circumstances, challenges, and decisions I-INCE experienced were very much aligned with similar experiences from my “day” job as Vice President for Research at the University of Notre Dame. I was actively involved in decision-making for the University that was highly relevant to I-INCE. In many ways, I believe we’ve come out of the pandemic a stronger and more flexible organization that is ready for a world that has been changed by the pandemic.
I want to particularly thank the Organizing Committees of the three INTER-NOISE congresses that occurred in 2020-2022 for their significant and unprecedented efforts during my tenure. They were the heroes of I-INCE during my tenure. The INTER-NOISE 2020 team was forced to make the switch to a virtual congress at essentially the last minute. The congress in August 2020 was a blessing for all of us who had been so preoccupied with other things and were grateful to be able to have a global technical exchange at this difficult time. The INTER-NOISE 2021 team put together a full-blown, high-quality virtual congress with both synchronous (live) components as well as asynchronous (archived) material. This format involved considerable financial expense and significant organizational time and challenge. It was very well received and welcome at a time when international travel was still next to impossible. The INTER-NOISE 2022 team was the first to put together a hybrid program so that delegates that were not able to travel had access to the technical program of the congress. Because the hybrid format of an international congress is relatively new, the team dealt with considerable challenges. This was a first-of-a-kind INTER-NOISE that we think will be a model for the future. To all three Organizing Committees, I want to pass along my most sincere gratitude for your extraordinary efforts to adapt and provide us with much-needed technical connection in a time of extraordinary challenges.
As I mentioned in my “Getting to Know You” feature in the 4th volume of NNI in 2019 and my first President’s column in 2020, the theme of my tenure as I-INCE President was intended to be “inclusion and renewal.” As I said at the time, “My focus will be raising the profile of I-INCE with the members of the member societies. I’m hopeful that more of them will see I-INCE, particularly its congresses, newsletters, and technical activities, as an added benefit of their membership in their local society.” At the time I was hoping to travel to visit Member Societies and to increase the number of new faces in the governance of I-INCE. Of course, the pandemic changed those plans. But I believe we still made significant progress on the “inclusion and renewal” front. The pandemic taught us all how to do virtual meetings. I was able to have several meetings with Member Society leadership and each of these meetings resulted in an increased understanding of I-INCE and increased interaction of that society with I-INCE. Under Past President Marion Burgess’ leadership of the Nominating Committee, we made progress on both diversity and demographics of the Board of Directors and the Congress Selection Committee. And lastly, I believe that our successful and well-organized virtual and hybrid congresses have shown our value to the global noise control engineering community and have brought on board new professionals that will continually renew I-INCE in the future. All in all, I believe we made significant progress on this theme.
Looking forward, I am pleased to announce that INTER-NOISE 2025 will be hosted by ProAcustica in Sao Paulo Brazil on 2025 August 24-27. I hope you are all planning to attend INTER-NOISE 2023 in Chiba, Japan on 2023 August 20-23. Abstracts are due 2023 February 10. And mark your calendar for INTER-NOISE 2024 in Nantes France on 2024 August 25-28.
Lastly, I want to offer a complement to our colleagues at the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) for their support of Ukrainian scientists that have been displaced by the war in Ukraine. Details of their program are shown here.
I wish you all a happy and blessed 2023.