INTER-NOISE 2018 Session in Honor of Bill Lang

On Tuesday afternoon, August 28, 2018, at INTER-NOISE 2018 in Chicago, Illinois, I-INCE and INCE-USA held a session in memory of the contributions of Bill Lang across the perspectives of his family, his work in international standards, and his technical society contributions, especially to I-INCE and INCE-USA. A complete record of the session is being prepared by the INCE Foundation and should be available next spring.

The program of the session included the following points.

Bill Lang—Family and Personal Perspectives

Bob Lang, Bill’s son, shared poignant memories of Bill as a father and a side of Bill other than the one we knew from his technical society work. Bob shared anecdotes of Bill’s work style and the family’s glimpses of Bill’s challenges and accomplishments.

Bill Lang’s Seminal Contributions to INCE-USA, I-INCE, the INCE Foundation, and IBM

George Maling was unable to attend but contributed a paper that was summarized for the audience by several individuals in attendance. George focused on a high-level history of Bill’s innovation and his contributions to IBM and to a significant number of technical societies. One society contribution that is less known in the I-INCE and INCE-USA communities is Bill’s contribution to resurrecting what eventually became the IEEE Signal Processing Society. George also provided commentary on the origins of the INTER-NOISE series, INCE-USA, I-INCE, and the passage of the Noise Control Act of 1972.

Bill Lang’s General Contributions to IBM Acoustics and IBM in General

Matt Nobile and Dave Yeager documented Bill’s contribution to the establishment and growth of a global network of well-staffed acoustics and noise control laboratories at IBM. They noted Bill’s establishment of the IBM Academy of Fellows, which still exists today and is acknowledged by the current leadership as a continuing significantly important contributor for IBM.

Bill Lang’s Contributions at the National Academy of Engineering

Dan Mote, the president of the National Academy of Engineering, provided an audio tape acknowledging Bill’s passion and his contributions to the NAE report “Technology for a Quieter America.” In addition he related an effort developed by Bill to “unleash the brilliance of the members of the national academies.” In the initiative, based on Bill’s proposal announced in 2016 just prior to Bill’s passing, the three national academies organized approaches to work together on member-initiated joint efforts that are bearing fruit today.

Bill Lang’s Contributions to International Standards Work

Bob Hellweg described Bill’s many efforts to lead international standards organizations in the development of acoustics and noise control standards. Bill held significant responsibility for a broad set of ISO standards development activities and, through that, established a significant network of contacts that were helpful to his society activities.

Technology for a Quieter America and Follow-On Workshops

Eric Wood described the “Technology for a Quieter America” report and the seven follow-up workshops that have resulted from this effort. Bill contributed to this effort financially and participated in the workshops until his passing.

Bill Lang and Global Noise Policy

Tor Kihlman provided a video tape that briefly described Bill’s efforts to bring European participation to the global noise control engineering community. His presentation focused primarily on the efforts he and Bill invested in outreach to policy makers and eventually to the work they did to engage national academies globally through the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS).

Bill Lang’s Contribution to Noise Control Engineering in Japan

Hideki Tachibana spoke about the pivotal role Bill played in the establishment of INCE/Japan and his many contributions to the development of noise control engineering in Japan.

Bill Lang and I-INCE

Bob Bernhard chronicled Bill’s many contributions to the conceptualization, launch, growth, and sustainment of I-INCE. These recollections were drawn from the I-INCE archives, which document the incorporation of I-INCE in 1974, its early days led by Bill and Fritz Ingerslev, Bill’s presidency from 1988 to 1999, and Bill’s postpresidency contributions.

The session was followed by a reception with a toast to the amazing legacy left by Bill Lang.

Figure 1. A toast to Bill Lang at INTER-NOISE 2018