INTER-NOISE 2022 Report
INTER-NOISE 2022, the 51st International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, was held on August 21-24, 2022, at the Scottish Event Campus, Glasgow – the same venue for the recent conference on climate change COP 26. It was co-hosted by the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and the UK Acoustics Network (UKAN), on behalf of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering (I-INCE).
As part of the technical program, approximately 800 technical papers were presented on 19 main topics across (at times) 15 parallel sessions. The conference theme was Noise Control in a More Sustainable Future. Of particular note were two new sessions titled, “Noise Control in a More Sustainable Future” (reflecting the conference theme) and “Profession, Education Training, and Outreach”, which were of particular interest to young researchers, and early-career engineers and consultants. This was all the more appropriate given that 35% of delegates were research students or early career professionals!
It was an excellent return to a full-scale post-COVID conference, attracting nearly 1,000 in-person delegates from 60 countries. However, lessons of the past have not been forgotten, and an additional 300 delegates attended and presented papers online. The organizers embraced the hybrid nature of the post-COVID world and introduced a number of online features throughout the conference. The conference was paperless with delegates free to access the conference timetable, along with all papers, online throughout the conference. Further, all paper presentations were recorded and made available to all delegates to view within two months of the conference, and the opening and closing ceremonies, six keynote presentations, and several sessions were live-streamed.
While organizing a conference of this size requires time and help from many individuals, the principal congress organizers were Prof. Barry Marshall Gibbs (Congress President), Prof. Chris Barlow and Alistair Somerville (Technical Program Chairs), Prof. Robert Craik (Proceedings Editor), Dr. Martin Lester (IOA Technical Programming Liaison), Tomasz Galikowski (Early Careers Group), and Patricia Davies and Taha Sen (Young Professionals Grants and Practice School for Students). The Congress Secretariat was In Conference, and Linda Canty served as the IOA Liasion.
Sunday August 21st – The Congress Opens
While Sunday would see the official opening of the congress, the day began with the Practice of Noise Control School. Young Professional Grant Awardees are invited to participate in this School, and other students can attend if spaces are available. This is a five-hour School that includes a number of presentations from leading experts across various aspects of Noise Control Practice.
The opening events for the conference were then held on Sunday afternoon, August 21st. In the opening ceremony, Congress President Prof Barry Gibbs welcomed all the attendees to the congress and to the city of Glasgow. He was joined on stage by Stephen Turner, President of the Institute of Acoustics, and Robert Bernhard, President of I-INCE, who in his opening remarks, said it was “dead brilliant” to be back to an in-person and hybrid conference, and declared INTER-NOISE 2022 officially open.
The opening Plenary Keynote Lecture was delivered by Professor Maria Heckl (Keele University) who convincingly made the case that sustainable combustion technologies need more research in acoustics. Her research focuses on the interaction of acoustic waves with flames (thermoacoustics), vortices (aeroacoustics), and structures (vibroacoustics). She has been leading major European research consortia to understand such interactions in combustion systems and hence underpin the development of clean combustion technologies, in particular hydrogen combustion.
After this lecture delegates were invited to the INTER-NOISE welcome reception where old friends could gather and chat about old times, as well as learn about the latest product news from the many exhibitors present.
Monday, August 22
The technical program began on Monday, August 22. The day began with 15 parallel sessions covering a wide array of topics, from smart cities and noise monitoring to active and passive noise control.
There were two separate keynote lectures throughout the day. The first was from Professor Jin Yong Jeon (Hanyang University in Seoul, Korea), titled “Soundscape and Digital Therapeutics: Psycho-physiological Restoration”. Prof Jeon’s main teaching and research interests are architectural acoustics and soundscapes, and he is involved in working groups of relevant ISOs in both fields. Later in the evening, we saw Professor Lily Wang (Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, College of Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln) deliver the second keynote lecture of the day, titled “Linking Indoor Acoustic Conditions to Human Well-Being and Performance”. Here we learned that acoustic conditions can have significant impacts on human comfort and performance and Prof Wang outlined three separate research studies to illustrate the point (related to K-12 classrooms, Speech comprehension for non-native English language talkers and listeners, and Restaurants).
The encouragement of young professionals is vitally important and in recognition of this I-INCE funds a number of Young Scientists Grants to assist with participation at each Congress. In parallel with these grants, there were a number of events arranged for early career professionals throughout the conference. On Monday morning the Early Careers Breakfast was held and was followed by the presentation of I-INCE travel awards later in the day (including a social networking event in downtown Glasgow). The goals of theses events are to provide mentorship via case studies and professional issues presented by world-renowned experts and to hold informal discussions between young professionals I-INCE leaders and senior noise control engineers.
This conference also saw the roll-out of a novel ‘Buddy Scheme’, which was organized by the IOA EDI Working Group and Early Careers Group for INTER-NOISE 2022. The idea was to partner with someone new to the industry with an established expert to help them navigate the conference. Two buddies were assigned to each mentor so that buddies could get to know each other and explore the conference together if they wanted to. By all accounts, the Buddy Scheme was a great success and it is hoped that similar schemes will be rolled out at future conferences.
Tuesday, August 23rd
The congress continued on Tuesday and opened with 15 parallel technical sessions covering a wide range of topics. Both the technical sessions and the exhibition continued through this day. There was active participation in both with many excellent papers.
Tuesday also saw two more keynote lectures. The first was delivered remotely by Dr. Yu Liu (Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology, China), titled “Acoustic Beamforming Array Design for Source Imaging”. Dr. Liu’s main research interests include aeroacoustics, flow and noise control, and acoustic testing techniques, and he has been featured among the “World’s Top 2% Scientists 2020” by Stanford University in the field of Aerospace and Aeronautics. The second keynote lecture saw delegates treated to a presentation from The Salford Group (Professor Andy Moorhouse, Dr. Andy Elliott, And Dr. Josh Meggitt), who presented on “Virtual Acoustic Prototypes – a story of four decades”. The Salford Group is based in the Acoustics Research Centre, University of Salford, UK, and has been involved in structure-borne sound prediction methods since, in Andy Moorhouse’s case, the early 1980s. Recently, the group turned its attention to transfer path analysis (TPA), developing it from a purely diagnostic method into a range of approaches allowing the construction of accurate and sophisticated virtual acoustic prototypes.
Tuesday evening saw the annual Conference Social Event return with quite a bang at Merchant’s Square in Glasgow city center – one of Glasgow’s most vibrant and historic venues. Delegates were greeted at the entrance by a bagpipe plate, and entertainment and dancing continued throughout the night. There was a traditional Scottish ceilidh (a Gaelic word for a casual party with music, dancing, and entertainment).
Wednesday, August 24
Technical sessions continued until lunchtime on Wednesday and ended with the final plenary lecture from Professor Bridget Shield MBE who gave a lecture titled “A Sound Environment for Schools: Sixty years of Research into the Impact of the Acoustic Design of Schools – A Review”. Prof Shield is Professor Emerita at London South Bank University, where she spent 30 years teaching and researching environmental and architectural acoustics. Her research areas included modeling of sound and subjective responses to noise, focusing on the effects of noise in schools. In 2021, she was awarded the MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for services to acoustic science and inclusion in science and engineering. It was a real treat to see her speak.
The Closing ceremony was held after this talk on Wednesday afternoon. Barry Gibbs thanked all those present for attending the congress and congratulated all on the quality of the papers presented. I-INCE President Bob Bernhard declared the closing of INTER-NOISE 2022, and the ceremony concluded with an invitation to Chiba (in the Greater Tokyo area), Japan for INTER-NOISE 2023!
Final Thoughts from the Editor
It seems like there were so many additional features and satellite events taking place that there was something for everyone. It was particularly interesting to sample some of the soundscape entries as part of the Scottish Soundscape Prize. For this, UK-based students were invited to enter submissions into a soundscape competition to create an experience that makes a difficult acoustic space in the SEC more pleasant, engaging, relaxing, and restorative. A shortlist of submissions was exhibited throughout the conference, and a winner and runner-up were chosen by a panel following judging its performance from within the space. The winner was Carmen Rosas-Perez from Herriot-Watt University.
Overall the conference was a complete success. It was a great return to a full-scale in-person conference, with the added benefit of several hybrid features, that will hopefully become commonplace amongst conferences going forward. It was particularly nice to see such large engagement and participation from Young Professionals and I hope this continues in future years.
See you all in Japan!
NOTE: All photos courtesy of the INTER-NOISE 2022 Team.