Jazzing Up Noise Control at NOISE-CON 2020

By Gordon Ebbit

Editor’s Note: This article was written in early March. Readers are encouraged to check the conference website (https://www.inceusa.org/noisecon20) for up-to-date details related to COVID-19.

INCE-USA is very pleased to announce that NOISE-CON 2020 will be held at the Hilton Riverside New Orleans from June 29 to July 1. The Hilton is well located within the city of New Orleans. It is directly on the banks of the Mississippi River and just a few blocks from the historic French Quarter. The Hilton is also a great venue for a NOISE-CON, with ample space for breakout rooms that are directly across a hallway from a large room for plenaries and a large exhibition area.

As with all NOISE-CONs, there will be papers on a very wide variety of core topics. There will also be many special sessions at NOISE-CON 2020. Though the technical program is still coming together, it appears there will be special sessions on new acoustic materials, numerical methods for aeroacoustics, low-frequency aeroacoustic noise and vibration control, case studies in building acoustics, standards in building acoustics, and wind turbine noise. In addition, there will be a special tutorial session on sound level meters. This session will be recorded and made available from the INCE-USA website.

There will be a plenary session on each of the three conference days. Dr. Lily Wang from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln will present a talk on Monday related to her work on restaurant noise. Wednesday’s plenary will be given by Dr. Juliette Ioup from the University of New Orleans and will cover the effect of underwater noise on marine life with a focus on the Gulf of Mexico.

Tuesday’s plenary will be a little different. The NOISE-CON organizing committee has invited Nora Keegan to talk on a study that she did on hand dryer noise. Nora is not a distinguished scholar—she is a teenage student who became concerned about hand drier noise and so did a study. Her study has attracted the attention of national media, and we are interested in sharing Nora’s study and her concerns as a member of the public. This plenary session will be one of many features of NOISE-CON 2020 that will be part of the International Year of Sound (IYS).

There will be a number of short courses available on June 28, the Sunday preceding the conference. In addition to a prep class for the INCE-USA Fundamentals exam, three full-day courses will be offered on the following topics: Implementation of Occupational Hearing Conservation Programs for Engineers and Safety Professionals, Overview of Acoustic and Vibration Simulation Methods, and Introduction to Acoustic Imaging.

A technical tour will be given of some recently renovated New Orleans theatres. Plans are still being finalized, but as of press time, the Orpheum and Saenger theaters will be included and additional theatres may be added.

As with all NOISE-CONs, there will be an exhibition featuring instrumentation, modeling software, materials, and other interesting items for noise and vibration control. This year’s exhibition will be a little different because it will begin at lunchtime on Monday and end on Tuesday evening. As usual, a reception will be held on Monday evening in the exhibition hall. In addition, lunch will be provided on both Monday and Tuesday in the exhibit area. Since the exhibits will begin at lunchtime on Monday instead of their normal start on Monday evening, there will be no exhibit on Wednesday morning.

Our social evening will be on Tuesday, when the attendees of NOISE-CON are offered the opportunity to participate in a cruise on the Creole Queen riverboat. The Creole Queen is modeled on a turn of the century sternwheeler and serves up New Orleans jazz along with Creole and Cajun fare while on a two-hour cruise of the Mississippi. The Creole Queen is docked just steps from the Hilton Riverside.

The IYS is being celebrated in 2020, and NOISE-CON 2020 will feature several sessions as part of the IYS. One of those is the previously mentioned plenary session with Nora Keegan. NOISE-CON will also have a session focused on the development of a Product Noise Rating (PNR) system, which would provide a consumer usable system to rate noise. Another session will feature a shortened version of the film Sonic Sea, along with a panel discussion to discuss noise in the oceans and its effect on marine life. In fact, this will be complementary to the plenary talk given by Dr. Juliette Ioup on Wednesday.

Though we don’t want anyone to miss any of the technical and social activities associated with the conference, we hope that everyone has some extra time to spend enjoying all that New Orleans has to offer. That includes delicious local cuisine at the many fine restaurants; historic architecture in the French Quarter, Garden District, and beyond; jazz and music of all kinds; several museums including the excellent National World War II Museum, which is a short distance from the hotel; and much, much more. There is a lot to explore, and we hope that you will join us in New Orleans for NOISE-CON 2020.