NOISE-CON 2019 Report

NOISE-CON 2019 was held August 26–28, 2019, at the Sheraton Hotel and Marina in San Diego, CA—the eighth largest city in the United States. It was cohosted by the INCE-USA and the Transportation Research Board Committee on Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration (ADC40).

As part of the technical program, over 160 technical papers were presented across four parallel sessions, under the conference theme: Catch the next wave in noise control engineering.

While organizing a conference of this size requires time and help from many individuals, the principal congress organizers were Bryce Gardner and Chad Musser (conference cochairs), Judy Rochat (conference vice chair), Yong-Joe Kim (technical chair), Andrew Barnard (technical vice chair), and Gordon Ebbitt and Sarah McGuire (proceedings editors). The exposition manager was Regina Young, and Michaela Lindstrom served as the student volunteer coordinator.

Conference attendees were treated to sunshine, great food, and an even better technical program.

Monday, August 26

The opening ceremony was held on Monday morning. INCE-USA President Steve Marshall welcomed everyone to San Diego and described the events of the week. He also announced details of the exciting new demo theatre that would be in the exposition. Conference Cochair Chad Musser also took to the stage to welcome all attendees, and encouraged everyone to enjoy the conference and to take some time to see and get to know the beautiful and vibrant city of San Diego. He wished us a productive and memorable week filled with a variety of presentations, papers, and plenary addresses covering a highly diverse range of topics and industries.

Fig. 1. Chad Musser welcoming everyone to NOISE-CON 2019

The first plenary lecture was excellently delivered by Dr. J. Stuart Bolton from Purdue University. The topic of his talk was “Poro-Elastic Materials and the Control of Low Frequency Sound.” He explained that in the introductory sections of active noise control and metamaterial articles, it is often said that “conventional” (i.e., poro-elastic) materials such as foams and fibrous media do not work well at low frequencies. While that observation may be true for the simplest treatments, there are many cases in which excellent weight and cost-effective acoustical treatments can be realized by using poro-elastic media. He offered examples and interesting anecdotes from his past.

Fig. 2. Dr. Stuart Bolton giving the opening plenary at NOISE-CON 2019

Following this lecture, the technical program began. The day had four parallel sessions covering a wide array of topics, from noise policies, legislation, and regulations to structural acoustics.

The day also saw several special events, including the INCE Board Certification information session and networking breakfast, the Women in Noise Control Engineering lunch, a student breakfast, and the student paper competition. There was also a tribute session for Jerome E. Manning, who passed away in June 2018 after a distinguished lifelong career in acoustical engineering.

The day concluded with the opening reception of the exposition. There were 54 different exhibitors. There was also a demo theatre where exhibitors had a chance to present their latest products to attendees. It included a roving microphone and housed several interesting talks and interactions. Attendees were also invited to play exhibitor bingo!

Fig. 3. Paul Burge (VP for board certification) at the information session for INCE-USA Board Certification
Fig. 4. The live demo theatre at the exposition

Tuesday, August 27

The congress continued on Tuesday and opened with the INCE awards ceremony and a plenary lecture. The plenary lecture was delivered by John Maxon from Gulfstream Aerospace Group. He talked about joining Gulfstream in 2004 as a technical specialist after working for Gulfstream’s parent company, General Dynamics, for more than 18 years. While there, he specialized in structural acoustic and vibration analysis at Electric Boat, helping to make US submarines undetectable. Transitioning from undersea to in-air acoustics and vibration analysis, he introduced the Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) acoustic and vibration modeling tool to Gulfstream and directed the development of Gulfstream’s Acoustic Test Facility (ATF). Both the SEA predictive modeling tool and the ATF have been instrumental in the development of thermal acoustic treatment for several Gulfstream jets.

Fig. 5. John Maxon during Tuesday’s plenary lecture

Following this lecture, the technical program began. The day was jam-packed, beginning with five parallel sessions. Sessions continued throughout the day, with topics covering everything from fitness noise and vibration to acoustic metamaterials.

Tuesday also saw the technical tour, which visited the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, where attendees were given an overview of research on the effects of human-made noise on animals and of the recently developed guidelines for limiting exposure. The Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute is a nonprofit scientific research organization committed to conserving and renewing marine life to ensure a healthier planet.

Wednesday, August 28

Wednesday morning began with a plenary lecture by Dr. Peter Gerstoft from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America and an elected a member of the International Union of Radio Science, Commission F. The title of his talk was “Exploring the Earth with Seismic Noise: Anthropogenic and Exogenic Noise Sources,” and he talked about his work on extracting information from noise (acoustic, seismic, EM) with the help of signal processing, compressive sensing, and machine learning.

Fig. 6. The final plenary of NOISE-CON 2019 being presented by Dr. Peter Gerstoft

The day continued with technical sessions, which included papers on IT noise, product noise, and building and architectural acoustics, along with technical meetings. In the afternoon there was a workshop on “Transportation Noise Analyses: Incorporating Commonly Ignored Elements of Traffic Noise.”

With technical sessions complete, events continued into Thursday, with an IT technical committee, TRB committee meeting, and TRB young professionals meeting.


NOISE-CON also gave INCE-USA the opportunity to recognize a variety of award winners in 2019. Dr. David W. Herrin, University of Kentucky, was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award. During the award presentation, it was noted that Dr. Herrin’s research is of very high quality, and he is well respected in his field. He is an excellent mentor of his graduate students, and his students regularly win best-paper awards. K. Anthony Hoover of McKay Conant Hoover was recognized with the Laymon N. Miller Excellence in Acoustical Consulting Award (presented at the NCAC conference—learn more about this award elsewhere in this issue). David Nelson was also elected as an INCE-USA fellow for his significant contributions in the advancement of noise control engineering in the areas of IT and product noise and his substantial contributions to INCE conferences and planning. INCE-USA also gave several students awards to deserving winners, summarized in tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. 2019 Michiko So Finegold Award Winners

Student/Young Professional University/Organization
Won Hong Choi Purdue University
Stephania Vaglica Michigan Tech University
Yongjie Zhuang Purdue University
Gong Cheng University of Kentucky
Steven Senczyszyn Michigan Tech University
Guo Long University of Cincinnati
Sunit Girdhar Michigan Tech University

The Michiko So Finegold Award supports US graduate students and young professionals traveling to NOISE-CON 2019 to present their work on noise effects, development of noise policy, and related aspects of noise control engineering.

Table 2. 2019 Halberg Foundation Award Winners

Student University
Caoyang Li University of Kentucky
Keyu Chen University of Kentucky
Zhuang Mo Purdue University
Weimin Thor Purdue University
Yu Xiong Penn State
Brittany Wojciechowski Wichita State University

The Halberg Foundation Award supports North American undergraduate or graduate students traveling to NOISE-CON 2019 to present their work in any areas of noise control engineering.

Fig. 7. Andrew Barnard and Steve Marshall at the awards ceremony
Fig. 8. Dana Lodico awards the Outstanding Educator Award to Dr. David W. Herrin
Fig. 9. Brittany Wojciechowski, one of the Michiko So Finegold Award winners, with INCE-USA President Steve Marshall and Dana Lodic (VP for honors and awards)