Pan-American News (Dec 2016)

Acentech’s James D. Barnes Receives the 2016 Laymon N. Miller Award from INCE-USA

Principal Consultant James D. Barnes, PE, INCE-USA Fellow, has received the Laymon N. Miller Award for Excellence in Acoustical Consulting, provided jointly by INCE-USA and NCAC. Jim was honored with this prestigious award at the INCE NOISE-CON 2016 conference.


In reviewing Jim’s nomination, the award committee bestowed Jim with this honor based on his impressive professional accomplishments, education and mentorship of industry colleagues, technical knowledge and writing, and flattering endorsements from clients and colleagues. They write:

“Like Laymon, Jim clearly exemplifies the qualities of an outstanding acoustical consultant and has during his entire 40+-year professional life. His unwavering commitment to both the quality of his work and service to his clients is clear to all who have worked with him. In addition, his professional ethics are second to none.”

“Jim is a clear and effective communicator and writer of technical reports, explaining just what clients need to know, as Laymon recommended, in ordinary language, not scientific or technical jargon.”

“Jim has given much time and effort into mentoring the next generation of noise control engineers . . . much like Laymon Miller himself.”

Jim Barnes served first as a mentee and now serves well as a mentor to many young (and some not-so-young) colleagues. In his paper[1] “Mentoring—The Future of Our Profession” he offers the following conclusion: “Effective mentoring requires regular, thoughtful, and respectful interaction between colleagues. This mentoring benefits not only the mentee, mentor, and company, but also our profession, clients, and society.” The editorial[2] he coauthored for the November 2013 issue of Sound & Vibration, “Mentoring—Support for the Future of Our Profession,” is also noteworthy in this regard.

Jim has served for more than 40 years as an outstanding acoustical consultant on at least 1,000 projects throughout the United States and other countries, including Canada, Ireland, Colombia, and Turkey. He began his acoustical consulting career in 1973 where he learned the consulting profession working with colleagues such as Laymon Miller, Bob Hoover, Bob Bruce, Istvan Ver, Paul Jensen, and Eric Wood. He quickly earned the reputation from colleagues and clients as a go-to consultant managing projects requiring prediction, measurement, evaluation, and control of noise on an ever-increasing range of project types.

At Acentech, Jim concentrates on noise and vibration control, with an emphasis on resolving community and workplace noise issues in the power industry. As examples of his acoustical consulting service, he has applied his expertise to electric-power generation projects ranging in size from less than 1 MWe to more than 1000 MWe, including combined-cycle and conventional coal, gas, oil, wood, and nuclear-fueled steam-electric stations, as well as resource recovery, combustion-turbine, reciprocating engine, wind turbine, compressed air, and solar plants, plus transmission, distribution, and standby electric power facilities.

Throughout his 40-year career in noise and vibration control, Jim has authored hundreds of technical reports for clients and presented at industry conferences. In 2012, Jim was designated an INCE­USA Fellow for “decades of outstanding professional service as an industrial and environmental noise control engineering consultant to clients throughout the United States, service to INCE-USA during NOISE-CON conferences and INTER-NOISE congresses, and teacher of classes for INCE-USA.”


Jim has to his credit over 20 publications and oral presentations made here in the United States as well as overseas in Puerto Rico, Canada, China, and France. In addition, he co-organized the well-attended International Electric Power Industry Noise Abatement Engineering workshops in Stockholm, Paris, Toronto, and Cambridge. Jim provided four invited presentations at the Technology for a Quieter America workshops hosted by the National Academy of Engineering during 2014 and 2015. Jim also served as a coauthor[3] with Laymon Miller preparing the popular environmental noise manual Power Plant Construction Noise Guide.

Jim is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. He received a master’s of engineering in mechanical engineering and a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering, both from Cornell University, and completed additional graduate study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

[1] James D. Barnes and Eric W. Wood, “Mentoring—The Future of Our Profession.” INTER-NOISE 2012, New York, August 2012.

[2] James D. Barnes and Eric W. Wood, “Mentoring—Support for the Future of Our Profession,” Sound & Vibration, November 2013,

[3] James D. Barnes, Laymon N. Miller, and Eric W. Wood, Power Plant Construction Noise Guide (New York: Empire State Electric Energy Research Corporation, 1977).