NHI Noise Course Chicago 2012
Between August 21rd and 23th, 2012, the Audio Arts + Acoustics Department once again hosted the National Highway Institute's (NHI) Highway Traffic Noise course (FHWA-NHI-142051). This is the fourth year in a row of this partnership. As one participant said, "I just wanted to thank [the College] for all that you did to organize this session."
Instructors for the course are coordinated by Bowlby & Associates, Inc. under contract to NHI. We were honored to once again have with us, for his fourth year running, Adam Alexander, Noise Specialist for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). John Jaeckel, Principal Environmental Quality Engineer for HNTB Corporation, joined us for a second year and Harvey Knauer, Vice President for Environmental Acoustics, Inc., served as lead instructor for his first tour in Chicago.
For the fourth year running, Chicago filled the class to maximum, thirty participants, and got them learning bright and early Tuesday morning. Because of the teamwork of many professionals here at the College, a participant remarked "Great job to everyone involved"!
On behalf of the whole team at Columbia College Chicago, we proudly accepted a token of appreciation from NHI that says "Thank you for going the extra mile."
One of the unique characteristics of sessions held in Chicago is the geographic, professional and gender diversity of course participants. Of the thirty attendees this year, an unprecedented eight were female. Titles included "Senior Acoustical Engineer/Programmer," "Surface Transportation Consultant," "Noise Abatement Staff," "PDP Environmental Specialist," "Senior Scientist, Noise and Vibration" and a host of "Presidents," "Principals" and "Senior VP's"!
This year, participants geographically represented the nation with participants from Oregon, California, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, District of Columbia, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Massachusetts and, of course, Illinois. Six participants were from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), two were from State Departments of Transportation and one was from an airport authority. Four participants were alumni of the Audio Arts + Acoustics Department and five were current students in the Department. For a graphical view of all four year's participants, check out the NHI 2012 Chicago map on Google.
Participants in the 2012 Chicago session were fortunate to get a presentation of recent changes to the Federal "Procedures For Abatement Of Highway Traffic Noise And Construction Noise" (23 CFR 772) which codifies the procedures for abatement of highway traffic noise and construction noise. In addition, attendees got exposure to basic principles of acoustics, got hands-on experience with noise level meters, got an overview of the functionality of the FHWA's Traffic Noise Model, see the applicability of the Interactive Sound Information System (ISIS) commissioned by NHI and learn when a noise study is and is not required.
Thanks to the generous support, for the fourth year running, of Scantek, Inc. and Kinetics Noise Control, Inc., AA+A was able to provide attendees with breakfasts, beverages and a networking luncheon all designed to maximize the interaction among this diverse group of professionals.
One of the hands-on working group exercises held over three days.
Several local businesses also supported the event by providing attendees and instructors with discounts to their eating establishments. An eclectic group of restuarants and fast food establishments offered discounts ranging from 10%-20% off for course participants to help stretch their travel budgets. Thank you so much to all!
Thanks to the generosity of Partage Group, LLC, one alumn and five current Acoustics students in the Department were eligible for scholarship support to offset their registration fee. All six met the criteria for the scholarship, including passing the final exam, and were awarded their scholarships at the end of the course.
For the fourth year in a row, then, everyone who has taken the exam in Chicago has passed!
One of the highlights of the event was the professional networking reception held on Monday night, August 20th, in the AA+A Department's Studio A. Close to forty instructors, attendees, dignitaries, guests, faculty and staff participated in an event catered by A Tray to Remember.
During the reception, two AA+A alumni, Ryan Cranfill and Kevin Quinn, were presented with the prestigous Acoustical Society of America's Robert Bradford Newman Student Medal for Merit in Architectural Acoustics. Louise Love, Interim Provost/Vice President of Academic Affairs, and Dominique Chéenne, Director of Columbia College's Bachelor of Science in Acoustics program, presented the awards.
From left to right - Ryan Cranfill (alumn 2012 and Surface Transportation Consultant with Harris Miller Miller & Hanson, Inc.), Louise Love, Dominique Chéenne, Kevin Quinn (alumn 2012).
Congratulations Ryan and Kevin!