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Technical Committee on Noise
of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA)

2002 Annual Report

The Technical Committee on Noise (TCN) has had a successful year! Although noise is still defined as "unwanted sound", the interest of those in the Acoustical Society, and of the general pubic at large, in noise issues is strong and is growing. There seems to be a sense of purpose and urgency concerning noise and its control that is unprecedented in recent years. Perhaps the awareness of noise has reached the critical mass needed to achieve real results. As always, your technical committee has been a vital exponent for noise awareness and noise control, in fulfillment of the ASA purpose "to increase and diffuse the knowledge of acoustics and promote its practical application." More on that later.

The Technical Committee on Noise met twice in the past year: in the fall of 2001 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and in the spring of 2002 in Pittsburgh, PA. Both meetings had a great turnout.

The ASA meeting in Ft. Lauderdale was well attended, perhaps due to its attractive location. This was a successful meeting, with 7 technical sessions primarily sponsored by TCN, and 5 additional sessions cosponsored with other technical committees. Nearly 80 papers were presented. Topics included classroom acoustics, noise measurement and control case studies, industrial noise prediction, cruise ship acoustics, community noise and noise effects on marine animals. A retrospective session on Miguel Junger's work was held. In addition, Tony Embleton regaled us with his fascinating tutorial on noise propagation and prediction outdoors!

There are many people to thank for the success of the Ft. Lauderdale meeting, including our Technical Program Organizer, Mahlon Burkhard; TCN session chairs, John Erdreich, Joe Pope, Frank Brittain, Bennett Brooks, Nancy Timmerman, George Luz and Angie Campanella; cosponsoring chairs Ira Dyer and David Feit (EA), Russ Cooper and Neil Shaw (AA), Darlene Ketten, Ed Gerstein and Joe Blue (AB), and, of course, all of the paper presenters.

The ASA meeting in Pittsburgh offered a number of fine noise sponsored sessions on a variety of topics including impulse and continuous noise effects, mining noise, glazing acoustics, noise policy, and noise control devices. TCN also cosponsored several sessions with architectural, structural, speech and animal bioacoustics. Additionally, the engineering and structural committees sponsored several sessions that focused on flow-induced noise and active noise control. Thanks go to the Program Organizers, Dick Godfrey and John Seiler; TCN session chairs, John Seiler, Greg Tocci, Larry Finegold and Dick Godfrey; cosponsoring chairs Lily Wang (AA), Ahmet Selamet (EA), Tan-Fan Hwang (SA) and Scott Sommerfeldt (SA); and the nearly 70 paper presenters.

A special treat at the Pittsburgh meeting was the Plenary Session, at which our own Tony Embleton received the Gold Medal of the Society. This award was well deserved, and it was a pleasure to see Tony accept it. Congratulations Tony!

At the Pittsburgh meeting, TCN approved holding a joint meeting with the Institute of Noise Control Engineering (INCE) in Vancouver in 2005. This should be a great event, given the success of our last joint meeting in Newport Beach. In addition, our dedicated members have developed noteworthy special sessions and tutorials for the upcoming meetings in Cancun, Nashville and Austin. These meetings promise to be very interesting.

As of this writing, the Standard on Classroom Acoustics was just approved for publication by ANSI. Everyone associated with this effort deserves hearty congratulations. This standard should help to contribute to quieter classrooms, and a more educationally friendly environment in our schools.

Over this past year TCN has had a fine group of candidates for the Outstanding Papers by Young Presenters award. I am pleased to announce that Wendy Sanders of the University of Michigan received the Outstanding Paper award for her paper "Turbulent boundary layer pressure fluctuations at large scales", which was presented at the Pittsburgh meeting. Nice work Wendy!

Technical Initiative funding for TCN activities continued in the areas of the younger presenter awards, web page maintenance, the student reception, the development of the online library (see, funds to distribute the classroom acoustics booklet in PDF format and support for NHCA.

The TCN Student Representative to the ASA is Jennifer Cooper. The Student Council has been very active, encouraging participation by our younger members, who are the future of this organization.

As mentioned above, this year has seen an upsurge in general interest in noise. One effort that is gaining momentum is the assessment and revision of noise policy. This effort is being undertaken by an INCE study group, with the goal of reaching a national forum later this year. Also, there seems to be increased attention to noise on the part of the media. Your humble TCN Chair has been called upon, recently, to discuss noise issues for a wide variety of media outlets, including National Public Radio, the New York Times and, to name a few. A goal of the TCN Task Force on noise control and the ASA was to gain greater awareness of noise issues by the public, and perhaps now it is really happening.

On a sad note, this year we mark the untimely passing of Dan Johnson. Dan made many important and lasting contributions to our Society. Among his accomplishments was his extensive work in the standards arena, including his service as Standards Director, and he was a past Chair of this committee. Dan was a mentor to many in the society, including myself, and he will be greatly missed.

The TCN is fortunate to enjoy the enthusiastic support of its members. This fine group never fails to deliver the excellent technical work and personal commitment that we have come to rely upon. Because of you, we look forward to a bright future.

Bennett M. Brooks

Chair 2000-2003

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