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IOA Conference 2018 – City Hall, Cardiff

There a number of acoustics conferences in the UK of varying shapes and sizes during the year but the major one is that put on by the UK Institute of Acoustics. Before austerity there used to be two, a spring conference and an autumn conference, but that’s another story.

This year the conference was held in Cardiff, the capital of Wales, at the rather impressive City Hall (pictured), which gave a bit of a Welsh flavour to things including the first formal paper, Noise Policy in Wales, delivered by Martin McVay from the Welsh Government, and the first course of the conference dinner which was Welsh Rarebit (basically cheese on toast).

There were 3 parallel sessions going on (which kept the conference to a manageable 2 days) consisting of Environmental Noise, Noise and Vibration Engineering and Physical Acoustics (all day on Day 1 in the three rooms respectively) followed by Building Acoustics, Wind Farm Noise, Music Acoustics, Speech and Hearing and Measurements/Instrumentation on the Day 2.

Andy, Malcolm and Tom attended the conference on behalf of Hayes McKenzie with Tom contributing to the presentation by Malcolm in the wind farm noise session and Malcolm also contributing to one of the other presentations.

The Environmental Noise session had two main themes; the first being BS4142 (more on this topic here), particularly the acoustic character corrections, with the second being the upcoming Association of Noise Consultants Acoustics, Noise and Ventilation Guide which is currently out for consultation.

Of particular interest in the Noise and Vibration session were presentations on noise transmission in sports complexes, where impulse noise is quite common, and from Dyson on domestic appliance noise, particularly air handling.

The Physical Acoustic sessions contained a significant number of papers relating to novel structures for the control of acoustic waves. The influence of the 3D printer in the construction of such structures was clearly in evidence with some samples being passed around amongst the attendees.

Following a well-earned rest for everyone except the ‘Young Members Group’ who were invited to a ‘Happy Hour’ session, everyone re-convened at City Hall for a drinks reception and conference dinner with entertainment by Roger Kelly of CDM-UK who was also one of the delegates. Towards the end of the evening a number of delegates moved on to a pub nearby until throwing out time where discussions on the many aspects of acoustics continued to the early hours in the various conference hotel bars.

The next day continued with more on noise in sports and fitness centres in the Building Acoustics session together with a demonstration of how a small change in low frequency noise transmission can have a big effect on subjective perception (although, of course, low frequency noise transmission is much more difficult to reduce!). The measurements/instrumentation session presented the latest in measurement hardware and software with one presentation focussing on why mobile phone apps should never be used to measure noise in any kind of even semi-serious manner.

The final session in the main hall was on wind farm noise with two papers on amplitude modulation of wind turbine noise, one given by Malcolm who also contributed to the other one. Along with Malcolm and Tom’s spectacular AM charts, the highlight was Dick Bowdler’s presentation on the way infrasound has been hyped and mis-represented over the years, particularly the work of Vladimir Gavreau who patented a number of infrasound producing devices between 1948 and 1965.

By Dr Andy McKenzie

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Date Posted

08 May 2018

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