Highlights from Hamburg
A few weeks back, Internoise 2016 in Hamburg concluded, ending four days of presentations, discussions and networking, all in the name of acoustics. I don’t know about you, but for me, before large acoustic events like this one, I am always busy preparing; presentations, transport and logistics. During the event, I am trying to make the very most of all the knowledge-sharing; talking and listening. But afterwards, with some distance, one has time to reflect. Here are my top takeaways from the event:
For us working with room and indoor/building acoustics, I must say that this subject was indeed well represented over all three days. From ground-breaking room acoustic simulations via acoustic descriptors to various applied scenarios in restaurants etc.
But what I did miss was segment-specific sessions, like office, school and healthcare acoustics. I prefer to have these important segments and the relevant papers clustered together. It adds focus and relevance.
(Read my colleagues’ post about some of the non-room acoustics sessions.)
The Congress Center Hamburg is a big facility. On the upside, this meant that everybody had plenty of space and it was never experienced as crowded, in spite of having some 1500 acousticians at the event.
On the downside though, it was so large that one rarely bumped into acquaintances in the corridors. Luckily we had our exhibition booth close to the coffee and food station where most people passed through at one time or another.
These large events are perfect for meeting old friends from across the globe. They’re actually often the only time you meet them in a year – or more. And the perfect place to make new friends. Conferences like this one tend to act like information exchange hubs. I learned so much just talking to the exhibiting neighbours and visitors to our stand – about acoustic history, acoustic standardisation and regulations. And we found out that Swedish pick n’ mix candy (lösgodis) assures some returning visitors.
Ecophon was very active at Internoise; as a sponsor, with an exhibition stand and presenting five different papers. My colleagues received excellent feedback on their presentations and many interesting questions.
- An acoustic model for evaluation of rooms with absorbent ceilings (Erling Nilsson).
- Psychoacoustics Survey Results: Psychological Factors Affecting Noise Distraction (Frans Davidsson and Nigel Oseland). Read more on Psychoacoustics here.
- Scattering from objects and surfaces in room acoustical simulations (Gerd Marbjerg, Jonas Brunskog, Cheol-Ho Jeong and Erling Nilsson). Read an interview with Gerd Marbjerg here.
- A room acoustic descriptor for teachers, principals, landlords and architects (Jonas Christensson).
- The impact of sound and room acoustics in healthcare facilities: A room acoustic intervention study in a dementia clinic in Munich (Mai-Britt Beldam and Birgit Dietz). Read more about the study and the presentation here.
Lunch wasn’t included in the conference fee, so business for the restaurants and food shops at the nearby train station must have skyrocketed during these days. Never have I seen so many acousticians at the same time eagerly searching for the best bargain and queueing up for a fast bite to eat! My best tip; the Vietnamese place at the station – noodles and spring rolls to die for.
I must admit that before the conference I have only passed by Hamburg on my way to somewhere else. My colleagues and I were very positively surprised by the city – its people, parks, restaurants and the river Elbe. A memorable moment was devouring a robust German dinner overlooking the river and its shipping activities, as the sun was setting. The perfect ending to a long day at the conference!
I would also recommend the wonderful park “Planten un Blomen”, just next to the conference venue. Too bad the time was too short to fully enjoy it. Hamburg is definitively a place to come back to as a tourist! Maybe the traffic was the only not so nice aspect.
So, a big thank you to the German Acoustical Society (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Akustik, DEGA) and Hamburg University of Technology (Technische Universität Hamburg-Harburg, TUHH) for all your efforts setting up and organising Internoise 2016!