Unsung heroes awarded ‘Noise Oscars’

Individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the noise industry were rewarded at a glittering ‘Noise Oscars’ ceremony last night at the House of Commons. 

The 11th annual John Connell Awards, announced by the Noise Abatement Society (NAS), are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives from Local Authorities, industry, individuals and organisations that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

They are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

The Lifetime Achievement Awards are bestowed on those people who have worked tirelessly in pursuit of a better aural environment. They have dedicated their lives to raising awareness of the destructive effect that noise pollution can have on health, learning, productivity and quality of life.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said: “There are many organisations and companies that are all working towards our common goal to reduce noise pollution. However, there are also several individuals for whom this cause is intrinsic, and we want to recognise the huge efforts they have made to the industry, and shout about their successes.”

The awards were hosted by Mike Weatherley, MP for Hove and Portslade, on behalf of the NAS Trustees, and the prestigious honours were bestowed on the following individuals:

Trude Adler Award – this award celebrates the unsung heroes who make our world a better – safer, healthier, quieter – place to live and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Winner: Geraldine Nicholson , the Chair of the local campaign group No Third Runway Action Group (NoTRAG) and the Women of Sipson. Geraldine has been recognised for her tireless and exemplary work with residents and community stakeholders to campaign with John Stewart against BAA’s plans to build the third runway at Heathrow Airport. Geraldine has kept fighting since 2005: to save the school her young boys went to, for the community she grew up in, the pub, the church, the village shop: fighting to stop the forced removal of thousands of people; her friends and neighbours. 

11th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award – in recognition of our founder, John Connell OBE, and the 11th Anniversary of the Awards in his name, the award honours key individuals who have made outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue and who have worked tirelessly over the course of their careers to effect solutions for the public benefit.

Professor Bridget Shield has been recognised for her continuing work on the effect of noise and poor acoustics on children and teachers in primary schools. Bridget’s research has informed new legislation on the acoustic design of schools and, in 2003, she was appointed by the Department for Education and Skills, as editor of Building Bulletin 93 which contains the statutory acoustic performance specifications for schools, under the Building Regulations.

Bridget Shield, Professor of Acoustics in the Faculty of Engineering, Science and Built Environment at London South Bank University has many years’ experience of teaching, research and consultancy in environmental and architectural acoustics. She is the author of over 70 published papers and her research interests have included prediction of industrial noise, community response to railway noise, concert hall acoustics (with Professor Trevor Cox), and annoyance caused by low frequency noise.

Professor Shield was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics in 2007, and is currently President-elect of the Institute.

Bernard Berry has been awarded this accolade for his continuing work and expert advice on the effects of noise. He has been a consultant to industry, Governments, local governments, the EU and has collaborated on research projects with a number of organisations.

He is an Adviser to the World Health Organisation [WHO] European Centre for Environment and Health [ECEH] in Bonn, and a member of the WHO Working Group on Aircraft Noise and Health.

He has published over 120 papers in academic journals and conference Proceedings, reports and book chapters, and given more than 100 presentations at conferences.

He is Chairman of the main British Standards Institution [BSI] Technical Committee on Acoustics.

He was President of the Institute of Acoustics from 1996-1998.  And was the Institute’s Vice-President for International Relations from 2001 to 2007. In October 2009 he was presented with the Institute’s Award for Distinguished Service – “for his outstanding contribution to the life of the Institute”.

In April 2010 he was elected a Distinguished International Member of the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the United States of America. This distinguished, honorary status is conferred upon individuals who have personally made extraordinarily significant contributions to the theory and/or practice of noise control engineering.

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