Last week was the first winterschool of the SONORUS project as well as a Network Meeting and this was also the first time for us, ESR's, to meet each other and all other partners involved in this project. SONORUS is an Initial Training Network under the FP7 People Programme in the field of Urban Sound Planning, aiming at improving the acoustic environment of our cities in a holistic approach. In the project, 14 young researchers (ESR's) work together on improving the soundscape of several cities in conjunction with their individual research projects.
On Sunday evening prior to the winterschool there was a dinner for all those involved in the project, a very pleasant way to get to know each other. On Monday morning the Network Meeting began. An introduction to the project was given by the project leader and the research partners also presented themselves. Juergen Bauer of WIT then gave a talk named 'Urban sound planning in the bigger context' stressing the importance of Urban Sound Planning. That afternoon the ESR's presented themselves as well as the involved city partners showing their cases.
Tuesday morning the winterschool truly began. From then on every day was packed with lectures and workshops. The winterschool dealt with urban sound propagation and therefore sound propagation and modelling technique were extensively discussed along with standard methods and the European Noise Directive. The winterschool was concluded on Friday with a small exam.
A topic that briefly passed by during a presentation of Timothy van Renterghem seemed to have impressed me quite a bit. He briefly showed the results from his research on the importance of rooftops for road traffic noise shielding. Basically, the shape of a rooftop can have great influence on how much sound is diffracted and thus how quiet a courtyard could potentially become.
The Tuesday afternoon we had an initial look together at the test cases and groups were formed to see how they would tackle the problems that were presented. Each group discussed a single test site and concluded the session with a presentation about their initial impressions of the challenge at hand.
Right from the start of this week project members started discussing their work and how they might cooperate. Thursday after the lectures I gave a short presentation on tools for collaboration resulting in a brief discussion on the topic. While we were all too tired to go into the details at the time my general impression was that the consensus was that we should definitely look deeper into these kind of tools.
All in all I think this meeting was quite fruitful and I'm looking forward to the next time!