• Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics VP, Architecture, Amanda Robinson

    Describe your career path I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Adelaide (one of only five women in a class of 50). I took an acoustics specialty subject in my final year, and really enjoyed it. When Dr. Peter Swift – someone very well known in the acoustics world in Australia – spoke to our class and said his firm was hiring, I applied right away, and was successful. That was back in 1996, and I’ve been in acoustics ever since, though I did dabble in mechanical services consulting along the way. An intercompany exchange program took me to the UK in 2000 where I worked and did a lot of travelling through Europe until 2004. After a six-month sabbatical sailing (both in the UK and Australia), I joined Marshall Day Acoustics in 2005, and was given the opportunity to work on some amazing projects – everything from desalination […]

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  • Managing Noise Issues When Developing Energy Storage Facilities

    In Ontario, the demand for electricity is projected to grow 1.7 per cent annually over the next two decades as the population grows. This is coupled with expected reductions in existing capacity, as nuclear assets are decommissioned or refurbished and contracts with existing generators expire. These factors have combined to create a forecasted shortfall in energy supply in the coming years. To ensure a sufficient and reliable supply of electricity, the province recently announced it is looking to procure up to 4,000 MW of new capacity, 2,500 MW of which could be energy storage. Large scale energy storage is new for Ontario and is an emerging technology globally. Rather than generating new power, it can help store it from various sources and dispatch it on demand when the needs are highest. This helps keep the electrical grid in balance and improve the utilization of variable power generators like wind and […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Dylan Salazaar

    How did acoustics, noise, and vibration become your specialization? My career path didn’t start out in acoustics. I went to school for mechanical engineering, and in university, we very briefly touched on vibration. Other than that, I had no idea that this field even existed. My first job after school was with a mechanical contractor. During my first week, I met someone from Aercoustics on a project, but I never imagined I would end up working at the same company. Later, I had the opportunity to change my career with a finance role that leveraged some of my technical background. But I found that I missed the technical challenge of more formal engineering work. That was when one of my coworkers reintroduced me to Aercoustics and the field of acoustics. Given my love of music, my interest in building design and my education as an engineer, I was intrigued and applied. That was […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Derek Flake

    How did acoustics, noise, and vibration become your specialization? Ever since my high school physics teacher explained how bass in music goes through walls, I’ve had an interest in the way sound waves interact. My affinity for sound grew during my undergrad in Engineering Physics. During my graduate studies, I chose to focus on high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) and designed and built a prototype device capable of generating and steering complex sound fields underwater.   How did you arrive at Aercoustics? It didn’t take me long to narrow down the industry I wanted to work in. I focused on the relatively small number of companies in the area with an acoustics, noise and vibration specialty, and even contacted professors around the world to obtain specific course materials so I could get a leg up when applying. After working for a couple years at one firm, I was approached by an Aercoustics partner to […]

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  • How to Prevent Burnout: Implementing Mental Health Initiatives in the Workplace

    Mental health has become more of a focus in recent years as organizations work hard to educate, provide resources and remove the stigma associated with mental illness. And, for good reason. One in five Canadians will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime. By the time you are in your 40s, the chances are one in two. The pandemic only exacerbated the problem as many experienced feelings of isolation, anxiety and stress. We saw a significant rise in one such mental health issue during the pandemic: Burnout. Whether or not you love your job, or you work from home or the office, if you work too hard or too long, without the required amount of shutdown time, burnout is a possibility. At Aercoustics, the pandemic prompted us to look at ways to recognize and prevent burnout as well as enhance our mental health. In a recent blog post, we […]

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  • Collision Day: Coming Together While Working Apart in the New Hybrid Workplace

    In physics, a collision is any event in which two or more bodies exert forces on each other in a relatively short time. At Aercoustics, collision is our way of increasing collaboration and keeping our office culture alive. Our original plan was to kick off the New Year with our inaugural Collision Day but as another pandemic wave hit, it was put on hold as we continue to work from home. When we do return, we know some people will be eager to return to the office but others will be less enthusiastic. Many will embrace the hybrid set-up and we support our employees in whatever return to work model best suits their needs. But we also know the value of collaboration. So, every other Thursday, we will be inviting the Aercoustics team into the office for a Collision Day. This is a day dedicated to ensuring all our team […]

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  • Big Strategy is Dead: Tips to Help You Revamp and Simplify Strategic Planning

    Strategy is critical to business survival. But with the speed of business accelerating and constant market disruptions, is a five or 10-year business plan viable anymore? Perhaps for companies that are resourced strong enough to stay abreast of elements as they occur, but for the vast majority of small to medium businesses these long-term strategies end up dead on arrival and are also too complex. Strategic planning is vital but it needs to be faster and more flexible. A good roadmap creates the right direction but the traditional business plan needs to change. For many companies, the goal is to secure funding so the focus is solely on that one objective. Once the funding is in place, the business planning needs to evolve to keep moving forward. But no one rushes to do more strategic planning exercises or write business plans. However, it needs to become a more regular part […]

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  • Shining a Light on Solar Farms: How to Conduct Noise Studies in the New “It” Industry

    One of the greatest benefits of renewable energy is it uses resources straight from the environment to generate power. That means, as long as the sun keeps shining, we will have a source for clean solar power. So, it’s no surprise that many in the industry are looking to solar farms as the new big thing. Solar Farms vs. Other Renewable Energy For well over a century, coal-and-natural-gas-fired power plants have been the norm in North America but the desire to cut back on pollution and greenhouse gases has prompted many jurisdictions to seek greener sources of energy like wind and solar. For example, the State of New York has set a goal of carbon-free electricity by 2040 and the Biden administration recently released a blueprint showing how the US could move toward producing almost half of its electricity from the sun by 2050. To date, a popular option has […]

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  • Lights, Camera, Acoustics: Tips to Consider When Building Production Facilities

    If you have been binge-watching Netflix shows or catching up on movies, you will likely come across many scenes shot close to home. Canada has long been a popular destination for film producers, earning the country the title of Hollywood North. At one time, the demand was for production facilities geared at film and cinema. But as more and more streaming services like Netflix and Apple+ enter the market, and YouTube shows gain in popularity, studios in major Canadian cities are bursting at the seams with increasing demand for production spaces. To avoid turning away productions, new studios are popping up across the country and being held to cinema standards. A new $200M film studio in Toronto was recently announced, just one week after another it was announced that Basin Media Hub, a $250 million, purpose-built, state-of-the-art film, television and digital media hub was also coming to the city. The […]

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  • Ask Me Anything: Sounding Off with Aercoustics Associate Duncan Halstead

    How did you arrive at Aercoustics? I first came to Aercoustics as an intern in 2011 via my university’s professional experience year program. I saw the company’s job posting in the internship portal and applied because I thought it looked like an interesting field to try. I had some experience in mechanical consulting through previous summer jobs that I enjoyed and I think that helped me secure my internship with Aercoustics. Before I worked at Aercoustics, however, I didn’t even know the field of acoustics, noise and vibration existed. Today, I describe myself as a noise consultant, acoustician, noise guy, or wind turbine guy. I work with wind turbine and solar farms to help them ensure noise compliance and secure permits. My career has been focussed on areas with growth potential. Earlier in my career that meant pushing myself to do the field work and data analysis that was, at the […]

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