A freight train thunders down the tracks next to a library. A motorcycle revs its engine in a residential neighborhood. A jet soars over a home located beside the airfield.
These unwanted, unideal situations are just three examples of transportation noise that Gannett Fleming Vice President Ahmed El-Aassar, PhD, PE, ENV SP, INCE, ASA, is passionate about addressing.
Through his new position on the Institute of Noise Control Engineering of the United States of America (INCE-USA) board of directors, El-Aassar will strive to create a quieter world through, as INCE-USA’s mission states, “education, awareness, advocacy, and technical advancement.”
INCE-USA is a non-profit organization that focuses on creating effective noise control solutions, leading to a better quality of life for all citizens. El-Aassar hopes to use this three-year position to advance INCE-USA’s future role in connected and automated vehicles, transportation noise enforcement, and unmanned aerial vehicles. He also hopes to attract and educate young engineering graduates in the field of noise control and acoustics.
With over two decades of noise control experience, El-Aassar leads Gannett Fleming’s environmental acoustics group. The team partners with clients to deliver high-quality transportation noise modeling and mitigation analyses, transit noise and vibration analyses, and environmental analyses through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Ahmed has consulted on hundreds of projects involving:
- Highway noise.
- Light and heavy rail noise and vibration control.
- Mechanical noise control.
- Occupational noise exposure.
- Environmental noise control.
- Construction noise and vibration control.
El-Aassar’s leadership doesn’t stop with his day-to-day responsibilities. He is an avid author for technical publications and an active presenter, speaking at numerous national conferences annually. He also has contributed research to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program. In 2005 and 2019, El-Aassar earned the Best Paper Award from the Transportation Research Board’s Transportation-Related Noise and Vibration Committee (ADC40) for his technical excellence. In addition, he has organized the technical program for the ADC40 Committee summer meeting for over 10 years.
He is a two-time winner of the Gannett Fleming President’s Innovation Award: he started the first traffic noise enforcement pilot program in Canada and created the first-of-its-kind “Sounds of Transit,” an interactive audiovisual tool that allows stakeholders and the general public to more clearly understand noise impacts of proposed infrastructure projects. “Sounds of Transit” has earned many industry accolades, including being named a Mass Transit Top Tech Innovation, an American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Engineering Excellence National Recognition Award winner, and an ACEC Pennsylvania Engineering Excellence Honor Award winner.
El-Aassar earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Cairo University in Egypt, a master’s degree in water resources from the University of Birmingham in England, and a master’s and doctoral degree in environmental engineering from the University of Central Florida. His technical knowledge and passion for transportation noise control earned him a coveted spot on the Mass Transit 40 under 40 list in 2012.