By: Kyle Niblett

University of Florida School of Architecture Assistant Professor Hassan Azad was awarded a $149,437 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Smart & Connected Communities (S&CC) program, the organization announced this past month. The one-year pilot study is scheduled to begin Oct. 1, 2021, and is entitled “Remote Sensing and Prediction of Environmental Noise to Facilitate Addressing the Social and Health Issues of Noise.” Azad is the principal investigator for the grant. Sanjay Ranka, Laurie Heller and Alireza Shoajei will serve as the co-principal investigators.

“This research project will look to create an economical, accurate and easily available remote noise monitoring solution that can be applied to large communities,” Azad said. “My interest in this research comes from health and work-related problems stemming from environmental noise, which is a critical environmental pollutant. To date, large communities have only been able to provide these solutions at an expensive cost tacked on to a plethora of challenges.”

The College of Design, Construction and Planning faculty member plans to analyze the noise surveys of annoyance, work- and health-related issues that are collected during his research to better address the community needs.

“By identifying and analyzing noisy sites, this project will help city planners and policy makers with their future plans for designing infrastructures such as roads and highways that are one of the major sources of noise pollution in modern societies,” Azad said.

The venture will recognize and categorize the noise events in terms of the community’s acoustic discomfort, quantify the health impacts of environmental noise on the community and create an automatically adjusting noise monitoring system.

“The National Science Foundation is the premiere funding organization for scientific research in the U.S., and Dr. Azad’s success at winning a highly competitive grant is testimony to the importance of his work” said David Rifkind, UF School of Architecture Director and Ivan H. Smith Professor.

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