INCE Member Spotlight: Bonnie Schnitta

When Concepts Meets Organic Design Meets Implementation

A Few Minutes with INCE Member Bonnie Schnitta

 

As problem-solvers, we often want to use mathematics to explain our solutions; however, numbers are not always the answer.  At the end of the day, creating a peaceful environment experientially and physically is the ultimate goal.  For Bonnie Schnitta, president/owner of SoundSense, this is the ‘Paradise Effect.’

Bonnie’s contributions to the industry have included numerous articles in signal processing and acoustic management as well as several patents (two of which are currently pending).  In addition to the innovative nature of Bonnie’s work, she is committed to providing solutions for her clients in the most efficient way possible: both acoustically and budgetarily.

Bonnie received her BS in Mathematics from Purdue University.  She worked for GE upon graduation, while earning an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Tufts.  Following Tufts, Bonnie worked as a principal on research projects for DARPA, ONR, and DOD at the Institute for Acoustic Research while also pursuing a PhD at the University of Miami.

Read on to learn more about Bonnie Schnitta.

 

Q. As President and Owner of SoundSense, what was one of your most unique projects?

Two come to mind.  The first was on a multi-floor residential building where neighbors were complaining of ‘strange noises’ they were hearing in the building – ‘tap, tap, tap’.  Turns out that during one of the renovations in one of the units, the demising wall of the restroom between two units was modified and the insulation was accidentally removed and closed.  The ‘tap, tap, tap’ turned out to be the impact noise of a toothbrush against the bowl of the sink traveling through the sink/wall/cavity to another unit.  The second was another noise in the middle of the night that was heard by one occupant and not the second.  Turns out that this noise ended up being related to the pump for the towel warmers which was in the basement below.  The pump had been rigidly connected to the structural system and created a tonal vibration that one occupant was more sensitive to than the other. 

Q. Short courses, white papers, CEUs – Oh my! NOISE-CON wants to know, what motivates you to spread the word?

Have you ever had that ‘aha’ moment when suddenly, several pieces of information that you may have already known independently come together to create a solution?  This often happens with architects, contractors and students in the industry, and it is awesome to be a part of this moment.  Solutions can come out of the organic design and installed in an efficient way when we work together from start to finish.  Integrated designs reduce the number of RFIs, change orders and can often speed up the timeline. 

Q.  What words of advice do you have for the incoming consultants?

Know the fundamentals and be willing to think outside the box.  A good place to look for the basics, if you are not currently in school or just want to further your knowledge, are the INCE-USA Noise Control Engineering (NCE) courses. 

Q. When you aren’t busy with patents and consulting, where can you be found?

I can be found outdoors in the unique quiet places.  Two of my favorites are the estuaries in the Hamptons and the mountains of Seattle. 

 

To learn more about INCE-USA or to find out how to become a member click here

 

INCE Member Spotlights are an occasional series highlighting an INCE member doing interesting work. Let us know who we should talk with next, email courtney.schoedel@salasobrien.com.

 

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