Erich Thalheimer, BSME, INCE Bd. Cert., Acoustical Engineer

Mr. Thalheimer has been deeply involved with the study, measurement and control of human vibrations since the 1980s when he served as the US expert in this topic for Bruel & Kjaer Instruments.  Human vibration is generally separated into two areas of concern; hand-arm vibration from the use of power tools, and whole-body vibration from riding in vehicles or being in vibrating buildings.  There are medical and performance ability issues associated with both these vibration conditions.  Mr. Thalheimer has presented these topics to private industry, the military, and in academic settings.

Example human vibration projects that Mr. Thalheimer has participated in include the following:

  • Residential Vibrations Evaluation, 62 Speen Street, Natick, MA – Performed vibration tests inside and outside of a private residence to quantify and evaluate concerns of the homeowner caused by traffic passing by in close proximity to the house. Streamed two channels of vibration accelerometer data into a Sinus SoundBook for three days and reduced the data into vibration velocity levels in VdB and PPV. Evaluated the results against criteria guidelines for both human annoyance to vibration and potential physical damage to the property.
  • Iverson Residence Vibration Study, Boston, MA – Performed triaxial vibration measures inside handicapped residence to evaluate severity of vibration resulting from downstairs neighbor activity.  Reduced and evaluated results per 2006 FTA Manual’s VC-curve criteria as well as ISO Standard 2631 for Reduced Comfort. Also recommended and provided guidance on selection of vibration isolator springs (Korfund CCA8-1) to be placed under the resident’s bedposts.  
  • Zimmer Residence Noise and Vibration Study, Thompson, PA – Performed extensive tri-axial vibration measurements and noise measurements in basement, first and second floor of residence to evaluate potential impacts from nearby oil/gas drilling/fracking operation.  Reduced and evaluated vibration results per 2006 FTA Manual’s VC-curve criteria as well as ISO Standard 2631 for Reduced Comfort, and evaluated noise results in accordance with US EPA and ASHRAE guidelines.
  • WMATA Distressed Properties Evaluation, Washington, DC – Performed noise, vibration and light evaluations of two residences for potential adverse effects from Washington Metro transit train operations.  Measurements were performed both outside and inside the residences with the results reduced and evaluated against a variety of relevant criteria limits such as those promulgated by WMATA, FTA, APTA, HUD, BoM, ANSI Std. S3.29 and Swiss SN 640312.  The results indicated that while WMATA train noise and vibrations may be noticeable inside the residences, the levels did not exceed any criteria limits for annoyance, minor or major structural damage.
  • North End Building Vibration Mitigation Program, Central Artery / Tunnel Project, Boston, MA - In reaction to community complaints about annoying building vibrations, oversaw a comprehensive human vibration study conducted by HMMH in accordance with ANSI S3.29 to identify the vibration source and develop possible mitigation options.  Subsequently performed a series of quantitative tests to reduce community vibrations by reducing traffic speeds on the nearby elevated Interstate I-93 Highway.  Eventually recommended and implemented grinding smooth (scarifying) the roadway surface and the provision of vibration isolator springs under residents' bedposts.  Developed eligibility criteria to award isolator springs and/or reinforced bed frames through the CA/T Vibration Annoyance Mitigation Policy (12/1/00).
  • Presented two day training seminar entitled: "Human Exposure to Occupational Whole-Body and Hand-Arm Vibration" at the U.S. Navy Occupational Health and Preventive Medicine Workshop, Virginia Beach, February 1997.  Training included classroom lecture material and hands-on training involving H-A vibration from power hand tools and W-B vibrations in a moving bus.
  • American Industrial Hygiene Association, St. Louis, MO - Performed Bruel & Kjaer seminar on "Human Exposure to Vibration", demonstrated instrumentation and technique to show attendees.
  • Performed Bruel & Kjaer one day seminar entitled "Human Exposure to Vibration" to national attendees in St. Louis, Burlington, Gainesville, Boston, Chicago, etc.
  • Elevator Ride Comfort, Otis Elevator, Hartford, CT - Recommended and demonstrated various human vibration instrumentation and measurement techniques. 
  • Interception Craft Ride Comfort, U.S. Coast Guard, Governors Island, NY - Trained and demonstrated appropriate use of human vibration equipment to assess ride comfort onboard fast-moving interception boats.
  • Measurement of Visco-elastic Material, Sorbothane Corporation, Kent, OH - Recommended and developed human vibration measurement assessment of visco-elastic product.
  • National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Cincinnati, OH - Appeared in revised national training video (#178) detailing Bruel & Kjaer human vibration, performed as guest speaker at three day NIOSH course entitled "Human Exposure to Occupational Vibration". 
  • Tool Hand-Arm Vibration Measurements, Chicago Pneumatic, Utica, NY - Trained and recommended appropriate Bruel & Kjaer instrumentation for assessing hand tool vibration severity.
  • Compressed Air & Gas Institute (CAGI), Chicago, IL - Trained and recommended appropriate Bruel & Kjaer measurement technique for assessing hand tool vibration severity.  Consulted for CAGI Standards Committee.
  • Power Tool Institute (PTI)- Trained and recommended appropriate Bruel & Kjaer measurement technique for assessing hand tool vibration severity.  Consulted for PTI Standards Committee.