Top-level technological products and skilled crafts
"Knowledge and research only make sense, if a great number of stakeholders get to know about it," as Martin Blecker, president of the European Union of Hearing Aid Acousticians put it during the opening ceremony of the EUHA Congress in Nuremberg. More than 7,000 delegates from over 80 countries turned the exhibition space in Nuremberg into a truly international convention.
The current state of research was illustrated, discussed, and shared by 21 lecturers in their presentations, a roundtable talk, and six workshops. Moreover, 112 exhibiting companies were showcasing their innovations at the accompanying trade exhibition. To cover the subject for their readers, listeners, and viewers, more than 90 representatives of the media had come to get a picture of the industry.
The EUHA Sponsorship Award is presented to young acousticians to honour their achievements, and make their findings available to the general public. This year's third prize was given to Franziska Eckardt of Oldenburg, who dealt with the recording of everyday sound situations. Second prize went to Johannes Kohorst for his diploma thesis, submitted at the Academy of Hearing Aid Acoustics, on the effects of frequency compression. David Sooprayen was awarded first prize; in his bachelor thesis written at Lübeck University of Applied Sciences, he had examined the benefit of added low-frequency gain in open fittings.
The research award donated by the Research Association of German Hearing Aid Acousticians was this year given to Professor Dr. Karl-Friedrich Hamann, ENT doctor specialising in vestibular diagnosis and auditory disorders.
Hermann Scherer was our keynote speaker. In his talk on "Darlings of fortune: Why some spend their whole lives looking for opportunities – while others seize them everyday" Scherer was drawing his audience's attention to the fact that the number of opportunities everyone has in life is infinite, going on to show how to recognise and utilise them. His message was that we should not accept the course of our lives as fate. Everyone can make a change! However, most people fail to do so. Surveys have shown that, to reach their goals, most of them would need to change their lives. Which brings up the question why most people don't manage to organise their lives in such a way in the first place that at least they stand a chance to reach their goals.
Scherer called on his listeners to disregard the rules and outperform, downgrade, or redesign whatever is common in our industry.
We must learn to let go, as Scherer said. "Whoever lets go, will have two hands free." Or, to quote the old Indian saying, "When you discover you're riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount!"
"Refining hearing – thanks to hearing aid acousticians" – under this motto, the hearing acoustician's work took centre stage in the showroom. Wolfgang Luber illustrated the importance of tailor-made earmoulds and the options of optimising them in the fitting process. Harald Bonsel and Matthias Parr further elucidated the effect of the hearing aid acoustician's skilled earmould processing during hearing aid fitting based on percentile analysis.
During the guided tour of the exhibition, media representatives were accompanied to presentations by selected exhibitors where facts on technological innovations were available and any questions dealt with. Marianne Frickel provided information on the particularities of training as a hearing aid acoustician at the Lübeck-based Academy of Hearing Aid Acoustics.
Photos of the event are available here.