Since then, Hanrahan has worked with a variety of clients — mainly airports — on Environmental Assessments and the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 150 Studies, which depict aircraft noise levels and exposure on surrounding communities. Most recently, HMMH authored the FAA to release updated data for its Neighborhood Environmental Survey last year.
“We did a combination of noise exposures and community response,” she said. “The study that’s currently used in regulation was from back in the ’70s. So, we did an updated report to get a new national noise, annoyance curve to see how communities react to aircraft noise across the country.”
In spring 2019, she was given the opportunity to open and head the New York City office, where she now works. Her rise has earned her a spot in the 2021 Airport Business Top 40 Under 40 report, which honors individuals across the world who are shaping the business aviation industry in profound ways.
"One of the main reasons I nominated Rhea for the Business Aviation’s Top 40 Under 40 award is her ‘can do’ attitude,” said Mary Ellen Eagan, CEO of HMMH. “No matter how challenging or urgent the request, Rhea’s response when asked to help out is always ‘Of course.’ Equally important, she says it with a smile. And most importantly, she delivers.”
Professor of physics and astronomy Luke Keller has known all about Hanrahan’s work ethic since she was a student in his Senior Thesis course.
“Rhea was a fantastic student in large part because she worked well independently and was also good at working with others and asking for help when needed,” he said. “Asking for help takes courage and initiative. I’m thrilled, and not at all surprised, to see how those skills have translated into Rhea’s professional success.”
Hanrahan says she is proud to be part of a woman-owned business and is enjoying the work she’s doing.
“I’m very specifically in noise and air quality, and it’s such a subset and specialized area of focus,” Hanrahan said. “There’s very few of us who do that in the country. I feel very fortunate to be the top leader in it.”