Over the past few years, the idea of adaptive buildings and specifically, adaptive building energy management systems (ABEMS) has become popular. Well-performed management in terms of energy is to create a balance between energy consumption and user comfort; therefore, in new energy management models, efficient energy consumption is not the sole factor and the user's comfortability is also considered in the calculations. One of the main ways of measuring this factor is by analyzing user feedback on the conditions to understand whether they are satisfied with conditions or not. This paper provides a comprehensive review of recent approaches towards energy management systems based on users' feedbacks and subsequently performs a comparison between them premised upon their efficiency and accuracy to understand which approaches were more accurate and which ones resulted in a more efficient way of minimizing energy consumption while maintaining users' comfortability. It was concluded that the highest accuracy rate among the presented works was 95% accuracy in determining satisfaction and up to 51.08% energy savings can be achieved without disturbing user’s comfort. Considering the growing interest in designing and developing adaptive buildings, these studies can support diverse inquiries about this subject and can be used as a resource to support studies and researches towards efficient energy consumption while maintaining the comfortability of users.
Calcium is an essential element for good growth and development of the organism, and its requirement is increased at school age. Low socio-economic populations of developing countries such as Colombia may have food deficiency of this mineral in schoolchildren that could be reflected in calcium biochemical indicators, bone alterations and anthropometric indicators. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate some calcium biochemical indicators in a group of schoolchildren of low socioeconomic level from Barranquilla city and to correlate with body mass index. 60 schoolchildren aged 7 to 15 years were selected from Jesus’s Heart Educational Institution in Barranquilla-Atlántico, apparently healthy, without suffering from infectious or gastrointestinal diseases, without habits of drinking alcohol or smoking another hallucinogenic substance and without taking supplementation with calcium in the last six months or another substance that compromises bone metabolism. The research was approved by the ethics committee at Universidad del Atlántico. The selected children were invited to donate a blood and urine sample in a fasting time of 12 hours, the serum was separated by centrifugation and frozen at ˗20 ℃ until analyzed and the same was done with the urine sample. On the day of the biological collections, the weight and height of the students were measured to determine the nutritional status by BMI using the WHO tables. Calcium concentrations in serum and urine (SCa, UCa), alkaline phosphatase activity total and of bone origin (SAPT, SBAP) and urinary creatinine (UCr) were determined by spectrophotometric methods using commercial kits. Osteocalcin and Cross-linked N-telopeptides of type I collagen (NTx-1) in serum were measured with an enzyme-linked inmunosorbent assay. For statistical analysis the Statgraphics software Centurium XVII was used. 63% (n = 38) and 37% (n = 22) of the participants were male and female, respectively. 78% (n = 47), 5% (n = 3) and 17% (n = 10) had a normal, malnutrition and high nutritional status, respectively. The averages of evaluated indicators levels were (mean ± SD): 9.50 ± 1.06 mg/dL for SCa; 181.3 ± 64.3 U/L for SAPT, 143.8 ± 73.9 U/L for SBAP; 9.0 ± 3.48 ng/mL for osteocalcin and 101.3 ± 12.8 ng/mL for NTx-1. UCa level was 12.8 ± 7.7 mg/dL that adjusted with creatinine ranged from 0.005 to 0.395 mg/mg. Considering serum calcium values, approximately 7% of school children were hypocalcemic, 16% hypercalcemic and 77% normocalcemic. The indicators evaluated did not correlate with the BMI. Low values were observed in calcium urinary excretion and high in NTx-1, suggesting that mechanisms such as increase in renal retention of calcium and in bone remodeling may be contributing to calcium homeostasis.
When digging excavations, groundwater bearing layers are often encountered. In order to allow anhydrous excavation, soil groutings are carried out, which form a water-impermeable layer. As it is injected into groundwater areas, the effects of the materials used on the environment must be known. Developing an eco-friendly, economical and low viscous acrylic gel which has a sealing effect on groundwater is therefore a significant task. At this point the study begins. Basic investigations with the rheometer and a reverse column experiment have been performed with different mixing ratios of an acrylic gel. A dynamic rheology study was conducted to determine the time at which the gel still can be processed and the maximum gel strength is reached. To examine the effect of acrylic gel grouting on determine the parameters pH value, turbidity, electric conductivity, and total organic carbon on groundwater, an acrylic gel was injected in saturated sand filled the column. The structure was rinsed with a constant flow and the eluate was subsequently examined. The results show small changes in pH values and turbidity but there is a dependency between electric conductivity and total organic carbon. The curves of the two parameters react at the same time, which means that the electrical conductivity in the eluate can be measured constantly until the maximum is reached and only then must total organic carbon (TOC) samples be taken.
The reason for conducting this research is to develop an algorithm that is capable of classifying news articles from the automobile industry, according to the competitive actions that they entail, with the use of Text Mining (TM) methods. It is needed to test how to properly preprocess the data for this research by preparing pipelines which fits each algorithm the best. The pipelines are tested along with nine different classification algorithms in the realm of regression, support vector machines, and neural networks. Preliminary testing for identifying the optimal pipelines and algorithms resulted in the selection of two algorithms with two different pipelines. The two algorithms are Logistic Regression (LR) and Artificial Neural Network (ANN). These algorithms are optimized further, where several parameters of each algorithm are tested. The best result is achieved with the ANN. The final model yields an accuracy of 0.79, a precision of 0.80, a recall of 0.78, and an F1 score of 0.76. By removing three of the classes that created noise, the final algorithm is capable of reaching an accuracy of 94%.
Traffic control has been one of the most common and irritating problems since the time automobiles have hit the roads. Problems like traffic congestion have led to a significant time burden around the world and one significant solution to these problems can be the proper implementation of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS). It involves the integration of various tools like smart sensors, artificial intelligence, position technologies and mobile data services to manage traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance driver's ability to avoid accidents during adverse weather. Road and traffic signs’ recognition is an emerging field of research in ITS. Classification problem of traffic signs needs to be solved as it is a major step in our journey towards building semi-autonomous/autonomous driving systems. The purpose of this work focuses on implementing an approach to solve the problem of traffic sign classification by developing a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) classifier using the GTSRB (German Traffic Sign Recognition Benchmark) dataset. Rather than using hand-crafted features, our model addresses the concern of exploding huge parameters and data method augmentations. Our model achieved an accuracy of around 97.6% which is comparable to various state-of-the-art architectures.
The importance of developing multi-language abilities in our global society is noteworthy. However, the necessity, interest, and consciousness of the significance that the development of another language represents, apart from the mother tongue, is not always the same in all contexts as it is in multicultural communities, especially in rural higher education institutions immersed in small communities. Leading opportunities for digital interaction among learners from Mexico and abroad partners represents scaffolding towards, not only language skills development but also intercultural communicative competences (ICC). This study leads us to consider what should be the best approach to work while applying a program of ICC integrated into the practice of EFL. While analyzing the roots of the language, it is possible to obtain the main objective of learning another language, to communicate with a functional purpose, as well as attaching social practices to the learning process, giving a result of functionality and significance to the target language. Hence, the collateral impact that collaborative learning leads to, aims to contribute to a better global understanding as well as a means of self and other cultural awareness through intercultural communication. While communicating through the target language by online collaboration among students in platforms of long-distance communication, language is used as a tool of interaction to broaden students’ perspectives reaching a substantial improvement with the help of their differences. This process should consider the application of the target language in the inquiry of sociocultural information, expecting the learners to integrate communicative skills to handle cultural differentiation at the same time they apply the knowledge of their target language in a real scenario of communication, despite being through virtual resources.
Nowadays, data center industry faces strong challenges for increasing the speed and data processing capacities while at the same time is trying to keep their devices a suitable working temperature without penalizing that capacity. Consequently, the cooling systems of this kind of facilities use a large amount of energy to dissipate the heat generated inside the servers, and developing new cooling techniques or perfecting those already existing would be a great advance in this type of industry. The installation of a temperature sensor matrix distributed in the structure of each server would provide the necessary information for collecting the required data for obtaining a temperature profile instantly inside them. However, the number of temperature probes required to obtain the temperature profiles with sufficient accuracy is very high and expensive. Therefore, other less intrusive techniques are employed where each point that characterizes the server temperature profile is obtained by solving differential equations through simulation methods, simplifying data collection techniques but increasing the time to obtain results. In order to reduce these calculation times, complicated and slow computational fluid dynamics simulations are replaced by simpler and faster finite element method simulations which solve the Burgers‘ equations by backward, forward and central discretization techniques after simplifying the energy and enthalpy conservation differential equations. The discretization methods employed for solving the first and second order derivatives of the obtained Burgers‘ equation after these simplifications are the key for obtaining results with greater or lesser accuracy regardless of the characteristic truncation error.
In the last decade, with increasing tourism destinations and tourism growth, we are witnessing the widespread impacts of tourism on the economy, environment and society. Tourism and its related economy are now undergoing a transformation and as one of the key pillars of business economics, it plays a vital role in the world economy. Activities related to tourism and providing services appropriate to it in an area, like many economic sectors, require the necessary context on its origin. Given the importance of tourism industry and tourism potentials of Yazd province in Iran, it is necessary to use a proper procedure for prioritizing different areas for proper and efficient planning. One of the most important goals of planning is foresight and creating balanced development in different geographical areas. This process requires an accurate study of the areas and potential and actual talents, as well as evaluation and understanding of the relationship between the indicators affecting the development of the region. At the global and regional level, the development of tourist resorts and the proper distribution of tourism destinations are needed to counter environmental impacts and risks. The main objective of this study is the sustainable development of suitable tourism areas. Given that tourism activities in different territorial areas require operational zoning, this study deals with the evaluation of territorial tourism using concepts such as land use, fitness and sustainable development. It is essential to understand the structure of tourism development and the spatial development of tourism using land use patterns, spatial planning and sustainable development. Tourism spatial planning implements different approaches. However, the development of tourism as well as the spatial development of tourism is complex, since tourist activities can be carried out in different areas with different purposes. Multipurpose areas have great important for tourism because it determines the flow of tourism. Therefore, in this paper, by studying the development and determination of tourism suitability that is related to spatial development, it is possible to plan tourism spatial development by developing a model that describes the characteristics of tourism. The results of this research determine the suitability of multi-functional territorial tourism development in line with spatial planning of tourism.
Skillful management is one of the most important success factors for today’s farms. When a farm is well managed, it can generate funds for its sustainability. Grape is one of the most diffused fruits in the world and one of the most important cash crops with high potential of production in Afghanistan as well. While there are several organizations intervening for improvement of this cash crop, the quality and quantity are still not satisfactory for producers and external markets. The situation has not changed over the years. Therefore, a survey was conducted in 2017 with 60 grape growers, supported by questionnaires in Mirbachakot, Kalakan and Shakardara districts of Kabul province. The purpose was to get an understanding of the current socio-demographic characteristics of farmers, management methods, constraints, farm size, yield and contribution of grape farming to household income. Findings indicate that grape farming was predominant 83.3% male, 16.6% female and small-scale farmers were the main grape producers, 60% < 1 ha of land under grape production. Likewise, 50% had more than > 10 years and 33.3% between 1-5 years’ experience in grape farming. The high level of illiteracy and diseases had significant digit effect on growth, yield and quality of grapes. The results showed that vineyard management operations to protect grapes from mechanical damage are very poor or completely absent. Comparing developed countries, table grape is one of the fruits with the highest input of technology, while in developing countries the cost of labor is low but the purchase of the equipment is very high due to financial situation. Hence the low quality and quantity of grape are influenced by poor management methods, such as non-availability of experts and lack of technical guidance in the study site. Thereby, the study suggested that improved agricultural extension services and managerial skills could contribute to addressing the problems.
Traffic congestion is the most critical issue faced by those in the transportation profession today. Over the past few years, roundabouts have been recognized as a measure to promote efficiency at intersections globally. In developing countries like India, this type of intersection still faces a lot of issues, such as bottleneck situations, long queues and increased waiting times, due to increasing traffic which in turn affect the performance of the entire urban network. This research is a case study of a non-conventional roundabout, in terms of geometric design, in a small town in India. These types of roundabouts should be analyzed for their functionality in mixed traffic conditions, prevalent in many developing countries. Microscopic traffic simulation is an effective tool to analyze traffic conditions and estimate various measures of operational performance of intersections such as capacity, vehicle delay, queue length and Level of Service (LOS) of urban roadway network. This study involves analyzation of an unsymmetrical non-circular 6-legged roundabout known as “Kala Aam Chauraha” in a small town Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, India using VISSIM simulation package which is the most widely used software for microscopic traffic simulation. For coding in VISSIM, data are collected from the site during morning and evening peak hours of a weekday and then analyzed for base model building. The model is calibrated on driving behavior and vehicle parameters and an optimal set of calibrated parameters is obtained followed by validation of the model to obtain the base model which can replicate the real field conditions. This calibrated and validated model is then used to analyze the prevailing operational traffic performance of the roundabout which is then compared with a proposed alternative to improve efficiency of roundabout network and to accommodate pedestrians in the geometry. The study results show that the alternative proposed is an advantage over the present roundabout as it considerably reduces congestion, vehicle delay and queue length and hence, successfully improves roundabout performance without compromising on pedestrian safety. The study proposes similar designs for modification of existing non-conventional roundabouts experiencing excessive delays and queues in order to improve their efficiency especially in the case of developing countries. From this study, it can be concluded that there is a need to improve the current geometry of such roundabouts to ensure better traffic performance and safety of drivers and pedestrians negotiating the intersection and hence this proposal may be considered as a best fit.
Urban advances and the growing need for developing infrastructures has increased the importance of deep excavations. In this study, after the introducing probability analysis as an important issue, an attempt has been made to apply it for the deep excavation project of Bangkok’s Metro as a case study. For this, the numerical probability model has been developed based on the Finite Difference Method and Monte Carlo sampling approach. The results indicate that disregarding the issue of probability in this project will result in an inappropriate design of the retaining structure. Therefore, probabilistic redesign of the support is proposed and carried out as one of the applications of probability analysis. A 50% reduction in the flexural strength of the structure increases the failure probability just by 8% in the allowable range and helps improve economic conditions, while maintaining mechanical efficiency. With regard to the lack of efficient design in most deep excavations, by considering geometrical and geotechnical variability, an attempt was made to develop an optimum practical design standard for deep excavations based on failure probability. On this basis, a practical relationship is presented for estimating the maximum allowable horizontal displacement, which can help improve design conditions without developing the probability analysis.
The continuous increase in population implies increase in food demand. There is, therefore, the need to increase agricultural production and other forest products to ensure food security and economic development. This paper employs the three-level intensity analysis to assess the total change of land-use in two-time intervals (1986-2002 and 2002-2017), the net change and swap as well as gross gains and losses in the two intervals. The results revealed that the overall change in the 31-year period was greater in the second period (2002-2017). Agriculture and forest categories lost in the first period while the other land class gained. However, in the second period agriculture and built-up increased greatly while forest, water bodies and thick bushes/shrubland experienced loss. An assessment revealed a reduction of forest in both periods but was greater in the second period and expansion of agricultural land was recorded as population increases. The pixels gaining built-up targeted agricultural land in both intervals, it also targeted thick bushes/shrubland and waterbody in the second period only. Built-up avoided forest in both intervals as well as waterbody and thick bushes/shrubland. To help in developing the best land-use strategies/policies, a further validation of the social factors is necessary.
The fourth industrial revolution is changing the role of education substantially and, therefore, the role of instructors and learners at all levels. Education 4.0 is an imminent response to the needs of a globalized world where humans and technology are being aligned to enable endless possibilities, among them the need for students, as digital natives, to communicate effectively in at least one language besides their mother tongue, and also the requirement of developing theirs. This is an exploratory study in which a control group (N = 21), all of the students of Spanish as a foreign language at the university level, after taking a Spanish class, responded to an online questionnaire about the engagement, atmosphere, and environment in which their course was delivered. These aspects considered in the survey were relative to the instructor’s teaching style, including: (a) active, hands-on learning; (b) flexibility for in-class activities, easily switching between small group work, individual work, and whole-class discussion; and (c) integrating technology into the classroom. Strongly believing in these principles, the instructor deliberately taught the course in a SCALE-UP room, as it could facilitate such a positive and encouraging learning environment. These aspects are trends related to Education 4.0 and have become integral to the instructor’s pedagogical stance that calls for a constructive-affective role, instead of a transmissive one. As expected, with a learning environment that (a) fosters student engagement and (b) improves student outcomes, the subjects were highly engaged, which was partially due to the learning environment. An overwhelming majority (all but one) of students agreed or strongly agreed that the atmosphere and the environment were ideal. Outcomes of this study are relevant and indicate that it is about time for teachers to build up a meaningful correlation between humans and technology. We should see the trends of Education 4.0 not as a threat but as practices that should be in the hands of critical and creative instructors whose pedagogical stance responds to the needs of the learners in the 21st century.
Differences in commercial, professional and personal cultural traditions between western consultants and project sponsors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region are potentially significant in the workplace, and this can impact on project outcomes. These cultural differences can, for example, result in conflict amongst senior managers, which can negatively impact the megaproject. New entrants to the GCC often experience ‘culture shock’ as they attempt to integrate into their unfamiliar environments. Megaprojects are unique ventures with individual project characteristics, which need to be considered when managing their associated risks. Megaproject research to date has mostly ignored the significance of the absence of cultural congruence in the GCC, which is surprising considering that there are large volumes of megaprojects in various stages of construction in the GCC. An initial step to dealing with cultural issues is to acknowledge culture as a significant risk factor (SRF). This paper seeks to understand the criticality for western consultants to address these risks. It considers the cultural barriers that exist between GCC sponsors and western consultants and examines the cultural distance between the key actors. Initial findings suggest the presence to a certain extent of ethnocentricity. Other cultural clashes arise out of a lack of appreciation of the customs, practices and traditions of ‘the Other’, such as the need for avoiding public humiliation and the hierarchal significance rankings. The concept and significance of cultural shock as part of the integration process for new arrivals are considered. Culture shock describes the state of anxiety and frustration resulting from the immersion in a culture distinctly different from one's own. There are potentially substantial project risks associated with underestimating the process of cultural integration. This paper examines two distinct but intertwined issues: the societal and professional culture differences associated with expatriate assignments. A case study examines the cultural congruences between GCC sponsors and American, British and German consultants, over a ten-year cycle. This provides indicators as to which nationalities encountered the most profound cultural issues and the nature of these. GCC megaprojects are typically intensive fast track demanding ventures, where consultant turnover is high. The study finds that building trust-filled relationships is key to successful project team integration and therefore, to successful megaproject execution. Findings indicate that both professional and social inclusion processes have steep learning curves. Traditional risk management practice is to approach any uncertainty in a structured way to mitigate the potential impact on project outcomes. This research highlights cultural risk as a significant factor in the management of GCC megaprojects. These risks arising from high staff turnover typically include loss of project knowledge, delays to the project, cost and disruption in replacing staff. This paper calls for cultural risk to be recognised as an SRF, as the first step to developing risk management strategies, and to reduce staff turnover for western consultants in GCC megaprojects.
Ghana’s Public Financial Management reforms have been going on for some two decades now (1997/98 to 2017/18). Given this long period of reforms, Ghana in 2019 is putting together both a Public Financial Management (PFM) strategy and a Ghana Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) strategy for the next 5-years (2020-2024). The primary aim of these dual strategies is assisting the country in moving beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability. In this paper we, first, examined the evolution of Ghana’s PFM reforms. We, secondly, reviewed the legal and institutional reforms undertaken to strengthen the country’s key PFM institutions. Thirdly, we summarized the strengths and weaknesses identified by the 2018 Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA) assessment of Ghana’s PFM system relating to its macro-fiscal framework, budget preparation and approval, budget execution, accounting and fiscal reporting as well as external scrutiny and audit. We, finally, considered what the country should be doing to achieve its intended goal of PFM consolidation and sustainability. Using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents, we, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learnt by other developing countries from Ghana’s PFM reforms experiences. These lessons included the need to: (a) undergird any PFM reform with a comprehensive PFM reform strategy; (b) undertake a legal and institutional reforms of the key PFM institutions; (c) assess the strengths and weaknesses of those reforms using PFM performance evaluation tools such as PEFA framework; and (d) move beyond reforms to consolidation and sustainability.
The aim of this study is to develop a system which can identify and sort peaberries automatically at low cost for coffee producers in developing countries. In this paper, the focus is on the classification of peaberries and normal coffee beans using image processing and machine learning techniques. The peaberry is not bad and not a normal bean. The peaberry is born in an only single seed, relatively round seed from a coffee cherry instead of the usual flat-sided pair of beans. It has another value and flavor. To make the taste of the coffee better, it is necessary to separate the peaberry and normal bean before green coffee beans roasting. Otherwise, the taste of total beans will be mixed, and it will be bad. In roaster procedure time, all the beans shape, size, and weight must be unique; otherwise, the larger bean will take more time for roasting inside. The peaberry has a different size and different shape even though they have the same weight as normal beans. The peaberry roasts slower than other normal beans. Therefore, neither technique provides a good option to select the peaberries. Defect beans, e.g., sour, broken, black, and fade bean, are easy to check and pick up manually by hand. On the other hand, the peaberry pick up is very difficult even for trained specialists because the shape and color of the peaberry are similar to normal beans. In this study, we use image processing and machine learning techniques to discriminate the normal and peaberry bean as a part of the sorting system. As the first step, we applied Deep Convolutional Neural Networks (CNN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) as machine learning techniques to discriminate the peaberry and normal bean. As a result, better performance was obtained with CNN than with SVM for the discrimination of the peaberry. The trained artificial neural network with high performance CPU and GPU in this work will be simply installed into the inexpensive and low in calculation Raspberry Pi system. We assume that this system will be used in under developed countries. The study evaluates and compares the feasibility of the methods in terms of accuracy of classification and processing speed.
To the author’s best knowledge, there are no published reports of effective methods for teaching fescue toxicosis and grass endophyte technology in the USA. To address this need, a group of university scientists, industry representatives, government agents, and livestock producers formed an organization called the Alliance for Grassland Renewal. One goal of the Alliance was to develop a teaching method that could be employed across all regions in the USA and all sectors of the agricultural community. The first step in developing this method was identification of experts who were familiar with the science and management of fescue toxicosis. The second step was curriculum development. Experts wrote a curriculum that addressed all aspects of toxicosis and management, including toxicology, animal nutrition, pasture management, economics, and mycology. The curriculum was created for presentation in lectures, laboratories, and in the field. The curriculum was in that it could be delivered across state lines, regardless of peculiar, in-state recommendations. The curriculum was also unique as it was unanimously supported by private companies otherwise in competition with each other. The final step in developing this teaching method was formulating a delivery plan. All experts, including university, industry, government, and production, volunteered to travel from any state in the USA, converge in one location, teach a 1-day workshop, then travel to the next location. The results of this teaching method indicate widespread success. Since 2012, experts across the entire USA have converged to teach Alliance workshops in Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kentucky, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, with ongoing workshops in Arkansas and Tennessee. Data from post-workshop surveys indicate that instruction has been effective, as at least 50% of the participants stated their intention to adopt the endophyte technology presented in these workshops. The teaching method developed by the Alliance for Grassland Renewal has proved to be effective, and the Alliance continues to expand across the USA.
The current work presents a program for children in Egypt. This program involved a collection of artistic activities that purposes to improve some language, artistic skills of kindergarten children. The researchers have prepared a questionnaire for the link between the target group and the content. The questionnaire has been presented to experts for adjudicating. The program was applied to a group of 30 children. Another questionnaire has been prepared by the researchers for measuring the activities’ effect on the children. The second questionnaire was considered as the pre-test and post-test. Finally, after applying the activities and the questionnaire, the researchers detected a significant difference in favor of the post-test results.
The profusion of studies relating to the concept of organizational learning shows the importance that has been given to this concept in the management sciences. A few years ago, companies leaned towards ISO 9001 certification; this requires the implementation of the quality management system (QMS). In order for this objective to be achieved, companies must have a set of skills, which pushes them to develop learning through continuous training. The results of empirical research have shown that implementation of the QMS in the company promotes the development of learning. It should also be noted that several types of learning are developed in this sense. Given the nature of skills development is normative in the context of the quality demarche, companies are obliged to qualify and improve the skills of their human resources. Continuous training is the keystone to develop the necessary learning. To carry out continuous training, companies need to be able to identify their real needs by developing training plans based on well-defined engineering. The training process goes obviously through several stages. Initially, training has a general aspect, that is to say, it focuses on topics and actions of a general nature. Subsequently, this is done in a more targeted and more precise way to accompany the evolution of the QMS and also to make the changes decided each time (change of working method, change of practices, change of objectives, change of mentality, etc.). To answer our problematic we opted for the method of qualitative research. It should be noted that the case study method crosses several data collection techniques to explain and understand a phenomenon. Three cases of companies were studied as part of this research work using different data collection techniques related to this method.
Coil reinforced thin-walled (CRTW) tubes are used in medicine to treat problems affecting blood vessels within the body through minimally invasive procedures. The CRTW tube considered in this research makes up part of such a device and is inserted into the patient via their femoral or brachial arteries and manually navigated to the site in need of treatment. This procedure replaces the requirement to perform open surgery but is limited by reduction of blood vessel lumen diameter and increase in tortuosity of blood vessels deep in the brain. In order to maximize the capability of these procedures, CRTW tube devices are being manufactured with decreasing wall thicknesses in order to deliver treatment deeper into the body and to allow passage of other devices through its inner diameter. This introduces significant stresses to the device materials which have resulted in an observed increase in the breaking of the proximal segment of the device into two separate pieces after it has failed by buckling. As there is currently no international standard for measuring the mechanical properties of these CRTW tube devices, it is difficult to accurately analyze this problem. The aim of the current work is to address this discrepancy in the biomedical device industry by developing a measurement system that can be used to quantify the effect of process and design changes on CRTW tube performance, aiding in the development of better performing, next generation devices. Using materials testing frames, micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging, experiment planning, analysis of variance (ANOVA), T-tests and regression analysis, test methods have been developed for assessing the impact of process and design changes on the device. The major findings of this study have been an insight into the suitability of buckle and three-point bend tests for the measurement of the effect of varying processing factors on the device’s performance, and guidelines for interpreting the output data from the test methods. The findings of this study are of significant interest with respect to verifying and validating key process and design changes associated with the device structure and material condition. Test method integrity evaluation is explored throughout.
One of the most risky areas in Aswan is Abouelreesh, which is suffering from flood disasters, as heavy deluge inundates urban areas causing considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure. Moreover, the main problem was the urban sprawl towards this risky area. This paper aims to identify the urban areas located in the risk areas prone to flash floods. Analyzing this phenomenon needs a lot of data to ensure satisfactory results; however, in this case the official data and field data were limited, and therefore, free sources of satellite data were used. This paper used ArcGIS tools to obtain the storm water drains network by analyzing DEM files. Additionally, historical imagery in Google Earth was studied to determine the age of each building. The last step was to overlay the urban area layer and the storm water drains layer to identify the vulnerable areas. The results of this study would be helpful to urban planners and government officials to make the disasters risk estimation and develop primary plans to recover the risky area, especially urban areas located in torrents.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made information access easier and affordable. Academic research has also benefited from this, with online journals and academic resource readily available by the click of a button. However, there are limited ways of assessing and controlling the quality of the academic research mostly in public institution. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a significant number of universities and young population. The quality of knowledge created by academic researchers, however, needs to be evaluated due to the high number of predatory journals published by academia. The purpose of this qualitative study is to look at the knowledge creation, acquisition, and assimilation process by academic researchers in public universities in Nigeria. Qualitative research will be carried out using in-depth interviews and observations. Academic researchers will be interviewed and absorptive capacity theory will be used as the theoretical framework to guide the research. The findings from this study should help understand the impact of ICT on the knowledge creation process in academic research and to understand how ICT can affect the quality of knowledge produced by researchers. The findings from this study should help add value to the existing body of knowledge on the quality of academic research, especially in Africa where there is limited availability of quality academic research. As this study is limited to Nigerian universities, the outcome may not be generalized to other developing countries.
The growth of the agricultural sector is known as an essential way to achieve development goals in developing countries. Urban agriculture is a way to reduce the vulnerability of urban populations of the world toward global environmental change. It is a sustainable and efficient system to respond to the environmental, social and economic needs of the city, which leads to urban sustainability. Today, many local and national governments are developing urban agriculture as an effective tool in responding to challenges such as poverty, food security, and environmental problems. In this study, we follow a perspective based on urban agriculture literature in order to indicate the urban agriculture’s benefits in environmental planning strategies in non-western countries like Iran. The methodological approach adopted is based on qualitative approach and documentary studies. A total of 35 articles (mixed quantitative and qualitative methods studies) were studied in final analysis, which are published in relevant journals that focus on this subject. Studies show the wide range of positive benefits of urban agriculture on food security, nutrition outcomes, health outcomes, environmental outcomes, and social capital. However, there was no definitive conclusion about the negative effects of urban agriculture. This paper provides a conceptual and theoretical basis to know about urban agriculture and its roles in environmental planning, and also conclude the benefits of urban agriculture for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers who seek to create spaces in cities for implementation urban agriculture in future.
The conservation of marine biodiversity keeps ecosystems in balance and ensures the sustainable use of resources. In this context, technological resources have been used for monitoring marine species to allow biologists to obtain data in real-time. There are different mobile applications developed for data collection for monitoring purposes, but these systems are designed to be utilized only on third-generation (3G) phones or smartphones with Internet access and in rural parts of the developing countries, Internet services and smartphones are scarce. Thus, the objective of this work is to develop a system to monitor marine turtles using Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), which users can access through basic mobile phones. The system aims to improve the data collection mechanism and enhance the effectiveness of current systems in monitoring sea turtles using any type of mobile device without Internet access. The system will be able to report information related to the biological activities of marine turtles. Also, it will be used as a platform to assist marine conservation entities to receive reports of illegal sales of sea turtles. The system can also be utilized as an educational tool for communities, providing knowledge and allowing the inclusion of communities in the process of monitoring marine turtles. Therefore, this work may contribute with information to decision-making and implementation of contingency plans for marine conservation programs.
Work-related illnesses and disorders have been a constant aspect of work. Although their nature has changed over time, from musculoskeletal disorders to illnesses related to psychosocial aspects of work, its impact on the life of workers remains significant. Despite significant efforts worldwide to protect workers, the disparity between changes in work legislation and actual benefit for workers’ health has been creating a significant economic burden for social security and health systems around the world. In this context, this study aims to propose, test and validate a modular prototype that allows for work environmental aspects to be assessed, monitored and better controlled. The main focus is also to provide a historical record of working conditions and the means for workers to obtain comprehensible and useful information regarding their work environment and legal limits of occupational exposure to different types of environmental variables, as means to improve prevention of work-related accidents and disorders. We show the developed prototype provides useful and accurate information regarding the work environmental conditions, validating them with standard occupational hygiene equipment. We believe the proposed prototype is a cost-effective and adequate approach to work environment monitoring that could help elucidate the links between work and occupational illnesses, and that different industry sectors, as well as developing countries, could benefit from its capabilities.