Current developments in the Western economies have turned some universities into corporate institutions driven by practices of production and commodity. Academia is increasingly becoming integrated into national economies as a result of students paying fees and is consequently using business practices in student retention and engagement. With these changes, pedagogy status as a priority within the institution has been changing in light of these new demands. New strategies have blurred the boundaries that separate a student from a client. This led to a change of the dynamic, disrupting the traditional idea of the knowledge market, and emphasizing the corporate aspect of universities. In some cases, where students are seen primarily as a customer, the purpose of academia is no longer to educate but sell a commodity and retain fee-paying students. This paper considers opposing viewpoints on the commodification of higher education, reflecting on the reality of maintaining a pedagogic grounding in an increasingly commercialized sector. By analysing a case study of the Student Success Festival, an event that involved academic and marketing teams, the differences are considered between the respective visions of the pedagogic arm of the university and the corporate. This study argues that the initial concept of the event, based on the principles of gamification, independent learning, and cognitive criticality, was more clearly linked to a grounded pedagogic approach. However, when liaising with the marketing team in a crucial step in the creative process, it became apparent that these principles were not considered a priority in terms of their remit. While the study acknowledges in the power of pedagogy, the findings show that a pact of concord is necessary between different stakeholders in order for students to benefit fully from their learning experience. Nevertheless, while issues of power prevail and whenever power is unevenly distributed, reaching a consensus becomes increasingly challenging and further research should closely monitor the developments in pedagogy in the UK higher education.
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.
This paper introduces Luhmann’s autopoietic social systems starting with the original concept of autopoiesis by biologists and scientists, including the modification of general systems based on socialized medicine. A specific type of autopoietic system is explained in the three existing groups of the ecological phenomena: interaction, social and medical sciences. This hypothesis model, nevertheless, has a nonlinear interaction with its natural environment ‘interactional cycle’ for the exchange of photon energy with molecular without any changes in topology. The external forces in the systems environment might be concomitant with the natural fluctuations’ influence (e.g. radioactive radiation, electromagnetic waves). The cantilever sensor deploys insights to the future chip processor for prevention of social metabolic systems. Thus, the circuits with resonant electric and optical properties are prototyped on board as an intra–chip inter–chip transmission for producing electromagnetic energy approximately ranges from 1.7 mA at 3.3 V to service the detection in locomotion with the least significant power losses. Nowadays, therapeutic systems are assimilated materials from embryonic stem cells to aggregate multiple functions of the vessels nature de-cellular structure for replenishment. While, the interior actuators deploy base-pair complementarity of nucleotides for the symmetric arrangement in particular bacterial nanonetworks of the sequence cycle creating double-stranded DNA strings. The DNA strands must be sequenced, assembled, and decoded in order to reconstruct the original source reliably. The design of exterior actuators have the ability in sensing different variations in the corresponding patterns regarding beat-to-beat heart rate variability (HRV) for spatial autocorrelation of molecular communication, which consists of human electromagnetic, piezoelectric, electrostatic and electrothermal energy to monitor and transfer the dynamic changes of all the cantilevers simultaneously in real-time workspace with high precision. A prototype-enabled dynamic energy sensor has been investigated in the laboratory for inclusion of nanoscale devices in the architecture with a fuzzy logic control for detection of thermal and electrostatic changes with optoelectronic devices to interpret uncertainty associated with signal interference. Ultimately, the controversial aspect of molecular frictional properties is adjusted to each other and forms its unique spatial structure modules for providing the environment mutual contribution in the investigation of mass temperature changes due to pathogenic archival architecture of clusters.
The heat pipe is a thermal device which allows efficient transport of thermal energy. The experimental work of this research was split into two phases; phase 1 is the development of the facilities, material and test rig preparation. Phase 2 is the actual experiments and measurements of the thermal control mockup inside the modified vacuum chamber (MVC). Due to limited funds, the development on the thermal control subsystem was delayed and the experimental facilities such as suitable thermal vacuum chamber with space standard specifications were not available from the beginning of the research and had to be procured over a period of time. In all, these delays extended the project by one and a half year. Thermal control subsystem needs a special facility and equipment to be tested. The available vacuum chamber is not suitable for the thermal tests. Consequently, the modification of the chamber was a must. A vacuum chamber has been modified to be used as a Thermal Vaccum Chamber (TVC). A MVC is a vacuum chamber modified by using a stainless mirror box with perfect reflectability and the infrared lamp connected with the voltage regulator to vary the lamp intensity as it will be illustrated through the paper.
In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.
E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).
Concrete Damaged Plasticity Model (CDPM) is capable of modeling the stress-strain behavior of confined concrete. Nevertheless, the accuracy of the model largely depends on its parameters. To date, most research works mainly focus on the identification and modification of the parameters for fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) confined concrete prior to damage. And, it has been established that the FRP-strengthened concrete behaves differently to FRP-repaired concrete. This paper presents a modified plastic damage model within the context of the CDPM in ABAQUS for modelling of a uniformly FRP-confined repaired concrete under monotonic loading. The proposed model includes infliction damage, elastic stiffness, yield criterion and strain hardening rule. The distinct feature of damaged concrete is elastic stiffness reduction; this is included in the model. Meanwhile, the test results were obtained from a physical testing of repaired concrete. The dilation model is expressed as a function of the lateral stiffness of the FRP-jacket. The finite element predictions are shown to be in close agreement with the obtained test results of the repaired concrete. It was observed from the study that with necessary modifications, finite element method is capable of modeling FRP-repaired concrete structures.
Many of thermosetting resins have application only in filled state, reinforced with different mineral fillers. The co-filling of polymers with mineral filler and gases creates a possibility for production of polymer composites materials with low density. This processing leads to forming of new materials – gas-filled plastics (polymer foams). The properties of these materials are determined mainly by the shape and size of internal structural elements (pores). The interactions on the phase boundaries have influence on the materials properties too. In the present work, the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins were reinforced by waste phosphogypsum. The waste phosphogypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) is a solid by-product in wet phosphoric acid production processes. The values of the interactions polymer-filler were increased by using two modifying agents: polyvinyl acetate for polymer matrix and sodium metasilicate for filler. Technological methods for gas-filling and recipes of urea-formaldehyde based materials with apparent density 20-120 kg/m3 were developed. The heat conductivity of the samples is between 0.024 and 0.029 W/moK. Tensile analyses were carried out at 10 and 50% deformation and show values 0.01-0.14 MPa and 0.01-0.09 MPa, respectively. The apparent density of obtained materials is between 20 and 92 kg/m3. The changes in the tensile properties and density of these materials according to sodium metasilicate content were studied too. The mechanism of phosphogypsum adsorption modification was studied using methods of FT-IR spectroscopy. The structure of the gas-filled urea-formaldehyde resins was described by results of electron scanning microscopy at three different magnification ratios – x50, x150 and x 500. The aim of present work is to study the possibility of the usage of phosphogypsum as mineral filler for urea-formaldehyde resins and development of a technology for the production of gas-filled reinforced polymer composite materials. The structure and the properties of obtained composite materials are suitable for thermal and sound insulation applications.
The West African Lung fishes are fishes rich in protein and serve as an important source of food supply for man. The kind of food ingested by this group of fishes is dependent on the alimentary canal as well as the fish’s digestive processes which provide suitable modifications for maximum utilization of food taken. A study of the alimentary canal of P. annectens will expose the best information on the anatomy and histology of the fish. Samples of P. annectens were dissected to reveal the liver, pancreas and entire gut wall. Digital pictures of the mouth, jaws and the Gastrointestinal Tract (GIT) were taken. The entire gut was identified, sectioned and micro graphed. P. annectens was observed to possess a terminal mouth that opens up to 10% of its total body length, an adaptive feature to enable the fish to swallow the whole of its pry. Its dentition is made up of incisors- scissor-like teeth which also help to firmly grip, seize and tear through the skin of prey before swallowing. A short, straight and longitudinal GIT was observed in P. annectens which is known to be common feature in lungfishes, though it is thought to be a primitive characteristic similar to the lamprey. The oesophagus is short and distensible similar to other predatory and carnivorous species. Food is temporarily stored in the stomach before it is passed down into the intestine. A pyloric aperture is seen at the end of the double folded pyloric valve which leads into an intestine that makes up 75% of the whole GIT. The intestine begins at the posterior end of the pyloric aperture and winds down in six coils through the whole length intestine and ends at the cloaca. From this study it is concluded that P. annectens possess a composite GIT with organs similar to other lung fishes; it is a detritor with carnivorous abilities.
Hyphal growth and the transcriptional regulation to the host environment are key issues during the pathogenesis of C. albicans. Tec1p is the C. albicans homolog of a TEA transcription factor family, which share a conserved DNA-binding TEA domain in their N-terminal. In order to define a structure-function relationship of the C. albicans Tec1p protein, we constructed several mutations on the N terminal, C terminal or in the TEA binding domain itself by homologous recombination technology. The modifications in the open reading frame of TEC1 were tested for reconstitution of the morphogenetic development of the tec1/tec1 mutant strain CaAS12. Mutation in the TEA consensus sequence did not confer transition to hyphae whereas the reconstitution of the full-length Tec1p has reconstituted hyphal development. A deletion in one of glutamine-rich regions either in the Tec1p N-terminal or the C-terminal in regions of 53-212 or 637–744 aa, respectively, did not restore morphological development in mutant CaAS12 strain. Whereas, the reconstitution with Tec1p mutants other than the glutamate-rich region has restored the morphogenetic switch. Additionally, the deletion of the glutamine-rich region has attenuated the invasive growth and the heat shock resistance of C. albicans. In conclusion, we show that a glutamine-rich region of Tec1p is essential for the hyphal development and mediating adaptation to the host environment of C. albicans.
Natural fibers have attained the potential market in the composite industry because of the huge environmental impact caused by synthetic fibers. Among the natural fibers, jute fibers are the most abundant plant fibers which are manufactured mainly in countries like India. Even though there is a good motive to utilize the natural supplement, the strength of the natural fiber composites is still a topic of discussion. In recent days, many researchers are showing interest in the chemical modification of the natural fibers to increase various mechanical and thermal properties. In the present study, jute fibers have been modified chemically using glutaric anhydride at different concentrations of 5%, 10%, 20%, and 30%. The glutaric anhydride solution is prepared by dissolving the different quantity of glutaric anhydride in benzene and dimethyl-sulfoxide using sodium formate catalyst. The jute fiber mats have been treated by the method of retting at various time intervals of 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 hours. The modification structure of the treated fibers has been confirmed with infrared spectroscopy. The degree of modification increases with an increase in retention time, but higher retention time has damaged the fiber structure. The unmodified fibers and glutarylated fibers at different retention times are reinforced with epoxy matrix under room temperature. The tensile strength and flexural strength of the composites are analyzed in detail. Among these, the composite made with glutarylated fiber has shown good mechanical properties when compared to those made of unmodified fiber.
Nowadays flight simulators offer tremendous possibilities for safe and cost-effective pilot training, by utilization of powerful, computational tools. Due to technology outpacing methodology, vast majority of training related work is done by human instructors. It makes assessment not efficient, and vulnerable to instructors’ subjectivity. The research presents an Objective Assessment Tool (gOAT) developed at the Warsaw University of Technology, and tested on SW-4 helicopter flight simulator. The tool uses database of the predefined manoeuvres, defined and integrated to the virtual environment. These were implemented, basing on Aeronautical Design Standard Performance Specification Handling Qualities Requirements for Military Rotorcraft (ADS-33), with predefined Mission-Task-Elements (MTEs). The core element of the gOAT enhanced algorithm that provides instructor a new set of information. In details, a set of objective flight parameters fused with report about psychophysical state of the pilot. While the pilot performs the task, the gOAT system automatically calculates performance using the embedded algorithms, data registered by the simulator software (position, orientation, velocity, etc.), as well as measurements of physiological changes of pilot’s psychophysiological state (temperature, sweating, heart rate). Complete set of measurements is presented on-line to instructor’s station and shown in dedicated graphical interface. The presented tool is based on open source solutions, and flexible for editing. Additional manoeuvres can be easily added using guide developed by authors, and MTEs can be changed by instructor even during an exercise. Algorithm and measurements used allow not only to implement basic stress level measurements, but also to reduce instructor’s workload significantly. Tool developed can be used for training purpose, as well as periodical checks of the aircrew. Flexibility and ease of modifications allow the further development to be wide ranged, and the tool to be customized. Depending on simulation purpose, gOAT can be adjusted to support simulator of aircraft, helicopter, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
In recent years, interest in ecogenetic and biomedical problems related to the effects on the population of radon and its daughter decay products has increased significantly. Of particular interest is the assessment of the consequence of irradiation at hazardous radon areas, which includes the Almaty region due to the large number of tectonic faults that enhance radon emanation. In connection with the foregoing, the purpose of this work was to study the genetic effects of exposure to supernormal radon doses on the alpha-radiation model. Irradiation does not affect the growth of the cell, but rather its ability to differentiate. In addition, irradiation can lead to somatic mutations, morphoses and modifications. These damages most likely occur from changes in the composition of the substances of the cell. Such changes are epigenetic since they affect the regulatory processes of ontogenesis. Variability in the expression of regulatory genes refers to conditional mutations that modify the formation of signs of intraspecific similarity. Characteristic features of these conditional mutations are the dominant type of their manifestation, phenotypic asymmetry and their instability in the generations. Currently, the terms “morphosis” and “modification” are used to describe epigenetic variability, which are maintained in Drosophila melanogaster cultures using linkaged X- chromosomes, and the mutant X-chromosome is transmitted along the paternal line. In this paper, we investigated the epigenetic effects of alpha particles, whose source in nature is mainly radon and its daughter decay products. In the experiment, an isotope of plutonium-238 (Pu238), generating radiation with an energy of about 5500 eV, was used as a source of alpha particles. In an experiment in the first generation (F1), deformities or morphoses were found, which can be called "radiation syndromes" or mutations, the manifestation of which is similar to the pleiotropic action of genes. The proportion of morphoses in the experiment was 1.8%, and in control 0.4%. In this experiment, the morphoses in the flies of the first and second generation looked like black spots, or melanomas on different parts of the imago body; "generalized" melanomas; curled, curved wings; shortened wing; bubble on one wing; absence of one wing, deformation of thorax, interruption and violation of tergite patterns, disruption of distribution of ocular facets and bristles; absence of pigmentation of the second and third legs. Statistical analysis by the Chi-square method showed the reliability of the difference in experiment and control at P ≤ 0.01. On the basis of this, it can be considered that alpha particles, which in the environment are mainly generated by radon and its isotopes, have a mutagenic effect that manifests itself, mainly in the formation of morphoses or deformities.
In India, cooling loads in residential sector is a major contributor to its total energy consumption. Due to the increasing cooling need, the market penetration of air-conditioners is further expected to rise. Natural Ventilation (NV), however, possesses great potential to save significant energy consumption especially for residential buildings in moderate climates. As multifamily residential apartment buildings are designed by repetitive use of prototype designs, deriving individual NV based design prototype solutions for a combination of different wind incidence angles and orientations would provide significant opportunity to address the rise in cooling loads by residential sector. This paper presents the results of NV performance of a selected prototype apartment design with a cluster of four units in Pune, India, and an attempt to improve the NV performance through design modifications. The water table apparatus, a physical modelling tool, is used to study the flow patterns and simulate wind-induced NV performance. Quantification of NV performance is done by post processing images captured from video recordings in terms of percentage of area with good and poor access to ventilation. NV performance of the existing design for eight wind incidence angles showed that of the cluster of four units, the windward units showed good access to ventilation for all rooms, and the leeward units had lower access to ventilation with the bedrooms in the leeward units having the least access. The results showed improved performance in all the units for all wind incidence angles to more than 80% good access to ventilation. Some units showed an additional improvement to more than 90% good access to ventilation. This process of design and performance evaluation improved some individual units from 0% to 100% for good access to ventilation. The results demonstrate the ease of use and the power of the water table apparatus for performance-based design to simulate wind induced NV.
By developing ultra-wideband (UWB) systems, there is a high demand for UWB filters with low insertion loss, wide bandwidth, and having a planar structure which is compatible with other components of the UWB system. A microstrip interdigital filter is a great option for designing UWB filters. However, the presence of via holes in this structure creates difficulties in the fabrication procedure of the filter. Especially in the higher frequency band, any misalignment of the drilled via hole with the Microstrip stubs causes large errors in the measurement results compared to the desired results. Moreover, in this case (high-frequency designs), the line width of the stubs are very narrow, so highly precise small via holes are required to be implemented, which increases the cost of fabrication significantly. Also, in this case, there is a risk of having fabrication errors. To combat this issue, in this paper, a via-less UWB microstrip filter is proposed which is designed based on a modification of a conventional inter-digital bandpass filter. The novel approaches in this filter design are 1) replacement of each via hole with a quarter-wavelength open circuit stub to avoid the complexity of manufacturing, 2) using a bend structure to reduce the unwanted coupling effects and 3) minimising the size. Using the proposed structure, a UWB filter operating in the frequency band of 3.9-6.6 GHz (1-dB bandwidth) is designed and fabricated. The promising results of the simulation and measurement are presented in this paper. The selected substrate for these designs was Rogers RO4003 with a thickness of 20 mils. This is a common substrate in most of the industrial projects. The compact size of the proposed filter is highly beneficial for applications which require a very miniature size of hardware.
The agricultural sector is becoming more critical than ever in view of the expected overpopulation of the Earth. The introduction of robotic solutions in this field is an increasingly researched topic to make the most of the Earth's resources, thus going to avoid the problems of wear and tear of the human body due to the harsh agricultural work, and open the possibility of a constant careful processing 24 hours a day. This project is realized for a terrestrial autonomous robot aimed to navigate in an orchard collecting fallen peaches below the trees. When it receives the signal indicating the low battery, it has to return to the docking station where it will replace its battery and then return to the last work point and resume its routine. Considering a preset path in orchards with tree rows with variable length by which the robot goes iteratively using the algorithm D*. In case of low battery, the D* algorithm is still used to determine the fastest return path to the docking station as well as to come back from the docking station to the last work point. MATLAB simulations were performed to analyze the flexibility and adaptability of the developed algorithm. The simulation results show an enormous potential for adaptability, particularly in view of the irregularity of orchard field, since it is not flat and undergoes modifications over time from fallen branch as well as from other obstacles and constraints. The D* algorithm determines the best route in spite of the irregularity of the terrain. Moreover, in this work, it will be shown a possible solution to improve the initial points tracking and reduce time between movements.
Aluminium bronze alloys are well known for their superior abrasion, tensile strength and non-magnetic properties, due to the co-presence of iron (Fe) and aluminium (Al) as alloying elements and have been commonly used in many industrial applications. However, continuous exposure to the marine environment will accelerate the risk of a tendency to Al bronze alloys parts failures. Although a higher level of corrosion resistance properties can be achieved by modifying its elemental composition, it will come at a price through the complex manufacturing process and increases the risk of reducing the ductility of Al bronze alloy. In this research, the use of ironmaking slag and waste plastic as the input source for surface modification of Al bronze alloy was implemented. Microstructural analysis conducted using polarised light microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) that is equipped with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). An electrochemical corrosion test was carried out through Tafel polarisation method and calculation of protection efficiency against the base-material was determined. Results have indicated that uniform modified surface which is as the result of selective diffusion process, has enhanced corrosion resistance properties up to 12.67%. This approach has opened a new opportunity to access various industrial utilisations in commercial scale through minimising the dependency on natural resources by transforming waste sources into the protective coating in environmentally friendly and cost-effective ways.
Science offers opportunities for revolutionizing human activities, enriched by input from scientific research and technology. Biotechnology is a major force for development in developing countries such as Nigeria. It is found to contribute to solving human problems like water and food insecurity that impede national development and threaten peace wherever it is applied. This review identified the problems of agricultural biotechnology in Nigeria. On the part of rural farmers, there is a lack of adequate knowledge or awareness of biotechnology despite the fact that they constitute the bulk of Nigerian farmers. On part of the government, the problems include: lack of adequate implementation of government policy on bio-safety and genetically modified products, inadequate funding of education as well as research and development of products related to biotechnology. Other problems include: inadequate infrastructures (including laboratory), poor funding and lack of national strategies needed for development and running of agricultural biotechnology. In spite of all the challenges associated with agricultural biotechnology, its prospects still remain great if Nigeria is to meet with the food needs of the country’s ever increasing population. The introduction of genetically engineered products will lead to the high productivity needed for commercialization and food security. Insect, virus and other related diseases resistant crops and livestock are another viable area of contribution of biotechnology to agricultural production. In conclusion, agricultural biotechnology will not only ensure food security, but, in addition, will ensure that the local farmers utilize appropriate technology needed for large production, leading to the prosperity of the farmers and national economic growth, provided government plays its role of adequate funding and good policy implementation.
From August to December of 2016, a diagnostic and strategic planning study was carried out on the supply chain of the company Agropecuaria GABO S.A. de C.V. The final product of the study was the development of the strategic plan and a project portfolio to meet the demands of the three links in the supply chain of the Roma tomato exported annually to the United States of America. In this project, the strategic objective of ensuring the proper handling of the product was selected and one of the goals associated with this was the employment of quantitative methods to support decision making. Considering the antecedents, the objective of this case study was to develop a model to analyze the behavioral dynamics in the distribution chain, from the logistics of storage and shipment of Roma tomato in 81-case pallets (11.5 kg per case), to the two pre-cooling rooms and eventual loading onto transports, seeking to reduce the bottleneck and the associated costs by means of a dynamic interface. The methodology used was that of system dynamics, considering four phases that were adapted to the purpose of the study: 1) the conceptualization phase; 2) the formulation phase; 3) the evaluation phase; and 4) the communication phase. The main practical conclusions lead to the possibility of reducing both the bottlenecks in the cooling rooms and the costs by simulating scenarios and modifying certain policies. Furthermore, the creation of the dynamic interface between the model and the stakeholders was achieved by generating interaction with buttons and simple instructions that allow making modifications and observing diverse behaviors.
Basic understanding of interfacial mechanisms is of importance for the development of polymer composites. For this purpose, we need techniques to analyze the quality of interphases, their chemical and physical interactions and their strength and fracture resistance. In order to investigate the interfacial phenomena in detail, advanced characterization techniques are favorable. Dynamic mechanical thermal analysis (DMTA) using a rheological system is a sensitive tool. T-peel tests were performed with this system, to investigate the temperature-dependent peel behavior of woven textile composites. A model system was made of polyamide (PA) woven fabric laminated with films of polypropylene (PP) or PP modified by grafting with maleic anhydride (PP-g-MAH). Firstly, control measurements were performed with solely PP matrixes. Polymer melt investigations, as well as the extensional stress, extensional viscosity and extensional relaxation modulus at -10°C, 100 °C and 170 °C, demonstrate similar viscoelastic behavior for films made of PP-g-MAH and its non-modified PP-control. Frequency sweeps have shown that PP-g-MAH has a zero phase viscosity of around 1600 Pa·s and PP-control has a similar zero phase viscosity of 1345 Pa·s. Also, the gelation points are similar at 2.42*104 Pa (118 rad/s) and 2.81*104 Pa (161 rad/s) for PP-control and PP-g-MAH, respectively. Secondly, the textile composite was analyzed. The extensional stress of PA66 fabric laminated with either PP-control or PP-g-MAH at -10 °C, 25 °C and 170 °C for strain rates of 0.001 – 1 s-1 was investigated. The laminates containing the modified PP need more stress for T-peeling. However, the strengthening effect due to the modification decreases by increasing temperature and at 170 °C, just above the melting temperature of the matrix, the difference disappears. Independent of the matrix used in the textile composite, there is a decrease of extensional stress by increasing temperature. It appears that the more viscous is the matrix, the weaker the laminar adhesion. Possibly, the measurement is influenced by the fact that the laminate becomes stiffer at lower temperatures. Adhesive lap-shear testing at room temperature supports the findings obtained with the T-peel test. Additional analysis of the textile composite at the microscopic level ensures that the fibers are well embedded in the matrix. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) imaging of a cross section of the composite shows no gaps between the fibers and matrix. Measurements of the water contact angle show that the MAH grafted PP is more polar than the virgin-PP, and that suggests a more favorable chemical interaction of PP-g-MAH with PA, compared to the non-modified PP. In fact, this study indicates that T-peel testing by DMTA is a technique to achieve more insights into polymeric textile composites.
Sign Language (SL) is used by deaf and other people who cannot speak but can hear or have a problem with spoken languages due to some disability. It is a visual gesture language that makes use of either one hand or both hands, arms, face, body to convey meanings and thoughts. SL automation system is an effective way which provides an interface to communicate with normal people using a computer. In this paper, an avatar based dictionary has been proposed for text to Indian Sign Language (ISL) generation system. This research work will also depict a literature review on SL corpus available for various SL s over the years. For ISL generation system, a written form of SL is required and there are certain techniques available for writing the SL. The system uses Hamburg sign language Notation System (HamNoSys) and Signing Gesture Mark-up Language (SiGML) for ISL generation. It is developed in PHP using Web Graphics Library (WebGL) technology for 3D avatar animation. A multilingual ISL dictionary is developed using HamNoSys for both English and Hindi Language. This dictionary will be used as a database to associate signs with words or phrases of a spoken language. It provides an interface for admin panel to manage the dictionary, i.e., modification, addition, or deletion of a word. Through this interface, HamNoSys can be developed and stored in a database and these notations can be converted into its corresponding SiGML file manually. The system takes natural language input sentence in English and Hindi language and generate 3D sign animation using an avatar. SL generation systems have potential applications in many domains such as healthcare sector, media, educational institutes, commercial sectors, transportation services etc. This research work will help the researchers to understand various techniques used for writing SL and generation of Sign Language systems.
Mesoporous materials are very commonly used as adsorbent materials for removing phenolic compounds. However, the adsorption mechanism of these compounds is still poorly controlled. However, understanding the interactions mesoporous materials/adsorbed molecules is very important in order to optimize the processes of liquid phase adsorption. The difficulty of synthesis is to keep an orderly and cubic pore structure and achieve a homogeneous surface modification. The grafting of Si(CH3)3 was chosen, to transform hydrophilic surfaces hydrophobic surfaces. The aim of this work is to study the kinetics and thermodynamics of two volatile organic compounds VOC phenol (PhOH) and P hydroxy benzoic acid (4AHB) on a mesoporous material of type MCM-48 grafted with an organosilane of the Trimethylchlorosilane (TMCS) type, the material thus grafted or functionalized (hereinafter referred to as MCM-48-G). In a first step, the kinetic and thermodynamic study of the adsorption isotherms of each of the VOCs in mono-solution was carried out. In a second step, a similar study was carried out on a mixture of these two compounds. Kinetic models (pseudo-first order, pseudo-second order) were used to determine kinetic adsorption parameters. The thermodynamic parameters of the adsorption isotherms were determined by the adsorption models (Langmuir, Freundlich). The comparative study of adsorption of PhOH and 4AHB proved that MCM-48-G had a high adsorption capacity for PhOH and 4AHB; this may be related to the hydrophobicity created by the organic function of TMCS in MCM-48-G. The adsorption results for the two compounds using the Freundlich and Langmuir models show that the adsorption of 4AHB was higher than PhOH. The values obtained by the adsorption thermodynamics show that the adsorption interactions for our sample with the phenol and 4AHB are of a physical nature. The adsorption of our VOCs on the MCM-48 (G) is a spontaneous and exothermic process.
Modification of asphalt is a fundamental method around the world mainly on the purpose of providing more durable pavements which lead to diminish repairing cost during the lifetime of highways. Various polymers such as styrene-butadiene-styrene (SBS) and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) make up the greater parts of the all-over asphalt modifiers generally providing better physical properties of asphalt by decreasing temperature dependency which eventually diminishes permanent deformation on highways such as rutting. However, some waste and low-cost materials such as recycled plastics and ground rubber tire have been attempted to utilize in asphalt as modifier instead of manufactured polymer modifiers due to decreasing the eventual highway cost. On the other hand, the usage of recycled plastics has become a worldwide requirement and awareness in order to decrease the pollution made by waste plastics. Hence, finding an area in which recycling plastics could be utilized has been targeted by many research teams so as to reduce polymer manufacturing and plastic pollution. To this end, in this paper, thermoplastic dynamic vulcanizate (TDV) obtained from recycled post-consumer polyethylene and ground tire rubber (GTR) were used to provide an efficient modifier for asphalt which decreases the production cost as well and finally might provide an ecological solution by decreasing polymer disposal problems. TDV was synthesized by the chemists in the research group by means of the abovementioned components that are considered as compatible physical characteristic of asphalt materials. TDV modified asphalt samples having different rate of proportions of 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 wt.% TDV modifier were prepared. Conventional tests, such as penetration, softening point and roll thin film oven (RTFO) tests were performed to obtain fundamental physical and aging properties of the base and modified binders. The high temperature performance grade (PG) of binders was determined by Superpave tests conducted on original and aged binders. The multiple stress creep and recovery (MSCR) test which is relatively up-to-date method for classifying asphalts taking account of their elasticity abilities was carried out to evaluate PG plus grades of binders. The results obtained from performance grading, and MSCR tests were also evaluated together so as to make a comparison between the methods both aiming to determine rheological parameters of asphalt. The test results revealed that TDV modification leads to a decrease in penetration, an increase in softening point, which proves an increasing stiffness of asphalt. DSR results indicate an improvement in PG for modified binders compared to base asphalt. On the other hand, MSCR results that are compatible with DSR results also indicate an enhancement on rheological properties of asphalt. However, according to the results, the improvement is not as distinct as observed in DSR results since elastic properties are fundamental in MSCR. At the end of the testing program, it can be concluded that TDV can be used as modifier which provides better rheological properties for asphalt and might diminish plastic waste pollution since the material is 100% recycled.