International Science Index

18
10012003
A Mixed-Methods Approach to Developing and Evaluating an SME Business Support Model for Innovation in Rural England
Abstract:

Cumbria is a geo-political county in Northwest England within which the Lake District National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is located. Whilst the area has a formidable reputation for natural beauty and historic assets, the innovation ecosystem is described as ‘patchy’ for a number of reasons. The county is one of the largest in England by area and is sparsely populated. This paper describes the needs, development and delivery of an SME business-support programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Lancaster University and the University of Cumbria. The Cumbria Innovations Platform (CUSP) Project has been designed to respond to the nuanced needs of SMEs in this locale, whilst promoting the adoption of research and innovation. CUSP utilizes a funnel method to support rural businesses with access to university innovation intervention. CUSP has been built on a three-tier model: Communicate, Collaborate and Create. The paper describes this project in detail and presents results in terms of output indicators achieved, a beneficiary telephone survey and wider economic forecasts. From a pragmatic point-of-view, the paper provides experiences and reflections of those people who are delivering and evaluating knowledge exchange. The authors discuss some of the benefits, challenges and implications for both policy makers and practitioners. Finally, the paper aims to serve as an invitation to others who may consider adopting a similar method of university-industry collaboration in their own region.

17
10011010
Collaborative Reflexive/Reflective Teaching and Action Research in TESL
Abstract:

Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) has become a very rich area of research. Practitioners or teachers of English as a foreign or a second language are now promoting both collaborative learning and collaborative teaching. Students learning a language collaboratively and cooperatively are learning in a better environment of team work where they learn from each other. Further, teaching English collaboratively also creates an enriching environment that is also very enriching to students’ and teachers’ experiences of learning and teaching. Moreover, action research stems from actual teacher concerns and students’ needs. Reflection in turn, on the experience of the material taught and the delivery of material is becoming an integral part of the teaching and learning experience self- evaluation and self-development. In this case, the concern of the research field in the area of TESL will be the development of teaching delivery, material and quality of learning. In the present research, the TESL module taught to year two students in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, British University in Egypt (BUE) will be evaluated reflexively by the students and teachers. The module was taught to students in two different specialisms. It was taught and delivered through collaborative teaching and was evaluated by both teachers and students as very successful and enjoyable. The reflections of both teachers and students as well as student results confirm that it was a success.

Paper Detail
491
downloads
16
10010414
Waste Management in a Hot Laboratory of Japan Atomic Energy Agency – 1: Overview and Activities in Chemical Processing Facility
Abstract:

Chemical Processing Facility of Japan Atomic Energy Agency is a basic research field for advanced back-end technology developments with using actual high-level radioactive materials such as irradiated fuels from the fast reactor, high-level liquid waste from reprocessing plant. In the nature of a research facility, various kinds of chemical reagents have been offered for fundamental tests. Most of them were treated properly and stored in the liquid waste vessel equipped in the facility, but some were not treated and remained at the experimental space as a kind of legacy waste. It is required to treat the waste in safety. On the other hand, we formulated the Medium- and Long-Term Management Plan of Japan Atomic Energy Agency Facilities. This comprehensive plan considers Chemical Processing Facility as one of the facilities to be decommissioned. Even if the plan is executed, treatment of the “legacy” waste beforehand must be a necessary step for decommissioning operation. Under this circumstance, we launched a collaborative research project called the STRAD project, which stands for Systematic Treatment of Radioactive liquid waste for Decommissioning, in order to develop the treatment processes for wastes of the nuclear research facility. In this project, decomposition methods of chemicals causing a troublesome phenomenon such as corrosion and explosion have been developed and there is a prospect of their decomposition in the facility by simple method. And solidification of aqueous or organic liquid wastes after the decomposition has been studied by adding cement or coagulants. Furthermore, we treated experimental tools of various materials with making an effort to stabilize and to compact them before the package into the waste container. It is expected to decrease the number of transportation of the solid waste and widen the operation space. Some achievements of these studies will be shown in this paper. The project is expected to contribute beneficial waste management outcome that can be shared world widely.

Paper Detail
386
downloads
15
10008502
The Changing Trend of Collaboration Patterns in the Social Sciences: Institutional Influences on Academic Research in Korea, 2013-2016
Abstract:

Collaborative research has become more prevalent and important across disciplines because it stimulates innovation and interaction between scholars. Seeing as existing studies relatively disregarded the institutional conditions triggering collaborative research, this work aims to analyze the changing trend in collaborative work patterns among Korean social scientists. The focus of this research is the performance of social scientists who received research grants through the government’s Social Science Korea (SSK) program. Using quantitative statistical methods, collaborative research patterns in a total of 2,354 papers published under the umbrella of the SSK program in peer-reviewed scholarly journals from 2013 to 2016 were examined to identify changing trends and triggering factors in collaborative research. A notable finding is that the share of collaborative research is overwhelmingly higher than that of individual research. In particular, levels of collaborative research surpassed 70%, increasing much quicker compared to other research done in the social sciences. Additionally, the most common composition of collaborative research was for two or three researchers to conduct joint research as coauthors, and this proportion has also increased steadily. Finally, a strong association between international journals and co-authorship patterns was found for the papers published by SSK program researchers from 2013 to 2016. The SSK program can be seen as the driving force behind collaboration between social scientists. Its emphasis on competition through a merit-based financial support system along with a rigorous evaluation process seems to have influenced researchers to cooperate with those who have similar research interests.

Paper Detail
704
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14
10005255
Collaborative Research between Malaysian and Australian Universities on Learning Analytics: Challenges and Strategies
Abstract:
Research on Learning Analytics is progressively developing in the higher education field by concentrating on the process of students' learning. Therefore, a research project between Malaysian and Australian Universities was initiated in 2015 to look at the use of Learning Analytics to support the development of teaching practice. The focal point of this article is to discuss and share the experiences of Malaysian and Australian universities in the process of developing the collaborative research on Learning Analytics. Three aspects of this will be discussed: 1) Establishing an international research project and team members, 2) cross-cultural understandings, and 3) ways of working in relation to the practicalities of the project. This article is intended to benefit other researchers by highlighting the challenges as well as the strategies used in this project to ensure such collaborative research succeeds.
Paper Detail
979
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13
10004192
Teaching Students Collaborative Requirements Engineering: Case Study of Red:Wire
Abstract:
This paper discusses the use of a template-based approach for documenting high-quality requirements as part of course projects in an undergraduate Software Engineering course. In order to ease some of the Requirements Engineering activities that are performed when defining requirements by using the template, a new CASE tool, RED:WIRE, was first developed and later tested by students attending the course. Two questionnaires were conceived around a study that aims to analyze the new tool’s learnability as well as other obtained results concerning its usability in particular and the Requirements Engineering skills developed by the students in general.
Paper Detail
1049
downloads
12
10003925
Reducing Defects through Organizational Learning within a Housing Association Environment
Abstract:

Housing Associations (HAs) contribute circa 20% of the UK’s housing supply. HAs are however under increasing pressure as a result of funding cuts and rent reductions. Due to the increased pressure, a number of processes are currently being reviewed by HAs, especially how they manage and learn from defects. Learning from defects is considered a useful approach to achieving defect reduction within the UK housebuilding industry. This paper contributes to our understanding of how HAs learn from defects by undertaking an initial round table discussion with key HA stakeholders as part of an ongoing collaborative research project with the National House Building Council (NHBC) to better understand how house builders and HAs learn from defects to reduce their prevalence. The initial discussion shows that defect information runs through a number of groups, both internal and external of a HA during both the defects management process and organizational learning (OL) process. Furthermore, HAs are reliant on capturing and recording defect data as the foundation for the OL process. During the OL process defect data analysis is the primary enabler to recognizing a need for a change to organizational routines. When a need for change has been recognized, new options are typically pursued to design out defects via updates to a HAs Employer’s Requirements. Proposed solutions are selected by a review board and committed to organizational routine. After implementing a change, both structured and unstructured feedback is sought to establish the change’s success. The findings from the HA discussion demonstrates that OL can achieve defect reduction within the house building sector in the UK. The paper concludes by outlining a potential ‘learning from defects model’ for the housebuilding industry as well as describing future work.

Paper Detail
1551
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11
10003169
Collaborative Environmental Management: A Case Study Research of Stakeholders’ Collaboration in the Nigerian Oil-producing Region
Abstract:
A myriad of environmental issues face the Nigerian industrial region, resulting from; oil and gas production, mining, manufacturing and domestic wastes. Amidst these, much effort has been directed by stakeholders in the Nigerian oil producing regions, because of the impacts of the region on the wider Nigerian economy. Although collaborative environmental management has been noted as an effective approach in managing environmental issues, little attention has been given to the roles and practices of stakeholders in effecting a collaborative environmental management framework for the Nigerian oil-producing region. This paper produces a framework to expand and deepen knowledge relating to stakeholders aspects of collaborative roles in managing environmental issues in the Nigeria oil-producing region. The knowledge is derived from analysis of stakeholders’ practices – studied through multiple case studies using document analysis. Selected documents of key stakeholders – Nigerian government agencies, multi-national oil companies and host communities, were analyzed. Open and selective coding was employed manually during document analysis of data collected from the offices and websites of the stakeholders. The findings showed that the stakeholders have a range of roles, practices, interests, drivers and barriers regarding their collaborative roles in managing environmental issues. While they have interests for efficient resource use, compliance to standards, sharing of responsibilities, generating of new solutions, and shared objectives; there is evidence of major barriers and these include resource allocation, disjointed policy, ineffective monitoring, diverse socio- economic interests, lack of stakeholders’ commitment and limited knowledge sharing. However, host communities hold deep concerns over the collaborative roles of stakeholders for economic interests, particularly, where government agencies and multi-national oil companies are involved. With these barriers and concerns, a genuine stakeholders’ collaboration is found to be limited, and as a result, optimal environmental management practices and policies have not been successfully implemented in the Nigeria oil-producing region. A framework is produced that describes practices that characterize collaborative environmental management might be employed to satisfy the stakeholders’ interests. The framework recommends critical factors, based on the findings, which may guide a collaborative environmental management in the oil producing regions. The recommendations are designed to re-define the practices of stakeholders in managing environmental issues in the oil producing regions, not as something wholly new, but as an approach essential for implementing a sustainable environmental policy. This research outcome may clarify areas for future research as well as to contribute to industry guidance in the area of collaborative environmental management.
Paper Detail
2044
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10
10001071
Use of Life Cycle Data for Condition-Oriented Maintenance
Abstract:

This technical contribution treats of a novel approach to condition-oriented maintenance as elaborated by Collaborative Research Centre 653 at the Leibniz University in Hanover. The objective resides in the targeted analysis of information about a component's lifecycle for maintenance purposes. The information in question is collected by means of the Collaborative Research Centre's innovative technologies. This enables preventive maintenance of components on the basis of their condition. This contribution initially explains condition-oriented maintenance, before introducing the Collaborative Research Centre and finally presenting the methodology for analyzing the information. The current state of development is described and an outlook provided for expanding the methodology.

Paper Detail
1487
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9
10000142
Determining a Suitable Maintenance Measure for Gentelligent Components Using Case-Based Reasoning
Abstract:

Components with sensory properties such as gentelligent components developed at the Collaborative Research Centre 653 offer a new angle in terms of the full utilization of the remaining service life as well as preventive maintenance. The developed methodology of component status driven maintenance analyzes the stress data obtained during the component's useful life and on the basis of this knowledge assesses the type of maintenance required in this case. The procedure is derived from the case-based reasoning method and will be explained in detail. The method's functionality is demonstrated with real-life data obtained during test runs of a racing car prototype.

Paper Detail
1582
downloads
8
9996853
A Model for Managing Intellectual Property, Commercialisation and Technology Transfer within a Collaborative Research Environment
Abstract:

The Defence Materials Technology Centre has evolved from the Australian Cooperative Research Centres Program. The Centre receives funding from Government, industry and research sources to fund collaborative research within its participant organisations. The research centre is structured as a company with a small administrative staff and plays the role of the “honest broker” within the collaboration. A corporate culture has been established that is pervasive into the research projects are undertaken. The model is an effective mechanism to deliver outcomes to each of the participant stakeholders.

Paper Detail
1338
downloads
7
7674
Revisiting the Concept of Risk Analysis within the Context of Geospatial Database Design: A Collaborative Framework
Abstract:
The aim of this research is to design a collaborative framework that integrates risk analysis activities into the geospatial database design (GDD) process. Risk analysis is rarely undertaken iteratively as part of the present GDD methods in conformance to requirement engineering (RE) guidelines and risk standards. Accordingly, when risk analysis is performed during the GDD, some foreseeable risks may be overlooked and not reach the output specifications especially when user intentions are not systematically collected. This may lead to ill-defined requirements and ultimately in higher risks of geospatial data misuse. The adopted approach consists of 1) reviewing risk analysis process within the scope of RE and GDD, 2) analyzing the challenges of risk analysis within the context of GDD, and 3) presenting the components of a risk-based collaborative framework that improves the collection of the intended/forbidden usages of the data and helps geo-IT experts to discover implicit requirements and risks.
Paper Detail
1319
downloads
6
15911
Microencapsulation of Ascorbic Acid by Spray Drying: Influence of Process Conditions
Abstract:

Ascorbic acid (AA), commonly known as vitamin C, is essential for normal functioning of the body and maintenance of metabolic integrity. Among its various roles are as an antioxidant, a cofactor in collagen formation and other reactions, as well as reducing physical stress and maintenance of the immune system. Recent collaborative research between the Australian Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) in Scottsdale, Tasmania and RMIT University has sought to overcome the problems arising from the inherent instability of ascorbic acid during processing and storage of foods. The recent work has demonstrated the potential of microencapsulation by spray drying as a means to enhance retention. The purpose of this current study has been focused upon the influence of spray drying conditions on the properties of encapsulated ascorbic acid. The process was carried out according to a central composite design. Independent variables were: inlet temperature (80-120° C) and feed flow rate (7-14 mL/minute). Process yield, ascorbic acid loss, moisture content, water activity and particle size distribution were analysed as responses. The results have demonstrated the potential of microencapsulation by spray drying as a means to enhance retention. Vitamin retention, moisture content, water activity and process yield were influenced positively by inlet air temperature and negatively by feed flow rate.

Paper Detail
4066
downloads
5
14253
Collaborative and Content-based Recommender System for Social Bookmarking Website
Abstract:

This study proposes a new recommender system based on the collaborative folksonomy. The purpose of the proposed system is to recommend Internet resources (such as books, articles, documents, pictures, audio and video) to users. The proposed method includes four steps: creating the user profile based on the tags, grouping the similar users into clusters using an agglomerative hierarchical clustering, finding similar resources based on the user-s past collections by using content-based filtering, and recommending similar items to the target user. This study examines the system-s performance for the dataset collected from “del.icio.us," which is a famous social bookmarking website. Experimental results show that the proposed tag-based collaborative and content-based filtering hybridized recommender system is promising and effectiveness in the folksonomy-based bookmarking website.

Paper Detail
1840
downloads
4
8438
Realization of Design Features for Linear Flow Splitting in NX 6
Abstract:
Within the collaborative research center 666 a new product development approach and the innovative manufacturing method of linear flow splitting are being developed. So far the design process is supported by 3D-CAD models utilizing User Defined Features in standard CAD-Systems. This paper now presents new functions for generating 3D-models of integral sheet metal products with bifurcations using Siemens PLM NX 6. The emphasis is placed on design and semi-automated insertion of User Defined Features. Therefore User Defined Features for both, linear flow splitting and its derivative linear bend splitting, were developed. In order to facilitate the modeling process, an application was developed that guides through the insertion process. Its usability and dialog layout adapt known standard features. The work presented here has significant implications on the quality, accurateness and efficiency of the product generation process of sheet metal products with higher order bifurcations.
Paper Detail
2243
downloads
3
8918
Simulation and Optimization of Mechanisms made of Micro-molded Components
Abstract:
The Institute of Product Development is dealing with the development, design and dimensioning of micro components and systems as a member of the Collaborative Research Centre 499 “Design, Production and Quality Assurance of Molded micro components made of Metallic and Ceramic Materials". Because of technological restrictions in the miniaturization of conventional manufacturing techniques, shape and material deviations cannot be scaled down in the same proportion as the micro parts, rendering components with relatively wide tolerance fields. Systems that include such components should be designed with this particularity in mind, often requiring large clearance. On the end, the output of such systems results variable and prone to dynamical instability. To save production time and resources, every study of these effects should happen early in the product development process and base on computer simulation to avoid costly prototypes. A suitable method is proposed here and exemplary applied to a micro technology demonstrator developed by the CRC499. It consists of a one stage planetary gear train in a sun-planet-ring configuration, with input through the sun gear and output through the carrier. The simulation procedure relies on ordinary Multi Body Simulation methods and subsequently adds other techniques to further investigate details of the system-s behavior and to predict its response. The selection of the relevant parameters and output functions followed the engineering standards for regular sized gear trains. The first step is to quantify the variability and to reveal the most critical points of the system, performed through a whole-mechanism Sensitivity Analysis. Due to the lack of previous knowledge about the system-s behavior, different DOE methods involving small and large amount of experiments were selected to perform the SA. In this particular case the parameter space can be divided into two well defined groups, one of them containing the gear-s profile information and the other the components- spatial location. This has been exploited to explore the different DOE techniques more promptly. A reduced set of parameters is derived for further investigation and to feed the final optimization process, whether as optimization parameters or as external perturbation collective. The 10 most relevant perturbation factors and 4 to 6 prospective variable parameters are considered in a new, simplified model. All of the parameters are affected by the mentioned production variability. The objective functions of interest are based on scalar output-s variability measures, so the problem becomes an optimization under robustness and reliability constrains. The study shows an initial step on the development path of a method to design and optimize complex micro mechanisms composed of wide tolerated elements accounting for the robustness and reliability of the systems- output.
Paper Detail
1272
downloads
2
2010
Laboratory Experimentation for Supporting Collaborative Working in Engineering Education over the Internet
Abstract:
Collaborative working environments for distance education can be considered as a more generic form of contemporary remote labs. At present, the majority of existing real laboratories are not constructed to allow the involved participants to collaborate in real time. To make this revolutionary learning environment possible we must allow the different users to carry out an experiment simultaneously. In recent times, multi-user environments are successfully applied in many applications such as air traffic control systems, team-oriented military systems, chat-text tools, multi-player games etc. Thus, understanding the ideas and techniques behind these systems could be of great importance in the contribution of ideas to our e-learning environment for collaborative working. In this investigation, collaborative working environments from theoretical and practical perspectives are considered in order to build an effective collaborative real laboratory, which allows two students or more to conduct remote experiments at the same time as a team. In order to achieve this goal, we have implemented distributed system architecture, enabling students to obtain an automated help by either a human tutor or a rule-based e-tutor.
Paper Detail
1169
downloads
1
6389
A Cognitive Robot Collaborative Reinforcement Learning Algorithm
Abstract:
A cognitive collaborative reinforcement learning algorithm (CCRL) that incorporates an advisor into the learning process is developed to improve supervised learning. An autonomous learner is enabled with a self awareness cognitive skill to decide when to solicit instructions from the advisor. The learner can also assess the value of advice, and accept or reject it. The method is evaluated for robotic motion planning using simulation. Tests are conducted for advisors with skill levels from expert to novice. The CCRL algorithm and a combined method integrating its logic with Clouse-s Introspection Approach, outperformed a base-line fully autonomous learner, and demonstrated robust performance when dealing with various advisor skill levels, learning to accept advice received from an expert, while rejecting that of less skilled collaborators. Although the CCRL algorithm is based on RL, it fits other machine learning methods, since advisor-s actions are only added to the outer layer.
Paper Detail
1445
downloads