International Science Index

4438
10007281
Dental Students’ Attitude towards Problem-Based Learning before and after Implementing 3D Electronic Dental Models
Abstract:

Objectives: In recent years, the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong have extended the implementation of 3D electronic models (e-models) into problem-based learning (PBL) of the Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) curriculum, aiming at mutual enhancement of PBL teaching quality and the students’ skills in using e-models. This study focuses on the effectiveness of e-models serving as a tool to enhance the students’ skills and competences in PBL. Methods: The questionnaire surveys are conducted to measure 50 fourth-year BDS students’ attitude change between beginning and end of blended PBL tutorials. The response rate of this survey is 100%. Results: The results of this study show the students’ agreement on enhancement of their learning experience after e-model implementation and their expectation to have more blended PBL courses in the future. The potential of e-models in cultivating students’ self-learning skills reduces their dependence on others, while improving their communication skills to argue about pros and cons of different treatment options. The students’ independent thinking ability and problem solving skills are promoted by e-model implementation, resulting in better decision making in treatment planning. Conclusion: It is important for future dental education curriculum planning to cope with the students’ needs, and offer support in the form of software, hardware and facilitators’ assistance for better e-model implementation.

Paper Detail
131
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4437
10007796
Enhanced Performance of an All-Vanadium Redox Flow Battery Employing Graphene Modified Carbon Paper Electrodes
Abstract:
Fuel cell grade gas-diffusion layer carbon paper (CP) electrodes are subjected to electrophoresis in N,N’-dimethylformamide (DMF) consisting of reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The rGO modified electrodes are compared with CP in a single asymmetric all-vanadium redox battery system (employing a double serpentine flow channel for each half-cell). Peak power densities improved by 4% when the rGO deposits were facing the ion-exchange membrane (cell performance was poorer when the rGO was facing the flow field). Cycling of the cells showed least degradation of the CP electrodes that were coated with rGO in comparison to pristine samples.
Paper Detail
9
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4436
10007832
Impact of Different Fuel Inlet Diameters onto the NOx Emissions in a Hydrogen Combustor
Abstract:

The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe (ACARE) is creating awareness for the overall reduction of NOx emissions by 80% in its vision 2020. Hence this promotes the researchers to work on novel technologies, one such technology is the use of alternative fuels. Among these fuels hydrogen is of interest due to its one and only significant pollutant NOx. The influence of NOx formation due to hydrogen combustion depends on various parameters such as air pressure, inlet air temperature, air to fuel jet momentum ratio etc. Appropriately, this research is motivated to investigate the impact of the air to fuel jet momentum ratio onto the NOx formation in a hydrogen combustion chamber for aircraft engines. The air to jet fuel momentum is defined as the ratio of impulse/momentum of air with respect to the momentum of fuel. The experiments were performed in an existing combustion chamber that has been previously tested for methane. Premix of the reactants has not been considered due to the high reactivity of the hydrogen and high risk of a flashback. In order to create a less rich zone of reaction at the burner and to decrease the emissions, a forced internal recirculation flow has been achieved by integrating a plate similar to honeycomb structure, suitable to the geometry of the liner. The liner has been provided with an external cooling system to avoid the increase of local temperatures and in turn the reaction rate of the NOx formation. The injected air has been preheated to aim at so called flameless combustion. The air to fuel jet momentum ratio has been inspected by changing the area of fuel inlets and keeping the number of fuel inlets constant in order to alter the fuel jet momentum, thus maintaining the homogeneity of the flow. Within this analysis, promising results for a flameless combustion have been achieved. For a constant number of fuel inlets, it was seen that the reduction of the fuel inlet diameter resulted in decrease of air to fuel jet momentum ratio in turn lowering the NOx emissions.

Paper Detail
2
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4435
10007833
Entrepreneurship Education as a 21st Century Strategy for Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
Abstract:

Within the last 30 years, entrepreneurship education (EE) has continued to gain massive interest both in the field of research and among policy makers. This surge in interest can be attributed to the perceived importance EE plays in the equipping of potential entrepreneurs and as a 21st century strategy to foster economic growth and development. This paper sets out to ascertain the correlation between EE and economic growth and development. A desk research approach was adopted where a multiplicity of literatures in the field were studied intensely. The findings reveal that indeed EE has a positive effect on entrepreneurship engagement thereby fostering economic growth and development. However, some research studies reported the contrary. That although EE may be able to equip potential entrepreneurs with requisite entrepreneurial skills and competencies, it will only be successful in producing entrepreneurs if they are internally driven to become entrepreneurs, because we cannot make people what they are not. The findings also reveal that countries that adopted EE early have more innovations inspired by entrepreneurs and are more developed than those that only recently adopted EE as a viable tool for entrepreneurship and economic development.

Paper Detail
2
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4434
10007837
Feasibility Studies through Quantitative Methods: The Revamping of a Tourist Railway Line in Italy
Abstract:

Recently, the Italian government has approved a new law for public contracts and has been laying the groundwork for restarting a planning phase. The government has adopted the indications given by the European Commission regarding the estimation of the external costs within the Cost-Benefit Analysis, and has been approved the ‘Guidelines for assessment of Investment Projects’. In compliance with the new Italian law, the aim of this research was to perform a feasibility study applying quantitative methods regarding the revamping of an Italian tourist railway line. A Cost-Benefit Analysis was performed starting from the quantification of the passengers’ demand potentially interested in using the revamped rail services. The benefits due to the external costs reduction were also estimated (quantified) in terms of variations (with respect to the not project scenario): climate change, air pollution, noises, congestion, and accidents. Estimations results have been proposed in terms of the Measure of Effectiveness underlying a positive Net Present Value equal to about 27 million of Euros, an Internal Rate of Return much greater the discount rate, a benefit/cost ratio equal to 2 and a PayBack Period of 15 years.

Paper Detail
5
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4433
10007580
Optimizing Logistics for Courier Organizations with Considerations of Congestions and Pickups: A Courier Delivery System in Amman as Case Study
Abstract:

Traveling salesman problem (TSP) is a combinatorial integer optimization problem that asks "What is the optimal route for a vehicle to traverse in order to deliver requests to a given set of customers?”. It is widely used by the package carrier companies’ distribution centers. The main goal of applying the TSP in courier organizations is to minimize the time that it takes for the courier in each trip to deliver or pick up the shipments during a day. In this article, an optimization model is constructed to create a new TSP variant to optimize the routing in a courier organization with a consideration of congestion in Amman, the capital of Jordan. Real data were collected by different methods and analyzed. Then, concert technology - CPLEX was used to solve the proposed model for some random generated data instances and for the real collected data. At the end, results have shown a great improvement in time compared with the current trip times, and an economic study was conducted afterwards to figure out the impact of using such models.

Paper Detail
40
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4432
10007596
Assessing the Sheltering Response in the Middle East: Studying Syrian Camps in Jordan
Abstract:

This study focuses on the sheltering response in the Middle East, specifically through reviewing two Syrian refugee camps in Jordan, involving Zaatari and Azraq. Zaatari camp involved the rapid deployment of tents and shelters over a very short period of time and Azraq was purpose built and pre-planned over a longer period. At present, both camps collectively host more than 133,000 occupants. Field visits were taken to both camps and the main issues and problems in the sheltering response were highlighted through focus group discussions with camp occupants and inspection of shelter habitats. This provided both subjective and objective research data sources. While every case has its own significance and deployment to meet humanitarian needs, there are some common requirements irrespective of geographical region. The results suggest that there is a gap in the suitability of the required habitat needs and what has been provided. It is recommended that the global international response and support could be improved in relation to the habitat form, construction type, layout, function and critically the cultural aspects. Services, health and hygiene are key elements to the shelter habitat provision. The study also identified the amendments to shelters undertaken by the beneficiaries providing insight into their key main requirements. The outcomes from this study could provide an important learning opportunity to develop improved habitat response for future shelters.

Paper Detail
40
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4431
10007599
Laser Registration and Supervisory Control of neuroArm Robotic Surgical System
Abstract:

This paper illustrates the concept of an algorithm to register specified markers on the neuroArm surgical manipulators, an image-guided MR-compatible tele-operated robot for microsurgery and stereotaxy. Two range-finding algorithms, namely time-of-flight and phase-shift, are evaluated for registration and supervisory control. The time-of-flight approach is implemented in a semi-field experiment to determine the precise position of a tiny retro-reflective moving object. The moving object simulates a surgical tool tip. The tool is a target that would be connected to the neuroArm end-effector during surgery inside the magnet bore of the MR imaging system. In order to apply flight approach, a 905-nm pulsed laser diode and an avalanche photodiode are utilized as the transmitter and receiver, respectively. For the experiment, a high frequency time to digital converter was designed using a field-programmable gate arrays. In the phase-shift approach, a continuous green laser beam with a wavelength of 530 nm was used as the transmitter. Results showed that a positioning error of 0.1 mm occurred when the scanner-target point distance was set in the range of 2.5 to 3 meters. The effectiveness of this non-contact approach exhibited that the method could be employed as an alternative for conventional mechanical registration arm. Furthermore, the approach is not limited by physical contact and extension of joint angles.

Paper Detail
45
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4430
10007601
Comparison of ANN and Finite Element Model for the Prediction of Ultimate Load of Thin-Walled Steel Perforated Sections in Compression
Abstract:
The analysis of perforated steel members is a 3D problem in nature, therefore the traditional analytical expressions for the ultimate load of thin-walled steel sections cannot be used for the perforated steel member design. In this study, finite element method (FEM) and artificial neural network (ANN) were used to simulate the process of stub column tests based on specific codes. Results show that compared with those of the FEM model, the ultimate load predictions obtained from ANN technique were much closer to those obtained from the physical experiments. The ANN model for the solving the hard problem of complex steel perforated sections is very promising.
Paper Detail
34
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4429
10007623
Non Destructive Testing for Evaluation of Defects and Interfaces in Metal Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Hybrids
Abstract:

In this work, different non-destructive testing methods for the characterization of defects and interfaces are presented. It is shown that, by means of active thermography, defects in the interface and in the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) itself can be detected and determined. The bonding of metal and thermoplastic can be characterized very well by ultrasonic testing with electromagnetic acoustic transducers (EMAT). Mechanical testing is combined with passive thermography to correlate mechanical values with the defect-size. There is also a comparison between active and passive thermography. Mechanical testing shows the influence of different defects. Furthermore, a correlation of defect-size and loading to rupture was performed.

 

Paper Detail
48
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4428
10007650
Riding the Crest of the Wave: Inclusive Education in New Zealand
Abstract:
In 1996, the New Zealand government and the Ministry of Education announced that they were setting up a "world class system of inclusive education". As a parent of a son with high and complex needs, a teacher, school Principal and Disability studies Lecturer, this author will track the changes in the journey towards inclusive education over the last 20 years. Strategies for partnering with families to ensure educational success along with insights from one of those on the crest of the wave will be presented. Using a narrative methodology the author will illuminate how far New Zealand has come towards this world class system of inclusion promised and share from personal experience some of the highlights and risks in the system. This author has challenged the old structures and been part of the setting up of new structures particularly for providing parent voice and insight; this paper provides a unique view from an insider’s voice as well as a professional in the system.
Paper Detail
40
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4427
10007672
Resistive Switching Characteristics of Resistive Random Access Memory Devices after Furnace Annealing Processes
Abstract:

In this study, the RRAM devices with the TiN/Ti/HfOx/TiN structure were fabricated, then the electrical characteristics of the devices without annealing and after 400 °C and 500 °C of the furnace annealing (FA) temperature processes were compared. The RRAM devices after the FA’s 400 °C showed the lower forming, set and reset voltages than the other devices without annealing. However, the RRAM devices after the FA’s 500 °C did not show any electrical characteristics because the TiN/Ti/HfOx/TiN device was oxidized, as shown in the XPS analysis. From these results, the RRAM devices after the FA’s 400 °C showed the best electrical characteristics.

Paper Detail
38
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4426
10007730
Parametric Analysis of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Using Lattice Boltzmann Method
Abstract:

The present paper deals with a numerical simulation of temperature field inside a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) components. The temperature distribution is investigated using a co-flow planar SOFC comprising the air and fuel channel and two-ceramic electrodes, anode and cathode, separated by a dense ceramic electrolyte. The Lattice Boltzmann method (LBM) is used for the numerical simulation of the physical problem. The effects of inlet temperature, anode thermal conductivity and current density on temperature distribution are discussed. It was found that temperature distribution is very sensitive to the inlet temperature and the current density.

Paper Detail
35
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4425
10007731
Comparison of Physical and Chemical Properties of Micro-Silica and Locally Produced Metakaolin and Effect on the Properties of Concrete
Abstract:

The properties of locally produced metakaolin (MK) as cement replacing material and the comparison of reactivity with commercially available micro-silica have been investigated. Compressive strength, splitting tensile strength, and load-deflection behaviour under bending are the properties that have been studied. The amorphous phase of MK with micro-silica was compared through X-ray diffraction (XRD) pattern. Further, interfacial transition zone of concrete with micro-silica and MK was observed through Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM). Three mixes of concrete were prepared. One of the mix is without cement replacement as control mix, and the remaining two mixes are 10% cement replacement with micro-silica and MK. It has been found that MK, due to its irregular structure and amorphous phase, has high reactivity with portlandite in concrete. The compressive strength at early age is higher with MK as compared to micro-silica. MK concrete showed higher splitting tensile strength and higher load carrying capacity as compared to control and micro-silica concrete at all ages respectively.

Paper Detail
31
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4424
10007733
Anticipation of Bending Reinforcement Based on Iranian Concrete Code Using Meta-Heuristic Tools
Abstract:

In this paper, different concrete codes including America, New Zealand, Mexico, Italy, India, Canada, Hong Kong, Euro Code and Britain are compared with the Iranian concrete design code. First, by using Adaptive Neuro Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS), the codes having the most correlation with the Iranian ninth issue of the national regulation are determined. Consequently, two anticipated methods are used for comparing the codes: Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Multi-variable regression. The results show that ANN performs better. Predicting is done by using only tensile steel ratio and with ignoring the compression steel ratio.

Paper Detail
35
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4423
10007734
Economic Optimization of Shell and Tube Heat Exchanger Using Nanofluid
Abstract:

Economic optimization of shell and tube heat exchanger (STHE) is presented in this paper. To increase the rate of heat transfer, copper oxide (CuO) nanoparticle is added into the tube side fluid and their optimum results are compared with the case of without additive nanoparticle. Total annual cost (TAC) is selected as fitness function and nine decision variables related to the heat exchanger parameters as well as concentration of nanoparticle are considered. Optimization results reveal the noticeable improvement in the TAC and in the case of heat exchanger working with nanofluid compared with the case of base fluid (8.9%). Comparison of the results between two studied cases also reveal that the lower tube diameter, tube number, and baffle spacing are needed in the case of heat exchanger working with nanofluid compared with the case of base fluid.

Paper Detail
35
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4422
10007738
Electrode Engineering for On-Chip Liquid Driving by Using Electrokinetic Effect
Abstract:

High lamination in microchannel is one of the main challenges in on-chip components like micro total analyzer systems and lab-on-a-chips. Electro-osmotic force is highly effective in chip-scale. This research proposes a microfluidic-based micropump for low ionic strength solutions. Narrow microchannels are designed to generate an efficient electroosmotic flow near the walls. Microelectrodes are embedded in the lateral sides and actuated by low electric potential to generate pumping effect inside the channel. Based on the simulation study, the fluid velocity increases by increasing the electric potential amplitude. We achieve a net flow velocity of 100 µm/s, by applying +/- 2 V to the electrode structures. Our proposed low voltage design is of interest in conventional lab-on-a-chip applications.

Paper Detail
30
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4421
10007777
Shear Behaviour of RC Deep Beams with Openings Strengthened with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer
Authors:
Abstract:

Construction industry is making progress at a high pace. The trend of the world is getting more biased towards the high rise buildings. Deep beams are one of the most common elements in modern construction having small span to depth ratio. Deep beams are mostly used as transfer girders. This experimental study consists of 16 reinforced concrete (RC) deep beams. These beams were divided into two groups; A and B. Groups A and B consist of eight beams each, having 381 mm (15 in) and 457 mm (18 in) depth respectively. Each group was further subdivided into four sub groups each consisting of two identical beams. Each subgroup was comprised of solid/control beam (without opening), opening above neutral axis (NA), at NA and below NA. Except for control beams, all beams with openings were strengthened with carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) vertical strips. These eight groups differ from each other based on depth and location of openings. For testing sake, all beams have been loaded with two symmetrical point loads. All beams have been designed based on strut and tie model concept. The outcome of experimental investigation elaborates the difference in the shear behaviour of deep beams based on depth and location of circular openings variation. 457 mm (18 in) deep beam with openings above NA show the highest strength and 381 mm (15 in) deep beam with openings below NA show the least strength. CFRP sheets played a vital role in increasing the shear capacity of beams.

Paper Detail
16
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4420
10007799
Optimization of the Co-Precipitation of Industrial Waste Metals in a Continuous Reactor System
Abstract:

A continuous copper precipitation treatment (CCPT) system was conceived at Intel Chandler Site to serve as a first-of-kind (FOK) facility-scale waste copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), and manganese (Mn) co-precipitation facility. The process was designed to treat highly variable wastewater discharged from a substrate packaging research factory. The paper discusses metals co-precipitation induced by internal changes for manufacturing facilities that lack the capacity for hardware expansion due to real estate restrictions, aggressive schedules, or budgetary constraints. Herein, operating parameters such as pH and oxidation reduction potential (ORP) were examined to analyze the ability of the CCPT System to immobilize various waste metals. Additionally, influential factors such as influent concentrations and retention times were investigated to quantify the environmental variability against system performance. A total of 2,027 samples were analyzed and statistically evaluated to measure the performance of CCPT that was internally retrofitted for Mn abatement to meet environmental regulations. In order to enhance the consistency of the influent, a separate holding tank was cannibalized from another system to collect and slow-feed the segregated Mn wastewater from the factory into CCPT. As a result, the baseline influent Mn decreased from 17.2+18.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 5.15+8.11 mg1L-1 post-pilot (70.1% reduction). Likewise, the pre-trial and post-trial average influent Cu values to CCPT were 52.0+54.6 mg1L-1 and 33.9+12.7 mg1L-1, respectively (34.8% reduction). However, the raw Ni content of 0.97+0.39 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot increased to 1.06+0.17 mg1L-1 at post-pilot. The average Mn output declined from 10.9+11.7 mg1L-1 at pre-pilot to 0.44+1.33 mg1L-1 at post-pilot (96.0% reduction) as a result of the pH and ORP operating setpoint changes. In similar fashion, the output Cu quality improved from 1.60+5.38 mg1L-1 to 0.55+1.02 mg1L-1 (65.6% reduction) while the Ni output sustained a 50% enhancement during the pilot study (0.22+0.19 mg1L-1 reduced to 0.11+0.06 mg1L-1). pH and ORP were shown to be significantly instrumental to the precipitative versatility of the CCPT System.

Paper Detail
11
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4419
10007815
Methods for Material and Process Monitoring by Characterization of (Second and Third Order) Elastic Properties with Lamb Waves
Abstract:

In accordance with the industry 4.0 concept, manufacturing process steps as well as the materials themselves are going to be more and more digitalized within the next years. The “digital twin” representing the simulated and measured dataset of the (semi-finished) product can be used to control and optimize the individual processing steps and help to reduce costs and expenditure of time in product development, manufacturing, and recycling. In the present work, two material characterization methods based on Lamb waves were evaluated and compared. For demonstration purpose, both methods were shown at a standard industrial product - copper ribbons, often used in photovoltaic modules as well as in high-current microelectronic devices. By numerical approximation of the Rayleigh-Lamb dispersion model on measured phase velocities second order elastic constants (Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio) were determined. Furthermore, the effective third order elastic constants were evaluated by applying elastic, “non-destructive”, mechanical stress on the samples. In this way, small microstructural variations due to mechanical preconditioning could be detected for the first time. Both methods were compared with respect to precision and inline application capabilities. Microstructure of the samples was systematically varied by mechanical loading and annealing. Changes in the elastic ultrasound transport properties were correlated with results from microstructural analysis and mechanical testing. In summary, monitoring the elastic material properties of plate-like structures using Lamb waves is valuable for inline and non-destructive material characterization and manufacturing process control. Second order elastic constants analysis is robust over wide environmental and sample conditions, whereas the effective third order elastic constants highly increase the sensitivity with respect to small microstructural changes. Both Lamb wave based characterization methods are fitting perfectly into the industry 4.0 concept.

Paper Detail
6
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4418
10007335
General Formula for Water Surface Profile over Side Weir in the Combined, Trapezoidal and Exponential, Channels
Abstract:

A side weir is a hydraulic structure set into the side of a channel. This structure is used for water level control in channels, to divert flow from a main channel into a side channel when the water level in the main channel exceeds a specific limit and as storm overflows from urban sewerage system. Computation of water surface over the side weirs is essential to determine the flow rate of the side weir. Analytical solutions for water surface profile along rectangular side weir are available only for the special cases of rectangular and trapezoidal channels considering constant specific energy. In this paper, a rectangular side weir located in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel was considered. Expanding binominal series of integer and fraction powers and the using of reduction formula of cosine function integrals, a general analytical formula was obtained for water surface profile along a side weir in a combined (trapezoidal with exponential) channel. Since triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal and parabolic cross-sections are special cases of the combined cross section, the derived formula, is applicable to triangular, rectangular, trapezoidal cross-sections as analytical solution and semi-analytical solution to parabolic cross-section with maximum relative error smaller than 0.76%. The proposed solution should be a useful engineering tool for the evaluation and design of side weirs in open channel.

Paper Detail
62
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4417
10007345
FEM Simulations to Study the Effects of Laser Power and Scan Speed on Molten Pool Size in Additive Manufacturing
Abstract:

Additive manufacturing (AM) is increasingly crucial in biomedical and aerospace industries. As a recently developed AM technique, selective laser melting (SLM) has become a commercial method for various manufacturing processes. However, the molten pool configuration during SLM of metal powders is a decisive issue for the product quality. It is very important to investigate the heat transfer characteristics during the laser heating process. In this work, the finite element method (FEM) software ANSYS® (work bench module 16.0) was used to predict the unsteady temperature distribution for resolving molten pool dimensions with consideration of temperature-dependent thermal physical properties of TiAl6V4 at different laser powers and scanning speeds. The simulated results of the temperature distributions illustrated that the ratio of laser power to scanning speed can greatly influence the size of molten pool of titanium alloy powder for SLM development.

Paper Detail
100
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4416
10007361
Parametric Design as an Approach to Respond to Complexity
Abstract:

A city is an intertwined texture from the relationship of different components in a whole which is united in a one, so designing the whole complex and its planning is not an easy matter. By considering that a city is a complex system with infinite components and communications, providing flexible layouts that can respond to the unpredictable character of the city, which is a result of its complexity, is inevitable. Parametric design approach as a new approach can produce flexible and transformative layouts in any stage of design. This study aimed to introduce parametric design as a modern approach to respond to complex urban issues by using descriptive and analytical methods. This paper firstly introduces complex systems and then giving a brief characteristic of complex systems. The flexible design and layout flexibility is another matter in response and simulation of complex urban systems that should be considered in design, which is discussed in this study. In this regard, after describing the nature of the parametric approach as a flexible approach, as well as a tool and appropriate way to respond to features such as limited predictability, reciprocating nature, complex communications, and being sensitive to initial conditions and hierarchy, this paper introduces parametric design.

Paper Detail
56
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4415
10007379
Digital Manufacturing: Evolution and a Process Oriented Approach to Align with Business Strategy
Abstract:

The paper intends to highlight the significance of Digital Manufacturing (DM) strategy in support and achievement of business strategy and goals of any manufacturing organization. Towards this end, DM initiatives have been given a process perspective, while not undermining its technological significance, with a view to link its benefits directly with fulfilment of customer needs and expectations in a responsive and cost-effective manner. A digital process model has been proposed to categorize digitally enabled organizational processes with a view to create synergistic groups, which adopt and use digital tools having similar characteristics and functionalities. This will throw future opportunities for researchers and developers to create a unified technology environment for integration and orchestration of processes. Secondly, an effort has been made to apply “what” and “how” features of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) framework to establish the relationship between customers’ needs – both for external and internal customers, and the features of various digital processes, which support for the achievement of these customer expectations. The paper finally concludes that in the present highly competitive environment, business organizations cannot thrive to sustain unless they understand the significance of digital strategy and integrate it with their business strategy with a clearly defined implementation roadmap. A process-oriented approach to DM strategy will help business executives and leaders to appreciate its value propositions and its direct link to organization’s competitiveness.

Paper Detail
80
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4414
10007405
Solving Process Planning and Scheduling with Number of Operation Plus Processing Time Due-Date Assignment Concurrently Using a Genetic Search
Abstract:
Traditionally process planning, scheduling and due date assignment are performed sequentially and separately. High interrelation between these functions makes integration very useful. Although there are numerous works on integrated process planning and scheduling and many works on scheduling with due date assignment, there are only a few works on the integration of these three functions. Here we tested the different integration levels of these three functions and found a fully integrated version as the best. We applied genetic search and random search and genetic search was found better compared to the random search. We penalized all earliness, tardiness and due date related costs. Since all these three terms are all undesired, it is better to penalize all of them.
Paper Detail
56
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4413
10007419
Surface Topography Measurement by Confocal Spectral Interferometry
Abstract:

Confocal spectral interferometry (CSI) is an innovative optical method for determining microtopography of surfaces and thickness of transparent layers, based on the combination of two optical principles: confocal imaging, and spectral interferometry. Confocal optical system images at each instant a single point of the sample. The whole surface is reconstructed by plan scanning. The interference signal generated by mixing two white-light beams is analyzed using a spectrometer. In this work, five ‘rugotests’ of known standard roughnesses are investigated. The topography is then measured and illustrated, and the equivalent roughness is determined and compared with the standard values.

Paper Detail
72
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4412
10007464
Interruption Overload in an Office Environment: Hungarian Survey Focusing on the Factors that Affect Job Satisfaction and Work Efficiency
Abstract:

On the one hand, new technologies and communication tools improve employee productivity and accelerate information and knowledge transfer, while on the other hand, information overload and continuous interruptions make it even harder to concentrate at work. It is a great challenge for companies to find the right balance, while there is also an ongoing demand to recruit and retain the talented employees who are able to adopt the modern work style and effectively use modern communication tools. For this reason, this research does not focus on the objective measures of office interruptions, but aims to find those disruption factors which influence the comfort and job satisfaction of employees, and the way how they feel generally at work. The focus of this research is on how employees feel about the different types of interruptions, which are those they themselves identify as hindering factors, and those they feel as stress factors. By identifying and then reducing these destructive factors, job satisfaction can reach a higher level and employee turnover can be reduced. During the research, we collected information from depth interviews and questionnaires asking about work environment, communication channels used in the workplace, individual communication preferences, factors considered as disruptions, and individual steps taken to avoid interruptions. The questionnaire was completed by 141 office workers from several types of workplaces based in Hungary. Even though 66 respondents are working at Hungarian offices of multinational companies, the research is about the characteristics of the Hungarian labor force. The most important result of the research shows that while more than one third of the respondents consider office noise as a disturbing factor, personal inquiries are welcome and considered useful, even if in such cases the work environment will not be convenient to solve tasks requiring concentration. Analyzing the sizes of the offices, in an open-space environment, the rate of those who consider office noise as a disturbing factor is surprisingly lower than in smaller office rooms. Opinions are more diverse regarding information communication technologies. In addition to the interruption factors affecting the employees' job satisfaction, the research also focuses on the role of the offices in the 21st century.

Paper Detail
68
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4411
10007480
A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra
Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Paper Detail
32
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4410
10007482
Low Energy Technology for Leachate Valorisation
Abstract:

Landfills present long-term threats to soil, air, groundwater and surface water due to the formation of greenhouse gases (methane gas and carbon dioxide) and leachate from decomposing garbage. The composition of leachate differs from site to site and also within the landfill. The leachates alter with time (from weeks to years) since the landfilled waste is biologically highly active and their composition varies. Mainly, the composition of the leachate depends on factors such as characteristics of the waste, the moisture content, climatic conditions, degree of compaction and the age of the landfill. Therefore, the leachate composition cannot be generalized and the traditional treatment models should be adapted in each case. Although leachate composition is highly variable, what different leachates have in common is hazardous constituents and their potential eco-toxicological effects on human health and on terrestrial ecosystems. Since leachate has distinct compositions, each landfill or dumping site would represent a different type of risk on its environment. Nevertheless, leachates consist always of high organic concentration, conductivity, heavy metals and ammonia nitrogen. Leachate could affect the current and future quality of water bodies due to uncontrolled infiltrations. Therefore, control and treatment of leachate is one of the biggest issues in urban solid waste treatment plants and landfills design and management. This work presents a treatment model that will be carried out "in-situ" using a cost-effective novel technology that combines solar evaporation/condensation plus forward osmosis. The plant is powered by renewable energies (solar energy, biomass and residual heat), which will minimize the carbon footprint of the process. The final effluent quality is very high, allowing reuse (preferred) or discharge into watercourses. In the particular case of this work, the final effluents will be reused for cleaning and gardening purposes. A minority semi-solid residual stream is also generated in the process. Due to its special composition (rich in metals and inorganic elements), this stream will be valorized in ceramic industries to improve the final products characteristics.

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Decision Making under Strict Uncertainty: Case Study in Sewer Network Planning
Abstract:

In decision making under strict uncertainty, decision makers have to choose a decision without any information about the states of nature. The classic criteria of Laplace, Wald, Savage, Hurwicz and Starr are introduced and compared in a case study of sewer network planning. Furthermore, results from different criteria are discussed and analyzed. Moreover, this paper discusses the idea that decision making under strict uncertainty (DMUSU) can be viewed as a two-player game and thus be solved by a solution concept in game theory: Nash equilibrium.

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49
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