Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: A. Sutherland

11 Harmonising the Circular Economy: An Analysis of 160 Papers

Authors: M. Novak, J. Dufourmount, D. Wildi, A. Sutherland, L. Sosa, J. Zimmer, E. Szabo


The circular economy has grounded itself amongst scholars and practitioners operating across governments and enterprises. The aim of this paper is to augment the circular economy concept by identifying common core and enabling circular business models. To this aim, we have analysed over 150 papers regarding circular activities and identified 8 clusters of business models and enablers. We have mapped and harmonised the most prominent frameworks conceptualising the circular economy. Our findings indicate that circular economy core business models include regenerative in addition to reduce, reuse and recycle activities. We further find enabling activities in design, digital technologies, knowledge development and sharing, multistakeholder collaborations, and extended corporate responsibility initiatives in various forms. We critically contrast the application of these business models across the European and African contexts. Overall, we find that seemingly varied circular economy definitions distill the same conceptual business models. We hope to contribute towards the coherence of the circular economy concept, and the continuous development of practical guidance to select and implement circular strategies.

Keywords: Circular economy, content analysis, business models, definitions, enablers, frameworks

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10 Children in Opera: Sociological and Musicological Trends

Authors: Andrew Sutherland


In many ways, opera is not a natural domain for children. It is hardly surprising that from the thousands of works, comparatively few include roles for children. There are several possibilities for this, the dramatic themes in opera are often about the human condition from the adult perspective; the need for developed voices to project in large, theatrical spaces underpinned by orchestral accompaniment does not naturally suit the child’s voice, and enabling children to cope with long runs of performances on top of their education requires vocal and physical stamina. In more recent times, the involvement of children contributes another layer of difficulty in terms of having access to young singers while adhering to laws that protect their working rights. Despite these points, children have been in opera since its inception in a variety of ways, but their contribution is often undervalued or ignored by musicologists and even the industry itself. In this paper, the phenomenon of children in opera from the late 16th century to the present day is explored through empirical, socio-musicological observations with reference to score analysis. Conclusions are drawn regarding the changing attitudes of composers when scoring for children’s voices in relation to societal developments. From the use of ‘kindertruppen’ in the pre-enlightenment period to Handel’s virtuosic writing for William Savage, to the darkness of the inter-war eras which saw a proliferation of operatic characters for children and the post-war era which saw children as the new frontier of building audiences for opera, the links between changes in society and the inclusion, portrayal and scoring for children in opera are largely congruent.

Keywords: children, musical analysis, opera, sociology

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9 Laser Registration and Supervisory Control of neuroArm Robotic Surgical System

Authors: Hamidreza Hoshyarmanesh, Hosein Madieh, Sanju Lama, Yaser Maddahi, Garnette R. Sutherland, Kourosh Zareinia


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.

Keywords: 3D laser scanner, intraoperative MR imaging, neuroArm, real time registration, robot-assisted surgery, supervisory control

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8 Accuracy/Precision Evaluation of Excalibur I: A Neurosurgery-Specific Haptic Hand Controller

Authors: Hamidreza Hoshyarmanesh, Benjamin Durante, Alex Irwin, Sanju Lama, Kourosh Zareinia, Garnette R. Sutherland


This study reports on a proposed method to evaluate the accuracy and precision of Excalibur I, a neurosurgery-specific haptic hand controller, designed and developed at Project neuroArm. Having an efficient and successful robot-assisted telesurgery is considerably contingent on how accurate and precise a haptic hand controller (master/local robot) would be able to interpret the kinematic indices of motion, i.e., position and orientation, from the surgeon’s upper limp to the slave/remote robot. A proposed test rig is designed and manufactured according to standard ASTM F2554-10 to determine the accuracy and precision range of Excalibur I at four different locations within its workspace: central workspace, extreme forward, far left and far right. The test rig is metrologically characterized by a coordinate measuring machine (accuracy and repeatability < ± 5 µm). Only the serial linkage of the haptic device is examined due to the use of the Structural Length Index (SLI). The results indicate that accuracy decreases by moving from the workspace central area towards the borders of the workspace. In a comparative study, Excalibur I performs on par with the PHANToM PremiumTM 3.0 and more accurate/precise than the PHANToM PremiumTM 1.5. The error in Cartesian coordinate system shows a dominant component in one direction (δx, δy or δz) for the movements on horizontal, vertical and inclined surfaces. The average error magnitude of three attempts is recorded, considering all three error components. This research is the first promising step to quantify the kinematic performance of Excalibur I.

Keywords: accuracy, advanced metrology, hand controller, precision, robot-assisted surgery, tele-operation, workspace

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7 Sustainable Adaptation: Social Equity and Local-Level Climate Adaptation Planning in U.S. Cities

Authors: Duran Fiack, Jeremy Cumberbatch, Michael Sutherland, Nadine Zerphey


Civic leaders have increasingly relied upon local climate adaptation plans to identify vulnerabilities, prioritize goals, and implement actions in order to prepare cities for the present and projected effects of global climate change. The concept of sustainability is central to these efforts, as climate adaptation discussions are often framed within the context of economic resilience, environmental protection, and the distribution of climate change impacts across various socioeconomic groups. For urban centers, the climate change issue presents unique challenges for each of these dimensions; however, its potential impacts on marginalized populations are extensive. This study draws from the ‘just sustainabilities’ framework to perform a qualitative analysis of climate adaptation plans prepared by 22 of the 100 largest U.S. cities and examine whether, and to what extent, such initiatives prioritize social equity improvements. Past research has found that the integration of sustainability in urban policy and planning often produces outcomes that favor environmental and economic objectives over social equity improvements. We find that social equity is a particularly prominent theme in local-level climate adaptation efforts, relative to environmental quality and economic development. The findings contribute to the literature on climate adaptation and sustainability within the urban context and offer practical insight for local-level stakeholders concerning potential obstacles and opportunities for the integration of social equity initiatives into climate adaptation planning. Given the likelihood that climate changes will continue to impose unique challenges for marginalized communities in urban areas, advancing our understanding of how social equity concerns are integrated into adaptation efforts is likely to become an increasingly critical area of inquiry.

Keywords: climate adaptation plan, climate change, social equity, sustainability

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6 A Microsurgery-Specific End-Effector Equipped with a Bipolar Surgical Tool and Haptic Feedback

Authors: Hamidreza Hoshyarmanesh, Sanju Lama, Garnette R. Sutherland


In tele-operative robotic surgery, an ideal haptic device should be equipped with an intuitive and smooth end-effector to cover the surgeon’s hand/wrist degrees of freedom (DOF) and translate the hand joint motions to the end-effector of the remote manipulator with low effort and high level of comfort. This research introduces the design and development of a microsurgery-specific end-effector, a gimbal mechanism possessing 4 passive and 1 active DOFs, equipped with a bipolar forceps and haptic feedback. The robust gimbal structure is comprised of three light-weight links/joint, pitch, yaw, and roll, each consisting of low-friction support and a 2-channel accurate optical position sensor. The third link, which provides the tool roll, was specifically designed to grip the tool prongs and accommodate a low mass geared actuator together with a miniaturized capstan-rope mechanism. The actuator is able to generate delicate torques, using a threaded cylindrical capstan, to emulate the sense of pinch/coagulation during conventional microsurgery. While the tool left prong is fixed to the rolling link, the right prong bears a miniaturized drum sector with a large diameter to expand the force scale and resolution. The drum transmits the actuator output torque to the right prong and generates haptic force feedback at the tool level. The tool is also equipped with a hall-effect sensor and magnet bar installed vis-à-vis on the inner side of the two prongs to measure the tooltip distance and provide an analogue signal to the control system. We believe that such a haptic end-effector could significantly increase the accuracy of telerobotic surgery and help avoid high forces that are known to cause bleeding/injury.

Keywords: end-effector, force generation, haptic interface, robotic surgery, surgical tool, tele-operation

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5 Computational Code for Solving the Navier-Stokes Equations on Unstructured Meshes Applied to the Leading Edge of the Brazilian Hypersonic Scramjet 14-X

Authors: Jayme R. T. Silva, Paulo G. P. Toro, Angelo Passaro, Giannino P. Camillo, Antonio C. Oliveira


An in-house C++ code has been developed, at the Prof. Henry T. Nagamatsu Laboratory of Aerothermodynamics and Hypersonics from the Institute of Advanced Studies (Brazil), to estimate the aerothermodynamic properties around the Hypersonic Vehicle Integrated to the Scramjet. In the future, this code will be applied to the design of the Brazilian Scramjet Technological Demonstrator 14-X B. The first step towards accomplishing this objective, is to apply the in-house C++ code at the leading edge of a flat plate, simulating the leading edge of the 14-X Hypersonic Vehicle, making possible the wave phenomena of oblique shock and boundary layer to be analyzed. The development of modern hypersonic space vehicles requires knowledge regarding the characteristics of hypersonic flows in the vicinity of a leading edge of lifting surfaces. The strong interaction between a shock wave and a boundary layer, in a high supersonic Mach number 4 viscous flow, close to the leading edge of the plate, considering no slip condition, is numerically investigated. The small slip region is neglecting. The study consists of solving the fluid flow equations for unstructured meshes applying the SIMPLE algorithm for Finite Volume Method. Unstructured meshes are generated by the in-house software ‘Modeler’ that was developed at Virtual’s Engineering Laboratory from the Institute of Advanced Studies, initially developed for Finite Element problems and, in this work, adapted to the resolution of the Navier-Stokes equations based on the SIMPLE pressure-correction scheme for all-speed flows, Finite Volume Method based. The in-house C++ code is based on the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations considering non-steady flow, with nobody forces, no volumetric heating, and no mass diffusion. Air is considered as calorically perfect gas, with constant Prandtl number and Sutherland's law for the viscosity. Solutions of the flat plate problem for Mach number 4 include pressure, temperature, density and velocity profiles as well as 2-D contours. Also, the boundary layer thickness, boundary conditions, and mesh configurations are presented. The same problem has been solved by the academic license of the software Ansys Fluent and for another C++ in-house code, which solves the fluid flow equations in structured meshes, applying the MacCormack method for Finite Difference Method, and the results will be compared.

Keywords: boundary-layer, scramjet, simple algorithm, shock wave

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4 Processes Controlling Release of Phosphorus (P) from Catchment Soils and the Relationship between Total Phosphorus (TP) and Humic Substances (HS) in Scottish Loch Waters

Authors: Xiaoyun Hui, Fiona Gentle, Clemens Engelke, Margaret C. Graham


Although past work has shown that phosphorus (P), an important nutrient, may form complexes with aqueous humic substances (HS), the principal component of natural organic matter, the nature of such interactions is poorly understood. Humic complexation may not only enhance P concentrations but it may change its bioavailability within such waters and, in addition, influence its transport within catchment settings. This project is examining the relationships and associations of P, HS, and iron (Fe) in Loch Meadie, Sutherland, North Scotland, a mesohumic freshwater loch which has been assessed as reference condition with respect to P. The aim is to identify characteristic spectroscopic parameters which can enhance the performance of the model currently used to predict reference condition TP levels for highly-coloured Scottish lochs under the Water Framework Directive. In addition to Loch Meadie, samples from other reference condition lochs in north Scotland and Shetland were analysed. By including different types of reference condition lochs (clear water, mesohumic and polyhumic water) this allowed the relationship between total phosphorus (TP) and HS to be more fully explored. The pH, [TP], [Fe], UV/Vis absorbance/spectra, [TOC] and [DOC] for loch water samples have been obtained using accredited methods. Loch waters were neutral to slightly acidic/alkaline (pH 6-8). [TP] in loch waters were lower than 50 µg L-1, and in Loch Meadie waters were typically <10 µg L-1. [Fe] in loch waters were mainly <0.6 mg L-1, but for some loch water samples, [Fe] were in the range 1.0-1.8 mg L-1and there was a positive correlation with [TOC] (r2=0.61). Lochs were classified as clear water, mesohumic or polyhumic based on water colour. The range of colour values of sampled lochs in each category were 0.2–0.3, 0.2–0.5 and 0.5–0.8 a.u. (10 mm pathlength), respectively. There was also a strong positive correlation between [DOC] and water colour (R2=0.84). The UV/Vis spectra (200-700 nm) for water samples were featureless with only a slight “shoulder” observed in the 270–290 nm region. Ultrafiltration was then used to separate colloidal and truly dissolved components from the loch waters and, since it contained the majority of aqueous P and Fe, the colloidal component was fractionated by gel filtration chromatography method. Gel filtration chromatographic fractionation of the colloids revealed two brown-coloured bands which had distinctive UV/Vis spectral features. The first eluting band had larger and more aromatic HS molecules than the second band, and in addition both P and Fe were primarily associated with the larger, more aromatic HS. This result demonstrated that P was able to form complexes with Fe-rich components of HS, and thus provided a scientific basis for the significant correlation between [Fe] and [TP] that the previous monitoring data of reference condition lochs from Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) showed. The distinctive features of the HS will be used as the basis for an improved spectroscopic tool.

Keywords: total phosphorus, humic substances, Scottish loch water, WFD model

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3 The Efficacy of Video Education to Improve Treatment or Illness-Related Knowledge in Patients with a Long-Term Physical Health Condition: A Systematic Review

Authors: Megan Glyde, Louise Dye, David Keane, Ed Sutherland


Background: Typically patient education is provided either verbally, in the form of written material, or with a multimedia-based tool such as videos, CD-ROMs, DVDs, or via the internet. By providing patients with effective educational tools, this can help to meet their information needs and subsequently empower these patients and allow them to participate within medical-decision making. Video education may have some distinct advantages compared to other modalities. For instance, whilst eHealth is emerging as a promising modality of patient education, an individual’s ability to access, read, and navigate through websites or online modules varies dramatically in relation to health literacy levels. Literacy levels may also limit patients’ ability to understand written education, whereas video education can be watched passively by patients and does not require high literacy skills. Other benefits of video education include that the same information is provided consistently to each patient, it can be a cost-effective method after the initial cost of producing the video, patients can choose to watch the videos by themselves or in the presence of others, and they can pause and re-watch videos to suit their needs. Health information videos are not only viewed by patients in formal educational sessions, but are increasingly being viewed on websites such as YouTube. Whilst there is a lot of anecdotal and sometimes misleading information on YouTube, videos from government organisations and professional associations contain trustworthy and high-quality information and could enable YouTube to become a powerful information dissemination platform for patients and carers. This systematic review will examine the efficacy of video education to improve treatment or illness-related knowledge in patients with various long-term conditions, in comparison to other modalities of education. Methods: Only studies which match the following criteria will be included: participants will have a long-term physical health condition, video education will aim to improve treatment or illness related knowledge and will be tested in isolation, and the study must be a randomised controlled trial. Knowledge will be the primary outcome measure, with modality preference, anxiety, and behaviour change as secondary measures. The searches have been conducted in the following databases: OVID Medline, OVID PsycInfo, OVID Embase, CENTRAL and ProQuest, and hand searching for relevant published and unpublished studies has also been carried out. Screening and data extraction will be conducted independently by 2 researchers. Included studies will be assessed for their risk of bias in accordance with Cochrane guidelines, and heterogeneity will also be assessed before deciding whether a meta-analysis is appropriate or not. Results and Conclusions: Appropriate synthesis of the studies in relation to each outcome measure will be reported, along with the conclusions and implications.

Keywords: long-term condition, patient education, systematic review, video

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2 Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) Performance Indicators Help Predict Outcomes of Matched Savings Program

Authors: Carlos M. Parra, Matthew Sutherland, Ranjita Poudel


Reduced mental-bandwidth related to low socioeconomic status (low-SES) might lead to impulsivity and risk-taking behavior, which poses as a major hurdle towards asset building (savings) behavior. Understanding the relationship between risk-related personality metrics as well as laboratory risk behavior and real-life savings behavior can help facilitate the development of effective asset building programs, which are vital for mitigating financial vulnerability and income inequality. As such, this study explored the relationship between personality metrics, laboratory behavior in a risky decision-making task and real-life asset building (savings) behaviors among individuals with low-SES from Miami, Florida (FL). Study participants (12 male, 15 female) included racially and ethnically diverse adults (mean age 41.22 ± 12.65 years), with incomplete higher education (18% had High School Diploma, 30% Associates, and 52% Some College), and low annual income (mean $13,872 ± $8020.43). Participants completed eight self-report surveys and played a widely used risky decision-making paradigm called the Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART). Specifically, participants played three runs of BART (20 trials in each run; total 60 trials). In addition, asset building behavior data was collected for 24 participants who opened and used savings accounts and completed a 6-month savings program that involved monthly matches, and a final reward for completing the savings program without any interim withdrawals. Each participant’s total savings at the end of this program was the main asset building indicator considered. In addition, a new effective use of average pump bet (EUAPB) indicator was developed to characterize each participant’s ability to place winning bets. This indicator takes the ratio of each participant’s total BART earnings to average pump bet (APB) in all 60 trials. Our findings indicated that EUAPB explained more than a third of the variation in total savings among participants. Moreover, participants who managed to obtain BART earnings of at least 30 cents out of their APB, also tended to exhibit better asset building (savings) behavior. In particular, using this criterion to separate participants into high and low EUAPB groups, the nine participants with high EUAPB (mean BART earnings of 35.64 cents per APB) ended up with higher mean total savings ($255.11), while the 15 participants with low EUAPB (mean BART earnings of 22.50 cents per APB) obtained lower mean total savings ($40.01). All mean differences are statistically significant (2-tailed p  .0001) indicating that the relation between higher EUAPB and higher total savings is robust. Overall, these findings can help refine asset building interventions implemented by policy makers and practitioners interested in reducing financial vulnerability among low-SES population. Specifically, by helping identify individuals who are likely to readily take advantage of savings opportunities (such as matched savings programs) and avoiding the stipulation of unnecessary and expensive financial coaching programs to these individuals. This study was funded by J.P. Morgan Chase (JPMC) and carried out by scientists from Florida International University (FIU) in partnership with Catalyst Miami.

Keywords: balloon analogue risk task (BART), matched savings programs, asset building capability, low-SES participants

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1 Pulmonary Complication of Chronic Liver Disease and the Challenges Identifying and Managing Three Patients

Authors: Aidan Ryan, Nahima Miah, Sahaj Kaur, Imogen Sutherland, Mohamed Saleh


Pulmonary symptoms are a common presentation to the emergency department. Due to a lack of understanding of the underlying pathophysiology, chronic liver disease is not often considered a cause of dyspnea. We present three patients who were admitted with significant respiratory distress secondary to hepatopulmonary syndrome, portopulmonary hypertension, and hepatic hydrothorax. The first is a 27-year-old male with a 6-month history of progressive dyspnea. The patient developed a severe type 1 respiratory failure with a PaO₂ of 6.3kPa and was escalated to critical care, where he was managed with non-invasive ventilation to maintain oxygen saturation. He had an agitated saline contrast echocardiogram, which showed the presence of a possible shunt. A CT angiogram revealed significant liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and large para esophageal varices. Ultrasound of the abdomen showed coarse liver echo patter and enlarged spleen. Along with these imaging findings, his biochemistry demonstrated impaired synthetic liver function with an elevated international normalized ratio (INR) of 1.4 and hypoalbuminaemia of 28g/L. The patient was then transferred to a tertiary center for further management. Further investigations confirmed a shunt of 56%, and liver biopsy confirmed cirrhosis suggestive of alpha-1-antitripsyin deficiency. The findings were consistent with a diagnosis of hepatopulmonary syndrome, and the patient is awaiting a liver transplant. The second patient is a 56-year-old male with a 12-month history of worsening dyspnoea, jaundice, confusion. His medical history included liver cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and grade 1 oesophageal varices secondary to significant alcohol excess. On admission, he developed a type 1 respiratory failure with PaO₂ of 6.8kPa requiring 10L of oxygen. CT pulmonary angiogram was negative for pulmonary embolism but showed evidence of chronic pulmonary hypertension, liver cirrhosis, and portal hypertension. An echocardiogram revealed a grossly dilated right heart with reduced function, pulmonary and tricuspid regurgitation, and pulmonary artery pressures estimated at 78mmHg. His biochemical markers showed impaired synthetic liver function with an INR of 3.2, albumin of 29g/L, along with raised bilirubin of 148mg/dL. During his long admission, he was managed with diuretics with little improvement. After three weeks, he was diagnosed with portopulmonary hypertension and was commenced on terlipressin. This resulted in successfully weaning off oxygen, and he was discharged home. The third patient is a 61-year-old male who presented to the local ambulatory care unit for therapeutic paracentesis on a background of decompensated liver cirrhosis. On presenting, he complained of a 2-day history of worsening dyspnoea and a productive cough. Chest x-ray showed a large pleural effusion, increasing in size over the previous eight months, and his abdomen was visibly distended with ascitic fluid. Unfortunately, the patient deteriorated, developing a larger effusion along with an increase in oxygen demand, and passed away. Without underlying cardiorespiratory disease, in the presence of a persistent pleural effusion with underlying decompensated cirrhosis, he was diagnosed with hepatic hydrothorax. While each presented with dyspnoea, the cause and underlying pathophysiology differ significantly from case to case. By describing these complications, we hope to improve awareness and aid prompt and accurate diagnosis, vital for improving outcomes.

Keywords: dyspnea, hepatic hydrothorax, hepatopulmonary syndrome, portopulmonary syndrome

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