Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

Search results for: Ali M. Alqahtani

23 Screening for Internet Addiction among Medical Students in a Saudi Community

Authors: Nawaf A. Alqahtani, Ali M. Alqahtani, Khalid A. Alqahtani, Huda S. Abdullfattah, Ebtehal A. Alessa, Khalid S. Al Gelban, Ossama A. Mostafa


Background: The internet is an exciting medium that is becoming an essential part of everyday life. Although the internet is fully observed in Saudi Arabia, young people may be vulnerable to problematic internet use, possibly leading to addiction. Aim of study: To explore the magnitude of internet addiction (IA) among medical students associated risk factors and its impact on students' academic achievement. Subjects and Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted in 2014 on 571 medical students (293 males and 278 females) at the College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia. Data Collection was done through using the Arabic version of the Compulsive Internet Use Scale and a checklist of demographic characteristics. Results: Age of participants ranged from 19 to 26 years (Mean+SD: 21.9+1.5 years). Internet access was available to 97.4% of students at home and to 80.2% of students at their mobile phones. The most frequently accessed websites by medical students were the social media (90.7%), scientific website (50.4%) and the news websites (31.3%). IA was mild in 47.8% of medical students while 5.8% had moderate IA. None of the students had severe IA. Prevalence of IA was significantly higher among female medical students (p=0.002), availability of internet at home (p=0.022), and availability of internet at the students' mobile phone (p=0.041). The mean General Point Average (GPA) was highest among students with mild IA (4.0+0.6), compared with 3.6+0.6 among those with moderate addiction, and 3.9+0.6 among those who did not show IA. Differences in mean GPA according to grade of IA were statistically significant ((P=0.001). Conclusions: Prevalence of IA is high among medical students in Saudi Arabia. Risk factors for IA include female gender, availability of internet at home or at the mobile phone. IA has a significant impact on students' GPA. Periodic screening of medical students for IA and raising their awareness toward the possible risk of IA are recommended.

Keywords: internet addiction, medical students, risk factors, Saudi Arabia

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22 Arabic Quran Search Tool Based on Ontology

Authors: Mohammad Alqahtani, Eric Atwell


This paper reviews and classifies most of the important types of search techniques that have been applied on the holy Quran. Then, it addresses the limitations in these techniques. Additionally, this paper surveys most existing Quranic ontologies and what are their deficiencies. Finally, it explains a new search tool called: A semantic search tool for Al Quran based on Qur’anic ontologies. This tool will overcome all limitations in the existing Quranic search applications.

Keywords: holy Quran, natural language processing (NLP), semantic search, information retrieval (IR), ontology

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21 The Job of Rhetoric in Public Relations Practice

Authors: Talal Alqahtani


For all institutions, either public or private, communication is important now more than ever. This is because the importance of communication has grown over the years, and it has the ability to either break or make an organization. With globalization, the changing technology, and other emergent issues that affect organizations, the communication given out has had to be better, sharper, and both proactive and reactive. This is the reason why the importance of public relations has been on the increase. Institutions realize the importance of having a good image and having public relations experts who can effectively manage communication in an institution easily in times of crisis. Public relations itself is not, however, effective, and this has led to the adoption of rhetoric in communication. Rhetoric use has had a long transformation because, in the past, it was only used in politics. Rhetoric in communication has come to be appreciated and adopted by many diverse fields and sectors. This study looks at the job of rhetoric in public relations practice and how it can identify with the administration of an institution's notoriety.

Keywords: communication, notoriety, rhetoric, public relation

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20 Using of Bimolecular Fluorescence Complementation (BiFC) Assays to Study Homo and/ or Heterodimerization of Laminin Receptor 37 LRP/ 67 LR with Galectin-3

Authors: Fulwah Alqahtani, Jafar Mahdavi, Lee Weldon, Nick Holliday, Dlawer Ala'Aldeen


There are two isoforms of laminin receptor; monomeric 37 kDa laminin receptor precursor (37 LRP) and mature 67 kDa laminin receptor (67 LR). The relationship between the 67 LR and its precursor 37 LRP is not completely understood, but previous observations have suggested that 37 LRP can undergo homo- and/or hetero- dimerization with Galectin-3 (Gal-3) to form mature 67 LR. Gal-3 is the only member of the chimera-type group of galectins, and has one C-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) that is responsible for binding the ß-galactoside moieties of mono- or oligosaccharides on several host and microbial molecules. The aim of this work was to investigate homo- and hetero-dimerization among the 37 LRP and Gal-3 to form mature 67 LR in mammalian cells using bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC).

Keywords: 37 LRP, 67 LR, Gal-3, BiFC

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19 Construction of Green Aggregates from Waste Processing

Authors: Fahad K. Alqahtani


Nowadays construction industry is developing means to incorporate waste products in concrete to ensure sustainability. To meet the need of construction industry, a synthetic aggregate was developed using optimized technique called compression moulding press technique. The manufactured aggregate comprises mixture of plastic, waste which acts as binder, together with by-product waste which acts as fillers. The physical properties and microstructures of the inert materials and the manufactured aggregate were examined and compared with the conventional available aggregates. The outcomes suggest that the developed aggregate has potential to be used as substitution of conventional aggregate due to its less weight and water absorption. The microstructure analysis confirmed the efficiency of the manufacturing process where the final product has the same mixture of binder and filler.

Keywords: fly ash, plastic waste, quarry fine, red sand, synthetic aggregate

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18 A Taxonomy of Routing Protocols in Wireless Sensor Networks

Authors: A. Kardi, R. Zagrouba, M. Alqahtani


The Internet of Everything (IoE) presents today a very attractive and motivating field of research. It is basically based on Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs) in which the routing task is the major analysis topic. In fact, it directly affects the effectiveness and the lifetime of the network. This paper, developed from recent works and based on extensive researches, proposes a taxonomy of routing protocols in WSNs. Our main contribution is that we propose a classification model based on nine classes namely application type, delivery mode, initiator of communication, network architecture, path establishment (route discovery), network topology (structure), protocol operation, next hop selection and latency-awareness and energy-efficient routing protocols. In order to provide a total classification pattern to serve as reference for network designers, each class is subdivided into possible subclasses, presented, and discussed using different parameters such as purposes and characteristics.

Keywords: routing, sensor, survey, wireless sensor networks, WSNs

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17 The Role of Access Control Techniques in Creating a Safe Cyberspace for Children

Authors: Sara Muslat Alsahali, Nout Mohammed Alqahtani


Digital technology has changed the world, and with the increasing number of children accessing the Internet, it has now become an integral part of children's lives from their early years. With the rapid development of digital technology, the risks children face on the internet also evolve from cyberbullying to misuse, sexual exploitation, and abuse of their private information over the Internet. Digital technology, with its advantages and disadvantages, is now a fact of our life. Therefore, knowledge of how to reduce its risks and maximize its benefits will help shape the growth and future of a new generation of digital citizens. This paper will discuss access control techniques that help to create secure cyberspace where children can be safe without depriving them of their rights and freedom to use the internet and preventing them from its benefits. Also, it sheds light on its challenges and problems by classifying the methods of parental controlling into two possibilities asynchronous and synchronous techniques and choosing YouTube as a case study of access control techniques.

Keywords: access control, cyber security, kids, parental monitoring

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16 Design and Optimization of a Customized External Fixation Device for Lower Limb Injuries

Authors: Mohammed S. Alqahtani, Paulo J. Bartolo


External fixation is a common technique for the treatment and stabilization of bone fractures. Different designs have been proposed by companies and research groups, but all of them present limitations such as high weight, not comfortable to use, and not customized to individual patients. This paper proposes a lightweight customized external fixator, overcoming some of these limitations. External fixators are designed using a set of techniques such as medical imaging, CAD modelling, finite element analysis, and full factorial design of experiments. Key design parameters are discussed, and the optimal set of parameters is used to design the final external fixator. Numerical simulations are used to validate design concepts. Results present an optimal external fixation design with weight reduction of 13% without compromising its stiffness and structural integrity. External fixators are also designed to be additively manufactured, allowing to develop a strategy for personalization.

Keywords: computer-aided design modelling, external fixation, finite element analysis, full factorial, personalization

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15 Clarification of the Essential of Life Cycle Cost upon Decision-Making Process: An Empirical Study in Building Projects

Authors: Ayedh Alqahtani, Andrew Whyte


Life Cycle Cost (LCC) is one of the goals and key pillars of the construction management science because it comprises many of the functions and processes necessary, which assist organisations and agencies to achieve their goals. It has therefore become important to design and control assets during their whole life cycle, from the design and planning phase through to disposal phase. LCCA is aimed to improve the decision making system in the ownership of assets by taking into account all the cost elements including to the asset throughout its life. Current application of LCC approach is impractical during misunderstanding of the advantages of LCC. This main objective of this research is to show a different relationship between capital cost and long-term running costs. One hundred and thirty eight actual building projects in United Kingdom (UK) were used in order to achieve and measure the above-mentioned objective of the study. The result shown that LCC is one of the most significant tools should be considered on the decision making process.

Keywords: building projects, capital cost, life cycle cost, maintenance costs, operation costs

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14 Adversarial Disentanglement Using Latent Classifier for Pose-Independent Representation

Authors: Hamed Alqahtani, Manolya Kavakli-Thorne


The large pose discrepancy is one of the critical challenges in face recognition during video surveillance. Due to the entanglement of pose attributes with identity information, the conventional approaches for pose-independent representation lack in providing quality results in recognizing largely posed faces. In this paper, we propose a practical approach to disentangle the pose attribute from the identity information followed by synthesis of a face using a classifier network in latent space. The proposed approach employs a modified generative adversarial network framework consisting of an encoder-decoder structure embedded with a classifier in manifold space for carrying out factorization on the latent encoding. It can be further generalized to other face and non-face attributes for real-life video frames containing faces with significant attribute variations. Experimental results and comparison with state of the art in the field prove that the learned representation of the proposed approach synthesizes more compelling perceptual images through a combination of adversarial and classification losses.

Keywords: disentanglement, face detection, generative adversarial networks, video surveillance

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13 The Potential Threat of Cyberterrorism to the National Security: Theoretical Framework

Authors: Abdulrahman S. Alqahtani


The revolution of computing and networks could revolutionise terrorism in the same way that it has brought about changes in other aspects of life. The modern technological era has faced countries with a new set of security challenges. There are many states and potential adversaries who have the potential and capacity in cyberspace, which makes them able to carry out cyber-attacks in the future. Some of them are currently conducting surveillance, gathering and analysis of technical information, and mapping of networks and nodes and infrastructure of opponents, which may be exploited in future conflicts. This poster presents the results of the quantitative study (survey) to test the validity of the proposed theoretical framework for the cyber terrorist threats. This theoretical framework will help to in-depth understand these new digital terrorist threats. It may also be a practical guide for managers and technicians in critical infrastructure, to understand and assess the threats they face. It might also be the foundation for building a national strategy to counter cyberterrorism. In the beginning, it provides basic information about the data. To purify the data, reliability and exploratory factor analysis, as well as confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed. Then, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was utilised to test the final model of the theory and to assess the overall goodness-of-fit between the proposed model and the collected data set.

Keywords: cyberterrorism, critical infrastructure, , national security, theoretical framework, terrorism

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12 238U, 40K, 226Ra, 222Rn and Trace Metals in Chemical Fertilizers in Saudi Arabia Markets

Authors: Fatimh Alshahri, Muna Alqahtani


The specific activities of 238U, 226Ra, 40K and 222Rn in chemical fertilizers were measured using gamma ray spectrometer and Cr-39 detector. In this study 21 chemical fertilizers were collected from Eastern Saudi Arabia markets. The specific activities of 238U ranged from 23 ± 0.5 to 3900 ± 195 Bq kgˉ¹, 226Ra ranged from 5.6 ± 2.8 to 392 ± 18 Bq kgˉ¹ and 40K ranged from 18.4 ± 3 to 16476 ± 820 Bq kgˉ¹. The radon concentrations and the radon exhalation rates were found to vary from 3.2 ± 1.2 to 1531.6 ± 160 Bq mˉ³ and from 1.6 to 773.7 mBq mˉ² hˉ¹, respectively. Radium equivalent activities (Raeq) were calculated for the analyzed samples to assess the radiation hazards arising due to the use of these chemical fertilizers in the agriculture soil. The Raeq for Six local samples (NPK and SSP) and one imported sample (SOP) were greater than the acceptable value 370 Bq kgˉ¹. The total air absorbed doses rates in air 1 m above the ground (D) were calculated for all samples. All samples, except one imported granule sample (DAP), were higher than the estimated average global terrestrial radiation of 55 nGy hˉ¹. The highest annual effective dose was in TSP fertilizers (2.1 mSvyˉ¹). The results show that the local TSP, imported SOP and local NPK (sample 13) fertilizers were unacceptable for use as fertilizers in agricultural soil. Furthermore, the toxic elements and trace metals (Pb, Cd, Cr, Co, Ni, Hg and As) were determined using atomic absorption spectrometer. The concentrations of chromium in chemical fertilizers were higher than the global values.

Keywords: chemical fertilizers, 238U, 222Rn, trace metals, Saudi Arabia

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11 Electromyographic Analysis of Trunk Muscle Activity of Healthy Individuals While Catching a Ball on Three Different Seating Surfaces

Authors: Hanan H. ALQahtani, Karen Jones


Catching a ball during sitting is a functional exercise commonly used in rehabilitation to enhance trunk muscle activity. To progress this exercise, physiotherapists incorporate a Swiss ball or change seat height. However, no study has assessed the effect of different seating surfaces on trunk muscle activity while catching a ball. Objective: To investigate the effect of catching a ball during sitting on a Swiss ball, a low seat and a high seat on trunk muscle activity. Method: A repeated-measures, counterbalanced design was used. A total of 26 healthy participants (15 female and 11 male) performed three repetitions of catching a ball on each seating surface. Using surface electromyography (sEMG), the activity of the bilateral transversus abdominis/internal oblique (TrA/IO), rectus abdominis (RA), erector spinae (ES) and lumbar multifidus (MF) was recorded. Trunk muscle activity was normalized using maximum voluntary isometric contraction and analyzed. Statistical significance was set at p ≤ .05. Results: No significant differences were observed in the activity of RA, TrA/IO, ES or MF between a low seat and a Swiss ball. However, the activity of the right and left ES on a low seat was significantly greater than on a high seat (p = .017 and p = .017, respectively). Conversely, the activity of the right and left RA on a high seat was significantly greater than on a low seat (p = .007 and p = .004, respectively). Conclusion: This study suggests that replacing a low seat with a Swiss ball while catching a ball is insufficient to increase trunk muscle activity, whereas changing the seat height could induce different trunk muscle activities. However, research conducted on patients is needed before translating these results into clinical settings.

Keywords: catching, electromyography, seating, trunk

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10 The Impact of Language Anxiety on EFL Learners' Proficiency: Case Study of University of Jeddah

Authors: Saleh Mohammad Alqahtani


Foreign language Anxiety has been found to be a key issue in learning English as foreign language in the classroom. This study investigated the impact of foreign language anxiety on Saudi EFL learners' proficiency in the classroom. A total of 197 respondents had participated in the study, comprising of 96 male and 101 female, who enrolled in preparatory year, first year, second year, and fourth year of English language department at the University of Jeddah. Two instruments were used to answer the study questions. The Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) was used to identify the levels of foreign language (FL) anxiety for Saudi learners. Moreover, an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test was used as an objective measure of the learners’ English language proficiency. The data were analyzed using descriptive analyses, t-test, one-way ANOVA, correlation, and regression analysis. The findings revealed that Saudi EFL learners' experience a level of anxiety in the classroom, and there is a significant differences between the course levels in their level of language anxiety. Moreover, it is also found that female students are less anxious in learning English as a foreign language than male students. The results show that foreign language anxiety and English proficiency are negatively related to each other. Furthermore, the study revealed that there were significant differences between Saudi learners in language use anxiety, while there were no significant differences in language class anxiety. The study suggested that teachers should employ a diversity of designed techniques to encourage the environment of the classroom in order to control learners’ FLA, which in turns will improve their EFL proficiency.

Keywords: foreign language anxiety, FLA, language use anxiety, language class anxiety, gender, L2 proficiency

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9 Iron Catalyst for Decomposition of Methane: Influence of Al/Si Ratio Support

Authors: A. S. Al-Fatesh, A. A. Ibrahim, A. M. AlSharekh, F. S. Alqahtani, S. O. Kasim, A. H. Fakeeha


Hydrogen is the expected future fuel since it produces energy without any pollution. It can be used as a fuel directly or through the fuel cell. It is also used in chemical and petrochemical industry as reducing agent or in hydrogenation processes. It is produced by different methods such as reforming of hydrocarbon, electrolytic method and methane decomposition. The objective of the present paper is to study the decomposition of methane reaction at 700°C and 800°C. The catalysts were prepared via impregnation method using 20%Fe and different proportions of combined alumina and silica support using the following ratios [100%, 90%, 80%, and 0% Al₂O₃/SiO₂]. The prepared catalysts were calcined and activated at 600 OC and 500 OC respectively. The reaction was carried out in fixed bed reactor at atmospheric pressure using 0.3g of catalyst and feed gas ratio of 1.5/1 CH₄/N₂ with a total flow rate 25 mL/min. Catalyst characterizations (TPR, TGA, BET, XRD, etc.) have been employed to study the behavior of catalysts before and after the reaction. Moreover, a brief description of the weight loss and the CH₄ conversions versus time on stream relating the different support ratios over 20%Fe/Al₂O₃/SiO₂ catalysts has been added as well. The results of TGA analysis provided higher weights losses for catalysts operated at 700°C than 800°C. For the 90% Al₂O₃/SiO₂, the activity decreases with the time on stream using 800°C reaction temperature from 73.9% initial CH₄ conversion to 46.3% for a period of 300min, whereas the activity for the same catalyst increases from 47.1% to 64.8% when 700°C reaction temperature is employed. Likewise, for 80% Al₂O₃/SiO₂ the trend of activity is similar to that of 90% Al₂O₃/SiO₂ but with a different rate of activity variation. It can be inferred from the activity results that the ratio of Al₂O₃ to SiO₂ is crucial and it is directly proportional with the activity. Whenever the Al/Si ratio decreases the activity declines. Indeed, the CH₄ conversion of 100% SiO₂ support was less than 5%.

Keywords: Al₂O₃, SiO₂, CH₄ decomposition, hydrogen, iron

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8 Floating Oral in Situ Gelling System of Anticancer Drug

Authors: Umme Hani, Mohammed Rahmatulla, Mohammed Ghazwani, Ali Alqahtani, Yahya Alhamhoom


Background and introduction: Neratinib is a potent anticancer drug used for the treatment of breast cancer. It is poorly soluble at higher pH, which tends to minimize the therapeutic effects in the lower gastrointestinal tract (GIT) leading to poor bioavailability. An attempt has been made to prepare and develop a gastro-retentive system of Neratinib to improve the drug bioavailability in the GIT by enhancing the gastric retention time. Materials and methods: In the present study a three-factor at two-level (23) factorial design based optimization was used to inspect the effects of three independent variables (factors) such as sodium alginate (A), sodium bicarbonate (B) and sodium citrate (C) on the dependent variables like in vitro gelation, in vitro floating, water uptake and percentage drug release. Results: All the formulations showed pH in the range 6.7 ±0.25 to 7.4 ±0.24, percentage drug content was observed to be 96.3±0.27 to 99.5 ±0.28%, in vitro gelation observed as gelation immediate remains for an extended period. Percentage of water uptake was in the range between 9.01±0.15 to 31.01±0.25%, floating lag time was estimated form 7±0.39 to 57±0.36 sec. F4 and F5 showed floating even after 12hrs. All formulations showed a release of around 90% drug release within 12hr. It was observed that the selected independent variables affect the dependent variables. Conclusion: The developed system may be a promising and alternative approach to augment gastric retention of drugs and enhances the therapeutic efficacy of the drug.

Keywords: neratinib, 2³ factorial design, sodium alginate, floating, in situ gelling system

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7 Effect of Depth on Texture Features of Ultrasound Images

Authors: M. A. Alqahtani, D. P. Coleman, N. D. Pugh, L. D. M. Nokes


In diagnostic ultrasound, the echo graphic B-scan texture is an important area of investigation since it can be analyzed to characterize the histological state of internal tissues. An important factor requiring consideration when evaluating ultrasonic tissue texture is the depth. The effect of attenuation with depth of ultrasound, the size of the region of interest, gain, and dynamic range are important variables to consider as they can influence the analysis of texture features. These sources of variability have to be considered carefully when evaluating image texture as different settings might influence the resultant image. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect of depth on the texture features in-vivo using a 3D ultrasound probe. The left leg medial head of the gastrocnemius muscle of 10 healthy subjects were scanned. Two regions A and B were defined at different depth within the gastrocnemius muscle boundary. The size of both ROI’s was 280*20 pixels and the distance between region A and B was kept constant at 5 mm. Texture parameters include gray level, variance, skewness, kurtosis, co-occurrence matrix; run length matrix, gradient, autoregressive (AR) model and wavelet transform were extracted from the images. The paired t –test was used to test the depth effect for the normally distributed data and the Wilcoxon–Mann-Whitney test was used for the non-normally distributed data. The gray level, variance, and run length matrix were significantly lowered when the depth increased. The other texture parameters showed similar values at different depth. All the texture parameters showed no significant difference between depths A and B (p > 0.05) except for gray level, variance and run length matrix (p < 0.05). This indicates that gray level, variance, and run length matrix are depth dependent.

Keywords: ultrasound image, texture parameters, computational biology, biomedical engineering

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6 An Exploratory Study of E-Learning Stakeholders’ Experiences of Developing, Implementing and Enhancing E-Courses in One Saudi University

Authors: Zahra Alqahtani


The use of e-learning technologies is gaining momentum in all educational institutions of the world, including Saudi universities. In the e-learning context, there is a growing need and concern among Saudi universities to improve and enhance quality assurance for e-learning systems. Practicing quality assurance activities and applying quality standards in e-learning in Saudi universities is thought to reduce the negative viewpoints of some stakeholders and ensure stakeholders’ satisfaction and needs. As a contribution to improving the quality of e-learning method in Saudi universities, the main purpose of this study is to explore and investigate strategies for the development of quality assurance in e-learning in one university in Saudi Arabia, which is considered a good reference university using the best and ongoing practices in e-learning systems among Saudi universities. In order to ensure the quality of its e-learning methods, Saudi university has adopted Quality Matters Standards as a controlling guide for the quality of its blended and full e-course electronic courses. Furthermore, quality assurance can be further improved if a variety of perspectives are taken into consideration from the comprehensive viewpoints of faculty members, administrative staff, and students.This qualitative research involved the use of different types of interviews, as well as documents that contain data related to e-learning methods in the Saudi university environment. This exploratory case study was undertaken, from the perspectives of various participants, to understand the phenomenon of quality assurance using an inductive technique.The results revealed six main supportive factors that assist in ensuring the quality of e-learning in the Saudi university environment. Essentially, these factors are institutional support, faculty member support, evaluation of faculty, quality of e-course design, technology support, and student support, which together have a remarkable positive effect on quality, forming intrinsic columns connected by bricks leading to quality e-learning. Quality Matters standards are considered to have a strong impact on improving faculty members' skills and on the development of high-quality blended and full e-courses.

Keywords: E-learning, quality assurance, quality matters standards, KKU-supportive factors

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5 Implementing Quality Function Deployment Tool for a Customer Driven New Product Development in a Kuwait SME

Authors: Asma AlQahtani, Jumana AlHadad, Maryam AlQallaf, Shoug AlHasan


New product development (NPD) is the complete process of bringing a new product to the customer by integrating the two broad divisions; one involving the idea generation, product design and detail engineering; and the other involving market research and marketing analysis. It is a common practice for companies to undertake some of these tasks simultaneously (concurrent engineering) and also consider them as an ongoing process (continuous development). The current study explores the framework and methodology for a new product development process utilizing the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) tool for bringing the customer opinion into the product development process. An elaborate customer survey with focus groups in the region was carried out to ensure that customer requirements are integrated into new products as early as the design stage including identifying the recognition of need for the new product. A QFD Matrix (House of Quality) was prepared that links customer requirements to product engineering requirements and a feasibility study and risk assessment exercise was carried out for a Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) in Kuwait for development of the new product. SMEs in Kuwait, particularly in manufacturing sector are mainly focused on serving the local demand, and often lack of product quality adversely affects the ability of the companies to compete on a regional/global basis. Further, lack of focus on identifying customer requirements often deters SMEs to envisage the idea of a New Product Development. The current study therefore focuses in utilizing QFD Matrix right from the conceptual design to detail design and to some extent, extending the link this to design of the manufacturing system. The outcome of the project resulted in a development of the prototype for a new molded product which can ensure consistency between the customer’s requirements and the measurable characteristics of the product. The Engineering Economics and Cost studies were also undertaken to analyse the viability of the new product, the results of which was also linked to the successful implementation of the initial QFD Matrix.

Keywords: Quality Function Deployment, QFD Matrix, new product development, NPD, Kuwait SMEs, prototype development

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4 Implementation of Quality Function Development to Incorporate Customer’s Value in the Conceptual Design Stage of a Construction Projects

Authors: Ayedh Alqahtani


Many construction firms in Saudi Arabia dedicated to building projects agree that the most important factor in the real estate market is the value that they can give to their customer. These firms understand the value of their client in different ways. Value can be defined as the size of the building project in relationship to the cost or the design quality of the materials utilized in finish work or any other features of building rooms such as the bathroom. Value can also be understood as something suitable for the money the client is investing for the new property. A quality tool is required to support companies to achieve a solution for the building project and to understand and manage the customer’s needs. Quality Function Development (QFD) method will be able to play this role since the main difference between QFD and other conventional quality management tools is QFD a valuable and very flexible tool for design and taking into the account the VOC. Currently, organizations and agencies are seeking suitable models able to deal better with uncertainty, and that is flexible and easy to use. The primary aim of this research project is to incorporate customer’s requirements in the conceptual design of construction projects. Towards this goal, QFD is selected due to its capability to integrate the design requirements to meet the customer’s needs. To develop QFD, this research focused upon the contribution of the different (significantly weighted) input factors that represent the main variables influencing QFD and subsequent analysis of the techniques used to measure them. First of all, this research will review the literature to determine the current practice of QFD in construction projects. Then, the researcher will review the literature to define the current customers of residential projects and gather information on customers’ requirements for the design of the residential building. After that, qualitative survey research will be conducted to rank customer’s needs and provide the views of stakeholder practitioners about how these needs can affect their satisfy. Moreover, a qualitative focus group with the members of the design team will be conducted to determine the improvements level and technical details for the design of residential buildings. Finally, the QFD will be developed to establish the degree of significance of the design’s solution.

Keywords: quality function development, construction projects, Saudi Arabia, quality tools

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3 One-Step Synthesis and Characterization of Biodegradable ‘Click-Able’ Polyester Polymer for Biomedical Applications

Authors: Wadha Alqahtani


In recent times, polymers have seen a great surge in interest in the field of medicine, particularly chemotherapeutics. One recent innovation is the conversion of polymeric materials into “polymeric nanoparticles”. These nanoparticles can be designed and modified to encapsulate and transport drugs selectively to cancer cells, minimizing collateral damage to surrounding healthy tissues, and improve patient quality of life. In this study, we have synthesized pseudo-branched polyester polymers from bio-based small molecules, including sorbitol, glutaric acid and a propargylic acid derivative to further modify the polymer to make it “click-able" with an azide-modified target ligand. Melt polymerization technique was used for this polymerization reaction, using lipase enzyme catalyst NOVO 435. This reaction was conducted between 90- 95 °C for 72 hours. The polymer samples were collected in 24-hour increments for characterization and to monitor reaction progress. The resulting polymer was purified with the help of methanol dissolving and filtering with filter paper then characterized via NMR, GPC, FTIR, DSC, TGA and MALDI-TOF. Following characterization, these polymers were converted to a polymeric nanoparticle drug delivery system using solvent diffusion method, wherein DiI optical dye and chemotherapeutic drug Taxol can be encapsulated simultaneously. The efficacy of the nanoparticle’s apoptotic effects were analyzed in-vitro by incubation with prostate cancer (LNCaP) and healthy (CHO) cells. MTT assays and fluorescence microscopy were used to assess the cellular uptake and viability of the cells after 24 hours at 37 °C and 5% CO2 atmosphere. Results of the assays and fluorescence imaging confirmed that the nanoparticles were successful in both selectively targeting and inducing apoptosis in 80% of the LNCaP cells within 24 hours without affecting the viability of the CHO cells. These results show the potential of using biodegradable polymers as a vehicle for receptor-specific drug delivery and a potential alternative for traditional systemic chemotherapy. Detailed experimental results will be discussed in the e-poster.

Keywords: chemotherapeutic drug, click chemistry, nanoparticle, prostat cancer

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2 A Multi-Criteria Decision Making Approach for Disassembly-To-Order Systems under Uncertainty

Authors: Ammar Y. Alqahtani


In order to minimize the negative impact on the environment, it is essential to manage the waste that generated from the premature disposal of end-of-life (EOL) products properly. Consequently, government and international organizations introduced new policies and regulations to minimize the amount of waste being sent to landfills. Moreover, the consumers’ awareness regards environment has forced original equipment manufacturers to consider being more environmentally conscious. Therefore, manufacturers have thought of different ways to deal with waste generated from EOL products viz., remanufacturing, reusing, recycling, or disposing of EOL products. The rate of depletion of virgin natural resources and their dependency on the natural resources can be reduced by manufacturers when EOL products are treated as remanufactured, reused, or recycled, as well as this will cut on the amount of harmful waste sent to landfills. However, disposal of EOL products contributes to the problem and therefore is used as a last option. Number of EOL need to be estimated in order to fulfill the components demand. Then, disassembly process needs to be performed to extract individual components and subassemblies. Smart products, built with sensors embedded and network connectivity to enable the collection and exchange of data, utilize sensors that are implanted into products during production. These sensors are used for remanufacturers to predict an optimal warranty policy and time period that should be offered to customers who purchase remanufactured components and products. Sensor-provided data can help to evaluate the overall condition of a product, as well as the remaining lives of product components, prior to perform a disassembly process. In this paper, a multi-period disassembly-to-order (DTO) model is developed that takes into consideration the different system uncertainties. The DTO model is solved using Nonlinear Programming (NLP) in multiple periods. A DTO system is considered where a variety of EOL products are purchased for disassembly. The model’s main objective is to determine the best combination of EOL products to be purchased from every supplier in each period which maximized the total profit of the system while satisfying the demand. This paper also addressed the impact of sensor embedded products on the cost of warranties. Lastly, this paper presented and analyzed a case study involving various simulation conditions to illustrate the applicability of the model.

Keywords: closed-loop supply chains, environmentally conscious manufacturing, product recovery, reverse logistics

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1 Kinematical Analysis of Tai Chi Chuan Players during Gait and Balance Test and Implication in Rehabilitation Exercise

Authors: Bijad Alqahtani, Graham Arnold, Weijie Wang


Background—Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) is a type of traditional Chinese martial art and is considered a benefiting physical fitness. Advanced techniques of motion analysis have been routinely used in the clinical assessment. However, so far, little research has been done on the biomechanical assessment of TCC players in terms of gait and balance using motion analysis. Objectives—The aim of this study was to investigate whether TCC improves the lower limb conditions and balance ability using the state of the art motion analysis technologies, i.e. motion capture system, electromyography and force platform. Methods—Twenty TCC (9 male, 11 female) with age between (42-77) years old and weight (56.2-119 Kg), and eighteen Non-TCC participants (7 male, 11 female), weight (50-110 Kg) with age (43- 78) years old at the matched age as a control group were recruited in this study. Their gait and balance were collected using Vicon Nexus® to obtain the gait parameters, and kinematic parameters of hip, knee, and ankle joints in three planes of both limbs. Participants stood on force platforms to perform a single leg balance test. Then, they were asked to walk along a 10 m walkway at their comfortable speed. Participants performed 5 trials of single-leg balance for the dominant side. Also, the participants performed 3 trials of four square step balance and 10 trials of walking. From the recorded trials, three good ones were analyzed using the Vicon Plug-in-Gait model to obtain gait parameters, e.g. walking speed, cadence, stride length, and joint parameters, e.g. joint angle, force, moments, etc. Result— The temporal-spatial variables of TCC subjects were compared with the Non-TCC subjects, it was found that there was a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the groups. Moreover, it was observed that participants of TCC have significant differences in ankle, hip, and knee joints’ kinematics in the sagittal, coronal, and transverse planes such as ankle angle (19.90±19.54 deg) for TCC while (15.34±6.50 deg) for Non-TCC, and knee angle (14.96±6.40 deg) for TCC while (17.63±5.79 deg) for Non-TCC in the transverse plane. Also, the result showed that there was a significant difference between groups in the single-leg balance test, e.g. maintaining single leg stance time in the TCC participants showed longer duration (20.85±10.53 s) in compared to Non-TCC people group (13.39±8.78 s). While the result showed that there was no significant difference between groups in the four square step balance. Conclusion—Our result showed that there are significant differences between Tai Chi Chuan and Non-Tai Chi Chuan participants in the various aspects of gait analysis and balance test, as a consequence of these findings some of biomechanical parameters such as joints kinematics, gait parameters and single leg stance balance test, the Tai Chi Chuan could improve the lower limb conditions and could reduce a risk of fall for the elderly with ageing.

Keywords: gait analysis, kinematics, single leg stance, Tai Chi Chuan

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