Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Björn Bergmann

17 Mathematical Modeling for Continuous Reactive Extrusion of Poly Lactic Acid Formation by Ring Opening Polymerization Considering Metal/Organic Catalyst and Alternative Energies

Authors: Satya P. Dubey, Veronica Marchante, James L. Brighton, Björn Bergmann, Hrushikesh A Abhyankar

Abstract:

Aims: To develop a mathematical model that simulates the ROP of PLA taking into account the effect of alternative energy to be implemented in a continuous reactive extrusion production process of PLA. Introduction: The production of large amount of waste is one of the major challenges at the present time, and polymers represent 70% of global waste. PLA has emerged as a promising polymer as it is compostable, biodegradable thermoplastic polymer made from renewable sources. However, the main limitation for the application of PLA is the traces of toxic metal catalyst in the final product. Thus, a safe and efficient production process needs to be developed to avoid the potential hazards and toxicity. It has been found that alternative energy sources (LASER, ultrasounds, microwaves) could be a prominent option to facilitate the ROP of PLA via continuous reactive extrusion. This process may result in complete extraction of the metal catalysts and facilitate less active organic catalysts. Methodology: Initial investigation were performed using the data available in literature for the reaction mechanism of ROP of PLA based on conventional metal catalyst stannous octoate. A mathematical model has been developed by considering significant parameters such as different initial concentration ratio of catalyst, co-catalyst and impurity. Effects of temperature variation and alternative energies have been implemented in the model. Results: The validation of the mathematical model has been made by using data from literature as well as actual experiments. Validation of the model including alternative energies is in progress based on experimental data for partners of the InnoREX project consortium. Conclusion: The model developed reproduces accurately the polymerisation reaction when applying alternative energy. Alternative energies have a great positive effect to increase the conversion and molecular weight of the PLA. This model could be very useful tool to complement Ludovic® software to predict the large scale production process when using reactive extrusion.

Keywords: Polymer, poly-lactic acid (PLA), ring opening polymerization (ROP), metal-catalyst, bio-degradable, renewable source, alternative energy (AE)

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16 The Importance of Student Feedback in Development of Virtual Engineering Laboratories

Authors: A. A. Altalbe, N. W Bergmann

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There has been significant recent interest in on-line learning, as well as considerable work on developing technologies for virtual laboratories for engineering students. After reviewing the state-of-the-art of virtual laboratories, this paper steps back from the technology issues to look in more detail at the pedagogical issues surrounding virtual laboratories, and examines the role of gathering student feedback in the development of such laboratories. The main contribution of the paper is a set of student surveys before and after a prototype deployment of a simulation laboratory tool, and the resulting analysis which leads to some tentative guidelines for the design of virtual engineering laboratories.

Keywords: Electrical Engineering, Engineering Education, eLearning, Virtual Laboratories

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15 Combined Optical Coherence Microscopy and Spectrally Resolved Multiphoton Microscopy

Authors: Bjorn-Ole Meyer, Dominik Marti, Peter E. Andersen

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A multimodal imaging system, combining spectrally resolved multiphoton microscopy (MPM) and optical coherence microscopy (OCM) is demonstrated. MPM and OCM are commonly integrated into multimodal imaging platforms to combine functional and morphological information. The MPM signals, such as two-photon fluorescence emission (TPFE) and signals created by second harmonic generation (SHG) are biomarkers which exhibit information on functional biological features such as the ratio of pyridine nucleotide (NAD(P)H) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) in the classification of cancerous tissue. While the spectrally resolved imaging allows for the study of biomarkers, using a spectrometer as a detector limits the imaging speed of the system significantly. To overcome those limitations, an OCM setup was added to the system, which allows for fast acquisition of structural information. Thus, after rapid imaging of larger specimens, navigation within the sample is possible. Subsequently, distinct features can be selected for further investigation using MPM. Additionally, by probing a different contrast, complementary information is obtained, and different biomarkers can be investigated. OCM images of tissue and cell samples are obtained, and distinctive features are evaluated using MPM to illustrate the benefits of the system.

Keywords: multiphoton microscopy, optical coherence microscopy, multimodal imaging, two-photon fluorescence emission

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14 Fatigue Behavior of Friction Stir Welded EN AW 5754 Aluminum Alloy Using Load Increase Procedure

Authors: A. B. Chehreh, M. Grätzel, M. Klein, J. P. Bergmann, F. Walther

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Friction stir welding (FSW) is an advantageous method in the thermal joining processes, featuring the welding of various dissimilar and similar material combinations, joining temperatures below the melting point which prevents irregularities such as pores and hot cracks as well as high strengths mechanical joints near the base material. The FSW process consists of a rotating tool which is made of a shoulder and a probe. The welding process is based on a rotating tool which plunges in the workpiece under axial pressure. As a result, the material is plasticized by frictional heat which leads to a decrease in the flow stress. During the welding procedure, the material is continuously displaced by the tool, creating a firmly bonded weld seam behind the tool. However, the mechanical properties of the weld seam are affected by the design and geometry of the tool. These include in particular microstructural and surface properties which can favor crack initiation. Following investigation compares the dynamic properties of FSW weld seams with conventional and stationary shoulder geometry based on load increase test (LIT). Compared to classical Woehler tests, it is possible to determine the fatigue strength of the specimens after a short amount of time. The investigations were carried out on a robotized welding setup on 2 mm thick EN AW 5754 aluminum alloy sheets. It was shown that an increased tensile and fatigue strength can be achieved by using the stationary shoulder concept. Furthermore, it could be demonstrated that the LIT is a valid method to describe the fatigue behavior of FSW weld seams.

Keywords: fracture, Friction Stir Welding, Aluminum Alloy, fatigue performance

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13 Growing Architecture, Technical Product Harvesting of Near Net Shape Building Components

Authors: Franziska Moser, Martin Trautz, Anna-Lena Beger, Manuel Löwer, Jörg Feldhusen, Jürgen Prell, Alexandra Wormit, Björn Usadel, Christoph Kämpfer, Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, Henner Hollert

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The demand for bio-based materials and components in architecture has increased in recent years due to society’s heightened environmental awareness. Nowadays, most components are being developed via a substitution approach, which aims at replacing conventional components with natural alternatives who are then being processed, shaped and manufactured to fit the desired application. This contribution introduces a novel approach to the development of bio-based products that decreases resource consumption and increases recyclability. In this approach, natural organisms like plants or trees are not being used in a processed form, but grow into a near net shape before then being harvested and utilized as building components. By minimizing the conventional production steps, the amount of resources used in manufacturing decreases whereas the recyclability increases. This paper presents the approach of technical product harvesting, explains the theoretical basis as well as the matching process of product requirements and biological properties, and shows first results of the growth manipulation studies.

Keywords: design with nature, sustainable construction materials, eco manufacturing, technical product harvesting

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12 Spatio-Temporal Variability and Trends in Frost-Free Season Parameters in Finland: Influence of Climate Teleconnections

Authors: Masoud Irannezhad, Sirpa Rasmus, Saghar Ahmadian, Deliang Chen, Bjorn Klove

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Variability and changes in thermal conditions play a crucial role in functioning of human society, particularly over cold climate regions like Finland. Accordingly, the frost-free season (FFS) parameters in terms of start (FFSS), end (FFSE) and length (FFSL) have substantial effects not only on natural environment (e.g. flora and fauna), but also on human requirements (e.g. agriculture, forestry and energy generation). Applying the 0°C threshold of minimum temperature (Tmin), the FFS was defined as the period between the last spring frost as FFSS and the first fall frost as FFSE. For this study, gridded (10 x 10 km2) daily minimum temperature datasets throughout Finland during 1961-2011 was used to investigate recent spatio-temporal variations and trends in frost-free season (FFS) parameters and their relationships with the well-known large-scale climate teleconnections (CTs). The FFS in Finland naturally increases from north (~60 days) to south (~190 days), in association with earlier FFSS (~24 April) and later FFSE (~30 October). Statistically significant (p<0.05) trends in FFSL were all positive (increasing) ranged between 0 and 13.5 (days/decade) and mainly observed in the east, upper west, centre and upper north of Finland. Such lengthening trends in FFS were attributable to both earlier FFSS and later FFSE mostly over central and upper northern Finland, while only to later FFSE in eastern and upper western parts. Variations in both FFSL and FFSS were significantly associated with the Polar (POL) pattern over northern Finland, while with the East Atlantic (EA) pattern over eastern and upper western areas. However, the POL and Scandinavia (SCA) patterns were most influential CTs for FFSE variability over northern Finland.

Keywords: Trend Analysis, Finland, climate teleconnections, frost-free season

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11 Effects of Physical Activity Used as Treatment in Community Mental Health Services

Authors: John Olav Bjornestad, Bjorn Tore Johansen

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The number of people suffering from mental illnesses is increasing, and such illness is currently one of the major causes of disability and poor health. The reason for this is most likely a lack of physical activity. The purpose of this study was to discover if physical activity was an effective mode of treatment for psychiatric patients at an out-patient treatment facility. The study included an exploration of whether or not patients having physical activity included as an integral part of their treatment (to a greater degree than do patients who are physically inactive) would achieve 1) an improvement in their physical condition 2) a reduction in symptomatic pressure and 3) an increase in their health-related quality of life. The intervention period lasted a total of 12 weeks. The training group completed a minimum of 2 training sessions per week with an intensity of 60-75% of maximum heart rate. The participants’ health-related quality of life (SF-36), symptomatic pressure (SCL-90-R) and physical condition (UKK-walking test) were measured before and after intervention. Twenty participants were pre-tested, and out of this initial group, nine patients completed the intervention program and participated thereafter in post-testing. The results showed that participants on average improved their physical condition, reduced their symptomatic pressure and increased their health-related quality of life over the course of the intervention period. The training group experienced significant changes in their symptomatic pressure (the anxiety dimension) and health-related quality of life (the mental health dimension) from the pre-testing stage to the post-testing one. Furthermore, there was a significant connection between symptomatic pressure and health-related quality of life. The patients who were admitted to the psychiatric out-patient clinic were in a physical condition that was significantly poorer than that of persons of the same age in the remainder of the population. Experiences from the study and the relatively large defection from it demonstrate that there is a great need for close follow-up of psychiatric patients’ physical activity levels when physical activity and lifestyle changes are included as part of their treatment program.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Mental Health, health-related quality, physical condition

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10 A Case Study on Theme-Based Approach in Health Technology Engineering Education: Customer Oriented Software Applications

Authors: Mikael Soini, Kari Björn

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Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Degree Programme provides full-time Bachelor-level undergraduate studies. ICT Degree Programme has seven different major options; this paper focuses on Health Technology. In Health Technology, a significant curriculum change in 2014 enabled transition from fragmented curriculum including dozens of courses to a new integrated curriculum built around three 30 ECTS themes. This paper focuses especially on the second theme called Customer Oriented Software Applications. From students’ point of view, the goal of this theme is to get familiar with existing health related ICT solutions and systems, understand business around health technology, recognize social and healthcare operating principles and services, and identify customers and users and their special needs and perspectives. This also acts as a background for health related web application development. Built web application is tested, developed and evaluated with real users utilizing versatile user centred development methods. This paper presents experiences obtained from the first implementation of Customer Oriented Software Applications theme. Student feedback was gathered with two questionnaires, one in the middle of the theme and other at the end of the theme. Questionnaires had qualitative and quantitative parts. Similar questionnaire was implemented in the first theme; this paper evaluates how the theme-based integrated curriculum has progressed in Health Technology major by comparing results between theme 1 and 2. In general, students were satisfied for the implementation, timing and synchronization of the courses, and the amount of work. However there is still room for development. Student feedback and teachers’ observations have been and will be used to develop the content and operating principles of the themes and whole curriculum.

Keywords: Engineering Education, learning experience, integrated curriculum, learning and teaching methods

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9 Evaluation of Teaching Team Stress Factors in Two Engineering Education Programs

Authors: Kari Björn

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Team learning has been studied and modeled as double loop model and its variations. Also, metacognition has been suggested as a concept to describe the nature of team learning to be more than a simple sum of individual learning of the team members. Team learning has a positive correlation with both individual motivation of its members, as well as the collective factors within the team. Team learning of previously very independent members of two teaching teams is analyzed. Applied Science Universities are training future professionals with ever more diversified and multidisciplinary skills. The size of the units of teaching and learning are increasingly larger for several reasons. First, multi-disciplinary skill development requires more active learning and richer learning environments and learning experiences. This occurs on students teams. Secondly, teaching of multidisciplinary skills requires a multidisciplinary and team-based teaching from the teachers as well. Team formation phases have been identifies and widely accepted. Team role stress has been analyzed in project teams. Projects typically have a well-defined goal and organization. This paper explores team stress of two teacher teams in a parallel running two course units in engineering education. The first is an Industrial Automation Technology and the second is Development of Medical Devices. The courses have a separate student group, and they are in different campuses. Both are run in parallel within 8 week time. Both of them are taught by a group of four teachers with several years of teaching experience, but individually. The team role stress scale items - the survey is done to both teaching groups at the beginning of the course and at the end of the course. The inventory of questions covers the factors of ambiguity, conflict, quantitative role overload and qualitative role overload. Some comparison to the study on project teams can be drawn. Team development stage of the two teaching groups is different. Relating the team role stress factors to the development stage of the group can reveal the potential of management actions to promote team building and to understand the maturity of functional and well-established teams. Mature teams indicate higher job satisfaction and deliver higher performance. Especially, teaching teams who deliver highly intangible results of learning outcome are sensitive to issues in the job satisfaction and team conflicts. Because team teaching is increasing, the paper provides a review of the relevant theories and initial comparative and longitudinal results of the team role stress factors applied to teaching teams.

Keywords: Engineering Education, stress, team teaching, team role

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8 Developing a Framework for Assessing and Fostering the Sustainability of Manufacturing Companies

Authors: Ilaria Barletta, Mahesh Mani, Björn Johansson

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The concept of sustainability encompasses economic, environmental, social and institutional considerations. Sustainable manufacturing (SM) is, therefore, a multi-faceted concept. It broadly implies the development and implementation of technologies, projects and initiatives that are concerned with the life cycle of products and services, and are able to bring positive impacts to the environment, company stakeholders and profitability. Because of this, achieving SM-related goals requires a holistic, life-cycle-thinking approach from manufacturing companies. Further, such an approach must rely on a logic of continuous improvement and ease of implementation in order to be effective. Currently, there exists in the academic literature no comprehensively structured frameworks that support manufacturing companies in the identification of the issues and the capabilities that can either hinder or foster sustainability. This scarcity of support extends to difficulties in obtaining quantifiable measurements in order to objectively evaluate solutions and programs and identify improvement areas within SM for standards conformance. To bridge this gap, this paper proposes the concept of a framework for assessing and continuously improving the sustainability of manufacturing companies. The framework addresses strategies and projects for SM and operates in three sequential phases: analysis of the issues, design of solutions and continuous improvement. A set of interviews, observations and questionnaires are the research methods to be used for the implementation of the framework. Different decision-support methods - either already-existing or novel ones - can be 'plugged into' each of the phases. These methods can assess anything from business capabilities to process maturity. In particular, the authors are working on the development of a sustainable manufacturing maturity model (SMMM) as decision support within the phase of 'continuous improvement'. The SMMM, inspired by previous maturity models, is made up of four maturity levels stemming from 'non-existing' to 'thriving'. Aggregate findings from the use of the framework should ultimately reveal to managers and CEOs the roadmap for achieving SM goals and identify the maturity of their companies’ processes and capabilities. Two cases from two manufacturing companies in Australia are currently being employed to develop and test the framework. The use of this framework will bring two main benefits: enable visual, intuitive internal sustainability benchmarking and raise awareness of improvement areas that lead companies towards an increasingly developed SM.

Keywords: Sustainable Manufacturing, Life Cycle Management, maturity model, continuous improvement

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7 Heating Demand Reduction in Single Family Houses Community through Home Energy Management: Putting Users in Charge

Authors: Omar Shafqat, Jaime Arias, Cristian Bogdan, Björn Palm

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Heating constitutes a major part of the overall energy consumption in Sweden. In 2013 heating and hot water accounted for about 55% of the total energy use in the housing sector. Historically, the end users have not been able to make a significant impact on their consumption on account of traditional control systems that do not facilitate interaction and control of the heating systems. However, in recent years internet connected home energy management systems have become increasingly available which allow users to visualize the indoor temperatures as well as control the heating system. However, the adoption of these systems is still in its nascent stages. This paper presents the outcome of a study carried out in a community of single-family houses in Stockholm. Heating in the area is provided through district heating, and the neighbourhood is connected through a local micro thermal grid, which is owned and operated by the local community. Heating in the houses is accomplished through a hydronic system equipped with radiators. The system installed offers the households to control the indoor temperature through a mobile application as well as through a physical thermostat. It was also possible to program the system to, for instance, lower the temperatures during night time and when the users were away. The users could also monitor the indoor temperatures through the application. It was additionally possible to create different zones in the house with their own individual programming. The historical heating data (in the form of billing data) was available for several previous years and has been used to perform quantitative analysis for the study after necessary normalization for weather variations. The experiment involved 30 households out of a community of 178 houses. The area was selected due to uniform construction profile in the area. It was observed that despite similar design and construction period there was a large variation in the heating energy consumption in the area which can for a large part be attributed to user behaviour. The paper also presents qualitative analysis done through survey questions as well as a focus group carried out with the participants. Overall, considerable energy savings were accomplished during the trial, however, there was a considerable variation between the participating households. The paper additionally presents recommendations to improve the impact of home energy management systems for heating in terms of improving user engagement and hence the energy impact.

Keywords: energy efficiency in buildings, energy behavior, heating control system, home energy management system

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6 Comparative Quantitative Study on Learning Outcomes of Major Study Groups of an Information and Communication Technology Bachelor Educational Program

Authors: Mikael Soini, Kari Björn

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Higher Education system reforms, especially Finnish system of Universities of Applied Sciences in 2014 are discussed. The new steering model is based on major legislative changes, output-oriented funding and open information. The governmental steering reform, especially the financial model and the resulting institutional level responses, such as a curriculum reforms are discussed, focusing especially in engineering programs. The paper is motivated by management need to establish objective steering-related performance indicators and to apply them consistently across all educational programs. The close relationship to governmental steering and funding model imply that internally derived indicators can be directly applied. Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) as a case institution is briefly introduced, focusing on engineering education in Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and its related programs. The reform forced consolidation of previously separate smaller programs into fewer units of student application. New curriculum ICT students have a common first year before they apply for a Major. A framework of parallel and longitudinal comparisons is introduced and used across Majors in two campuses. The new externally introduced performance criteria are applied internally on ICT Majors using data ex-ante and ex-post of program merger.  A comparative performance of the Majors after completion of joint first year is established, focusing on previously omitted Majors for completeness of analysis. Some new research questions resulting from transfer of Majors between campuses and quota setting are discussed. Practical orientation identifies best practices to share or targets needing most attention for improvement. This level of analysis is directly applicable at student group and teaching team level, where corrective actions are possible, when identified. The analysis is quantitative and the nature of the corrective actions are not discussed. Causal relationships and factor analysis are omitted, because campuses, their staff and various pedagogical implementation details contain still too many undetermined factors for our limited data. Such qualitative analysis is left for further research. Further study must, however, be guided by the relevance of the observations.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Engineering Education, learning outcomes, integrated curriculum

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5 Using ANN in Emergency Reconstruction Projects Post Disaster

Authors: Rasha Waheeb, Bjorn Andersen, Rafa Shakir

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Purpose The purpose of this study is to avoid delays that occur in emergency reconstruction projects especially in post disaster circumstances whether if they were natural or manmade due to their particular national and humanitarian importance. We presented a theoretical and practical concepts for projects management in the field of construction industry that deal with a range of global and local trails. This study aimed to identify the factors of effective delay in construction projects in Iraq that affect the time and the specific quality cost, and find the best solutions to address delays and solve the problem by setting parameters to restore balance in this study. 30 projects were selected in different areas of construction were selected as a sample for this study. Design/methodology/approach This study discusses the reconstruction strategies and delay in time and cost caused by different delay factors in some selected projects in Iraq (Baghdad as a case study).A case study approach was adopted, with thirty construction projects selected from the Baghdad region, of different types and sizes. Project participants from the case projects provided data about the projects through a data collection instrument distributed through a survey. Mixed approach and methods were applied in this study. Mathematical data analysis was used to construct models to predict delay in time and cost of projects before they started. The artificial neural networks analysis was selected as a mathematical approach. These models were mainly to help decision makers in construction project to find solutions to these delays before they cause any inefficiency in the project being implemented and to strike the obstacles thoroughly to develop this industry in Iraq. This approach was practiced using the data collected through survey and questionnaire data collection as information form. Findings The most important delay factors identified leading to schedule overruns were contractor failure, redesigning of designs/plans and change orders, security issues, selection of low-price bids, weather factors, and owner failures. Some of these are quite in line with findings from similar studies in other countries/regions, but some are unique to the Iraqi project sample, such as security issues and low-price bid selection. Originality/value we selected ANN’s analysis first because ANN’s was rarely used in project management , and never been used in Iraq to finding solutions for problems in construction industry. Also, this methodology can be used in complicated problems when there is no interpretation or solution for a problem. In some cases statistical analysis was conducted and in some cases the problem is not following a linear equation or there was a weak correlation, thus we suggested using the ANN’s because it is used for nonlinear problems to find the relationship between input and output data and that was really supportive.

Keywords: Project Management, Construction Projects, delay factors, emergency reconstruction, innovation ANN, post disasters

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4 Good Functional Outcome after Late Surgical Treatment for Traumatic Rotator Cuff Tear, a Retrospective Cohort Study

Authors: Soheila Zhaeentan, Anders Von Heijne, Elisabet Hagert, André Stark, Björn Salomonsson

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Recommended treatment for traumatic rotator cuff tear (TRCT) is surgery within a few weeks after injury if the diagnosis is made early, especially if a functional impairment of the shoulder exists. This may lead to the assumption that a poor outcome then can be expected in delayed surgical treatment, when the patient is diagnosed at a later stage. The aim of this study was to investigate if a surgical repair later than three months after injury may result in successful outcomes and patient satisfaction. There is evidence in literature that good results of treatment can be expected up to three months after the injury, but little is known of later treatment with cuff repair. 73 patients (75 shoulders), 58 males/17 females, mean age 59 (range 34-­‐72), who had undergone surgical intervention for TRCT between January 1999 to December 2011 at our clinic, were included in this study. Patients were assessed by MRI investigation, clinical examination, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff index (WORC), Oxford Shoulder Score, Constant-­‐Murley Score, EQ-­‐5D and patient subjective satisfaction at follow-­‐up. The patients treated surgically within three months ( < 12 weeks) after injury (39 cases) were compared with patients treated more than three months ( ≥ 12 weeks) after injury (36 cases). WORC was used as the primary outcome measure and the other variables as secondary. A senior consultant radiologist, blinded to patient category and clinical outcome, evaluated all MRI-­‐images. Rotator cuff integrity, presence of arthritis, fatty degeneration and muscle atrophy was evaluated in all cases. The average follow-­‐up time was 56 months (range 14-­‐149) and the average time from injury to repair was 16 weeks (range 3-­‐104). No statistically significant differences were found for any of the assessed parameters or scores between the two groups. The mean WORC score was 77 (early group, range 25-­‐ 100 and late group, range 27-­‐100) for both groups (p= 0.86), Constant-­‐Murley Score (p= 0.91), Oxford Shoulder Score (p= 0.79), EQ-­‐5D index (p= 0.86). Re-­‐tear frequency was 24% for both groups, and the patients with re-­‐tear reported less satisfaction with outcome. Discussion and conclusion: This study shows that surgical repair of TRCT performed later than three months after injury may result in good functional outcomes and patient satisfaction. However, this does not motivate an intentional delay in surgery when there is an indication for surgical repair as that delay may adversely affect the possibility to perform a repair. Our results show that surgeons may safely consider surgical repair even if a delay in diagnosis has occurred. A retrospective cohort study on 75 shoulders shows good functional result after traumatic rotator cuff tear (TRCT) treated surgically up to one year after the injury.

Keywords: traumatic rotator cuff injury, time to surgery, surgical outcome, retrospective cohort study

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3 Development and Preliminary Testing of the Dutch Version of the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills

Authors: Sakinah Idris, Kirstin Greaves-Lord, Gabrine Jagersma, Bjorn Jaime Van Pelt

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Background: The PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills) intervention can be considered a well-established, evidence-based intervention in the USA. However, testing the efficacy of cultural adaptations of PEERS is still ongoing. More and more, the involvement of all stakeholders in the development and evaluation of interventions is acknowledged as crucial for the longer term implementation of interventions across settings. Therefore, in the current project, teens with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), their neurotypical peers, parents, teachers, as well as clinicians were involved in the development and evaluation of the Dutch version of PEERS. Objectives: The current presentation covers (1) the formative phase and (2) the preliminary adaptation test phase of the cultural adaptation of evidence-based interventions. In the formative phase, we aim to describe the process of adaptation of the PEERS program to the Dutch culture and care system. In the preliminary adaptation phase, we will present results from the preliminary adaptation test among 32 adolescents with ASD. Methods: In phase 1, a group discussion on common vocabulary was conducted among 70 teenagers (and their teachers) from special and regular education aged 12-18 years old. This inventory concerned 14 key constructs from PEERS, e.g., areas of interests, locations for making friends, common peer groups and crowds inside and outside of school, activities with friends, commonly used ways for electronic communication, ways for handling disagreements, and common teasing comebacks. Also, 15 clinicians were involved in the translation and cultural adaptation process. The translation and cultural adaptation process were guided by the research team, and who included input and feedback from all stakeholders through an iterative feedback incorporation procedure. In phase 2, The parent-reported Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), the Test of Adolescent Social Skills Knowledge (TASSK), and the Quality of Socialization Questionnaire (QSQ) were assessed pre- and post-intervention to evaluate potential treatment outcome. Results: The most striking cultural adaptation - reflecting the standpoints of all stakeholders - concerned the strategies for handling rumors and gossip, which were suggested to be taught using a similar approach as the teasing comebacks, more in line with ‘down-to-earth’ Dutch standards. The preliminary testing of this adapted version indicated that the adolescents with ASD significantly improved their social knowledge (TASSK; t₃₁ = -10.9, p < .01), social experience (QSQ-Parent; t₃₁ = -4.2, p < .01 and QSQ-Adolescent; t₃₂ = -3.8, p < .01), and in parent-reported social responsiveness (SRS; t₃₃ = 3.9, p < .01). In addition, subjective evaluations of teens with ASD, their parents and clinicians were positive. Conclusions: In order to further scrutinize the effectiveness of the Dutch version of the PEERS intervention, we recommended performing a larger scale randomized control trial (RCT) design, for which we provide several methodological considerations.

Keywords: Translation, peers, cultural adaptation, preliminary testing

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2 Gamification of eHealth Business Cases to Enhance Rich Learning Experience

Authors: Kari Björn

Abstract:

Introduction of games has expanded the application area of computer-aided learning tools to wide variety of age groups of learners. Serious games engage the learners into a real-world -type of simulation and potentially enrich the learning experience. Institutional background of a Bachelor’s level engineering program in Information and Communication Technology is introduced, with detailed focus on one of its majors, Health Technology. As part of a Customer Oriented Software Application thematic semester, one particular course of “eHealth Business and Solutions” is described and reflected in a gamified framework. Learning a consistent view into vast literature of business management, strategies, marketing and finance in a very limited time enforces selection of topics relevant to the industry. Health Technology is a novel and growing industry with a growing sector in consumer wearable devices and homecare applications. The business sector is attracting new entrepreneurs and impatient investor funds. From engineering education point of view the sector is driven by miniaturizing electronics, sensors and wireless applications. However, the market is highly consumer-driven and usability, safety and data integrity requirements are extremely high. When the same technology is used in analysis or treatment of patients, very strict regulatory measures are enforced. The paper introduces a course structure using gamification as a tool to learn the most essential in a new market: customer value proposition design, followed by a market entry game. Students analyze the existing market size and pricing structure of eHealth web-service market and enter the market as a steering group of their company, competing against the legacy players and with each other. The market is growing but has its rules of demand and supply balance. New products can be developed with an R&D-investment, and targeted to market with unique quality- and price-combinations. Product cost structure can be improved by investing to enhanced production capacity. Investments can be funded optionally by foreign capital. Students make management decisions and face the dynamics of the market competition in form of income statement and balance sheet after each decision cycle. The focus of the learning outcome is to understand customer value creation to be the source of cash flow. The benefit of gamification is to enrich the learning experience on structure and meaning of financial statements. The paper describes the gamification approach and discusses outcomes after two course implementations. Along the case description of learning challenges, some unexpected misconceptions are noted. Improvements of the game or the semi-gamified teaching pedagogy are discussed. The case description serves as an additional support to new game coordinator, as well as helps to improve the method. Overall, the gamified approach has helped to engage engineering student to business studies in an energizing way.

Keywords: Engineering Education, learning outcomes, learning experience, integrated curriculum

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1 Techno-Economic Assessment of Distributed Heat Pumps Integration within a Swedish Neighborhood: A Cosimulation Approach

Authors: Monica Arnaudo, Monika Topel, Bjorn Laumert

Abstract:

Within the Swedish context, the current trend of relatively low electricity prices promotes the electrification of the energy infrastructure. The residential heating sector takes part in this transition by proposing a switch from a centralized district heating system towards a distributed heat pumps-based setting. When it comes to urban environments, two issues arise. The first, seen from an electricity-sector perspective, is related to the fact that existing networks are limited with regards to their installed capacities. Additional electric loads, such as heat pumps, can cause severe overloads on crucial network elements. The second, seen from a heating-sector perspective, has to do with the fact that the indoor comfort conditions can become difficult to handle when the operation of the heat pumps is limited by a risk of overloading on the distribution grid. Furthermore, the uncertainty of the electricity market prices in the future introduces an additional variable. This study aims at assessing the extent to which distributed heat pumps can penetrate an existing heat energy network while respecting the technical limitations of the electricity grid and the thermal comfort levels in the buildings. In order to account for the multi-disciplinary nature of this research question, a cosimulation modeling approach was adopted. In this way, each energy technology is modeled in its customized simulation environment. As part of the cosimulation methodology: a steady-state power flow analysis in pandapower was used for modeling the electrical distribution grid, a thermal balance model of a reference building was implemented in EnergyPlus to account for space heating and a fluid-cycle model of a heat pump was implemented in JModelica to account for the actual heating technology. With the models set in place, different scenarios based on forecasted electricity market prices were developed both for present and future conditions of Hammarby Sjöstad, a neighborhood located in the south-east of Stockholm (Sweden). For each scenario, the technical and the comfort conditions were assessed. Additionally, the average cost of heat generation was estimated in terms of levelized cost of heat. This indicator enables a techno-economic comparison study among the different scenarios. In order to evaluate the levelized cost of heat, a yearly performance simulation of the energy infrastructure was implemented. The scenarios related to the current electricity prices show that distributed heat pumps can replace the district heating system by covering up to 30% of the heating demand. By lowering of 2°C, the minimum accepted indoor temperature of the apartments, this level of penetration can increase up to 40%. Within the future scenarios, if the electricity prices will increase, as most likely expected within the next decade, the penetration of distributed heat pumps can be limited to 15%. In terms of levelized cost of heat, a residential heat pump technology becomes competitive only within a scenario of decreasing electricity prices. In this case, a district heating system is characterized by an average cost of heat generation 7% higher compared to a distributed heat pumps option.

Keywords: Integrated Energy Systems, district heating, cosimulation, distributed heat pumps, electrical distribution grid

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