Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 19

Search results for: Damian Suski

19 Planning a Haemodialysis Process by Minimum Time Control of Hybrid Systems with Sliding Motion

Authors: Radoslaw Pytlak, Damian Suski


The aim of the paper is to provide a computational tool for planning a haemodialysis process. It is shown that optimization methods can be used to obtain the most effective treatment focused on removing both urea and phosphorus during the process. In order to achieve that, the IV–compartment model of phosphorus kinetics is applied. This kinetics model takes into account a rebound phenomenon that can occur during haemodialysis and results in a hybrid model of the process. Furthermore, vector fields associated with the model equations are such that it is very likely that using the most intuitive objective functions in the planning problem could lead to solutions which include sliding motions. Therefore, building computational tools for solving the problem of planning a haemodialysis process has required constructing numerical algorithms for solving optimal control problems with hybrid systems. The paper concentrates on minimum time control of hybrid systems since this control objective is the most suitable for the haemodialysis process considered in the paper. The presented approach to optimal control problems with hybrid systems is different from the others in several aspects. First of all, it is assumed that a hybrid system can exhibit sliding modes. Secondly, the system’s motion on the switching surface is described by index 2 differential–algebraic equations, and that guarantees accurate tracking of the sliding motion surface. Thirdly, the gradients of the problem’s functionals are evaluated with the help of adjoint equations. The adjoint equations presented in the paper take into account sliding motion and exhibit jump conditions at transition times. The optimality conditions in the form of the weak maximum principle for optimal control problems with hybrid systems exhibiting sliding modes and with piecewise constant controls are stated. The presented sensitivity analysis can be used to construct globally convergent algorithms for solving considered problems. The paper presents numerical results of solving the haemodialysis planning problem.

Keywords: haemodialysis planning process, hybrid systems, optimal control, sliding motion

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18 The Evaluation of Surface Integrity during Machining of Inconel 718 with Various Laser Assistance Strategies

Authors: Szymon Wojciechowski, Damian Przestacki, Tadeusz Chwalczuk


The paper is focused on the evaluation of surface integrity formed during turning of Inconel 718 with the application of various laser assistance strategies. The primary objective of the work was to determine the relations between the applied machining strategy and the obtained surface integrity, in order to select the effective cutting conditions allowing the obtainment of high surface quality. The carried out experiment included the machining of Inconel 718 in the conventional turning conditions, as well as during the continuous laser assisted machining and sequential laser assistance. The surface integrity was evaluated by the measurements of machined surface topographies, microstructures and the microhardness. Results revealed that surface integrity of Inconel 718 is strongly affected by the selected machining strategy. The significant improvement of the surface roughness formed during machining of Inconel 718, can be reached by the application of simultaneous laser heating and cutting (LAM).

Keywords: Inconel 718, laser assisted machining, surface integrity, turning

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17 Nanocomposite Metal Material: Study of Antimicrobial and Catalytic Properties

Authors: Roman J. Jedrzejczyk, Damian K. Chlebda, Anna Dziedzicka, Rafal Wazny, Agnieszka Domka, Maciej Sitarz, Przemyslaw J. Jodlowski


The aim of this study was to obtain antimicrobial material based on thin zirconium dioxide coatings on structured reactors doped with metal nanoparticles using the sonochemical sol-gel method. As a result, dense, uniform zirconium dioxide films were obtained on the kanthal sheets which can be used as support materials in antimicrobial converters with sophisticated shapes. The material was characterised by physicochemical methods, such as AFM, SEM, EDX, XRF, XRD, XPS and in situ Raman and DRIFT spectroscopy. In terms of antimicrobial activity, the material was tested by ATP/AMP method using model microbes isolated from the real systems. The results show that the material can be potentially used in the market as a good candidate for active package and as active bulkheads of climatic systems. The mechanical tests showed that the developed method is an efficient way to obtain durable converters with high antimicrobial activity against fungi and bacteria.

Keywords: antimicrobial properties, kanthal steel, nanocomposite, zirconium oxide

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16 Sonochemically Prepared Non-Noble Metal Oxide Catalysts for Methane Catalytic Combustion

Authors: Przemyslaw J. Jodlowski, Roman J. Jedrzejczyk, Damian K. Chlebda, Anna Dziedzicka, Lukasz Kuterasinski, Anna Gancarczyk, Maciej Sitarz


The aim of this study was to obtain highly active catalysts based on non-noble metal oxides supported on zirconia prepared via a sonochemical method. In this study, the influence of the stabilizers addition during the preparation step was checked. The final catalysts were characterized by using such characterization methods as X-ray Diffraction (XRD), nitrogen adsorption, X-ray fluorescence (XRF), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with energy dispersive X-ray spectrometer (EDS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and µRaman. The proposed preparation method allowed to obtain uniformly dispersed metal-oxide nanoparticles at the support’s surface. The catalytic activity of prepared catalyst samples was measured in a methane combustion reaction. The activity of the catalysts prepared by the sonochemical method was considerably higher than their counterparts prepared by the incipient wetness method.

Keywords: methane catalytic combustion, nanoparticles, non-noble metals, sonochemistry

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15 Evaluation of Hospital Antibiotic Policy Implementation at the Oncosurgery Ward: A Six Years' Experience

Authors: Aneta Nitsch-Osuch, Damian Okrucinski, Magdalena Dawgialło, Izabela Gołębiak, Ernest Kuchar


The Hospital Antibiotic Policy (HAP) should be implemented to rationalize the antibiotic use and to decrease the risk of spreading of spreading of resistant bacteria. The aim of our study was to describe the antibiotic consumption patterns at the single oncosurgery ward before and after implementation of the HAP. We conducted a retrospective analysis of the antibiotic use at the Oncosurgery Ward in Warsaw (Poland) in years 2011-2016. Calculations were based on daily defined doses (DDDs), DDDs/100 hospitalizations and DDDs/100 person-days, drug utilization rates (DU 90% and DU 100%) were also analysed. After implementation of the HAP, the total antibiotic consumption increased (365.35 DDD in 2011 vs. 1359,22 DDD in 2016). The significant change was observed in antibiotic consumption patterns: the use of amoxicillin clavulanate and carbapenems or glycopeptides decreased significantly (p < 0,05), while the use of ciprofloxacin and aminoglycosides increased (p < 0,05). The DU100% rate varied from 6 in 2011 to 12 in 2016; while DU 90% rate varied from 2 in 2011 to 3-5 in 2013-2016. Although the implementation of the HAP did not result in the decreased total antibiotic consumption, it provided favorable changes in the antibiotic consumption patterns.

Keywords: antibiotics, hospital, policy, stewardship

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14 Inorganic Microporous Membranes Fabricated by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Liquid Deposition

Authors: Damian A. Mooney, Michael T. P. Mc Cann, J. M. Don MacElroy, Olli Antson, Denis P. Dowling


Atmospheric pressure plasma liquid deposition (APPLD) is a novel technology used for the deposition of thin films via the injection of a reactive liquid precursor into a high-energy discharge plasma at ambient pressure. In this work, APPLD, utilising a TEOS precursor, was employed to produce asymmetric membranes consisting of a thin (100 nm) layer of deposited silica on a microporous silica support in order to assess their suitability for high temperature gas separation applications. He and N₂ gas permeability measurements were made for each of the fabricated membranes and a maximum ideal He/N₂ selectivity of 66 was observed at room temperature. He, N₂ and CO2 gas permeances were also measured at the elevated temperature of 673K and ideal He/N₂ and CO₂/N₂ selectivities of 300 and 7.4, respectively, were observed. The results suggest that this plasma-based deposition technique can be a viable method for the manufacture of membranes for the efficient separation of high temperature, post-combustion gases, including that of CO₂/N₂ where the constituent gases differ in size by fractions of an Ångstrom.

Keywords: asymmetric membrane, CO₂ separation, high temperature, plasma deposition, thin films

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13 Image Processing Approach for Detection of Three-Dimensional Tree-Rings from X-Ray Computed Tomography

Authors: Jorge Martinez-Garcia, Ingrid Stelzner, Joerg Stelzner, Damian Gwerder, Philipp Schuetz


Tree-ring analysis is an important part of the quality assessment and the dating of (archaeological) wood samples. It provides quantitative data about the whole anatomical ring structure, which can be used, for example, to measure the impact of the fluctuating environment on the tree growth, for the dendrochronological analysis of archaeological wooden artefacts and to estimate the wood mechanical properties. Despite advances in computer vision and edge recognition algorithms, detection and counting of annual rings are still limited to 2D datasets and performed in most cases manually, which is a time consuming, tedious task and depends strongly on the operator’s experience. This work presents an image processing approach to detect the whole 3D tree-ring structure directly from X-ray computed tomography imaging data. The approach relies on a modified Canny edge detection algorithm, which captures fully connected tree-ring edges throughout the measured image stack and is validated on X-ray computed tomography data taken from six wood species.

Keywords: ring recognition, edge detection, X-ray computed tomography, dendrochronology

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12 Aspects Regarding the Structural Behaviour of Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Emergency Response

Authors: Lucian Stefanita Grigore, Damian Gorgoteanu, Cristian Molder, Amado Stefan, Daniel Constantin


The purpose of this article is to present an analytical-numerical study on the structural behavior of a sunken autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for emergency intervention. The need for such a study was generated by the key objective of the ERL-Emergency project. The project aims to develop a system of collaborative robots for emergency response. The system consists of two robots: unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) on tracks and the second is an AUV. The system of collaborative robots, AUV and UGV, will be used to perform missions of monitoring, intervention, and rescue. The main mission of the AUV is to dive into the maritime space of an industrial port to detect possible leaks in a pipeline transporting petroleum products. Another mission is to close and open the valves with which the pipes are provided. Finally, you will need to be able to lift a manikin to the surface, which you can take to land. Numerical analysis was performed by the finite element method (FEM). The conditions for immersing the AUV at 100 m depth were simulated, and the calculations for different fluid flow rates were repeated. From a structural point of view, the stiffening areas and the enclosures in which the command-and-control elements and the accumulators are located have been especially analyzed. The conclusion of this research is that the AUV meets very well the established requirements.

Keywords: analytical-numerical, emergency, FEM, robotics, underwater

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11 Supply Chain Risk Management: A Meta-Study of Empirical Research

Authors: Shoufeng Cao, Kim Bryceson, Damian Hine


The existing supply chain risk management (SCRM) research is currently chaotic and somewhat disorganized, and the topic has been addressed conceptually more often than empirically. This paper, using both qualitative and quantitative data, employs a modified Meta-study method to investigate the SCRM empirical research published in quality journals over the period of 12 years (2004-2015). The purpose is to outline the extent research trends and the employed research methodologies (i.e., research method, data collection and data analysis) across the sub-field that will guide future research. The synthesized findings indicate that empirical study on risk ripple effect along an entire supply chain, industry-specific supply chain risk management and global/export supply chain risk management has not yet given much attention than it deserves in the SCRM field. Besides, it is suggested that future empirical research should employ multiple and/or mixed methods and multi-source data collection techniques to reduce common method bias and single-source bias, thus improving research validity and reliability. In conclusion, this paper helps to stimulate more quality empirical research in the SCRM field via identifying promising research directions and providing some methodology guidelines.

Keywords: empirical research, meta-study, methodology guideline, research direction, supply chain risk management

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10 Adaptation to Repeated Eccentric Exercise Assessed by Double to Single Twitch Ratio

Authors: Damian Janecki, Anna Jaskólska, Jarosław Marusiak, Artur Jaskólski


The aim of this study was to assess double to single twitch ratio after two bouts of eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. Maximal isometric torque, single and double twitch responses and low-frequency fatigue were assessed on the elbow flexors in 19 untrained male volunteers before, immediately after, 24 and 48 hours following two bouts of eccentric exercise consisted of 30 repetitions of lowering a dumbbell adjusted to ~75% of each individual's maximal isometric torque. Maximal isometric torque and electrically evoked responses decreased significantly in all measurements after the first bout of eccentric exercise (P<0.05). In measurements performed at 24 and 48 hours after the second bout both maximal voluntary isometric torque and electrically evoked contractions were significantly higher than in measurements performed after the fist bout (P<0.05). Although low-frequency fatigue significantly increased up to 48 hours after each bout of eccentric exercise, its values at 24 and 48 hours after the second bout were significantly lower than at respective time points after the first bout (P<0.05). Smaller changes in double to single twitch ratio at 24 and 48 hours after the second bout of eccentric exercise reflects repeated bout effect that confers protection against subsequent exercise-induced muscle damage.

Keywords: biceps brachii, electrical stimulation, lenghtening contractions, repeated bout effect

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9 Landcover Mapping Using Lidar Data and Aerial Image and Soil Fertility Degradation Assessment for Rice Production Area in Quezon, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Authors: Eliza. E. Camaso, Guiller. B. Damian, Miguelito. F. Isip, Ronaldo T. Alberto


Land-cover maps were important for many scientific, ecological and land management purposes and during the last decades, rapid decrease of soil fertility was observed to be due to land use practices such as rice cultivation. High-precision land-cover maps are not yet available in the area which is important in an economy management. To assure   accurate mapping of land cover to provide information, remote sensing is a very suitable tool to carry out this task and automatic land use and cover detection. The study did not only provide high precision land cover maps but it also provides estimates of rice production area that had undergone chemical degradation due to fertility decline. Land-cover were delineated and classified into pre-defined classes to achieve proper detection features. After generation of Land-cover map, of high intensity of rice cultivation, soil fertility degradation assessment in rice production area due to fertility decline was created to assess the impact of soils used in agricultural production. Using Simple spatial analysis functions and ArcGIS, the Land-cover map of Municipality of Quezon in Nueva Ecija, Philippines was overlaid to the fertility decline maps from Land Degradation Assessment Philippines- Bureau of Soils and Water Management (LADA-Philippines-BSWM) to determine the area of rice crops that were most likely where nitrogen, phosphorus, zinc and sulfur deficiencies were induced by high dosage of urea and imbalance N:P fertilization. The result found out that 80.00 % of fallow and 99.81% of rice production area has high soil fertility decline.

Keywords: aerial image, landcover, LiDAR, soil fertility degradation

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8 Extraction of Forest Plantation Resources in Selected Forest of San Manuel, Pangasinan, Philippines Using LiDAR Data for Forest Status Assessment

Authors: Mark Joseph Quinto, Roan Beronilla, Guiller Damian, Eliza Camaso, Ronaldo Alberto


Forest inventories are essential to assess the composition, structure and distribution of forest vegetation that can be used as baseline information for management decisions. Classical forest inventory is labor intensive and time-consuming and sometimes even dangerous. The use of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) in forest inventory would improve and overcome these restrictions. This study was conducted to determine the possibility of using LiDAR derived data in extracting high accuracy forest biophysical parameters and as a non-destructive method for forest status analysis of San Manual, Pangasinan. Forest resources extraction was carried out using LAS tools, GIS, Envi and .bat scripts with the available LiDAR data. The process includes the generation of derivatives such as Digital Terrain Model (DTM), Canopy Height Model (CHM) and Canopy Cover Model (CCM) in .bat scripts followed by the generation of 17 composite bands to be used in the extraction of forest classification covers using ENVI 4.8 and GIS software. The Diameter in Breast Height (DBH), Above Ground Biomass (AGB) and Carbon Stock (CS) were estimated for each classified forest cover and Tree Count Extraction was carried out using GIS. Subsequently, field validation was conducted for accuracy assessment. Results showed that the forest of San Manuel has 73% Forest Cover, which is relatively much higher as compared to the 10% canopy cover requirement. On the extracted canopy height, 80% of the tree’s height ranges from 12 m to 17 m. CS of the three forest covers based on the AGB were: 20819.59 kg/20x20 m for closed broadleaf, 8609.82 kg/20x20 m for broadleaf plantation and 15545.57 kg/20x20m for open broadleaf. Average tree counts for the tree forest plantation was 413 trees/ha. As such, the forest of San Manuel has high percent forest cover and high CS.

Keywords: carbon stock, forest inventory, LiDAR, tree count

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7 Cost Analysis of Neglected Tropical Disease in Nigeria: Implication for Programme Control and Elimination

Authors: Lawong Damian Bernsah


Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are most predominant among the poor and rural populations and are endemic in 149 countries. These diseases are the most prevalent and responsible for infecting 1.4 billion people worldwide. There are 17 neglected tropical diseases recognized by WHO that constitute the fourth largest disease health and economic burden of all communicable diseases. Five of these 17 diseases are considered for the cost analysis of this paper: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, trachoma, schistosomiasis, and soil transmitted helminth infections. WHO has proposed a roadmap for eradication and elimination by 2020 and treatments have been donated through the London Declaration by pharmaceutical manufacturers. The paper estimates the cost of NTD control programme and elimination for each NTD disease and total in Nigeria. This is necessary as it forms the bases upon which programme budget and expenditure could be based. Again, given the opportunity cost the resources for NTD face it is necessary to estimate the cost so as to provide bases for comparison. Cost of NTDs control and elimination programme is estimated using the population at risk for each NTD diseases and for the total. The population at risk is gotten from the national master plan for the 2015 - 2020, while the cost per person was gotten for similar studies conducted in similar settings and ranges from US$0.1 to US$0.5 for Mass Administration of Medicine (MAM) and between US$1 to US$1.5 for each NTD disease. The combined cost for all the NTDs was estimated to be US$634.88 million for the period 2015-2020 and US$1.9 billion for each NTD disease for the same period. For the purpose of sensitivity analysis and for robustness of the analysis the cost per person was varied and all were still high. Given that health expenditure for Nigeria (% of GDP) averages 3.5% for the period 1995-2014, it is very clear that efforts have to be made to improve allocation to the health sector in general which is hoped could trickle to NTDs control and elimination. Thus, the government and the donor partners would need to step-up budgetary allocation and also to be aware of the costs of NTD control and elimination programme since they have alternative uses. Key Words: Neglected Tropical Disease, Cost Analysis, NTD Programme Control and Elimination, Cost per Person

Keywords: Neglected Tropical Disease, Cost Analysis, Neglected Tropical Disease Programme Control and Elimination, Cost per Person

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6 Long-Term Results of Coronary Bifurcation Stenting with Drug Eluting Stents

Authors: Piotr Muzyk, Beata Morawiec, Mariusz Opara, Andrzej Tomasik, Brygida Przywara-Chowaniec, Wojciech Jachec, Ewa Nowalany-Kozielska, Damian Kawecki


Background: Coronary bifurcation is one of the most complex lesion in patients with coronary ar-tery disease. Provisional T-stenting is currently one of the recommended techniques. The aim was to assess optimal methods of treatment in the era of drug-eluting stents (DES). Methods: The regis-try consisted of data from 1916 patients treated with coronary percutaneous interventions (PCI) using either first- or second-generation DES. Patients with bifurcation lesion entered the analysis. Major adverse cardiac and cardiovascular events (MACCE) were assessed at one year of follow-up and comprised of death, acute myocardial infarction (AMI), repeated PCI (re-PCI) of target ves-sel and stroke. Results: Of 1916 registry patients, 204 patients (11%) were diagnosed with bifurcation lesion >50% and entered the analysis. The most commonly used technique was provi-sional T-stenting (141 patients, 69%). Optimization with kissing-balloons technique was performed in 45 patients (22%). In 59 patients (29%) second-generation DES was implanted, while in 112 pa-tients (55%), first-generation DES was used. In 33 patients (16%) both types of DES were used. The procedure success rate (TIMI 3 flow) was achieved in 98% of patients. In one-year follow-up, there were 39 MACCE (19%) (9 deaths, 17 AMI, 16 re-PCI and 5 strokes). Provisional T-stenting resulted in similar rate of MACCE to other techniques (16% vs. 5%, p=0.27) and similar occurrence of re-PCI (6% vs. 2%, p=0.78). The results of post-PCI kissing-balloon technique gave equal out-comes with 3% vs. 16% of MACCE in patients in whom no optimization technique was used (p=0.39). The type of implanted DES (second- vs. first-generation) had no influence on MACCE (4% vs 14%, respectively, p=0.12) and re-PCI (1.7% vs. 51% patients, respectively, p=0.28). Con-clusions: The treatment of bifurcation lesions with PCI represent high-risk procedures with high rate of MACCE. Stenting technique, optimization of PCI and the generation of implanted stent should be personalized for each case to balance risk of the procedure. In this setting, the operator experience might be the factor of better outcome, which should be further investigated.

Keywords: coronary bifurcation, drug eluting stents, long-term follow-up, percutaneous coronary interventions

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5 Functionalized Spherical Aluminosilicates in Biomedically Grade Composites

Authors: Damian Stanislaw Nakonieczny, Grazyna Simha Martynkova, Marianna Hundakova, G. Kratosová, Karla Cech Barabaszova


The main aim of the research was to functionalize the surface of spherical aluminum silicates in the form of so-called cenospheres. Cenospheres are light ceramic particles with a density between 0.45 and 0.85 kgm-3 hat can be obtained as a result of separation from fly ash from coal combustion. However, their occurrence is limited to about 1% by weight of dry ash mainly derived from anthracite. Hence they are very rare and desirable material. Cenospheres are characterized by complete chemical inertness. Mohs hardness in range of 6 and completely smooth surface. Main idea was to prepare the surface by chemical etching, among others hydrofluoric acid (HF) and hydrogen peroxide, caro acid, silanization using (3-aminopropyl) triethoxysilane (APTES) and tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) to obtain the maximum development and functionalization of the surface to improve chemical and mechanical connection with biomedically used polymers, i.e., polyacrylic methacrylate (PMMA) and polyetheretherketone (PEEK). These polymers are used medically mainly as a material for fixed and removable dental prostheses and PEEK spinal implants. The problem with their use is the decrease in mechanical properties over time and bacterial infections fungal during implantation and use of dentures. Hence, the use of a ceramic filler that will significantly improve the mechanical properties, improve the fluidity of the polymer during shape formation, and in the future, will be able to support bacteriostatic substances such as silver and zinc ions seem promising. In order to evaluate our laboratory work, several instrumental studies were performed: chemical composition and morphology with scanning electron microscopy with Energy-Dispersive X-Ray Probe (SEM/EDX), determination of characteristic functional groups of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), phase composition of X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and thermal analysis of Thermo Gravimetric Analysis/differentia thermal analysis (TGA/DTA), as well as assessment of isotherm of adsorption with Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface development. The surface was evaluated for the future application of additional bacteria and static fungus layers. Based on the experimental work, it was found that orated methods can be suitable for the functionalization of the surface of cenosphere ceramics, and in the future it can be suitable as a bacteriostatic filler for biomedical polymers, i.e., PEEK or PMMA.

Keywords: bioceramics, composites, functionalization, surface development

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4 The Predictive Power of Successful Scientific Theories: An Explanatory Study on Their Substantive Ontologies through Theoretical Change

Authors: Damian Islas


Debates on realism in science concern two different questions: (I) whether the unobservable entities posited by theories can be known; and (II) whether any knowledge we have of them is objective or not. Question (I) arises from the doubt that since observation is the basis of all our factual knowledge, unobservable entities cannot be known. Question (II) arises from the doubt that since scientific representations are inextricably laden with the subjective, idiosyncratic, and a priori features of human cognition and scientific practice, they cannot convey any reliable information on how their objects are in themselves. A way of understanding scientific realism (SR) is through three lines of inquiry: ontological, semantic, and epistemological. Ontologically, scientific realism asserts the existence of a world independent of human mind. Semantically, scientific realism assumes that theoretical claims about reality show truth values and, thus, should be construed literally. Epistemologically, scientific realism believes that theoretical claims offer us knowledge of the world. Nowadays, the literature on scientific realism has proceeded rather far beyond the realism versus antirealism debate. This stance represents a middle-ground position between the two according to which science can attain justified true beliefs concerning relational facts about the unobservable realm but cannot attain justified true beliefs concerning the intrinsic nature of any objects occupying that realm. That is, the structural content of scientific theories about the unobservable can be known, but facts about the intrinsic nature of the entities that figure as place-holders in those structures cannot be known. There are two possible versions of SR: Epistemological Structural Realism (ESR) and Ontic Structural Realism (OSR). On ESR, an agnostic stance is preserved with respect to the natures of unobservable entities, but the possibility of knowing the relations obtaining between those entities is affirmed. OSR includes the rather striking claim that when it comes to the unobservables theorized about within fundamental physics, relations exist, but objects do not. Focusing on ESR, questions arise concerning its ability to explain the empirical success of a theory. Empirical success certainly involves predictive success, and predictive success implies a theory’s power to make accurate predictions. But a theory’s power to make any predictions at all seems to derive precisely from its core axioms or laws concerning unobservable entities and mechanisms, and not simply the sort of structural relations often expressed in equations. The specific challenge to ESR concerns its ability to explain the explanatory and predictive power of successful theories without appealing to their substantive ontologies, which are often not preserved by their successors. The response to this challenge will depend on the various and subtle different versions of ESR and OSR stances, which show a sort of progression through eliminativist OSR to moderate OSR of gradual increase in the ontological status accorded to objects. Knowing the relations between unobserved entities is methodologically identical to assert that these relations between unobserved entities exist.

Keywords: eliminativist ontic structural realism, epistemological structuralism, moderate ontic structural realism, ontic structuralism

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3 Engineering Economic Analysis of Implementing a Materials Recovery Facility in Jamaica: A Green Industry Approach towards a Sustainable Developing Economy

Authors: Damian Graham, Ashleigh H. Hall, Damani R. Sulph, Michael A. James, Shawn B. Vassell


This paper assesses the design and feasibility of a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Jamaica as a possible green industry approach to the nation’s economic and solid waste management problems. Jamaica is a developing nation that is vulnerable to climate change that can affect its blue economy and tourism on which it is heavily reliant. Jamaica’s National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) collects only a fraction of all the solid waste produced annually which is then transported to dumpsites. The remainder is either burnt by the population or disposed of illegally. These practices negatively impact the environment, threaten the sustainability of economic growth from blue economy and tourism and its waste management system is predominantly a cost centre. The implementation of an MRF could boost the manufacturing sector, contribute to economic growth, and be a catalyst in creating a green industry with multiple downstream value chains with supply chain linkages. Globally, there is a trend to reuse and recycle that created an international market for recycled solid waste. MRFs enable the efficient sorting of solid waste into desired recoverable materials thus providing a gateway for entrance to the international trading of recycled waste. Research into the current state and effort to improve waste management in Jamaica in contrast with the similar and more advanced territories are outlined. The study explores the concept of green industrialization and its applicability to vulnerable small state economies like Jamaica. The study highlights the possible contributions and benefits derived from MRFs as a seeding factory that can anchor the reverse and forward logistics of other green industries as part of a logistic-cantered economy. Further, the study showcases an engineering economic analysis that assesses the viability of the implementation of an MRF in Jamaica. This research outlines the potential cost of constructing and operating an MRF and provides a realistic cash flow estimate to establish a baseline for profitability. The approach considers quantitative and qualitative data, assumptions, and modelling using industrial engineering tools and techniques that are outlined. Techniques of facility planning, system analysis and operations research with a focus on linear programming techniques are expressed. Approaches to overcome some implementation challenges including policy, technology and public education are detailed. The results of this study present a reasonable judgment of the prospects of incorporating an MRF to improve Jamaica’s solid waste management and contribute to socioeconomic and environmental benefits and an alternate pathway for economic sustainability.

Keywords: engineering-economic analysis, facility design, green industry, MRF, manufacturing, plant layout, solid-waste management, sustainability, waste disposal

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2 Elevated Systemic Oxidative-Nitrosative Stress and Cerebrovascular Function in Professional Rugby Union Players: The Link to Impaired Cognition

Authors: Tom S. Owens, Tom A. Calverley, Benjamin S. Stacey, Christopher J. Marley, George Rose, Lewis Fall, Gareth L. Jones, Priscilla Williams, John P. R. Williams, Martin Steggall, Damian M. Bailey


Introduction and aims: Sports-related concussion (SRC) represents a significant and growing public health concern in rugby union, yet remains one of the least understood injuries facing the health community today. Alongside increasing SRC incidence rates, there is concern that prior recurrent concussion may contribute to long-term neurologic sequelae in later-life. This may be due to an accelerated decline in cerebral perfusion, a major risk factor for neurocognitive decline and neurodegeneration, though the underlying mechanisms remain to be established. The present study hypothesised that recurrent concussion in current professional rugby union players would result in elevated systemic oxidative-nitrosative stress, reflected by a free radical-mediated reduction in nitric oxide (NO) bioavailability and impaired cerebrovascular and cognitive function. Methodology: A longitudinal study design was adopted across the 2017-2018 rugby union season. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of South Wales Ethics Committee. Data collection is ongoing, and therefore the current report documents result from the pre-season and first half of the in-season data collection. Participants were initially divided into two subgroups; 23 professional rugby union players (aged 26 ± 5 years) and 22 non-concussed controls (27 ± 8 years). Pre-season measurements were performed for cerebrovascular function (Doppler ultrasound of middle cerebral artery velocity (MCAv) in response to hypocapnia/normocapnia/hypercapnia), cephalic venous concentrations of the ascorbate radical (A•-, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy), NO (ozone-based chemiluminescence) and cognition (neuropsychometric tests). Notational analysis was performed to assess contact in the rugby group throughout each competitive game. Results: 1001 tackles and 62 injuries, including three concussions were observed across the first half of the season. However, no associations were apparent between number of tackles and any injury type (P > 0.05). The rugby group expressed greater oxidative stress as indicated by increased A•- (P < 0.05 vs. control) and a subsequent decrease in NO bioavailability (P < 0.05 vs. control). The rugby group performed worse in the Ray Auditory Verbal Learning Test B (RAVLT-B, learning, and memory) and the Grooved Pegboard test using both the dominant and non-dominant hands (visuomotor coordination, P < 0.05 vs. control). There were no between-group differences in cerebral perfusion at baseline (MCAv: 54 ± 13 vs. 59 ± 12, P > 0.05). Likewise, no between-group differences in CVRCO2Hypo (2.58 ± 1.01 vs. 2.58 ± 0.75, P > 0.05) or CVRCO2Hyper (2.69 ± 1.07 vs. 3.35 ± 1.28, P > 0.05) were observed. Conclusion: The present study identified that the rugby union players are characterized by impaired cognitive function subsequent to elevated systemic-oxidative-nitrosative stress. However, this appears to be independent of any functional impairment in cerebrovascular function. Given the potential long-term trajectory towards accelerated cognitive decline in populations exposed to SRC, prophylaxis to increase NO bioavailability warrants consideration.

Keywords: cognition, concussion, mild traumatic brain injury, rugby

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1 Development Programmes Requirements for Managing and Supporting the Ever-Dynamic Job Roles of Middle Managers in Higher Education Institutions: The Espousal Demanded from Human Resources Department; Case Studies of a New University in United Kingdom

Authors: Mohamed Sameer Mughal, Andrew D. Ross, Damian J. Fearon


Background: The fast-paced changing landscape of UK Higher Education Institution (HEIs) is poised by changes and challenges affecting Middle Managers (MM) in their job roles. MM contribute to the success of HEIs by balancing the equilibrium and pass organization strategies from senior staff towards operationalization directives to junior staff. However, this study showcased from the data analyzed during the semi structured interviews; MM job role is becoming more complex due to changes and challenges creating colossal pressures and workloads in day-to-day working. Current development programmes provisions by Human Resources (HR) departments in such HEIs are not feasible, applicable, and matching the true essence and requirements of MM who suggest that programmes offered by HR are too generic to suit their precise needs and require tailor made espousal to work effectively in their pertinent job roles. Methodologies: This study aims to capture demands of MM Development Needs (DN) by means of a conceptual model as conclusive part of the research that is divided into 2 phases. Phase 1 initiated by carrying out 2 pilot interviews with a retired Emeritus status professor and HR programmes development coordinator. Key themes from the pilot and literature review subsidized into formulation of 22 set of questions (Kvale and Brinkmann) in form of interviewing questionnaire during qualitative data collection. Data strategy and collection consisted of purposeful sampling of 12 semi structured interviews (n=12) lasting approximately an hour for all participants. The MM interviewed were at faculty and departmental levels which included; deans (n=2), head of departments (n=4), subject leaders (n=2), and lastly programme leaders (n=4). Participants recruitment was carried out via emails and snowballing technique. The interviews data was transcribed (verbatim) and managed using Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis using Nvivo ver.11 software. Data was meticulously analyzed using Miles and Huberman inductive approach of positivistic style grounded theory, whereby key themes and categories emerged from the rich data collected. The data was precisely coded and classified into case studies (Robert Yin); with a main case study, sub cases (4 classes of MM) and embedded cases (12 individual MMs). Major Findings: An interim conceptual model emerged from analyzing the data with main concepts that included; key performance indicators (KPI’s), HEI effectiveness and outlook, practices, processes and procedures, support mechanisms, student events, rules, regulations and policies, career progression, reporting/accountability, changes and challenges, and lastly skills and attributes. Conclusion: Dynamic elements affecting MM includes; increase in government pressures, student numbers, irrelevant development programmes, bureaucratic structures, transparency and accountability, organization policies, skills sets… can only be confronted by employing structured development programmes originated by HR that are not provided generically. Future Work: Stage 2 (Quantitative method) of the study plans to validate the interim conceptual model externally through fully completed online survey questionnaire (Bram Oppenheim) from external HEIs (n=150). The total sample targeted is 1500 MM. Author contribution focuses on enhancing management theory and narrow the gap between by HR and MM development programme provision.

Keywords: development needs (DN), higher education institutions (HEIs), human resources (HR), middle managers (MM)

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