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

Search results for: Gerald Ostermayer

23 Low-Emission Commuting with Micro Public Transport: Investigation of Travel Times and CO₂ Emissions

Authors: Marcel Ciesla, Victoria Oberascher, Sven Eder, Stefan Kirchweger, Wolfgang E. Baaske, Gerald Ostermayer

Abstract:

The omnipresent trend towards sustainable mobility is a major challenge, especially for commuters in rural areas. The use of micro public transport systems is expected to significantly reduce pollutant emissions, as several commuters travel the first mile together with a single pick-up bus instead of their own car. In this paper, different aspects of such a micro public transport system are analyzed. The main findings of the investigations should be how the travel times of commuters change and how many CO₂ emissions can be saved if some of the commuters use public transport instead of their own vehicle.

Keywords: micro public transport, green transportation, sustainable mobility, low-emission commuting

Procedia PDF Downloads 42
22 Deconstructing Local Area Networks Using MaatPeace

Authors: Gerald Todd

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Recent advances in random epistemologies and ubiquitous theory have paved the way for web services. Given the current status of linear-time communication, cyberinformaticians compellingly desire the exploration of link-level acknowledgements. In order to realize this purpose, we concentrate our efforts on disconfirming that DHTs and model checking are mostly incompatible.

Keywords: LAN, cyberinformatics, model checking, communication

Procedia PDF Downloads 280
21 Seeking Safe Haven: An Analysis of Gold Performance during Periods of High Volatility

Authors: Gerald Abdesaken, Thomas O. Miller

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This paper analyzes the performance of gold as a safe-haven investment. Assuming high market volatility as an impetus to seek a safe haven in gold, the return of gold relative to the stock market, as measured by the S&P 500, is tracked. Using the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) volatility index (VIX) as a measure of stock market volatility, various criteria are established for when an investor would seek a safe haven to avoid high levels of risk. The results show that in a vast majority of cases, the S&P 500 outperforms gold during these periods of high volatility and suggests investors who seek safe haven are underperforming the market.

Keywords: gold, portfolio management, safe haven, VIX

Procedia PDF Downloads 34
20 Towards Automated Remanufacturing of Marine and Offshore Engineering Components

Authors: Aprilia, Wei Liang Keith Nguyen, Shu Beng Tor, Gerald Gim Lee Seet, Chee Kai Chua

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Automated remanufacturing process is of great interest in today’s marine and offshore industry. Most of the current remanufacturing processes are carried out manually and hence they are error prone, labour-intensive and costly. In this paper, a conceptual framework for automated remanufacturing is presented. This framework involves the integration of 3D non-contact digitization, adaptive surface reconstruction, additive manufacturing and machining operation. Each operation is operated and interconnected automatically as one system. The feasibility of adaptive surface reconstruction on marine and offshore engineering components is also discussed. Several engineering components were evaluated and the results showed that this proposed system is feasible. Conclusions are drawn and further research work is discussed.

Keywords: adaptive surface reconstruction, automated remanufacturing, automatic repair, reverse engineering

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19 A Futuristic Look at American Indian Nationhood: Zits in Sherman Alexie’s Flight

Authors: Shaimaa Alobaidi

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The presentation examines how urbanization opens possibilities for American Indian characters like Zits in Alexie’s Flightto explore new definitionsoftheirtribal self-identification. Zits travels in time and views the world from different bodies, ages, and races; his journeys end with different perspectives on the idea of nationhood as an American Indian. He is an example of Vine Deloria’s statementthat “urban Indians have become the cutting edge of the new Indian nationalism” (248). Flight is chosen because the momentZits leaves the real world for time-traveling adventures is very critical; it is a moment of rage that ends in the mass murder of many Anglo-Americans. The paper focus on the turning point when he returns into his body with new opportunities towards his existence among the majority of anglo-Americans who cannot help but see him American Indian minority in need of help and assistance. Characters, such as Zits, attempt to outlive alienation, and Alexie gives new definitionsof their ethnic nationhood. Futuristicdoes not mean the very far unpredictable future; it is rather a nearpotential future for teenagers of American Indians, like Zits, Arnold, andCoyoteSprings- the band in ReservationBlues; all revolutionary personalitiesin Alexie’s works. They will be analyzed as Gerald Vizenor’s “postindianwarriors” who have the ability to identify Indigenous nationalism in a post-colonial context.

Keywords: alienation, self-identification, nationhood, urbanization, postindian

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18 Fiber-Based 3D Cellular Reinforcing Structures for Mineral-Bonded Composites with Enhanced Structural Impact Tolerance

Authors: Duy M. P. Vo, Cornelia Sennewald, Gerald Hoffmann, Chokri Cherif

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The development of solutions to improve the resistance of buildings to short-term dynamic loads, particularly impact load, is driven by the urgent demand worldwide on securing human life and critical infrastructures. The research training group GRK 2250/1 aims to develop mineral-bonded composites that allow the fabrication of thin-layered strengthening layers providing available concrete members with enhanced impact resistance. This paper presents the development of 3D woven wire cellular structures that can be used as innovative reinforcement for targeted composites. 3D woven wire cellular structures are truss-like architectures that can be fabricated in an automatized process with a great customization possibility. The specific architecture allows this kind of structures to have good load bearing capability and forming behavior, which is of great potential to give strength against impact loading. An appropriate combination of topology and material enables an optimal use of thin-layered reinforcement in concrete constructions.

Keywords: 3D woven cellular structures, ductile behavior, energy absorption, fiber-based reinforced concrete, impact resistant

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17 Local Community Participation and the Adoption of Agricultural Technology in Kayunga District, Uganda

Authors: Barbara Kyampeire, Gerald Karyeijja

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This study investigated the influence of local community participation on the adoption of new agricultural technology in Uganda, using the case study of Smooth Cayenne Pineapples in Kayunga District, Uganda. The mechanism of adoption of new technologies is often not fully understood and this prompted the study. The study adopted a descriptive, co relational, survey design. The researcher used questionnaire survey, focus group discussion as methods of data collection. A total of 152 respondents including adopters and non-adopters of new technology for producing pineapples were selected from 8 farmer groups in Kayunga District. The results indicated that the participation of the community in the planning, implementation and the monitoring and evaluation of the adoption of the new technology for producing pineapples was low thus reducing the adoption of the new technology in the District. The researcher concluded that community participation significantly influences the adoption of new agricultural technology by members of a particular community. The study thus recommended that: first, there is need for maximum involvement of members of the community in the planning, implementation and monitoring of any new agricultural technology; secondly, there is need for continued sharing of information about new agricultural technologies being introduced; and finally, community members must be equipped with Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) skills in order to make them monitor the progress made by the new agricultural technologies.

Keywords: adoption, community, technology, implementation

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16 Analysis of the Extreme Hydrometeorological Events in the Theorical Hydraulic Potential and Streamflow Forecast

Authors: Sara Patricia Ibarra-Zavaleta, Rabindranarth Romero-Lopez, Rosario Langrave, Annie Poulin, Gerald Corzo, Mathias Glaus, Ricardo Vega-Azamar, Norma Angelica Oropeza

Abstract:

The progressive change in climatic conditions worldwide has increased frequency and severity of extreme hydrometeorological events (EHE). Mexico is an example; this has been affected by the presence of EHE leaving economic, social and environmental losses. The objective of this research was to apply a Canadian distributed hydrological model (DHM) to tropical conditions and to evaluate its capacity to predict flows in a basin in the central Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the DHM (once calibrated and validated) was used to calculate the theoretical hydraulic power and the performance to predict streamflow before the presence of an EHE. The results of the DHM show that the goodness of fit indicators between the observed and simulated flows in the calibration process (NSE=0.83, RSR=0.021 and BIAS=-4.3) and validation: temporal was assessed at two points: point one (NSE=0.78, RSR=0.113 and BIAS=0.054) and point two (NSE=0.825, RSR=0.103 and BIAS=0.063) are satisfactory. The DHM showed its applicability in tropical environments and its ability to characterize the rainfall-runoff relationship in the study area. This work can serve as a tool for identifying vulnerabilities before floods and for the rational and sustainable management of water resources.

Keywords: HYDROTEL, hydraulic power, extreme hydrometeorological events, streamflow

Procedia PDF Downloads 221
15 Data Analytics in Energy Management

Authors: Sanjivrao Katakam, Thanumoorthi I., Antony Gerald, Ratan Kulkarni, Shaju Nair

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With increasing energy costs and its impact on the business, sustainability today has evolved from a social expectation to an economic imperative. Therefore, finding methods to reduce cost has become a critical directive for Industry leaders. Effective energy management is the only way to cut costs. However, Energy Management has been a challenge because it requires a change in old habits and legacy systems followed for decades. Today exorbitant levels of energy and operational data is being captured and stored by Industries, but they are unable to convert these structured and unstructured data sets into meaningful business intelligence. It must be noted that for quick decisions, organizations must learn to cope with large volumes of operational data in different formats. Energy analytics not only helps in extracting inferences from these data sets, but also is instrumental in transformation from old approaches of energy management to new. This in turn assists in effective decision making for implementation. It is the requirement of organizations to have an established corporate strategy for reducing operational costs through visibility and optimization of energy usage. Energy analytics play a key role in optimization of operations. The paper describes how today energy data analytics is extensively used in different scenarios like reducing operational costs, predicting energy demands, optimizing network efficiency, asset maintenance, improving customer insights and device data insights. The paper also highlights how analytics helps transform insights obtained from energy data into sustainable solutions. The paper utilizes data from an array of segments such as retail, transportation, and water sectors.

Keywords: energy analytics, energy management, operational data, business intelligence, optimization

Procedia PDF Downloads 250
14 Orthogonal Metal Cutting Simulation of Steel AISI 1045 via Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamic Method

Authors: Seyed Hamed Hashemi Sohi, Gerald Jo Denoga

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Machining or metal cutting is one of the most widely used production processes in industry. The quality of the process and the resulting machined product depends on parameters like tool geometry, material, and cutting conditions. However, the relationships of these parameters to the cutting process are often based mostly on empirical knowledge. In this study, computer modeling and simulation using LS-DYNA software and a Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamic (SPH) methodology, was performed on the orthogonal metal cutting process to analyze three-dimensional deformation of AISI 1045 medium carbon steel during machining. The simulation was performed using the following constitutive models: the Power Law model, the Johnson-Cook model, and the Zerilli-Armstrong models (Z-A). The outcomes were compared against the simulated results obtained by Cenk Kiliçaslan using the Finite Element Method (FEM) and the empirical results of Jaspers and Filice. The analysis shows that the SPH method combined with the Zerilli-Armstrong constitutive model is a viable alternative to simulating the metal cutting process. The tangential force was overestimated by 7%, and the normal force was underestimated by 16% when compared with empirical values. The simulation values for flow stress versus strain at various temperatures were also validated against empirical values. The SPH method using the Z-A model has also proven to be robust against issues of time-scaling. Experimental work was also done to investigate the effects of friction, rake angle and tool tip radius on the simulation.

Keywords: metal cutting, smoothed particle hydrodynamics, constitutive models, experimental, cutting forces analyses

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13 Empirical Analysis of the Love Languages in the Context of Relationship Satisfaction, Sexual Satisfaction and Empathy in Romantic Heterosexual Couples

Authors: Olha Mostova, Maciej Stolarski, Gerald Matthews

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The present paper explores and tests Gary Chapman’s claims that (1) people vary in the ways they prefer to receive and express affection and (2) romantic partners, who communicate their feelings correspondingly to their partner’s preferences, experience greater relationship quality. The author proposes five distinct preferences for and tendencies to express love, including acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation, quality time, and gifts. In the present study, partners (N = 100 romantic, heterosexual couples) completed measures assessing their preferences and behavioral tendencies reflecting 1) how they a) tend to express and b) prefer to receive signs of affection in correspondence to the five proposed categories; 2) relationship satisfaction; 3) sexual satisfaction and 4) empathy, which was expected to be the factor that leads to a better understanding of and responding to the partner’s needs. The degree of the within-couple match was calculated separately for each individual based on the discrepancies between one’s felt (preferred) and their partner’s expressed love language. The joint discrepancy indicator was a sum of such discrepancies across the five love languages. Conducted analyses provided evidence for significant associations between matching on love languages and both relationship and sexual satisfaction. In particular, people who expressed their affection in the way their partners preferred to receive it experienced greater satisfaction with their relationships and were more sexually satisfied compared to those who met their partner’s needs to a lesser extent. Other results provide some support for mediating effects of certain domains of empathy in the said associations among male but not female participants.

Keywords: affection, empathy, love languages, relationship satisfaction, romantic couples, sexual satisfaction

Procedia PDF Downloads 23
12 Development of Electric Generator and Water Purifier Cart

Authors: Luisito L. Lacatan, Gian Carlo J. Bergonia, Felipe C. Buado III, Gerald L. Gono, Ron Mark V. Ortil, Calvin A. Yap

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This paper features the development of a Mobile Self-sustaining Electricity Generator for water distillation process with MCU- based wireless controller & indicator designed to solve the problem of scarcity of clean water. It is a fact that pure water is precious nowadays and its value is more precious to those who do not have or enjoy it. There are many water filtration products in existence today. However, none of these products fully satisfies the needs of families needing clean drinking water. All of the following products require either large sums of money or extensive maintenance, and some products do not even come with a guarantee of potable water. The proposed project was designed to alleviate the problem of scarcity of potable water in the country and part of the purpose was also to identify the problem or loopholes of the project such as the distance and speed required to produce electricity using a wheel and alternator, the required time for the heating element to heat up, the capacity of the battery to maintain the heat of the heating element and the time required for the boiler to produce a clean and potable water. The project has three parts. The first part included the researchers’ effort to plan every part of the project from the conversion of mechanical energy to electrical energy, from purifying water to potable drinking water to the controller and indicator of the project using microcontroller unit (MCU). This included identifying the problem encountered and any possible solution to prevent and avoid errors. Gathering and reviewing related studies about the project helped the researcher reduce and prevent any problems before they could be encountered. It also included the price and quantity of materials used to control the budget.

Keywords: mobile, self – sustaining, electricity generator, water distillation, wireless battery indicator, wireless water level indicator

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11 Effect of Simulation on Anxiety and Knowledge among Novice Nursing Students

Authors: Suja Karkada, Jayanthi Radhakrishnan, Jansi Natarajan, Gerald, Amandu Matua, Sujatha Shanmugasundaram

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Simulation-based learning is an educational strategy designed to simulate actual clinical situations in a safe environment. Globally, simulation is recognized by several landmark studies as an effective teaching-learning method. A systematic review of the literature on simulation revealed simulation as a useful strategy in creating a learning environment which contributes to knowledge, skills, safety, and confidence. However, to the best of the author's knowledge, there are no studies on assessing the anxiety of the students undergoing simulation. Hence the researchers undertook a study with the aim to evaluate the effectiveness of simulation on anxiety and knowledge among novice nursing students. This quasi-experimental study had a total sample of 69 students (35- Intervention group with simulation and 34- Control group with case scenario) consisting of all the students enrolled in the Fundamentals of Nursing Laboratory course during Spring 2016 and Fall 2016 semesters at a college of nursing in Oman. Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) of the college of nursing. Informed consent was obtained from every participant. Study received the Dean’s fund for research. The data were collected regarding the demographic information, knowledge and anxiety levels before and after the use of simulation and case scenario for the procedure nasogastric tube feeding in intervention and control group respectively. The intervention was performed by four faculties who were the core team members of the course. Results were analyzed in SPSS using descriptive and inferential statistics. Majority of the students’ in intervention (82.9%) and control (89.9%) groups were equal to or below the age of 20 years, were females (71%), 76.8% of them were from rural areas and 65.2% had a GPA of more than 2.5. The selection of the samples to either the experimental or the control group was from a homogenous population (p > 0.05). There was a significant reduction of anxiety among the students of control group (t (67) = 2.418, p = 0.018) comparing to the experimental group, indicating that simulation creates anxiety among Novice nursing students. However, there was no significant difference in the mean scores of knowledge. In conclusion, the study was useful in that it will help the investigators better understand the implications of using simulation in teaching skills to novice students. Since previous studies with students indicate better knowledge acquisition; this study revealed that simulation can increase anxiety among novice students possibly it is the first time they are introduced to this method of teaching.

Keywords: anxiety, knowledge, novice students, simulation

Procedia PDF Downloads 44
10 Prevalence of Adverse Events in Children and Adolescents on Antiretroviral Therapy: Examining the Pediatric Cohort in the Eastern Cape

Authors: Shannon Glaspy, Gerald Boon, Jack Lambert

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Studies on AE of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in children and adolescents are rare. The aim of this study is to observe the frequency of treatment limiting adverse drug reactions against years on ARVs and specific ARV regimen. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in East London, South Africa. All patient files in the pediatric (0 – 18 years) ARV cohort were examined, selecting only those patients started on HAART. ARV regimen changes explicitly due to AE, age on ARV treatment onset, age of AE onset, and gender were extrapolated. Eligible subjects were obtained from patient folders, anonymized and cross-referenced with data obtained from electronic records. A total of 1120 patients [592 male (52.9%) and 528 female (47.1%)] were charted by incidence and year. Additional information was extrapolated in cases where the patient experienced lipodystrophy and lipoatrophy to include the number of years on ARVs prior to the onset of the AE. Results: Of the 1120 HIV infected children of the hospital cohort, a total of 105 (9.37%) AE (53.3% male) observed were deemed eligible for the study due to completeness of medical history and agreement between electronic records and paper files. The AE cited were as follows: lipoatrophy 62 (5.53% of all subjects), lipodystrophy 27 (2.41%), neuropathy 9 (0.8%), anemia 2 (0.17%), Steven Johnsons Syndrome 1 (0.08%), elevated LFTs 1 (0.8%), breast hypertrophy (0.08%), gastritis 1 (0.08%) and rash 1 (0.08%). The most prevalence ARV regimens associated with the onset of the AE are: D4T/3TC/EFV 72 cases (64.86% of all AE), D4T/3TC/LOPr 24 cases (21.62%). Lipoatrophy and lipodystrophy combined represent 84.76% (89 cases) of all adverse events documented in this cohort. Within the 60 cases of lipoatrophy, the average number of years on ARVs associated with an AE is 3.54, with 14 cases experiencing an AE between 0-2 years of HAART. Within the 29 cases of lipodystrophy, the average number of years on ARVs associated with an AE is 3.89, with 4 cases experiencing an AE between 0-2 years on HAART. The regimen D4T/3TC/EFV is associated with 43 cases (71.66%) of lipoatrophy and 21 cases (72.41%) of lipodystrophy. D4T/3TC/LOPr is associated with 15 cases (25%) of lipoatrophy and 7 cases (24.14%) of lipodystrophy. The frequency of AE associated with ARV regimens could be misrepresented due to prevalence of different 1st line regimens which were not captured in this study, particularly with the systematic change of 1st line drugs from D4T to ABC in 2010. Conclusion: In this descriptive study we found a 9.37% prevalence of AE were significant enough to be treatment limiting among our cohort. Lipoatrophy accounted for 59.04% of all documented AE. Overall, D4T/3TC/EFV was associated with 64.86% of all AE, 71.66% of lipoatrophy cases and 72.41% of lipodystrophy cases.

Keywords: ARV, adverse events, HAART, pediatric

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9 Incorporation of Noncanonical Amino Acids into Hard-to-Express Antibody Fragments: Expression and Characterization

Authors: Hana Hanaee-Ahvaz, Monika Cserjan-Puschmann, Christopher Tauer, Gerald Striedner

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Incorporation of noncanonical amino acids (ncAA) into proteins has become an interesting topic as proteins featured with ncAAs offer a wide range of different applications. Nowadays, technologies and systems exist that allow for the site-specific introduction of ncAAs in vivo, but the efficient production of proteins modified this way is still a big challenge. This is especially true for 'hard-to-express' proteins where low yields are encountered even with the native sequence. In this study, site-specific incorporation of azido-ethoxy-carbonyl-Lysin (azk) into an anti-tumor-necrosis-factor-α-Fab (FTN2) was investigated. According to well-established parameters, possible site positions for ncAA incorporation were determined, and corresponding FTN2 genes were constructed. Each of the modified FTN2 variants has one amber codon for azk incorporated either in its heavy or light chain. The expression level for all variants produced was determined by ELISA, and all azk variants could be produced with a satisfactory yield in the range of 50-70% of the original FTN2 variant. In terms of expression yield, neither the azk incorporation position nor the subunit modified (heavy or light chain) had a significant effect. We confirmed correct protein processing and azk incorporation by mass spectrometry analysis, and antigen-antibody interaction was determined by surface plasmon resonance analysis. The next step is to characterize the effect of azk incorporation on protein stability and aggregation tendency via differential scanning calorimetry and light scattering, respectively. In summary, the incorporation of ncAA into our Fab candidate FTN2 worked better than expected. The quantities produced allowed a detailed characterization of the variants in terms of their properties, and we can now turn our attention to potential applications. By using click chemistry, we can equip the Fabs with additional functionalities and make them suitable for a wide range of applications. We will now use this option in a first approach and develop an assay that will allow us to follow the degradation of the recombinant target protein in vivo. Special focus will be laid on the proteolytic activity in the periplasm and how it is influenced by cultivation/induction conditions.

Keywords: degradation, FTN2, hard-to-express protein, non-canonical amino acids

Procedia PDF Downloads 54
8 Fast-Tracking University Education for Youth Employment: Empirical Evidence from University Graduates in Rwanda

Authors: Fred Alinda, Marjorie Negesa, Gerald Karyeija

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Like elsewhere in the world, youth unemployment remains a big problem more so to the most educated youth and female. In Rwanda, unemployment is estimated at 13.2% among youth graduates compared to 10.9% and 2.6 among secondary and primary graduates respectively. Though empirical evidence elsewhere associate youth unemployment with education level, relevance of skills and access to business support opportunities, mixed evidence still exist on the significance of these factors to youth employment. As youth employment strategies in countries like Rwanda continue to recognize the potential role university education can play to enhance employment, there is a need to understand the catalysts or barriers. This paper, therefore, draws empirical evidence from a survey on the influence of education qualification, skills relevance and access to business support opportunities on employment of the youth university graduates in Masaka sector, Rwanda. The analysis tested four hypotheses; access to university education significantly affects youth employment, Relevance of university education significantly contributes to youth employment; access to business support opportunities significantly contributes to youth employment, and significant gender differences exist in the employment of youth university graduates. A cross-section survey was used in lieu of the need to explore the prevailing status of youth employment and contributing factors across the sector. A questionnaire was used to collect data on a large sample of 269 youth to allow statistical analysis. This was beefed up with qualitative views of leaders and technical officials in the sector. The youth University graduates were selected using simple random sampling while the leaders and technical officials were selected purposively. Percentages were used to describe respondents in line with the variables under while a regression model for youth employment was fitted to determine the significant factors. The model results indicated a significant influence (p<0.05) of gender, education level and access to business support opportunities on employment of youth university graduates. This finding was also affirmed by the qualitative views of key informants. Qualitative views pointed to the fact that university education generally equipped the youth with skills that enabled their transition into employment mainly for a salary or wage. The skills were, however, deficient in technical and practical aspects. In addition, the youth generally lacked limited access to business support opportunities particularly guarantees for loans, business advisory, and grants for business as well as training in business skills that would help them gain salaried employment or transit into self-employment. The study findings bear an implication on the strategy for catalyzing youth employment through university education. The findings imply that university education should be embraced but with greater emphasis on or supplementation with specialized training in practical and technical skills as well as extending business support opportunities to the youth. This will accelerate the contribution of university education to youth employment.

Keywords: education, employment, self-employment, youth

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7 Jigger Flea (Tunga penetrans) Infestations and Use of Soil-Cow Dung-Ash Mixture as a Flea Control Method in Eastern Uganda

Authors: Gerald Amatre, Julius Bunny Lejju, Morgan Andama

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Despite several interventions, jigger flea infestations continue to be reported in the Busoga sub-region in Eastern Uganda. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that expose the indigenous people to jigger flea infestations and evaluate the effectiveness of any indigenous materials used in flea control by the affected communities. Flea compositions in residences were described, factors associated with flea infestation and indigenous materials used in flea control were evaluated. Field surveys were conducted in the affected communities after obtaining preliminary information on jigger infestation from the offices of the District Health Inspectors to identify the affected villages and households. Informed consent was then sought from the local authorities and household heads to conduct the study. Focus group discussions were conducted with key district informants, namely, the District Health Inspectors, District Entomologists and representatives from the District Health Office. A GPS coordinate was taken at central point at every household enrolled. Fleas were trapped inside residences using Kilonzo traps. A Kilonzo Trap comprised a shallow pan, about three centimetres deep, filled to the brim with water. The edges of the pan were smeared with Vaseline to prevent fleas from crawling out. Traps were placed in the evening and checked every morning the following day. The trapped fleas were collected in labelled vials filled with 70% aqueous ethanol and taken to the laboratory for identification. Socio-economic and environmental data were collected. The results indicate that the commonest flea trapped in the residences was the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis) (50%), followed by Jigger flea (Tunga penetrans) (46%) and rat flea (Xenopsylla Cheopis) (4%), respectively. The average size of residences was seven squire metres with a mean of six occupants. The residences were generally untidy; with loose dusty floors and the brick walls were not plastered. The majority of the jigger affected households were headed by peasants (86.7%) and artisans (13.3%). The household heads mainly stopped at primary school level (80%) and few at secondary school level (20%). The jigger affected households were mainly headed by peasants of low socioeconomic status. The affected community members use soil-cow dung-ash mixture to smear floors of residences as the only measure to control fleas. This method was found to be ineffective in controlling the insects. The study recommends that home improvement campaigns be continued in the affected communities to improve sanitation and hygiene in residences as one of the interventions to combat flea infestations. Other cheap, available and effective means should be identified to curb jigger flea infestations.

Keywords: cow dung-soil-ash mixture, infestations, jigger flea, Tunga penetrans

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6 Analysis of Interparticle interactions in High Waxy-Heavy Clay Fine Sands for Sand Control Optimization

Authors: Gerald Gwamba

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Formation and oil well sand production is one of the greatest and oldest concerns for the Oil and gas industry. The production of sand particles may vary from very small and limited amounts to far elevated levels which has the potential to block or plug the pore spaces near the perforated points to blocking production from surface facilities. Therefore, the timely and reliable investigation of conditions leading to the onset or quantifying sanding while producing is imperative. The challenges of sand production are even more elevated while producing in Waxy and Heavy wells with Clay Fine sands (WHFC). Existing research argues that both waxy and heavy hydrocarbons exhibit far differing characteristics with waxy more paraffinic while heavy crude oils exhibit more asphaltenic properties. Moreover, the combined effect of WHFC conditions presents more complexity in production as opposed to individual effects that could be attributed to a consolidation of a surmountable opposing force. However, research on a combined high WHFC system could depict a better representation of the surmountable effect which in essence is more comparable to field conditions where a one-sided view of either individual effects on sanding has been argued to some extent misrepresentative of actual field conditions since all factors act surmountably. In recognition of the limited customized research on sand production studies with the combined effect of WHFC however, our research seeks to apply the Design of Experiments (DOE) methodology based on latest literature to analyze the relationship between various interparticle factors in relation to selected sand control methods. Our research aims to unearth a better understanding of how the combined effect of interparticle factors including: strength, cementation, particle size and production rate among others could better assist in the design of an optimal sand control system for the WHFC well conditions. In this regard, we seek to answer the following research question: How does the combined effect of interparticle factors affect the optimization of sand control systems for WHFC wells? Results from experimental data collection will inform a better justification for a sand control design for WHFC. In doing so, we hope to contribute to earlier contrasts arguing that sand production could potentially enable well self-permeability enhancement caused by the establishment of new flow channels created by loosening and detachment of sand grains. We hope that our research will contribute to future sand control designs capable of adapting to flexible production adjustments in controlled sand management. This paper presents results which are part of an ongoing research towards the authors' PhD project in the optimization of sand control systems for WHFC wells.

Keywords: waxy-heavy oils, clay-fine sands, sand control optimization, interparticle factors, design of experiments

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5 Wound Healing Process Studied on DC Non-Homogeneous Electric Fields

Authors: Marisa Rio, Sharanya Bola, Richard H. W. Funk, Gerald Gerlach

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Cell migration, wound healing and regeneration are some of the physiological phenomena in which electric fields (EFs) have proven to have an important function. Physiologically, cells experience electrical signals in the form of transmembrane potentials, ion fluxes through protein channels as well as electric fields at their surface. As soon as a wound is created, the disruption of the epithelial layers generates an electric field of ca. 40-200 mV/mm, directing cell migration towards the wound site, starting the healing process. In vitro electrotaxis, experiments have shown cells respond to DC EFs polarizing and migrating towards one of the poles (cathode or anode). A standard electrotaxis experiment consists of an electrotaxis chamber where cells are cultured, a DC power source and agar salt bridges that help delaying toxic products from the electrodes to attain the cell surface. The electric field strengths used in such an experiment are uniform and homogeneous. In contrast, the endogenous electric field strength around a wound tend to be multi-field and non-homogeneous. In this study, we present a custom device that enables electrotaxis experiments in non-homogeneous DC electric fields. Its main feature involves the replacement of conventional metallic electrodes, separated from the electrotaxis channel by agarose gel bridges, through electrolyte-filled microchannels. The connection to the DC source is made by Ag/AgCl electrodes, incased in agarose gel and placed at the end of each microfluidic channel. An SU-8 membrane closes the fluidic channels and simultaneously serves as the single connection from each of them to the central electrotaxis chamber. The electric field distribution and current density were numerically simulated with the steady-state electric conduction module from ANSYS 16.0. Simulation data confirms the application of nonhomogeneous EF of physiological strength. To validate the biocompatibility of the device cellular viability of the photoreceptor-derived 661W cell line was accessed. The cells have not shown any signs of apoptosis, damage or detachment during stimulation. Furthermore, immunofluorescence staining, namely by vinculin and actin labelling, allowed the assessment of adhesion efficiency and orientation of the cytoskeleton, respectively. Cellular motility in the presence and absence of applied DC EFs was verified. The movement of individual cells was tracked for the duration of the experiments, confirming the EF-induced, cathodal-directed motility of the studied cell line. The in vitro monolayer wound assay, or “scratch assay” is a standard protocol to quantitatively access cell migration in vitro. It encompasses the growth of a confluent cell monolayer followed by the mechanic creation of a scratch, representing a wound. Hence, wound dynamics was monitored over time and compared for control and applied the electric field to quantify cellular population motility.

Keywords: DC non-homogeneous electric fields, electrotaxis, microfluidic biochip, wound healing

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4 An Adaptable Semi-Numerical Anisotropic Hyperelastic Model for the Simulation of High Pressure Forming

Authors: Daniel Tscharnuter, Eliza Truszkiewicz, Gerald Pinter

Abstract:

High-quality surfaces of plastic parts can be achieved in a very cost-effective manner using in-mold processes, where e.g. scratch resistant or high gloss polymer films are pre-formed and subsequently receive their support structure by injection molding. The pre-forming may be done by high-pressure forming. In this process, a polymer sheet is heated and subsequently formed into the mold by pressurized air. Due to the heat transfer to the cooled mold the polymer temperature drops below its glass transition temperature. This ensures that the deformed microstructure is retained after depressurizing, giving the sheet its final formed shape. The development of a forming process relies heavily on the experience of engineers and trial-and-error procedures. Repeated mold design and testing cycles are however both time- and cost-intensive. It is, therefore, desirable to study the process using reliable computer simulations. Through simulations, the construction of the mold and the effect of various process parameters, e.g. temperature levels, non-uniform heating or timing and magnitude of pressure, on the deformation of the polymer sheet can be analyzed. Detailed knowledge of the deformation is particularly important in the forming of polymer films with integrated electro-optical functions. Care must be taken in the placement of devices, sensors and electrical and optical paths, which are far more sensitive to deformation than the polymers. Reliable numerical prediction of the deformation of the polymer sheets requires sophisticated material models. Polymer films are often either transversely isotropic or orthotropic due to molecular orientations induced during manufacturing. The anisotropic behavior affects the resulting strain field in the deformed film. For example, parts of the same shape but different strain fields may be created by varying the orientation of the film with respect to the mold. The numerical simulation of the high-pressure forming of such films thus requires material models that can capture the nonlinear anisotropic mechanical behavior. There are numerous commercial polymer grades for the engineers to choose from when developing a new part. The effort required for comprehensive material characterization may be prohibitive, especially when several materials are candidates for a specific application. We, therefore, propose a class of models for compressible hyperelasticity, which may be determined from basic experimental data and which can capture key features of the mechanical response. Invariant-based hyperelastic models with a reduced number of invariants are formulated in a semi-numerical way, such that the models are determined from a single uniaxial tensile tests for isotropic materials, or two tensile tests in the principal directions for transversely isotropic or orthotropic materials. The simulation of the high pressure forming of an orthotropic polymer film is finally done using an orthotropic formulation of the hyperelastic model.

Keywords: hyperelastic, anisotropic, polymer film, thermoforming

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3 Temporal Delays along the Neurosurgical Care Continuum for Traumatic Brain Injury Patients in Mulago Hospital in Kampala Uganda

Authors: Silvia D. Vaca, Benjamin J. Kuo, Joao Ricardo N. Vissoci, Catherine A. Staton, Linda W. Xu, Michael Muhumuza, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Joel Kiryabwire, Henry E. Rice, Gerald A. Grant, Michael M. Haglund

Abstract:

Background: While delays to care exist in resource rich settings, greater delays are seen along the care continuum in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) largely due to limited healthcare capacity to address the disproportional rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). While many LMICs have government subsidized systems to offset surgical costs, the burden of securing funds by the patients for medications, supplies, and CT diagnostics poses a significant challenge to timely surgical interventions. In Kampala Uganda, the challenge of obtaining timely CT scans is twofold. First, due to a lack of a functional CT scanner at the tertiary hospital, patients need to arrange their own transportation to the nearby private facility for CT scans. Second, self-financing for the private CT scans ranges from $80 - $130, which is near the average monthly income in Kampala. These bottlenecks contribute significantly to the care continuum delays and are associated with poor TBI outcomes. Objective: The objectives of this study are to 1) describe the temporal delays through a modified three delays model that fits the context of neurosurgical interventions for TBI patients in Kampala and 2) investigate the association between delays and mortality. Methods: Prospective data were collected for 563 TBI patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Kampala from 1 June – 30 November 2016. Four time intervals were constructed along five time points: injury, hospital arrival, neurosurgical evaluation, CT results, and definitive surgery. Time interval differences among mild, moderate and severe TBI and their association with mortality were analyzed. Results: The mortality rate of all TBI patients presenting to MNRH was 9.6%, which ranged from 4.7% for mild and moderate TBI patients receiving surgery to 81.8% for severe TBI patients who failed to receive surgery. The duration from injury to surgery varied considerably across TBI severity with the largest gap seen between mild TBI (174 hours) and severe TBI (69 hours) patients. Further analysis revealed care continuum differences for interval 3 (neurosurgical evaluation to CT result) and 4 (CT result to surgery) between severe TBI patients (7 hours for interval 3 and 24 hours for interval 4) and mild TBI patients (19 hours for interval 3, and 96 hours for interval 4). These post-arrival delays were associated with mortality for mild (p=0.05) and moderate TBI (p=0.03) patients. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first analysis using a modified ‘three delays’ framework to analyze the care continuum of TBI patients in Uganda from injury to surgery. We found significant associations between delays and mortality for mild and moderate TBI patients. As it currently stands, poorer outcomes were observed for these mild and moderate TBI patients who were managed non-operatively or failed to receive surgery while surgical services were shunted to more severely ill patients. While well intentioned, high mortality rates were still observed for the severe TBI patients managed surgically. These results suggest the need for future research to optimize triage practices, understand delay contributors, and improve pre-hospital logistical referral systems.

Keywords: care continuum, global neurosurgery, Kampala Uganda, LMIC, Mulago, prospective registry, traumatic brain injury

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2 Traumatic Brain Injury Neurosurgical Care Continuum Delays in Mulago Hospital in Kampala Uganda

Authors: Silvia D. Vaca, Benjamin J. Kuo, Joao Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci, Catherine A. Staton, Linda W. Xu, Michael Muhumuza, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Joel Kiryabwire, Henry E. Rice, Gerald A. Grant, Michael M. Haglund

Abstract:

Background: Patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) can develop rapid neurological deterioration from swelling and intracranial hematomas, which can result in focal tissue ischemia, brain compression, and herniation. Moreover, delays in management increase the risk of secondary brain injury from hypoxemia and hypotension. Therefore, in TBI patients with subdural hematomas (SDHs) and epidural hematomas (EDHs), surgical intervention is both necessary and time sensitive. Significant delays are seen along the care continuum in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) largely due to limited healthcare capacity to address the disproportional rates of TBI in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA). While many LMICs have subsidized systems to offset surgical costs, the burden of securing funds by the patients for medications, supplies, and CT diagnostics poses a significant challenge to timely surgical interventions. In Kampala Uganda, the challenge of obtaining timely CT scans is twofold: logistical and financial barriers. These bottlenecks contribute significantly to the care continuum delays and are associated with poor TBI outcomes. Objective: The objectives of this study are to 1) describe the temporal delays through a modified three delays model that fits the context of neurosurgical interventions for TBI patients in Kampala and 2) investigate the association between delays and mortality. Methods: Prospective data were collected for 563 TBI patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Kampala from 1 June – 30 November 2016. Four time intervals were constructed along five time points: injury, hospital arrival, neurosurgical evaluation, CT results, and definitive surgery. Time interval differences among mild, moderate and severe TBI and their association with mortality were analyzed. Results: The mortality rate of all TBI patients presenting to MNRH was 9.6%, which ranged from 4.7% for mild and moderate TBI patients receiving surgery to 81.8% for severe TBI patients who failed to receive surgery. The duration from injury to surgery varied considerably across TBI severity with the largest gap seen between mild TBI (174 hours) and severe TBI (69 hours) patients. Further analysis revealed care continuum differences for interval 3 (neurosurgical evaluation to CT result) and 4 (CT result to surgery) between severe TBI patients (7 hours for interval 3 and 24 hours for interval 4) and mild TBI patients (19 hours for interval 3, and 96 hours for interval 4). These post-arrival delays were associated with mortality for mild (p=0.05) and moderate TBI (p=0.03) patients. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first analysis using a modified 'three delays' framework to analyze the care continuum of TBI patients in Uganda from injury to surgery. We found significant associations between delays and mortality for mild and moderate TBI patients. As it currently stands, poorer outcomes were observed for these mild and moderate TBI patients who were managed non-operatively or failed to receive surgery while surgical services were shunted to more severely ill patients. While well intentioned, high mortality rates were still observed for the severe TBI patients managed surgically. These results suggest the need for future research to optimize triage practices, understand delay contributors, and improve pre-hospital logistical referral systems.

Keywords: care continuum, global neurosurgery, Kampala Uganda, LMIC, Mulago, traumatic brain injury

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1 A Prospective Neurosurgical Registry Evaluating the Clinical Care of Traumatic Brain Injury Patients Presenting to Mulago National Referral Hospital in Uganda

Authors: Benjamin J. Kuo, Silvia D. Vaca, Joao Ricardo Nickenig Vissoci, Catherine A. Staton, Linda Xu, Michael Muhumuza, Hussein Ssenyonjo, John Mukasa, Joel Kiryabwire, Lydia Nanjula, Christine Muhumuza, Henry E. Rice, Gerald A. Grant, Michael M. Haglund

Abstract:

Background: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is disproportionally concentrated in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with the odds of dying from TBI in Uganda more than 4 times higher than in high income countries (HICs). The disparities in the injury incidence and outcome between LMICs and resource-rich settings have led to increased health outcomes research for TBIs and their associated risk factors in LMICs. While there have been increasing TBI studies in LMICs over the last decade, there is still a need for more robust prospective registries. In Uganda, a trauma registry implemented in 2004 at the Mulago National Referral Hospital (MNRH) showed that RTI is the major contributor (60%) of overall mortality in the casualty department. While the prior registry provides information on injury incidence and burden, it’s limited in scope and doesn’t follow patients longitudinally throughout their hospital stay nor does it focus specifically on TBIs. And although these retrospective analyses are helpful for benchmarking TBI outcomes, they make it hard to identify specific quality improvement initiatives. The relationship among epidemiology, patient risk factors, clinical care, and TBI outcomes are still relatively unknown at MNRH. Objective: The objectives of this study are to describe the processes of care and determine risk factors predictive of poor outcomes for TBI patients presenting to a single tertiary hospital in Uganda. Methods: Prospective data were collected for 563 TBI patients presenting to a tertiary hospital in Kampala from 1 June – 30 November 2016. Research Electronic Data Capture (REDCap) was used to systematically collect variables spanning 8 categories. Univariate and multivariate analysis were conducted to determine significant predictors of mortality. Results: 563 TBI patients were enrolled from 1 June – 30 November 2016. 102 patients (18%) received surgery, 29 patients (5.1%) intended for surgery failed to receive it, and 251 patients (45%) received non-operative management. Overall mortality was 9.6%, which ranged from 4.7% for mild and moderate TBI to 55% for severe TBI patients with GCS 3-5. Within each TBI severity category, mortality differed by management pathway. Variables predictive of mortality were TBI severity, more than one intracranial bleed, failure to receive surgery, high dependency unit admission, ventilator support outside of surgery, and hospital arrival delayed by more than 4 hours. Conclusions: The overall mortality rate of 9.6% in Uganda for TBI is high, and likely underestimates the true TBI mortality. Furthermore, the wide-ranging mortality (3-82%), high ICU fatality, and negative impact of care delays suggest shortcomings with the current triaging practices. Lack of surgical intervention when needed was highly predictive of mortality in TBI patients. Further research into the determinants of surgical interventions, quality of step-up care, and prolonged care delays are needed to better understand the complex interplay of variables that affect patient outcome. These insights guide the development of future interventions and resource allocation to improve patient outcomes.

Keywords: care continuum, global neurosurgery, Kampala Uganda, LMIC, Mulago, prospective registry, traumatic brain injury

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