Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 43

Search results for: Gerard Riley

43 Thermal Modelling and Experimental Comparison for a Moving Pantograph Strip

Authors: Nicolas Delcey, Philippe Baucour, Didier Chamagne, Geneviève Wimmer, Auditeau Gérard, Bausseron Thomas, Bouger Odile, Blanvillain Gérard

Abstract:

This paper proposes a thermal study of the catenary/pantograph interface for a train in motion. A 2.5D complex model of the pantograph strip has been defined and created by a coupling between a 1D and a 2D model. Experimental and simulation results are presented and with a comparison allow validating the 2.5D model. Some physical phenomena are described and presented with the help of the model such as the stagger motion thermal effect, particular heats and the effect of the material characteristics. Finally it is possible to predict the critical thermal configuration during a train trip.

Keywords: electro-thermal studies, mathematical optimizations, multi-physical approach, numerical model, pantograph strip wear

Procedia PDF Downloads 237
42 Psychological Intervention for Partners Post-Stroke: A Case Study

Authors: Natasha Yasmin Felles, Gerard Riley

Abstract:

Background and Aims: Relationship breakdown is typical when one partner lives with an acquired brain injury caused by issues like a stroke. Research has found that the perception of relationship satisfaction decreases following such an injury among non-injured partners. Non-injured partners also are found to experience caregiver stress/burden as they immediately have to take the role of a caregiver along with being a partner of the injured. Research has also found that the perception of a continuous relationship, i.e. the perception of the relationship to be essentially the same as it was before the injury, also changes among those caregiving partners. However, there is a lack of available intervention strategies that can help those partners with both individual and relationship difficulties. The aim of this case study was to conduct a pilot test of an intervention aimed to explore whether it is possible to support a partner to experience greater continuity within the relationship poststroke, and what benefits such a change might have. Method: A couple, where one partner experienced an acquired brain injury poststroke were provided with Integrated Behavioural Couples Therapy for 3-months. The intervention addressed goals identified as necessary by the couple and by the formulation of their individual and relationship difficulties, alongside the goal of promoting relationship continuity. Before and after measures were taken using a battery of six questionnaires to evaluate changes in perceptions of continuity, stress, and other aspects of the relationship. Results: Both quantitative and qualitative data showed that relationship continuity was improved after the therapy, as were the measures of stress and other aspects of the relationship. The stress felt by the person with the acquired brain injury also showed some evidence of improvement. Conclusion: The study found that perceptions of relationship continuity can be improved by therapy and that improving these might have a beneficial impact on the stress felt by the carer, their satisfaction with the relationship and overall levels of conflict and closeness within the relationship. The study suggested the value of further research on enhancing perceptions of continuity in the relationship after an acquired brain injury. Currently, the findings of the study have been used to develop a pilot feasibility study to collect substantive evidence on the impact of the intervention on the couples and assess its feasibility and acceptability, which will help in further developing a specific generalized relationship continuity intervention, that will be beneficial in preventing relationship breakdown in the future.

Keywords: acquired brain injury, couples therapy, relationship continuity, stroke

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41 A Remote Sensing Approach to Calculate Population Using Roads Network Data in Lebanon

Authors: Kamel Allaw, Jocelyne Adjizian Gerard, Makram Chehayeb, Nada Badaro Saliba

Abstract:

In developing countries, such as Lebanon, the demographic data are hardly available due to the absence of the mechanization of population system. The aim of this study is to evaluate, using only remote sensing data, the correlations between the number of population and the characteristics of roads network (length of primary roads, length of secondary roads, total length of roads, density and percentage of roads and the number of intersections). In order to find the influence of the different factors on the demographic data, we studied the degree of correlation between each factor and the number of population. The results of this study have shown a strong correlation between the number of population and the density of roads and the number of intersections.

Keywords: population, road network, statistical correlations, remote sensing

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40 Gall Bladder Polyp Identified as Solitary RCC Metastasis 4 Years after Nephrectomy: An Unusual Case Report

Authors: Gerard Bray, Arya Bahadori, Sachinka Ranasinghe

Abstract:

Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is among the top 10 most common cancers worldwide, where metastatic disease carries a poor prognosis. Herein, we present a 74-year-old male presenting with asymptomatic solitary metachronous metastasis to the gall bladder 4 years following nephrectomy for clear cell RCC. Solitary RCC metastasis to the gall bladder following nephrectomy is rarely reported in the literature and brings with it a clinical conundrum of whether surgical resection or systemic therapy should be utilized. In this case, surgical excision with cholecystectomy was employed without systemic therapy. We, therefore, contribute a rare and interesting case that highlights that metastasectomy of a solitary metastasis can improve survival according to current literature.

Keywords: renal cell carcinoma, gall bladder metastasis, solitary metastasectomy, metachronous

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39 Performance and Lifetime of Tandem Organic Solar Cells

Authors: Guillaume Schuchardt, Solenn Berson, Gerard Perrier

Abstract:

Multi-junction solar cell configurations, where two sub-cells with complementary absorption are stacked and connected in series, offer an exciting approach to tackle the single junction limitations of organic solar cells and improve their power conversion efficiency. However, the augmentation of the number of layers has, as a consequence, to increase the risk of reducing the lifetime of the cell due to the ageing phenomena present at the interfaces. In this work, we study the intrinsic degradation mechanisms, under continuous illumination AM1.5G, inert atmosphere and room temperature, in single and tandem organic solar cells using Impedance Spectroscopy, IV Curves, External Quantum Efficiency, Steady-State Photocarrier Grating, Scanning Kelvin Probe and UV-Visible light.

Keywords: single and tandem organic solar cells, intrinsic degradation mechanisms, characterization: SKP, EQE, SSPG, UV-Visible, Impedance Spectroscopy, optical simulation

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38 A Decision Tree Approach to Estimate Permanent Residents Using Remote Sensing Data in Lebanese Municipalities

Authors: K. Allaw, J. Adjizian Gerard, M. Chehayeb, A. Raad, W. Fahs, A. Badran, A. Fakherdin, H. Madi, N. Badaro Saliba

Abstract:

Population estimation using Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing faces many obstacles such as the determination of permanent residents. A permanent resident is an individual who stays and works during all four seasons in his village. So, all those who move towards other cities or villages are excluded from this category. The aim of this study is to identify the factors affecting the percentage of permanent residents in a village and to determine the attributed weight to each factor. To do so, six factors have been chosen (slope, precipitation, temperature, number of services, time to Central Business District (CBD) and the proximity to conflict zones) and each one of those factors has been evaluated using one of the following data: the contour lines map of 50 m, the precipitation map, four temperature maps and data collected through surveys. The weighting procedure has been done using decision tree method. As a result of this procedure, temperature (50.8%) and percentage of precipitation (46.5%) are the most influencing factors.

Keywords: remote sensing, GIS, permanent residence, decision tree, Lebanon

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37 Maintaining a Motivated Workforce in the Malaysian Armed Forces

Authors: Gerard Lawrence

Abstract:

This paper gives an in-depth discussion on Motivation in the Malaysian Armed Forces; highlighting it as a powerful and important tool upon which the well-being of an entire (or any) organization rests. It starts with the literal definition of the word and then the psychological aspects of it detailing the intricate mechanics and fundamentals in order to accurately and systematically harness it to create a motivated workforce. It then describes the types of motivation; positive and negative, its many facets and manifestation, clearly identifying each one point by point as well as drawing examples. The paper also deals with certain controversial practices like favoritism; nepotism and provides examples of military motivation both in historic and contemporary context. It strips the current system (and its flaws) to build, nurture and maintain motivation in the future. It shows how “past practice” may not necessarily be “best practice”, by providing the building blocks necessary to move forward and cautions on the inter-relation and differences between morale and motivation. As a conclusion the paper coins a theory of working in shifts for the military and urges careful research and planning as to IF this can raise if not maintain motivation in the new era.

Keywords: armed forces, Malaysia, motivation, military psychology

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36 Optimal Tuning of RST Controller Using PSO Optimization for Synchronous Generator Based Wind Turbine under Three-Phase Voltage Dips

Authors: K. Tahir, C. Belfedal, T. Allaoui, C. Gerard, M. Doumi

Abstract:

In this paper, we presented an optimized RST controller using Particle Swarm Optimization (PSO) meta-heuristic technique of the active and reactive power regulation of a grid connected wind turbine based on a wound field synchronous generator. This regulation is achieved below the synchronous speed, by means of a maximum power point tracking algorithm. The control of our system is tested under typical wind variations and parameters variation, fault grid condition by simulation. Some results are presented and discussed to prove simplicity and efficiency of the WRSG control for WECS. On the other hand, according to simulation results, variable speed driven WRSG is not significantly impacted in fault conditions.

Keywords: wind energy, particle swarm optimization, wound rotor synchronous generator, power control, RST controller, maximum power point tracking

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35 Techniques to Characterize Subpopulations among Hearing Impaired Patients and Its Impact for Hearing Aid Fitting

Authors: Vijaya K. Narne, Gerard Loquet, Tobias Piechowiak, Dorte Hammershoi, Jesper H. Schmidt

Abstract:

BEAR, which stands for better hearing rehabilitation is a large-scale project in Denmark designed and executed by three national universities, three hospitals, and the hearing aid industry with the aim to improve hearing aid fitting. A total of 1963 hearing impaired people were included and were segmented into subgroups based on hearing-loss, demographics, audiological and questionnaires data (i.e., the speech, spatial and qualities of hearing scale [SSQ-12] and the International Outcome Inventory for Hearing-Aids [IOI-HA]). With the aim to provide a better hearing-aid fit to individual patients, we applied modern machine learning techniques with traditional audiograms rule-based systems. Results show that age, speech discrimination scores, and audiogram configurations were evolved as important parameters in characterizing sub-population from the data-set. The attempt to characterize sub-population reveal a clearer picture about the individual hearing difficulties encountered and the benefits derived from more individualized hearing aids.

Keywords: hearing loss, audiological data, machine learning, hearing aids

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34 Contribution of a Higher Education Institute towards Built Environment Sustainability

Authors: Tayyab Ahmad, Gerard Healey

Abstract:

The potential role of higher education institutes in sustainable development cannot be undermined. In this regard, it is important to investigate the established concept of sustainability in such institutes to explore the room for further improvement. In this paper, a case study of the University of Melbourne is conducted, and the institute’s commitments towards sustainability are examined by a detailed qualitative review of its policy and design standard documents. These documents are reviewed as through these; the institute portrays its vision of building environment facilities, which it aspires to procure and use. From detailed review, it is realized that these documents are updated at different times, creating the potential for mismatch between them. The occurrence of different goals and objectives in different documents is highlighted, and the interrelationships between different goals and operational objectives are explored. The role of the university aspired goals/objectives in terms of built environment sustainability is discussed, and the gaps in the articulation of goals and operational objectives are highlighted. Recommendations are provided for enhancing the built environment sustainability at the University of Melbourne.

Keywords: university, design standards, policy, sustainability, built environment

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33 Knowledge Reactor: A Contextual Computing Work in Progress for Eldercare

Authors: Scott N. Gerard, Aliza Heching, Susann M. Keohane, Samuel S. Adams

Abstract:

The world-wide population of people over 60 years of age is growing rapidly. The explosion is placing increasingly onerous demands on individual families, multiple industries and entire countries. Current, human-intensive approaches to eldercare are not sustainable, but IoT and AI technologies can help. The Knowledge Reactor (KR) is a contextual, data fusion engine built to address this and other similar problems. It fuses and centralizes IoT and System of Record/Engagement data into a reactive knowledge graph. Cognitive applications and services are constructed with its multiagent architecture. The KR can scale-up and scaledown, because it exploits container-based, horizontally scalable services for graph store (JanusGraph) and pub-sub (Kafka) technologies. While the KR can be applied to many domains that require IoT and AI technologies, this paper describes how the KR specifically supports the challenging domain of cognitive eldercare. Rule- and machine learning-based analytics infer activities of daily living from IoT sensor readings. KR scalability, adaptability, flexibility and usability are demonstrated.

Keywords: ambient sensing, AI, artificial intelligence, eldercare, IoT, internet of things, knowledge graph

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32 Automatic Tofu Stick Cutter to Increase the Production Capacity of Small and Medium Enterprises

Authors: Chaca Nugraha Zaid, Hikmat Ronaldo, Emerald Falah Brayoga, Azizah Eddy Setiawati, Soviandini Dwiki Kartika Putri, Novita Wijayanti

Abstract:

In the tofu stick production, the manual cutting process takes a half of working day or 4 hours for 21 kg of tofu. This issue has hampered the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to increase the capacity of production to fulfill the market demand. In order to address the issue, the cutting process should be automized to create fast, efficient, and effective tools. This innovation to tackle this problem is an automatic cutter tool that is able to move continuously to cut the tofu into stick size. The tool uses the 78,5-watt electric motor and automatic sensors to drive the cutting tool automatically, resulting faster process time with more uniform size compared to the manual cutter. The component of this tool, i.e., cutting knife and the driver, electric motor, limit switch sensors, riley, Arduino nano, and power supply. The cutting speed cutting speed of this tool is 101,25 mm/s producing 64 tofu sticks. Benefits that can be obtained from the use of automatic tofu stick cutter, i.e. (1) Faster process (2) More uniform cutting result; (3) The quality of the tofu stick is maintained due to minimal contact with humans so that contamination can be suppressed; (4) The cutting knife can be modified to the desired size of the owner.

Keywords: automatic, cutter, small and medium enterprise, tofu stick

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31 Logistic Model Tree and Expectation-Maximization for Pollen Recognition and Grouping

Authors: Endrick Barnacin, Jean-Luc Henry, Jack Molinié, Jimmy Nagau, Hélène Delatte, Gérard Lebreton

Abstract:

Palynology is a field of interest for many disciplines. It has multiple applications such as chronological dating, climatology, allergy treatment, and even honey characterization. Unfortunately, the analysis of a pollen slide is a complicated and time-consuming task that requires the intervention of experts in the field, which is becoming increasingly rare due to economic and social conditions. So, the automation of this task is a necessity. Pollen slides analysis is mainly a visual process as it is carried out with the naked eye. That is the reason why a primary method to automate palynology is the use of digital image processing. This method presents the lowest cost and has relatively good accuracy in pollen retrieval. In this work, we propose a system combining recognition and grouping of pollen. It consists of using a Logistic Model Tree to classify pollen already known by the proposed system while detecting any unknown species. Then, the unknown pollen species are divided using a cluster-based approach. Success rates for the recognition of known species have been achieved, and automated clustering seems to be a promising approach.

Keywords: pollen recognition, logistic model tree, expectation-maximization, local binary pattern

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30 Gawa Gawa Lang ‘Yan: A Qualitative Study of the Perception of Mental Health between Generations X and Z in Metro Manila, Philippines

Authors: Pierre Angelo Alino, Rafael Alejandro Ang, Maria Carmela Espanol, Dominic Gerard Ferreol, Jendrietch Adrian Lopez

Abstract:

This study aims to explore the differences in perception between Generation X and Generation Z towards mental health and mental health illnesses. Through this study, the researchers seek to identify and explore the differences that exist in the generational perception and determine the possible factors that influence the difference in perception. In order to achieve this, we conducted two focus group discussions (FGD), one composed of Generation X and the other composed of Generation Z. Participants for both focus group discussions were recruited through purposive sampling and online recruitment methods. In these discussions, they were asked questions relating to their personal history, experiences with mental health, and related illnesses, as well as their opinions regarding the subject matter. Afterwhich, we analyzed our data through a thematic analysis. Our study’s findings indicate notable differences in the perception of mental health as well as mental illness between the members of Generations X and Z. Additionally, factors such as culture, personal history, and intimate relationships influence the perceptions of mental health between generation groups.

Keywords: generational difference, mental health, mental health illness, perception

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29 The Effect of Cognitively-Induced Self-Construal and Direct Behavioral Mimicry on Prosocial Behavior

Authors: Czar Matthew Gerard Dayday, Danielle Marie Estrera, Philippe Jefferson Galban, Gabrielle Marie Heredia

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The study aimed to examine the effects of self-construal and direct mimicry on prosocial behavior. The study made use of a 2 (Self-construal: independent or interdependent) x 2 (Mimicry: mimicry or non-mimicry) between subjects factorial design where effects of self-construal was cognitively-induced through a story with varying pronouns (We, Us, Ourselves vs. Me, I, Myself), and prosocial behavior was measured with the amount of money donated to a fabricated advocacy. The research was conducted with a convenience sampling comprised of 88 undergraduate students (58 Females, 33 Males) aged 16 to 26 years olds from the University of the Philippines, Diliman. Results from the experiment show that both factors do not have significant main effects on prosocial behavior. Additionally, their interaction also does not have a significant effect to prosocial behavior with No Mimicry x Independent ranking highest in amount of money donated and Mimicry x Interdependent ranking lowest. These results can be attributed to multiple factors, which include the collectivist orientation and sense of kapwa of Filipinos, a role reversal in the methodology and the lack of Chameleon Effect, and a weak priming of self-construal with respect to self-relatedness.

Keywords: behavior, mimicry, prosocial, self-construal

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28 Investigation into Micro-Grids with Renewable Energy Sources for Use as High Reliability Electrical Power Supply in a Nuclear Facility

Authors: Gerard R. Lekhema, Willie A Cronje, Ian Korir

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The objective of this research work is to investigate the use of a micro-grid system to improve the reliability and availability of emergency electrical power in a nuclear facility. The nuclear facility is a safety-critical application that requires reliable electrical power for safe startup, operation and normal or emergency shutdown conditions. The majority of the nuclear facilities around the world utilize diesel generators as emergency power supply during loss of offsite power events. This study proposes the micro-grid system with distributed energy sources and energy storage systems for use as emergency power supply. The systems analyzed include renewable energy sources, decay heat recovery system and large scale energy storage system. The configuration of the micro-grid system is realized with guidelines of nuclear safety standards and requirements. The investigation results presented include performance analysis of the micro-grid system in terms of reliability and availability.

Keywords: emergency power supply, micro-grid, nuclear facility, renewable energy sources

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27 Investigation of Alfa Fibers Reinforced Epoxy-Amine Composites Properties

Authors: Amar Boukerrou, Ouerdia Belhadj, Dalila Hammiche, Jean Francois Gerard, Jannick Rumeau

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The main goal of this study is the investigation of alfa fiber content, treated with alkali treatment, on the thermal and mechanical properties of epoxy-amine matrix-based composites. The fibers were treated with 5% of sodium hydroxide solution and varied between 10% to 30% weight fractions. The tensile, flexural, and hardness tests are carried out to investigate the mechanical properties of composites. The results show those composites’ mechanical properties are higher than the neat epoxy-amine. It was noticed that the alkali treatment is more effective in the case of the tensile and flexural modulus than the tensile and flexural strength. The decline of both the tensile and flexural behavior of all composites with the increasing of the filler content was due probably to the random dispersion of the fibers in the epoxy resin The Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) was employed to analyze the chemical structure of epoxy resin before and after curing with amine hardener. FTIR and DSC analysis confirmed that epoxy resin was completely cured with amine hardener at room temperature. SEM analysis has highlighted the microstructure of epoxy matrix and its composites.

Keywords: alfa fiber, epoxy resin, alkali treatment, mechanical properties

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26 Effects of Whole Body Vibration on Movement Variability Performing a Resistance Exercise with Different Ballasts and Rhythms

Authors: Sílvia tuyà Viñas, Bruno Fernández-Valdés, Carla Pérez-Chirinos, Monica Morral-Yepes, Lucas del Campo Montoliu, Gerard Moras Feliu

Abstract:

Some researchers stated that whole body vibration (WBV) generates postural destabilization, although there is no extensive research. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze movement variability when performing a half-squat with a different type of ballasts and rhythms with (V) and without (NV) WBV in male athletes using entropy. Twelve experienced in strength training males (age: 21.24  2.35 years, height: 176.83  5.80 cm, body mass: 70.63  8.58 kg) performed a half-squat with weighted vest (WV), dumbbells (D), and a bar with the weights suspended with elastic bands (B), in V and NV at 40 bpm and 60 bpm. Subjects performed one set of twelve repetitions of each situation, composed by the combination of the three factors. The movement variability was analyzed by calculating the Sample Entropy (SampEn) of the total acceleration signal recorded at the waist. In V, significant differences were found between D and WV (p<0.001; ES: 2.87 at 40 bpm; p<0.001; ES: 3.17 at 60 bpm) and between the B and WV at both rhythms (p<0.001; ES: 3.12 at 40 bpm; p<0.001; ES: 2.93 at 60 bpm) and a higher SampEn was obtained at 40 bpm with all ballasts (p<0.001; ES of WV: 1.22; ES of D: 4.49; ES of B: 4.03). No significant differences were found in NV. WBV is a disturbing and destabilizing stimulus. Strength and conditioning coaches should choose the combination of ballast and rhythm of execution according to the level and objectives of each athlete.

Keywords: accelerometry, destabilization, entropy, movement variability, resistance training

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25 Offline Signature Verification Using Minutiae and Curvature Orientation

Authors: Khaled Nagaty, Heba Nagaty, Gerard McKee

Abstract:

A signature is a behavioral biometric that is used for authenticating users in most financial and legal transactions. Signatures can be easily forged by skilled forgers. Therefore, it is essential to verify whether a signature is genuine or forged. The aim of any signature verification algorithm is to accommodate the differences between signatures of the same person and increase the ability to discriminate between signatures of different persons. This work presented in this paper proposes an automatic signature verification system to indicate whether a signature is genuine or not. The system comprises four phases: (1) The pre-processing phase in which image scaling, binarization, image rotation, dilation, thinning, and connecting ridge breaks are applied. (2) The feature extraction phase in which global and local features are extracted. The local features are minutiae points, curvature orientation, and curve plateau. The global features are signature area, signature aspect ratio, and Hu moments. (3) The post-processing phase, in which false minutiae are removed. (4) The classification phase in which features are enhanced before feeding it into the classifier. k-nearest neighbors and support vector machines are used. The classifier was trained on a benchmark dataset to compare the performance of the proposed offline signature verification system against the state-of-the-art. The accuracy of the proposed system is 92.3%.

Keywords: signature, ridge breaks, minutiae, orientation

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24 Assessment of Runway Micro Texture Using Surface Laser Scanners: An Explorative Study

Authors: Gerard Van Es

Abstract:

In this study, the use of a high resolution surface laser scanner to assess the micro texture of runway surfaces was investigated experimentally. Micro texture is one of the important surface components that helps to provide high braking friction between aircraft tires and a wet runway surface. Algorithms to derive different parameters that characterise micro texture was developed. Surface scans with a high resolution laser scanner were conducted on 40 different runway (like) surfaces. For each surface micro texture parameters were calculated from the laser scan data. These results were correlated with results obtained from a British pendulum tester that was used on the same surface. Results obtained with the British pendulum tester are generally considered to be indicative for the micro texture related friction characteristics. The results show that a meaningful correlation can be found between different parameters that characterise micro texture obtained with the laser scanner and the British pendulum tester results. Surface laser scanners are easier to operate and give more consistent results than a British pendulum tester. Therefore for airport operators surface laser scanners can be a useful tool to determine if their runway becomes slippery when wet due to a smooth micro texture.

Keywords: runway friction, micro texture, aircraft braking performance, slippery runways

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23 Clean Sky 2 Project LiBAT: Light Battery Pack for High Power Applications in Aviation – Simulation Methods in Early Stage Design

Authors: Jan Dahlhaus, Alejandro Cardenas Miranda, Frederik Scholer, Maximilian Leonhardt, Matthias Moullion, Frank Beutenmuller, Julia Eckhardt, Josef Wasner, Frank Nittel, Sebastian Stoll, Devin Atukalp, Daniel Folgmann, Tobias Mayer, Obrad Dordevic, Paul Riley, Jean-Marc Le Peuvedic

Abstract:

Electrical and hybrid aerospace technologies pose very challenging demands on the battery pack – especially with respect to weight and power. In the Clean Sky 2 research project LiBAT (funded by the EU), the consortium is currently building an ambitious prototype with state-of-the art cells that shows the potential of an intelligent pack design with a high level of integration, especially with respect to thermal management and power electronics. For the latter, innovative multi-level-inverter technology is used to realize the required power converting functions with reduced equipment. In this talk the key approaches and methods of the LiBat project will be presented and central results shown. Special focus will be set on the simulative methods used to support the early design and development stages from an overall system perspective. The applied methods can efficiently handle multiple domains and deal with different time and length scales, thus allowing the analysis and optimization of overall- or sub-system behavior. It will be shown how these simulations provide valuable information and insights for the efficient evaluation of concepts. As a result, the construction and iteration of hardware prototypes has been reduced and development cycles shortened.

Keywords: electric aircraft, battery, Li-ion, multi-level-inverter, Novec

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22 Clostridium Difficile in Western Australian Native Animals: Prevalence and Molecular Epidemiology

Authors: Karla Cautivo, Thomas Riley, Daniel Knight

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Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is the most common cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitalised humans. C. difficile colonises the gastrointestinal tract, causes disease in a variety of animal species and can persist as a spore in diverse environments. Genetic overlap between C. difficile strains from human, animal and environmental sources suggests CDI has a zoonotic or foodborne aetiology. In Australia, C. difficile PCR ribotype RT014 (MLST clade 1) and several ST11 (MLST clade 5) RTs are found commonly in livestock. The high prevalence and diversity of ST11 strains in Australian production animals indicates Australia might be the ancestral home for this lineage. This project describes for the first time the ecology of C. difficile in Australian native animals, providing insights into the prevalence, molecular epidemiology and evolution of C. difficile in this unique environment and a possible role in CDI in humans and animals in Australia. Faecal samples were collected from wild/captive reptiles (n=37), mammals (n=104) and birds (n=102) in Western Australia in 2020/21. Anaerobic enrichment culture was performed, and C. difficile isolates were characterised by PCR ribotyping and toxin gene profiling. Seventy isolates of C. difficile were recovered (prevalence of C. difficile in faecal samples 28%, n=68/243); 27 unique RTs were identified, 5 were novel. The prevalence of C. difficile was similar for reptiles and mammals, 46% (n=17/37) and 43%(n=45/104), respectively, but significantly lower in birds (7.8%, n=8/102; p<0.00001 for both reptiles and mammals). Of the 57 isolates available for typing, RT237 (clade 5) and RT002 (clade 2) were the most prevalent, 15.8% (n=9/57) and 14% (n=8/57), respectively. The high prevalence of C. difficile in reptiles and mammals, particularly clade 5 strains, supported by previous studies of C. difficile in Australian soils, suggest that Australia might be the ancestral home of MLST clade 5.

Keywords: Clostridium difficile, zoonosis, molecular epidemiology, ecology and evolution

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21 Independence of the Judiciary in South Africa: An Assessment After Twenty Years of Democracy

Authors: Serges Djoyou Kamga, Gerard Emmanuel Kamdem Kamga

Abstract:

Any serious constitutionalism entails a system of government characterised by the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. The latter is generally in charge of upholding the rule of law and the respect for human rights which are vital for the functioning of any democracy. Therefore, for the judiciary to play its role as a watchdog, it should be independent from other branches of government. The aim of this paper is to examine the independence of the judiciary in South Africa after 20 of democracy. Defining judicial independence as the courts’ ability ‘to decide cases on the basis of established law and the merits of the case, without interference from other political or governmental agents’, the paper examines the extent to which the South African judiciary is independent after twenty years of democracy. As part of assessing the independence of the judiciary, the paper begins by looking at the situation during apartheid, then proceeds with an examination of the post-apartheid legal order. It also examines the institutional independence of the judiciary by looking into its day to day activities which revolve around its self-governance, or administrative and financial independence. In addition, the paper assesses the judges’ individual independence by examining whether judicial appointment, security of tenure, judges’ remuneration and disciplinary actions and the removal of judges from office do not contain loopholes that can hinder judicial independence. Ultimately, the chapter argues that although the South African model of judicial independence is yet to be perfect, it is a good practice that can be emulated by other African countries.

Keywords: judical independence, South Africa, democracy, separation of powers

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20 Foreign Women Affecting the Social Life of the Ottoman Empire at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century: The Case of Lady Alice Lowther (1873-1939)

Authors: Meliha Nur Cercinli

Abstract:

In the last period of the Ottoman Empire, foreign officers played important role in the political area. Behind their political activities, their wives had a considerable influence on Ottoman social life. Despite the difficult conditions, these women involved in educating girls, encouraging Ottoman women to take part in the production area. For this purpose, they opened many schools and workplaces in various regions of the capital-Istanbul. One of these women was Lady Alice Lowther, who was known as the wife of British ambassador Gerard Agustus Lowther. She arranged various organizations in order to create necessary resources to help families of martyrs. Also, she chaired the Committee for Aid to Ottoman Military Families (Asker Ailelerine Yardım Komitesi), made an effort to establish the Society for Protection Animals in Istanbul (Istanbul Himaye-i Hayvanat Cemiyeti) with the supports of The Royal Society For Prevention Cruelty For Animals. Apart from these, she was also a good observer and writer as a traveller. She wrote and published her memories with the name of Down The Old Road (1921), When It Was June (1923) Land Of Gold Mohur (1932), Moments In Portugal Or Land Of The Laurel (1939). This paper aims to analyze Lady Alice Lowther’s activities in Istanbul based on Ottoman Archive documents. In addition, her books will also be examined as they will present a different perspective regarding her experiences.

Keywords: Lady Lowther, Ottoman Empire, women history, social life

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19 Relative Importance of Contact Constructs to Acute Respiratory Illness in General Population in Hong Kong

Authors: Kin On Kwok, Vivian Wei, Benjamin Cowling, Steven Riley, Jonathan Read

Abstract:

Background: The role of social contact behavior measured in different contact constructs in the transmission of respiratory pathogens with acute respiratory illness (ARI) remains unclear. We, therefore, aim to depict the individual pattern of ARI in the community and investigate the association between different contact dimensions and ARI in Hong Kong. Methods: Between June 2013 and September 2013, 620 subjects participated in the last two waves of recruitment of the population based longitudinal phone social contact survey. Some of the subjects in this study are from the same household. They are also provided with the symptom diaries to self-report any acute respiratory illness related symptoms between the two days of phone recruitment. Data from 491 individuals who were not infected on the day of phone recruitment and returned the symptom diaries after the last phone recruitment were used for analysis. Results: After adjusting different follow-up periods among individuals, the overall incidence rate of ARI was 1.77 per 100 person-weeks. Over 75% ARI episodes involve running nose, cough, sore throat, which are followed by headache (55%), malagia (35%) and fever (18%). Using a generalized estimating equation framework accounting for the cluster effect of subjects living in the same household, we showed that both daily number of locations visited with contacts and the number of contacts, explained the ARI incidence rate better than only one single contact construct. Conclusion: Our result suggests that it is the intertwining property of contact quantity (number of contacts) and contact intensity (ratio of subject-to-contact) that governs the infection risk by a collective set of respiratory pathogens. Our results provide empirical evidence that multiple contact constructs should be incorporated in the mathematical transmission models to feature a more realistic dynamics of respiratory disease.

Keywords: acute respiratory illness, longitudinal study, social contact, symptom diaries

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18 Manipulative Figurative Linguistic Violence of Contemporary National Anthems: A Socio-Cognitive Critical Discourse Analysis

Authors: Samson Olasunkanmi Oluga, Teh Chee Send, Gerard Sagaya Raj Rajo

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It is ironical that the national anthems of many nations that are in the forefront of the global condemnation of violence of all forms have portions or expressions that propagate various forms of linguistic violence which advocate attacking opponents, going to war, shedding blood and sacrificing lives. These diametrically contradict contemporary yearnings for global tranquility and the ideals of the United Nations established for the maintenance of international peace and harmony aimed at making the world a safe haven for all and sundry. The linguistic violence of many national anthems is manipulatively constructed /presented via the instrumentality of the figurative or rhetorical language. This helps to linguistically embellish the violent ideas communicated and makes them sound somehow better or logical to the target audience with the intention of cognitively manipulating them to accept or rationalize such violent ideas. This paper, therefore, presents the outcome of a linguistic exploration/examination of national anthems which reveals elements or cases manipulative figurative linguistic violence in the anthems of twenty-one (21) nations. The paper details a Socio-Cognitive Critical Discourse Analysis of the manipulative figures of comparison, contrast, indirectness, association and sound used to convey the linguistic violence of the identified national anthems. Finally, the paper advocates the need for linguistic overhaul of affected anthems so that the language of anthems which epitomize nations can be pacific and in tandem with contemporary global trends.

Keywords: national anthems, linguistic violence, figurative language, cognitive, manipulation, CDA

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17 Impact of Data and Model Choices to Urban Flood Risk Assessments

Authors: Abhishek Saha, Serene Tay, Gerard Pijcke

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The availability of high-resolution topography and rainfall information in urban areas has made it necessary to revise modeling approaches used for simulating flood risk assessments. Lidar derived elevation models that have 1m or lower resolutions are becoming widely accessible. The classical approaches of 1D-2D flow models where channel flow is simulated and coupled with a coarse resolution 2D overland flow models may not fully utilize the information provided by high-resolution data. In this context, a study was undertaken to compare three different modeling approaches to simulate flooding in an urban area. The first model used is the base model used is Sobek, which uses 1D model formulation together with hydrologic boundary conditions and couples with an overland flow model in 2D. The second model uses a full 2D model for the entire area with shallow water equations at the resolution of the digital elevation model (DEM). These models are compared against another shallow water equation solver in 2D, which uses a subgrid method for grid refinement. These models are simulated for different horizontal resolutions of DEM varying between 1m to 5m. The results show a significant difference in inundation extents and water levels for different DEMs. They are also sensitive to the different numerical models with the same physical parameters, such as friction. The study shows the importance of having reliable field observations of inundation extents and levels before a choice of model and data can be made for spatial flood risk assessments.

Keywords: flooding, DEM, shallow water equations, subgrid

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16 Grade and Maximum Tumor Dimension as Determinants of Lymphadenectomy in Patients with Endometrioid Endometrial Cancer (EEC)

Authors: Ali A. Bazzi, Ameer Hamza, Riley O’Hara, Kimberly Kado, Karen H. Hagglund, Lamia Fathallah, Robert T. Morris

Abstract:

Introduction: Endometrial Cancer is a common gynecologic malignancy primarily treated with complete surgical staging, which may include complete pelvic and para-aortic lymphadenectomy. The role of lymphadenectomy is controversial, especially the intraoperative indications for the procedure. Three factors are important in decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy: Myometrial invasion, maximum tumor dimension, and histology. Many institutions incorporate these criteria in varying degrees in the decision to proceed with lymphadenectomy. This investigation assesses the use of intraoperatively measured MTD with and without pre-operative histologic grade. Methods: This study compared retrospectively EEC patients with intraoperatively measured MTD ≤2 cm to those with MTD >2 cm from January 1, 2002 to August 31, 2017. This assessment compared those with MTD ≤ 2cm with endometrial biopsy (EB) grade 1-2 to patients with MTD > 2cm with EB grade 3. Lymph node metastasis (LNM), recurrence, and survival were compared in these groups. Results: This study reviewed 222 patient cases. In tumors > 2 cm, LNM occurred in 20% cases while in tumors ≤ 2 cm, LNM was found in 6% cases (p=0.04). Recurrence and mean survival based on last follow up visit in these two groups were not statistically different (p=0.78 and 0.36 respectively). Data demonstrated a trend that when combined with preoperative EB International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grade, a higher proportion of patients with EB FIGO Grade 3 and MTD > 2 cm had LNM compared to those with EB FIGO Grade 1-2 and MTD ≤ 2 cm (43% vs, 11%, p=0.06). LNM was found in 15% of cases in which lymphadenectomy was performed based on current practices, whereas if the criteria of EB FIGO 3 and MTD > 2 cm were used the incidence of LNM would have been 44% cases. However, using this criterion, two patients would not have had their nodal metastases detected. Compared to the current practice, the sensitivity and specificity of the proposed criteria would be 60% and 81%, respectively. The PPV and NPV would be 43% and 90%, respectively. Conclusion: The results indicate that MTD combined with EB FIGO grade can detect LNM in a higher proportion of cases when compared to current practice. MTD combined with EB FIGO grade may eliminate the need of frozen section sampling in a substantial number of cases.

Keywords: endometrial cancer, FIGO grade, lymphadenectomy, tumor size

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15 Robotic Assisted vs Traditional Laparoscopic Partial Nephrectomy Peri-Operative Outcomes: A Comparative Single Surgeon Study

Authors: Gerard Bray, Derek Mao, Arya Bahadori, Sachinka Ranasinghe

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The EAU currently recommends partial nephrectomy as the preferred management for localised cT1 renal tumours, irrespective of surgical approach. With the advent of robotic assisted partial nephrectomy, there is growing evidence that warm ischaemia time may be reduced compared to the traditional laparoscopic approach. There is still no clear differences between the two approaches with regards to other peri-operative and oncological outcomes. Current limitations in the field denote the lack of single surgeon series to compare the two approaches as other studies often include multiple operators of different experience levels. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first single surgeon series comparing peri-operative outcomes of robotic assisted and laparoscopic PN. The current study aims to reduce intra-operator bias while maintaining an adequate sample size to assess the differences in outcomes between the two approaches. We retrospectively compared patient demographics, peri-operative outcomes, and renal function derangements of all partial nephrectomies undertaken by a single surgeon with experience in both laparoscopic and robotic surgery. Warm ischaemia time, length of stay, and acute renal function deterioration were all significantly reduced with robotic partial nephrectomy, compared to laparoscopic nephrectomy. This study highlights the benefits of robotic partial nephrectomy. Further prospective studies with larger sample sizes would be valuable additions to the current literature.

Keywords: partial nephrectomy, robotic assisted partial nephrectomy, warm ischaemia time, peri-operative outcomes

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14 A Theoretical and Experimental Evaluation of a Solar-Powered Off-Grid Air Conditioning System for Residential Buildings

Authors: Adam Y. Sulaiman, Gerard I.Obasi, Roma Chang, Hussein Sayed Moghaieb, Ming J. Huang, Neil J. Hewitt

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Residential air-conditioning units are essential for quality indoor comfort in hot climate countries. Nevertheless, because of their non-renewable energy sources and the contribution of ecologically unfriendly working fluids, these units are a major source of CO2 emissions in these countries. The utilisation of sustainable technologies nowadays is essential to reduce the adverse effects of CO2 emissions by replacing conventional technologies. This paper investigates the feasibility of running an off-grid solar-powered air-conditioning bed unit using three low GWP refrigerants (R32, R290, and R600a) to supersede conventional refrigerants.A prototype air conditioning unit was built to supply cold air to a canopy that was connected to it. The assembled unit was designed to distribute cold air to a canopy connected to it. This system is powered by two 400 W photovoltaic panels, with battery storage supplying power to the unit at night-time. Engineering Equation Solver (EES) software is used to mathematically model the vapor compression cycle (VCC) and predict the unit's energetic and exergetic performance. The TRNSYS software was used to simulate the electricity storage performance of the batteries, whereas the IES-VE was used to determine the amount of solar energy required to power the unit. The article provides an analytical design guideline, as well as a comprehensible process system. Combining a renewable energy source to power an AC based-VCC provides an excellent solution to the real problems of high-energy consumption in warm-climate countries.

Keywords: air-conditioning, refrigerants, PV panel, energy storages, VCC, exergy

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