Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Search results for: Janis E. Swan

22 Effect of Aeration on Bacterial Cellulose (BC) Production by Gluconacetobacter xylinus DSM46604 in Batch Fermentation

Authors: Azila Adnan, Giridhar R. Nair, Mark C. Lay, Janis E. Swan


The effect of aeration on bacterial cellulose (BC) production by Gluconacetobacter xylinus DSM46604 was studied in 5-L bioreactor. Four aeration rates were applied (0.3, 0.6, 1.0 and 1.5 vvm) in the fermentation media at constant agitation rate, 150 rpm. One vvm enhanced BC concentration (4.4 g/L) and productivity (0.44 g/L/day) while greater agitation rate (1.5 vvm) decreased BC concentration (4.0 g/L) and productivity (0.40 g/L/day).

Keywords: aeration, bacterial cellulose, fermentation, gluconacetobacter xylinus

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21 A Surgical Correction and Innovative Splint for Swan Neck Deformity in Hypermobility Syndrome

Authors: Deepak Ganjiwale, Karthik Vishwanathan


Objective: Splinting is a great domain of occupational therapy profession.Making a splint for the patient would depend upon the need or requirement of the problems and deformities. Swan neck deformity is not very common in finger it may occur after any disease. Conservative treatment of the swan neck deformity is available by using different static splints only. There are very few reports of surgical correction of swan-neck deformity in benign hypermobility syndrome. Method: This case report describes the result of surgical intervention and hand splint in a twenty year old lady with past history of cardiovascular stroke with no residual neurological deficit. She presented with correctable swan neck deformity and failed to improve with static ring splints to correct the deformity. She was noted to have hyperlaxity (EhlerDanlos type) as per modified Beighton’s score of 5/9. She underwent volar plate plication of the proximal interphalangeal joint of the left ring finger along with hemitenodesis of ulnar slip of flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) tendon whereby, the ulnar slip of FDS was passed through a small surgically created rent in A2 pulley and sutured back to itself. Result: Postoperatively, the patient was referred to occupational therapy for splinting with the instruction that the splint would work some time for as static and some time as dynamic for positional and correction of the finger. Conclusion: After occupational therapy intervention and splinting, the patient had a full correction of the swan-neck deformity with near full flexion of the operated finger and is able to work independently.

Keywords: swan neck, finger, deformity, splint, hypermobility

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20 Quantifying Wave Attenuation over an Eroding Marsh through Numerical Modeling

Authors: Donald G. Danmeier, Gian Marco Pizzo, Matthew Brennan


Although wetlands have been proposed as a green alternative to manage coastal flood hazards because of their capacity to adapt to sea level rise and provision of multiple ecological and social co-benefits, they are often overlooked due to challenges in quantifying the uncertainty and naturally, variability of these systems. This objective of this study was to quantify wave attenuation provided by a natural marsh surrounding a large oil refinery along the US Gulf Coast that has experienced steady erosion along the shoreward edge. The vegetation module of the SWAN was activated and coupled with a hydrodynamic model (DELFT3D) to capture two-way interactions between the changing water level and wavefield over the course of a storm event. Since the marsh response to relative sea level rise is difficult to predict, a range of future marsh morphologies is explored. Numerical results were examined to determine the amount of wave attenuation as a function of marsh extent and the relative contributions from white-capping, depth-limited wave breaking, bottom friction, and flexing of vegetation. In addition to the coupled DELFT3D-SWAN modeling of a storm event, an uncoupled SWAN-VEG model was applied to a simplified bathymetry to explore a larger experimental design space. The wave modeling revealed that the rate of wave attenuation reduces for higher surge but was still significant over a wide range of water levels and outboard wave heights. The results also provide insights to the minimum marsh extent required to fully realize the potential wave attenuation so the changing coastal hazards can be managed.

Keywords: green infrastructure, wave attenuation, wave modeling, wetland

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19 An Integrated Real-Time Hydrodynamic and Coastal Risk Assessment Model

Authors: M. Reza Hashemi, Chris Small, Scott Hayward


The Northeast Coast of the US faces damaging effects of coastal flooding and winds due to Atlantic tropical and extratropical storms each year. Historically, several large storm events have produced substantial levels of damage to the region; most notably of which were the Great Atlantic Hurricane of 1938, Hurricane Carol, Hurricane Bob, and recently Hurricane Sandy (2012). The objective of this study was to develop an integrated modeling system that could be used as a forecasting/hindcasting tool to evaluate and communicate the risk coastal communities face from these coastal storms. This modeling system utilizes the ADvanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC) model for storm surge predictions and the Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN) model for the wave environment. These models were coupled, passing information to each other and computing over the same unstructured domain, allowing for the most accurate representation of the physical storm processes. The coupled SWAN-ADCIRC model was validated and has been set up to perform real-time forecast simulations (as well as hindcast). Modeled storm parameters were then passed to a coastal risk assessment tool. This tool, which is generic and universally applicable, generates spatial structural damage estimate maps on an individual structure basis for an area of interest. The required inputs for the coastal risk model included a detailed information about the individual structures, inundation levels, and wave heights for the selected region. Additionally, calculation of wind damage to structures was incorporated. The integrated coastal risk assessment system was then tested and applied to Charlestown, a small vulnerable coastal town along the southern shore of Rhode Island. The modeling system was applied to Hurricane Sandy and a synthetic storm. In both storm cases, effect of natural dunes on coastal risk was investigated. The resulting damage maps for the area (Charlestown) clearly showed that the dune eroded scenarios affected more structures, and increased the estimated damage. The system was also tested in forecast mode for a large Nor’Easters: Stella (March 2017). The results showed a good performance of the coupled model in forecast mode when compared to observations. Finally, a nearshore model XBeach was then nested within this regional grid (ADCIRC-SWAN) to simulate nearshore sediment transport processes and coastal erosion. Hurricane Irene (2011) was used to validate XBeach, on the basis of a unique beach profile dataset at the region. XBeach showed a relatively good performance, being able to estimate eroded volumes along the beach transects with a mean error of 16%. The validated model was then used to analyze the effectiveness of several erosion mitigation methods that were recommended in a recent study of coastal erosion in New England: beach nourishment, coastal bank (engineered core), and submerged breakwater as well as artificial surfing reef. It was shown that beach nourishment and coastal banks perform better to mitigate shoreline retreat and coastal erosion.

Keywords: ADCIRC, coastal flooding, storm surge, coastal risk assessment, living shorelines

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18 Residential Architecture and Its Representation in Movies: Bangkok's Spatial Research in the Study of Thai Cinematography

Authors: Janis Matvejs


Visual representation of a city creates unique perspectives that allow to interpret the urban environment and enable to understand a space that is culturally created and territorially organized. Residential complexes are an essential part of cities and cinema is a specific representation form of these areas. There has been very little research done on exploring how these areas are depicted in the Thai movies. The aim of this research is to interpret the discourse of residential areas of Bangkok throughout the 20th and 21st centuries and to examine essential changes in the residential structure. Specific cinematic formal techniques in relation to the urban image were used. The movie review results were compared with changes in Bangkok’s residential development. Movie analysis displayed that residential areas are frequently used in Thai cinematography and they make up an integral part of the urban visual perception.

Keywords: Bangkok, cinema, residential area, representation, visual perception

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17 Using Educational Gaming as a Blended Learning Tool in South African Education

Authors: Maroonisha Maharajh


Based on the Black Swan and Disruptive Innovation Theories, this study proposes an educational game based learning model within the context of the traditional classroom learning environment. In the proposed model, the perceived e-learning component is decomposed into accessibility, perceived quality and perceived usability within the traditional rural classroom environment. A sample of 92 respondents took part in this study. The results suggest that users’ continuance intention is determined by both economic and grassroots internet accessibility, which in turn is jointly determined by perceived usefulness, information quality, service quality, system quality, perceived ease of use and cognitive absorption of learning.

Keywords: blended learning, flipped classroom, e-learning, gaming

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16 Storms Dynamics in the Black Sea in the Context of the Climate Changes

Authors: Eugen Rusu


The objective of the work proposed is to perform an analysis of the wave conditions in the Black Sea basin. This is especially focused on the spatial and temporal occurrences and on the dynamics of the most extreme storms in the context of the climate changes. A numerical modelling system, based on the spectral phase averaged wave model SWAN, has been implemented and validated against both in situ measurements and remotely sensed data, all along the sea. Moreover, a successive correction method for the assimilation of the satellite data has been associated with the wave modelling system. This is based on the optimal interpolation of the satellite data. Previous studies show that the process of data assimilation improves considerably the reliability of the results provided by the modelling system. This especially concerns the most sensitive cases from the point of view of the accuracy of the wave predictions, as the extreme storm situations are. Following this numerical approach, it has to be highlighted that the results provided by the wave modelling system above described are in general in line with those provided by some similar wave prediction systems implemented in enclosed or semi-enclosed sea basins. Simulations of this wave modelling system with data assimilation have been performed for the 30-year period 1987-2016. Considering this database, the next step was to analyze the intensity and the dynamics of the higher storms encountered in this period. According to the data resulted from the model simulations, the western side of the sea is considerably more energetic than the rest of the basin. In this western region, regular strong storms provide usually significant wave heights greater than 8m. This may lead to maximum wave heights even greater than 15m. Such regular strong storms may occur several times in one year, usually in the wintertime, or in late autumn, and it can be noticed that their frequency becomes higher in the last decade. As regards the case of the most extreme storms, significant wave heights greater than 10m and maximum wave heights close to 20m (and even greater) may occur. Such extreme storms, which in the past were noticed only once in four or five years, are more recent to be faced almost every year in the Black Sea, and this seems to be a consequence of the climate changes. The analysis performed included also the dynamics of the monthly and annual significant wave height maxima as well as the identification of the most probable spatial and temporal occurrences of the extreme storm events. Finally, it can be concluded that the present work provides valuable information related to the characteristics of the storm conditions and on their dynamics in the Black Sea. This environment is currently subjected to high navigation traffic and intense offshore and nearshore activities and the strong storms that systematically occur may produce accidents with very serious consequences.

Keywords: Black Sea, extreme storms, SWAN simulations, waves

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15 Nonlinear Analysis with Failure Using the Boundary Element Method

Authors: Ernesto Pineda Leon, Dante Tolentino Lopez, Janis Zapata Lopez


The current paper shows the application of the boundary element method for the analysis of plates under shear stress causing plasticity. In this case, the shear deformation of a plate is considered by means of the Reissner’s theory. The probability of failure of a Reissner’s plate due to a proposed index plastic behavior is calculated taken into account the uncertainty in mechanical and geometrical properties. The problem is developed in two dimensions. The classic plasticity’s theory is applied and a formulation for initial stresses that lead to the boundary integral equations due to plasticity is also used. For the plasticity calculation, the Von Misses criteria is used. To solve the non-linear equations an incremental method is employed. The results show a relatively small failure probability for the ranges of loads between 0.6 and 1.0. However, for values between 1.0 and 2.5, the probability of failure increases significantly. Consequently, for load bigger than 2.5 the plate failure is a safe event. The results are compared to those that were found in the literature and the agreement is good.

Keywords: boundary element method, failure, plasticity, probability

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14 Corporate Governance and Firm Performance in the UAE

Authors: Bakr Ali Al-Gamrh, Ku Nor Izah B. Ku Ismail


We investigate the relationship between corporate governance, leverage, risk, and firm performance. We use a firm level panel that spans the period 2008 to 2012 of all listed firms on Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange and Dubai Financial Market. After constructing an index of corporate governance strength, we find a negative effect of corporate governance on firm performance. We, however, discover that corporate governance strength indirectly improves the negative influence of leverage on firm performance in normal times. On the contrary, the results completely reversed when there is a black swan event. Corporate governance strength plays a significantly negative role in moderating the relationship between leverage and firm performance during the financial crisis. We also reveal that corporate governance strength increases firms’ risk and deteriorates performance during crisis. Results provide evidence that corporate governance indirectly plays a completely different role in different time periods.

Keywords: corporate governance, firm performance, risk, leverage, the UAE

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13 Towards Safety-Oriented System Design: Preventing Operator Errors by Scenario-Based Models

Authors: Avi Harel


Most accidents are commonly attributed in hindsight to human errors, yet most methodologies for safety focus on technical issues. According to the Black Swan theory, this paradox is due to insufficient data about the ways systems fail. The article presents a study of the sources of errors, and proposes a methodology for utility-oriented design, comprising methods for coping with each of the sources identified. Accident analysis indicates that errors typically result from difficulties of operating in exceptional conditions. Therefore, following STAMP, the focus should be on preventing exceptions. Exception analysis indicates that typically they involve an improper account of the operational scenario, due to deficiencies in the system integration. The methodology proposes a model, which is a formal definition of the system operation, as well as principles and guidelines for safety-oriented system integration. The article calls to develop and integrate tools for recording and analysis of the system activity during the operation, required to implement validate the model.

Keywords: accidents, complexity, errors, exceptions, interaction, modeling, resilience, risks

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12 The Geographic Distribution of Complementary, Alternative, and Traditional Medicine in the United States in 2018

Authors: Janis E. Campbell


Most of what is known about complementary, alternative or traditional medicine (CATM) in the United States today is known from either the National Health Interview Survey a cross-sectional survey with a few questions or from small cross-sectional or cohort studies with specific populations. The broad geographical distribution in CATM use or providers is not known. For this project, we used geospatial cluster analysis to determine if there were clusters of CATM provider by county in the US. In this analysis, we used the National Provider Index to determine the geographic distribution of providers in the US. Of the 215,769 CAMT providers 211,603 resided in the contiguous US: Acupuncturist (26,563); Art, Poetry, Music and Dance Therapist (2,752); Chiropractor (89,514); Doula/Midwife (3,535); Exercise (507); Homeopath (380); Massage Therapist (36,540); Mechanotherapist (1,888); Naprapath (146); Naturopath (4,782); Nutrition (42,036); Reflexologist (522); Religious (2,438). ESRI® spatial autocorrelation was used to determine if the geographic location of CATM providers were random or clustered. For global analysis, we used Getis-Ord General G and for Local Indicators of Spatial Associations with an Optimized Hot Spot Analysis using an alpha of 0.05. Overall, CATM providers were clustered with both low and high. With Chiropractors, focusing in the Midwest, religious providers having very small clusters in the central US, and other types of CAMT focused in the northwest and west coast, Colorado and New Mexico, the great lakes areas and Florida. We will discuss some of the implications of this study, including associations with health, economic, social, and political systems.

Keywords: complementary medicine, alternative medicine, geospatial, United States

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11 Effect of Tillage Practices and Planting Patterns on Growth and Yield of Maize (Zee Maize)

Authors: O. R. Obalowu, F. B. Akande, T. P Abegunrin


Maize (Zea may) is mostly grown and consumed by Nigeria farmers using different tillage practices which have a great effect on its growth and yield. In order to maximize output, there is need to recommend a suitable tillage practice for crop production which will increase the growth and yield of maize. This study investigated the effect of tillage practices and planting pattern on the growth and yield of maize. The experiment was arranged in a 4x3x3 Randomized Complete Block Design (RCBD) layout, with four tillage practices consisting of no-tillage (NT), disc ploughing only (Ponly), disc ploughing followed by harrowing (PH), and disc ploughing, harrowing then ridging (PHR). Three planting patterns which include; 65 x 75, 75 x 75 and 85 x 75 cm spacing within and between the rows respectively, were randomly applied on the plots. All treatments were replicated three times. Data which consist of plant height, stem girth, leaf area and weight of maize per plots were taken and recorded. Data gathered were analyzed using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) in the Minitab Software Package. The result shows that PHR under the third planting pattern has the highest growth rate (216.50 cm) while NT under the first planting pattern has the lowest mean value of growth rate (115.60 cm). Also, Ponly under the first planting pattern gives a better maize yield (19.45 kg) when compared with other tillage practices while NT under first planting pattern recorded the least yield of maize (9.40 kg). In conclusion, considering soil and weather conditions of the research area, plough only under the first planting pattern (65 x 75 cm) is the best alternative for the production of the Swan maize variety.

Keywords: tillage practice, planting pattern, disc ploughing, harrowing, ridging

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10 Enabling UDP Multicast in Cloud IaaS: An Enterprise Use Case

Authors: Patrick J. Kerpan, Ryan C. Koop, Margaret M. Walker, Chris P. Swan


The User Datagram Protocol (UDP) multicast is a vital part of data center networking that is being left out of major cloud computing providers' network infrastructure. Enterprise users rely on multicast, and particularly UDP multicast to create and connect vital business operations. For example, UPD makes a variety of business functions possible from simultaneous content media updates, High-Performance Computing (HPC) grids, and video call routing for massive open online courses (MOOCs). Essentially, UDP multicast's technological slight is causing a huge effect on whether companies choose to use (or not to use) public cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Allowing the ‘chatty’ UDP multicast protocol inside a cloud network could have a serious impact on the performance of the cloud as a whole. Cloud IaaS providers solve the issue by disallowing all UDP multicast. But what about enterprise use cases for multicast applications in organizations that want to move to the cloud? To re-allow multicast traffic, enterprises can build a layer 3 - 7 network over the top of a data center, private cloud, or public cloud. An overlay network simply creates a private, sealed network on top of the existing network. Overlays give complete control of the network back to enterprise cloud users the freedom to manage their network beyond the control of the cloud provider’s firewall conditions. The same logic applies if for users who wish to use IPsec or BGP network protocols inside or connected into an overlay network in cloud IaaS.

Keywords: cloud computing, protocols, UDP multicast, virtualization

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9 Insights into Archaeological Human Sample Microbiome Using 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing

Authors: Alisa Kazarina, Guntis Gerhards, Elina Petersone-Gordina, Ilva Pole, Viktorija Igumnova, Janis Kimsis, Valentina Capligina, Renate Ranka


Human body is inhabited by a vast number of microorganisms, collectively known as the human microbiome, and there is a tremendous interest in evolutionary changes in human microbial ecology, diversity and function. The field of paleomicrobiology, study of ancient human microbiome, is powered by modern techniques of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which allows extracting microbial genomic data directly from archaeological sample of interest. One of the major techniques is 16S rRNA gene sequencing, by which certain 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions are being amplified and sequenced. However, some limitations of this method exist including the taxonomic precision and efficacy of different regions used. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phylogenetic sensitivity of different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions for microbiome studies in the archaeological samples. Towards this aim, archaeological bone samples and corresponding soil samples from each burial environment were collected in Medieval cemeteries in Latvia. The Ion 16S™ Metagenomics Kit targeting different 16S rRNA gene hypervariable regions was used for library construction (Ion Torrent technologies). Sequenced data were analysed by using appropriate bioinformatic techniques; alignment and taxonomic representation was done using Mothur program. Sequences of most abundant genus were further aligned to E. coli 16S rRNA gene reference sequence using MEGA7 in order to identify the hypervariable region of the segment of interest. Our results showed that different hypervariable regions had different discriminatory power depending on the groups of microbes, as well as the nature of samples. On the basis of our results, we suggest that wider range of primers used can provide more accurate recapitulation of microbial communities in archaeological samples. Acknowledgements. This work was supported by the ERAF grant Nr.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene, ancient human microbiome, archaeology, bioinformatics, genomics, microbiome, molecular biology, next-generation sequencing

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8 Power Production Performance of Different Wave Energy Converters in the Southwestern Black Sea

Authors: Ajab G. Majidi, Bilal Bingölbali, Adem Akpınar


This study aims to investigate the amount of energy (economic wave energy potential) that can be obtained from the existing wave energy converters in the high wave energy potential region of the Black Sea in terms of wave energy potential and their performance at different depths in the region. The data needed for this purpose were obtained using the calibrated nested layered SWAN wave modeling program version 41.01AB, which was forced with Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR) winds from 1979 to 2009. The wave dataset at a time interval of 2 hours was accumulated for a sub-grid domain for around Karaburun beach in Arnavutkoy, a district of Istanbul city. The annual sea state characteristic matrices for the five different depths along with a vertical line to the coastline were calculated for 31 years. According to the power matrices of different wave energy converter systems and characteristic matrices for each possible installation depth, the probability distribution tables of the specified mean wave period or wave energy period and significant wave height were calculated. Then, by using the relationship between these distribution tables, according to the present wave climate, the energy that the wave energy converter systems at each depth can produce was determined. Thus, the economically feasible potential of the relevant coastal zone was revealed, and the effect of different depths on energy converter systems is presented. The Oceantic at 50, 75 and 100 m depths and Oyster at 5 and 25 m depths presents the best performance. In the 31-year long period 1998 the most and 1989 is the least dynamic year.

Keywords: annual power production, Black Sea, efficiency, power production performance, wave energy converter

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7 Identification Algorithm of Critical Interface, Modelling Perils on Critical Infrastructure Subjects

Authors: Jiří. J. Urbánek, Hana Malachová, Josef Krahulec, Jitka Johanidisová


The paper deals with crisis situations investigation and modelling within the organizations of critical infrastructure. Every crisis situation has an origin in the emergency event occurrence in the organizations of energetic critical infrastructure especially. Here, the emergency events can be both the expected events, then crisis scenarios can be pre-prepared by pertinent organizational crisis management authorities towards their coping or the unexpected event (Black Swan effect) – without pre-prepared scenario, but it needs operational coping of crisis situations as well. The forms, characteristics, behaviour and utilization of crisis scenarios have various qualities, depending on real critical infrastructure organization prevention and training processes. An aim is always better organizational security and continuity obtainment. This paper objective is to find and investigate critical/ crisis zones and functions in critical situations models of critical infrastructure organization. The DYVELOP (Dynamic Vector Logistics of Processes) method is able to identify problematic critical zones and functions, displaying critical interfaces among actors of crisis situations on the DYVELOP maps named Blazons. Firstly, for realization of this ability is necessary to derive and create identification algorithm of critical interfaces. The locations of critical interfaces are the flags of crisis situation in real organization of critical infrastructure. Conclusive, the model of critical interface will be displayed at real organization of Czech energetic crisis infrastructure subject in Black Out peril environment. The Blazons need live power Point presentation for better comprehension of this paper mission.

Keywords: algorithm, crisis, DYVELOP, infrastructure

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6 Women Academics' Insecure Identity at Work: A Millennials Phenomenon

Authors: Emmanouil Papavasileiou, Nikos Bozionelos, Liza Howe-Walsh, Sarah Turnbull


Purpose: The research focuses on women academics’ insecure identity at work and examines its link with generational identity. The aim is to enrich understanding of identities at work as a crucial attribute of managing academics in the context of the proliferation of managerialist controls of audit, accountability, monitoring, and performativity. Methodology: Positivist quantitative methodology was utilized. Data were collected from the Scientific Women's Academic Network (SWAN) Charter. Responses from 155 women academics based in the British Higher Education system were analysed. Findings: Analysis showed high prevalence of strong imposter feelings among participants, suggesting high insecurity at work among women academics in the United Kingdom. Generational identity was related to imposter feelings. In particular, Millennials scored significantly higher than the other generational groups. Research implications: The study shows that imposter feelings are variously manifested among the prevalent generations of women academics, while generational identity is a significant antecedent of such feelings. Research limitations: Caution should be exercised in generalizing the findings to national cultural contexts beyond the United Kingdom. Practical and social implications: Contrary to popular depictions of Millennials as self-centered, narcissistic, materialistic and demanding, women academics who are members of this generational group appear significantly more insecure than the preceding generations. Value: The study provides insightful understandings into women academics’ identity at work as a function of generational identity, and provides a fruitful avenue for further research within and beyond this gender group and profession.

Keywords: academics, generational diversity, imposter feelings, United Kingdom, women, work identity

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5 Impact of Covid-19 on Digital Transformation

Authors: Tebogo Sethibe, Jabulile Mabuza


The COVID-19 pandemic has been commonly referred to as a ‘black swan event’; it has changed the world, from how people live, learn, work and socialise. It is believed that the pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of technology in many organisations to ensure business continuity and business sustainability; broadly said, the pandemic has fast-tracked digital transformation (DT) in different organisations. This paper aims to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on DT in organisations in South Africa by focusing on the changes in IT capabilities in the DT framework. The research design is qualitative. The data collection was through semi-structured interviews with information communication technology (ICT) leaders representing different organisations in South Africa. The data were analysed using the thematic analysis process. The results from the study show that, in terms of ICT in the organisation, the pandemic had a direct and positive impact on ICT strategy and ICT operations. In terms of IT capability transformation, the pandemic resulted in the optimisation and expansion of existing IT capabilities in the organisation and the building of new IT capabilities to meet emerging business needs. In terms of the focus of activities during the pandemic, there seems to be a split in organisations between the primary focus being on ‘digital IT’ or ‘traditional IT’. Overall, the findings of the study show that the pandemic had a positive and significant impact on DT in organisations. However, a definitive conclusion on this would require expanding the scope of the research to all the components of a comprehensive DT framework. This study is significant because it is one of the first studies to investigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on organisations, on ICT in the organisation, on IT capability transformation and, to a greater extent, DT. The findings from the study show that in response to the pandemic, there is a need for: (i) agility in organisations; (ii) organisations to execute on their existing strategy; (iii) the future-proofing of IT capabilities; (iv) the adoption of a hybrid working model; and for (v) organisations to take risks and embrace new ideas.

Keywords: digital transformation, COVID-19, bimodal-IT, digital transformation framework

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4 Usage of Crude Glycerol for Biological Hydrogen Production, Experiments and Analysis

Authors: Ilze Dimanta, Zane Rutkovska, Vizma Nikolajeva, Janis Kleperis, Indrikis Muiznieks


Majority of word’s steadily increasing energy consumption is provided by non-renewable fossil resources. Need to find an alternative energy resource is essential for further socio-economic development. Hydrogen is renewable, clean energy carrier with high energy density (142 MJ/kg, accordingly – oil has 42 MJ/kg). Biological hydrogen production is an alternative way to produce hydrogen from renewable resources, e.g. using organic waste material resource fermentation that facilitate recycling of sewage and are environmentally benign. Hydrogen gas is produced during the fermentation process of bacteria in anaerobic conditions. Bacteria are producing hydrogen in the liquid phase and when thermodynamic equilibrium is reached, hydrogen is diffusing from liquid to gaseous phase. Because of large quantities of available crude glycerol and the highly reduced nature of carbon in glycerol per se, microbial conversion of it seems to be economically and environmentally viable possibility. Such industrial organic waste product as crude glycerol is perspective for usage in feedstock for hydrogen producing bacteria. The process of biodiesel production results in 41% (w/w) of crude glycerol. The developed lab-scale test system (experimental bioreactor) with hydrogen micro-electrode (Unisense, Denmark) was used to determine hydrogen production yield and rate in the liquid phase. For hydrogen analysis in the gas phase the RGAPro-100 mass-spectrometer connected to the experimental test-system was used. Fermentative bacteria strains were tested for hydrogen gas production rates. The presence of hydrogen in gaseous phase was measured using mass spectrometer but registered concentrations were comparatively small. To decrease the hydrogen partial pressure in liquid phase reactor with a system for continuous bubbling with inert gas was developed. H2 production rate for the best producer in liquid phase reached 0,40 mmol H2/l, in gaseous phase - 1,32 mmol H2/l. Hydrogen production rate is time dependent – higher rate of hydrogen production is at the fermentation process beginning when concentration increases, but after three hours of fermentation, it decreases.

Keywords: bio-hydrogen, fermentation, experimental bioreactor, crude glycerol

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3 Women Doing Leadership in Higher Education: Drawing on Individual Experiences to Analyse On-Going Gender Inequality in the Sector

Authors: Sarah Barnard, John Arnold, Fehmidah Munir, Sara Bosley


Gender issues in higher education continue to represent a complex issue as institutions grapple with the role that organisations can play in combatting inequality. Schemes like Athena SWAN and the Aurora leadership programme in the UK context are attempting to tackle some of the issues around representation and the recognition of women in the sector. This paper is the first of its kind in reporting findings from a mixed-methods longitudinal study on both professional services and academic women in higher education in the UK. Online surveys have been completed by over 2,000 women in the sector. The qualitative elements include interviews with women and their mentors, and diaries with a select group of women. So far results have shown that contrary to the stereotype of women lacking leadership skills or having no desire to go into higher roles, women in the sector consistently assessed their leadership abilities positively, especially but not only regarding interpersonal interaction and facilitation. Over 80% of women agreed that they felt confident about putting themselves forward for positions of responsibility at work. However, qualitative data shows that confidence remains a salient term for how women talk about the challenges they have faced at work. This suggests that the work needed to challenge systemic gender issues requires action to be driven above the individual level. Overall, academics reported more negative experiences than professional services staff. Similarly BAME women’s responses are more negative. Therefore, the study offers some information on the differential experiences of women. In conclusion, women in higher education are undertaking considerable ‘below the radar’ leadership activities in what they perceive to be a somewhat inhospitable hostile workplace culture. The significant amount of effort expended in the sector is affecting slow, partial impacts on gender inequalities.

Keywords: gender, higher education, leadership, longitudinal research

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2 Mathematical Modelling of Biogas Dehumidification by Using of Counterflow Heat Exchanger

Authors: Staņislavs Gendelis, Andris Jakovičs, Jānis Ratnieks, Aigars Laizāns, Dāvids Vardanjans


Dehumidification of biogas at the biomass plants is very important to provide the energy efficient burning of biomethane at the outlet. A few methods are widely used to reduce the water content in biogas, e.g. chiller/heat exchanger based cooling, usage of different adsorbents like PSA, or the combination of such approaches. A quite different method of biogas dehumidification is offered and analyzed in this paper. The main idea is to direct the flow of biogas from the plant around it downwards; thus, creating additional insulation layer. As the temperature in gas shell layer around the plant will decrease from ~ 38°C to 20°C in the summer or even to 0°C in the winter, condensation of water vapor occurs. The water from the bottom of the gas shell can be collected and drain away. In addition, another upward shell layer is created after the condensate drainage place on the outer side to further reducing heat losses. Thus, counterflow biogas heat exchanger is created around the biogas plant. This research work deals with the numerical modelling of biogas flow, taking into account heat exchange and condensation on cold surfaces. Different kinds of boundary conditions (air and ground temperatures in summer/winter) and various physical properties of constructions (insulation between layers, wall thickness) are included in the model to make it more general and useful for different biogas flow conditions. The complexity of this problem is fact, that the temperatures in both channels are conjugated in case of low thermal resistance between layers. MATLAB programming language is used for multiphysical model development, numerical calculations and result visualization. Experimental installation of a biogas plant’s vertical wall with an additional 2 layers of polycarbonate sheets with the controlled gas flow was set up to verify the modelling results. Gas flow at inlet/outlet, temperatures between the layers and humidity were controlled and measured during a number of experiments. Good correlation with modelling results for vertical wall section allows using of developed numerical model for an estimation of parameters for the whole biogas dehumidification system. Numerical modelling of biogas counterflow heat exchanger system placed on the plant’s wall for various cases allows optimizing of thickness for gas layers and insulation layer to ensure necessary dehumidification of the gas under different climatic conditions. Modelling of system’s defined configuration with known conditions helps to predict the temperature and humidity content of the biogas at the outlet.

Keywords: biogas dehumidification, numerical modelling, condensation, biogas plant experimental model

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1 An Overview of the Wind and Wave Climate in the Romanian Nearshore

Authors: Liliana Rusu


The goal of the proposed work is to provide a more comprehensive picture of the wind and wave climate in the Romanian nearshore, using the results provided by numerical models. The Romanian coastal environment is located in the western side of the Black Sea, the more energetic part of the sea, an area with heavy maritime traffic and various offshore operations. Information about the wind and wave climate in the Romanian waters is mainly based on observations at Gloria drilling platform (70 km from the coast). As regards the waves, the measurements of the wave characteristics are not so accurate due to the method used, being also available for a limited period. For this reason, the wave simulations that cover large temporal and spatial scales represent an option to describe better the wave climate. To assess the wind climate in the target area spanning 1992–2016, data provided by the NCEP-CFSR (U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction - Climate Forecast System Reanalysis) and consisting in wind fields at 10m above the sea level are used. The high spatial and temporal resolution of the wind fields is good enough to represent the wind variability over the area. For the same 25-year period, as considered for the wind climate, this study characterizes the wave climate from a wave hindcast data set that uses NCEP-CFSR winds as input for a model system SWAN (Simulating WAves Nearshore) based. The wave simulation results with a two-level modelling scale have been validated against both in situ measurements and remotely sensed data. The second level of the system, with a higher resolution in the geographical space (0.02°×0.02°), is focused on the Romanian coastal environment. The main wave parameters simulated at this level are used to analyse the wave climate. The spatial distributions of the wind speed, wind direction and the mean significant wave height have been computed as the average of the total data. As resulted from the amount of data, the target area presents a generally moderate wave climate that is affected by the storm events developed in the Black Sea basin. Both wind and wave climate presents high seasonal variability. All the results are computed as maps that help to find the more dangerous areas. A local analysis has been also employed in some key locations corresponding to highly sensitive areas, as for example the main Romanian harbors.

Keywords: numerical simulations, Romanian nearshore, waves, wind

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