Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 13

Search results for: Rodolfo J. Romañach

13 A Cross-Disciplinary Educational Model in Biomanufacturing to Sustain a Competitive Workforce Ecosystem

Authors: Rosa Buxeda, Lorenzo Saliceti-Piazza, Rodolfo J. Romañach, Luis Ríos, Sandra L. Maldonado-Ramírez


Biopharmaceuticals manufacturing is one of the major economic activities worldwide. Ninety-three percent of the workforce in a biomanufacturing environment concentrates in production-related areas. As a result, strategic collaborations between industry and academia are crucial to ensure the availability of knowledgeable workforce needed in an economic region to become competitive in biomanufacturing. In the past decade, our institution has been a key strategic partner with multinational biotechnology companies in supplying science and engineering graduates in the field of industrial biotechnology. Initiatives addressing all levels of the educational pipeline, from K-12 to college to continued education for company employees have been established along a ten-year span. The Amgen BioTalents Program was designed to provide undergraduate science and engineering students with training in biomanufacturing. The areas targeted by this educational program enhance their academic development, since these topics are not part of their traditional science and engineering curricula. The educational curriculum involved the process of producing a biomolecule from the genetic engineering of cells to the production of an especially targeted polypeptide, protein expression and purification, to quality control, and validation. This paper will report and describe the implementation details and outcomes of the first sessions of the program.

Keywords: Workforce development, biomanufacturing curriculum, interdisciplinary learning, industry-academia partnering

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12 Experimental Chip/Tool Temperature FEM Model Calibration by Infrared Thermography: A Case Study

Authors: Riccardo Angiuli, Michele Giannuzzi, Rodolfo Franchi, Gabriele Papadia


Temperature knowledge in machining is fundamental to improve the numerical and FEM models used for the study of some critical process aspects, such as the behavior of the worked material and tool. The extreme conditions in which they operate make it impossible to use traditional measuring instruments; infrared thermography can be used as a valid measuring instrument for temperature measurement during metal cutting. In the study, a large experimental program on superduplex steel (ASTM A995 gr. 5A) cutting was carried out, the relevant cutting temperatures were measured by infrared thermography when certain cutting parameters changed, from traditional values to extreme ones. The values identified were used to calibrate a FEM model for the prediction of residual life of the tools. During the study, the problems related to the detection of cutting temperatures by infrared thermography were analyzed, and a dedicated procedure was developed that could be used during similar processing.

Keywords: Machining, Temperature Measurement, FEM, infrared thermography

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11 Carbohydrate Intake Estimation in Type I Diabetic Patients Described by UVA/Padova Model

Authors: David A. Padilla, Rodolfo Villamizar


In recent years, closed loop control strategies have been developed in order to establish a healthy glucose profile in type 1 diabetic mellitus (T1DM) patients. However, the controller itself is unable to define a suitable reference trajectory for glucose. In this paper, a control strategy Is proposed where the shape of the reference trajectory is generated bases in the amount of carbohydrates present during the digestive process, due to the effect of carbohydrate intake. Since there no exists a sensor to measure the amount of carbohydrates consumed, an estimator is proposed. Thus this paper presents the entire process of designing a carbohydrate estimator, which allows estimate disturbance for a predictive controller (MPC) in a T1MD patient, the estimation will be used to establish a profile of reference and improve the response of the controller by providing the estimated information of ingested carbohydrates. The dynamics of the diabetic model used are due to the equations described by the UVA/Padova model of the T1DMS simulator, the system was developed and simulated in Simulink, taking into account the noise and limitations of the glucose control system actuators.

Keywords: estimation, glucose control, MPC, predictive controller, UVA/Padova

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10 Microstructure Analysis of Biopolymer Mixture (Chia-Gelatin) by Laser Confocal Microscopy

Authors: Emmanuel Flores Huicochea, Guadalupe Borja Mendiola, Jacqueline Flores Lopez, Rodolfo Rendon Villalobos


The usual procedure to investigate the properties of biodegradable films has been to prepare the film, measure the mechanical or transport properties and then decide whether the mixture has better properties than the individual components, instead of investigating whether the mixture has biopolymer-biopolymer interaction, then prepare the film and finally measure the properties of the film. The work investigates the presence of interaction biopolymer-biopolymer in a mixture of chia biopolymer and gelatin using Laser Confocal Microscopy (LCM). Previously, the chia biopolymer was obtained from chia seed. CML analysis of mixtures of chia biopolymer-gelatin without Na⁺ ions exhibited aggregates of different size, in the range of 100-400 μm, of defined color, for the two colors, but no mixing of color was observed. The increased of gelatin in the mixture decreases the size and number of aggregates. The tridimensional microstructure reveled that there are two layers of biopolymers, chia and gelatin well defined. The mixture chia biopolymer-gelatin with 10 mM Na⁺ and with a ratio 75:25 (chia-gelatin) showed lower aggregated size than others mixture with and without ions. This result could be explained because the chia biopolymer is a polyelectrolyte and the added sodium ions reduce the molecular rigidity by neutralizing the negative charges that the chia biopolymer possesses and therefore a better biopolymer-biopolymer interaction is allowed between the biopolymer of chia and gelatin.

Keywords: Microstructure, biopolymer-biopolymer interaction, confocal laser microscopy, CLM, mixture chia-gelatin

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9 Performance Assessment of Multi-Level Ensemble for Multi-Class Problems

Authors: Rodolfo Lorbieski, Silvia Modesto Nassar


Many supervised machine learning tasks require decision making across numerous different classes. Multi-class classification has several applications, such as face recognition, text recognition and medical diagnostics. The objective of this article is to analyze an adapted method of Stacking in multi-class problems, which combines ensembles within the ensemble itself. For this purpose, a training similar to Stacking was used, but with three levels, where the final decision-maker (level 2) performs its training by combining outputs from the tree-based pair of meta-classifiers (level 1) from Bayesian families. These are in turn trained by pairs of base classifiers (level 0) of the same family. This strategy seeks to promote diversity among the ensembles forming the meta-classifier level 2. Three performance measures were used: (1) accuracy, (2) area under the ROC curve, and (3) time for three factors: (a) datasets, (b) experiments and (c) levels. To compare the factors, ANOVA three-way test was executed for each performance measure, considering 5 datasets by 25 experiments by 3 levels. A triple interaction between factors was observed only in time. The accuracy and area under the ROC curve presented similar results, showing a double interaction between level and experiment, as well as for the dataset factor. It was concluded that level 2 had an average performance above the other levels and that the proposed method is especially efficient for multi-class problems when compared to binary problems.

Keywords: Ensemble, multi-class, stacking, multi-layers

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8 Approaching In vivo Dosimetry for Kilovoltage X-Ray Radiotherapy

Authors: Rodolfo Alfonso, David Alonso, Albin Garcia, Jose Luis Alonso


Recently a new kilovoltage radiotherapy unit model Xstrahl 200 - donated to the INOR´s Department of Radiotherapy (DR-INOR) in the framework of a IAEA's technical cooperation project- has been commissioned. This unit is able to treat shallow and low deep laying lesions, as it provides 8 discrete beam qualities, from 40 to 200 kV. As part of the patient-specific quality assurance program established at DR-INOR for external beam radiotherapy, it has been recommended to implement in vivo dose measurements (IVD), as they allow effectively discovering eventual errors or failures in the radiotherapy process. For that purpose a radio-photoluminescence (RPL) dosimetry system, model XXX, -also donated to DR-INOR by the same IAEA project- has been studied and commissioned. Main dosimetric parameters of the RPL system, such as reproducibility, linearity, and filed size influence were assessed. In a similar way, the response of radiochromic EBT3 type film was investigated for purposes of IVD. Both systems were calibrated in terms of entrance surface dose. Results of the dosimetric commissioning of RPL and EBT3 for IVD, and their pre-clinical implementation through end-to-end test cases are presented. The RPL dosimetry seems more recommendable for hyper-fractionated schemes with larger fields and curved patient contours, as those in chest wall irradiations, where the use of more than one dosimeter could be required. The radiochromic system involves smaller corrections with field size, but it sensibility is lower; hence it is more adequate for hypo-fractionated treatments with smaller fields.

Keywords: glass dosimetry, in vivo dosimetry, kilovotage radiotherapy, radiochromic dosimetry

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7 Engineering Ligand-Free Biodegradable-Based Nanoparticles for Cell Attachment and Growth

Authors: Simone F. Medeiros, Amilton M. Santos, Isabela F. Santos, Rodolfo M. Moraes, Jaspreet K. Kular, Marcus A. Johns, Ram Sharma


Tissue engineering aims to develop alternatives to treat damaged tissues by promoting their regeneration. Its basic principle is to place cells on a scaffold capable of promoting cell functions, and for this purpose, polymeric nanoparticles have been successfully used due to the ability of some macro chains to mimic the extracellular matrix and influence cell functions. In general, nanoparticles require surface chemical modification to achieve cell adhesion, and recent advances in their synthesis include methods for modifying the ligand density and distribution onto nanoparticles surface. However, this work reports the development of biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles capable of promoting cellular adhesion without any surface chemical modification by ligands. Biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBHV) were synthesized by solvent evaporation method. The produced nanoparticles were small in size (85 and 125 nm) and colloidally stable against time in aqueous solution. Morphology evaluation showed their spherical shape with small polydispersity. Human osteoblast-like cells (MG63) were cultured in the presence of PHBHV nanoparticles, and growth kinetics were compared to those grown on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS). Cell attachment on non-tissue culture polystyrene (non-TCPS) pre-coated with nanoparticles was assessed and compared to attachment on TCPS. These findings reveal the potential of PHBHV nanoparticles for cell adhesion and growth, without requiring a matrix ligand to support cells, to be used as scaffolds, in tissue engineering applications.

Keywords: Stem Cells, Tissue Engineering, PHBHV, cellular attachment

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6 LCA and LCC for the Evaluation of Sustainability of Rapeseed, Giant Reed, and Poplar Cultivation

Authors: Luigi Pari, Alessandro Suardi, Rodolfo Picchio, Domenico Coaloa, Maria Bonaventura Forleo, Nadia Palmieri


The reconversion process of the Italian sugar supply chain to bio-energy supply chains, as a result of the 2006 Sugar CMO reform, have involved research to define the best logistics, the most adapted energy crops for the Italian territory and their sustainability. Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.), Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) and Poplar (Poplar ssp.) are energy crops considered strategic for the development of Italian energy supply-chains. This study analyzed the environmental and the economic impacts on the farm level of these three energy crops. The environmental assessment included six farming units, two per crop, which were extracted from a sample of 251 rapeseed farm units (2751 ha), 7 giant reed farm units (7.8 ha), and 91 poplar farm units (440 ha) using a statistical multivariate analysis. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) research method has been used to evaluate and compare the sustainability of the agricultural phases of the crops studied. The impact analyses have been performed at mid-point and end-point levels. The results of the analysis shown that the fertilization, is the major source of environmental impact of the agricultural phase due to the production of the fertilizers and the soil emissions of GHG following the treatment. The perennial energy crops studied (Arundo donax L., Poplar ssp.) were environmentally more sustainable if compared with the annual crop (Brassica napus L.) for all the impact categories at mid-point and end-point levels analyzed. The most relevant impact category influenced by the agricultural process result the fossil depletion, mainly due to the fossil fuels consumed during the mineral fertilizers production (urea). Human health was the most affected damage category at the end point level. Poplar result the energy crop with the best environmental performance for the Italian territory, in the distribution areas most suitable for its cultivation.

Keywords: Energy Crops, LCA, rapeseed, giant reed, poplar

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5 Learning and Teaching Styles of Student Nurses

Authors: Jefferson S. Galanza, Jewel An Mischelle R.Camcam, Alyssa Karryl C. Co, Stephanie P. De Guzman, Jet Jet K. Dongui-is, Rodolfo Dane C. Frias, Ovelle C. Jueco, Harvey L. Matbagan, Victoria Luzette T. Rillon, Christelle Romyna H. Saruca, Jeanette Roma M. Villasper


Background: Amidst numerous studies conducted on learning styles of students from a variety of courses, levels and school, a recent study recommended a great need for research on learning styles of student nurses. Moreover, related literatures have not been found exploring both the learning and teaching style of student nurses. Aims: The study aimed to determine the learning and teaching styles of student nurses and if there is an association between them. It also intended to discover whether student nurses are unimodal or multimodal in their styles and identified which faculty teaching style affords maximum outcome for student’s learning styles. Methods: Quantitative Descriptive-Correlational design was used. Participants were randomly selected 312 student nurses at School of Nursing X, Baguio City, Philippines. The questionnaire utilized a modified version of an adopted tool from Fleming’s VARK learning style version 7.2 (Visual, Auditory, Reader/Writer, Kinaesthetic) and Grasha’s teaching styles (Formal Authority, Demonstrator, Facilitator, Delegator). SPSS 19 was used for statistical treatment of data, where Chi square was used for the correlation of unimodal learning and teaching styles. Results/Finding: Majority of student nurses’ learning style is Kinesthetic and their teaching style is Demonstrator, which was also found to be significantly associated. Moreover, 8 out of 10 students are Unimodal in their learning and teaching modalities. In general, their preferred faculty teaching style is similar to their teaching style, which supports the concept, that teachers teach the way they learn. Conclusion: Study concludes that student nurses’ learning styles and teaching styles are varied, which exemplifies the uniqueness of every learner.This diversity in styles provided more evidence that a variety of mode of teaching and learning should be used by faculty and students to increase learning outcome and academic achievement. Recommendation: Future studies could be carried out in various schools of nursing utilizing faculty as respondents. Conduct assessment of learning style at the onset of classes/clinical placements so that faculty will become aware of the diversity of learners leading them to deliver diverse teaching methods.

Keywords: Learning, Learning styles, Teaching Styles, student nurses

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4 Synthesis and Characterization of Highly Oriented Bismuth Oxyiodide Thin Films for the Photocatalytical Degradation of Pharmaceuticals Compounds in Water

Authors: Juan C. Duran-Alvarez, Daniel Mejia, Rodolfo Zanella


Heterogeneous photocatalysis is a promising method to achieve the complete degradation and mineralization of organic pollutants in water via their exhaustive oxidation. In order to take this advanced oxidation process towards sustainability, it is necessary to reduce the energy consumption, referred as the light sources and the post-treatment operations. For this, the synthesis of new nanostructures of low band gap semiconductors in the form of thin films is in continuous development. In this work, thin films of the low band gap semiconductor bismuth oxyiodide (BiOI) were synthesized via the Successive Ionic Layer Adsorption and Reaction (SILAR) method. For this, Bi(NO3)3 and KI solutions were prepared, and glass supports were immersed in each solution under strict rate and time immersion conditions. Synthesis was performed at room temperature and a washing step was set prior to each immersion. Thin films with an average thickness below 100 nm were obtained upon a cycle of 30 immersions, as determined by AFM and profilometry measurements. Cubic BiOI nanocrystals with average size of 17 nm and a high orientation to the 001 plane were observed by XRD. In order to optimize the synthesis method, several Bi/I ratios were tested, namely 1/1, 1/5, 1/10, 1/20 and 1/50. The highest crystallinity of the BiOI films was observed when the 1/5 ratio was used in the synthesis. Non-stoichiometric conditions also resulted in the highest uniformity of the thin layers. PVP was used as an additive to improve the adherence of the BiOI thin films to the support. The addition of 0.1 mg/mL of PVP during the washing step resulted in the highest adherence of the thin films. In photocatalysis tests, degradation rate of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin as high as 75% was achieved using visible light (380 to 700 nm) irradiation for 5 h in batch tests. Mineralization of the antibiotic was also observed, although in a lower extent; ~ 30% of the total organic carbon was removed upon 5 h of visible light irradiation. Some ciprofloxacin by-products were identified throughout the reaction; and some of these molecules displayed residual antibiotic activity. In conclusion, it is possible to obtain highly oriented BiOI thin films under ambient conditions via the SILAR method. Non-stoichiometric conditions using PVP additive are necessary to increase the crystallinity and adherence of the films, which are photocatalytically active to remove recalcitrant organic pollutants under visible light irradiation.

Keywords: Thin Films, Water Treatment, photocatalysis, bismuth oxyhalides

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3 A Clinical Cutoff to Identify Metabolically Unhealthy Obese and Normal-Weight Phenotype in Young Adults

Authors: Lívia Pinheiro Carvalho, Luciana Di Thommazo-Luporini, Rafael Luís Luporini, José Carlos Bonjorno Junior, Renata Pedrolongo Basso Vanelli, Manoel Carneiro de Oliveira Junior, Rodolfo de Paula Vieira, Renata Trimer, Renata G. Mendes, Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre, Audrey Borghi-Silva


Rationale: Cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and functional capacity in young obese and normal-weight people are associated with metabolic and cardiovascular diseases and mortality. However, it remains unclear whether their metabolically healthy (MH) or at risk (AR) phenotype influences cardiorespiratory fitness in this vulnerable population such as obese adults but also in normal-weight people. HOMA insulin resistance index (HI) and leptin-adiponectin ratio (LA) are strong markers for characterizing those phenotypes that we hypothesized to be associated with physical fitness. We also hypothesized that an easy and feasible exercise test could identify a subpopulation at risk to develop metabolic and related disorders. Methods: Thirty-nine sedentary men and women (20-45y; 18.530 kg.m-2) underwent a clinical evaluation, including the six-minute step test (ST), a well-validated and reliable test for young people. Body composition assessment was done by a tetrapolar bioimpedance in a fasting state and in the folicular phase for women. A maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing, as well as the ST, evaluated the oxygen uptake at the peak of the test (VO2peak) by an ergospirometer Oxycon Mobile. Lipids, glucose, insulin were analysed and the ELISA method quantified the serum leptin and adiponectin from blood samples. Volunteers were divided in two groups: AR or MH according to a HI cutoff of 1.95, which was previously determined in the literature. T-test for comparison between groups, Pearson´s test to correlate main variables and ROC analysis for discriminating AR from up-and-down cycles in ST (SC) were applied (p<0.05). Results: Higher LA, fat mass (FM) and lower HDL, SC, leg lean mass (LM) and VO2peak were found in AR than in MH. Significant correlations were found between VO2peak and SC (r= 0.80) as well as between LA and FM (r=0.87), VO2peak (r=-0.73), and SC (r=-0.65). Area under de curve showed moderate accuracy (0.75) of SC <173 to discriminate AR phenotype. Conclusion: Our study found that at risk obese and normal-weight subjects showed an unhealthy metabolism as well as a poor CRF and functional daily activity capacity. Additionally, a simple and less costly functional test associated with above-mentioned aspects is able to identify ‘at risk’ subjects for primary intervention with important clinical and health implications.

Keywords: Exercise, Metabolism, Obesity, Fitness, Aerobic Capacity

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2 The High Potential and the Little Use of Brazilian Class Actions for Prevention and Penalization Due to Workplace Accidents in Brazil

Authors: Sandra Regina Cavalcante, Rodolfo A. G. Vilela


Introduction: Work accidents and occupational diseases are a big problem for public health around the world and the main health problem of workers with high social and economic costs. Brazil has shown progress over the last years, with the development of the regulatory system to improve safety and quality of life in the workplace. However, the situation is far from acceptable, because the occurrences remain high and there is a great gap between legislation and reality, generated by the low level of voluntary compliance with the law. Brazilian laws provide procedural legal instruments for both, to compensate the damage caused to the worker's health and to prevent future injuries. In the Judiciary, the prevention idea is in the collective action, effected through Brazilian Class Actions. Inhibitory guardianships may impose both, improvements to the working environment, as well as determine the interruption of activity or a ban on the machine that put workers at risk. Both the Labor Prosecution and trade unions have to stand to promote this type of action, providing payment of compensation for collective moral damage. Objectives: To verify how class actions (known as ‘public civil actions’), regulated in Brazilian legal system to protect diffuse, collective and homogeneous rights, are being used to protect workers' health and safety. Methods: The author identified and evaluated decisions of Brazilian Superior Court of Labor involving collective actions and work accidents. The timeframe chosen was December 2015. The online jurisprudence database was consulted in page available for public consultation on the court website. The categorization of the data was made considering the result (court application was rejected or accepted), the request type, the amount of compensation and the author of the cause, besides knowing the reasoning used by the judges. Results: The High Court issued 21,948 decisions in December 2015, with 1448 judgments (6.6%) about work accidents and only 20 (0.09%) on collective action. After analyzing these 20 decisions, it was found that the judgments granted compensation for collective moral damage (85%) and/or obligation to make, that is, changes to improve prevention and safety (71%). The processes have been filed mainly by the Labor Prosecutor (83%), and also appeared lawsuits filed by unions (17%). The compensation for collective moral damage had average of 250,000 reais (about US$65,000), but it should be noted that there is a great range of values found, also are several situations repaired by this compensation. This is the last instance resource for this kind of lawsuit and all decisions were well founded and received partially the request made for working environment protection. Conclusions: When triggered, the labor court system provides the requested collective protection in class action. The values of convictions arbitrated in collective actions are significant and indicate that it creates social and economic repercussions, stimulating employers to improve the working environment conditions of their companies. It is necessary to intensify the use of collective actions, however, because they are more efficient for prevention than reparatory individual lawsuits, but it has been underutilized, mainly by Unions.

Keywords: collective action, Brazilian Class Action, work accident penalization, workplace accident prevention, workplace protection law

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1 The Use of the TRIGRS Model and Geophysics Methodologies to Identify Landslides Susceptible Areas: Case Study of Campos do Jordao-SP, Brazil

Authors: Tehrrie Konig, Cassiano Bortolozo, Daniel Metodiev, Rodolfo Mendes, Marcio Andrade, Marcio Moraes


Gravitational mass movements are recurrent events in Brazil, usually triggered by intense rainfall. When these events occur in urban areas, they end up becoming disasters due to the economic damage, social impact, and loss of human life. To identify the landslide-susceptible areas, it is important to know the geotechnical parameters of the soil, such as cohesion, internal friction angle, unit weight, hydraulic conductivity, and hydraulic diffusivity. The measurement of these parameters is made by collecting soil samples to analyze in the laboratory and by using geophysical methodologies, such as Vertical Electrical Survey (VES). The geophysical surveys analyze the soil properties with minimal impact in its initial structure. Statistical analysis and mathematical models of physical basis are used to model and calculate the Factor of Safety for steep slope areas. In general, such mathematical models work from the combination of slope stability models and hydrological models. One example is the mathematical model TRIGRS (Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-based Regional Slope- Stability Model) which calculates the variation of the Factor of Safety of a determined study area. The model relies on changes in pore-pressure and soil moisture during a rainfall event. TRIGRS was written in the Fortran programming language and associates the hydrological model, which is based on the Richards Equation, with the stability model based on the principle of equilibrium limit. Therefore, the aims of this work are modeling the slope stability of Campos do Jordão with TRIGRS, using geotechnical and geophysical methodologies to acquire the soil properties. The study area is located at southern-east of Sao Paulo State in the Mantiqueira Mountains and has a historic landslide register. During the fieldwork, soil samples were collected, and the VES method applied. These procedures provide the soil properties, which were used as input data in the TRIGRS model. The hydrological data (infiltration rate and initial water table height) and rainfall duration and intensity, were acquired from the eight rain gauges installed by Cemaden in the study area. A very high spatial resolution digital terrain model was used to identify the slopes declivity. The analyzed period is from March 6th to March 8th of 2017. As results, the TRIGRS model calculates the variation of the Factor of Safety within a 72-hour period in which two heavy rainfall events stroke the area and six landslides were registered. After each rainfall, the Factor of Safety declined, as expected. The landslides happened in areas identified by the model with low values of Factor of Safety, proving its efficiency on the identification of landslides susceptible areas. This study presents a critical threshold for landslides, in which an accumulated rainfall higher than 80mm/m² in 72 hours might trigger landslides in urban and natural slopes. The geotechnical and geophysics methods are shown to be very useful to identify the soil properties and provide the geological characteristics of the area. Therefore, the combine geotechnical and geophysical methods for soil characterization and the modeling of landslides susceptible areas with TRIGRS are useful for urban planning. Furthermore, early warning systems can be developed by combining the TRIGRS model and weather forecast, to prevent disasters in urban slopes.

Keywords: Landslides, Susceptibility, TRIGRS, vertical electrical survey

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