Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 17

Search results for: Sabina Chytilová

17 Requirement Analysis for Emergency Management Software

Authors: Tomáš Ludík, Jiří Barta, Josef Navrátil, Sabina Chytilová

Abstract:

Emergency management is a discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks. Appropriate emergency management software allows better management of these risks and has a direct influence on reducing potential negative impacts. Although there are several emergency management software products in the Czech Republic, they cover user requirements from the emergency management field only partially. Therefore, the paper focuses on the issues of requirement analysis within development of emergency management software. Analysis of the current state describes the basic features and properties of user requirements for software development as well as basic methods and approaches for gathering these requirements. Then, the paper presents more specific mechanisms for requirement analysis based on chosen software development approach: structured, object-oriented or agile. Based on these experiences it is designed new methodology for requirement analysis. Methodology describes how to map user requirements comprehensively in the field of emergency management and thus reduce misunderstanding between software analyst and emergency manager. Proposed methodology was consulted with department of fire brigade and also has been applied in the requirements analysis for their current emergency management software. The proposed methodology has general character and can be used also in other specific areas during requirement analysis.

Keywords: Methodology, Requirement Analysis, Stakeholders, emergency software, use case diagram, user stories

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16 Internal and External Validity in Experimental Economics

Authors: Helena Chytilová, Robin Maialeh

Abstract:

Experimental economics is subject to criticism with regards to frequently discussed trade-off between internal and external validity requirements, which seems to be critically flawed. Incompatibility of trade-off condition and condition of internal validity as a prerequisite for external validity is presented. In addition, the imprecise concept of artificiality found to be rather improving external validity, seems to strengthen illusory status of external versus internal validity tension. Internal validity will be further analysed with regards to Duhem-Quine problem, where unpredictability argument is significantly weakened trough application of inductivism within the illustrative hypothetical-deductive model. Discussion outlined above partially weakens critical arguments related to robustness of results in experimental economics, if perfectly controlled experimental environment is secured.

Keywords: Duhem-Quine problem, external validity, inductivism, internal validity

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15 Prevalence and Pattern of Modern Contraceptive Use among Chittagong City Slum Dwellers in Bangladesh

Authors: Tahera Begum, Sabina Yeasmin, Jalal Uddin

Abstract:

Ten slums of ten wards of Chittagong city corporation of Bangladesh were conveniently selected to know about modern contraceptive use by the slum dwellers. Total 300 family heads or their wives were interviewed with a questionnaire in February 2014. Family size was 4.62. Among 300 families 248 eligible couples were found. 57% eligible couples use different modern contraceptive measures. Remaining 43% eligible couples do not use modern contraceptive measures. Among the users 58% use oral pill, 30% injectables, 8% use condom, 3% were found with ligation and only 1% with vasectomy. Contraceptive prevalence rate has been increased and pattern as changed. A discussion is made with literature review.

Keywords: Family, Bangladesh, conraceptive, pill

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14 Using Fishers Knowledge in Community Based Fisheries Management in River Nun Estuary, Niger Delta

Authors: Sabina Ngodigha, Roland Gbarabe, Aiyebatonworio Austin

Abstract:

A study of fisher’s knowledge (FK) and community-based fisheries management practices in River Nun estuary was conducted to assess the contribution of FK to fisheries resources conservation. A total of 390 fishers operates in the area of which 221 were interviewed based on having a minimum of 10 years of experience. Community-based fisheries management programme was introduced and implemented by fishermen’s union in 2010 for the sustainable management and conservation of fisheries resources. Local law introduced were: band on the use of mesh size of less than 5cm and band on chemical fishing. Defaulters were made to pay monetary fines ranging from #2,000 to #6,000 while fishers caught using chemicals to fish were arrested and landed over to the police for prosecution. The management method has enhanced conservation of fisheries resources which is a major source of livelihood for the people. Landings increased tremendously resulting in positive increase in the finances of the fishers. It is, therefore, pertinent to introduce community-based laws to check over exploitation of fisheries resources in the Niger Delta.

Keywords: Management, Conservation, Community, fishers knowledge, local laws

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13 Sportband: An Idea for Workout Monitoring in Amateur and Recreational Sports

Authors: Sabina Zoledowska, Dawid Nidzworski, Kamila Mazur-Oleszczuk, Rafal Banasiuk, Dawid Krasnowski, Maciej Pek, Marcin Podgorski, Krzysztof Rykaczewski

Abstract:

Workout safety is one of the most significant challenges of recreational sports. Loss of water and electrolytes is a consequence of thermoregulatory sweating during exercise. The rate of sweat loss and its chemical composition can fluctuate within and among individuals. That is why we propose our sportband 'Flow' as a device for monitoring these parameters. 'Flow' consists of two parts: an intelligent module and a mobile application. The application allows verifying the training progress and data archiving. The sportband intelligent module includes temperature, heart rate and pulse measurement (non-invasive, continuous methods of workout monitoring). Apart from the standard components, the device will consist of a sweat composition analyzer situated in sportband intelligent module. Sweat is a water solution of numerous compounds such as ions (sodium up to 1609 µg/ml, potassium up to 274 µg/ml), lactic acid (skin pH is between 4.5 - 6) and a small amount of glucose. Awareness of sweat composition allows personalizing electrolyte intake after training. A comprehensive workout monitoring (sweat composition, heart rate, blood oxygen level) will provide improvement in the training routine and time management, which is our goal for the development of the sweat composition analyzer.

Keywords: Flow, sportband, sweat, workout monitoring

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12 Effectiveness of Teacher Training in Bangladeshi Context

Authors: Sabina Mohsin

Abstract:

The need for grounding of teachers and the trend of using innovative ways to deal with students of various abilities in schools, colleges and universities has always been essential in any part of the world. Teacher edification programs, and qualifications standards, all too repeatedly lack enough rigidity, extensiveness and profundity, resulting in high levels of unskilled teachers and squat student performance. Accordingly, the solution, from this viewpoint, lies in making the entry and training necessities for teaching deeper and more exact. Teachers’ continuous professional development is necessary to reach all kinds of learners in class. The training provided is a direct opportunity for new teachers to interact better and motivate students in a two way discussion class. The intention of the study was to scrutinize whether the teachers’ training played an important role to fabricate lectures and classroom activities and reflected the objectives of the training provided in various schools and universities. It also aims to examine the current practices used in the various teacher training programs and if there is any other method that can be associated to enhance the effectiveness of these programs further. This research uses qualitative data collected from interviews, peer discussions, classroom observations, reviews, feedback of students and teachers to study teacher training and teaching methods used in school and universities in Bangladesh. The study finds teacher training to be effective though it has some limitations. It also includes some suggestions to make teacher training more effective.

Keywords: Teacher Training, Student Motivation, current practices in teacher training, enhancing effectiveness, limitation

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11 Early Detection of Neuropathy in Leprosy-Comparing Clinical Tests with Nerve Conduction Study

Authors: Suchana Marahatta, Sabina Bhattarai, Bishnu Hari Paudel, Dilip Thakur

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Background: Every year thousands of patients develop nerve damage and disabilities as a result of leprosy which can be prevented by early detection and treatment. So, early detection and treatment of nerve function impairment is of paramount importance in leprosy. Objectives: To assess the electrophysiological pattern of the peripheral nerves in leprosy patients and to compare it with clinical assessment tools. Materials and Methods: In this comparative cross-sectional study, 74 newly diagnosed leprosy patients without reaction were enrolled. They underwent thorough evaluation for peripheral nerve function impairment using clinical tests [i.e. nerve palpation (NP), monofilament (MF) testing, voluntary muscle testing (VMT)] and nerve conduction study (NCS). Clinical findings were compared with that of NCS using SPSS version 11.5. Results: NCS was impaired in 43.24% of leprosy patient at the baseline. Among them, sensory NCS was impaired in more patients (32.4%) in comparison to motor NCS (20.3%). NP, MF, and VMT were impaired in 58.1%, 25.7%, and 9.4% of the patients, respectively. Maximum concordance of monofilament testing and sensory NCS was found for sural nerve (14.7%). Likewise, the concordance of motor NP and motor NCS was the maximum for ulnar nerve (14.9%). When individual parameters of the NCS were considered, amplitude was found to be the most frequently affected parameter for both sensory and motor NCS. It was impaired in 100% of cases with abnormal NCS findings. Conclusion: Since there was no acceptable concordance between NCS findings and clinical findings, we should consider NCS whenever feasible for early detection of neuropathy in leprosy. The amplitude of both sensory nerve action potential (SNAP) and compound nerve action potential (CAMP) could be important determinants of the abnormal NCS if supported by further studies.

Keywords: Leprosy, neuropathy, nerve function impairment, nerve conduction study

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10 Long Term Examination of the Profitability Estimation Focused on Benefits

Authors: Stephan Printz, Kristina Lahl, René Vossen, Sabina Jeschke

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Strategic investment decisions are characterized by high innovation potential and long-term effects on the competitiveness of enterprises. Due to the uncertainty and risks involved in this complex decision making process, the need arises for well-structured support activities. A method that considers cost and the long-term added value is the cost-benefit effectiveness estimation. One of those methods is the “profitability estimation focused on benefits – PEFB”-method developed at the Institute of Management Cybernetics at RWTH Aachen University. The method copes with the challenges associated with strategic investment decisions by integrating long-term non-monetary aspects whilst also mapping the chronological sequence of an investment within the organization’s target system. Thus, this method is characterized as a holistic approach for the evaluation of costs and benefits of an investment. This participation-oriented method was applied to business environments in many workshops. The results of the workshops are a library of more than 96 cost aspects, as well as 122 benefit aspects. These aspects are preprocessed and comparatively analyzed with regards to their alignment to a series of risk levels. For the first time, an accumulation and a distribution of cost and benefit aspects regarding their impact and probability of occurrence are given. The results give evidence that the PEFB-method combines precise measures of financial accounting with the incorporation of benefits. Finally, the results constitute the basics for using information technology and data science for decision support when applying within the PEFB-method.

Keywords: Cost-benefit analysis, multi-criteria decision, profitability estimation focused on benefits, risk and uncertainty analysis

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9 Association of ApoB, CETP and GALNT2 Genetic Variants with Type 2 Diabetes-Related Traits in Population from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Authors: Anida Causevic-Ramosevac, Sabina Semiz

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The aim of this study was to investigate the association of four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) - rs673548, rs693 in ApoB gene, rs1800775 in CETP gene and rs4846914 in GALNT2 gene with parameters of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and diabetic dyslipidemia in the population of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH). Materials and methods: Our study involved 352 patients with T2D and 156 healthy subjects. Biochemical and anthropometric parameters were measured in all participants. DNA was extracted from the peripheral blood for the purpose of genetic testing. Polymorphisms in ApoB (rs673548, rs693), CETP (rs1800775) and GALNT2 (rs4846914) genes were analyzed by using Sequenom IPLEX platform. Results: Our results demonstrated significant associations for rs180075 polymorphism in CETP gene with levels of fasting insulin (p = 0.020; p = 0.027; p = 0.044), triglycerides (p = 0.046) and ALT (p = 0.031) activity in control group. In group of diabetic patients, results showed a significant association of rs673548 in ApoB gene with levels of fasting insulin (p = 0.008), HOMA-IR (p = 0.013), VLDL-C (p = 0.037) and CRP (p = 0.029) and rs693 in ApoB gene with BMI (p = 0.025), systolic blood pressure (p = 0.027), fasting insulin (p = 0.037) and HOMA-IR (p = 0.023) levels. Significant associations were also observed for rs1800775 in CETP gene with triglyceride (p = 0.023) levels and rs4846914 in GALNT2 gene with HbA1C (p = 0.013) and triglyceride (p = 0.043) levels. Conclusion: In conclusion, this is the first study that examined the impact of variations of candidate genes on a wide range of metabolic parameters in BH population. Our results suggest an association of variations of ApoB, CETP and GALNT2 genes with specific markers of T2D and dyslipidemia. Further studies would be needed in order to confirm these genetic effects in other ethnic groups as well.

Keywords: Dyslipidemia, Type 2 diabetes, CETP, ApoB, GALNT2

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8 Education of Mothers and Influence on the Development of Intrauterine Growth Restriction

Authors: Sabina Garayeva

Abstract:

To determine the significant risk factors for intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR), we carried out a thorough study of the social status of the parents of children with IUGR. We observed 315 mothers who gave birth to children with (IUGR), of which 172 mothers with asymmetric type and 143 mothers with symmetric type of IUGR. Through a detailed survey was gathered detailed information about education of parents. The results show that the majority of mothers with IUGR had secondary education (44,8 ± 2,8%), and fathers - higher education (35,2 ± 2,7%). Whereas in the control group, the largest number of parents had higher education (mother 35,3 ± 4,4%, fathers 42,9 ± 4,5%). Number of mothers with secondary education with IUGR was significantly (p1 <0,01; χ2 = 22,67) differs from the number of mothers with physiological pregnancy with the same level of education. Meanwhile, in the group with a symmetrical embodiment of IUGR mothers with secondary formation of significantly greater 53,1 ± 4,2%, than the asymmetric embodiment IUGR 37,8 ± 3,7% (p2 <0,05; χ2 = 8 06). Among fathers with secondary education significant difference was noted in the symmetric version of IUGR 37,8 ± 4,1% more than in the control group (p1 <0,05), and among parents of children with asymmetric IUGR option prevailed fathers with higher education - 37 2 ± 3,7%. Thus, our results revealed a low educational level of the mother as a risk factor for IUGR, which further help to develop preventive and therapeutic measures to eliminate the severity of its consequences. As seen from the data presented, mothers of children with asymmetric IUGR had a school education and fathers - higher education, while in the symmetric type of both parents had secondary education. It is found that frequency of children, born with IUGR, of mothers - housewives and fathers, engage in physical labor, was high. Thus, the analysis conducted by the social status of the parents with IUGR revealed a low level of education and unemployed mothers as risk factors for this disease, which in the future will help to develop preventive and therapeutic measures to eliminate the severity of its.

Keywords: intrauterine growth restriction, education of mothers, education influence, IUGR

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7 Rapid and Cheap Test for Detection of Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae with Antibiotic Resistance Identification

Authors: Marta Skwarecka, Patrycja Bloch, Rafal Walkusz, Oliwia Urbanowicz, Grzegorz Zielinski, Sabina Zoledowska, Dawid Nidzworski

Abstract:

Upper respiratory tract infections are one of the most common reasons for visiting a general doctor. Streptococci are the most common bacterial etiological factors in these infections. There are many different types of Streptococci and infections vary in severity from mild throat infections to pneumonia. For example, S. pyogenes mainly contributes to acute pharyngitis, palatine tonsils and scarlet fever, whereas S. Streptococcus pneumoniae is responsible for several invasive diseases like sepsis, meningitis or pneumonia with high mortality and dangerous complications. There are only a few diagnostic tests designed for detection Streptococci from the infected throat of patients. However, they are mostly based on lateral flow techniques, and they are not used as a standard due to their low sensitivity. The diagnostic standard is to culture patients throat swab on semi selective media in order to multiply pure etiological agent of infection and subsequently to perform antibiogram, which takes several days from the patients visit in the clinic. Therefore, the aim of our studies is to develop and implement to the market a Point of Care device for the rapid identification of Streptococcus pyogenes and Streptococcus pneumoniae with simultaneous identification of antibiotic resistance genes. In the course of our research, we successfully selected genes for to-species identification of Streptococci and genes encoding antibiotic resistance proteins. We have developed a reaction to amplify these genes, which allows detecting the presence of S. pyogenes or S. pneumoniae followed by testing their resistance to erythromycin, chloramphenicol and tetracycline. What is more, the detection of β-lactamase-encoding genes that could protect Streptococci against antibiotics from the ampicillin group, which are widely used in the treatment of this type of infection is also developed. The test is carried out directly from the patients' swab, and the results are available after 20 to 30 minutes after sample subjection, which could be performed during the medical visit.

Keywords: Respiratory infections, Antibiotic Resistance, diagnostic test, Streptococci

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6 Male-Youth-Related Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Interventions in Bangladesh: Challenges of Program Implementation

Authors: Nahela Nowshin, Rafia Sultana, Farzana Misha, Sabina F. Rashid

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Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are currently an area of neglect for males (aged 15-24 years) in Bangladesh. The lack of focus on the male youth population has consequences not only for their own health and wellbeing, but the patriarchal structure of Bangladeshi society and socio-cultural norms mean that the male population’s SRH behavior can severely impact the lives of their female counterparts. A majority of sexual and reproductive health and rights-related research and interventions in the country are female-centric. Although the Government of Bangladesh has taken many initiatives to improve the SRHR of the general population, the male youth segment has not been prioritized in most of these interventions. There is an urgent need for male-youth-focused SRHR interventions in Bangladesh, but due to a lack of evidence-based research on this issue, there exist data gaps on how such interventions could be better designed and implemented. Therefore, to ascertain strategies for better program design and smoother implementation of male-youth-focused sexual and reproductive health and rights interventions, we carried out 25 key informant interviews with experts as well as focal persons involved in more than 20 ongoing and recently-ended SRHR-related interventions of national and international non-government organizations in which male youth were targeted or engaged. The results show that program implementers face several challenges at the field, organizational and policy levels. Some of the most common field challenges include high sensitivity to SRHR topics due to cultural reasons, difficulties in acquiring access to boys and young men due to their high mobility and engagement in labor for commercial purposes, as well as accessing them in hard-to-reach areas due to transportation and communication issues. Common organizational-level challenges include a lack of skilled manpower. Policy-level challenges include the prohibition of SRH service provision to unmarried adolescents and youth and lack of readiness of local governments to implement existing action plans. Some ways in which male-youth-focused SRHR interventions can be made more effective are through sensitization of service providers, awareness-raising at the community level to engage parents, advocacy to increase donor interest, and generating data on SRHR of male youth.

Keywords: Male, Intervention, Bangladesh, SRHR

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5 Emotions Evoked by Robots - Comparison of Older Adults and Students

Authors: Stephanie Lehmann, Esther Ruf, Sabina Misoch

Abstract:

Background: Due to demographic change and shortage of skilled nursing staff, assistive robots are built to support older adults at home and nursing staff in care institutions. When assistive robots facilitate tasks that are usually performed by humans, user acceptance is essential. Even though they are an important aspect of acceptance, emotions towards different assistive robots and different situations of robot-use have so far not been examined in detail. The appearance of assistive robots can trigger emotions that affect their acceptance. Acceptance of robots is assumed to be greater when they look more human-like; however, too much human similarity can be counterproductive. Regarding different groups, it is assumed that older adults have a more negative attitude towards robots than younger adults. Within the framework of a simulated robot study, the aim was to investigate emotions of older adults compared to students towards robots with different appearances and in different situations and so contribute to a deeper view of the emotions influencing acceptance. Methods: In a questionnaire study, vignettes were used to assess emotions toward robots in different situations and of different appearance. The vignettes were composed of two situations (service and care) shown by video and four pictures of robots varying in human similarity (machine-like to android). The combination of the vignettes was randomly distributed to the participants. One hundred forty-two older adults and 35 bachelor students of nursing participated. They filled out a questionnaire that surveyed 30 positive and 30 negative emotions. For each group, older adults and students, a sum score of “positive emotions” and a sum score of “negative emotions” was calculated. Mean value, standard deviation, or n for sample size and % for frequencies, according to the scale level, were calculated. For differences in the scores of positive and negative emotions for different situations, t-tests were calculated. Results: Overall, older adults reported significantly more positive emotions than students towards robots in general. Students reported significantly more negative emotions than older adults. Regarding the two different situations, the results were similar for the care situation, with older adults reporting more positive emotions than students and less negative emotions than students. In the service situation, older adults reported significantly more positive emotions; negative emotions did not differ significantly from the students. Regarding the appearance of the robot, there were no significant differences in emotions reported towards the machine-like, the mechanical-human-like and the human-like appearance. Regarding the android robot, students reported significantly more negative emotions than older adults. Conclusion: There were differences in the emotions reported by older adults compared to students. Older adults reported more positive emotions, and students reported more negative emotions towards robots in different situations and with different appearances. It can be assumed that older adults have a different attitude towards the use of robots than younger people, especially young adults in the health sector. Therefore, the use of robots in the service or care sector should not be rejected rashly based on the attitudes of younger persons, without considering the attitudes of older adults equally.

Keywords: Robots, Emotions, seniors, young adults

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4 Debunking Sexual Myths in Bangladesh through an Intervention on the Internet

Authors: Saad Khan, Tanveer Hassan, Jhalok Ranjon Talukder, Syeda Farjana Ahmed, Rahil Roodsaz, Sabina Faiz Rashid, E. Rommes, Els Toonen, Suborna Camellia, Farhana Alam

Abstract:

In Bangladesh, a country in which adults (both parents and teachers) find it particularly hard to speak with youth about sexuality, adolescents seem to struggle with various insecurities about their sexual feelings, thoughts, behavior and physical characteristics. On the basis of a large number of interviews and focus groups with rural and urban Bangla adolescent girls and boys of lower and middle class as part of the large-scale three-year project ‘Breaking the Shame’, we have identified ten sexual themes or ‘myths’ that youth struggle with most. These encompass amongst others beliefs and insecurities on masturbation, discharge, same-sex behavior and feelings, the effects of watching porn and gender norms. We argue that the Internet is a particularly suitable medium to ‘debunk’ those myths, as youth can consult it anonymously and privately and so avoid social shame. Moreover, amongst the myths, we have identified two kinds which may need different debunking techniques. One kind of myth concerns scientifically uncontested, generally biological related information, such as the effects of having sex with a pregnant woman, questions on the effects of a penile or vaginal discharge or questions on the effects of masturbation. The second kind of myths concerns more diverse information sources and deals with e.g. religious or culturally specific norms, such as on the meaning and existence of homosexuality or gender appropriate norms of behavior in Bangladesh. For addressing both kinds of myths, expert information including a wealth of references to information resources needs to be provided, which the Internet is very suitable for. For the second kind of myths, adolescents also need to learn how to deal with sometimes conflicting norms and information sources, and they need to develop and reflect on their own opinions as part of their identity formation. On the basis of a literature review, we thus distinguish general information needs from identity formation needs, which includes the need to be able to relate information and opinions to one’s own opinions and situation. Hence, we argue that youth not only need abstract expert information to be able to debunk sexual myths, but also the option to discuss this information with other adolescents and compare their own situation and opinions with other peers, who in that way serve as ‘warm experts’ for each other. In this paper, we will describe the outcomes of our qualitative study above. In addition, we will present our findings of an intervention by presenting youth with general, uncontested information on the Internet with additional peer discussion options to compare the debunking effects on different kinds of myths.

Keywords: Intervention, Shame, peer discussion, sexual myths

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3 Numerical Investigation on Design Method of Timber Structures Exposed to Parametric Fire

Authors: Robert Pečenko, Karin Tomažič, Igor Planinc, Sabina Huč, Tomaž Hozjan

Abstract:

Timber is favourable structural material due to high strength to weight ratio, recycling possibilities, and green credentials. Despite being flammable material, it has relatively high fire resistance. Everyday engineering practice around the word is based on an outdated design of timber structures considering standard fire exposure, while modern principles of performance-based design enable use of advanced non-standard fire curves. In Europe, standard for fire design of timber structures EN 1995-1-2 (Eurocode 5) gives two methods, reduced material properties method and reduced cross-section method. In the latter, fire resistance of structural elements depends on the effective cross-section that is a residual cross-section of uncharred timber reduced additionally by so called zero strength layer. In case of standard fire exposure, Eurocode 5 gives a fixed value of zero strength layer, i.e. 7 mm, while for non-standard parametric fires no additional comments or recommendations for zero strength layer are given. Thus designers often implement adopted 7 mm rule also for parametric fire exposure. Since the latest scientific evidence suggests that proposed value of zero strength layer can be on unsafe side for standard fire exposure, its use in the case of a parametric fire is also highly questionable and more numerical and experimental research in this field is needed. Therefore, the purpose of the presented study is to use advanced calculation methods to investigate the thickness of zero strength layer and parametric charring rates used in effective cross-section method in case of parametric fire. Parametric studies are carried out on a simple solid timber beam that is exposed to a larger number of parametric fire curves Zero strength layer and charring rates are determined based on the numerical simulations which are performed by the recently developed advanced two step computational model. The first step comprises of hygro-thermal model which predicts the temperature, moisture and char depth development and takes into account different initial moisture states of timber. In the second step, the response of timber beam simultaneously exposed to mechanical and fire load is determined. The mechanical model is based on the Reissner’s kinematically exact beam model and accounts for the membrane, shear and flexural deformations of the beam. Further on, material non-linear and temperature dependent behaviour is considered. In the two step model, the char front temperature is, according to Eurocode 5, assumed to have a fixed temperature of around 300°C. Based on performed study and observations, improved levels of charring rates and new thickness of zero strength layer in case of parametric fires are determined. Thus, the reduced cross section method is substantially improved to offer practical recommendations for designing fire resistance of timber structures. Furthermore, correlations between zero strength layer thickness and key input parameters of the parametric fire curve (for instance, opening factor, fire load, etc.) are given, representing a guideline for a more detailed numerical and also experimental research in the future.

Keywords: Timber structures, advanced numerical modelling, parametric fire exposure, zero strength layer

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2 Numerical Modeling of Timber Structures under Varying Humidity Conditions

Authors: Sabina Huč, Tomaž Hozjan, Staffan Svensson

Abstract:

Timber structures may be exposed to various environmental conditions during their service life. Often, the structures have to resist extreme changes in the relative humidity of surrounding air, with simultaneously carrying the loads. Wood material response for this load case is seen as increasing deformation of the timber structure. Relative humidity variations cause moisture changes in timber and consequently shrinkage and swelling of the material. Moisture changes and loads acting together result in mechano-sorptive creep, while sustained load gives viscoelastic creep. In some cases, magnitude of the mechano-sorptive strain can be about five times the elastic strain already at low stress levels. Therefore, analyzing mechano-sorptive creep and its influence on timber structures’ long-term behavior is of high importance. Relatively many one-dimensional rheological models for rheological behavior of wood can be found in literature, while a number of models coupling creep response in each material direction is limited. In this study, mathematical formulation of a coupled two-dimensional mechano-sorptive model and its application to the experimental results are presented. The mechano-sorptive model constitutes of a moisture transport model and a mechanical model. Variation of the moisture content in wood is modelled by multi-Fickian moisture transport model. The model accounts for processes of the bound-water and water-vapor diffusion in wood, that are coupled through sorption hysteresis. Sorption defines a nonlinear relation between moisture content and relative humidity. Multi-Fickian moisture transport model is able to accurately predict unique, non-uniform moisture content field within the timber member over time. Calculated moisture content in timber members is used as an input to the mechanical analysis. In the mechanical analysis, the total strain is assumed to be a sum of the elastic strain, viscoelastic strain, mechano-sorptive strain, and strain due to shrinkage and swelling. Mechano-sorptive response is modelled by so-called spring-dashpot type of a model, that proved to be suitable for describing creep of wood. Mechano-sorptive strain is dependent on change of moisture content. The model includes mechano-sorptive material parameters that have to be calibrated to the experimental results. The calibration is made to the experiments carried out on wooden blocks subjected to uniaxial compressive loaded in tangential direction and varying humidity conditions. The moisture and the mechanical model are implemented in a finite element software. The calibration procedure gives the required, distinctive set of mechano-sorptive material parameters. The analysis shows that mechano-sorptive strain in transverse direction is present, though its magnitude and variation are substantially lower than the mechano-sorptive strain in the direction of loading. The presented mechano-sorptive model enables observing real temporal and spatial distribution of the moisture-induced strains and stresses in timber members. Since the model’s suitability for predicting mechano-sorptive strains is shown and the required material parameters are obtained, a comprehensive advanced analysis of the stress-strain state in timber structures, including connections subjected to constant load and varying humidity is possible.

Keywords: Timber, Mechanical Analysis, mechano-sorptive creep, moisture transport model

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1 Sexuality Education through Media and Technology: Addressing Unmet Needs of Adolescents in Bangladesh

Authors: Farhana Alam Bhuiyan, Saad Khan, Tanveer Hassan, Jhalok Ranjon Talukder, Syeda Farjana Ahmed, Rahil Roodsaz, Els Rommes, Sabina Faiz Rashid

Abstract:

Breaking the shame’ is a 3 year (2015-2018) qualitative implementation research project which investigates several aspects of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues for adolescents living in Bangladesh. Scope of learning SRHR issues for adolescents is limited here due to cultural and religious taboos. This study adds to the ongoing discussions around adolescent’s SRHR needs and aims to, 1) understand the overall SRHR needs of urban and rural unmarried female and male adolescents and the challenges they face, 2) explore existing gaps in the content of SRHR curriculum and 3) finally, addresses some critical knowledge gaps by developing and implementing innovative SRHR educational materials. 18 in-depth interviews (IDIs) and 10 focus-group discussions (FGDs) with boys and 21 IDIs and 14 FGDs with girls of ages 13-19, from both urban and rural setting took place. Curriculum materials from two leading organizations, Unite for Body Rights (UBR) Alliance Bangladesh and BRAC Adolescent Development Program (ADP) were also reviewed, with discussions with 12 key program staff. This paper critically analyses the relevance of some of the SRHR topics that are covered, the challenges with existing pedagogic approaches and key sexuality issues that are not covered in the content, but are important for adolescents. Adolescents asked for content and guidance on a number of topics which remain missing from the core curriculum, such as emotional coping mechanisms particularly in relationships, bullying, impact of exposure to porn, and sexual performance anxiety. Other core areas of concern were effects of masturbation, condom use, sexual desire and orientation, which are mentioned in the content, but never discussed properly, resulting in confusion. Due to lack of open discussion around sexuality, porn becomes a source of information for the adolescents. For these reasons, several myths and misconceptions regarding SRHR issues like body, sexuality, agency, and gender roles still persist. The pedagogical approach is very didactic, and teachers felt uncomfortable to have discussions on certain SRHR topics due to cultural taboos or shame and stigma. Certain topics are favored- such as family planning, menstruation- and presented with an emphasis on biology and risk. Rigid formal teaching style, hierarchical power relations between students and most teachers discourage questions and frank conversations. Pedagogy approaches within classrooms play a critical role in the sharing of knowledge. The paper also describes the pilot approaches to implementing new content in SRHR curriculum. After a review of findings, three areas were selected as critically important, 1) myths and misconceptions 2) emotional management challenges, and 3) how to use condom, that have come up from adolescents. Technology centric educational materials such as web page based information platform and you tube videos are opted for which allow adolescents to bypass gatekeepers and learn facts and information from a legitimate educational site. In the era of social media, when information is always a click away, adolescents need sources that are reliable and not overwhelming. The research aims to ensure that adolescents learn and apply knowledge effectively, through creating the new materials and making it accessible to adolescents.

Keywords: Media, Adolescents, Bangladesh, sexuality education, unmet needs

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