Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 24

Search results for: Sumaya Binte Masud

24 The Impact of COVID-19 on Women’s Health in Bangladesh

Authors: Dil Ware Alam, Faiza Zebeen, Sumaya Binte Masud

Abstract:

COVID-19) has impacted the whole world, including Bangladesh. The epidemic has reduced access to health care, particularly for women, creating challenges for an increasingly disadvantaged population. Women's health and well-being in Bangladesh are susceptible to a rise in domestic violence and need to be addressed quickly. The planet has been greatly influenced by Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and Bangladesh is no difference. The pandemic has resulted in a decline in the availability of health care, notably for women's health problems, leading to an increase in difficulties for an increasingly marginalized group. Maternity care, maternal health programs, medical interventions, nutritional counseling and mental health care, are not discussed, and women's health and well-being in Bangladesh is vulnerable with a spike in domestic violence and needs to be resolved urgently.

Keywords: Covid-19, mental health, reproductive health, Bangladesh

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23 Teacher Professional Development with Collaborative Action Research: Teachers' Responses to Research

Authors: Sumaya Saqr

Abstract:

Although many teachers regard academic research as the inclusive domain of academic researchers, teachers should contribute to the body of research guiding their own practice. Drawing on the qualitative analysis of 20 teachers’ reflection journals and interviews, this case study sheds light on the personal and professional benefits of teachers’ applications of collaborative action research in English language teaching context. The findings reveal that several aspects of teacher identity and classroom practice were changed. The present paper aspires to reveal the way in which collaborative action research process, as a learner-centered approach to staff development, would help teachers to become more independent and professionally autonomous and hence effecting change that is far greater than its initial purpose.

Keywords: change, collaborative action research, personal and professional benefits, professional development

Procedia PDF Downloads 61
22 Effective Teaching of Thermofluid Pratical Courses during COVID-19

Authors: Opeyemi Fadipe, Masud Salimian

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The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal into the world; online teaching is now the most used method of teaching over the face to face meeting. With the emergency of these teaching, online-teaching has been improved over time and with more technological advancement tools introduced. Practical courses are more demanding to teach because it requires the physical presence of the student as well as a demonstration of the equipment. In this study, a case of Lagos State University thermofluid practical was the understudy. A survey was done and give to a sample of students to fill. The result showed that the blend-approach is better for practical course teaching. Software simulation of the equipment used to conduct practical should be encouraged in the future.

Keywords: COVID-19, online teaching, t-distribution, thermofluid

Procedia PDF Downloads 48
21 Flood Scenarios for Hydrological and Hydrodynamic Modelling

Authors: M. Sharif Imam Ibne Amir, Mohammad Masud Kamal Khan, Mohammad Golam Rasul, Raj H. Sharma, Fatema Akram

Abstract:

Future flood can be predicted using the probable maximum flood (PMF). PMF is calculated using the historical discharge or rainfall data considering the other climatic parameter stationary. However, climate is changing globally and the key climatic variables are temperature, evaporation, rainfall and sea level rise (SLR). To develop scenarios to a basin or catchment scale these important climatic variables should be considered. Nowadays scenario based on climatic variables is more suitable than PMF. Six scenarios were developed for a large Fitzroy basin and presented in this paper.

Keywords: climate change, rainfall, potential evaporation, scenario, sea level rise (SLR), sub-catchment

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20 Determinants of Mobile Banking Apps Adoption among Bank Customers in Ghana

Authors: Masud Ibrahim

Abstract:

in Ghana. The sample of the study comprised 450 bank customers from universal banks operating in Ghana. A conceptual framework was framed from a revised TAM model. A total of nine hypotheses were developed and tested using Structural Equation Modeling Technique. Findings from this study revealed that perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness are influenced positively by design and perceived security. Also, perceived ease of use, social influence and perceived security risk were found to have a strong influence on mobile banking app adoption intention. This study provides significant insights and implications for banking organizations on how to ensure the adoption and usage of their mobile banking apps.

Keywords: mobile banking app, perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, technology acceptance model

Procedia PDF Downloads 23
19 Flow Field Analysis of a Liquid Ejector Pump Using Embedded Large Eddy Simulation Methodology

Authors: Qasim Zaheer, Jehanzeb Masud

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The understanding of entrainment and mixing phenomenon in the ejector pump is of pivotal importance for designing and performance estimation. In this paper, the existence of turbulent vortical structures due to Kelvin-Helmholtz instability at the free surface between the motive and the entrained fluids streams are simulated using Embedded LES methodology. The efficacy of Embedded LES for simulation of complex flow field of ejector pump is evaluated using ANSYS Fluent®. The enhanced mixing and entrainment process due to breaking down of larger eddies into smaller ones as a consequence of Vortex Stretching phenomenon is captured in this study. Moreover, the flow field characteristics of ejector pump like pressure velocity fields and mass flow rates are analyzed and validated against the experimental results.

Keywords: Kelvin Helmholtz instability, embedded LES, complex flow field, ejector pump

Procedia PDF Downloads 199
18 Determinants of Mobile Payment Adoption among Retailers in Ghana

Authors: Ibrahim Masud, Yusheng Kong, Adam Diyawu Rahman

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Mobile payment variously referred to as mobile money, mobile money transfer, and mobile wallet refers to payment services operated under financial regulation and performed from or via a mobile device. Mobile payment systems have come to augment and to some extent try to replace the conventional payment methods like cash, cheque, or credit cards. This study examines mobile payment adoption factors among retailers in Ghana. A conceptual framework was adopted from the extant literature using the Technology Acceptance Model and the Theory of Reasoned action as the theoretical bases. Data for the study was obtained from a sample of 240 respondents through a structured questionnaire. The PLS-SEM was used to analyze the data through SPSS v.22 and SmartPLS v.3. The findings indicate that factors such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, perceived security, competitive pressure and facilitating conditions are the main determinants of mobile payment adoption among retailers in Ghana. The study contributes to the literature on mobile payment adoption from developing country context.

Keywords: mobile payment, retailers, structural equation modeling, technology acceptance model

Procedia PDF Downloads 51
17 Multiracial Society and Oral Tradition: A Study through Secondary Data

Authors: Jesvin Puay-Hwa Yeo, Laavanya Kathiravelu, Sa’Eda Binte Buang

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In the early days, myths and taboos were used by our ancestors to give explanations to the existence of nature and man, as well as to propitiate fortunes and to avoid unluckiness and harm. Myths and taboos are deeply rooted in our cultures and environment, and they form certain characteristics of any society, even in modern societies. With decades of the three main ethnic communities in Singapore – Malay, Indian and Chinese – living together, there has been intermingling and intermixing of traditions and practices. This may mean that what we think is a ‘Malay’ practice is actually one that is a hybrid of the Chinese and Malay. A good example would be the practice of covering all mirrors in a house of mourning. Therefore, the proposed seeks to explore and understand the underlying social influences of Singapore’s oral tradition. As part of a bigger cultural research project: Designing Cultures, the proposed paper focused on using secondary data to contribute to the overall cultural understanding of the integral connections between oral traditions, people and landscapes. The proposed paper will discuss in details the initials findings of the research project, including the two manners that contributed to the intermixing of myths and taboos. The first is the presence of social institutions such as religions, and the second is the presence of cross-cultural minorities such as the Straits Chinese. As well as other observations included the use and influence of Chinese oral traditions such as folklore among the early Chinese immigrants through social institutions.

Keywords: cultural belief, multiracial society, myths, oral tradition

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16 Exploring Consumers' Intention to Adopt Mobile Payment System in Ghana

Authors: Y. Kong, I. Masud, M. H. Nyaso

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This paper seeks to examine consumers’ intention to adopt and use mobile payment method in Ghana. A conceptual framework was adopted from the extant literature using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) as the theoretical bases. Data for the study was obtained from a sample of 425 respondents through online and direct surveys using structured questionnaire. Structural Equation Modeling was used to analyse the data through SPSS v.22 and SmartPLS v.3. Findings with regards to the determinants of mobile payment system adoption indicate that subjective norm, perceived ease of use, attitude, and perceived usefulness play active roles in consumers’ decision to adopt mobile payment system in Ghana. Also, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use have a significant and positive influence on consumers’ attitude towards mobile payment adoption in Ghana. Further, subjective norm was found to influence perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of mobile payment adoption in Ghana. The study contributes to literature on mobile payment system from developing country context. The study proffered some recommendations.

Keywords: consumer behaviour, mobile payment, subjective norm, theory of planned behavior

Procedia PDF Downloads 37
15 Effect of Climate Change on Road Maintenance in Bangladesh

Authors: Mohammed Russedul Islam, Shah M. Muniruzzaman, M. Kamrul-Al-Masud, Syed Sadat Morshed

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Bangladesh is one of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world. According to scientists it is predicted that temperature will raise 1-3% and precipitation 20% by 2050 in Bangladesh. Increased temperature and precipitation will deteriorate pavement structure in an accelerated rate. The study has found that pavement life will reduce significantly due to rise in temperature and precipitation in in a coastal road in Bangladesh. It will cause to increase the maintenance cost of the road. The study has found that reduction in pavement life will be caused due the decrease in stiffness and strength parameters of the pavement material due to high temperature and precipitation. It has found that use of new material costlier than the existing one will be necessary to prevent the reduction of pavement life. Eventually it will increase the re-construction cost of the road. The study has used mechanistic-empirical analysis method with a software GAMES (General analysis on multi-layered elastic systems) to find out the effect of temperature and precipitation rise on the pavement life. The study will help to guide road engineers of Bangladesh to prepare in advance to fight with the climate change effect.

Keywords: climate change, maintenance cost, mechanistic-empirical method, pavement life

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14 Prevalence and Clinical Significance of Antiphospholipid Antibodies in COVID-19 Patients Admitted to Intensive Care Units

Authors: Mostafa Najim, Alaa Rahhal, Fadi Khir, Safae Abu Yousef, Amer Aljundi, Feryal Ibrahim, Aliaa Amer, Ahmed Soliman Mohamed, Samira Saleh, Dekra Alfaridi, Ahmed Mahfouz, Sumaya Al-Yafei, Faraj Howady, Mohamad Yahya Khatib, Samar Alemadi

Abstract:

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) increases the risk of coagulopathy among critically ill patients. Although the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (aPLs) has been proposed as a possible mechanism of COVID-19 induced coagulopathy, their clinical significance among critically ill patients with COVID-19 remains uncertain. Methods: This prospective observational study included patients with COVID-19 admitted to intensive care units (ICU) to evaluate the prevalence and clinical significance of aPLs, including anticardiolipin IgG/IgM, anti-β2-glycoprotein IgG/IgM, and lupus anticoagulant. The study outcomes included the prevalence of aPLs, a primary composite outcome of all-cause mortality, and arterial or venous thrombosis among aPLs positive patients versus aPLs negative patients during their ICU stay. Multiple logistic regression was used to assess the influence of aPLs on the primary composite outcome of mortality and thrombosis. Results: A total of 60 critically ill patients were enrolled. Of whom, 57 (95%) were male, with a mean age of 52.8 ± 12.2 years, and the majority were from Asia (68%). Twenty-two patients (37%) were found to have positive aPLs; of whom 21 patients were positive for lupus anticoagulant, whereas one patient was positive for anti-β2-glycoprotein IgG/IgM. The composite outcome of mortality and thrombosis during ICU did not differ among patients with positive aPLs compared to those with negative aPLs (4 (18%) vs. 6 (16%), aOR= 0.98, 95% CI 0.1-6.7; p-value= 0.986). Likewise, the secondary outcomes, including all-cause mortality, venous thrombosis, arterial thrombosis, discharge from ICU, time to mortality, and time to discharge from ICU, did not differ between those with positive aPLs upon ICU admission in comparison to patients with negative aPLs. Conclusion: The presence of aPLs does not seem to affect the outcomes of critically ill patients with COVID-19 in terms of all-cause mortality and thrombosis. Therefore, clinicians may not screen critically ill patients with COVID-19 for aPLs unless deemed clinically appropriate.

Keywords: antiphospholipid antibodies, critically ill patients, coagulopathy, coronavirus

Procedia PDF Downloads 50
13 Automated User Story Driven Approach for Web-Based Functional Testing

Authors: Mahawish Masud, Muhammad Iqbal, M. U. Khan, Farooque Azam

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Manual writing of test cases from functional requirements is a time-consuming task. Such test cases are not only difficult to write but are also challenging to maintain. Test cases can be drawn from the functional requirements that are expressed in natural language. However, manual test case generation is inefficient and subject to errors.  In this paper, we have presented a systematic procedure that could automatically derive test cases from user stories. The user stories are specified in a restricted natural language using a well-defined template.  We have also presented a detailed methodology for writing our test ready user stories. Our tool “Test-o-Matic” automatically generates the test cases by processing the restricted user stories. The generated test cases are executed by using open source Selenium IDE.  We evaluate our approach on a case study, which is an open source web based application. Effectiveness of our approach is evaluated by seeding faults in the open source case study using known mutation operators.  Results show that the test case generation from restricted user stories is a viable approach for automated testing of web applications.

Keywords: automated testing, natural language, restricted user story modeling, software engineering, software testing, test case specification, transformation and automation, user story, web application testing

Procedia PDF Downloads 275
12 Comparison of Different Hydrograph Routing Techniques in XPSTORM Modelling Software: A Case Study

Authors: Fatema Akram, Mohammad Golam Rasul, Mohammad Masud Kamal Khan, Md. Sharif Imam Ibne Amir

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A variety of routing techniques are available to develop surface runoff hydrographs from rainfall. The selection of runoff routing method is very vital as it is directly related to the type of watershed and the required degree of accuracy. There are different modelling softwares available to explore the rainfall-runoff process in urban areas. XPSTORM, a link-node based, integrated storm-water modelling software, has been used in this study for developing surface runoff hydrograph for a Golf course area located in Rockhampton in Central Queensland in Australia. Four commonly used methods, namely SWMM runoff, Kinematic wave, Laurenson, and Time-Area are employed to generate runoff hydrograph for design storm of this study area. In runoff mode of XPSTORM, the rainfall, infiltration, evaporation and depression storage for sub-catchments were simulated and the runoff from the sub-catchment to collection node was calculated. The simulation results are presented, discussed and compared. The total surface runoff generated by SWMM runoff, Kinematic wave and Time-Area methods are found to be reasonably close, which indicates any of these methods can be used for developing runoff hydrograph of the study area. Laurenson method produces a comparatively less amount of surface runoff, however, it creates highest peak of surface runoff among all which may be suitable for hilly region. Although the Laurenson hydrograph technique is widely acceptable surface runoff routing technique in Queensland (Australia), extensive investigation is recommended with detailed topographic and hydrologic data in order to assess its suitability for use in the case study area.

Keywords: ARI, design storm, IFD, rainfall temporal pattern, routing techniques, surface runoff, XPSTORM

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11 Non-Linear Finite Element Investigation on the Behavior of CFRP Strengthened Steel Square HSS Columns under Eccentric Loading

Authors: Tasnuba Binte Jamal, Khan Mahmud Amanat

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Carbon Fiber-Reinforced Polymer (CFRP) composite materials have proven to have valuable properties and suitability to be used in the construction of new buildings and in upgrading the existing ones due to its effectiveness, ease of implementation and many more. In the present study, a numerical finite element investigation has been conducted using ANSYS 18.1 to study the behavior of square HSS AISC sections under eccentric compressive loading strengthened with CFRP materials. A three-dimensional finite element model for square HSS section using shell element was developed. Application of CFRP strengthening was incorporated in the finite element model by adding an additional layer of shell elements. Both material and geometric nonlinearities were incorporated in the model. The developed finite element model was applied to simulate experimental studies done by past researchers and it was found that good agreement exists between the current analysis and past experimental results, which established the acceptability and validity of the developed finite element model to carry out further investigation. Study was then focused on some selected non-compact AISC square HSS columns and the effects of number of CFRP layers, amount of eccentricities and cross-sectional geometry on the strength gain of those columns were observed. Load was applied at a distance equal to the column dimension and twice that of column dimension. It was observed that CFRP strengthening is comparatively effective for smaller eccentricities. For medium sized sections, strengthening tends to be effective at smaller eccentricities as well. For relatively large AISC square HSS columns, with increasing number of CFRP layers (from 1 to 3 layers) the gain in strength is approximately 1 to 38% to that of unstrengthened section for smaller eccentricities and slenderness ratio ranging from 27 to 54. For medium sized square HSS sections, effectiveness of CFRP strengthening increases approximately by about 12 to 162%. The findings of the present study provide a better understanding of the behavior of HSS sections strengthened with CFRP subjected to eccentric compressive load.

Keywords: CFRP strengthening, eccentricity, finite element model, square hollow section

Procedia PDF Downloads 33
10 Electrochemical Biosensor for the Detection of Botrytis spp. in Temperate Legume Crops

Authors: Marzia Bilkiss, Muhammad J. A. Shiddiky, Mostafa K. Masud, Prabhakaran Sambasivam, Ido Bar, Jeremy Brownlie, Rebecca Ford

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A greater achievement in the Integrated Disease Management (IDM) to prevent the loss would result from early diagnosis and quantitation of the causal pathogen species for accurate and timely disease control. This could significantly reduce costs to the growers and reduce any flow on impacts to the environment from excessive chemical spraying. Necrotrophic fungal disease botrytis grey mould, caused by Botrytis cinerea and Botrytis fabae, significantly reduce temperate legume yield and grain quality during favourable environmental condition in Australia and worldwide. Several immunogenic and molecular probe-type protocols have been developed for their diagnosis, but these have varying levels of species-specificity, sensitivity, and consequent usefulness within the paddock. To substantially improve speed, accuracy, and sensitivity, advanced nanoparticle-based biosensor approaches have been developed. For this, two sets of primers were designed for both Botrytis cinerea and Botrytis fabae which have shown the species specificity with initial sensitivity of two genomic copies/µl in pure fungal backgrounds using multiplexed quantitative PCR. During further validation, quantitative PCR detected 100 spores on artificially infected legume leaves. Simultaneously an electro-catalytic assay was developed for both target fungal DNA using functionalised magnetic nanoparticles. This was extremely sensitive, able to detect a single spore within a raw total plant nucleic acid extract background. We believe that the translation of this technology to the field will enable quantitative assessment of pathogen load for future accurate decision support of informed botrytis grey mould management.

Keywords: biosensor, botrytis grey mould, sensitive, species specific

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9 How Technology Can Help Teachers in Reflective Practice

Authors: Ambika Perisamy, Asyriawati binte Mohd Hamzah

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The focus of this presentation is to discuss teacher professional development (TPD) through the use of technology. TPD is necessary to prepare teachers for future challenges they will face throughout their careers and to develop new skills and good teaching practices. We will also be discussing current issues in embracing technology in the field of early childhood education and the impact on the professional development of teachers. Participants will also learn to apply teaching and learning practices through the use of technology. One major objective of this presentation is to coherently fuse practical, technology and theoretical content. The process begins by concretizing a set of preconceived ideas which need to be joined with theoretical justifications found in the literature. Technology can make observations fairer and more reliable, easier to implement, and more preferable to teachers and principals. Technology will also help principals to improve classroom observations of teachers and ultimately improve teachers’ continuous professional development. Video technology allows the early childhood teachers to record and keep the recorded video for reflection at any time. This will also provide opportunities for her to share with her principals for professional dialogues and continuous professional development plans. A total of 10 early childhood teachers and 4 principals were involved in these efforts which identified and analyze the gaps in the quality of classroom observations and its co relation to developing teachers as reflective practitioners. The methodology used involves active exploration with video technology recordings, conversations, interviews and authentic teacher child interactions which forms the key thrust in improving teaching and learning practice. A qualitative analysis of photographs, videos, transcripts which illustrates teacher’s reflections and classroom observation checklists before and after the use of video technology were adopted. Arguably, although PD support can be magnanimously strong, if teachers could not connect or create meaning out of the opportunities made available to them, they may remain passive or uninvolved. Therefore, teachers must see the value of applying new ideas such as technology and approaches to practice while creating personal meaning out of professional development. These video recordings are transferable, can be shared and edited through social media, emails and common storage between teachers and principals. To conclude the importance of reflective practice among early childhood teachers and addressing the concerns raised before and after the use of video technology, teachers and principals shared the feasibility, practical and relevance use of video technology.

Keywords: early childhood education, reflective, improve teaching and learning, technology

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8 A Numerical Model for Simulation of Blood Flow in Vascular Networks

Authors: Houman Tamaddon, Mehrdad Behnia, Masud Behnia

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An accurate study of blood flow is associated with an accurate vascular pattern and geometrical properties of the organ of interest. Due to the complexity of vascular networks and poor accessibility in vivo, it is challenging to reconstruct the entire vasculature of any organ experimentally. The objective of this study is to introduce an innovative approach for the reconstruction of a full vascular tree from available morphometric data. Our method consists of implementing morphometric data on those parts of the vascular tree that are smaller than the resolution of medical imaging methods. This technique reconstructs the entire arterial tree down to the capillaries. Vessels greater than 2 mm are obtained from direct volume and surface analysis using contrast enhanced computed tomography (CT). Vessels smaller than 2mm are reconstructed from available morphometric and distensibility data and rearranged by applying Murray’s Laws. Implementation of morphometric data to reconstruct the branching pattern and applying Murray’s Laws to every vessel bifurcation simultaneously, lead to an accurate vascular tree reconstruction. The reconstruction algorithm generates full arterial tree topography down to the first capillary bifurcation. Geometry of each order of the vascular tree is generated separately to minimize the construction and simulation time. The node-to-node connectivity along with the diameter and length of every vessel segment is established and order numbers, according to the diameter-defined Strahler system, are assigned. During the simulation, we used the averaged flow rate for each order to predict the pressure drop and once the pressure drop is predicted, the flow rate is corrected to match the computed pressure drop for each vessel. The final results for 3 cardiac cycles is presented and compared to the clinical data.

Keywords: blood flow, morphometric data, vascular tree, Strahler ordering system

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7 Domestic Violence against Women and the Nutritional Status of Their Under-5 Children: A Cross Sectional Survey in Urban Slums of Chittagong, Bangladesh

Authors: Mohiuddin Ahsanul Kabir Chowdhury, Ahmed Ehsanur Rahman, Nazia Binte Ali, Abdullah Nurus Salam Khan, Afrin Iqbal, Mohammad Mehedi Hasan, Salma Morium, Afsana Bhuiyan, Shams El Arifeen

Abstract:

Violence against women has been treated as a global epidemic which is as fatal as any serious disease or accidents. Like many other low-income countries it is also common in Bangladesh. In spite of existence of a few documented evidences in some other countries, in Bangladesh, domestic violence against women (DVAW) is not considered as a factor for malnutrition in children yet. Hence, the aim of the study was to investigate the association between DVAW and the nutritional status of their under-5 children in the context of slum areas of Chittagong, Bangladesh. A Cross-sectional survey was conducted among 87 women of reproductive age having at least one child under-5 years of age and staying with husband for at least last 1 year in selected slums under Chittagong City Corporation area. Data collection tools were structured questionnaire for the study participants and mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) to measure the nutritional status of the under-5 children. The data underwent descriptive and regression analysis. Out of 87 respondents, 50 (57.5%) reported to suffer from domestic violence by their husband during last one year. Physical violence was found to be significantly associated with age (p=0.02), age at marriage (p=0.043), wealth score (p=0.000), and with knowledge regarding law (p=0.017). According to the measurement of mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) 21% children were suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and the same percentage of children were suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM). However, unadjusted odds ratio suggested that there was negative association with domestic violence and nutritional status. But, the logistic regression confounding for other variable showed significant association with total family income (p=0.006), wealth score (p=0.031), age at marriage (p=0.029) and number of child (p=0.006). Domestic violence against women and under nutrition of the children, both are highly prevalent in Bangladesh. More extensive research should be performed to identify the factors contributing to the high prevalence of domestic violence and malnutrition in urban slums of Bangladesh. Household-based intervention is needed to limit this burning problem. In a nutshell, effective community participation, education and counseling are essential to create awareness among the community.

Keywords: Bangladesh, cross sectional survey, domestic violence against women, nutritional status, under-5 children, urban slums

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6 Co-Creating an International Flipped Faculty Development Model: A US-Afghan Case Study

Authors: G. Alex Ambrose, Melissa Paulsen, Abrar Fitwi, Masud Akbari

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In 2016, a U.S. business college was awarded a sub grant to work with FHI360, a nonprofit human development organization, to support a university in Afghanistan funded by the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). A newly designed Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting is being implemented to support Afghanistan’s goal of 20% females in higher education and industry by 2020 and to use finance and accounting international standards to attract capital investment for economic development. This paper will present a case study to describe the co-construction of an approach to an International Flipped Faculty Development Model grounded in blended learning theory. Like education in general, faculty development is also evolving from the traditional face to face environment and interactions to the fully online and now to a best of both blends. Flipped faculty development is both a means and a model for careful integration of the strengths of the synchronous and asynchronous dynamics and technologies with the combination of intentional sequencing to pre-online interactions that prepares and enhances the face to face faculty development and mentorship residencies with follow-up post-online support. Initial benefits from this model include giving the Afghan faculty an opportunity to experience and apply modern teaching and learning strategies with technology in their own classroom. Furthermore, beyond the technological and pedagogical affordances, the reciprocal benefits gained from the mentor-mentee, face-to-face relationship will be explored. Evidence to support this model includes: empirical findings from pre- and post-Faculty Mentor/ Mentee survey results, Faculty Mentorship group debriefs, Faculty Mentorship contact logs, and student early/end of semester feedback. In addition to presenting and evaluating this model, practical challenges and recommendations for replicating international flipped faculty development partnerships will be provided.

Keywords: educational development, faculty development, international development, flipped learning

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5 Design and Development of an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle for Irrigation Canal Monitoring

Authors: Mamoon Masud, Suleman Mazhar

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Indus river basin’s irrigation system in Pakistan is extremely complex, spanning over 50,000 km. Maintenance and monitoring of this demands enormous resources. This paper describes the development of a streamlined and low-cost autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for the monitoring of irrigation canals including water quality monitoring and water theft detection. The vehicle is a hovering-type AUV, designed mainly for monitoring irrigation canals, with fully documented design and open source code. It has a length of 17 inches, and a radius of 3.5 inches with a depth rating of 5m. Multiple sensors are present onboard the AUV for monitoring water quality parameters including pH, turbidity, total dissolved solids (TDS) and dissolved oxygen. A 9-DOF Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), GY-85, is used, which incorporates an Accelerometer (ADXL345), a Gyroscope (ITG-3200) and a Magnetometer (HMC5883L). The readings from these sensors are fused together using directional cosine matrix (DCM) algorithm, providing the AUV with the heading angle, while a pressure sensor gives the depth of the AUV. 2 sonar-based range sensors are used for obstacle detection, enabling the vehicle to align itself with the irrigation canals edges. 4 thrusters control the vehicle’s surge, heading and heave, providing 3 DOF. The thrusters are controlled using a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) feedback control system, with heading angle and depth being the controller’s input and the thruster motor speed as the output. A flow sensor has been incorporated to monitor canal water level to detect water-theft event in the irrigation system. In addition to water theft detection, the vehicle also provides information on water quality, providing us with the ability to identify the source(s) of water contamination. Detection of such events can provide useful policy inputs for improving irrigation efficiency and reducing water contamination. The AUV being low cost, small sized and suitable for autonomous maneuvering, water level and quality monitoring in the irrigation canals, can be used for irrigation network monitoring at a large scale.

Keywords: the autonomous underwater vehicle, irrigation canal monitoring, water quality monitoring, underwater line tracking

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4 A Review on Stormwater Harvesting and Reuse

Authors: Fatema Akram, Mohammad G. Rasul, M. Masud K. Khan, M. Sharif I. I. Amir

Abstract:

Australia is a country of some 7,700 million square kilometres with a population of about 22.6 million. At present water security is a major challenge for Australia. In some areas the use of water resources is approaching and in some parts it is exceeding the limits of sustainability. A focal point of proposed national water conservation programs is the recycling of both urban storm-water and treated wastewater. But till now it is not widely practiced in Australia, and particularly storm-water is neglected. In Australia, only 4% of storm-water and rainwater is recycled, whereas less than 1% of reclaimed wastewater is reused within urban areas. Therefore, accurately monitoring, assessing and predicting the availability, quality and use of this precious resource are required for better management. As storm-water is usually of better quality than untreated sewage or industrial discharge, it has better public acceptance for recycling and reuse, particularly for non-potable use such as irrigation, watering lawns, gardens, etc. Existing storm-water recycling practice is far behind of research and no robust technologies developed for this purpose. Therefore, there is a clear need for using modern technologies for assessing feasibility of storm-water harvesting and reuse. Numerical modelling has, in recent times, become a popular tool for doing this job. It includes complex hydrological and hydraulic processes of the study area. The hydrologic model computes storm-water quantity to design the system components, and the hydraulic model helps to route the flow through storm-water infrastructures. Nowadays water quality module is incorporated with these models. Integration of Geographic Information System (GIS) with these models provides extra advantage of managing spatial information. However for the overall management of a storm-water harvesting project, Decision Support System (DSS) plays an important role incorporating database with model and GIS for the proper management of temporal information. Additionally DSS includes evaluation tools and Graphical user interface. This research aims to critically review and discuss all the aspects of storm-water harvesting and reuse such as available guidelines of storm-water harvesting and reuse, public acceptance of water reuse, the scopes and recommendation for future studies. In addition to these, this paper identifies, understand and address the importance of modern technologies capable of proper management of storm-water harvesting and reuse.

Keywords: storm-water management, storm-water harvesting and reuse, numerical modelling, geographic information system, decision support system, database

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3 Challenges in Environmental Governance: A Case Study of Risk Perceptions of Environmental Agencies Involved in Flood Management in the Hawkesbury-Nepean Region, Australia

Authors: S. Masud, J. Merson, D. F. Robinson

Abstract:

The management of environmental resources requires engagement of a range of stakeholders including public/private agencies and different community groups to implement sustainable conservation practices. The challenge which is often ignored is the analysis of agencies involved and their power relations. One of the barriers identified is the difference in risk perceptions among the agencies involved that leads to disjointed efforts of assessing and managing risks. Wood et al 2012, explains that it is important to have an integrated approach to risk management where decision makers address stakeholder perspectives. This is critical for an effective risk management policy. This abstract is part of a PhD research that looks into barriers to flood management under a changing climate and intends to identify bottlenecks that create maladaptation. Experiences are drawn from international practices in the UK and examined in the context of Australia through exploring the flood governance in a highly flood-prone region in Australia: the Hawkesbury Ne-pean catchment as a case study. In this research study several aspects of governance and management are explored: (i) the complexities created by the way different agencies are involved in assessing flood risks (ii) different perceptions on acceptable flood risk level; (iii) perceptions on community engagement in defining acceptable flood risk level; (iv) Views on a holistic flood risk management approach; and, (v) challenges of centralised information system. The study concludes that the complexity of managing a large catchment is exacerbated by the difference in the way professionals perceive the problem. This has led to: (a) different standards for acceptable risks; (b) inconsistent attempt to set-up a regional scale flood management plan beyond the jurisdictional boundaries: (c) absence of a regional scale agency with license to share and update information (d) Lack of forums for dialogue with insurance companies to ensure an integrated approach to flood management. The research takes the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment as case example and draws from literary evidence from around the world. In addition, conclusions were extrapolated from eighteen semi-structured interviews from agencies involved in flood risk management in the Hawkesbury-Nepean catchment of NSW, Australia. The outcome of this research is to provide a better understanding of complexity in assessing risks against a rapidly changing climate and contribute towards developing effective risk communication strategies thus enabling better management of floods and achieving increased level of support from insurance companies, real-estate agencies, state and regional risk managers and the affected communities.

Keywords: adaptive governance, flood management, flood risk communication, stakeholder risk perceptions

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2 Conservation Challenges of Wetlands Biodiversity in Northeast Region of Bangladesh

Authors: Anisuzzaman Khan, A. J. K. Masud

Abstract:

Bangladesh is the largest delta in the world predominantly comprising large network of rives and wetlands. Wetlands in Bangladesh are represented by inland freshwater, estuarine brakishwater and tidal salt-water coastal wetlands. Bangladesh possesses enormous area of wetlands including rivers and streams, freshwater lakes and marshes, haors, baors, beels, water storage reservoirs, fish ponds, flooded cultivated fields and estuarine systems with extensive mangrove swamps. The past, present, and future of Bangladesh, and its people’s livelihoods are intimately connected to its relationship with water and wetlands. More than 90% of the country’s total area consists of alluvial plains, crisscrossed by a complex network of rivers and their tributaries. Floodplains, beels (low-lying depressions in the floodplain), haors (deep depression) and baors (oxbow lakes) represent the inland freshwater wetlands. Over a third of Bangladesh could be termed as wetlands, considering rivers, estuaries, mangroves, floodplains, beels, baors and haors. The country’s wetland ecosystems also offer critical habitats for globally significant biological diversity. Of these the deeply flooded basins of north-east Bangladesh, known as haors, are a habitat of wide range of wild flora and fauna unique to Bangladesh. The haor basin lies within the districts of Sylhet, Sunamgonj, Netrokona, Kishoregonj, Habigonj, Moulvibazar, and Brahmanbaria in the Northeast region of Bangladesh comprises the floodplains of the Meghna tributaries and is characterized by the presence of numerous large, deeply flooded depressions, known as haors. It covers about around 8,568 km2 area of Bangladesh. The topography of the region is steep at around foothills in the north and slopes becoming mild and milder gradually at downstream towards south. Haor is a great reservoir of aquatic biological resources and acts as the ecological safety net to the nature as well as to the dwellers of the haor. But in reality, these areas are considered as wastelands and to make these wastelands into a productive one, a one sided plan has been implementing since long. The programme is popularly known as Flood Control, Drainage and Irrigation (FCDI) which is mainly devoted to increase the monoculture rice production. However, haor ecosystem is a multiple-resource base which demands an integrated sustainable development approach. The ongoing management approach is biased to only rice production through FCDI. Thus this primitive mode of action is diminishing other resources having more economic potential ever thought.

Keywords: freshwater wetlands, biological diversity, biological resources, conservation and sustainable development

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1 Preparation and Characterization of Poly(L-Lactic Acid)/Oligo(D-Lactic Acid) Grafted Cellulose Composites

Authors: Md. Hafezur Rahaman, Mohd. Maniruzzaman, Md. Shadiqul Islam, Md. Masud Rana

Abstract:

With the growth of environmental awareness, enormous researches are running to develop the next generation materials based on sustainability, eco-competence, and green chemistry to preserve and protect the environment. Due to biodegradability and biocompatibility, poly (L-lactic acid) (PLLA) has a great interest in ecological and medical applications. Also, cellulose is one of the most abundant biodegradable, renewable polymers found in nature. It has several advantages such as low cost, high mechanical strength, biodegradability and so on. Recently, an immense deal of attention has been paid for the scientific and technological development of α-cellulose based composite material. PLLA could be used for grafting of cellulose to improve the compatibility prior to the composite preparation. Here it is quite difficult to form a bond between lower hydrophilic molecules like PLLA and α-cellulose. Dimmers and oligomers can easily be grafted onto the surface of the cellulose by ring opening or polycondensation method due to their low molecular weight. In this research, α-cellulose extracted from jute fiber is grafted with oligo(D-lactic acid) (ODLA) via graft polycondensation reaction in presence of para-toluene sulphonic acid and potassium persulphate in toluene at 130°C for 9 hours under 380 mmHg. Here ODLA is synthesized by ring opening polymerization of D-lactides in the presence of stannous octoate (0.03 wt% of lactide) and D-lactic acids at 140°C for 10 hours. Composites of PLLA with ODLA grafted α-cellulose are prepared by solution mixing and film casting method. Confirmation of grafting was carried out through FTIR spectroscopy and SEM analysis. A strongest carbonyl peak of FTIR spectroscopy at 1728 cm⁻¹ of ODLA grafted α-cellulose confirms the grafting of ODLA onto α-cellulose which is absent in α-cellulose. It is also observed from SEM photographs that there are some white areas (spot) on ODLA grafted α-cellulose as compared to α-cellulose may indicate the grafting of ODLA and consistent with FTIR results. Analysis of the composites is carried out by FTIR, SEM, WAXD and thermal gravimetric analyzer. Most of the FTIR characteristic absorption peak of the composites shifted to higher wave number with increasing peak area may provide a confirmation that PLLA and grafted cellulose have better compatibility in composites via intermolecular hydrogen bonding and this supports previously published results. Grafted α-cellulose distributions in composites are uniform which is observed by SEM analysis. WAXD studied show that only homo-crystalline structures of PLLA present in the composites. Thermal stability of the composites is enhanced with increasing the percentages of ODLA grafted α-cellulose in composites. As a consequence, the resultant composites have a resistance toward the thermal degradation. The effects of length of the grafted chain and biodegradability of the composites will be studied in further research.

Keywords: α-cellulose, composite, graft polycondensation, oligo(D-lactic acid), poly(L-lactic acid)

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