Search results for: Isabel D. Nunes
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30

Search results for: Isabel D. Nunes

30 A Formal Approach for Instructional Design Integrated with Data Visualization for Learning Analytics

Authors: Douglas A. Menezes, Isabel D. Nunes, Ulrich Schiel

Abstract:

Most Virtual Learning Environments do not provide support mechanisms for the integrated planning, construction and follow-up of Instructional Design supported by Learning Analytic results. The present work aims to present an authoring tool that will be responsible for constructing the structure of an Instructional Design (ID), without the data being altered during the execution of the course. The visual interface aims to present the critical situations present in this ID, serving as a support tool for the course follow-up and possible improvements, which can be made during its execution or in the planning of a new edition of this course. The model for the ID is based on High-Level Petri Nets and the visualization forms are determined by the specific kind of the data generated by an e-course, a population of students generating sequentially dependent data.

Keywords: Educational data visualization, high-level petri nets, instructional design, learning analytics.

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29 Identification of the Parameters of a AC Servomotor Using Genetic Algorithm

Authors: J. G. Batista, K. N. Sousa, J. L. Nunes, R. L. S. Sousa, G. A. P. Thé

Abstract:

This work deals with parameter identification of permanent magnet motors, a class of ac motor which is particularly important in industrial automation due to characteristics like applications high performance, are very attractive for applications with limited space and reducing the need to eliminate because they have reduced size and volume and can operate in a wide speed range, without independent ventilation. By using experimental data and genetic algorithm we have been able to extract values for both the motor inductance and the electromechanical coupling constant, which are then compared to measured and/or expected values.

Keywords: Modeling, AC servomotor, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor-PMSM, Genetic Algorithm, Vector Control, Robotic Manipulator, Control.

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28 Emissions of Euro 3-5 Passenger Cars Measured Over Different Driving Cycles

Authors: C. A. Alves, A. I. Calvo, D. J. Lopes, T. Nunes, A. Charron, M. Goriaux, P. Tassel, P. Perret

Abstract:

The reduction in vehicle exhaust emissions achieved in the last two decades is offset by the growth in traffic, as well as by changes in the composition of emitted pollutants. The present investigation illustrates the emissions of in-use gasoline and diesel passenger cars using the official European driving cycle and the ARTEMIS real-world driving cycle. It was observed that some of the vehicles do not comply with the corresponding regulations. Significant differences in emissions were observed between driving cycles. Not all pollutants showed a tendency to decrease from Euro 3 to Euro 5.

Keywords: Chassis dynamometer, driving cycles, emission factors, exhaust emissions, light-duty vehicles.

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27 A Proposal for Systematic Mapping Study of Software Security Testing, Verification and Validation

Authors: Adriano Bessa Albuquerque, Francisco Jose Barreto Nunes

Abstract:

Software vulnerabilities are increasing and not only impact services and processes availability as well as information confidentiality, integrity and privacy, but also cause changes that interfere in the development process. Security test could be a solution to reduce vulnerabilities. However, the variety of test techniques with the lack of real case studies of applying tests focusing on software development life cycle compromise its effective use. This paper offers an overview of how a Systematic Mapping Study (MS) about security verification, validation and test (VVT) was performed, besides presenting general results about this study.

Keywords: Software test, software security verification validation and test, security test institutionalization, systematic mapping study.

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26 Airport Investment Risk Assessment under Uncertainty

Authors: Elena M. Capitanul, Carlos A. Nunes Cosenza, Walid El Moudani, Felix Mora Camino

Abstract:

The construction of a new airport or the extension of an existing one requires massive investments and many times public private partnerships were considered in order to make feasible such projects. One characteristic of these projects is uncertainty with respect to financial and environmental impacts on the medium to long term. Another one is the multistage nature of these types of projects. While many airport development projects have been a success, some others have turned into a nightmare for their promoters. This communication puts forward a new approach for airport investment risk assessment. The approach takes explicitly into account the degree of uncertainty in activity levels prediction and proposes milestones for the different stages of the project for minimizing risk. Uncertainty is represented through fuzzy dual theory and risk management is performed using dynamic programming. An illustration of the proposed approach is provided.

Keywords: Airports, fuzzy logic, risk, uncertainty.

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25 Developing a Structured and Strategically Focused Performance Assessment System

Authors: Isabel Duarte de Almeida, João Vilas-Boas, Ana Abrantes Cabral

Abstract:

The number and adequacy of Performance-Indicators (PIs) for organisational purposes are core to the success of organisations and a major concern to the sponsor of this research. This assignment developed a procedure to improve a firm’s performance assessment system, by identifying two key-PIs out of 28 initial ones, and by setting criteria and their relative importance to validate and rank the adequacy and the right number of operational metrics. The Analytical-Hierarchy-Process was used with a synthesismethod to treat data coming from the management inquiries. Although organisational alignment has been achieved, business processes should also be targeted and PIs continuously revised.

Keywords: Strategic performance assessment systems, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP).

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24 Technological Development and Implementation of a Robotic Arm Motioned by Programmable Logic Controller

Authors: J. G. Batista, L. J. de Bessa Neto, M. A. F. B. Lima, J. R. Leite, J. I. de Andrade Nunes

Abstract:

The robot manipulator is an equipment that stands out for two reasons: Firstly because of its characteristics of movement and reprogramming, resembling the arm; secondly, by adding several areas of knowledge of science and engineering. The present work shows the development of the prototype of a robotic manipulator driven by a Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), having two degrees of freedom, which allows the movement and displacement of mechanical parts, tools, and objects in general of small size, through an electronic system. The aim is to study direct and inverse kinematics of the robotic manipulator to describe the translation and rotation between two adjacent links of the robot through the Denavit-Hartenberg parameters. Currently, due to the many resources that microcomputer systems offer us, robotics is going through a period of continuous growth that will allow, in a short time, the development of intelligent robots with the capacity to perform operations that require flexibility, speed and precision.

Keywords: Direct and inverse kinematics, Denavit-Hartenberg, microcontrollers, robotic manipulator.

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23 From “Boat to Plate”: Creating Value through Sustainable Fish Supply Chain Visibility

Authors: Isabel Duarte de Almeida, João Vilas-Boas, Luís Miguel Ferreira

Abstract:

Environmental concerns about the scarcity of marine resources are critical driving forces for firms aiming to prepare their supply chains for sustainability. Building on previous work, this paper highlights the implementation of good practices geared towards sustainable operations in the seafood department, which were pursued in an exploratory retailer case. Outcomes of the adopted environmentally and socially acceptable fish retailing strategies, ranged from traceability, to self-certification and eco-labelling. The consequences for business were, as follows: stronger collaboration and trust across the chain of custody, improvement of sponsors’ image and of consumers’ loyalty and, progress in the Greenpeace retailers’ evaluation ranking.

Keywords: Sustainability in sea food, Supply Chain Traceability, Social Responsibility.

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22 The Study of Idiom Translation in Fiction from English into Thai

Authors: Chinchira Bunchutrakun

Abstract:

The purposes of the study are to investigate the problems that the translators encountered when translating English idioms into Thai and study the strategies they applied in solving the problems. The original English version and the Thai translated version of each of two works of fiction were purposively selected for the study. The first was Mr. Maybe, written by Jane Green and translated by Montharat Songphao. The second was The Trials of Tiffany Trott, written by Isabel Wolff and translated by Jitraporn Notoda. Thirty idioms of two translated works of fiction were, then, analyzed. Questionnaires and interviews with the translators of each novel were conducted to obtain the best possible information.

The results indicated that the only type of problem that occurred was cultural problems, and these were solved differently by the two translators

Keywords: Translation, idiom translation, fiction translation, problem-solution strategies.

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21 Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds from the Residential Combustion of Pyrenean Oak and Black Poplar

Authors: M. Evtyugina, C. A. Alves, A. I. Calvo, T. Nunes, L. Tarelho, M. Duarte, S. O. Prozil

Abstract:

Smoke from domestic wood burning has been identified as a major contributor to air pollution, motivating detailed emission measurements under controlled conditions. A series of experiments was performed to characterise the emissions from wood combustion in a fireplace and in a woodstove of two common species of trees grown in Spain: Pyrenean oak (Quercus pyrenaica) and black poplar (Populus nigra). Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the exhaust emissions were collected in Tedlar bags, re-sampled in sorbent tubes and analysed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-flame ionisation detection. Pyrenean oak presented substantially higher emissions in the woodstove than in the fireplace, for the majority of compounds. The opposite was observed for poplar. Among the 45 identified species, benzene and benzenerelated compounds represent the most abundant group, followed by oxygenated VOCs and aliphatics. Emission factors obtained in this study are generally of the same order than those reported for residential experiments in the USA.

Keywords: Fireplace, VOC emissions, woodstove.

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20 Application of the Least Squares Method in the Adjustment of Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) Regression Models

Authors: L. J. de Bessa Neto, V. S. Filho, J. V. Ferreira Nunes, G. C. Bergamo

Abstract:

There are many situations in which human activities have significant effects on the environment. Damage to the ozone layer is one of them. The objective of this work is to use the Least Squares Method, considering the linear, exponential, logarithmic, power and polynomial models of the second degree, to analyze through the coefficient of determination (R²), which model best fits the behavior of the chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b) in parts per trillion between 1992 and 2018, as well as estimates of future concentrations between 5 and 10 periods, i.e. the concentration of this pollutant in the years 2023 and 2028 in each of the adjustments. A total of 809 observations of the concentration of HCFC-142b in one of the monitoring stations of gases precursors of the deterioration of the ozone layer during the period of time studied were selected and, using these data, the statistical software Excel was used for make the scatter plots of each of the adjustment models. With the development of the present study, it was observed that the logarithmic fit was the model that best fit the data set, since besides having a significant R² its adjusted curve was compatible with the natural trend curve of the phenomenon.

Keywords: Chlorodifluoromethane (HCFC-142b), ozone (O3), least squares method, regression models.

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19 Renewable Energies in Spain and Portugal: A Strategic Challenge for the Sustainability

Authors: María Teresa García-Álvarez, Isabel Soares, Rosa María Mariz-Pérez

Abstract:

Directive 2009/28/CE establishes, as obligatory objective, a share of renewable energies on energetic consumption of 20%, in European Union, in 2020 However, such European normative gives freedom to member states in the selection of the renewable promotion mechanism that allows them to obtain that objective. In this paper, we analyze the main characteristics of the promotion mechanisms of renewable energy used in the countries that shape the Electricity Iberian Market (Spain and Portugal) and the results in employment. The importance of these countries is given by the great increasing of the renewable energies which suppose a share higher than 30% of the overall generation in 2010. Therefore, this research paper can serve as the basis for the learning of other countries with regard to the main advantages that entail the use of a feed-in tariff system.

Keywords: Employment, Energy policy, Professional profiles, Renewable energies, Professional profiles.

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18 Characterization and Predictors of Paranoid Ideation in Youths

Authors: M. Sousa, C. Barreto Carvalho, C. da Motta, J. Cabral, V. Pereira, S. Nunes Caldeira, E. Peixoto

Abstract:

Paranoid ideation is a common thought process that constitutes a defense against perceived social threats. The current study aimed at the characterization of paranoid ideation in youths and to explore the possible predictors involved in the development of paranoid ideations. Paranoid ideation, shame, submission, early childhood memories and current depressive, anxious and stress symptomatology were assessed in a sample of 1516 Portuguese youths. Higher frequencies of paranoid ideation were observed, particularly in females and youths from lower socioeconomic status. The main predictors identified relates to submissive behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, and especially to shame feelings. The current study emphasizes that the these predictors are similar to findings in adults and clinical populations, and future implications to research and clinical practice aiming at paranoid ideations are discussed, as well as the pertinence of the study of mediating factors that allow a wider understanding of this thought process in younger populations and the prevention of psychopathology in adulthood.

Keywords: Adolescence, early memories, paranoid ideation, parenting styles, shame, submissiveness.

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17 The Use of Performance Indicators for Evaluating Models of Drying Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus L.): Page, Midilli, and Lewis

Authors: D. S. C. Soares, D. G. Costa, J. T. S., A. K. S. Abud, T. P. Nunes, A. M. Oliveira Júnior

Abstract:

Mathematical models of drying are used for the purpose of understanding the drying process in order to determine important parameters for design and operation of the dryer. The jackfruit is a fruit with high consumption in the Northeast and perishability. It is necessary to apply techniques to improve their conservation for longer in order to diffuse it by regions with low consumption. This study aimed to analyze several mathematical models (Page, Lewis, and Midilli) to indicate one that best fits the conditions of convective drying process using performance indicators associated with each model: accuracy (Af) and noise factors (Bf), mean square error (RMSE) and standard error of prediction (% SEP). Jackfruit drying was carried out in convective type tray dryer at a temperature of 50°C for 9 hours. It is observed that the model Midili was more accurate with Af: 1.39, Bf: 1.33, RMSE: 0.01%, and SEP: 5.34. However, the use of the Model Midilli is not appropriate for purposes of control process due to need four tuning parameters. With the performance indicators used in this paper, the Page model showed similar results with only two parameters. It is concluded that the best correlation between the experimental and estimated data is given by the Page’s model.

Keywords: Drying, models, jackfruit.

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16 Auditory Brainstem Response in Wave VI for the Detection of Learning Disabilities

Authors: M.Victoria Garcia-Camba, M.Isabel Garcia-Planas

Abstract:

The use of brain stem auditory evoked potential (BAEP) is a common way to study the hearing function of people, a way to learn the functionality of a part of the brain neuronal groups that intervene in the learning process by studying the behaviour of wave VI. The latest advances in neuroscience have revealed the existence of different brain activity in the learning process that can be highlighted through the use of innocuous, low-cost and easy-access techniques such as, among others, the BAEP that can help us to detect early possible neurodevelopmental difficulties for their subsequent assessment and cure. To date and the authors best knowledge, only the latency data obtained, observing the first to V waves and mainly in the left ear, were taken into account. This work shows that it is essential to consider both ears; with these latest data, it has been possible to diagnose more precisely some cases than with the previous data had been diagnosed as “normal”despite showing signs of some alteration that motivated the new consultation to the specialist.

Keywords: Ear, neurodevelopment, auditory evoked potentials, intervals of normality, learning disabilities.

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15 The influence of Local Export Externalities and Firm International Experience on Export Performance

Authors: Isabel Díez Vial, Marta Fernández Olmoss

Abstract:

This research tries to analyze the role that knowledge about foreign markets has in increasing firms- exports in clustered spaces. We consider two interrelated sources of knowledge: firms- direct experience and indirect experience from other clustered firms – export externalities. In particular, it is proposed that firms would improve their export performance by accessing to export externalities if they have some previous direct experience that allows them to identify, understand and exploit them. Also, we propose that this positive influence of previous direct experience on export externalities keeps only up to a point, where it becomes negative, creating an inverted “U" shape. Empirical evidence gathered among wine producers located in La Rioja tends to confirm that firms enjoy of export externalities if they have export experience along several years and countries increase their export performance. While this relationship becomes less relevant as they develop a higher experience, we could not confirm the existence of a curvilinear relationship in their influence on export externalities and export performance.

Keywords: Clusters, curvilinear relationship, absorptive capacity

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14 A Methodology for Quality Problems Diagnosis in SMEs

Authors: Humberto N. Teixeira, Isabel S. Lopes, Sérgio D. Sousa

Abstract:

This article proposes a new methodology to be used by SMEs (Small and Medium enterprises) to characterize their performance in quality, highlighting weaknesses and area for improvement. The methodology aims to identify the principal causes of quality problems and help to prioritize improvement initiatives. This is a self-assessment methodology that intends to be easy to implement by companies with low maturity level in quality. The methodology is organized in six different steps which includes gathering information about predetermined processes and subprocesses of quality management, defined based on the well-known Juran-s trilogy for quality management (Quality planning, quality control and quality improvement) and, predetermined results categories, defined based on quality concept. A set of tools for data collecting and analysis, such as interviews, flowcharts, process analysis diagrams and Failure Mode and effects Analysis (FMEA) are used. The article also presents the conclusions obtained in the application of the methodology in two cases studies.

Keywords: Continuous improvement, Diagnosis, Quality Management, Self-assessment, SMEs

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13 Spatial Econometric Approaches for Count Data: An Overview and New Directions

Authors: Paula Simões, Isabel Natário

Abstract:

This paper reviews a number of theoretical aspects for implementing an explicit spatial perspective in econometrics for modelling non-continuous data, in general, and count data, in particular. It provides an overview of the several spatial econometric approaches that are available to model data that are collected with reference to location in space, from the classical spatial econometrics approaches to the recent developments on spatial econometrics to model count data, in a Bayesian hierarchical setting. Considerable attention is paid to the inferential framework, necessary for structural consistent spatial econometric count models, incorporating spatial lag autocorrelation, to the corresponding estimation and testing procedures for different assumptions, to the constrains and implications embedded in the various specifications in the literature. This review combines insights from the classical spatial econometrics literature as well as from hierarchical modeling and analysis of spatial data, in order to look for new possible directions on the processing of count data, in a spatial hierarchical Bayesian econometric context.

Keywords: Spatial data analysis, spatial econometrics, Bayesian hierarchical models, count data.

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12 Ecotoxicological Safety of Wastewater Treated with Lignocellulosic Adsorbents

Authors: Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes, Artur Figueirinha, Isabel Brás, Bruno Esteves

Abstract:

Portugal is an important wine and olive oil producer, activities which generate a high quantity of residues commonly called grape stalks and olive cake, respectively. In this work grape stalks and olive cake were used as lignocellulosic adsorbents for wastewater containing lead treatment. To attain a better knowledge of the factors that could influence the quality of the treated wastewater, a chemical characterization of the materials used in the treatment was done. To access the ecotoxicological safety of the treated wastewater, several tests were performed.

The results of the toxicity test show that the samples leachate has a mild effect on the living models tested. The tests performed in lemna and bacteria were the most sensible to toxicity effects of the samples. The results obtained in this work evidenced the importance of use of simple and fast toxicity tests to predict impacts in the environment.

Keywords: Chemical composition, ecotoxicological, lignocellulosic residues, safety.

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11 Estimation of the Drought Index Based on the Climatic Projections of Precipitation of the Uruguay River Basin

Authors: José Leandro Melgar Néris, Claudinéia Brazil, Luciane Teresa Salvi, Isabel Cristina Damin

Abstract:

The impact the climate change is not recent, the main variable in the hydrological cycle is the sequence and shortage of a drought, which has a significant impact on the socioeconomic, agricultural and environmental spheres. This study aims to characterize and quantify, based on precipitation climatic projections, the rainy and dry events in the region of the Uruguay River Basin, through the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The database is the image that is part of the Intercomparison of Model Models, Phase 5 (CMIP5), which provides condition prediction models, organized according to the Representative Routes of Concentration (CPR). Compared to the normal set of climates in the Uruguay River Watershed through precipitation projections, seasonal precipitation increases for all proposed scenarios, with a low climate trend. From the data of this research, the idea is that this article can be used to support research and the responsible bodies can use it as a subsidy for mitigation measures in other hydrographic basins.

Keywords: Drought index, climatic projections, precipitation of the Uruguay River Basin, Standardized Precipitation Index.

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10 Headspace Solid-phase Microextraction of Volatile and Furanic Compounds in Coated Fish Sticks: Effect of the Extraction Temperature

Authors: M. Trinidad Pérez-Palacios, Catarina Petisca, Olívia Pinho, Isabel M.P.L.V.O. Ferreira

Abstract:

This work evaluated the effect of temperature on headspace solid-phase microextraction of volatile and furanic compounds in coated fish sticks. The major goal was the analysis of the samples as consumed, to reproduce volatile compounds people feel when consuming those products. Extraction at 37 ºC (the human body temperature) throughout the HS-SPME analysis of volatile and furanic compounds in coated fish was compared with higher extraction temperatures, which are frequently used for this kind of determinations. The profile of volatile compounds found in deepfried (F) and non-fried (NF) coated fish at 37 and 50 ºC was different from that obtained at 80 ºC. Concerning furan and its derivatives, an extra formation of these compounds was observed at higher extraction temperatures. The analysis of volatile and furanic compounds in fish coated sticks simulating the cooking and eating conditions can be reliably carried out setting the headspace absorption temperature at 37 ºC.

Keywords: Analysis of samples as consumed, fish coated sticks, furans, headspace extraction temperature, volatiles.

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9 Development and Characterization of Re-Entrant Auxetic Fibrous Structures for Application in Ballistic Composites

Authors: Rui Magalhães, Sohel Rana, Raul Fangueiro, Clara Gonçalves, Pedro Nunes, Gustavo Dias

Abstract:

Auxetic fibrous structures and composites with negative Poisson’s ratio (NPR) have huge potential for application in ballistic protection due to their high energy absorption and excellent impact resistance. In the present research, re-entrant lozenge auxetic fibrous structures were produced through weft knitting technology using high performance polyamide and para-aramid fibres. Fabric structural parameters (e.g. loop length) and machine parameters (e.g. take down load) were varied in order to investigate their influence on the auxetic behaviours of the produced structures. These auxetic structures were then impregnated with two types of polymeric resins (epoxy and polyester) to produce composite materials, which were subsequently characterized for the auxetic behaviour. It was observed that the knitted fabrics produced using the polyamide yarns exhibited NPR over a wide deformation range, which was strongly dependant on the loop length and take down load. The polymeric composites produced from the auxetic fabrics also showed good auxetic property, which was superior in case of the polyester matrix. The experimental results suggested that these composites made from the auxetic fibrous structures can be properly designed to find potential use in the body amours for personal protection applications.

Keywords: Auxetic fabrics, high performance, composites, impact resistance, energy absorption.

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8 Evaluation of Hancornia speciosa Gomes Lyophilization at Different Stages of Maturation

Authors: D. C. Soares, J. T. S. Santos, D. G. Costa, A. K. S. Abud, T. P. Nunes, A. V. D. Figueiredo, A. M. de Oliveira Junior

Abstract:

Mangabeira (Hancornia speciosa Gomes), a native plant in Brazil, is found growing spontaneously in various regions of the country. The high perishability of tropical fruits such as mangaba, causes it to be necessary to use technologies that promote conservation, aiming to increase the shelf life of this fruit and add value. The objective of this study was to compare the mangabas lyophilization curves behaviors with different sizes and maturation stages. The fruits were freeze-dried for a period of approximately 45 hours at lyophilizer Liotop brand, model L -108. It has been considered large the fruits between 38 and 58 mm diameter and small, between 23 and 28 mm diameter and the two states of maturation, intermediate and mature. Large size mangabas drying curves in both states of maturation were linear behavior at all process, while the kinetic drying curves related to small fruits, independent of maturation state, had a typical behavior of drying, with all the well-defined steps. With these results it was noted that the time of lyophilization was suitable for small mangabas, a fact that did not happen with the larger one. This may indicate that the large mangabas require a longer time to freeze until reaches the equilibrium level, as it happens with the small fruits, going to have constant moisture at the end of the process. For both types of fruit were analyzed water activity, acidity, protein, lipid, and vitamin C before and after the process.

Keywords: Freeze dryer, mangaba, conservation, chemical characteristics.

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7 Creative Teaching of New Product Development to Operations Managers

Authors: Marco Leite, J. M. Vilas-Boas da Silva, Isabel Duarte de Almeida

Abstract:

New Product Development (NPD) has got its roots on an Engineering background. Thus, one might wonder about the interest, opportunity, contents and delivery process, if students from soft sciences were involved. This paper addressed «What to teach?» and «How to do it?», as the preliminary research questions that originated the introduced propositions. The curriculum-developer model that was purposefully chosen to adapt the coursebook by pursuing macro/micro strategies was found significant by an exploratory qualitative case study. Moreover, learning was developed and value created by implementing the institutional curriculum through a creative, hands-on, experiencing, problem-solving, problem-based but organized teamwork approach. Product design of an orange squeezer complying with ill-defined requirements, including drafts, sketches, prototypes, CAD simulations and a business plan, plus a website, written reports and presentations were the deliverables that confirmed an innovative contribution towards research and practice of teaching and learning of engineering subjects to non-specialist operations managers candidates.

Keywords: Teaching Engineering to Non-specialists, Operations Managers Education, Teamwork, Product Design and Development, Market- driven NPD, Curriculum development.

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6 Co-Disposal of Coal Ash with Mine Tailings in Surface Paste Disposal Practices: A Gold Mining Case Study

Authors: M. L. Dinis, M. C. Vila, A. Fiúza, A. Futuro, C. Nunes

Abstract:

The present paper describes the study of paste tailings prepared in laboratory using gold tailings, produced in a Finnish gold mine with the incorporation of coal ash. Natural leaching tests were conducted with the original materials (tailings, fly and bottom ashes) and also with paste mixtures that were prepared with different percentages of tailings and ashes. After leaching, the solid wastes were physically and chemically characterized and the results were compared to those selected as blank – the unleached samples. The tailings and the coal ash, as well as the prepared mixtures, were characterized, in addition to the textural parameters, by the following measurements: grain size distribution, chemical composition and pH. Mixtures were also tested in order to characterize their mechanical behavior by measuring the flexural strength, the compressive strength and the consistency. The original tailing samples presented an alkaline pH because during their processing they were previously submitted to pressure oxidation with destruction of the sulfides. Therefore, it was not possible to ascertain the effect of the coal ashes in the acid mine drainage. However, it was possible to verify that the paste reactivity was affected mostly by the bottom ash and that the tailings blended with bottom ash present lower mechanical strength than when blended with a combination of fly and bottom ash. Surface paste disposal offer an attractive alternative to traditional methods in addition to the environmental benefits of incorporating large-volume wastes (e.g. bottom ash). However, a comprehensive characterization of the paste mixtures is crucial to optimize paste design in order to enhance engineer and environmental properties.

Keywords: Coal ash, gold tailings, paste, surface disposal.

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5 Energy Deposited by Secondary Electrons Generated by Swift Proton Beams through Polymethylmethacrylate

Authors: Maurizio Dapor, Isabel Abril, Pablo de Vera, Rafael Garcia-Molina

Abstract:

The ionization yield of ion tracks in polymers and bio-molecular systems reaches a maximum, known as the Bragg peak, close to the end of the ion trajectories. Along the path of the ions through the materials, many electrons are generated, which produce a cascade of further ionizations and, consequently, a shower of secondary electrons. Among these, very low energy secondary electrons can produce damage in the biomolecules by dissociative electron attachment. This work deals with the calculation of the energy distribution of electrons produced by protons in a sample of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA), a material that is used as a phantom for living tissues in hadron therapy. PMMA is also of relevance for microelectronics in CMOS technologies and as a photoresist mask in electron beam lithography. We present a Monte Carlo code that, starting from a realistic description of the energy distribution of the electrons ejected by protons moving through PMMA, simulates the entire cascade of generated secondary electrons. By following in detail the motion of all these electrons, we find the radial distribution of the energy that they deposit in PMMA for several initial proton energies characteristic of the Bragg peak.

Keywords: Monte Carlo method, secondary electrons, energetic ions, ion-beam cancer therapy, ionization cross section, polymethylmethacrylate, proton beams, secondary electrons, radial energy distribution.

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4 Careers-Outreach Programmes for Children: Lessons for Perceptions of Engineering and Manufacturing

Authors: Niall J. English, Sylvia Leatham, Maria Isabel Meza Silva, Denis P. Dowling

Abstract:

The training and education of under- and post-graduate students can be promoted by more active learning especially in engineering, overcoming more passive and vicarious experiences and approaches in their documented effectiveness. However, the possibility of outreach to young pupils and school-children in primary and secondary schools is a lesser explored area in terms of Education and Public Engagement (EPE) efforts – as relates to feedback and influence on shaping 3rd-level engineering training and education. Therefore, the outreach and school-visit agenda constitutes an interesting avenue to observe how active learning, careers stimulus and EPE efforts for young children and teenagers can teach the university sector, to improve future engineering-teaching standards and enhance both quality and capabilities of practice. This intervention involved careers-outreach efforts to lead to statistical determinations of motivations towards engineering, manufacturing and training. The aim was to gauge to what extent this intervention would lead to an increased careers awareness in engineering, using the method of the schools-visits programme as the means for so doing. It was found that this led to an increase in engagement by school pupils with engineering as a career option and a greater awareness of the importance of manufacturing. 

Keywords: outreach, education and public engagement, careers, peer interactions

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3 Markov Chain Based QoS Support for Wireless Body Area Network Communication in Health Monitoring Services

Authors: R. A. Isabel, E. Baburaj

Abstract:

Wireless Body Area Networks (WBANs) are essential for real-time health monitoring of patients and in diagnosing of many diseases. WBANs comprise many sensors to monitor a large range of ambient conditions. Quality of Service (QoS) is a key challenge in WBAN, because the different state information of the neighboring nodes has to be monitored in an accurate manner. However, energy consumption gets increased while predicting and maintaining the exact information in highly dynamic environments. In order to reduce energy consumption and end to end delay, Markov Chain Based Quality of Service Support (MC-QoSS) method is designed in the health monitoring services of WBAN communication. The energy consumption gets reduced by forming a Markov chain with high energy nodes in the sensor networks communication path. The low energy level sensor nodes are removed using transitional probability in order to reduce end to end delay. High energy nodes are formed in the chain structure of its corresponding path to enhance communication. After choosing the communication path through high energy nodes, the packets are sent to the sink node from the source node with a higher Packet Delivery Ratio. The simulation result shows that MC-QoSS method improves the packet delivery ratio and reduces energy consumption with minimum end to end delay, compared to existing methods.

Keywords: Wireless body area networks, quality of service, Markov chain, health monitoring services.

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2 The Latency-Amplitude Binomial of Waves Resulting from the Application of Evoked Potentials for the Diagnosis of Dyscalculia

Authors: Maria Isabel Garcia-Planas, Maria Victoria Garcia-Camba

Abstract:

Recent advances in cognitive neuroscience have allowed a step forward in perceiving the processes involved in learning from the point of view of acquiring new information or the modification of existing mental content. The evoked potentials technique reveals how basic brain processes interact to achieve adequate and flexible behaviours. The objective of this work, using evoked potentials, is to study if it is possible to distinguish if a patient suffers a specific type of learning disorder to decide the possible therapies to follow. The methodology used in this work is to analyze the dynamics of different brain areas during a cognitive activity to find the relationships between the other areas analyzed to understand the functioning of neural networks better. Also, the latest advances in neuroscience have revealed the exis-tence of different brain activity in the learning process that can be highlighted through the use of non-invasive, innocuous, low-cost and easy-access techniques such as, among others, the evoked potentials that can help to detect early possible neurodevelopmental difficulties for their subsequent assessment and therapy. From the study of the amplitudes and latencies of the evoked potentials, it is possible to detect brain alterations in the learning process, specifically in dyscalculia, to achieve specific corrective measures for the application of personalized psycho-pedagogical plans that allow obtaining an optimal integral development of the affected people.

Keywords: dyscalculia, neurodevelopment, evoked potentials, learning disabilities, neural networks

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1 Valorization of Lignocellulosic Wastes – Evaluation of Its Toxicity When Used in Adsorption Systems

Authors: Isabel Brás, Artur Figueirinha, Bruno Esteves, Luísa P. Cruz-Lopes

Abstract:

The agriculture lignocellulosic by-products are receiving increased attention, namely in the search for filter materials that retain contaminants from water. These by-products, specifically almond and hazelnut shells are abundant in Portugal once almond and hazelnuts production is a local important activity. Hazelnut and almond shells have as main constituents lignin, cellulose and hemicelluloses, water soluble extractives and tannins. Along the adsorption of heavy metals from contaminated waters, water soluble compounds can leach from shells and have a negative impact in the environment. Usually, the chemical characterization of treated water by itself may not show environmental impact caused by the discharges when parameters obey to legal quality standards for water. Only biological systems can detect the toxic effects of the water constituents. Therefore, the evaluation of toxicity by biological tests is very important when deciding the suitability for safe water discharge or for irrigation applications.

The main purpose of the present work was to assess the potential impacts of waters after been treated for heavy metal removal by hazelnut and almond shells adsorption systems, with short term acute toxicity tests.

To conduct the study, water at pH 6 with 25 mg.L-1 of lead, was treated with 10 g of shell per litre of wastewater, for 24 hours. This procedure was followed for each bark. Afterwards the water was collected for toxicological assays; namely bacterial resistance, seed germination, Lemna minor L. test and plant grow. The effect in isolated bacteria strains was determined by disc diffusion method and the germination index of seed was evaluated using lettuce, with temperature and humidity germination control for 7 days. For aquatic higher organism, Lemnas were used with 4 days contact time with shell solutions, in controlled light and temperature. For terrestrial higher plants, biomass production was evaluated after 14 days of tomato germination had occurred in soil, with controlled humidity, light and temperature.

Toxicity tests of water treated with shells revealed in some extent effects in the tested organisms, with the test assays showing a close behaviour as the control, leading to the conclusion that its further utilization may not be considered to create a serious risk to the environment.

Keywords: Acute toxicity tests, adsorption, lignocellulosic wastes, risk assessment.

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