Search results for: Sharon S. Wu
Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 4

Search results for: Sharon S. Wu

4 Virtual Environments...Vehicle for Pedagogical Advancement

Authors: Elizabeth M. Hodge, Sharon K. Collins, Eric Kisling

Abstract:

Virtual environments are a hot topic in academia and more importantly in courses offered via distance education. Today-s gaming generation view virtual worlds as strong social and interactive mediums for communicating and socializing. And while institutions of higher education are challenged with increasing enrollment while balancing budget cuts, offering effective courses via distance education become a valid option. Educators can utilize virtual worlds to offer students an enhanced learning environment which has the power to alleviate feelings of isolation through the promotion of communication, interaction, collaboration, teamwork, feedback, engagement and constructivists learning activities. This paper focuses on the use of virtual environments to facilitate interaction in distance education courses so as to produce positive learning outcomes for students. Furthermore, the instructional strategies were reviewed and discussed for use in virtual worlds to enhance learning within a social context.

Keywords: Virtual Environments, Second Life, Instructional Strategies and Technology

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3 Optimal Design of Motorcycle Crash Bar Using CAD and Finite Element Analysis

Authors: Sharon S. Wu, Yong S. Park

Abstract:

This project aims to study and evaluate the motorcycle crash bar, which is used to reduce injuries caused by side impacts to the motorcycle, and then develop an improved design using the engineering design process theory based on the current benchmark crash bar in order to lower the severity of motorcycle crash injuries. For this purpose, simulations for the crash bar are set up so that it travels at an angle towards a fixed concrete wall and collides at certain velocities. 3D CAD models are first designed in SolidWorks and dynamic crash simulations are then carried out using ANSYS to determine the lowest maximum Von-Mises stress over time and deformations by adjusting the parameters used in manufacturing the crash bar, including the velocity of the crash, material used, geometries with various radius fillets, and different thicknesses for the bar. The results of the simulation are used to determine the optimum parameters for a safer crash bar to withstand higher stress and deformation. Specifically, the von-Mises stress was reduced by at least 75% compared with the benchmark design by choosing aluminum alloy and a true unibar design.

Keywords: Crash bar, crash simulation, engineering design, motorcycle safety.

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2 A Study of Shear Stress Intensity Factor of PP and HDPE by a Modified Experimental Method together with FEM

Authors: Md. Shafiqul Islam, Abdullah Khan, Sharon Kao-Walter, Li Jian

Abstract:

Shear testing is one of the most complex testing areas where available methods and specimen geometries are different from each other. Therefore, a modified shear test specimen (MSTS) combining the simple uniaxial test with a zone of interest (ZOI) is tested which gives almost the pure shear. In this study, material parameters of polypropylene (PP) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) are first measured by tensile tests with a dogbone shaped specimen. These parameters are then used as an input for the finite element analysis. Secondly, a specially designed specimen (MSTS) is used to perform the shear stress tests in a tensile testing machine to get the results in terms of forces and extension, crack initiation etc. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) is also performed on the shear fracture surface to find material behavior. These experiments are then simulated by finite element method and compared with the experimental results in order to confirm the simulation model. Shear stress state is inspected to find the usability of the proposed shear specimen. Finally, a geometry correction factor can be established for these two materials in this specific loading and geometry with notch using Linear Elastic Fracture Mechanics (LEFM). By these results, strain energy of shear failure and stress intensity factor (SIF) of shear of these two polymers are discussed in the special application of the screw cap opening of the medical or food packages with a temper evidence safety solution.

Keywords: Shear test specimen, Stress intensity factor, Finite Element simulation, Scanning electron microscopy, Screw cap opening.

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1 A Retrospective Cohort Study on an Outbreak of Gastroenteritis Linked to a Buffet Lunch Served during a Conference in Accra

Authors: Benjamin Osei Tutu, Sharon Annison

Abstract:

On 21st November, 2016, an outbreak of foodborne illness occurred after a buffet lunch served during a stakeholders’ consultation meeting held in Accra. An investigation was conducted to characterise the affected people, determine the etiologic food, the source of contamination and the etiologic agent and to implement appropriate public health measures to prevent future occurrences. A retrospective cohort study was conducted via telephone interviews, using a structured questionnaire developed from the buffet menu. A case was defined as any person suffering from symptoms of foodborne illness e.g. diarrhoea and/or abdominal cramps after eating food served during the stakeholder consultation meeting in Accra on 21st November, 2016. The exposure status of all the members of the cohort was assessed by taking the food history of each respondent during the telephone interview. The data obtained was analysed using Epi Info 7. An environmental risk assessment was conducted to ascertain the source of the food contamination. Risks of foodborne infection from the foods eaten were determined using attack rates and odds ratios. Data was obtained from 54 people who consumed food served during the stakeholders’ meeting. Out of this population, 44 people reported with symptoms of food poisoning representing 81.45% (overall attack rate). The peak incubation period was seven hours with a minimum and maximum incubation periods of four and 17 hours, respectively. The commonly reported symptoms were diarrhoea (97.73%, 43/44), vomiting (84.09%, 37/44) and abdominal cramps (75.00%, 33/44). From the incubation period, duration of illness and the symptoms, toxin-mediated food poisoning was suspected. The environmental risk assessment of the implicated catering facility indicated a lack of time/temperature control, inadequate knowledge on food safety among workers and sanitation issues. Limited number of food samples was received for microbiological analysis. Multivariate analysis indicated that illness was significantly associated with the consumption of the snacks served (OR 14.78, P < 0.001). No stool and blood or samples of etiologic food were available for organism isolation; however, the suspected etiologic agent was Staphylococcus aureus or Clostridium perfringens. The outbreak could probably be due to the consumption of unwholesome snack (tuna sandwich or chicken. The contamination and/or growth of the etiologic agent in the snack may be due to the breakdown in cleanliness, time/temperature control and good food handling practices. Training of food handlers in basic food hygiene and safety is recommended.

Keywords: Accra, buffet, C. perfringens, cohort study, food poisoning, gastroenteritis, office workers, Staphylococcus aureus.

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