Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 52
52 Automatic Number Plate Recognition System Based on Deep Learning

Authors: T. Damak, N. Masmoudi, M. A. Ben Ayed, O. Kriaa, A. Baccar

Abstract:

In the last few years, Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems have become widely used in the safety, the security, and the commercial aspects. Forethought, several methods and techniques are computing to achieve the better levels in terms of accuracy and real time execution. This paper proposed a computer vision algorithm of Number Plate Localization (NPL) and Characters Segmentation (CS). In addition, it proposed an improved method in Optical Character Recognition (OCR) based on Deep Learning (DL) techniques. In order to identify the number of detected plate after NPL and CS steps, the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) algorithm is proposed. A DL model is developed using four convolution layers, two layers of Maxpooling, and six layers of fully connected. The model was trained by number image database on the Jetson TX2 NVIDIA target. The accuracy result has achieved 95.84%.

Keywords: Deep learning, convolutional neural network, CNN, Character Segmentation, Automatic number plate recognition, number plate localization

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51 Stress Distribution in Axisymmetric Indentation of an Elastic Layer-Substrate Body

Authors: Makoto Sakamoto, Kotaro Miura, Yuji Tanabe

Abstract:

We focus on internal stress and displacement of an elastic axisymmetric contact problem for indentation of a layer-substrate body. An elastic layer is assumed to be perfectly bonded to an elastic semi-infinite substrate. The elastic layer is smoothly indented with a flat-ended cylindrical indenter. The analytical and exact solutions were obtained by solving an infinite system of simultaneous equations using the method to express a normal contact stress at the upper surface of the elastic layer as an appropriate series. This paper presented the numerical results of internal stress and displacement distributions for hard-coating system with constant values of Poisson’s ratio and the thickness of elastic layer.

Keywords: Coating Materials, indentation, contact problem, stress distribution, layer-substrate body

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50 Geographic Information Systems as a Tool to Support the Sustainable Development Goals

Authors: Gulnara N. Nabiyeva, Stephen M. Wheeler

Abstract:

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a multipurpose computer-based tool that provides a sophisticated ability to map and analyze data on different spatial layers. However, GIS is far more easily applied in some policy areas than others. This paper seeks to determine the areas of sustainable development, including environmental, economic, and social dimensions, where GIS has been used to date to support efforts to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and to discuss potential areas where it might be used more. Based on an extensive analysis of published literature, we ranked the SDGs according to how frequently GIS has been used to study related policy. We found that SDG#15 “Life on Land” is most often addressed with GIS, following by SDG#11 “Sustainable Cities and Communities”, and SDG#13 “Climate Action”. On the other hand, we determined that SDG#2 “Zero Hunger”, SDG#8 “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, and SDG#16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions” are least addressed with GIS. The paper outlines some specific ways that GIS might be applied to the SDGs least linked to this tool currently.

Keywords: GIS, GIS application, Sustainable Development Goals, sustainable community development

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49 Methyltrioctylammonium Chloride as a Separation Solvent for Binary Mixtures: Evaluation Based on Experimental Activity Coefficients

Authors: B. Kabane, G. G. Redhi

Abstract:

An ammonium based ionic liquid (methyltrioctylammonium chloride) [N8 8 8 1] [Cl] was investigated as an extraction potential solvent for volatile organic solvents (in this regard, solutes), which includes alkenes, alkanes, ketones, alkynes, aromatic hydrocarbons, tetrahydrofuran (THF), alcohols, thiophene, water and acetonitrile based on the experimental activity coefficients at infinite THF measurements were conducted by the use of gas-liquid chromatography at four different temperatures (313.15 to 343.15) K. Experimental data of activity coefficients obtained across the examined temperatures were used in order to calculate the physicochemical properties at infinite dilution such as partial molar excess enthalpy, Gibbs free energy and entropy term. Capacity and selectivity data for selected petrochemical extraction problems (heptane/thiophene, heptane/benzene, cyclohaxane/cyclohexene, hexane/toluene, hexane/hexene) were computed from activity coefficients data and compared to the literature values with other ionic liquids. Evaluation of activity coefficients at infinite dilution expands the knowledge and provides a good understanding related to the interactions between the ionic liquid and the investigated compounds.

Keywords: separation, Capacity, ionic liquid, activity coefficients, methyltrioctylammonium chloride

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48 Adaptive Multiple Transforms Hardware Architecture for Versatile Video Coding

Authors: T. Damak, N. Masmoudi, M. A. Ben Ayed, S. Houidi

Abstract:

The Versatile Video Coding standard (VVC) is actually under development by the Joint Video Exploration Team (or JVET). An Adaptive Multiple Transforms (AMT) approach was announced. It is based on different transform modules that provided an efficient coding. However, the AMT solution raises several issues especially regarding the complexity of the selected set of transforms. This can be an important issue, particularly for a future industrial adoption. This paper proposed an efficient hardware implementation of the most used transform in AMT approach: the DCT II. The developed circuit is adapted to different block sizes and can reach a minimum frequency of 192 MHz allowing an optimized execution time.

Keywords: Hardware, AMT, DCT II, transform, VVC

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47 Study on the Use of Manganese-Containing Materials as a Micro Fertilizer Based on the Local Mineral Resources and Industrial Wastes in Hydroponic Systems

Authors: Marine Shavlakadze

Abstract:

Hydroponic greenhouses systems (production of the artificial substrate without soil) are becoming popular in the world. Mostly the system is used to grow vegetables and berries. Different countries are taking action to participate in the development of hydroponic technology and solutions such as EU members, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Scandinavian countries, etc. Many vegetables and berries are grown by hydroponics in Europe. As a result of our research, we have obtained material containing manganese and nitrogen. It became possible to produce this fertilizer by means of one-stage thermal processing, using industrial waste containing manganese (ores and sludges) and mineral substance (ammonium nitrate) that exist in Georgia. The received material is usable as a micro-fertilizer with economic efficiency. It became possible to turn practically water-insoluble manganese dioxide substance into the soluble condition from industrial waste in an indirect way. The ability to use the material as a fertilizer is predetermined by its chemical and phase composition, as the amount of the active component of the material in relation to manganese is 30%. At the same time, the active component elements presented non-ballast sustained action compounds. The studies implemented in Poland and in Georgia by us have shown that the manganese-containing micro-fertilizer- Mn(NO3)2 can provide the plant with nitrate nitrogen, which is a form that can be used for plants, providing the economy and simplicity of the application of fertilizers. Given the fact that the application of the manganese-containing micro-fertilizers significantly increases the productivity and improves the quality of the big number of agricultural products, it is necessary to mention that it is recommended to introduce the manganese containing fertilizers into the following cultures: sugar beet, corn, potato, vegetables, vine grape, fruit, berries, and other cultures. Also, as a result of the study, it was established that the material obtained is the predominant fertilizer for vegetable cultures in the soil. Based on the positive results of the research, we consider it expedient to conduct research in hydroponic systems, which will enable us to provide plants the required amount of manganese; we also introduce nitrogen in solution and regulate the solution of pH, which is one of the main problems in hydroponic production. The findings of our research will be used in hydroponic greenhouse farms to increase the fertility of vegetable crops and, consequently, to get bountiful and high-quality harvests, which will promote the development of hydroponic greenhouses in Georgia as well as abroad.

Keywords: Hydroponics, micro-fertilizers, manganese ore, chemical amelioration

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46 Morphology of Indian Female Athletes of Different Track and Field Events

Authors: Dhananjoy Shaw, Rajender Lal, Anju Luthra

Abstract:

Participation in games and sports in the contemporary times has become more competing with the developed scientific knowledge, skills and methods, along with the equipment and applied research in the field. In spite of India being a large country having vast resources and potential, its performance in the world of sports on the whole needs sincere attention for better achievements. Beside numerous factors responsible for the dismal performance of a sportsperson, the physique and body composition, including the size, shape and form are known to play a significant role. The present investigation was undertaken to study the specific morphological characteristics of Indian female Track and Field athletes. A total of 300 athletes were randomly selected as sample for the purpose of the study from the six events having 50 athletes in each event including 100m., 400m., Shot Put, Discus Throw, Long Jump and High Jump. The study included body weight, body fat percentage, lean body weight, endomorphy, mesomorphy and ectomorphy as variables. The data were computed statistically by using Mean, Standard Deviation and Analysis of Variance. The post-hoc analysis was conducted where the F-ratio was found to be significant at .05 level. The study concluded that there is a significant difference with regard to the selected variables among the Indian female athletes of different track and field events.

Keywords: Morphology, Body Composition, track and field, Indian female athletes, somatotypes

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45 Cultural Effects on the Performance of Non- Profit and For-Profit Microfinance Institutions

Authors: Patrick M. Stanton, William R. McCumber

Abstract:

Using a large dataset of more than 2,400 individual microfinance institutions (MFIs) from 120 countries from 1999 to 2016, this study finds that nearly half of the international MFIs operate as for-profit institutions. Formal institutions (business regulatory environment, property rights, social protection, and a developed financial sector) impact the likelihood of MFIs being for-profit across countries. Cultural differences across countries (power distance, individualism, masculinity, and indulgence) seem to be a factor in the legal status of the MFI (non-profit or for-profit). MFIs in countries with stronger formal institutions, a greater degree of power distance, and a higher degree of collectivism experience better financial and social performance.

Keywords: International Finance, non-profit, microfinance institutions, Hofstede cultural dimensions

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44 The Design of a Die for the Processing of Aluminum through Equal Channel Angular Pressing

Authors: P. G. F. Siqueira, N. G. S. Almeida, P. M. A. Stemler, P. R. Cetlin, M. T. P. Aguilar

Abstract:

The processing of metals through Equal Channel Angular Pressing (ECAP) leads to their remarkable strengthening. The ECAP dies control the amount of strain imposed on the material through its geometry, especially through the angle between the die channels, and thus the microstructural and mechanical properties evolution of the material. The present study describes the design of an ECAP die whose utilization and maintenance are facilitated, and that also controls the eventual undesired flow of the material during processing. The proposed design was validated through numerical simulations procedures using commercial software. The die was manufactured according to the present design and tested. Tests using aluminum alloys also indicated to be suitable for the processing of higher strength alloys.

Keywords: Numerical Methods, Mechanical Design, SPD, ECAP

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43 Natural Frequency Analysis of a Porous Functionally Graded Shaft System

Authors: Natural Frequency Analysis of a Porous Functionally Graded Shaft System

Abstract:

The vibration characteristics of a functionally graded (FG) rotor model having porosities and micro-voids is investigated using three-dimensional finite element analysis. The FG shaft is mounted with a steel disc located at the midspan. The shaft ends are supported on isotropic bearings. The FG material is composed of a metallic (stainless-steel) and ceramic phase (zirconium oxide) as its constituent phases. The layer wise material property variation is governed by power law. Material property equations are developed for the porosity modelling. Python code is developed to assign the material properties to each layer including the effect of porosities. ANSYS commercial software is used to extract the natural frequencies and whirl frequencies for the FG shaft system. The obtained results show the influence of porosity volume fraction and power-law index, on the vibration characteristics of the ceramic-based FG shaft system.

Keywords: Finite Element Method, functionally graded material, power law, Porosity volume fraction

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42 Geophysical Investigation of Abnormal Seepages in Goronyo Dam Sokoto, North Western Nigeria Using Self-Potential Method

Authors: M. Saleh, A. I. Augie, A. A. Gado

Abstract:

In this research, Self-Potential (SP) method was employed to locate anomalous electrical conductivity located in Goronyo area and also to determine the condition of the embankment of the dam. SP data were plotted against distance along with the profile and spacing of electrode using surfer software (version 12). High and low zones of SP values were identified along the right and left abutments of the dam reservoir. The regions with high SP values were described to be high tendency of fluid flow associate with wet sandy soil. These zones have the SP values ranging from 200 mV and above. High SP values were due to the high moisture content that may lead to the seepage of water leaking through this zone. The zones with high SP values occupied Profiles S1, S2, S3, S4 and S5 indicating the presence of potential seepage paths within the subsurface of the embankment. These regions of seepage were identified as weak zones and potential pathways through which water could be lost from the dam reservoir. The SP values for the regions range from 250 m to 400 m (S1), 306 m to 400 m (S2), 192 m to 400 m (S3), 48 m to 200 m (S4) and 7 m to 170 m (S5) with their corresponding maximum depths of 30 m, 28 m, 28 m, 30 m and 26 m respectively. However, zones of low SP values in the overburden were observed which shows the presence of intact regions, which may be due to the compactness and dryness around the dam. The weak zones were considered as geological features (such as fractures, joints, and faults) that have undermined the integrity of the dam structure, which has led to the abnormal seepage.

Keywords: subsurface, seepage, Self-potential, condition and dam

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41 Model Reference Adaptive Approach for Power System Stabilizer for Damping of Power Oscillations

Authors: Jozef Ritonja, Bojan Grcar, Boštjan Polajžer

Abstract:

In recent years, electricity trade between neighboring countries has become increasingly intense. Increasing power transmission over long distances has resulted in an increase in the oscillations of the transmitted power. The damping of the oscillations can be carried out with the reconfiguration of the network or the replacement of generators, but such solution is not economically reasonable. The only cost-effective solution to improve the damping of power oscillations is to use power system stabilizers. Power system stabilizer represents a part of synchronous generator control system. It utilizes semiconductor’s excitation system connected to the rotor field excitation winding to increase the damping of the power system. The majority of the synchronous generators are equipped with the conventional power system stabilizers with fixed parameters. The control structure of the conventional power system stabilizers and the tuning procedure are based on the linear control theory. Conventional power system stabilizers are simple to realize, but they show non-sufficient damping improvement in the entire operating conditions. This is the reason that advanced control theories are used for development of better power system stabilizers. In this paper, the adaptive control theory for power system stabilizers design and synthesis is studied. The presented work is focused on the use of model reference adaptive control approach. Control signal, which assures that the controlled plant output will follow the reference model output, is generated by the adaptive algorithm. Adaptive gains are obtained as a combination of the "proportional" term and with the σ-term extended "integral" term. The σ-term is introduced to avoid divergence of the integral gains. The necessary condition for asymptotic tracking is derived by means of hyperstability theory. The benefits of the proposed model reference adaptive power system stabilizer were evaluated as objectively as possible by means of a theoretical analysis, numerical simulations and laboratory realizations. Damping of the synchronous generator oscillations in the entire operating range was investigated. Obtained results show the improved damping in the entire operating area and the increase of the power system stability. The results of the presented work will help by the development of the model reference power system stabilizer which should be able to replace the conventional stabilizers in power systems.

Keywords: Power System, Stability, power system stabilizer, model reference adaptive control, oscillations

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40 The Strategic Engine Model: Redefined Strategy Structure, as per Market-and Resource-Based Theory Application, Tested in the Automotive Industry

Authors: Krassimir Todorov

Abstract:

The purpose of the paper is to redefine the levels of structure of corporate, business and functional strategies that were established over the past several decades, to a conceptual model, consisting of corporate, business and operations strategies, that are reinforced by functional strategies. We will propose a conceptual framework of different perspectives in the role of strategic operations as a separate strategic place and reposition the remaining functional strategies as supporting tools, existing at all three levels. The proposed model is called ‘the strategic engine’, since the mutual relationships of its ingredients are identical with main elements and working principle of the internal combustion engine. Based on theoretical essence, related to every strategic level, we will prove that the strategic engine model is useful for managers seeking to safeguard the competitive advantage of their companies. Each strategy level is researched through its basic elements. At the corporate level we examine the scope of firm’s product, the vertical and geographical coverage. At the business level, the point of interest is limited to the SWOT analysis’ basic elements. While at operations level, the key research issue relates to the scope of the following performance indicators: cost, quality, speed, flexibility and dependability. In this relationship, the paper provides a different view for the role of operations strategy within the overall strategy concept. We will prove that the theoretical essence of operations goes far beyond the scope of traditionally accepted business functions. Exploring the applications of Resource-based theory and Market-based theory within the strategic levels framework, we will prove that there is a logical consequence of the theoretical impact in corporate, business and operations strategy – at every strategic level, the validity of one theory is substituted to the level of the other. Practical application of the conceptual model is tested in automotive industry. Actually, the proposed theoretical concept is inspired by a leading global automotive group – Inchcape PLC, listed on the London Stock Exchange, and constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Keywords: Business Strategy, Corporate Strategy, Operations Strategy, functional strategies

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39 School and Teacher Level Predictors for Students’ Information Literacy in Chinese Rural and Urban Education

Authors: Di Wu, Liqin Yu, Sha Zhu

Abstract:

This study aimed to investigate the level of secondary school students’ information literacy in China and examine the contribution of school and teacher level factors on students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools. A total of 598 schools, 56415 students and 18286 teachers participated in this study. The findings of this study were as follows: (1) the overall of secondary schools students’ information literacy only reached an average level and urban school students’ information literacy were significantly higher than that of rural school students; (2) In rural schools, teachers’ ICT collaboration was a positive predictor for students’ information literacy, while teachers’ ICT use for learning was identified as a negative predictor of students’ information literacy; (3) In urban schools, ICT management, ICT operation and teachers’ ICT self-efficacy were found to be significantly associated with students’ information literacy. Based on the findings, suggestions for improving students’ information literacy between rural and urban schools were discussed.

Keywords: Information literacy, rural school, Chinese secondary school students, urban school

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38 A Neuroscience-Based Learning Technique: Framework and Application to STEM

Authors: Dante J. Dorantes-Gonzalez, Aldrin Balsa-Yepes

Abstract:

Existing learning techniques such as problem-based learning, project-based learning, or case study learning are learning techniques that focus mainly on technical details, but give no specific guidelines on learner’s experience and emotional learning aspects such as arousal salience and valence, being emotional states important factors affecting engagement and retention. Some approaches involving emotion in educational settings, such as social and emotional learning, lack neuroscientific rigorousness and use of specific neurobiological mechanisms. On the other hand, neurobiology approaches lack educational applicability. And educational approaches mainly focus on cognitive aspects and disregard conditioning learning. First, authors start explaining the reasons why it is hard to learn thoughtfully, then they use the method of neurobiological mapping to track the main limbic system functions, such as the reward circuit, and its relations with perception, memories, motivations, sympathetic and parasympathetic reactions, and sensations, as well as the brain cortex. The authors conclude explaining the major finding: The mechanisms of nonconscious learning and the triggers that guarantee long-term memory potentiation. Afterward, the educational framework for practical application and the instructors’ guidelines are established. An implementation example in engineering education is given, namely, the study of tuned-mass dampers for earthquake oscillations attenuation in skyscrapers. This work represents an original learning technique based on nonconscious learning mechanisms to enhance long-term memories that complement existing cognitive learning methods.

Keywords: emotion, STEM, emotion-enhanced memory, learning technique

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37 Simplified Stress Gradient Method for Stress-Intensity Factor Determination

Authors: Jeries J. Abou-Hanna

Abstract:

Several techniques exist for determining stress-intensity factors in linear elastic fracture mechanics analysis. These techniques are based on analytical, numerical, and empirical approaches that have been well documented in literature and engineering handbooks. However, not all techniques share the same merit. In addition to overly-conservative results, the numerical methods that require extensive computational effort, and those requiring copious user parameters hinder practicing engineers from efficiently evaluating stress-intensity factors. This paper investigates the prospects of reducing the complexity and required variables to determine stress-intensity factors through the utilization of the stress gradient and a weighting function. The heart of this work resides in the understanding that fracture emanating from stress concentration locations cannot be explained by a single maximum stress value approach, but requires use of a critical volume in which the crack exists. In order to understand the effectiveness of this technique, this study investigated components of different notch geometry and varying levels of stress gradients. Two forms of weighting functions were employed to determine stress-intensity factors and results were compared to analytical exact methods. The results indicated that the “exponential” weighting function was superior to the “absolute” weighting function. An error band +/- 10% was met for cases ranging from a steep stress gradient in a sharp v-notch to the less severe stress transitions of a large circular notch. The incorporation of the proposed method has shown to be a worthwhile consideration.

Keywords: Fracture Mechanics, Finite Element Method, stress intensity factor, stress gradient

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36 Evaluation of the Rheological Properties of Bituminous Binders Modified with Biochars Obtained from Various Biomasses by Pyrolysis Method

Authors: Muhammed Ertugrul Celoglu, Mehmet Yılmaz

Abstract:

In this study, apricot seed shell, walnut shell, and sawdust were chosen as biomass sources. The materials were sorted by using a sieve No. 50 and the sieved materials were subjected to pyrolysis process at 400 °C, resulting in three different biochar products. The resulting biochar products were added to the bitumen at three different rates (5%, 10% and 15%), producing modified bitumen. Penetration, softening point, rotation viscometer and dynamic shear rheometer (DSR) tests were conducted on modified binders. Thus the modified bitumen, which was obtained by using additives at 3 different rates obtained from biochar produced at 400 °C temperatures of 3 different biomass sources were compared and the effects of pyrolysis temperature and additive rates were evaluated. As a result of the conducted tests, it was determined that the rheology of the pure bitumen improved significantly as a result of the modification of the bitumen with the biochar. Additionally, with biochar additive, it was determined that the rutting parameter values obtained from softening point, viscometer and DSR tests were increased while the values in terms of penetration and phase angle decreased. It was also observed that the most effective biomass is sawdust while the least effective was ground apricot seed shell.

Keywords: biomass, Rheology, pyrolysis, Biochar

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35 Modeling of Cobalt-Chromium-Molybdenum Alloy Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

Authors: Abhishek Soni, Bhagat Singh

Abstract:

Distal femur fractures are the cause of abnormal gloomy. Several types of surgical treatments have been adopted by the practitioners to restore the fractured region of distal femur. Still within this domain of study, unstable fixation remains a challenge for orthopedists. In the present study, a fixation implant is designed and analyzed under physiological loading conditions for cobalt-chromium-molybdenum alloy (Co-Cr-Mo). It has been found that the stresses and deformation developed are quite low. It means that customized fixation plates will provide stable fixation resulting in improved fracture union.

Keywords: Reverse Engineering, Biomechanical evaluations, customized implant, Co-Cr-Mo alloy

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34 Plant Supporting Units (Ekobox) Application Project for Increasing Planting Success in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas

Authors: Ali Tanış, Gürcan D. Baysal

Abstract:

In this study, samples of plant types including rose hip (Rosa canina L.), jujube (Ziziphus jujube), sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides), elderberry (Sambucus nigra), apricot (Prunus armeniaca), scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), and cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) were grown using plant supporting units called Ekobox and drip irrigation systems in the Karapınar, Konya region of Turkey to reveal the efficiency of Ekobox and drip irrigation compared against a control with no irrigation. The plant diameter, height, and survival rates were determined, compared with each other, and statistically analyzed. According to the statistical analysis of the results, Ekobox applications resulted in the highest values for survival rate, diameter, and height measurements whereas the lowest values were determined in the control groups. These results indicate that the cultivation of plants with Ekobox may help protect against the loss of fertile soils as an effective mechanism for combating erosion and desertification. These advantages may also lead to a lasting economic effect on the cultivation of plants by locals of the Karapınar, Konya province who suffer from an ever-decreasing underground water level as a result of agricultural consumption.

Keywords: Drip Irrigation, plant height, ekobox, plant diameter, plant survival rate

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33 Ameliorating Effects of Silver Nanoparticles Synthesized Using Chlorophytum borivillianum against Gamma Radiation Induced Oxidative Stress in Testis of Swiss Albino Mice

Authors: Sanjay Singh, Ruchi Vyas, Rashmi Sisodia

Abstract:

Chlorophytum borivillianum root extract (CBE) was chosen as a reducing agent to fabricate silver nanoparticles with the aim of studying its radioprotective efficacy. The formation of synthesized nanoparticles was characterized by UV–visible analysis (UV–vis), Fourier transform infra-red (FT-IR), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Scanning electron microscope (SEM). TEM analysis showed particles size in the range of 20-30 nm. For this study, Swiss albino mice were selected from inbred colony and were divided into 4 groups: group I- control (irradiated-6 Gy), group II- normal (vehicle treated), group III- plant extract alone and group IV- CB-AgNPs (dose of 50 mg/kg body wt./day) administered orally for 7 consecutive days before irradiation to serve as experimental. CB-AgNPs pretreatment rendered significant increase in body weight and testes weight at various post irradiation intervals in comparison to irradiated group. Supplementation of CB-AgNPs reversed the adverse effects of gamma radiation on biochemical parameters as it notably ameliorated the elevation in lipid peroxidation and decline in glutathione concentration in testes. These observations indicate the radio-protective potential of CB-AgNPs in testicular constituents against gamma irradiation in mice.

Keywords: Silver Nanoparticles, Gamma Radiation, Chlorophytum borivillianum, radioprotective

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32 Bioconcentration Analysis of Iodine Species in Seaweed (Eucheuma cottonii) from Maluku Marine as Alternative Food Source

Authors: Nikmans Hattu, Gloria Bora, Yeanchon H. Dulanlebit

Abstract:

Seaweed is a type of macro algae which are good source of iodine and have been widely used as food and nutrition supplement. One of iodine species that found in ocean plant is iodate. Analysis of iodate in seaweed (Eucheuma cottonii) from coastal area of Maluku has been done. The determination is done by using spectrophotometric method. Iodate in sample is reduced in excess of potassium iodide in the presence of acid solution, and then is reacted with starch to form blue complex. The study found out that the highest wavelength on determination of iodate species using spectrophotometer analysis method is 570 nm. Optimum value to yield maximum absorption is used in this research. Contents of iodate in seawater from coastal area of Ambon Island, Western Seram and Southeast Maluku are 0.2655, 0.2719 and 0.1760 mg/L, respectively. While in seaweeds from Ambon Island, Western Seram, Southeast Maluku-Taar, Ohoidertawun and Wab are 6.3122, 6.3293, 6.2333, 3.7406 and 4.4207 mg/kg in dry weight. Bioconcentration (enrichment) factor of iodate in seaweed (Eucheuma cottonii) from the three samples (cluster) is different; in Coastal area of Ambon Island, Western Seram and Southeast Maluku respectively are 23.78, 23.28 and 27.26.

Keywords: Seaweed, iodine, bioconcentration, eucheuma cottonii, iodate

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31 The Effects of Electromagnetic Stirring on Microstructure and Properties of γ-TiAl Based Alloys Fabricated by Selective Laser Melting Technique

Authors: A. Ismaeel, C. S. Wang, D. S. Xu

Abstract:

The γ-TiAl based Ti-Al-Mn-Nb alloys were fabricated by selective laser melting (SLM) on the TC4 substrate. The microstructures of the alloys were investigated in detail. The results reveal that the alloy without electromagnetic stirring (EMS) consists of γ-TiAl phase with tetragonal structure and α2-Ti3Al phase with hcp structure, while the alloy with applied EMS consists of γ-TiAl, α2-Ti3Al and α-Ti with hcp structure, and the morphological structure of the alloy without EMS which exhibits near lamellar structure and the alloy with EMS shows duplex structure, the alloy without EMS shows some microcracks and pores while they are not observed in the alloy without EMS. The microhardness and wear resistance values decrease with applied EMS.

Keywords: Properties, Microstructure, Selective Laser Melting, electromagnetic stirring, γ-TiAl based alloys

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30 Understanding Student Pilot Mental Workload in Recreational Aircraft Training

Authors: Ron Bishop, Jim Mitchell, Talitha Best

Abstract:

The increase in air travel worldwide has resulted in a pilot shortage. To increase student pilot capacity and lower costs, flight schools have increased the use of recreational aircraft (RA) with technological advanced cockpits in flight schools. The impact of RA based training compared to general aviation (GA) aircraft training on student mental workload is not well understood. This research investigated student pilot (N = 17) awareness of mental workload between technologically advanced cockpit equipped RA training with analogue gauge equipped GA training. The results showed a significantly higher rating of mental workload across subscales of mental and physical demand on the NASA-TLX in recreational aviation aircraft training compared to GA aircraft. Similarly, thematic content analysis of follow-up questions identified that mental workload of the student pilots flying the RA was perceived to be more than the GA aircraft.

Keywords: Mental workload, student pilot, Glass cockpit, flight training

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29 Leaching of Flotation Concentrate of Oxide Copper Ore from Sepon Mine, Lao PDR

Authors: S. Vasailor, C. Rattanakawin

Abstract:

Acid leaching of flotation concentrate of oxide copper ore containing mainly of malachite was performed in a standard agitation tank with various parameters. The effects of solid to liquid ratio, sulfuric acid concentration, agitation speed, leaching temperature and time were examined to get proper conditions. The best conditions are 1:8 solid to liquid ratio, 10% concentration by weight, 250 rev/min, 30 oC and 5-min leaching time in respect. About 20% Cu grade assayed by atomic absorption technique with 98% copper recovery was obtained from these combined optimum conditions. Dissolution kinetics of the concentrate was approximated as a logarithmic function. As a result, the first-order reaction rate is suggested from this leaching study.

Keywords: sulfuric acid, dissolution kinetics, agitation leaching, flotation concentrate, oxide copper ore

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28 The Greek Root Word ‘Kos’ and the Trade of Ancient Greek with Tamil Nadu, India

Authors: D. Pugazhendhi

Abstract:

The ancient Greeks were forerunners in many fields than other societies. So, the Greeks were well connected with all the countries which were well developed during that time through trade route. In this connection, trading of goods from the ancient Greece to Tamil Nadu which is presently in India, though they are geographically far away, played an important role. In that way, the word and the goods related with kos and kare got exchanged between these two societies. So, it is necessary to compare the phonology and the morphological occurrences of these words that are found common both in the ancient Greek and Tamil literatures of the contemporary period. The results show that there were many words derived from the root kos with the basic meaning of ‘arrange’ in the ancient Greek language, but this is not the case in the usage of the word kare. In the ancient Tamil literature, the word ‘kos’ does not have any root and also had rare occurrences. But it was just the opposite in the case of the word ‘kare’. One of all the meanings of the word, which was derived from the root ‘kos’ in ancient Greek literature, is related with costly ornaments. This meaning seems to have close resemblance with the usage of word ‘kos’ in ancient Tamil literature. Also, the meaning of the word ‘kare’ in ancient Tamil literature is related with spices whereas, in the ancient Greek literature, its meaning is related to that of the cooking of meat using spices. Hence, the similarity seen in the meanings of these words ‘kos’ and ‘kare’ in both these languages provides lead for further study. More than that, the ancient literary resources which are available in both these languages ensure the export and import of gold and spices from the ancient Greek land to Tamil land.

Keywords: tamil, Ornament, arrange, kare, Kos

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27 The Potential of Tempo-Oxidized Cellulose Nanofibers to Replace Ethylene-Propylene-Diene Monomer Rubber

Authors: S. Dikmen Kucuk, A. Tozluoglu, Y. Guner

Abstract:

In recent years, petroleum-based polymers began to be limited due to effects on human and environmental point of view in many countries. Thus, organic-based biodegradable materials have attracted much interest in the composite industry because of environmental concerns. As a result of this, it has been asked that inorganic and petroleum-based materials should be reduced and altered with biodegradable materials. In this point, in this study, it is aimed to investigate the potential of use of TEMPO (2,2,6,6- tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl)-mediated oxidation nano-fibrillated cellulose instead of EPDM (ethylene-propylene-diene monomer) rubber, which is a petroleum-based material. Thus, the exchange of petroleum-based EPDM rubber with organic based cellulose nanofibers, which are environmentally friendly (green) and biodegradable, will be realized. The effect of tempo-oxidized cellulose nanofibers (TCNF) instead of EPDM rubber was analyzed by rheological, mechanical, chemical, thermal and aging analyses. The aged surfaces were visually scrutinized and surface morphological changes were examined via scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The results obtained showed that TEMPO oxidation nano-fibrillated cellulose can be used at an amount of 1.0 and 2.2 phr resulting the values stay within tolerance according to customer standard and without any chemical degradation, crack, colour change or staining.

Keywords: Green Materials, Cellulose, nanofibrillated cellulose, EPDM, TCNF, tempo-oxidized nanofiber

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26 Knowledge Management in Academic: A Perspective of Academic Research Contribution to Economic Development of a Nation

Authors: Hilary J. Watsilla, Narasimha R. Vajjhala

Abstract:

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has made information access easier and affordable. Academic research has also benefited from this, with online journals and academic resource readily available by the click of a button. However, there are limited ways of assessing and controlling the quality of the academic research mostly in public institution. Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with a significant number of universities and young population. The quality of knowledge created by academic researchers, however, needs to be evaluated due to the high number of predatory journals published by academia. The purpose of this qualitative study is to look at the knowledge creation, acquisition, and assimilation process by academic researchers in public universities in Nigeria. Qualitative research will be carried out using in-depth interviews and observations. Academic researchers will be interviewed and absorptive capacity theory will be used as the theoretical framework to guide the research. The findings from this study should help understand the impact of ICT on the knowledge creation process in academic research and to understand how ICT can affect the quality of knowledge produced by researchers. The findings from this study should help add value to the existing body of knowledge on the quality of academic research, especially in Africa where there is limited availability of quality academic research. As this study is limited to Nigerian universities, the outcome may not be generalized to other developing countries.

Keywords: Knowledge Management, Academic Research, Research, Information and Communication Technology, knowledge creation, University

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25 Leadership Styles in the Hotel Sector and Its Effect on Employees’ Creativity and Organizational Commitment

Authors: Hatem Radwan Ibrahim Radwan

Abstract:

Leadership is crucial for hotel survival and success. It enables hotels to develop and compete effectively. This research intends to explore the implementation of six leadership styles by frontline hotel managers in four star hotels in Cairo and assess its impact on employees’ creativity and organizational commitment. The leadership patterns considered in this study includes: democratic, autocratic, laissez-faire, transformational, transactional, and ethical leaderships. Questionnaire was used as a research method to gather data. A structured survey was established and distributed on employees in Cairo’s four star hotels. A total of 284 questionnaire forms were returned and usable for statistical analysis. The results of this study identified that transactional and autocratic leadership were the prevalent styles used in four star hotels in Cairo. Two leadership styles proved to have significant high correlation and impact on employees’ creativity and organizational commitment including: transformational and democratic leadership. Besides, laissez-faire leadership was found had a smaller effect on employees’ creativity and ethical leadership had a lesser influence on employees’ commitment. The autocratic leadership had strong negative correlation and significant impact on both dependent variables. This research concludes that frontline hotel managers should adopt transformational and/or democratic leadership style in managing their subordinates.

Keywords: Creativity, Hotels, Leadership Styles, organizational commitment

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24 Upgraded Cuckoo Search Algorithm to Solve Optimisation Problems Using Gaussian Selection Operator and Neighbour Strategy Approach

Authors: Mukesh Kumar Shah, Tushar Gupta

Abstract:

An Upgraded Cuckoo Search Algorithm is proposed here to solve optimization problems based on the improvements made in the earlier versions of Cuckoo Search Algorithm. Short comings of the earlier versions like slow convergence, trap in local optima improved in the proposed version by random initialization of solution by suggesting an Improved Lambda Iteration Relaxation method, Random Gaussian Distribution Walk to improve local search and further proposing Greedy Selection to accelerate to optimized solution quickly and by “Study Nearby Strategy” to improve global search performance by avoiding trapping to local optima. It is further proposed to generate better solution by Crossover Operation. The proposed strategy used in algorithm shows superiority in terms of high convergence speed over several classical algorithms. Three standard algorithms were tested on a 6-generator standard test system and the results are presented which clearly demonstrate its superiority over other established algorithms. The algorithm is also capable of handling higher unit systems.

Keywords: economic dispatch, prohibited operating zones, Ramp rate limits, gaussian selection operator, upgraded cuckoo search

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23 Study of Hydrophobicity Effect on 220kV Double Tension Insulator String Surface Using Finite Element Method

Authors: M. Nageswara Rao, V. S. N. K. Chaitanya, P. Vijaya Haritha

Abstract:

Insulators are one of the most significant equipment in power system. The insulators’ operation may affect the power flow, line loss and reliability. The electrical parameters that influence the performance of insulator are surface leakage current, corona and dry band arcing. Electric field stresses on the insulator surface will degrade the insulating properties and lead to puncture. Electric filed stresses can be analyzed by numerical methods and experimental evaluation. As per economic aspects, evaluation by numerical methods are best. In outdoor insulation, a hydrophobic surface can facilitate to prevent water film formation on the insulation surface, which is decisive for diminishing leakage currents and partial discharge (PD) under heavy polluted environments and harsh weather conditions. Polymer materials like silicone rubber have an outstanding hydrophobic property among general insulation materials. In this paper, electrical field intensity of 220 kV porcelain and polymer double tension insulator strings at critical regions are analyzed and compared by using Finite Element Method. Hydrophobic conditions of polymer insulator with equal and unequal water molecule conditions are verified by using finite element method.

Keywords: Finite Element Method, FEM, hydrophobicity, EFA, polymer insulator, porcelain insulator, Electric field analysis, FEMM-2D

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22 Urban Areas Management in Developing Countries: Analysis of the Urban Areas Crossed with Risk of Storm Water Drains, Aswan-Egypt

Authors: Omar Hamdy, Schichen Zhao, Hussein Abd El-Atty, Ayman Ragab, Muhammad Salem

Abstract:

One of the most risky areas in Aswan is Abouelreesh, which is suffering from flood disasters, as heavy deluge inundates urban areas causing considerable damage to buildings and infrastructure. Moreover, the main problem was the urban sprawl towards this risky area. This paper aims to identify the urban areas located in the risk areas prone to flash floods. Analyzing this phenomenon needs a lot of data to ensure satisfactory results; however, in this case the official data and field data were limited, and therefore, free sources of satellite data were used. This paper used ArcGIS tools to obtain the storm water drains network by analyzing DEM files. Additionally, historical imagery in Google Earth was studied to determine the age of each building. The last step was to overlay the urban area layer and the storm water drains layer to identify the vulnerable areas. The results of this study would be helpful to urban planners and government officials to make the disasters risk estimation and develop primary plans to recover the risky area, especially urban areas located in torrents.

Keywords: GIS, DEM, risk area, storm water drains

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21 Semi-Transparent Dye-Sensitized Solar Panels for Energy Autonomous Greenhouses

Authors: D. Sygkridou, E. Stathatos, A. Mourtzikou, T. Georgakopoulos, G. Katsagounos

Abstract:

Over 60% highly transparent quasi-solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells (DSSCs) with dimension of 50x50 cm2 were fabricated via inkjet printing process using nanocomposite inks as raw materials and tested under outdoor illumination conditions. The cells were electrically characterized, and their possible application to the shell of greenhouses was also examined. The panel design was in Z-interconnection, where the working electrode was inkjet printed on one conductive glass and the counter electrode on a second glass in a sandwich configuration. Silver current collective fingers were printed on the glasses to make the internal electrical connections. In that case, the adjacent cells were connected in series via silver fingers and finally insulated using a UV curing resin to protect them from the corrosive (I-/I3-) redox couple of the electrolyte.

Keywords: Scale up, inkjet printing, Dye-sensitized solar panels, semi-transparency, quasi-solid-state electrolyte

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20 A Decision Tree Approach to Estimate Permanent Residents Using Remote Sensing Data in Lebanese Municipalities

Authors: H. Madi, A. Badran, K. Allaw, J. Adjizian Gerard, M. Chehayeb, A. Raad, W. Fahs, A. Fakherdin, N. Badaro Saliba

Abstract:

Population estimation using Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing faces many obstacles such as the determination of permanent residents. A permanent resident is an individual who stays and works during all four seasons in his village. So, all those who move towards other cities or villages are excluded from this category. The aim of this study is to identify the factors affecting the percentage of permanent residents in a village and to determine the attributed weight to each factor. To do so, six factors have been chosen (slope, precipitation, temperature, number of services, time to Central Business District (CBD) and the proximity to conflict zones) and each one of those factors has been evaluated using one of the following data: the contour lines map of 50 m, the precipitation map, four temperature maps and data collected through surveys. The weighting procedure has been done using decision tree method. As a result of this procedure, temperature (50.8%) and percentage of precipitation (46.5%) are the most influencing factors.

Keywords: Remote Sensing and GIS, Decision Tree, Lebanon, permanent residence

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19 Experimental Study of Discharge with Sharp-Crested Weirs

Authors: E. Keramaris, V. Kanakoudis

Abstract:

In this study the water flow in an open channel over a sharp-crested weir is investigated experimentally. For this reason a series of laboratory experiments were performed in an open channel with a sharp-crested weir. The maximum head expected over the weir, the total upstream water height and the downstream water height of the impact in the constant bed of the open channel were measured. The discharge was measured using a tank put right after the open channel. In addition, the discharge and the upstream velocity were also calculated using already known equations. The main finding is that the relative error percentage for the majority of the experimental measurements is ± 4%, meaning that the calculation of the discharge with a sharp-crested weir gives very good results compared to the numerical results from known equations.

Keywords: Flow Measurement, open channel flow, sharp-crested weir, weir height

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18 Numerical Study of Natural Convection in a Triangular Enclosure as an Attic for Different Geometries and Boundary Conditions

Authors: H. Golchoobian, M. H. Taheri, S. Saedodin, A. Sarafraz

Abstract:

In this paper, natural convection in an attic is numerically investigated. The geometry of the problem is considered to be a triangular enclosure. ANSYS Fluent software is used for modeling and numerical solution. This study is for steady state. Four right-angled triangles with height to base ratios of 2, 1, 0.5 and 0.25 are considered. The behavior of various parameters related to its performance, including temperature distribution and velocity vectors are evaluated, and graphs for the Nusselt number have been drawn. Also, in this study, the effect of geometric shape of enclosure with different height-to-base ratios has been evaluated for three types of boundary conditions of winter, summer day and one another state. It can be concluded that as the bottom side temperature and ratio of base to height of the enclosure increases, the convective effects become more prominent and circulation happened.

Keywords: Numerical Solution, natural convection, enclosure, nusselt number, triangular

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17 Flame Kernel Growth and Related Effects of Spark Plug Electrodes: Fluid Motion Interaction in an Optically Accessible DISI Engine

Authors: A. Schirru, A. Irimescu, S. Merola, A. d’Adamo, S. Fontanesi

Abstract:

One of the aspects that are usually neglected during the design phase of an engine is the effect of the spark plug on the flow field inside the combustion chamber. Because of the difficulties in the experimental investigation of the mutual interaction between flow alteration and early flame kernel convection effect inside the engine combustion chamber, CFD-3D simulation is usually exploited in such cases. Experimentally speaking, a particular type of engine has to be used in order to directly observe the flame propagation process. In this study, a double electrode spark plug was fitted into an optically accessible engine and a high-speed camera was used to capture the initial stages of the combustion process. Both the arc and the kernel phases were observed. Then, a morphologic analysis was carried out and the position of the center of mass of the flame, relative to the spark plug position, was calculated. The crossflow orientation was chosen for the spark plug and the kernel growth process was observed for different air-fuel ratios. It was observed that during a normal cycle the flow field between the electrodes tends to transport the arc deforming it. Because of that, the kernel growth phase takes place away from the electrodes and the flame propagates with a preferential direction dictated by the flow field.

Keywords: Combustion, Optically Accessible Engine, Spark-Ignition Engine, Kernel Growth, spark plug orientation

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16 Improving the Frequency Response of a Circular Dual-Mode Resonator with a Reconfigurable Bandwidth

Authors: Muhammad Haitham Albahnassi, Adnan Malki, Shokri Almekdad

Abstract:

In this paper, a method for reconfiguring bandwidth in a circular dual-mode resonator is presented. The method concerns the optimized geometry of a structure that may be used to host the tuning elements, which are typically RF (Radio Frequency) switches. The tuning elements themselves, and their performance during tuning, are not the focus of this paper. The designed resonator is able to reconfigure its fractional bandwidth by adjusting the inter-coupling level between the degenerate modes, while at the same time improving its response by adjusting the external-coupling level and keeping the center frequency fixed. The inter-coupling level has been adjusted by changing the dimensions of the perturbation element, while the external-coupling level has been adjusted by changing one of the feeder dimensions. The design was arrived at via optimization. Agreeing simulation and measurement results of the designed and implemented filters showed good improvements in return loss values and the stability of the center frequency.

Keywords: Perturbation Theory, dual-mode resonators, reconfigurable filters, cognitine radio, perturbation element, software defined radio (SDR)

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15 Design of Stainless Steel Implant for Fractured Distal Femur

Authors: Abhishek Soni, Bhagat Singh

Abstract:

Perfect restoration of fractured distal femur has been a challenging task for the medical practitioners. In the present study, model of a fractured bone has been created using the scan data of the damaged bone. Thereafter, customized implant of Stainless Steel (SS-316L) for this fractured femur bone is modeled using the reverse engineering approach. Clinical set-up is prepared by assembling all the models together. Stress and deformation analysis of this clinical set-up has been performed in order to check the load bearing capacity and intactness of the joint. From this analysis, it has been inferred that the stresses and deformation developed due to the static load of the person is within the permissible limits.

Keywords: Reverse Engineering, Biomechanical evaluations, customized implant, stainless steel alloy

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14 A Comparative Study of Global Power Grids and Global Fossil Energy Pipelines Using GIS Technology

Authors: Wenhao Wang, Xinzhi Xu, Limin Feng, Wei Cong

Abstract:

This paper comprehensively investigates current development status of global power grids and fossil energy pipelines (oil and natural gas), proposes a standard visual platform of global power and fossil energy based on Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. In this visual platform, a series of systematic visual models is proposed with global spatial data, systematic energy and power parameters. Under this visual platform, the current Global Power Grids Map and Global Fossil Energy Pipelines Map are plotted within more than 140 countries and regions across the world. Using the multi-scale fusion data processing and modeling methods, the world’s global fossil energy pipelines and power grids information system basic database is established, which provides important data supporting global fossil energy and electricity research. Finally, through the systematic and comparative study of global fossil energy pipelines and global power grids, the general status of global fossil energy and electricity development are reviewed, and energy transition in key areas are evaluated and analyzed. Through the comparison analysis of fossil energy and clean energy, the direction of relevant research is pointed out for clean development and energy transition.

Keywords: Power Systems, Geographic Information System, Fossil energy, Energy Transition

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13 Test Method Development for Evaluation of Process and Design Effect on Reinforced Tube

Authors: Cathal Merz, Gareth O’Donnell

Abstract:

Coil reinforced thin-walled (CRTW) tubes are used in medicine to treat problems affecting blood vessels within the body through minimally invasive procedures. The CRTW tube considered in this research makes up part of such a device and is inserted into the patient via their femoral or brachial arteries and manually navigated to the site in need of treatment. This procedure replaces the requirement to perform open surgery but is limited by reduction of blood vessel lumen diameter and increase in tortuosity of blood vessels deep in the brain. In order to maximize the capability of these procedures, CRTW tube devices are being manufactured with decreasing wall thicknesses in order to deliver treatment deeper into the body and to allow passage of other devices through its inner diameter. This introduces significant stresses to the device materials which have resulted in an observed increase in the breaking of the proximal segment of the device into two separate pieces after it has failed by buckling. As there is currently no international standard for measuring the mechanical properties of these CRTW tube devices, it is difficult to accurately analyze this problem. The aim of the current work is to address this discrepancy in the biomedical device industry by developing a measurement system that can be used to quantify the effect of process and design changes on CRTW tube performance, aiding in the development of better performing, next generation devices. Using materials testing frames, micro-computed tomography (micro-CT) imaging, experiment planning, analysis of variance (ANOVA), T-tests and regression analysis, test methods have been developed for assessing the impact of process and design changes on the device. The major findings of this study have been an insight into the suitability of buckle and three-point bend tests for the measurement of the effect of varying processing factors on the device’s performance, and guidelines for interpreting the output data from the test methods. The findings of this study are of significant interest with respect to verifying and validating key process and design changes associated with the device structure and material condition. Test method integrity evaluation is explored throughout.

Keywords: fracture, buckling, coil reinforced thin-walled tubes, test method

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12 Building a Transformative Continuing Professional Development Experience for Educators through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach: A Case Study of a Professional Learning Team in Secondary Education

Authors: Melvin Chan, Chew Lee Teo

Abstract:

There has been a growing emphasis in elevating the teachers’ proficiency and competencies through continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities. In this era of a Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous (VUCA) world, teachers are expected to be collaborative designers, critical thinkers and creative builders. However, many of the CPD structures are still revolving in the model of transmission, which stands in contradiction to the cultivation of future-ready teachers for the innovative world of emerging technologies. This article puts forward the framing of CPD through a Principle-Based, Technological-Driven Knowledge Building Approach grounded in the essence of andragogy and progressive learning theories where growth is best exemplified through an authentic immersion in a social/community experience-based setting. Putting this Knowledge Building Professional Development Model (KBPDM) in operation via a Professional Learning Team (PLT) situated in a Secondary School in Singapore, research findings reveal that the intervention has led to a fundamental change in the learning paradigm of the teachers, henceforth equipping and empowering them successfully in their pedagogical design and practices for a 21st century classroom experience. This article concludes with the possibility in leveraging the Learning Analytics to deepen the CPD experiences for educators.

Keywords: andragogy, learning paradigm, continual professional development, knowledge building

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11 Species Profiling of White Grub Beetles and Evaluation of Pre and Post Sown Application of Insecticides against White Grub Infesting Soybean

Authors: Mayank Kumar, Ajay Kumar Pandey

Abstract:

White grub (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) is a major destructive pest in western Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. Beetles feed on apple, apricot, plum, walnut etc. during night while, second and third instar grubs feed on live roots of cultivated as well as non-cultivated crops. Collection and identification of scarab beetles through light trap was carried out at Crop Research Centre, Govind Ballab Pant University Pantnagar, Udham Singh Nagar (Uttarakhand) during 2018. Field trials were also conducted in 2018 to evaluate pre and post sown application of different insecticides against the white grub infesting soybean. The insecticides like Carbofuran 3 Granule (G) (750 g a.i./ha), Clothianidin 50 Water Dispersal Granule (WG) (120 g a.i./ha), Fipronil 0.3 G (50 g a.i./ha), Thiamethoxam 25 WG (80 g a.i./ha), Imidacloprid 70 WG (300 g a.i./ha), Chlorantraniliprole 0.4% G(100 g a.i./ha) and mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG (300 g a.i./ha) were applied at the time of sowing in pre sown experiment while same dosage of insecticides were applied in standing soybean crop during (first fortnight of July). Commutative plant mortality data were recorded after 20, 40, 60 days intervals and compared with untreated control. Total 23 species of white grub beetles recorded on the light trap and Holotrichia serrata Fabricious (Coleoptera: Melolonthinae) was found to be predominant species by recording 20.6% relative abundance out of the total light trap catch (i.e. 1316 beetles) followed by Phyllognathus sp. (14.6% relative abundance). H. rosettae and Heteronychus lioderus occupied third and fourth rank with 11.85% and 9.65% relative abundance, respectively. The emergence of beetles of predominant species started from 15th March, 2018. In April, average light trap catch was 382 white grub beetles, however, peak emergence of most of the white grub species was observed from June to July, 2018 i.e. 336 beetles in June followed by 303 beetles in the July. On the basis of the emergence pattern of white grub beetles, it may be concluded that the Peak Emergence Period (PEP) for the beetles of H. serrata was second fortnight of April for the total period of 15 days. In May, June and July relatively low population of H. serrata was observed. A decreasing trend in light trap catch was observed and went on till September during the study. No single beetle of H. serrata was observed on light trap from September onwards. The cumulative plant mortality data in both the experiments revealed that all the insecticidal treatments were significantly superior in protection-wise (6.49-16.82% cumulative plant mortality) over untreated control where highest plant mortality was 17.28 to 39.65% during study. The mixture of Fipronil 40% and Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective having lowest plant mortality i.e. 9.29 and 10.94% in pre and post sown crop, followed by Clothianidin 50 WG (120 g a.i. per ha) where the plant mortality was 10.57 and 11.93% in pre and post sown treatments, respectively. Both treatments were found significantly at par among each other. Production-wise, all the insecticidal treatments were found statistically superior (15.00-24.66 q per ha grain yields) over untreated control where the grain yield was 8.25 & 9.13 q per ha. Treatment Fipronil 40% + Imidacloprid 40% WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha proved to be most effective and significantly superior over Imidacloprid 70WG applied at the rate of 300 g a.i. per ha.

Keywords: soybean, insecticide, bio efficacy, white grub, Holotrichia

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10 Understanding How Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Are Conducted through the Real Estate Sector in the Middle East and North Africa Region

Authors: Haytham Yassine

Abstract:

This research seeks to identify how money laundering activities are executed through the real estate sector. This article provides academics with literature on the topic and provides scholars, and practitioners with a better understanding of the risks and challenges involved. Data are gathered through survey in the Middle East and North Africa region and review of the available research. The results of the analysis will help identifying the factors attracting criminals to the real estate sector and develop an understanding of the methods used to launder illicit funds through this sector and the indicators of suspicion for reporting entities. Further analysis reveals the risks posed by money laundering and terrorist financing on the real estate sector and challenges facing states in this regard.

Keywords: Money Laundering, terrorism financing, Middle East and North Africa, real estate sector

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9 Experimental Investigation the Effectiveness of Using Heat Pipe on the Spacecraft Mockup Panel

Authors: M. Abdou, M. K. Khalil

Abstract:

The heat pipe is a thermal device which allows efficient transport of thermal energy. The experimental work of this research was split into two phases; phase 1 is the development of the facilities, material and test rig preparation. Phase 2 is the actual experiments and measurements of the thermal control mockup inside the modified vacuum chamber (MVC). Due to limited funds, the development on the thermal control subsystem was delayed and the experimental facilities such as suitable thermal vacuum chamber with space standard specifications were not available from the beginning of the research and had to be procured over a period of time. In all, these delays extended the project by one and a half year. Thermal control subsystem needs a special facility and equipment to be tested. The available vacuum chamber is not suitable for the thermal tests. Consequently, the modification of the chamber was a must. A vacuum chamber has been modified to be used as a Thermal Vaccum Chamber (TVC). A MVC is a vacuum chamber modified by using a stainless mirror box with perfect reflectability and the infrared lamp connected with the voltage regulator to vary the lamp intensity as it will be illustrated through the paper.

Keywords: Satellite, Thermal Control, heat pipe, thermal vacuum chamber

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8 Res2ValHUM: Creation of Resource Management Tool and Microbial Consortia Isolation and Identification

Authors: A. Ribeiro, N. Valério, C. Vilarinho, J. Araujo, J. Carvalho

Abstract:

Res2ValHUM project involves institutions from the Spanish Autonomous Region of Galicia and the north of Portugal (districts of Porto and Braga) and has as overall objectives of promotion of composting as an process for the correct managing of organic waste, valorization of compost in different fields or applications for the constitution of products with high added value, reducing of raw materials losses, and reduction of the amount of waste throw in landfills. Three main actions were designed to achieve the objectives: development of a management tool to improve collection and residue channeling for composting, sensibilization of the population for composting and characterization of the chemical and biological properties of compost and humic and fulvic substances to envisage high-value applications of compost. Here we present the cooperative activity of Galician and northern Portuguese institutions to valorize organic waste in both regions with common socio-economic characteristics and residue management problems. Results from the creation of the resource manage tool proved the existence of a large number of agricultural wastes that could be valorized. In the North of Portugal, the wastes from maize, oats, potato, apple, grape pomace, rye, and olive pomace can be highlighted. In the Autonomous Region of Galicia the wastes from maize, wheat, potato, apple, and chestnuts can be emphasized. Regarding the isolation and identification of microbial consortia from compost samples, results proved microorganisms belong mainly to the genus Bacillus spp. Among all the species identified in compost samples, Bacillus licheniformis can be highlighted in the production of humic and fulvic acids.

Keywords: Agricultural wastes, Bacillus spp, Bacillus licheniformis, humic-acids, fulvic-acids

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7 Investigation of Water Transport Dynamics in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cells Based on a Gas Diffusion Media Layers

Authors: Saad S. Alrwashdeh, Henning Markötter, Handri Ammari, Jan Haußmann, Tobias Arlt, Joachim Scholta, Ingo Manke

Abstract:

In this investigation, synchrotron X-ray imaging is used to study water transport inside polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Two measurement techniques are used, namely in-situ radiography and quasi-in-situ tomography combining together in order to reveal the relationship between the structures of the microporous layers (MPLs) and the gas diffusion layers (GDLs), the operation temperature and the water flow. The developed cell is equipped with a thick GDL and a high back pressure MPL. It is found that these modifications strongly influence the overall water transport in the whole adjacent GDM.

Keywords: Tomography, Radiography, water transport, Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, microporous layer

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6 Countercurrent Flow Simulation of Gas-Solid System in a Purge Column Using Computational Fluid Dynamics Techniques

Authors: T. J. Jamaleddine

Abstract:

Purge columns or degasser vessels are widely used in the polyolefin process for removing trapped hydrocarbons and in-excess catalyst residues from the polymer particles. A uniform distribution of purged gases coupled with a plug-flow characteristic inside the column system is desirable to obtain optimum desorption characteristics of trapped hydrocarbon and catalyst residues. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach is a promising tool for design optimization of these vessels. The success of this approach is profoundly dependent on the solution strategy and the choice of geometrical layout at the vessel outlet. Filling the column with solids and initially solving for the solids flow minimized numerical diffusion substantially. Adopting a cylindrical configuration at the vessel outlet resulted in less numerical instability and resembled the hydrodynamics flow of solids in the hopper segment reasonably well.

Keywords: CFD, degasser vessel, gas-solids flow, gas purging, purge column, species transport

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5 Comparing the Behaviour of the FRP and Steel Reinforced Shear Walls under Cyclic Seismic Loading in Aspect of the Energy Dissipation

Authors: H. Rahman, T. Donchev, D. Petkova

Abstract:

Earthquakes claim thousands of lives around the world annually due to inadequate design of lateral load resisting systems particularly shear walls. Additionally, corrosion of the steel reinforcement in concrete structures is one of the main challenges in construction industry. Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) reinforcement can be used as an alternative to traditional steel reinforcement. FRP has several excellent mechanical properties than steel such as high resistance to corrosion, high tensile strength and light self-weight; additionally, it has electromagnetic neutrality advantageous to the structures where it is important such as hospitals, some laboratories and telecommunications. This paper is about results of experimental research and it is incorporating experimental testing of two medium-scale concrete shear wall samples; one reinforced with Basalt FRP (BFRP) bar and one reinforced with steel bars as a control sample. The samples are tested under quasi-static-cyclic loading following modified ATC-24 protocol standard seismic loading. The results of both samples are compared to allow a judgement about performance of BFRP reinforced against steel reinforced concrete shear walls. The results of the conducted researches show a promising momentum toward utilisation of the BFRP as an alternative to traditional steel reinforcement with the aim of improving durability with suitable energy dissipation in the reinforced concrete shear walls.  

Keywords: Shear Walls, cyclic loading, internal FRP reinforcement, energy dissipation and seismic behaviour

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4 The Evaluation of Complete Blood Cell Count-Based Inflammatory Markers in Pediatric Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Obesity is defined as a severe chronic disease characterized by a low-grade inflammatory state. Therefore, inflammatory markers gained utmost importance during the evaluation of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MetS), a disease characterized by central obesity, elevated blood pressure, increased fasting blood glucose and elevated triglycerides or reduced high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) values. Some inflammatory markers based upon complete blood cell count (CBC) are available. In this study, it was questioned which inflammatory marker was the best to evaluate the differences between various obesity groups. 514 pediatric individuals were recruited. 132 children with MetS, 155 morbid obese (MO), 90 obese (OB), 38 overweight (OW) and 99 children with normal BMI (N-BMI) were included into the scope of this study. Obesity groups were constituted using age- and sex-dependent body mass index (BMI) percentiles tabulated by World Health Organization. MetS components were determined to be able to specify children with MetS. CBC were determined using automated hematology analyzer. HDL-C analysis was performed. Using CBC parameters and HDL-C values, ratio markers of inflammation, which cover neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), derived neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (dNLR), platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR), lymphocyte-to-monocyte ratio (LMR), monocyte-to-HDL-C ratio (MHR) were calculated. Statistical analyses were performed. The statistical significance degree was considered as p < 0.05. There was no statistically significant difference among the groups in terms of platelet count, neutrophil count, lymphocyte count, monocyte count, and NLR. PLR differed significantly between OW and N-BMI as well as MetS. Monocyte-to HDL-C value exhibited statistical significance between MetS and N-BMI, OB, and MO groups. HDL-C value differed between MetS and N-BMI, OW, OB, MO groups. MHR was the ratio, which exhibits the best performance among the other CBC-based inflammatory markers. On the other hand, when MHR was compared to HDL-C only, it was suggested that HDL-C has given much more valuable information. Therefore, this parameter still keeps its value from the diagnostic point of view. Our results suggest that MHR can be an inflammatory marker during the evaluation of pediatric MetS, but the predictive value of this parameter was not superior to HDL-C during the evaluation of obesity.

Keywords: Obesity, metabolic syndrome, Children, complete blood cell count, high density lipoprotein cholesterol

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3 The Potential Involvement of Platelet Indices in Insulin Resistance in Morbid Obese Children

Authors: Orkide Donma, Mustafa M. Donma

Abstract:

Association between insulin resistance (IR) and hematological parameters has long been a matter of interest. Within this context, body mass index (BMI), red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets were involved in this discussion. Parameters related to platelets associated with IR may be useful indicators for the identification of IR. Platelet indices such as mean platelet volume (MPV), platelet distribution width (PDW) and plateletcrit (PCT) are being questioned for their possible association with IR. The aim of this study was to investigate the association between platelet (PLT) count as well as PLT indices and the surrogate indices used to determine IR in morbid obese (MO) children. A total of 167 children participated in the study. Three groups were constituted. The number of cases was 34, 97 and 36 children in the normal BMI, MO and metabolic syndrome (MetS) groups, respectively. Sex- and age-dependent BMI-based percentile tables prepared by World Health Organization were used for the definition of morbid obesity. MetS criteria were determined. BMI values, homeostatic model assessment for IR (HOMA-IR), alanine transaminase-to-aspartate transaminase ratio (ALT/AST) and diagnostic obesity notation model assessment laboratory (DONMA-lab) index values were computed. PLT count and indices were analyzed using automated hematology analyzer. Data were collected for statistical analysis using SPSS for Windows. Arithmetic mean and standard deviation were calculated. Mean values of PLT-related parameters in both control and study groups were compared by one-way ANOVA followed by Tukey post hoc tests to determine whether a significant difference exists among the groups. The correlation analyses between PLT as well as IR indices were performed. Statistically significant difference was accepted as p-value < 0.05. Increased values were detected for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p > 0.05) in MO group compared to those observed in children with N-BMI. Significant increases for PLT (p < 0.01) and PCT (p < 0.05) were observed in MetS group in comparison with the values obtained in children with N-BMI (p < 0.01). Significantly lower MPV and PDW values were obtained in MO group compared to the control group (p < 0.01). HOMA-IR (p < 0.05), DONMA-lab index (p < 0.001) and ALT/AST (p < 0.001) values in MO and MetS groups were significantly increased compared to the N-BMI group. On the other hand, DONMA-lab index values also differed between MO and MetS groups (p < 0.001). In the MO group, PLT was negatively correlated with MPV and PDW values. These correlations were not observed in the N-BMI group. None of the IR indices exhibited a correlation with PLT and PLT indices in the N-BMI group. HOMA-IR showed significant correlations both with PLT and PCT in the MO group. All of the three IR indices were well-correlated with each other in all groups. These findings point out the missing link between IR and PLT activation. In conclusion, PLT and PCT may be related to IR in addition to their identities as hemostasis markers during morbid obesity. Our findings have suggested that DONMA-lab index appears as the best surrogate marker for IR due to its discriminative feature between morbid obesity and MetS.

Keywords: metabolic syndrome, Children, insulin resistance, plateletcrit, platelet indices

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2 Meshed Antenna for Ku-band Wireless Communication

Authors: Chokri Baccouch, Chayma Bahhar, Hedi Sakli, Nizar Sakli

Abstract:

In this article, we present the combination of an antenna patch structure with a photovoltaic cell in one device for telecommunication applications in isolated environments. The radiating patch element of a patch antenna was replaced by a solar cell. DC current generation is the original feature of the solar cell, but now it was additionally able to receive and transmit electromagnetic waves. A mathematical model which serves in the minimization of power losses of the cell and therefore the improvement in conversion performance was studied. Simulation results of this antenna show a resonance at a frequency of 16.55 GHz in Ku-band with a gain of 4.24 dBi.

Keywords: photovoltaic cell, patch antenna, Electric power collected, optical and electrical losses, optimization of the grid of collection

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1 Field Study on Thermal Performance of a Green Office in Bangkok, Thailand: A Possibility of Increasing Temperature Set-Points

Authors: T. Sikram, M. Ichinose, R. Sasaki

Abstract:

In the tropics, indoor thermal environment is usually provided by a cooling mode to maintain comfort all year. Indoor thermal environment performance is sometimes different from the standard or from the first design process because of operation, maintenance, and utilization. The field study of thermal environment in the green building is still limited in this region, while the green building continues to increase. This study aims to clarify thermal performance and subjective perception in the green building by testing the temperature set-points. A Thai green office was investigated twice in October 2018 and in May 2019. Indoor environment variables (temperature, relative humidity, and wind velocity) were collected continuously. The temperature set-point was normally set as 23 °C, and it was changed into 24 °C and 25 °C. The study found that this gap of temperature set-point produced average room temperature from 22.7 to 24.6 °C and average relative humidity from 55% to 62%. Thermal environments slight shifted out of the ASHRAE comfort zone when the set-point was increased. Based on the thermal sensation vote, the feeling-colder vote decreased by 30% and 18% when changing +1 °C and +2 °C, respectively. Predicted mean vote (PMV) shows that most of the calculated median values were negative. The values went close to the optimal neutral value (0) when the set-point was set at 25 °C. The neutral temperature was slightly decreased when changing warmer temperature set-points. Building-related symptom reports were found in this study that the number of votes reduced continuously when the temperature was warmer. The symptoms that occurred by a cooler condition had the number of votes more than ones that occurred by a warmer condition. In sum, for this green office, there is a possibility to adjust a higher temperature set-point to +1 °C (24 °C) in terms of reducing cold sensitivity, discomfort, and symptoms. All results could support the policy of changing a warmer temperature of this office to become “a better green building”.

Keywords: comfort, green office, thermal environment, temperature set-point

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