|Commenced in January 1999||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 249|
Infrastructure assets are essential in urban cities; their purpose is to facilitate the public needs. As a result, their conditions and states shall always be monitored to avoid any sudden malfunction. Sewer systems, one of the assets, are an essential part of the underground infrastructure as they transfer sewer medium to designated areas. However, their conditions are subject to deterioration due to ageing. Therefore, it is of great significance to assess the conditions of pipelines to avoid sudden collapses. Current practices of sewer pipeline assessment rely on industrial protocols that consider distinct defects and grades to conclude the limited average or peak score of the assessed assets. This research aims to enhance the evaluation by integrating the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in assessing the condition of sewer pipelines. The methodology shall study the cause and effect relationship of the systems’ defects to deduce the relative influence weights of each defect. Subsequently, the overall grade is calculated by aggregating the WHAT’s and HOW’s of the House of Quality (HOQ) using the computed relative weights. Thus, this study shall enhance the evaluation of the assets to conclude informative rehabilitation and maintenance plans for decision makers.
The paper reviews design and implementation of a Calculus Course required for the Biomedical Competency Based Program developed as a joint project between The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and the University of Texas’ Institute for Transformational Learning, from the theoretical perspective as presented in scholarly work on active learning, formative assessment, and on-line teaching. Following a four stage curriculum development process (objective, content, delivery, and assessment), and theoretical recommendations that guarantee effectiveness and efficiency of assessment in active learning, we discuss the practical recommendations on how to incorporate a strong formative assessment component to address disciplines’ needs, and students’ major needs. In design and implementation of this project, we used Constructivism and Stage-by-Stage Development of Mental Actions Theory recommendations.
ABET accredited programs must assess the development of student learning outcomes (SOs) in engineering programs. Different institutions implement different strategies for this assessment, and they are usually designed “in house.” This paper presents a proposal for including standardized tests to complement the ABET assessment model in an engineering college made up of six distinct engineering programs. The engineering college formulated a model of quality assurance in education to be implemented throughout the six engineering programs to regularly assess and evaluate the achievement of SOs in each program offered. The model uses diverse techniques and sources of data to assess student performance and to implement actions of improvement based on the results of this assessment. The model is called “Assessment Process Model” and it includes SOs A through K, as defined by ABET. SOs can be divided into two categories: “hard skills” and “professional skills” (soft skills). The first includes abilities, such as: applying knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering and designing and conducting experiments, as well as analyzing and interpreting data. The second category, “professional skills”, includes communicating effectively, and understanding professional and ethnical responsibility. Within the Assessment Process Model, various tools were used to assess SOs, related to both “hard” as well as “soft” skills. The assessment tools designed included: rubrics, surveys, questionnaires, and portfolios. In addition to these instruments, the Engineering College decided to use tools that systematically gather consistent quantitative data. For this reason, an in-house exam was designed and implemented, based on the curriculum of each program. Even though this exam was administered during various academic periods, it is not currently considered standardized. In 2017, the Engineering College included three standardized tests: one to assess mathematical and scientific reasoning and two more to assess reading and writing abilities. With these exams, the college hopes to obtain complementary information that can help better measure the development of both hard and soft skills of students in the different engineering programs. In the first semester of 2017, the three exams were given to three sample groups of students from the six different engineering programs. Students in the sample groups were either from the first, fifth, and tenth semester cohorts. At the time of submission of this paper, the engineering college has descriptive statistical data and is working with various statisticians to have a more in-depth and detailed analysis of the sample group of students’ achievement on the three exams. The overall objective of including standardized exams in the assessment model is to identify more precisely the least developed SOs in order to define and implement educational strategies necessary for students to achieve them in each engineering program.
It is widely recognised that the assets portfolio development is helping to enhance economic growth, productivity and competitiveness. While numerous studies and reports certify the positive effect of investments in large infrastructure investments on the local economy, still, the methodology to estimate the contribution in economic development is a challenging issue for researchers and economists. The key question is how to estimate those economic impacts in each economic system. This paper provides a compact and applicable methodological framework providing quantitative results in terms of the overall jobs and income generated into the project life cycle. According to a deterministic mathematical approach, the key variables and the modelling framework are presented. The numerical case study highlights key results for a new motorway project in Greece, which is experienced economic stress for many years, providing the opportunity for comparisons with similar cases.
Fifty years of research has found great potential for peer assessment as a pedagogical approach. With peer assessment, not only do students receive more copious assessments; they also learn to become assessors. In recent decades, more educational peer assessments have been facilitated by online systems. Those online systems are designed differently to suit different class settings and student groups, but they basically fall into two categories: rating-based and ranking-based. The rating-based systems ask assessors to rate the artifacts one by one following some review rubrics. The ranking-based systems allow assessors to review a set of artifacts and give a rank for each of them. Though there are different systems and a large number of users of each category, there is no comprehensive comparison on which design leads to higher reliability. In this paper, we designed algorithms to evaluate assessors' reliabilities based on their rating/ranking against the global ranks of the artifacts they have reviewed. These algorithms are suitable for data from both rating-based and ranking-based peer assessment systems. The experiments were done based on more than 15,000 peer assessments from multiple peer assessment systems. We found that the assessors in ranking-based peer assessments are at least 10% more reliable than the assessors in rating-based peer assessments. Further analysis also demonstrated that the assessors in ranking-based assessments tend to assess the more differentiable artifacts correctly, but there is no such pattern for rating-based assessors.
This paper presents an original approach to student and group activity level assessment that relies on certainty factors theory. Activity level is used to represent quantity and continuity of student’s contributions in individual and collaborative e‑learning activities (e‑tivities) and is calculated to assist teachers in assessing quantitative aspects of student's achievements. Calculated activity levels are also used to raise awareness and provide recommendations during the learning process. The proposed approach was implemented within the educational recommender system ELARS and validated using data obtained from e‑tivity realized during a blended learning course. The results showed that the proposed approach can be used to estimate activity level in the context of e-tivities realized using Web 2.0 tools as well as to facilitate the assessment of quantitative aspect of students’ participation in e‑tivities.
Recent developments in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have begun to attract intense interest. UAVs started to use for many different applications from military to civilian use. Some online retailer and logistics companies are testing the UAV delivery. UAVs have great potentials to reduce cost and time of deliveries and responding to emergencies in a short time. Despite these great positive sides, just a few works have been done for routing of UAVs for package deliveries. As known, transportation of goods from one place to another may have many hazards on delivery route due to falling hazards that can be exemplified as ground objects or air obstacles. This situation refers to wide-range insurance concept. For this reason, deliveries that are made with drones get into the scope of shipping insurance. On the other hand, air traffic was taken into account in the absence of unmanned aerial vehicle. But now, it has been a reality for aerial fields. In this study, the main goal is to conduct risk analysis of package delivery services using drone, based on delivery routes.
Construction industry, as one of the main contributor in depletion of natural resources, influences climate change. This paper discusses incremental and evolutionary development of the proposed models for optimization of a life-cycle analysis to explicit strategy for evaluation systems. The main categories are virtually irresistible for introducing uncertainties, uptake composite structure model (CSM) as environmental management systems (EMSs) in a practice science of evaluation small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The model simplified complex systems to reflect nature systems’ input, output and outcomes mode influence “framework measures” and give a maximum likelihood estimation of how elements are simulated over the composite structure. The traditional knowledge of modeling is based on physical dynamic and static patterns regarding parameters influence environment. It unified methods to demonstrate how construction systems ecology interrelated from management prospective in procedure reflects the effect of the effects of engineering systems to ecology as ultimately unified technologies in extensive range beyond constructions impact so as, - energy systems. Sustainability broadens socioeconomic parameters to practice science that meets recovery performance, engineering reflects the generic control of protective systems. When the environmental model employed properly, management decision process in governments or corporations could address policy for accomplishment strategic plans precisely. The management and engineering limitation focuses on autocatalytic control as a close cellular system to naturally balance anthropogenic insertions or aggregation structure systems to pound equilibrium as steady stable conditions. Thereby, construction systems ecology incorporates engineering and management scheme, as a midpoint stage between biotic and abiotic components to predict constructions impact. The later outcomes’ theory of environmental obligation suggests either a procedures of method or technique that is achieved in sustainability impact of construction system ecology (SICSE), as a relative mitigation measure of deviation control, ultimately.
The environmental impact related to ornamental stones (such as marbles and granites) is largely debated. Starting from the industrial revolution, continuous improvements of machineries led to a higher exploitation of this natural resource and to a more international interaction between markets. As a consequence, the environmental impact of the extraction and processing of stones has increased. Nevertheless, if compared with other building materials, ornamental stones are generally more durable, natural, and recyclable. From the scientific point of view, studies on stone life cycle sustainability have been carried out, but these are often partial or not very significant because of the high percentage of approximations and assumptions in calculations. This is due to the lack, in life cycle databases (e.g. Ecoinvent, Thinkstep, and ELCD), of datasets about the specific technologies employed in the stone production chain. For example, databases do not contain information about diamond wires, chains or explosives, materials commonly used in quarries and transformation plants. The project presented in this paper aims to populate the life cycle databases with specific data of specific stone processes. To this goal, the methodology follows the standardized approach of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), according to the requirements of UNI 14040-14044 and to the International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook guidelines of the European Commission. The study analyses the processes of the entire production chain (from-cradle-to-gate system boundaries), including the extraction of benches, the cutting of blocks into slabs/tiles and the surface finishing. Primary data have been collected in Italian quarries and transformation plants which use technologies representative of the current state-of-the-art. Since the technologies vary according to the hardness of the stone, the case studies comprehend both soft stones (marbles) and hard stones (gneiss). In particular, data about energy, materials and emissions were collected in marble basins of Carrara and in Beola and Serizzo basins located in the province of Verbano Cusio Ossola. Data were then elaborated through an appropriate software to build a life cycle model. The model was realized setting free parameters that allow an easy adaptation to specific productions. Through this model, the study aims to boost the direct participation of stone companies and encourage the use of LCA tool to assess and improve the stone sector environmental sustainability. At the same time, the realization of accurate Life Cycle Inventory data aims at making available, to researchers and stone experts, ILCD compliant datasets of the most significant processes and technologies related to the ornamental stone sector.
Cerebral palsy is primarily reflected in the disorder of the development of movement and posture, which may be accompanied by sensory disturbances, disturbances of perception, cognition and communication, behavioural disorders and epilepsy. According to current inclusive attitudes towards people with disabilities implies that full social participation of children with cerebral palsy means inclusion in all activities in family, peer, school and leisure environments in the same scope and to the same extent as is the case with the children of proper development and without physical difficulties. Due to the fact that it has been established that the quality of children's participation in primary school is directly related to their social inclusion in future life, the aim of the paper is to identify predictors of social participation, respectively, and in particular, factors that could to improve the quality of social participation of children with cerebral palsy, in the primary school environment in Czech Republic. The study includes children with cerebral palsy (n = 75) in the Czech Republic, aged between six and 12 years who attend mainstream or special primary schools to the sixth grade. The main instrument used was the first and third part of the School function assessment questionnaire. It will also take into account the type of damage assessed according to a scale the Gross motor function classification system, five–level classification system for cerebral palsy. The research results will provide detailed insight into the degree of social participation of children with cerebral palsy and the factors that would be a potential cause of their levels of participation, in regular and special primary schools, in different socioeconomic environments in Czech Republic.
The aging and deterioration of water pipelines in cities worldwide result in more frequent water main breaks, water service disruptions, and flooding damage. Therefore, there is an urgent need for undertaking proper maintenance procedures to avoid breaks and disastrous failures. However, due to budget limitations, the maintenance of water pipeline networks needs to be prioritized through efficient deterioration assessment models. Previous studies focused on the development of structural or physical deterioration assessment models, which require expensive inspection data. But, this paper aims at developing deterioration assessment models for water pipelines using statistical techniques. Several deterioration models were developed based on pipeline size, material type, and soil type using linear regression analysis. The categorical nature of some variables affecting pipeline deterioration was considered through developing several categorical models. The developed models were validated with an average validity percentage greater than 95%. Moreover, sensitivity analysis was carried out against different classifications and it displayed higher importance of age of pipes compared to other factors. The developed models will be helpful for the water municipalities and asset managers to assess the condition of their pipes and prioritize them for maintenance and inspection purposes.
With the increasing of human space activities, the number of space debris has increased dramatically, and the possibility that spacecrafts on orbit are impacted by space debris is growing. A method is of the vital significance to real-time detect and assess spacecraft damage, determine of gas leak accurately, guarantee the life safety of the astronaut effectively. In this paper, acoustic sensor array is used to detect the acoustic signal which emits from the damage of the spacecraft on orbit. Then, we apply the time difference of arrival and beam forming algorithm to locate the damage and leakage. Finally, the extent of the spacecraft damage is evaluated according to the nonlinear ultrasonic method. The result shows that this method can detect the debris impact and the structural damage, locate the damage position, and identify the damage degree effectively. This method can meet the needs of structural damage detection for the spacecraft in-orbit.
This paper aims to determine the best environmental and economic scenario for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) management of the Maku city by using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. The functional elements of this study are collection, transportation, and disposal of MSW in Maku city. Waste composition and density, as two key parameters of MSW, have been determined by field sampling, and then, the other important specifications of MSW like chemical formula, thermal energy and water content were calculated. These data beside other information related to collection and disposal facilities are used as a reliable source of data to assess the environmental impacts of different waste management options, including landfills, composting, recycling and energy recovery. The environmental impact of MSW management options has been investigated in 15 different scenarios by Integrated Waste Management (IWM) software. The photochemical smog, greenhouse gases, acid gases, toxic emissions, and energy consumption of each scenario are measured. Then, the environmental indices of each scenario are specified by weighting these parameters. Economic costs of scenarios have been also compared with each other based on literature. As final result, since the organic materials make more than 80% of the waste, compost can be a suitable method. Although the major part of the remaining 20% of waste can be recycled, due to the high cost of necessary equipment, the landfill option has been suggested. Therefore, the scenario with 80% composting and 20% landfilling is selected as superior environmental and economic scenario. This study shows that, to select a scenario with practical applications, simultaneously environmental and economic aspects of different scenarios must be considered.
The main sources of soil pollution due to petroleum contaminants are industrial processes involve crude oil. Soil polluted with crude oil is toxic for plants, animals, and humans. Human exposure to the contaminated soil occurs through different exposure pathways: Soil ingestion, diet, inhalation, and dermal contact. The present study research is focused on soil contamination with heavy metals as a consequence of soil pollution with petroleum products. Human exposure pathways considered are: Accidentally ingestion of contaminated soil and dermal contact. The purpose of the paper is to identify the human health risk (carcinogenic risk) from soil contaminated with heavy metals. The human exposure and risk were evaluated for five contaminants of concern of the eleven which were identified in soil. Two soil samples were collected from a bioremediation platform from Muntenia Region of Romania. The soil deposited on the bioremediation platform was contaminated through extraction and oil processing. For the research work, two average soil samples from two different plots were analyzed: The first one was slightly contaminated with petroleum products (Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil was 1420 mg/kgd.w.), while the second one was highly contaminated (TPH in soil was 24306 mg/kgd.w.). In order to evaluate risks posed by heavy metals due soil pollution with petroleum products, five metals known as carcinogenic were investigated: Arsenic (As), Cadmium (Cd), ChromiumVI (CrVI), Nickel (Ni), and Lead (Pb). Results of the chemical analysis performed on samples collected from the contaminated soil evidence soil contamination with heavy metals as following: As in Site 1 = 6.96 mg/kgd.w; As in Site 2 = 11.62 mg/kgd.w, Cd in Site 1 = 0.9 mg/kgd.w; Cd in Site 2 = 1 mg/kgd.w; CrVI was 0.1 mg/kgd.w for both sites; Ni in Site 1 = 37.00 mg/kgd.w; Ni in Site 2 = 42.46 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 1 = 34.67 mg/kgd.w; Pb in Site 2 = 120.44 mg/kgd.w. The concentrations for these metals exceed the normal values established in the Romanian regulation, but are smaller than the alert level for a less sensitive use of soil (industrial). Although, the concentrations do not exceed the thresholds, the next step was to assess the human health risk posed by soil contamination with these heavy metals. Results for risk were compared with the acceptable one (10-6, according to World Human Organization). As, expected, the highest risk was identified for the soil with a higher degree of contamination: Individual Risk (IR) was 1.11×10-5 compared with 8.61×10-6.
This investigation aims at analyzing and determining the relation between two very important variables in the human resource management: The organizational climate and the performance assessment. This study aims at contributing with knowledge in the search of the relation between the mentioned variables because the literature still does not provide solid evidence to this respect and the cases revised are incipient to reach conclusions enabling a typology about this relation.To this regard, a correlational and cross-sectional perspective was adopted in which quantitative and qualitative techniques were chosen with the total of the workers of the tourist service company PTS Peru. In order to measure the organizational climate, the OCQ (Organization Climate Questionnaire) from was used; it has 50 items and measures 9 dimensions of the Organizational Climate. Also, to assess performance, a questionnaire with 21 items and 6 dimensions was designed. As a means of assessment, a focus group was prepared and was applied to a worker in every area of the company. Additionally, interviews to human resources experts were conducted. The results of the investigation show a clear relation between the organizational climate and the personnel performance assessment as well as a relation between the nine dimensions of the organizational climate and the work performance in general and with some of its dimensions.
The growing cities of the developing country are characterized by rapid growth and poor infrastructure management inviting and accelerating relative environmental problems. Even though the movements of the sustainability had already been developed around the world, it is still increasing in the developing countries to plant sustainable practices. Aligned with the sustainable development actions, many sustainable assessment tools are also developed to rate and evaluate the sustainability performances through the building to community level. Among them, CASBEE is developed by Japanese organizations and is recognized as one of the international well-known assessment tools. The main purpose of the study is to find out the potential of CASBEE tool reflecting sustainability city level performances in developing countries. The research framework was designed with three major phases: Quantitative Approach, Qualitative Approach and Evaluation Reflection. The first two approaches were based on the investigation of tool’s contents and indicators by means of three sustainable dimensions and sustainability categories. To know the reality and reflection on developing country, Pathein City from Myanmar was selected and evaluated by 2012 version of CASBEE for Cities. The evaluation practices went through assigned indicators and the evaluation outcome presents the performances of Pathein city’s environmental efficiency as a very good in current conditions. The results of this study indicate that the indicators of this tool have balance coverage among three dimensions of sustainability but it has not yet counted enough for some indicators like location, infrastructure and institution which are relative to society dimension. In the developing countries’ cities, the most critical issues on development such as affordable housing and heritage preservation which are already planted in Pathein City but the tool does not account for those issues. Moreover, in some of the indicators, the benchmark and the weighting coefficient are strongly linked to the system birth region. By means of this study, it can be stated that CASBEE for Cities would be potential for delivering sustainable city level development in developing country especially in Myanmar along with further inclusion of the indicators.
In this paper, our methodology to assess sustainability of wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt is presented. The preliminary list of factors to be considered, as well as their ranking listed. The factors include, but are not limited to pollutants removal efficiency and energy consumption under the environmental dimension, construction cost, operation and maintenance costs and required land area cost under the economic dimension and public acceptance, noise and generating job opportunities for local residents. This methodology is intended to be a user-friendly screening tool to support the decision making process when investigating different wastewater treatment technologies in Egypt. Based on the research work results presented in this paper, it can be generally concluded that the categorization of some of the social and environmental aspects of sustainability is subjective and highly dependent on the local conditions and researchers’ background.
This paper will explore the influence of energy sector in Arab Republic of Egypt which has shared its responsibilities of many environmental challenges as the second largest economy in the Middle East (after Iran). Air and water pollution, desertification, inadequate disposal of solid waste and damage to coral reefs are serious problems that influence environmental management in Egypt. The intensive reliance of high population density and strong industrial growth are wearing Egypt's resources, and the rapidly-growing population has forced Egypt to breakdown agricultural land to residential and relevant use of commercial ingestion. The depletion effects of natural resources impose the government to apply innovation techniques in emission control and focus on sustainability. The cogeneration will be presented to control thermal losses and increase efficiency of energy power system.
In the present scenario of energy crises, energy conservation in the electrical machines is very important in the industries. In order to conserve energy, one needs to monitor the performance of an induction motor on-site and in-situ. The instruments available for this purpose are very meager and very expensive. This paper deals with the design and development of induction motor performance analyser on-line, on-site, and in-situ. The system measures only few electrical input parameters like input voltage, line current, power factor, frequency, powers, and motor shaft speed. These measured data are coupled to name plate details and compute the operating efficiency of induction motor. This system employs the method of computing motor losses with the help of equivalent circuit parameters. The equivalent circuit parameters of the concerned motor are estimated using the developed algorithm at any load conditions and stored in the system memory. The developed instrument is a reliable, accurate, compact, rugged, and cost-effective one. This portable instrument could be used as a handy tool to study the performance of both slip ring and cage induction motors. During the analysis, the data can be stored in SD Memory card and one can perform various analyses like load vs. efficiency, torque vs. speed characteristics, etc. With the help of the developed instrument, one can operate the motor around its Best Operating Point (BOP). Continuous monitoring of the motor efficiency could lead to Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of motors. LCA helps in taking decisions on motor replacement or retaining or refurbishment.
The demands of an ever changing and complex higher education environment, along with the profile of modern learners challenge current approaches to assessment and feedback. More learners enter the education system every year. The younger generation expects immediate feedback. At the same time, feedback should be meaningful. The assessment of practical activities in programming poses a particular problem, since both lecturers and learners in the information and computer science discipline acknowledge that paper-based assessment for programming subjects lacks meaningful real-life testing. At the same time, feedback lacks promptness, consistency, comprehensiveness and individualisation. Most of these aspects may be addressed by modern, technology-assisted assessment. The focus of this paper is the continuous development of an artefact that is used to assist the lecturer in the assessment and feedback of practical programming activities in a senior database programming class. The artefact was developed using three Design Science Research cycles. The first implementation allowed one programming activity submission per assessment intervention. This pilot provided valuable insight into the obstacles regarding the implementation of this type of assessment tool. A second implementation improved the initial version to allow multiple programming activity submissions per assessment. The focus of this version is on providing scaffold feedback to the learner – allowing improvement with each subsequent submission. It also has a built-in capability to provide the lecturer with information regarding the key problem areas of each assessment intervention.
The objective of the present study was to develop a scale called PYTHEIA. The PYTHEIA is a self-reported measure for the assessment of rehabilitation and assistive robotics and other assistive technology devices. The development of PYTHEIA faced the absence of a valid instrument that can be used to evaluate the assistive robotic devices both as a whole, as well as any of their individual components or functionalities implemented. According to the results presented, PYTHEIA is a valid and reliable scale able to be applied to different target groups for the subjective evaluation of various assistive technology devices.
To study the potential hazards of the sudden emergency relief of flare stack, the thermal radiation and noise calculation of flare stack is carried out by using Flaresim program 2.0. Thermal radiation and noise analysis should be considered as the sudden emergency relief takes place. According to the Flaresim software simulation results, the thermal radiation and noise meet the requirement.
The present paper aims at evaluating the response of three-dimensional buildings with in-plan stiffness irregularities that have been subjected to two-way excitation ground motion records simultaneously. This study is broadly-based fragility assessment with greater emphasis on structural response at in-plan flexible and stiff sides. To this end, three type of three-dimensional 5-story steel building structures with stiffness eccentricities, were subjected to extensive nonlinear incremental dynamic analyses (IDA) utilizing Ibarra-Krawinkler deterioration models. Fragility assessment was implemented for different configurations of braces to investigate the losses in buildings with center of resisting (CR) eccentricities.
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation exercises are a series of stretching techniques that are commonly used in rehabilitation and exercise therapy. Assessment of these exercises for true maneuvering requires extensive experience in this field and could not be down with patients themselves. In this paper, we developed software that uses Microsoft Kinect sensor, a spherical color marker, and real-time image processing methods to evaluate patient’s performance in generating true patterns of movements. The software also provides the patient with a visual feedback by showing his/her avatar in a Virtual Reality environment along with the correct path of moving hand, wrist and marker. Primary results during PNF exercise therapy of a patient in a room environment shows the ability of the system to identify any deviation of maneuvering path and direction of the hand from the one that has been performed by an expert physician.