Excellence in Research and Innovation for Humanity

International Science Index

Commenced in January 1999 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 259

259
10009259
Psychometric Examination of the QUEST-25: An Online Assessment of Intellectual Curiosity and Scientific Epistemology
Abstract:

The current study reports an examination of the QUEST-25 (Q-Assessment of Undergraduate Epistemology and Scientific Thinking) online version for assessing the dispositional attitudes toward scientific thinking and intellectual curiosity among undergraduate students. The QUEST-25 consists of scientific thinking (SIQ-25) and intellectual curiosity (ICIQ-25), which were correlated in hypothesized directions with the Religious Commitment Inventory, Curiosity and Exploration Inventory, Belief in Science scale, and measures of academic self-efficacy. Additionally, concurrent validity was established by the resulting significant differences between those identifying the centrality of religious belief in their lives and those who do not self-identify as being guided daily by religious beliefs. This study demonstrates the utility of the QUEST-25 for research, evaluation, and theory development.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
258
10009220
Holistic Simulation-Based Impact Analysis Framework for Sustainable Manufacturing
Abstract:

The emerging approaches to sustainable manufacturing are considered to be solution-oriented with the aim of addressing the environmental, economic and social issues holistically. However, the analysis of the interdependencies amongst the three sustainability dimensions has not been fully captured in the literature. In a recent review of approaches to sustainable manufacturing, two categories of techniques are identified: 1) Sustainable Product Development (SPD), and 2) Sustainability Performance Assessment (SPA) techniques. The challenges of the approaches are not only related to the arguments and misconceptions of the relationships between the techniques and sustainable development but also to the inability to capture and integrate the three sustainability dimensions. This requires a clear definition of some of the approaches and a road-map to the development of a holistic approach that supports sustainability decision-making. In this context, eco-innovation, social impact assessment, and life cycle sustainability analysis play an important role. This paper deployed an integrative approach that enabled amalgamation of sustainable manufacturing approaches and the theories of reciprocity and motivation into a holistic simulation-based impact analysis framework. The findings in this research have the potential to guide sustainability analysts to capture the aspects of the three sustainability dimensions into an analytical model. Additionally, the research findings presented can aid the construction of a holistic simulation model of a sustainable manufacturing and support effective decision-making.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
257
10009035
Valorization of Residues from Forest Industry for the Generation of Energy
Abstract:

The use of biomass to produce renewable energy is one of the forms that can be used to reduce the impact of energy production. Like any other energy resource, there are limitations for biomass use, and it must compete not only with fossil fuels but also with other renewable energy sources such as solar or wind energy. Combustion is currently the most efficient and widely used waste-to-energy process, in the areas where direct use of biomass is possible, without the need to make large transfers of raw material. Many industrial facilities can use agricultural or forestry waste, straw, chips, bagasse, etc. in their thermal systems without making major transformations or adjustments in the feeding to the ovens, making this waste an attractive and cost-effective option in terms of availability, access, and costs. In spite of the facilities and benefits, the environmental reasons (emission of gases and particulate material) are decisive for its use for energy purpose. This paper describes a valorization of residues from forest industry to generate energy, using a case study.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
256
10008989
Using the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and Mini Mental State Examination-2 in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Case Studies
Abstract:

From a psychological perspective, psychopathology is the area of clinical psychology that has at its core psychological assessment and psychotherapy. In day-to-day clinical practice, psychodiagnosis and psychotherapy are used independently, according to their intended purpose and their specific methods of application. The paper explores how the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) and Mini Mental State Examination-2 (MMSE-2) psychological tools contribute to enhancing the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT). This combined approach, psychotherapy in conjunction with assessment of personality and cognitive functions, is illustrated by two cases, a severe depressive episode with psychotic symptoms and a mixed anxiety-depressive disorder. The order in which CBT, MMPI-2, and MMSE-2 were used in the diagnostic and therapeutic process was determined by the particularities of each case. In the first case, the sequence started with psychotherapy, followed by the administration of blue form MMSE-2, MMPI-2, and red form MMSE-2. In the second case, the cognitive screening with blue form MMSE-2 led to a personality assessment using MMPI-2, followed by red form MMSE-2; reapplication of the MMPI-2 due to the invalidation of the first profile, and finally, psychotherapy. The MMPI-2 protocols gathered useful information that directed the steps of therapeutic intervention: a detailed symptom picture of potentially self-destructive thoughts and behaviors otherwise undetected during the interview. The memory loss and poor concentration were confirmed by MMSE-2 cognitive screening. This combined approach, psychotherapy with psychological assessment, aligns with the trend of adaptation of the psychological services to the everyday life of contemporary man and paves the way for deepening and developing the field.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
255
10009184
Study on Practice of Improving Water Quality in Urban Rivers by Diverting Clean Water
Abstract:

With rapid development of industrialization and urbanization, water environmental deterioration is widespread in majority of urban rivers, which seriously affects city image and life satisfaction of residents. As an emergency measure to improve water quality, clean water diversion is introduced for water environmental management. Lubao River and Southwest River, two urban rivers in typical plain tidal river network, are identified as technically and economically feasible for the application of clean water diversion. One-dimensional hydrodynamic-water quality model is developed to simulate temporal and spatial variations of water level and water quality, with satisfactory accuracy. The mathematical model after calibration is applied to investigate hydrodynamic and water quality variations in rivers as well as determine the optimum operation scheme of water diversion. Assessment system is developed for evaluation of positive and negative effects of water diversion, demonstrating the effectiveness of clean water diversion and the necessity of pollution reduction.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
254
10008662
Quality Function Deployment Application in Sewer Pipeline Assessment
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
253
10008920
Human Factors as the Main Reason of the Accident in Scaffold Use Assessment
Abstract:

Main goal of the research project is Scaffold Use Risk Assessment Model (SURAM) formulation, developed for the assessment of risk levels as a various construction process stages with various work trades. Finally, in 2016, the project received financing by the National Center for Research and development according to PBS3/A2/19/2015–Research Grant. The presented data, calculations and analyzes discussed in this paper were created as a result of the completion on the first and second phase of the PBS3/A2/19/2015 project. Method: One of the arms of the research project is the assessment of worker visual concentration on the sight zones as well as risky visual point inadequate observation. In this part of research, the mobile eye-tracker was used to monitor the worker observation zones. SMI Eye Tracking Glasses is a tool, which allows us to analyze in real time and place where our eyesight is concentrated on and consequently build the map of worker's eyesight concentration during a shift. While the project is still running, currently 64 construction sites have been examined, and more than 600 workers took part in the experiment including monitoring of typical parameters of the work regimen, workload, microclimate, sound vibration, etc. Full equipment can also be useful in more advanced analyses. Because of that technology we have verified not only main focus of workers eyes during work on or next to scaffolding, but we have also examined which changes in the surrounding environment during their shift influenced their concentration. In the result of this study it has been proven that only up to 45.75% of the shift time, workers’ eye concentration was on one of three work-related areas. Workers seem to be distracted by noisy vehicles or people nearby. In opposite to our initial assumptions and other authors’ findings, we observed that the reflective parts of the scaffoldings were not more recognized by workers in their direct workplaces. We have noticed that the red curbs were the only well recognized part on a very few scaffoldings. Surprisingly on numbers of samples, we have not recognized any significant number of concentrations on those curbs. Conclusion: We have found the eye-tracking method useful for the construction of the SURAM model in the risk perception and worker’s behavior sub-modules. We also have found that the initial worker's stress and work visual conditions seem to be more predictive for assessment of the risky developing situation or an accident than other parameters relating to a work environment.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
252
10008980
Comprehensive Risk Assessment Model in Agile Construction Environment
Abstract:

The article focuses on a developed comprehensive model to be used in an agile environment for the risk assessment and selection based on multi-attribute methods. The model is based on a multi-attribute evaluation of risk in construction, and the determination of their optimality criterion values are calculated using complex Multiple Criteria Decision-Making methods. The model may be further applied to risk assessment in an agile construction environment. The attributes of risk in a construction project are selected by applying the risk assessment condition to the construction sector, and the construction process efficiency in the construction industry accounts for the agile environment. The paper presents the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment. It provides a background and a description of the proposed model and the developed analysis of the comprehensive risk assessment model in an agile construction environment with the criteria.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
251
10008590
Development of Active Learning Calculus Course for Biomedical Program
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
250
10008728
Complementing Assessment Processes with Standardized Tests: A Work in Progress
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
249
10008771
Assessment of Physicochemical Characteristics and Heavy Metals Concentration in Freshwater from Jega River, Kebbi State, Nigeria
Abstract:

This study was conducted to determine the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentration (Cadmium (Cd), Copper (Cu), Iron (Fe), Lead (Pb) and Zinc (Zn)) in freshwater from Jega river. 30 water samples were collected in two 1-liter sterile plastic containers from three designated sampling points, namely; Station A (before the bridge; upstream), Station B (at the bridge where human activities such as washing of cars, motorbike, clothes, bathing and other household materials are concentrated), Station C (after the bridge; downstream) fortnightly, between March and July 2014. Results indicated that the highest pH mean value of 7.08 ± 1.12 was observed in station C, the highest conductivity with the mean 58.75 ± 7.87 µs/cm was observed at station A, the highest mean value of the water total hardness was observed at station A (54 ± 16.11 mg/L), the highest mean value of nitrate deposit was observed in station A (1.66 ± 1.33 mg/L), the highest mean value of alkalinity was observed at station B (51.33 ± 6.66 mg/L) and the highest mean (39.56 ± 3.24 mg/L) of total dissolved solids was observed at station A. The highest concentration mean value of Fe was observed in station C (65.33 ± 4.50 mg/L), the highest concentrations of Cd was observed in station C (0.99 ± 0.36 mg/L), the mean value of 2.13 ± 1.99 mg/L was the highest concentration of Zn observed in station B, the concentration of Pb was not detected (ND) and the highest concentration of Cu with the mean value of 0.43 ± 0.16 mg/L was observed in station B, while the lowest concentration was observed at station C (0.27 ± 0.26 mg/L). Statistical analysis shows no significant difference (P > 0.05) among the sampling stations for both the physicochemical characteristics and heavy metal concentrations. The results were found to be within the internationally acceptable standard limits.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
248
10008936
Fragility Analysis of Weir Structure Subjected to Flooding Water Damage
Abstract:

In this study, seepage analysis was performed by the level difference between upstream and downstream of weir structure for safety evaluation of weir structure against flooding. Monte Carlo Simulation method was employed by considering the probability distribution of the adjacent ground parameter, i.e., permeability coefficient of weir structure. Moreover, by using a commercially available finite element program (ABAQUS), modeling of the weir structure is carried out. Based on this model, the characteristic of water seepage during flooding was determined at each water level with consideration of the uncertainty of their corresponding permeability coefficient. Subsequently, fragility function could be constructed based on this response from numerical analysis; this fragility function results could be used to determine the weakness of weir structure subjected to flooding disaster. They can also be used as a reference data that can comprehensively predict the probability of failur,e and the degree of damage of a weir structure.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
247
10008993
Evaluation of Food Safety Management Systems of Food Service Establishments within the Greater Accra Region
Abstract:

Food contaminated with biological, chemical and physical hazards usually leads to foodborne illnesses which in turn increase the disease burden of developing and developed economies. Restaurants play a key role in the food service industry and violations in application of standardized food safety management systems in these establishments have been associated with foodborne disease outbreaks. This study was undertaken to assess the level of compliance to the Code of practice that was developed and implemented after conducting needs assessment of the food safety management systems employed by the Food Service Establishments in Ghana. Data on pre-licence inspections were reviewed to assess the compliance of the Food Service Establishments. During the period under review (2012-2016), 74.52% of the food service facilities in the hospitality industry were in compliance with the FDA’s code of practice. Main violations observed during the study bordered on facility layout and fabrication (61.8%) and this is because these facilities may not have been built for use as a food service establishment. Another fact that came to the fore was that the redesigning of the facilities to bring them into compliance required capital intensive investments, which some establishments are not prepared for. Other challenges faced by the industry regarded issues on records and documentations, personnel facilities and hygiene, raw materials acquisition, storage and control, and cold storage.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
246
10008458
Deterministic Modelling to Estimate Economic Impact from Implementation and Management of Large Infrastructure
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
245
10008019
An Exploratory Study of Reliability of Ranking vs. Rating in Peer Assessment
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
244
10008027
Student and Group Activity Level Assessment in the ELARS Recommender System
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
243
10008420
Risk Assessment for Aerial Package Delivery
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
242
10008616
Sustainability Impact Assessment of Construction Ecology to Engineering Systems and Climate Change
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
241
10007336
Life Cycle Datasets for the Ornamental Stone Sector
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
240
10007485
Predictors of Social Participation of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Primary Schools in Czech Republic
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
239
10008109
Deterioration Assessment Models for Water Pipelines
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
238
10007128
A Study of Structural Damage Detection for Spacecraft In-Orbit Based on Acoustic Sensor Array
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
237
10007779
Municipal Solid Waste Management Using Life Cycle Assessment Approach: Case Study of Maku City, Iran
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
236
10007768
Human Health Risk Assessment from Metals Present in a Soil Contaminated by Crude Oil
Abstract:

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. 

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
235
10006680
Relation between Organizational Climate and Personnel Performance Assessment in a Tourist Service Company
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
234
10007420
The Potential of ‘Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency for Cities’ in Developing Country: Evidence of Myanmar
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
233
10006550
Adverse Drug Reactions Monitoring in the Northern Region of Zambia
Abstract:
The Copperbelt University Health Services (CBUHS) was designated by the Zambia Medicines Regulatory Authority (ZAMRA), formally the Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (PRA) as a regional pharmacovigilance centre to carryout activities of drug safety monitoring in four provinces in Zambia. CBUHS’s mandate included stimulating the reporting of adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as well as collecting and collating ADR reports from health institutions in the four provinces. This report covers the researchers’ experiences from May 2008 to September, 2016. The main objectives are 1) to monitor ADRs in the Zambian population, 2) to disseminate information to all health professionals in the region advising that the CBU health was a centre for reporting ADRs in the region, 3) to monitor polypharmacy as well as the benefit-risk profile of medicines, 4) to generate independent, evidence based recommendations on the safety of medicines, 5) to support ZAMRA in formulating safety related regulatory decisions for medicines, and 6) to communicate findings with all key stakeholders. The methodology involved monthly visits, beginning in early May 2008 to September, 2016, by the CBUHS to health institutions in the programme areas. Activities included holding discussions with health workers, distribution of ADR forms and collection of ADRs reports. These reports, once collected, were documented and assessed at the CBUHS. A report was then prepared for ZAMRA on quarterly basis. At ZAMRA, serious ADRs were noted and recommendations made to the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Zambia. The results show that 2,600 ADRs reports were received at the pharmacovigilance regional centre. Most of the ADRs reports that received were due to antiretroviral drugs, as well as a few from anti-malarial drugs like Artemether/Lumefantrine – Coartem®. Three hundred and twelve ADRs were entered in the Uppsala Monitoring Centre WHO Vigiflow for further analysis. It was concluded that in general, 2008-16 were exciting years for the pharmacovigilance group at CBUHS. From a very tentative beginning, a lot of strides were made and contacts established with healthcare facilities in the region. The researchers were encouraged by the support received from the Copperbelt University management, the motivation provided by ZAMRA and most importantly the enthusiasm of health workers in all the health care facilities visited. As a centre for drug safety in Zambia, the results show it achieves its objectives for monitoring ADRs, Pharmacovigilance (drug safety monitoring), and activities of monitoring ADRs as well as preventing them. However, the centre faces critical challenges caused by erratic funding that prevents the smooth running of the programme.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
232
10006347
Sustainability Assessment of Municipal Wastewater Treatment
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
231
10006146
Impact of Egypt’s Energy Demand on Oil and Gas Power Systems Environment
Abstract:

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.

Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
230
10006223
An Analysis of Institutional Audits: Basis for Teaching, Learning and Assessment Framework and Principles
Abstract:
The dynamism in education, particularly in the area of teaching, learning and assessment has caused Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) worldwide to seek for ways to continuously improve their educational processes. HEIs use outcomes of institutional audits, assessments and accreditations, for improvement. In this study, the published institutional audit reports of HEIs in the Sultanate of Oman were analyzed to produce features of good practice; identify challenges along Teaching, Learning Assessment (TLA); and propose a framework that puts major emphasis in having a quality-assured TLA, including a set of principles that can be used as basis in succeeding an institutional visit. The TLA framework, which shows the TLA components, characteristics of the components, related expectation, including implementation tool/ strategy and pitfalls can be used by HEIs to have an adequate understanding of the scope of audit and be able to satisfy institutional audit requirements. The scope of this study can be widened by exploring the other requirements of the Institutional Audits in the Sultanate of Oman, particularly the area on Governance and Management and Student Support Services.
Digital Article Identifier (DAI):
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