Open Science Research Excellence

Fernandes

Publications

19

Publications

19
180
Geochemical Assessment of Metal Concentrations in Mangrove Sediments along Mumbai Coast, India
Abstract:
Two short sediment cores collected from mangrove areas of Manori and Thane creeks along Mumbai coast were analysed for sediment composition and metals (Fe, Mn, Cu, Pb, Co, Ni, Zn, Cr and V). The statistical analysis of Pearson correlation matrix proved that there is a significant relationship between metal concentration and finer grain size in Manori creek while poor correlation was observed in Thane creek. Based on the enrichment factor, the present metal to background metal ratios clearly reflected maximum enrichment of Cu and Pb in Manori creek and Mn in Thane creek. Geoaccumulation index calculated indicate that the study area is unpolluted with respect to Fe, Mn, Co, Ni, Zn and Cr in both the cores while moderately polluted with Cu and Pb in Manori creek. Based on contamination degree, both the core sediments were found to be considerably contaminated with metals.
Keywords:
Creek, Igeo, Mumbai, trace metals
18
293
Analysis of the Coupled Stretching Bending Problem of Stiffened Plates by a BEM Formulation Based on Reissner's Hypothesis
Abstract:

In this work, the plate bending formulation of the boundary element method - BEM, based on the Reissner?s hypothesis, is extended to the analysis of plates reinforced by beams taking into account the membrane effects. The formulation is derived by assuming a zoned body where each sub-region defines a beam or a slab and all of them are represented by a chosen reference surface. Equilibrium and compatibility conditions are automatically imposed by the integral equations, which treat this composed structure as a single body. In order to reduce the number of degrees of freedom, the problem values defined on the interfaces are written in terms of their values on the beam axis. Initially are derived separated equations for the bending and stretching problems, but in the final system of equations the two problems are coupled and can not be treated separately. Finally are presented some numerical examples whose analytical results are known to show the accuracy of the proposed model.

Keywords:
Boundary elements, Building floor structures, Platebending.
17
2462
Evaluation of Stiffness and Damping Coefficients of Multiple Axial Groove Water Lubricated Bearing Using Computational Fluid Dynamics
Abstract:

This research details a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach to model fluid flow in a journal bearing with 8 equispaced semi-circular axial grooves. Water is used as the lubricant and is fed from one end of the bearing to the other, under pressure. The geometry of the bearing is modeled using a commercially available modeling software GAMBIT and the flow analysis is performed using a dedicated CFD analysis software FLUENT. The pressure distribution in the bearing clearance is obtained from FLUENT for various whirl ratios and is used to calculate the hydrodynamic force components in the radial and tangential direction of the bearing. These values along with the various whirl speeds can be used to do a regression analysis to determine the stiffness and damping coefficients. The values obtained are then compared with the stiffness and damping coefficients of a 3 Axial groove water lubricated journal bearing and those obtained from a FORTRAN code for a similar bearing.

Keywords:
CFD, multiple axial groove, Water lubricated, Stiffness and Damping Coefficients.
16
4411
GeNS: a Biological Data Integration Platform
Abstract:
The scientific achievements coming from molecular biology depend greatly on the capability of computational applications to analyze the laboratorial results. A comprehensive analysis of an experiment requires typically the simultaneous study of the obtained dataset with data that is available in several distinct public databases. Nevertheless, developing a centralized access to these distributed databases rises up a set of challenges such as: what is the best integration strategy, how to solve nomenclature clashes, how to solve database overlapping data and how to deal with huge datasets. In this paper we present GeNS, a system that uses a simple and yet innovative approach to address several biological data integration issues. Compared with existing systems, the main advantages of GeNS are related to its maintenance simplicity and to its coverage and scalability, in terms of number of supported databases and data types. To support our claims we present the current use of GeNS in two concrete applications. GeNS currently contains more than 140 million of biological relations and it can be publicly downloaded or remotely access through SOAP web services.
Keywords:
Data integration, biological databases
15
8399
CSR of top Portuguese Companies: Relation between Social Performance and Economic Performance
Abstract:
Modern times call organizations to have an active role in the social arena, through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The objective of this research was to test the hypothesis that there is a positive relation between social performance and economic performance, and if there is a positive correlation between social performance and financial-economic performance. To test these theories a measure of social performance, based on the Green Book of Commission of the European Community, was used in a group of nineteen Portuguese top companies, listed on the PSI 20 index, through a period of five years, since 2005 to 2009. A clusters analysis was applied to group companies by their social performance and to compare and correlate their economic performance. Results indicate that companies that had a better social performance are not the ones who had a better economic performance, and suggest that the middle path might provide a good relation CSR-Economic performance, as a basis to a sustainable development.
Keywords:
Corporate Social Responsibility, Economic Performance, Win-Win relationship
14
8681
BEM Formulations Based on Kirchhoffs Hypoyhesis to Perform Linear Bending Analysis of Plates Reinforced by Beams
Abstract:

In this work, are discussed two formulations of the boundary element method - BEM to perform linear bending analysis of plates reinforced by beams. Both formulations are based on the Kirchhoff's hypothesis and they are obtained from the reciprocity theorem applied to zoned plates, where each sub-region defines a beam or a slab. In the first model the problem values are defined along the interfaces and the external boundary. Then, in order to reduce the number of degrees of freedom kinematics hypothesis are assumed along the beam cross section, leading to a second formulation where the collocation points are defined along the beam skeleton, instead of being placed on interfaces. On these formulations no approximation of the generalized forces along the interface is required. Moreover, compatibility and equilibrium conditions along the interface are automatically imposed by the integral equation. Thus, these formulations require less approximation and the total number of the degree s of freedom is reduced. In the numerical examples are discussed the differences between these two BEM formulations, comparing as well the results to a well-known finite element code.

Keywords:
Boundary elements, Building floor structures, Platebending.
13
9503
Comparison of Artificial Neural Network Architectures in the Task of Tourism Time Series Forecast
Abstract:
The authors have been developing several models based on artificial neural networks, linear regression models, Box- Jenkins methodology and ARIMA models to predict the time series of tourism. The time series consist in the “Monthly Number of Guest Nights in the Hotels" of one region. Several comparisons between the different type models have been experimented as well as the features used at the entrance of the models. The Artificial Neural Network (ANN) models have always had their performance at the top of the best models. Usually the feed-forward architecture was used due to their huge application and results. In this paper the author made a comparison between different architectures of the ANNs using simply the same input. Therefore, the traditional feed-forward architecture, the cascade forwards, a recurrent Elman architecture and a radial based architecture were discussed and compared based on the task of predicting the mentioned time series.
Keywords:
Artificial Neural Network Architectures, time series forecast, tourism.
12
10984
Development and Evaluation of a Dynamic Cardiac Phantom for use in Nuclear Medicine
Abstract:

The aim of this study was to develop a dynamic cardiac phantom for quality control in myocardial scintigraphy. The dynamic heart phantom constructed only contained the left ventricle, made of elastic material (latex), comprising two cavities: one internal and one external. The data showed a non-significant variation in the values of left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) obtained by varying the heart rate. It was also possible to evaluate the ejection fraction (LVEF) through different arrays of image acquisition and to perform an intercomparison of LVEF by two different scintillation cameras. The results of the quality control tests were satisfactory, showing that they can be used as parameters in future assessments. The new dynamic heart phantom was demonstrated to be effective for use in LVEF measurements. Therefore, the new heart simulator is useful for the quality control of scintigraphic cameras.

Keywords:
sheart, nuclear medicine, phantom
11
15226
Empirical Study on the Student Satisfaction in Higher Education: Importance-Satisfaction Analysis
Abstract:

The future of Higher Education Institutions (HEI) depend on their ability to attract and retain students, increase recognition and prestige. In order to respond to the 'customers' increasingly demanding, HEI need to identify the key factors that influence the satisfaction of a 'customers', thereby creating competitive advantages. These determinants of satisfaction are important elements that guide the strategy of an institution and allow the successful achievement of strategic plans, both teaching and administrative, to offer their ‘costumers’ services and products with higher quality. Following this way of thinking, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the satisfaction with the service quality of the School of Technology and Management of Bragança (ESTiG), of the Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, identifying, thus, the dimensions related to the quality of services that might influence students' satisfaction. The results showed that, in general, the students are satisfied with the performance of ESTiG.

Keywords:
Customer Satisfaction, Higher Education Institutions, Importance-Satisfaction Model.
10
15475
Recent Advances on Computational Proteomics
Abstract:

In this work we report the recent progresses that have been achieved by our group in the last half decade on the field of computational proteomics. Specifically, we discuss the application of Molecular Dynamics Simulations and Electronic Structure Calculations in drug design, in the clarification of the structural and dynamic properties of proteins and enzymes and in the understanding of the catalytic and inhibition mechanism of cancer-related enzymes. A set of examples illustrate the concepts and help to introduce the reader into this important and fast moving field.

Keywords:
Enzyme, Molecular Dynamics, Protein, Quantum Mechanics.
9
10004898
Concentrations and History of Heavy Metals in Sediment Cores: Geochemistry and Geochronology Using 210Pb
Abstract:

This paper aims at assessing the concentrations of heavy metals and the isotopic composition of lead 210Pb in different fractions of sediment produced in the watershed that makes up the Mãe d'água dam and thus characterizing the distribution of metals along the sedimentary column and inferencing in the urbanization of the same process. Sample collection was carried out in June 2014; eight sediment cores were sampled in the lake of the dam. For extraction of the sediments core, a core sampler “Piston Core” was used. The trace metal concentrations were determined by conventional atomic absorption spectrophotometric methods. The samples were subjected to radiochemical analysis of 210Po. 210Pb activity was obtained by measuring 210Po activity. The chronology was calculated using the constant rate of supply (CRS). 210Pb is used to estimate the sedimentation rate.

Keywords:
210Pb dating method, heavy metal, lakes urban, pollution history.
8
10006624
Nanocharacterization of PIII Treated 7075 Aluminum Alloy
Abstract:

Nitrogen implantation in aluminum and its alloys is acquainted for the difficulties in obtaining modified layers deeper than 200 nm. The present work addresses a new method to overcome such a problem; although, the coating with nitrogen and oxygen obtained by plasma immersion ion implantation (PIII) into a 7075 aluminum alloy surface was too shallow. This alloy is commonly used for structural parts in aerospace applications. Such a layer was characterized by secondary ion mass spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and nanoindentation experiments reciprocating wear tests. From the results, one can assume that the wear of this aluminum alloy starts presenting severe abrasive wear followed by an additional adhesive mechanism. PIII produced a slight difference, as shown in all characterizations carried out in this work. The results shown here can be used as the scientific basis for further nitrogen PIII experiments in aluminum alloys which have the goal to produce thicker modified layers or to improve their surface properties.

Keywords:
Aluminum alloys, plasma immersion ion implantation, tribological properties, hardness, nanofatigue.
7
10007229
Tactical Urbanism and Sustainability: Tactical Experiences in the Promotion of Active Transportation
Abstract:

The overvaluation of the use of automobile has detrimentally affected the importance of pedestrians within the city and consequently its public spaces. As a way of treating contemporary urban paradigms, Tactical Urbanism aims to recover and activate spaces through fast and easily-applied actions that demonstrate the possibility of large-scale and long-term changes in cities. Tactical interventions have represented an important practice of redefining public spaces and urban mobility. The concept of Active Transportation coheres with the idea of sustainable urban mobility, characterizing the means of transportation through human propulsion, such as walking and cycling. This paper aims to debate the potential of Tactical Urbanism in promoting Active Transportation by revealing opportunities of transformation in the urban space of contemporary cities through initiatives that promote the protection and valorization of the presence of pedestrians and cyclists in cities, and that subvert the importance of motorized vehicles. In this paper, we present the character of these actions in two different ways: when they are used as tests for permanent interventions and when they have pre-defined start and end periods. Using recent initiatives to illustrate, we aim to discuss the role of small-scale actions in promoting and incentivizing a more active, healthy, sustainable and responsive urban way of life, presenting how some of them have developed through public policies. For that, we will present some examples of tactical actions that illustrate the encouragement of Active Transportation and trials to balance the urban opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists. These include temporary closure of streets, the creation of new alternatives and more comfortable areas for walking and cycling, and the subversion of uses in public spaces where the usage of cars are predominant.

Keywords:
Tactical urbanism, active transportation, sustainable mobility, non-motorized means.
6
10008016
Experimental Investigation of Hydrogen Addition in the Intake Air of Compressed Engines Running on Biodiesel Blend
Abstract:
This study investigates experimentally the effects of hydrogen addition in the intake manifold of a diesel generator operating with a 7% biodiesel-diesel oil blend (B7). An experimental apparatus setup was used to conduct performance and emissions tests in a single cylinder, air cooled diesel engine. This setup consisted of a generator set connected to a wirewound resistor load bank that was used to vary engine load. In addition, a flowmeter was used to determine hydrogen volumetric flowrate and a digital anemometer coupled with an air box to measure air flowrate. Furthermore, a digital precision electronic scale was used to measure engine fuel consumption and a gas analyzer was used to determine exhaust gas composition and exhaust gas temperature. A thermopar was installed near the exhaust collection to measure cylinder temperature. In-cylinder pressure was measured using an AVL Indumicro data acquisition system with a piezoelectric pressure sensor. An AVL optical encoder was installed in the crankshaft and synchronized with in-cylinder pressure in real time. The experimental procedure consisted of injecting hydrogen into the engine intake manifold at different mass concentrations of 2,6,8 and 10% of total fuel mass (B7 + hydrogen), which represented energy fractions of 5,15, 20 and 24% of total fuel energy respectively. Due to hydrogen addition, the total amount of fuel energy introduced increased and the generators fuel injection governor prevented any increases of engine speed. Several conclusions can be stated from the test results. A reduction in specific fuel consumption as a function of hydrogen concentration increase was noted. Likewise, carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and unburned hydrocarbons (HC) decreased as hydrogen concentration increased. On the other hand, nitrogen oxides emissions (NOx) increased due to average temperatures inside the cylinder being higher. There was also an increase in peak cylinder pressure and heat release rate inside the cylinder, since the fuel ignition delay was smaller due to hydrogen content increase. All this indicates that hydrogen promotes faster combustion and higher heat release rates and can be an important additive to all kind of fuels used in diesel generators.
Keywords:
Diesel engine, hydrogen, dual fuel, combustion analysis, performance, emissions.
5
10008649
Choosing Local Organic Food: Consumer Motivations and Ethical Spaces
Abstract:

In recent years, the organic sector has increased significantly. However, with the ‘conventionalization’ of these products, it has been questioned whether these products have been losing their original vision. Accordingly, this research based on 31 phenomenological interviews with committed organic consumers in urban and rural areas of Portugal, aims to analyse how ethical motivations and ecological awareness are related to organic food consumption. The content thematic analysis highlights aspects related to society and environmental concerns. On an individual level, the importance of internal coherence, peace of mind and balance that these consumers find in the consumption of local organic products was stressed. For these consumers, local organic products consumption made for significant changes in their lives, aiding in the establishment of a green identity, and involves a certain philosophy of life. This vision of an organic lifestyle is grounded in a political and ecological perspective, beyond the usual organic definition, as a ‘post-organic era’. The paper contributes to better understand how an ideological environmental discourse allows highlighting the relationship between consumers’ environmental concerns and the politics of food, resulting in a possible transition to new sustainable consumption practices.

Keywords:
Organic consumption, localism, content thematic analysis, pro-environmental discourse, political consumption, Portugal.
4
10009405
Biodegradability Evaluation of Polylactic Acid Composite with Natural Fiber (Sisal)
Abstract:

Due to increasing environmental pressure for biodegradable products, especially in polymeric materials, in order to meet the demands of the biological cycles of the circular economy, new materials have been developed as a sustainability strategy. This study proposes a composite material developed from the biodegradable polymer PLA Ecovio® (polylactic acid - PLA) with natural sisal fibers, where the soybean ester was used as a plasticizer, which can aid in adhesion between the materials and fibers, making the most attractive final composite from an environmental point of view. The composites were obtained by extrusion. The materials tests were produced and submitted to biodegradation tests. Through the biodegradation tests, it can be seen that the biodegradable polymer composition with 5% sisal fiber presented about 12.4% more biodegradability compared to the polymer without fiber addition. It has also been found that the plasticizer was not a compatible with fibers and the polymer. Finally, fibers help to anticipate the decomposition process of the material when subjected to conditions of a landfill. Therefore, its intrinsic properties are not affected during its use, only the biodegradation process begins after its exposure to landfill conditions.

Keywords:
Biocomposites, sisal, polylactic acid, PLA.
3
10009725
Economic Growth Relations to Domestic and International Air Passenger Transport in Brazil
Abstract:

This study examined cointegration and causal relationships between economic growth and regular domestic and international passenger air transport in Brazil. Total passengers embarked and disembarked were used as a proxy for air transport activity and gross domestic product (GDP) as a proxy for economic development. The test spanned the period from 2000 to 2015 for domestic passenger traffic and from 1995 to 2015 for international traffic. The results confirm the hypothesis that there is cointegration between passenger traffic series and economic development, showing a bi-directional Granger causal relationship between domestic traffic and economic development and unidirectional influence by economic growth on international passenger air transport demand. Variance decomposition of the series showed that domestic air transport was far more important than international transport to promoting economic development in Brazil.

Keywords:
Air passenger transport, cointegration, economic growth, GDP, granger causality.
2
10010126
Human Resource Management Practices, Person-Environment Fit and Financial Performance in Brazilian Publicly Traded Companies
Abstract:

The relation between Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and organizational performance remains the subject of substantial literature. Though many studies demonstrated positive relationship, still major influencing variables are not yet clear. This study considers the Person-Environment Fit (PE Fit) and its components, Person-Supervisor (PS), Person-Group (PG), Person-Organization (PO) and Person-Job (PJ) Fit, as possible explanatory variables. We analyzed PE Fit as a moderator between HRM practices and financial performance in the “best companies to work” in Brazil. Data from HRM practices were classified through the High Performance Working Systems (HPWS) construct and data on PE-Fit were obtained through surveys among employees. Financial data, consisting of return on invested capital (ROIC) and price earnings ratio (PER) were collected for publicly traded best companies to work. Findings show that PO Fit and PJ Fit play a significant moderator role for PER but not for ROIC.

Keywords:
Financial performance, human resource management, high performance working systems, person-environment fit.
1
10010128
Person-Environment Fit (PE Fit): Evidence from Brazil
Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to investigate if there are positive and significant correlations between the dimensions of Person-Environment Fit (Person-Job, Person-Organization, Person-Group and Person-Supervisor) at the “Best Companies to Work for” in Brazil in 2017. For that, a quantitative approach was used with a descriptive method being defined as a research sample the "150 Best Companies to Work for", according to data base collected in 2017 and provided by Fundação Instituto of Administração (FIA) of the University of São Paulo (USP). About the data analysis procedures, asymmetry and kurtosis, factorial analysis, Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin (KMO) tests, Bartlett sphericity and Cronbach's alpha were used for the 69 research variables, and as a statistical technique for the purpose of analyzing the hypothesis, Pearson's correlation analysis was performed. As a main result, we highlight that there was a positive and significant correlation between the dimensions of Person-Environment Fit, corroborating the H1 hypothesis that there is a positive and significant correlation between Person-Job Fit, Person-Organization Fit, Person-Group Fit and Person-Supervisor Fit.

Keywords:
Human resource management, person-environment fit, strategic people management, best companies to work for.