This study examines factors influencing accounting research output in universities of technology (UoTs) in South Africa by employing descriptive statistics. The study applied a quantitative research method and primary data was used to compile information. The data was collected by using a 4 Likert scale closed-ended questionnaire. The questionnaire was administered to one hundred accounting academics across the six UoTs in South Africa. Descriptive and inferential statistics such as multivariate regression was used to analyse the data. The findings show that research funding (t = 3.125, p < 0.002, β = 0.277) and research policies (t = 4.740, p < 0.000, β = 0 .453) positively and significantly affect research output while the enabling environment was negative and insignificant (t = −0.613, p > 0.5, β = −0.055). Based on the inverse effect of the enabling environment on accounting research output, it was recommended that the environment influencing research activities needs to be strengthened to promote research culture among accounting academics in UoTs. More so, more institutional support for research is needed such as allocating research grants/funds to academic staff and managing workload to give room to research activities.
Objective Musculoskeletal pain conditions (MPs) are a widespread public problem that can affect 13.5% to 47% of the total population. Dietary changes can have strong effects on person’s health; for instance, Sulfur amino acids (SAAs) can act as a precursor of neurotransmitters, antioxidative metabolic intermediates, such as glutathione, impact inflammation, and play a role in severity and frequency of MPs. We evaluated the relationship between dietary SAAs intake with severity and frequency of pain in patients with MPs. Results This cross-sectional study consisted of 175 men and woman. Anthropometric measurements and pain assessments were conducted via questionnaires. Dietary data were collected using 7 days 24-h recall. ANOVA and Spearman correlation coefficients were used to examine the relationship and correlation, respectively, between exposure and outcome variables. There was a significant correlation between age, weight, waist circumference (WC), waist circumference to height (WHtR), body mass index (BMI), and severity and frequency of MPs among women. There was a correlation between age and severity of pain in men. The present study highlights a positive association between the dietary SAAs and severity of pain, even after adjusting for confounding variables.
Background Motor vehicle collisions are a common cause of death and serious injury. Many casualties will remain in their vehicle following a collision. Trapped patients have more injuries and are more likely to die than their untrapped counterparts. Current extrication methods are time consuming and have a focus on movement minimisation and mitigation. The optimal extrication strategy and the effect this extrication method has on spinal movement is unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the movement at the cervical and lumbar spine for four commonly utilised extrication techniques. Methods Biomechanical data was collected using inertial Measurement Units on 6 healthy volunteers. The extrication types examined were: roof removal, b-post rip, rapid removal and self-extrication. Measurements were recorded at the cervical and lumbar spine, and in the anteroposterior (AP) and lateral (LAT) planes. Total movement (travel), maximal movement, mean, standard deviation and confidence intervals are reported for each extrication type. Results Data from a total of 230 extrications were collected for analysis. The smallest maximal and total movement (travel) were seen when the volunteer self-extricated (AP max = 2.6 mm, travel 4.9 mm). The largest maximal movement and travel were seen in rapid extrication extricated (AP max = 6.21 mm, travel 20.51 mm). The differences between self-extrication and all other methods were significant ( p < 0.001), small non-significant differences existed between roof removal, b-post rip and rapid removal. Self-extrication was significantly quicker than the other extrication methods (mean 6.4 s). Conclusions In healthy volunteers, self-extrication is associated with the smallest spinal movement and the fastest time to complete extrication. Rapid, B-post rip and roof off extrication types are all associated with similar movements and time to extrication in prepared vehicles.
Background Motor vehicle collisions remain a common cause of spinal cord injury. Biomechanical studies of spinal movement often lack “real world” context and applicability. Additional data may enhance our understanding of the potential for secondary spinal cord injury. We propose the metric ‘travel’ (total movement) and suggest that our understanding of movement related risk of injury could be improved if travel was routinely reported. We report maximal movement and travel for collar application in vehicle and subsequent self-extrication. Methods Biomechanical data on application of cervical collar with the volunteer sat in a vehicle were collected using Inertial Measurement Units on 6 healthy volunteers. Maximal movement and travel are reported. These data and a re-analysis of previously published work is used to demonstrate the utility of travel and maximal movement in the context of self-extrication. Results Data from a total of 60 in-vehicle collar applications across three female and three male volunteers was successfully collected for analysis. The mean age across participants was 50.3 years (range 28–68) and the BMI was 27.7 (range 21.5–34.6). The mean maximal anterior–posterior movement associated with collar application was 2.3 mm with a total AP travel of 4.9 mm. Travel (total movement) for in-car application of collar and self-extrication was 9.5 mm compared to 9.4 mm travel for self-extrication without a collar. Conclusion We have demonstrated the application of ‘travel’ in the context of self-extrication. Total travel is similar across self-extricating healthy volunteers with and without a collar. We suggest that where possible ‘travel’ is collected and reported in future biomechanical studies in this and related areas of research. It remains appropriate to apply a cervical collar to self-extricating casualties when the clinical target is that of movement minimisation.
Human factors research can play an important role in the successful design of infrastructure to support future mobility. Through engaging users and stakeholders early in the design process we can gain insights before the physical environments are built. This paper presents data from a truly novel application of Virtual Reality (VR), where user experience and wayfinding were evaluated within an emerging future transport infrastructure to support urban air mobility (UAM) – the urban airport (aka vertiports). Urban airports are located in city centres where drones or ‘flying cars’ would land and take off from. Previous quantitative studies have investigated passenger experience in traditional airports using field observation and surveys, but this paper is the first to present qualitative research on user experience in this emerging mobility infrastructure using an immersive VR environment. Twenty participants completed a series of six scenarios aimed at understanding customer ‘exciters’ and ‘pain points’ within an urban airport. Results and recommendations from this empirical research will help inform the design of all future mobility infrastructure solutions, through improving user experience before the infrastructure is physically deployed. Finally, this paper highlights the benefits of engaging users at an early stage of the design process to ensure that future transport infrastructure will be accessible, easy to navigate and a pleasure to use.
SME manufacturers of electrical and electronic equipment seem to have high e-waste levels, which is inhibiting SMEs manufacturers in becoming more sustainable. On the other hand, consumers play a major role in enabling the SMEs manufacturers to achieve their sustainability targets as they are responsible for returning their e-waste back to SMEs. Based on the concepts of social marketing theory, this paper aims to examine the type of information that influences consumers’ intention to immediately return their e-waste back to SME manufacturers. A conceptual framework is developed and tested through a survey questionnaire to 394 Malaysian consumers. The relationship of the proposed types of information and information presentation towards consumers’ immediate return attitude, as well as environmental motivation and environmental knowledge as the moderators in consumers’ segmentation are tested. The findings suggest that specific type of return information and message framing have a positive effect on Immediate Return Intention.
Aiming at the scenario where the energy storage system participates in the grid enhanced frequency response auxiliary service, this research initially constructs a frequency response model to provide power requirements for the energy storage system (ESS). A two-layer optimization approach is proposed to solve the size optimization problem. A mixed-integer linear programming technique is researched on the bottom layer to optimize the power allocation of the hybrid energy storage system (HESS). On the top layer, a size optimization framework is proposed for optimising the configuration of the energy storage system. The size optimization results show that compared with the battery energy storage system (BESS), the capacity of the HESS was reduced by 64%, the battery aging cost was reduced by 52%, and the total cost was reduced by 35%. The results also show that the proposed optimal HESS design could fully leverage the advantages of the battery and the supercapacitor (SC). In addition, the proposed method is investigated in a long-term frequency service case. With the optimal setup and adaptive power distribution approach, both energy storage units operate within the specified power and capacity range at the same time the battery is protected from high-frequency power fluctuations.
Planetary gears (PGs) play a critical role in hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) by combining the output torques of different powertrain components and delivering the resulting torque to the wheels. Whilst previous studies show that the number of planetary gears affects performance of HEVs, there is no prior study to systematically investigate such effects on energy consumption. This paper quantifies the energy efficiency improvement of HEVs due to increasing the number of PGs from one to two, and from two to three. This is done by comparing the minimum energy consumption for different topologies when the rest of the powertrain components – namely electric motors, batteries and engine – are the same. To calculate the minimum energy consumption, the paper proposes an optimal energy management strategy (EMS) for each topology to find the optimum sequence of clutch engagement and torque distribution. The minimum energy consumption of a vehicle with different number of PGs is then evaluated using the automotive simulation models (ASM) from dSPACE. Results show that, for the same electric motors and engine, increasing the number of PGs from one to two and from two to three reduces energy consumption by 5% and 1.5%, respectively.
This article presents an experimental and computational study of a forced draft cookstove having separate primary and secondary air fans, while utilizing pellets as fuel. A two-dimensional axisymmetric computational fluid dynamics model of the developed cookstove has been created in ANSYS Fluent to analyze the fluid flow, temperature distribution and heat loss from the different parts of the cookstove. The simulation results showed that more than one fourth of the total heat produced by the burning of fuel was being lost to the ambient environment through the outermost wall of cookstove. Also, the temperature of the outer wall of the cookstove was found to be higher than the temperature of secondary air being preheated in the annulus chamber. Therefore, the developed model was further modified by using glass wool insulation which resulted in an increment of 5.7% in thermal efficiency, while the emissions of CO and PM2.5 were reduced by 7.1% and 25.9%, respectively. The performance of the developed models have also been compared with other pellet based forced draft models available globally, and the thermal efficiency of the Mimi Moto cookstove was found to be highest followed by FD 2.2 model.
This study is geared toward generating highly stabilized partially premixed flames at various levels of turbulence and partially premixing. Therefore, with the help of the laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) technique, a new burner was constructed and employed to quantitatively estimate the mixture equivalence ratio (Φ) within the flame. Two turbulence generator disks, five degrees of partial premixing, and two fuels were used to assess the flame stability. Natural gas (NG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were used as fuels. The LIBS spectrum's most common atomic emission lines which include hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon, were chosen to establish the correlation between emission lines' intensity and the flame's mixture equivalence ratio. The results showed that the stability of NG flame was less sensitive to the variation of the partially premixing levels. In contrast, the LPG flames were more susceptible to the variation of the mixing degree. At a lower level of partially premixing, NG flames were more stable, and as the mixing degree increased, the stability of NG flames was reduced compared to LPG flames. In addition, the results showed that the equivalence ratio radial profiles are more homogeneous and have lower RMS fluctuation for the wider slot of the turbulence generator disc. Furthermore, the larger turbulence generator disk's higher turbulent intensity contributed in posting the mixing process and enhancing mixture homogeneity over even shorter recess distances than the smaller disk generator.
Small firms' performance has been recognised as an important topic for researchers dealing with the topics of internationalisation and innovation. Literature has examined the individual influence of network cooperation, innovation and internationalisation on firm performance. However, there is an absence of research to explore the coherent relationship between network linkages, innovation performance, internationalisation performance and its cumulative influence on economic performance. That is, this research examines the mediating roles of innovation and internationalisation between network cooperation and firm performance. Based on the sample of 117 exporting Indian SMEs and using structural equation modelling, the results note that indirect effects produced by customers and Research and Development (R&D) organisations via innovation performance explain a higher proportion of their total effect on the economic performance of SMEs. Conversely, the relationship between three network stakeholders, viz. customers, government agencies and R&D organisations, and economic performance are mediated by the internationalisation performance of SMEs.
The potential for biogas to fulfil an integral role in promoting sustainable energy solutions, particularly in the Global South, is evident, and especially pertinent in the Sustainable Development Goal era. Internationally, multiple initiatives driven by private, public and third sectors have resulted in a significant growth in the numbers of biogas plants constructed. These processes are highly visible in Tanzania, which has witnessed considerable investment across the sector in recent decades leading to a proliferation of biogas systems. However, research suggests that many of these plants experience failures which can lead to the ultimate abandonment of the systems, eroding the potential benefits of widespread biogas adoption. This research explores some of the main drivers of biogas plant failure and abandonment in Northern Tanzania through a rapid review of the literature identifying current sector best practice and a series of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders including: biogas plant owners, operators, constructors, government officials and private enterprises. The analysis reveals a range of clear and, at points, interrelated themes associated with biogas failure which can be largely grouped under the following banners: poor construction and installation, sub-optimal feeding practices, operation and maintenance issues, and training provision and knowledge erosion. By illuminating the subtleties surrounding each challenge, this paper is designed to stimulate a re-evaluation of how long-term, sustained and successful use of biogas plants can be fostered through a reduction in failure and/or abandonment. This is particularly important given that the biogas sector continues to evolve and expand across the globe.
This study investigated the carcinogenic contamination level of deposited dust (DD) on the roof near heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVAC), which can greatly affect the indoor air quality. Forty samples of roof DD were collected, and organic compounds (16 PAH compounds, 20 n-alkane homologs, 8 hopanes, and 6 steranes) were extracted using Soxhlet and analyzed by GC-MS. Source identification of organic compounds was conducted by ring classification, diagnostic ratios, and principal component analysis (PCA) was done. The results showed that the average ± SD of total PAHs, n-alkanes, hopanes and steranes in DD were 1356.00 ± 291.45 µg.kg− 1, 3211.65 ± 969.18 µg.g− 1, 146.37 ± 79.45 µg.g− 1 and 469.76 ± 188.25 µg.g− 1, respectively. Also, the highest concentration of organic compounds was measured in the city center, where traffic congestion is expected. Diagnostic ratios of n-alkanes results revealed the vehicular emission as dominant source. On the other hand, PCA indicated vehicular and biogenic emission as the primary sources. Sterane and hopane profiles also confirm these results. Moreover, PAHs diagnostic ratios indicated petroleum combustion as the primary source and PCA showed that vehicular emissions, and natural gas and wood combustion were the main factors. The incremental lifetime cancer risk of PAHs was calculated as 8.45 × 10− 12 for children and 9.80 × 10− 7 for adults, and the imposed risk is considered negligible. Based on the results, diesel and gasoline-powered vehicles are responsible for a significant proportion of the hydrocarbon pollution in Mashhad.
Wells drilled in carbon storage sites could be converted to potential leakage pathways in the presence of CO2-bearing fluids and under the impact of the changes occurring in underground stress. To test this hypothesis, in this study, the behavior of Class G oil well cement in contact with supercritical CO2 has been investigated. The cement cores were cured under lime-saturated water for 28 days at a temperature of 20 ∘C and under atmospheric pressure. Subsequently, they were exposed to supercritical CO2 under a pressure of 20 MPa and at a temperature of 90 ∘C for 30 days. The penetration depth of the carbonation front and the change in the poromechanical properties of the cement core were measured against time. A numerical modeling exercise has also been conducted to simulate the alteration within the cement cores. The results presented in this study show that the precipitation of calcium carbonates reduces the porosity within the outermost layers of the cement cores. This phenomenon shifts the main pore size class towards smaller sizes. In contrast to expectations, the reduction in porosity does not improve the overall strength of the cement specimens. The observed reduction in the strength of the cement specimens might be associated with either the amorphous structure of the precipitated carbonates or the weak bonding between them and the solid walls of the pores and the high degradation of calcium silicate hydrates.
This study analyzed the latest four PISA surveys, 2009, 2012, 2015, and 2018, to explore the association between students’ ICT-related use and math and science performance. Using ICT Engagement Theory as a theoretical framework and a three-level hierarchical linear modeling approach, while controlling for confounding effects, ICT-related independent variables of interest were added to the models at the student, school, and country levels. The series of models revealed that, in general, an increase in ICT availability and ICT use both inside and outside school had a negative association with learning outcomes, while students’ positive attitude toward ICT demonstrated a strong positive relationship. However, students’ perceived autonomy related to ICT use had the strongest association with academic performance, which is consistent with the changing nature of the modern learning environments. Findings revealed that virtually all forms of student ICT use, both inside and outside of school and whether subject related or not, had no substantive positive relationship with student performance in math or science. Conversely, higher student attitude toward, confidence in, belief in utility of, and autonomous use of ICT was associated with higher math and science performance for each of the four years of the study. Incidentally, we also found that while country GDP per capita had no consistent association with student performance, a school’s provision of extra-curricula activities did. Recommendations for educational leaders, teachers, and parents are offered.
Background Abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB), alopecia, low quality of life, and acne are considered as complications of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). We hypothesized that magnesium supplementation would yield beneficial effects on PCOS related complications. Objective To examine the effects of magnesium supplementation on AUB, alopecia, quality of life, and acne. Methods In this parallel randomized clinical trial, we randomly assigned 64 women with PCOS to the magnesium group (n = 32) or placebo group (n = 32) for 10 weeks. AUB, alopecia, quality of life, and acne were assessed by the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics criterion, the Sinclair Scale, the Health Survey Quality of Life Questionnaire, and the Global Acne Grading System, respectively. This randomized clinical trial was registered at IRCT.ir (IRCT20130903014551N9). Results Magnesium supplementation significantly improved the components of quality of life including physical functioning (p = 0.011), role limitations due to physical health (p = 0.012), role limitations due to emotional problems (p < 0.001), energy/fatigue (p = 0.005), emotional wellbeing (p < 0.001), social functioning (p = 0.002), general health (p = 0.013), and total quality of life (p < 0.001), compared with placebo. No significant effect was observed on acne, alopecia, and AUB. Conclusion Magnesium supplementation in women with PCOS had a significant positive effect on improving total quality of life. Trial registration This randomized clinical trial was registered at IRCT.ir on 2020–10-18 (Registration Code: IRCT20130903014551N9).
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