Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften Hamburg
Recent publications
Background Sustainable production and consumption are two important issues, which mutually interact. Whereas individuals have little direct influence on the former, they can play a key role on the latter. This paper describes the subject matter of sustainable consumption and outlines its key features. It also describes some international initiatives in this field. Results By means of an international survey, the study explores the emphasis given to sustainable consumption during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the degree of preparedness in individuals to engage in the purchase of green and sustainably manufactured products. The main results indicate that the pandemic offered an opportunity to promote sustainable consumption; nevertheless, the pandemic alone cannot be regarded as a ‘game changer’ in this topic. Conclusions Apart from an online survey with responses from 31 countries, which makes it one of the most representative studies on the topic, a logit model was used to analyse the main variables that affect the probability of pro-environmental consumption behaviour because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper lists some of the technological and social innovations that may be needed, so as to guide more sustainable consumption patterns in a post-pandemic world.
Background The implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires much planning and the provision of resources, especially regarding the necessary investments, technologies and infrastructures needed. Yet, it is presently unclear how available these elements are, what gaps exist, what changes have taken place in terms of their availability since the adoption of the SDGs and what their requirements will be in the future. The knowledge gap has become even more concerning because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a bibliometric analysis, an assessment of the global progress of SDG implementation and requirements, identifying challenges through the development of a matrix, and a set of 11 case studies to triangulate the holistic analysis, an assessment of the global progress of the SDGs implementation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on this process was carried out. Results The findings suggest that the scope and width of resources limitation are currently undermining the implementation of the SDGs. Apart from the fact that the pace of progress has been insufficient, the potential of the SDGs in pursuing sustainability and improving life quality is not fully realised. This trend suggests that a substantial acceleration of the efforts is needed, especially for the five SDGs whose progress since 2015 has not been optimal, namely SDG2, SDG11, SDG13, SDG15, and SDG16, while SDG3, SDG7, SDG9, SDG14, and SDG17 show signs of progress. The case studies showed that different industries have dissimilar effects on achieving the SDGs, with the food sector correlating with 15 SDGs, as opposed to the energy sector correlating with 6 SDGs. Accordingly, the priority level assessment in terms of achieving the SDGs, points to the need to further advance the above-mentioned five SDGs, i.e., 2, 11, 13, 15 and 16. Conclusions This study fills in a knowledge gap in respect of the current need for and availability of investments, new technologies, and infrastructures to allow countries to pursue the SDGs. It is suggested that this availability is rather limited in specific contexts. In respect of the needs to be addressed, these include resource-related constraints, limited technologies and infrastructures, affecting SDG2, SDG11, SDG13, SDG15, and SDG16, whose progress needs to be enhanced. Since the global progress in the process of implementation of the SDGs depends directly and indirectly on addressing the resource gaps, it is suggested that this topic be further investigated, so that the present imbalances in the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental, be adequately addressed.
Background This paper presents a review of the literature and trends related to social values and sustainable development and describes a set of case studies from a variety of community-based projects which illustrate the advantages that social values bring about as part of efforts to promote sustainability. Three approaches were used to develop this study: a bibliometric analysis of the topic “social values and sustainable development”, an analysis of case studies that concretely present community projects addressing social values and sustainability, and the development of a framework linking up bibliometric clusters and the cases studies. Results While the bibliometric analysis revealed clusters where social values are strongly connected with sustainable development, the case studies indicated the lack of a common terminology and understanding of the relation between social values, sustainable development, and community-based projects. Conclusions The study concludes by suggesting a set of measures that could be deployed to better take social values into account when planning policies or making decisions related to community projects.
One of the keystones of tribological studies is the energetical approach to the lubrication process. In the particular case of lubricating greases, part of the lubrication process's energy dissipates due to a shear-induced structural rearrangement of the 3D network of the thickening agent dispersed in the base oil. This fact confers them a particular consistency, mechanical stability, rheological and tribological behaviour. In this research work, we investigate the mechanical structural degradation induced by shear stress applied in rheological tests (rotational and oscillation mode) and the influence of thickener (type and composition) and base oil on both the degradation process and the expended mechanical energies. For this purpose, lithium, calcium and polyurea-based greases of NLGI grade 2 were used. These greases have been manufactured with a different base oil (mineral, synthetic and vegetable oils) and kinematic viscosity of 48 or 240 mm²/s. Some biogenic greases were also included in this research. The optical microscopy analysis revealed thickener particles-based agglomerates with different shapes and sizes that reduced notably, if not almost completely destroyed, after stress. Due to the thickener particles-based agglomerates distribution, significant differences in the shear-induced frictional energy inside the bulk grease during the shear process were detected. The size of agglomerates depended on both the thickener content and the base oil viscosity and not the type of base oil.
Over the past decades, many declarations on sustainable development (SD) have been produced , various of which led to no real changes or improvements. This article discusses the role of declarations and international cooperation on SD, outlining their evolution. It also highlights the reasons why instruments and international cooperation have failed to meet their targets and specifies measures that may be deployed so that they may yield the SD's expected benefits. To this end, it is recommended that more significant efforts be made to operationalise the commitments established in the declarations and international cooperation. Also, it is important to develop and implement SD follow-up strategies, once these have been agreed upon. The implications of this article to society and other studies are twofold. Firstly, it shows the need for greater care when writing declarations on SD, since they are not always followed up and do not fulfill their purposes. Secondly, it is important to mobilise the relevant actors so that the actions the SD declarations expected to trigger, through international cooperation, are implemented. Moreover, future declarations and commitments should ideally have institutions and infrastructures in place to implement the SD actions called upon. The evidence gathered in this article also points out the need to intensify investment in education, science, technology, and innovation, while encouraging the expansion of international cooperation strategies aimed at supporting the declarations and promoting SD. ARTICLE HISTORY
Background Since 2015, the German Prevention Act has obligated social security agencies to support prevention and health promotion in the university setting, particularly for students, through measures and structural development in terms of content and funding. The German Network for Health Promoting Universities took part in these processes and assessed the situation on the basis of 5 years of experience. The strategy paper based on this with the recommendations for action is presented in excerpts.Objectives The aim of the article is to present the complex structures and developments in the context of the German Prevention Act and to show the requirements that have not yet been implemented at the interface between universities. The focus is on the implementation of the recommendations for action at the level of the federal states and the targeted addressing of the responsible actors, including universities and student unions.Materials and methodsThe recommendations for action of the “Health Promotion Strategy 2019–2022 for Universities” (as of January 2020) are updated from official statistics (university statistics, financial results of the statutory health insurance) and a literature and internet-based inventory.Results and conclusionsThe analysis of the implementation of the German Prevention Act shows a number of previously unrealized requirements for the university settings. This includes the lack of cooperation between the social security agencies and the implementation of the jointly agreed fields of action (e.g., health literacy) for students. At the level of the 16 federal states, universities have not been taken into account as a setting in the state framework agreements. One reason is the lack of classification of young adults in their own phase of life: “Healthy in vocational training and studies”.
In this study, the cottonseed as a potential renewable source for producing surrogate bio-fuel is elaborated. Indeed, this study included two stages, in which the extraction of the bio-oil from cottonseed through the intermediate pyrolysis process in a fixed-bed reactor was presented in the first stage. Furthermore, produced bio-oil has shown their physicochemical properties suitable for engine application. In the second stage, the analysis of performance (including brake thermal efficiency, brake-specific fuel consumption) and emission characteristics (including nitrogen oxides, carbon dioxide, unburnt hydrocarbon, carbon monoxide, and smoke opacity) of a water-cooled, 4-stroke, 1-cylinder diesel engine fueled with blends of bio-oil/diesel fuel in the case of changing compression ratio and engine load were carried out. More importantly, the response surface method technique was applied to optimize the operational parameters of the test engine. In conclusion, the validation experiments were performed to ensure the reliability of the obtained optimized results, indicating that the test engine operated with 5% bio-oil blended with 95% diesel fuel, a compression ratio of 18:1, and at 50% of engine load could offer the best performance and emission characteristics with a desirability factor of 0.617 and an error < 5% for the validated parameters.
Green hydrogen plays a major role in the net-zero greenhouse gas-reduction strategy of the European Union. To supply hydrogen as cheap as possible, a well-balanced production system is needed to handle fluctuations of solar radiation and wind energy. Thus, this paper investigates the onsite hydrogen supply costs in the European catchment area in 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050. Furthermore, a subsequent transport per pipeline to one of the projected demand centres in Europe (exemplary Germany) is considered. Also, the sensitivity regarding the additional use of salt caverns as hydrogen storage and less restricting supply profiles is assessed as well as the technical annual supply potential for 2030 and 2050. To do so, the optimal system design for minimized hydrogen supply cost for water electrolysis based on photovoltaic and wind turbines is estimated for a 0.5° x 0.5° grid using a linear optimization model. For the best locations, coastal regions at the North Sea, Western Sahara and parts of Algeria, onsite hydrogen supply cost decreases from 3 €2020/kgH2 in 2030 to 2 €2020/kgH2 in 2050. The technical hydrogen supply potential is tremendous, especially from Northern Africa, and a supply to Central Europe (Germany) via pipeline for around 3 €2020/kgH2 is possible in 2050, while a domestic hydrogen production in Germany covering the projected demand would lead to cost up to 4.5 €2020/kgH2. Furthermore, a large scale hydrogen storage e.g. in salt caverns, can reduce the hydrogen supply costs for regions with high seasonality of solar and wind up to 50% and excess electricity to less than 10%, leading to fewer cost deviations between the sub-regions, resulting in lower import costs from Northern and Western Europe than from Northern Africa or Middle East.
Zusammenfassung Hintergrund Personen mit injizierendem Drogenkonsum werden häufig nicht von Angeboten zur Hepatitis-C-Testung und -Behandlung erreicht. Um die Verfügbarkeit von Testangeboten zu erhöhen, wurde 2020 § 24 des Infektionsschutzgesetzes dahingehend umformuliert, dass nunmehr u. a. Hepatitis-C-Schnelltests auch von nicht-ärztlichem Personal in niedrigschwelligen Einrichtungen durchgeführt werden können. Diese Studie untersucht die Akzeptanz der Gesetzesänderung in den Einrichtungen der Aids- und Drogenhilfe auf der Ebene der dort tätigen Fachkräfte. Methoden Im Rahmen der Studie wurden deutschlandweit Einrichtungen der Aids- und Drogenhilfe (n=88) per Fragebogen befragt und Experteninterviews durchgeführt (n=4). Die Analyse der Akzeptanz der Gesetzesänderung erfolgte anhand eines theoriegeleiteten Modells zur Akzeptanzmessung entlang des Technologieakzeptanzmodells nach Davis et al. (1989). Ergebnisse Die Ergebnisse zeigen, dass die befragten Einrichtungen die Gesetzesänderung grundsätzlich positiv bewerten. 13,6% der Einrichtungen implementierten Schnelltests durch nicht-ärztliches Personal für den Nachweis des Hepatitis-C-Virus und 31,1% planten die Einführung eines Hepatitis-C-Schnelltestangebots. Die Experteninterviews bestätigten die Akzeptanz der Gesetzesänderung. Schlussfolgerung Angesichts der kurzen Zeitspanne seit Inkrafttreten der Gesetzesänderung kann die Umsetzungsrate als relativ hoch eingestuft werden. Es wird jedoch vermutet, dass hier eine Verzerrung in Richtung der Überschätzung vorliegt (positive Selbstselektion der teilnehmenden Einrichtungen, hohe Aufgeschlossenheit und Handlungsabsicht, institutioneller Mut). Der frühe Trend wird sich somit nicht linear fortsetzen. Flankierende Unterstützungsmaßnahmen zur Ausweitung der Umsetzung sowie ggf. Aufrechterhaltung des Schnelltestangebots sind deshalb notwendig. Langfristig angelegte Begleitforschung hierzu wird empfohlen.
Träger von Kindertageseinrichtungen sind angesichts des Fachkräftemangels im Arbeitsfeld der Frühen Bildung herausgefordert, qualifiziertes Personal zu gewinnen und zu binden, um eine exzellente pädagogische Qualität in ihren Einrichtungen zu gewährleisten. Die Trägerlandschaft ist heterogen, ein knappes Drittel der Kindertageseinrichtungen wird von Kommunen betrieben. Öffentliche Träger arbeiten im Hinblick auf das Personalmanagement tendenziell weniger professionell als freie Träger, was auf effizientere Unterstützungsstrukturen für die freien Träger durch Wohlfahrtsverbände zurückgeführt wird. In einer qualitativen multiplen Fallstudie wurden auf der Grundlage eines tätigkeitstheoretischen Modells Arbeitssysteme der Personalentwicklung bei vier Kita-Trägern empirisch untersucht. Der kommunale Träger entwickelte eine Strategie der „Markenbildung“, um in der Konkurrenz zu freien Trägern seine Attraktivität als Arbeitgeber zu erhöhen. Ziel war es, den Wiedererkennungswert des Trägers und das Profil der Kitas zu schärfen sowie den Ruf der Kommune im Hinblick auf die Arbeitsbedingungen für das Kita-Personal zu verbessern. Der kommunale Träger näherte sich damit den Organisationskulturen freier Träger an, die meistens durch ein hohes Maß an Partizipation der Beschäftigten und eine stärkere Identifikation mit dem Träger gekennzeichnet sind.
Rivers are important ecosystems, vital to the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of humans and other species. Despite their environmental, social, and economic importance, current use of rivers is unsustainable, due to a combination of solid waste and high levels of pollutants. Plastic materials are among the most predominant of such pollutants. Based on the need for additional research in this area, this study examines pressures put to rivers and explores trends related to riverine plastic pollution, with a focus on Asia. Apart from the bibliometric analysis, and relying on the collected information, examples describing the drivers of riverine plastic pollution in a sample of Asian countries are described, outlining the specific problem and its scope. Among some of the results obtained from it, mention can be made to the fact that much of the literature focuses on plastic pollution as a whole and less on one of its most significant ramifications, namely microplastics. Additionally, there is a need related to data availability on riverine plastic data and improving the understanding of transport mechanisms in relation to riverine plastic emission into the ocean. The results from this study illustrate the significance of the problems posed by plastic waste to Asian rivers and point out the fact that there are still significant gaps in respect of regulations and standards, which prevent improvements that are highlighted in this study. Based on the results of this bibliometric assessment, specific measures via which levels of riverine plastic pollution may be reduced are presented, bringing relevant new insights on this topic beyond the existing reviews.
Almost seventy years after the discovery of the mechanisms of action potential generation, some aspects of their computational consequences are still not fully understood. Based on mathematical modeling, we here explore a type of action potential dynamics – arising from a saddle-node homoclinic orbit bifurcation - that so far has received little attention. We show that this type of dynamics is to be expected by specific changes in common physiological parameters, like an elevation of temperature. Moreover, we demonstrate that it favours synchronization patterns in networks – a feature that becomes particularly prominent when system parameters change such that homoclinic spiking is induced. Supported by in-vitro hallmarks for homoclinic spikes in the rodent brain, we hypothesize that the prevalence of homoclinic spikes in the brain may be underestimated and provide a missing link between the impact of biophysical parameters on abrupt transitions between asynchronous and synchronous states of electrical activity in the brain. The intrinsic dynamics of neurons, in particular the generation action potentials, can impact neural network states and processes of encoding information. The authors demonstrate how the elevation of temperature induces a type of action potential dynamics that favors synchronization patterns in neural networks.
Universities are key actors and play a central role in the cities which host them, either as employers, consumers or simply as a magnet to young people and cultural activities. They can be also influencers and supporters of cities in the field of sustainable development. Through an exploratory method and aiming to explore the efforts deployed to foster closer links between universities, sustainable development, and cities and address a literature gap in this regard, this study considers the contribution of universities to sustainable development at the city level. Based on some of the ongoing initiatives worldwide and an international online survey documenting measures undertaken, this study translates the commitment to pursuing sustainable development within cities, with responses from a sample of 45 countries. This study lists some items which may help foster more symbiotic relations between cities and universities. The findings of this study may be used as baselines for strengthening the connections between universities and cities in addressing the sustainable development challenges, as demonstrated through the responses obtained. Accordingly, some suggested actions involving cooperation may include increased communication with city stakeholders and the undertaking of joint initiatives and projects, taking advantage of the ongoing sustainable development challenges worldwide.
Proximity-dependent biotinylation (PDB) combined with mass spectrometry analysis has established itself as a key technology to study protein-protein interactions in living cells. A widespread approach, BioID, uses an abortive variant of the E. coli BirA biotin protein ligase, a quite bulky enzyme with slow labeling kinetics. To improve PDB versatility and speed, various enzymes have been developed by different approaches. Here we present a small-size engineered enzyme: ultraID. We show its practical use to probe the interactome of Argonaute-2 after a 10 min labeling pulse and expression at physiological levels. Moreover, using ultraID, we provide a membrane-associated interactome of coatomer, the coat protein complex of COPI vesicles. To date, ultraID is the smallest and most efficient biotin ligase available for PDB and offers the possibility of investigating interactomes at a high temporal resolution. A small-size engineered enzyme, ultraID, is presented for proximity-dependent biotinylation, that shows efficient labeling in mammalian cell culture, E. coli and S. cerevisiae.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is believed to have a significant potential use in tackling climate change. This paper explores the connections between AI and climate change research as a whole and its usefulness in climate change adaptation efforts in particular. Using a systematic review of the literature on applications of AI for climate change adaptation and a questionnaire survey of a multinational and interdisciplinary team of climate change researchers, this paper shows the various means via which AI can support research on climate change in diverse regions, and contribute to efforts towards climate change adaptation. The surveyed articles are classified under nine areas, e.g., Global/Earth Related; Water-related Issues and agriculture, 95% of which are related to adaptation. The areas that have attracted the most studies about AI applications are water-related management issues (38%). In terms of the survey results, the most robust agreements were noted concerning the capacity of digitisation and AI to strengthen governance practices and afford policy coherence in climate change. Evidence gathered in the study suggests that, provided that due care is taken, the use of AI can provide a welcome support to global efforts to better understand and handle the many challenges associated with a changing climate.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods need to be evaluated thoroughly to ensure reliable behavior. In applications like autonomous driving, a complex environment with an uncountable number of different situations and conditions needs to be handled by a method whose behavior needs to be predictable. To accomplish this, simulations can be used as a first step. However, the physical world behaves differently, as the example of autonomous driving shows. There, erroneous behavior has been found in test drives that was not noticed in simulations. Errors were caused by conditions or situations that were not covered by the simulations (e.g., specific lighting conditions or other vehicle's behavior). However, the problem with real world testing of autonomous driving features is that critical conditions or situations occur very rarely—while the test effort is high. A solution can be the combination of physical world tests and simulations—and miniature vehicles as an intermediate step between both. With model cars (in a sufficiently complex model environment) advantages of both can be combined: (1) low test effort and a repeatable variation of conditions/situations as an advantage like in simulations and (2) (limited) physical world testing with unspecified and potentially unknown properties as an advantage like in real-world tests. Additionally, such physical tests can be carried out in less stable cases like already in the early stages of AI method testing and/or in approaches using online learning. Now, we propose to use a) miniature vehicles at a small scale of 1:87 and b) use sensors and computational power only on the vehicle itself. By this limitation, a further consequence is expected: Here, autonomy methods need to be optimized drastically or even redesigned from scratch. The resulting methods are supposed to be less complex—and, thus, again less error-prone. We call this approach “Miniature Autonomy” and apply it to the road, water, and aerial vehicles. In this article, we briefly describe a small test area we built (3 sqm.), a large test area used alternatively (1,545 sqm.), two last generation autonomous miniature vehicles (one road, one aerial vehicle), and an autonomous driving demo case demonstrating the application.
Background Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic is of particularly high relevance. Especially for children and adolescents, the pandemic and its restrictions represent a significant burden. The present study aims to identify risks and resources for depressive symptoms and anxiety in children and adolescents during the pandemic in Germany.Materials and Methods Self-reported data from the first wave of the longitudinal COVID-19 and Psychological Health (COPSY) study were used to investigate risks and resources among n = 811 children and adolescents aged 11–17 years. Depressive symptoms and anxiety were measured at the first follow-up 6 months later. Multivariate linear regression analyses were performed to investigate the effects of risks and resources on depressive symptoms and anxiety.ResultsParental depressive symptoms predicted depressive symptoms and anxiety in children and adolescents 6 months later. Female gender was identified as a risk factor for anxiety during the pandemic. None of the potential resources were associated with depressive symptoms or anxiety at the follow-up.Conclusion The findings provide evidence of risk factors for depressive symptoms and anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Children and adolescents who face risk factors need to be identified early and monitored during the pandemic. Family-based intervention programs are needed to help vulnerable children and adolescents cope with the challenges of the pandemic.
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4,862 members
Bernd Baumann
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering and Production
Christoph Kinkeldey
  • Faculty of Design, Media and Information
Rasmus Rettig
  • Faculty of Engineering and computer science
Thomas Clemen
  • Department of Computer Science
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Berliner Tor 5, 20099, Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
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Prof. Dr. Micha Teuscher
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