Analyzing the Potential of Job Creation by Taking the First Step Towards Circular Economy: Case Study of Brazil

The Brazilian economic projections and social indicators show a future of crisis for the country. Solutions to avoid this crisis scenario are necessary. Several developed countries implement initiatives linked to sustainability, mainly related to the circular economy, to solve their crises quickly - green recovery. This article aims to assess social gains if Brazil followed the same recovery strategy. Furthermore, with the use of data presented and recognized in the international academic society, the number of jobs that can be created, if Brazil took the first steps towards a more circular economy, was found. Moreover, in addition to the gross value in the number of jobs created, this article also detailed the number of these jobs by type of activity (collection, processing, and manufacturing) and by type of material.

Simulation of Obstacle Avoidance for Multiple Autonomous Vehicles in a Dynamic Environment Using Q-Learning

The availability of inexpensive, yet competent hardware allows for increased level of automation and self-optimization in the context of Industry 4.0. However, such agents require high quality information about their surroundings along with a robust strategy for collision avoidance, as they may cause expensive damage to equipment or other agents otherwise. Manually defining a strategy to cover all possibilities is both time-consuming and counter-productive given the capabilities of modern hardware. This paper explores the idea of a model-free self-optimizing obstacle avoidance strategy for multiple autonomous agents in a simulated dynamic environment using the Q-learning algorithm.

A BIM-Based Approach to Assess COVID-19 Risk Management Regarding Indoor Air Ventilation and Pedestrian Dynamics

In the context of the international spread of COVID-19, the Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment (CSTB) has led a joint research with the French government authorities Hauts-de-Seine department, to analyse the risk in school spaces according to their configuration, ventilation system and spatial segmentation strategy. This paper describes the main results of this joint research. A multidisciplinary team involving experts in indoor air quality/ventilation, pedestrian movements and IT domains was established to develop a COVID risk analysis tool based on Building Information Model. The work started with specific analysis on two pilot schools in order to provide for the local administration specifications to minimize the spread of the virus. Different recommendations were published to optimize/validate the use of ventilation systems and the strategy of student occupancy and student flow segmentation within the building. This COVID expertise has been digitized in order to manage a quick risk analysis on the entire building that could be used by the public administration through an easy user interface implemented in a free BIM Management software. One of the most interesting results is to enable a dynamic comparison of different ventilation system scenarios and space occupation strategy inside the BIM model. This concurrent engineering approach provides users with the optimal solution according to both ventilation and pedestrian flow expertise.

A Grid Synchronization Phase Locked Loop Method for Grid-Connected Inverters Systems

The operation of grid-connected inverters necessity a single-phase phase locked loop (PLL) is proposed in this article to accurately and quickly estimate and detect the grid phase angle. This article presents the improvement of a method of phase-locked loop. The novelty is to generate a method (PLL) of synchronizing the grid with a Notch filter based on adaptive fuzzy logic for inverter systems connected to the grid. The performance of the proposed method was tested under normal and abnormal operating conditions (amplitude, frequency and phase shift variations). In addition, simulation results with ISPM software are developed to verify the effectiveness of the proposed method strategy. Finally, the experimental test will be used to extract the result and discuss the validity of the proposed algorithm.

Investigation into the Role of Leadership in the Management of Digital Transformation for Small and Medium Enterprises

Digital technology is transforming the landscape of the industrial sector at a precedential level by connecting people, processes, and machines in real-time. It represents the means for a new pathway to achieve innovative, dynamic competitive advantages, deliver unique customers’ values, and sustain critical relationships. Thus, success in a constantly changing environment is governed by the ability of an organization to revolutionize their business models, deliver innovative solutions, and capture values from big data analytics and insights. Businesses need to re-strategize operations and develop extra capabilities to cope with the necessity for additional flexibility and agility. The traditional “command and control” leadership style is structurally and operationally incompatible with the digital era. In this paper, the authors discuss how transformational leaders can act as a glue in the social, organizational context, which is crucial to enable the workforce and develop a psychological attachment to the digital vision.

Searching for an Effective Marketing in the Food Supplement Industry in Japan

The market for "functional foods" and "foods with functional claims" that are effective in maintaining and improving health, has expanded year by year due to the entry of major food and beverage manufacturers following the introduction of the specified health food system in 1991 in Japan. To bring health claims related products or services to the market, it is necessary to let consumers to learn about these products or services; an effective marketing through advertising are important. This research proposes a framework for an effective advertisement medium for the food supplement industry by using survey data of 2,500 people.

Construction of a Fusion Gene Carrying E10A and K5 with 2A Peptide-Linked by Using Overlap Extension PCR

E10A is a kind of replication-defective adenovirus which carries the human endostatin gene to inhibit the growth of tumors. Kringle 5(K5) has almost the same function as angiostatin to also inhibit the growth of tumors since they are all the byproduct of the proteolytic cleavage of plasminogen. Tumor size increasing can be suppressed because both of the endostatin and K5 can restrain the angiogenesis process. Therefore, in order to improve the treatment effect on tumor, 2A peptide is used to construct a fusion gene carrying both E10A and K5. Using 2A peptide is an ideal strategy when a fusion gene is expressed because it can avoid many problems during the expression of more than one kind of protein. The overlap extension PCR is also used to connect 2A peptide with E10A and K5. The final construction of fusion gene E10A-2A-K5 can provide a possible new method of the anti-angiogenesis treatment with a better expression performance.

Native Plants Marketing by Entrepreneurs in the Landscaping Industry in Japan

Entrepreneurs are welcomed to the landscaping industry, conserving practically and theoretically biological diversity in landscaping construction, although there are limited reports on corporative trials making a market with a new logistics system of native plants (NP) between landscaping companies and nurserymen. This paper explores the entrepreneurial process of a landscaping company, “5byMidori” for NP marketing. This paper employs a case study design. Data are collected in interviews with the manager and designer of 5byMidori, 2 scientists, 1 organization, and 18 nurserymen, fieldworks at two nurseries, observations of marketing activities in three years, and texts from published documents about the business concept and marketing strategy with NP. These data are analyzed by qualitative methods. The results show that NP is suitable for the vision of 5byMidori improving urban desertified environment with closer urban-rural linkage. Professional landscaping team changes a forestry organization into NP producers conserving a large nursery of a mountain. Multifaceted PR based on the entrepreneurial context and personal background of a landscaping venture can foster team members' businesses and help customers and users to understand the biodiversity value of the product. Wider partnerships with existing nurserymen at other sites in many regions need socio-economic incentives and environmental reliability. In conclusion, the entrepreneurial marketing of a landscaping company needs to add more meanings and a variety of merits in terms of ecosystem services, as NP tends to be in academic definition and independent from the cultures like nurseryman and forestry.

An Effective Decision-Making Strategy Based on Multi-Objective Optimization for Commercial Vehicles in Highway Scenarios

Maneuver decision-making plays a critical role in high-performance intelligent driving. This paper proposes a risk assessment-based decision-making network (RADMN) to address the problem of driving strategy for the commercial vehicle. RADMN integrates two networks, aiming at identifying the risk degree of collision and rollover and providing decisions to ensure the effectiveness and reliability of driving strategy. In the risk assessment module, risk degrees of the backward collision, forward collision and rollover are quantified for hazard recognition. In the decision module, a deep reinforcement learning based on multi-objective optimization (DRL-MOO) algorithm is designed, which comprehensively considers the risk degree and motion states of each traffic participant. To evaluate the performance of the proposed framework, Prescan/Simulink joint simulation was conducted in highway scenarios. Experimental results validate the effectiveness and reliability of the proposed RADMN. The output driving strategy can guarantee the safety and provide key technical support for the realization of autonomous driving of commercial vehicles.

Guidelines for Developing, Supervising, Assessing and Evaluating Capstone Design Project of BSc in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Program

Inclusion of any design project in an undergraduate electrical and electronic engineering curriculum and producing creative ideas in the final year capstone design projects have received numerous comments at the Board of Accreditation for Engineering and Technical Education (BAETE) several times by the mentors and visiting program evaluator team members at different public and private universities in Bangladesh. To eradicate this deficiency which is needed for getting the program accreditation, a thorough change was required in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) for its BSc in EEE program at Southeast University, Dhaka, Bangladesh. We suggested making changes in the course curriculum titles and contents, emphasizing to include capstone design projects, question setting, examining students through other standard methods, selecting and retaining Outcome-Based Education (OBE)-oriented engineering faculty members, improving laboratories through purchasing new equipment and software as well as developing new experiments for each laboratory courses, and engaging the students to practical designs in various courses and final year projects. This paper reports on capstone design project course objectives, course outcomes, mapping with the program outcomes, cognitive domain of learning, assessment schemes, guidelines, suggestions and recommendations for supervision processes, assessment strategy, and rubric setting, etc. It is expected that this will substantially improve the capstone design projects offering, supervision, and assessment in the undergraduate EEE program to fulfill the arduous requirements of BAETE accreditation based on OBE.

The Impact of Gender Differences on the Expressions of Refusal in Jordanian Arabic

The present study investigates the use of the expression of refusal by native speakers of Jordanian Arabic (NSsJA) in different social situations (i.e. invitations, suggestions, and offers). It also investigates the influence of gender on the refusal realization patterns within the Jordanian culture to provide a better insight into the relation between situations, strategies and gender in the Jordanian culture. To that end, a group of 70 participants, including 35 male and 35 female students from different departments at the Hashemite University (HU) participated in this study using mixed methods (i.e. Discourse Completion Test (DCT), interviews and naturally occurring data). Data were analyzed in light of a developed coding scheme. The results showed that NSsJA preferred indirect strategies which mitigate the interaction such as "excuse, reason and, explanation" strategy more than other strategies which aggravate the interaction such as "face-threatening" strategy. Moreover, the analysis of this study has revealed a considerable impact of gender on the use of linguistic forms expressing refusal among NSsJA. Significant differences in the results of the Chi-square test relating the effect of participants' gender indicate that both males and females were conscious of the gender of their interlocutors. The findings provide worthwhile insights into the relation amongst types of communicative acts and the rapport between people in social interaction. They assert that refusal should not be labeled as face threatening act since it does not always pose a threat in some cases especially where refusal is expressed among friends, relatives and family members. They highlight some distinctive culture-specific features of the communicative acts of refusal.

An Optimized Method for 3D Magnetic Navigation of Nanoparticles inside Human Arteries

In the present work, a numerical method for the estimation of the appropriate gradient magnetic fields for optimum driving of the particles into the desired area inside the human body is presented. The proposed method combines Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Discrete Element Method (DEM) and Covariance Matrix Adaptation (CMA) evolution strategy for the magnetic navigation of nanoparticles. It is based on an iteration procedure that intents to eliminate the deviation of the nanoparticles from a desired path. Hence, the gradient magnetic field is constantly adjusted in a suitable way so that the particles’ follow as close as possible to a desired trajectory. Using the proposed method, it is obvious that the diameter of particles is crucial parameter for an efficient navigation. In addition, increase of particles' diameter decreases their deviation from the desired path. Moreover, the navigation method can navigate nanoparticles into the desired areas with efficiency approximately 99%.

Health Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in the Contaminated and Uncontaminated Soils

Application of health risk assessment methods is important in order to comprehend the risk of human exposure to heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants. Four soil samples were collected at distances of 10, 20, 30 m and the control 100 m away from the dump site at depths of 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 m. The collected soil samples were examined for Zn, Cu, Pb, Cd and Ni using standard methods. The health risks via the main pathways of human exposure to heavy metal were detected using relevant standard equations. Hazard quotient was calculated to determine non-carcinogenic health risk for each individual heavy metal. Life time cancer risk was calculated to determine the cumulative life cancer rating for each exposure pathway. The estimated health risk values for adults and children were generally lower than the reference dose. The calculated hazard quotient for the ingestion, inhalation and dermal contact pathways were less than unity. This means that there is no detrimental concern to the health on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. The life time cancer risk 5.4 × 10-2 was higher than the acceptable threshold value of 1 × 10-4 which is reflected to have significant health effects on human exposure to heavy metals in contaminated soil. Good hygienic practices are recommended to ease the potential risk to children and adult who are exposed to contaminated soils. Also, the local authorities should be made aware of such health risks for the purpose of planning the management strategy accordingly.

Improvement of Contractor’s Competitiveness through Sustainable Construction Practices in UAE

Sustainability of construction projects is an important issue to be addressed since the sector will continue to be developed in the coming years, especially in developing countries. Thus, it is significant to discover approaches and solutions for improving sustainability. Currently, the construction industry is the largest consumer of natural resources. This is the same in other countries in the Gulf region, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has limited natural resources such as water, electricity, etc. Recently, the UAE has taken several actions in order to implement sustainable initiatives within its construction industry. Within the industry, the contractors’ role is significant in promoting sustainable development by taking the responsibility to minimize their negative impacts on the environment and society, and maximize their economic distribution. In this research, sustainability will be studied as an important key to bring competitive advantages to contracting organizations. The contractors should understand the need to improve their sustainable performance in order to expand their business competitiveness. Competitiveness at the construction project level refers to a contractor’s ability to compete for a project. There is less focus on how to improve contractors’ competitiveness by implementing sustainable construction practices. Based on an inclusive literature review on the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness, this research will conduct a study of sustainable practice in the construction industry and the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness in order to develop a framework for evaluating how contractors can improve their competitiveness in terms of more efficient processes, enhancements in productivity, and lower costs of compliance in order to reduce the initial project cost and obtain market opportunities in the UAE. The research findings will provide a framework that can be a useful guideline for contractors to develop their sustainability policy, strategy and practice for meeting the increased requirements for sustainable development in construction.

Harmonic Pollution Control of the Electrical Network by Three-Phase Shunt Active Filter: Comparative Study of Controls, by Hysteresis and by Duty Cycle Modulation

This paper deals with the harmonic decontamination of current in an electrical grid by an active shunt filter in order to improve power quality. The contribution of this paper is mainly based on the proposal of a control strategy for an active filter based on Duty Cycle Modulation (DCM). First, three-monophase method is applied for the identification of disturbing currents. A Simulink model of this method is given for one phase of the grid. Secondly, two orders were designed: the first one is the Hysteresis Control and the second one is the DCM Control. Finally, a comparative study of the two controls was performed. The results obtained show a significant improvement in the rate of harmonic distortion for both controls. The harmonic distortion for the Hysteresis control is limited by the non-controllability of the switching frequencies of the inverter's switches and reduces the harmonic distortion rate (THD) to 3.12% as opposed to the DCM control which limits the THD to 2.82% which makes it better.

Assessing and Evaluating the Course Outcomes of Electrical Circuit Course for Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Electronic Engineering Program

At present, it is an imperative and stimulating task to grow the concepts and skills of undergraduate students in any course. Educators must build up students' higher-order complex and critical thinking abilities. But many of them find it difficult to assess and evaluate these abilities of students who undertake their courses during undergraduate studies. In this research work, a simple assessment and evaluation process for the electrical circuit course of the undergraduate Electrical and Electronic Engineering (EEE) program is reported using the Outcome-Based Education (OBE) approach. The methodology of the work, course contents design, course outcomes (COs) preparation and mapping it with program outcomes (POs), question setting following Bloom's taxonomy, assessment strategy of the students, CO and PO evaluation records, statistics, and charts have been reported for a student-cohort of electrical circuit course taken in Spring 2019 Semester at EEE Department of Southeast University (SEU). It is found that the benchmark fixed by the course instructor has been achieved by the students of that course through CO assessment and evaluation. Recommendations of the course teacher for further quality enhancement based on CO achievement are also presented.

Perceptions of Teachers toward Inclusive Education Focus on Hearing Impairment

The prime idea of inclusive education is to mainstream every child in education. However, it will be challenging for implementation when there are policy and practice gaps. It will be even more challenging when children have disabilities. Generally, the focus will be on the policy gap, but the problem may not always be with policy. The proper practice could be a challenge in the countries like Nepal. In determining practice, the teachers’ perceptions toward inclusive will play a vital role. Nepal has categorized disability in 7 types (physical, visual, hearing, vision/hearing, speech, mental, and multiple). Out of these, hearing impairment is the study realm. In the context of a limited number of researches on children with disabilities and rare researches on CWHI and their education in Nepal, this study is a pioneering effort in knowing basically the problems and challenges of CWHI focused on inclusive education in the schools including gaps and barriers in its proper implementation. Philosophically, the paradigm of the study is post-positivism. In the post-positivist worldview, the quantitative approach with the description of the situation and inferential relationship are revealed out in the study. This is related to the natural model of objective reality. The data were collected from an individual survey with the teachers and head teachers of 35 schools in Nepal. The survey questionnaire was prepared and filled by the respondents from the schools where the CWHI study in 7 provincial 20 districts of Nepal. Through these considerations, the perceptions of CWHI focused inclusive education were explored in the study. The data were analyzed using both descriptive and inferential tools on which the Likert scale-based analysis was done for descriptive analysis, and chi-square mathematical tool was used to know the significant relationship between dependent variables and independent variables. The descriptive analysis showed that the majority of teachers have positive perceptions toward implementing CWHI focused inclusive education, and the majority of them have positive perceptions toward CWHI focused inclusive education, though there are some problems and challenges. The study has found out the major challenges and problems categorically. Some of them are: a large number of students in a single class; availability of generic textbooks for CWHI and no availability of textbooks to all students; less opportunity for teachers to acquire knowledge on CWHI; not adequate teachers in the schools; no flexibility in the curriculum; less information system in schools; no availability of educational consular; disaster-prone students; no child abuse control strategy; no disabled-friendly schools; no free health check-up facility; no participation of the students in school activities and in child clubs and so on. By and large, it is found that teachers’ age, gender, years of experience, position, employment status, and disability with him or her show no statistically significant relation to successfully implement CWHI focused inclusive education and perceptions to CWHI focused inclusive education in schools. However, in some of the cases, the set null hypothesis was rejected, and some are completely retained. The study has suggested policy implications, implications for educational authority, and implications for teachers and parents categorically.

Reconsidering the Palaeo-Environmental Reconstruction of the Wet Zone of Sri Lanka: A Zooarchaeological Perspective

Bones, teeth, and shells have been acknowledged over the last two centuries as evidence of chronology, Palaeo-environment, and human activity. Faunal traces are valid evidence of past situations because they have properties that have not changed over long periods. Sri Lanka has been known as an Island, which has a diverse variety of prehistoric occupation among ecological zones. Defining the Paleoecology of the past societies has been an archaeological thought developed in the 1960s. It is mainly concerned with the reconstruction from available geological and biological evidence of past biota, populations, communities, landscapes, environments, and ecosystems. This early and persistent human fossil, technical, and cultural florescence, as well as a collection of well-preserved tropical-forest rock shelters with associated 'on-site ' Palaeoenvironmental records, makes Sri Lanka a central and unusual case study to determine the extent and strength of early human tropical forest encounters. Excavations carried out in prehistoric caves in the low country wet zone has shown that in the last 50,000 years, the temperature in the lowland rainforests has not exceeded 5 degrees. Based on Semnopithecus Priam (Gray Langur) remains unearthed from wet zone prehistoric caves, it has been argued periods of momentous climate changes during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) and Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene boundary, with a recognizable preference for semi-open ‘Intermediate’ rainforest or edges. Continuous genus Acavus and Oligospira occupation along with uninterrupted horizontal pervasive of Canarium sp. (‘kekuna’ nut) have proven that temperatures in the lowland rain forests have not changed by at least 5 °C over the last 50,000 years. Site catchment or territorial analysis cannot be any longer defensible, due to time-distance based factors as well as optimal foraging theory failed as a consequence of prehistoric people were aware of the decrease in cost-benefit ratio and located sites, and generally played out a settlement strategy that minimized the ratio of energy expended to energy produced.

Multi-Agent Searching Adaptation Using Levy Flight and Inferential Reasoning

In this paper, we describe how to achieve knowledge understanding and prediction (Situation Awareness (SA)) for multiple-agents conducting searching activity using Bayesian inferential reasoning and learning. Bayesian Belief Network was used to monitor agents' knowledge about their environment, and cases are recorded for the network training using expectation-maximisation or gradient descent algorithm. The well trained network will be used for decision making and environmental situation prediction. Forest fire searching by multiple UAVs was the use case. UAVs are tasked to explore a forest and find a fire for urgent actions by the fire wardens. The paper focused on two problems: (i) effective agents’ path planning strategy and (ii) knowledge understanding and prediction (SA). The path planning problem by inspiring animal mode of foraging using Lévy distribution augmented with Bayesian reasoning was fully described in this paper. Results proof that the Lévy flight strategy performs better than the previous fixed-pattern (e.g., parallel sweeps) approaches in terms of energy and time utilisation. We also introduced a waypoint assessment strategy called k-previous waypoints assessment. It improves the performance of the ordinary levy flight by saving agent’s resources and mission time through redundant search avoidance. The agents (UAVs) are to report their mission knowledge at the central server for interpretation and prediction purposes. Bayesian reasoning and learning were used for the SA and results proof effectiveness in different environments scenario in terms of prediction and effective knowledge representation. The prediction accuracy was measured using learning error rate, logarithm loss, and Brier score and the result proves that little agents mission that can be used for prediction within the same or different environment. Finally, we described a situation-based knowledge visualization and prediction technique for heterogeneous multi-UAV mission. While this paper proves linkage of Bayesian reasoning and learning with SA and effective searching strategy, future works is focusing on simplifying the architecture.

Exploring Dynamics of Regional Creative Economy

The aim of this paper is to build a vision of the utilization of creative industry competences in industrial and services firms connected to Kymenlaakso region, Finland, smart specialization focus areas. Research indicates that creativity and the use of creative industry’s inputs can enhance innovation and competitiveness. Currently creative methods and services are underutilized in regional businesses and the added value they provide is not well grasped. Methodologically, the research adopts a qualitative exploratory approach. Data is collected in multiple ways including a survey, focus groups, and interviews. Theoretically, the paper contributes to the discussion about the use creative industry competences in regional development, and argues for building regional creative economy ecosystems in close co-operation with regional strategies and traditional industries rather than as treating regional creative industry ecosystem initiatives separate from them. The practical contribution of the paper is the creative vision for the use of regional authorities in updating smart specialization strategy as well as boosting industrial and creative & cultural sectors’ competitiveness. The paper also illustrates a research-based model of vision building.