Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 62

Developing Improvements to Multi-Hazard Risk Assessments

This paper outlines the approaches taken to assess multi-hazard assessments. There is currently confusion in assessing multi-hazard impacts, and so this study aims to determine which of the available options are the most useful. The paper uses an international literature search, and analysis of current multi-hazard assessments and a case study to illustrate the effectiveness of the chosen method. Findings from this study will help those wanting to assess multi-hazards to undertake a straightforward approach. The paper is significant as it helps to interpret the various approaches and concludes with the preferred method. Many people in the world live in hazardous environments and are susceptible to disasters. Unfortunately, when a disaster strikes it is often compounded by additional cascading hazards, thus people would confront more than one hazard simultaneously. Hazards include natural hazards (earthquakes, floods, etc.) or cascading human-made hazards (for example, Natural Hazard Triggering Technological disasters (Natech) such as fire, explosion, toxic release). Multi-hazards have a more destructive impact on urban areas than one hazard alone. In addition, climate change is creating links between different disasters such as causing landslide dams and debris flows leading to more destructive incidents. Much of the prevailing literature deals with only one hazard at a time. However, recently sophisticated multi-hazard assessments have started to appear. Given that multi-hazards occur, it is essential to take multi-hazard risk assessment under consideration. This paper aims to review the multi-hazard assessment methods through articles published to date and categorize the strengths and disadvantages of using these methods in risk assessment. Napier City is selected as a case study to demonstrate the necessity of using multi-hazard risk assessments. In order to assess multi-hazard risk assessments, first, the current multi-hazard risk assessment methods were described. Next, the drawbacks of these multi-hazard risk assessments were outlined. Finally, the improvements to current multi-hazard risk assessments to date were summarised. Generally, the main problem of multi-hazard risk assessment is to make a valid assumption of risk from the interactions of different hazards. Currently, risk assessment studies have started to assess multi-hazard situations, but drawbacks such as uncertainty and lack of data show the necessity for more precise risk assessment. It should be noted that ignoring or partial considering multi-hazards in risk assessment will lead to an overestimate or overlook in resilient and recovery action managements.

Evaluation of Hazardous Status of Avenue Trees in University of Port Harcourt

Trees in the university environment are uniquely position; however, they can also present a millstone to the infrastructure and humans they coexist with. The numerous benefits of trees can be negated due to poor tree health and anthropogenic activities and as such can become hazardous. The study aims at evaluating the hazardous status of avenue trees in University of Port Harcourt. Data were collected from all the avenue trees within the selected major roads in the University. Tree growth variables were measured and health condition of the avenue trees were assessed as an indicator of some structural defects. The hazard status of the avenue trees was determined. Several tree species were used as avenue trees in the University however, Azadirachta indica (81%) was found to be most abundant. The result shows that only 0.3% avenue tree species was found to pose severe harzard in Abuja part of the University. Most avenue trees (55.2%) were rated as medium hazard status. Due to the danger and risk associated with hazardous trees, the study recommends that good and effective management strategies be implemented so as to prevent future damages from trees with small or medium hazard status.

Seismic Hazard Assessment of Offshore Platforms

This paper examines the effects of pile-soil-structure interaction on the dynamic response of offshore platforms under the action of near-fault earthquakes. Two offshore platforms models are investigated, one with completely fixed supports and one with piles which are clamped into deformable layered soil. The soil deformability for the second model is simulated using non-linear springs. These platform models are subjected to near-fault seismic ground motions. The role of fault mechanism on platforms’ response is additionally investigated, while the study also examines the effects of different angles of incidence of seismic records on the maximum response of each platform.

Managing the Baltic Sea Region Resilience: Prevention, Treatment Actions and Circular Economy

The worldwide future sustainable economies are oriented towards the sea: the maritime economy is becoming one of the strongest driving forces in many regions as population growth is the highest in coastal areas. For hundreds of years sea resources were depleted unsustainably by fishing, mining, transportation, tourism, and waste. European Sustainable Development Strategy is identifying and developing actions to enable the EU to achieve a continuous, long-term improvement of the quality of life through the creation of sustainable communities. The aim of this paper is to provide insight in Baltic Sea Region case studies on implemented actions on tourism industry waste and beach wrack management in coastal areas, hazardous contaminants and plastic flow treatment from waste, wastewaters and stormwaters. These projects mentioned in study promote successful prevention of contaminant flows to the sea environments and provide perspectives for creation of valuable new products from residuals for future circular economy are the step forward to green innovation winning streak.

Effect of Environmental Changes in Working Heart Rate among Industrial Workers: An Ergonomic Interpretation

Occupational health hazard is a very common term in every emerging country. Along with the unorganized sector, most organized sectors including government industries are suffering from this affliction. In addition to workload, the seasonal changes also have some impacts on working environment. With this focus in mind, one hundred male industrial workers, who are directly involved to the task of Periodic Overhauling (POH) in a fabricating workshop in the public domain are selected for this research work. They have been studied during work periods throughout different seasons in a year. For each and every season, the participants working heart rate (WHR) is measured and compared with the standards given by different national and internationally recognized agencies i.e., World Health Organization (WHO) and American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) etc. The different environmental parameters i.e. dry bulb temperature (DBT), wet bulb temperature (WBT), globe temperature (GT), natural wet bulb temperature (NWB), relative humidity (RH), wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), air velocity (AV), effective temperature (ET) are recorded throughout the seasons to critically observe the effect of seasonal changes on the WHR of the workers. The effect of changes in environment to the WHR of the workers is very much surprising. It is found that the percentages of workers who belong to the ‘very heavy’ workload category are 83.33%, 66.66% and 16.66% in the summer, rainy and winter seasons, respectively. Ongoing undertaking of this type of job profile forces the worker towards occupational disorders causing absenteeism. This occurrence results in lower production rates, and on the other hand, costs due to medical claims also weaken the industry’s economic condition. In this circumstance, the authors are trying to focus on some remedial measures from the ergonomic angle by proposing a new work/ rest regimen and introducing engineering controls along with management controls which may help the worker, and consequently, the management also.

Analysis of Risk-Based Disaster Planning in Local Communities

Planning for future disasters sets the stage for a variety of activities that may trigger multiple recurring operations and expose the community to opportunities to minimize risks. Local communities are increasingly embracing the necessity for planning based on local risks, but are also significantly challenged to effectively plan and response to disasters. This research examines basic risk-based disaster planning model and compares it with advanced risk-based planning that introduces the identification and alignment of varieties of local capabilities within and out of the local community that can be pivotal to facilitate the management of local risks and cascading effects prior to a disaster. A critical review shows that the identification and alignment of capabilities can potentially enhance risk-based disaster planning. A tailored holistic approach to risk based disaster planning is pivotal to enhance collective action and a reduction in disaster collective cost.

On the Development of a Homogenized Earthquake Catalogue for Northern Algeria

Regions with a significant percentage of non-seismically designed buildings and reduced urban planning are particularly vulnerable to natural hazards. In this context, the project ‘Improved Tools for Disaster Risk Mitigation in Algeria’ (ITERATE) aims at seismic risk mitigation in Algeria. Past earthquakes in North Algeria caused extensive damages, e.g. the El Asnam 1980 moment magnitude (Mw) 7.1 and Boumerdes 2003 Mw 6.8 earthquakes. This paper will address a number of proposed developments and considerations made towards a further improvement of the component of seismic hazard. In specific, an updated earthquake catalog (until year 2018) is compiled, and new conversion equations to moment magnitude are introduced. Furthermore, a network-based method for the estimation of the spatial and temporal distribution of the minimum magnitude of completeness is applied. We found relatively large values for Mc, due to the sparse network, and a nonlinear trend between Mw and body wave (mb) or local magnitude (ML), which are the most common scales reported in the region. Lastly, the resulting b-value of the Gutenberg-Richter distribution is sensitive to the declustering method.

Sampling and Characterization of Fines Created during the Shredding of Non Hazardous Waste

Fines are heterogeneous residues created during the shredding of non-hazardous waste. They are one of the most challenging issues faced by recyclers, because they are at the present time considered as non-sortable and non-reusable mixtures destined to landfill. However, fines contain a large amount of recoverable materials that could be recycled or reused for the production of solid recovered fuel. This research is conducted in relation to a project named ValoRABES. The aim is to characterize fines and establish a suitable sorting process in order to extract the materials contained in the mixture and define their suitable recovery paths. This paper will highlight the importance of a good sampling and will propose a sampling methodology for fines characterization. First results about the characterization will be also presented.

Image Dehazing Using Dark Channel Prior and Fast Guided Filter in Daubechies Lifting Wavelet Transform Domain

In this paper a method for image dehazing is proposed in lifting wavelet transform domain. Lifting Daubechies (D4) wavelet has been used to obtain the approximate image and detail images.  As the haze is contained in low frequency part, only the approximate image is used for further processing. This region is processed by dehazing algorithm based on dark channel prior (DCP). The dehazed approximate image is then recombined with the detail images using inverse lifting wavelet transform. Implementation of lifting wavelet transform has the advantage of auxiliary memory saving, fast implementation and simplicity. Also, the proposed method deals with near white scene problem, blue horizon issue and localized light sources in a way to enhance image quality and makes the algorithm robust. Simulation results present improvement in terms of visual quality, parameters such as root mean square (RMS) contrast, structural similarity index (SSIM), entropy and execution time.

A Study on the Waiting Time for the First Employment of Arts Graduates in Sri Lanka

Transition from tertiary level education to employment is one of the challenges that many fresh university graduates face after graduation. The transition period or the waiting time to obtain the first employment varies with the socio-economic factors and the general characteristics of a graduate. Compared to other fields of study, Arts graduates in Sri Lanka, have to wait a long time to find their first employment. The objective of this study is to identify the determinants of the transition from higher education to employment of these graduates using survival models. The study is based on a survey that was conducted in the year 2016 on a stratified random sample of Arts graduates from Sri Lankan universities who had graduated in 2012. Among the 469 responses, 36 (8%) waiting times were interval censored and 13 (3%) were right censored. Waiting time for the first employment varied between zero to 51 months. Initially, the log-rank and the Gehan-Wilcoxon tests were performed to identify the significant factors. Gender, ethnicity, GCE Advanced level English grade, civil status, university, class received, degree type, sector of first employment, type of first employment and the educational qualifications required for the first employment were significant at 10%. The Cox proportional hazards model was fitted to model the waiting time for first employment with these significant factors. All factors, except ethnicity and type of employment were significant at 5%. However, since the proportional hazard assumption was violated, the lognormal Accelerated failure time (AFT) model was fitted to model the waiting time for the first employment. The same factors were significant in the AFT model as in Cox proportional model.

An Introduction to the Concept of Environmental Audit: Indian Context

Phenomenal growth of population and industry exploits the environment in varied ways. Consequently, the greenhouse effect and other allied problems are threatening mankind the world over. Protection and up gradation of environment have, therefore, become the prime necessity all of mankind for the sustainable development of environment. People in humbler walks of life including the corporate citizens have become aware of the impacts of environmental pollution. Governments of various nations have entered the picture with laws and regulations to correct and cure the effects of present and past violations of environmental practices and to obstruct future violations of good environmental disciplines. In this perspective, environmental audit directs verification and validation to ensure that the various environmental laws are complied with and adequate care has been taken towards environmental protection and preservation. The discipline of environmental audit has experienced expressive development throughout the world. It examines the positive and negative effects of the activities of an enterprise on environment and provides an in-depth study of the company processes any growth in realizing long-term strategic goals. Environmental audit helps corporations assess its achievement, correct deficiencies and reduce risk to the health and improving safety. Environmental audit being a strong management tool should be administered by industry for its own self-assessment. Developed countries all over the globe have gone ahead in environment quantification; but unfortunately, there is a lack of awareness about pollution and environmental hazards among the common people in India. In the light of this situation, the conceptual analysis of this study is concerned with the rationale of environmental audit on the industry and the society as a whole and highlights the emerging dimensions in the auditing theory and practices. A modest attempt has been made to throw light on the recent development in environmental audit in developing nations like India and the problems associated with the implementation of environmental audit. The conceptual study also reflects that despite different obstacles, environmental audit is becoming an increasing aspect within the corporate sectors in India and lastly, conclusions along with suggestions have been offered to improve the current scenario.

Effect of Cladding Direction on Residual Stress Distribution in Laser Cladded Rails

In this investigation, a laser cladding process with a powder feeding was used to deposit stainless steel 410L (high strength, excellent resistance to abrasion and corrosion, and great laser compatibility) onto railhead (higher strength, heat treated hypereutectoid rail grade manufactured in accordance with the requirements of European standard EN 13674 Part 1 for R400HT grade), to investigate the development and controllability of process-induced residual stress in the cladding, heat-affected zone (HAZ) and substrate and to analyse their correlation with hardness profile during two different laser cladding directions (across and along the track). Residual stresses were analysed by neutron diffraction at OPAL reactor, ANSTO. Neutron diffraction was carried out on the samples in longitudinal (parallel to the rail), transverse (perpendicular to the rail) and normal (through thickness) directions with high spatial resolution through the thickness. Due to the thick rail and thin cladding, 4 mm thick reference samples were prepared from every specimen by Electric Discharge Machining (EDM). Metallography across the laser claded sample revealed four distinct zones: The clad zone, the dilution zone, HAZ and the substrate. Compressive residual stresses were found in the clad zone and tensile residual stress in the dilution zone and HAZ. Laser cladding in longitudinally cladding induced higher tensile stress in the HAZ, whereas transversely cladding rail showed lower tensile behavior.

VISMA: A Method for System Analysis in Early Lifecycle Phases

The choice of applicable analysis methods in safety or systems engineering depends on the depth of knowledge about a system, and on the respective lifecycle phase. However, the analysis method chain still shows gaps as it should support system analysis during the lifecycle of a system from a rough concept in pre-project phase until end-of-life. This paper’s goal is to discuss an analysis method, the VISSE Shell Model Analysis (VISMA) method, which aims at closing the gap in the early system lifecycle phases, like the conceptual or pre-project phase, or the project start phase. It was originally developed to aid in the definition of the system boundary of electronic system parts, like e.g. a control unit for a pump motor. Furthermore, it can be also applied to non-electronic system parts. The VISMA method is a graphical sketch-like method that stratifies a system and its parts in inner and outer shells, like the layers of an onion. It analyses a system in a two-step approach, from the innermost to the outermost components followed by the reverse direction. To ensure a complete view of a system and its environment, the VISMA should be performed by (multifunctional) development teams. To introduce the method, a set of rules and guidelines has been defined in order to enable a proper shell build-up. In the first step, the innermost system, named system under consideration (SUC), is selected, which is the focus of the subsequent analysis. Then, its directly adjacent components, responsible for providing input to and receiving output from the SUC, are identified. These components are the content of the first shell around the SUC. Next, the input and output components to the components in the first shell are identified and form the second shell around the first one. Continuing this way, shell by shell is added with its respective parts until the border of the complete system (external border) is reached. Last, two external shells are added to complete the system view, the environment and the use case shell. This system view is also stored for future use. In the second step, the shells are examined in the reverse direction (outside to inside) in order to remove superfluous components or subsystems. Input chains to the SUC, as well as output chains from the SUC are described graphically via arrows, to highlight functional chains through the system. As a result, this method offers a clear and graphical description and overview of a system, its main parts and environment; however, the focus still remains on a specific SUC. It helps to identify the interfaces and interfacing components of the SUC, as well as important external interfaces of the overall system. It supports the identification of the first internal and external hazard causes and causal chains. Additionally, the method promotes a holistic picture and cross-functional understanding of a system, its contributing parts, internal relationships and possible dangers within a multidisciplinary development team.

Natural Disaster Tourism as a Type of Dark Tourism
This theoretical paper combines the academic discourse regarding a specific part of dark tourism. Based on the literature analysis, distinction of natural disasters in thanatourism was investigated, which is connected with dynamic geographical conditions. Natural disasters used to play an important role in social life by their appearance in myths and religions. Nowadays, tourists pursuing natural hazards can be divided into three groups: Those interested in natural hazards themselves; those interested in landscape deformation and experiencing emotions shortly after extreme events - natural disasters - occur; and finally those interested in historic places log after an extreme event takes place. An important element of the natural disaster tourism is quick access to information on the location of a disaster and the destination of a potential excursion. Natural disaster tourism suits alternative tourism, yet it is opposed culture tourism, and sustainable tourism. The paper compares types and groups of tourists. It also considers the contradictions that describe dualism, which exists in dark tourism.
Evaluation of Hazelnut Hulls as an Alternative Forage Resource for Ruminant Animals

The aim of this study was to estimate the digestibility of the fruit internal skin of different varieties of hazelnuts to propose hazelnut fruit skin as an alternative feed source as roughage in ruminant nutrition. In 2015, the fruit internal skins of three different varieties of round hazelnuts (RH), pointed hazelnuts (PH) and almond hazelnuts (AH) were obtained from hazelnut processing factory then their crude nutrients analysis were carried out. Organic matter digestibility (OMD) and metabolisable energy (ME) values of hazelnut fruit skins were estimated from gas measured by in vitro gas production method. Their antioxidant activities were determined by spectrophotometric method. Crude nutrient values of three different varieties were; organic matter (OM): 87.83, 87.81 and 87.78%), crude protein (CP): 5.97, 5.93 and 5.89%, neutral detergent fiber (NDF): 30.30, 30.29 and 30.29%, acid detergent fiber (ADF): 48.68, 48.67 and 48.66% and acid detergent lignin (ADL): 25.43, 25.43 and 25.39% respectively. OMD from 24 h incubation time of RH, PH and AH were 22.04, 22.46 and 22.74%; MEGP values were 3.69, 3.75 and 3.79 MJ/kg DM; and antioxidant activity values were 94.60, 94.54 and 94.52 IC 50 mg/mL respectively. The fruit internal skin of different varieties of hazelnuts may be considered as an alternative roughage for ruminant nutrition regarding to their crude and digestible nutritive values. Moreover, hazelnut fruit skin has a rich antioxidant content so it may be used as a feed additive for both ruminant and non-ruminant animals.

Application of Griddization Management to Construction Hazard Management

Hazard management that can prevent fatal accidents and property losses is a fundamental process during the buildings’ construction stage. However, due to lack of safety supervision resources and operational pressures, the conduction of hazard management is poor and ineffective in China. In order to improve the quality of construction safety management, it is critical to explore the use of information technologies to ensure that the process of hazard management is efficient and effective. After exploring the existing problems of construction hazard management in China, this paper develops the griddization management model for construction hazard management. First, following the knowledge grid infrastructure, the griddization computing infrastructure for construction hazards management is designed which includes five layers: resource entity layer, information management layer, task management layer, knowledge transformation layer and application layer. This infrastructure will be as the technical support for realizing grid management. Second, this study divides the construction hazards into grids through city level, district level and construction site level according to grid principles. Last, a griddization management process including hazard identification, assessment and control is developed. Meanwhile, all stakeholders of construction safety management, such as owners, contractors, supervision organizations and government departments, should take the corresponding responsibilities in this process. Finally, a case study based on actual construction hazard identification, assessment and control is used to validate the effectiveness and efficiency of the proposed griddization management model. The advantage of this designed model is to realize information sharing and cooperative management between various safety management departments.

CAGE Questionnaire as a Screening Tool for Hazardous Drinking in an Acute Admissions Ward: Frequency of Application and Comparison with AUDIT-C Questionnaire
The aim of this audit was to examine the efficiency of alcohol history documentation and screening for hazardous drinkers at the Medical Admission Unit (MAU) of Northern General Hospital (NGH), Sheffield, to identify any potential for enhancing clinical practice. Data were collected from medical clerking sheets, ICE system and directly from 82 patients by three junior medical doctors using both CAGE questionnaire and AUDIT-C tool for newly admitted patients to MAU in NGH, in the period between January and March 2015. Alcohol consumption was documented in around two-third of the patient sample and this was documented fairly accurately by health care professionals. Some used subjective words such as 'social drinking' in the alcohol units’ section of the history. CAGE questionnaire was applied to only four patients and none of the patients had documented advice, education or referral to an alcohol liaison team. AUDIT-C tool had identified 30.4%, while CAGE 10.9%, of patients admitted to the NGH MAU as hazardous drinkers. The amount of alcohol the patient consumes positively correlated with the score of AUDIT-C (Pearson correlation 0.83). Re-audit is planned to be carried out after integrating AUDIT-C tool as labels in the notes and presenting a brief teaching session to junior doctors. Alcohol misuse screening is not adequately undertaken and no appropriate action is being offered to hazardous drinkers. CAGE questionnaire is poorly applied to patients and when satisfactory and adequately used has low sensitivity to detect hazardous drinkers in comparison with AUDIT-C tool. Re-audit of alcohol screening practice after introducing AUDIT-C tool in clerking sheets (as labels) is required to compare the findings and conclude the audit cycle.
Ground Motion Modelling in Bangladesh Using Stochastic Method
Geological and tectonic framework indicates that Bangladesh is one of the most seismically active regions in the world. The Bengal Basin is at the junction of three major interacting plates: the Indian, Eurasian, and Burma Plates. Besides there are many active faults within the region, e.g. the large Dauki fault in the north. The country has experienced a number of destructive earthquakes due to the movement of these active faults. Current seismic provisions of Bangladesh are mostly based on earthquake data prior to the 1990. Given the record of earthquakes post 1990, there is a need to revisit the design provisions of the code. This paper compares the base shear demand of three major cities in Bangladesh: Dhaka (the capital city), Sylhet, and Chittagong for earthquake scenarios of magnitudes 7.0MW, 7.5MW, 8.0MW, and 8.5MW using a stochastic model. In particular, the stochastic model allows the flexibility to input region specific parameters such as shear wave velocity profile (that were developed from Global Crustal Model CRUST2.0) and include the effects of attenuation as individual components. Effects of soil amplification were analysed using the Extended Component Attenuation Model (ECAM). Results show that the estimated base shear demand is higher in comparison with code provisions leading to the suggestion of additional seismic design consideration in the study regions.
The Checkout and Separation of Environmental Hazards of the Range Overlooking the Meshkin City

Natural environments have always been affected by one of the most important natural hazards, which is called, the mass movements that cause instability. Identifying the unstable regions and separating them so as to detect and determine the risk of environmental factors is one of the important issues in mountainous areas development. In this study, the northwest of Sabalan hillsides overlooking the Meshkin city and the surrounding area of that have been delimitated, in order to analyze the range processes such as landslides and debris flows based on structural and geomorphological conditions, by means of using GIS. This area due to the high slope of the hillsides and height of the region and the poor localization of roads and so because of them destabilizing the ranges own an inappropriate situation. This study is done with the purpose of identifying the effective factors in the range motion and determining the areas with high potential for zoning these movements by using GIS. The results showed that the most common range movements in the area, are debris flows, rocks falling and landslides. The effective factors in each one of the mass movements, considering a small amount of weight for each factor, the weight map of each factor and finally, the map of risk zoning for the range movements were provided. Based on the zoning map resulted in the study area, the risking level of damaging has specified into the four zones of very high risk, high risk, medium risk, low risk, in which areas with very high and high risk are settled near the road and along the Khyav river and in the  mountainous district.

Effect of Atmospheric Turbulence on Hybrid FSO/RF Link Availability under Qatar Harsh Climate
Although there has been a growing interest in the hybrid free-space optical link and radio frequency FSO/RF communication system, the current literature is limited to results obtained in moderate or cold environment. In this paper, using a soft switching approach, we investigate the effect of weather inhomogeneities on the strength of turbulence hence the channel refractive index under Qatar harsh environment and their influence on the hybrid FSO/RF availability. In this approach, either FSO/RF or simultaneous or none of them can be active. Based on soft switching approach and a finite state Markov Chain (FSMC) process, we model the channel fading for the two links and derive a mathematical expression for the outage probability of the hybrid system. Then, we evaluate the behavior of the hybrid FSO/RF under hazy and harsh weather. Results show that the FSO/RF soft switching renders the system outage probability less than that of each link individually. A soft switching algorithm is being implemented on FPGAs using Raptor code interfaced to the two terminals of a 1Gbps/100 Mbps FSO/RF hybrid system, the first being implemented in the region. Experimental results are compared to the above simulation results.
Numerical and Infrared Mapping of Temperature in Heat Affected Zone during Plasma Arc Cutting of Mild Steel
During welding or flame cutting of metals, the prediction of heat affected zone (HAZ) is critical. There is need to develop a simple mathematical model to calculate the temperature variation in HAZ and derivative analysis can be used for this purpose. This study presents analytical solution for heat transfer through conduction in mild steel plate. The homogeneous and nonhomogeneous boundary conditions are single variables. The full field analytical solutions of temperature measurement, subjected to local heating source, are derived first by method of separation of variables followed with the experimental visualization using infrared imaging. Based on the present work, it is suggested that appropriate heat input characteristics controls the temperature distribution in and around HAZ.
Advantages of Vibration in the GMAW Process for Improving the Quality and Mechanical Properties
Since 1920, the industry has almost completely changed the rivets production techniques for the manufacture of permanent welding join production of structures and manufacture of other products. The welding arc is the process more widely used in industries. This is accomplished by the heat of an electric arc which melts the base metal while the molten metal droplets are transferred through the arc to the welding pool, protected from the atmosphere by a gas curtain. The GMAW (Gas metal arc welding) process is influenced by variables such as: current, polarity, welding speed, electrode: extension, position, moving direction; type of joint, welder's ability, among others. It is remarkable that the knowledge and control of these variables are essential for obtaining satisfactory quality welds, knowing that are interconnected so that changes in one of them requiring changes in one or more of the other to produce the desired results. The optimum values are affected by the type of base metal, the electrode composition, the welding position and the quality requirements. Thus, this paper proposes a new methodology, adding the variable vibration through a mechanism developed for GMAW welding, in order to improve the mechanical and metallurgical properties which does not affect the ability of the welder and enables repeatability of the welds made. For confirmation metallographic analysis and mechanical tests were made.
Consumer Market for Georgian Hazelnut and the Strategy to Improve Its Competitiveness

The paper presents the trends of Georgian hazelnut market development and analyses the competitive advantages which will help Georgia to enter international hazelnut market using modern technologies. The history of hazelnut crop development and hazelnut varieties in Georgia are discussed. For hazelnut supply analysis trends in hazelnut production are considered, trends in export and import development is evaluated, domestic hazelnut market is studied and analysed based on expert interviews and initial accounting materials. In order to achieve and strengthen its position in international market, potential advantages and disadvantages of Georgian hazelnut are revealed, analysis of export and import possibilities of hazelnut is presented. Recommendations are developed based on the conclusions, which are made through identifying the key factors that hinder development of Georgian hazelnut market. 

Decision Support System for a Pilot Flash Flood Early Warning System in Central Chile

Flash Floods, together with landslides, are a common natural threat for people living in mountainous regions and foothills. One way to deal with this constant menace is the use of Early Warning Systems, which have become a very important mitigation strategy for natural disasters. In this work we present our proposal for a pilot Flash Flood Early Warning System for Santiago, Chile, the first stage of a more ambitious project that in a future stage shall also include early warning of landslides. To give a context for our approach, we first analyze three existing Flash Flood Early Warning Systems, focusing on their general architectures. We then present our proposed system, with main focus on the decision support system, a system that integrates empirical models and fuzzy expert systems to achieve reliable risk estimations.

Civil Protection in Mass Methanol Poisoning in the Czech Republic

The paper is focused on the methods to solutions of the crisis situation in the Czech Republic associated with the mass methanol poisoning. The emphasis is put on tasks of individual state bodies and of Integrated Rescue System during the handling of the crisis. The theoretical part describes poisonings, ways of intoxication, types of intoxicants and cases of mass poisoning by dangerous substances in the world. The practical part describes the development, causes and solutions of extraordinary event, mass methanol poisoning in the Czech Republic. The main emphasis was put on the crisis management of the Czech Republic in solving this situation.

Determining Occurrence in FMEA Using Hazard Function

FMEA has been used for several years and proved its efficiency for system’s risk analysis due to failures. Risk priority number found in FMEA is used to rank failure modes that may occur in a system. There are some guidelines in the literature to assign the values of FMEA components known as Severity, Occurrence and Detection. This paper propose a method to assign the value for occurrence in more realistic manner representing the state of the system under study rather than depending totally on the experience of the analyst. This method uses the hazard function of a system to determine the value of occurrence depending on the behavior of the hazard being constant, increasing or decreasing.

Studies on Microstructure and Mechanical Properties of Simulated Heat Affected Zone in a Micro Alloyed Steel
Proper selection of welding parameters for getting excellent weld is a challenge. HAZ simulation helps in identifying suitable welding parameters like heating rate, cooling rate, peak temperature, and energy input. In this study, the influence of weld thermal cycle of heat affected zone (HAZ) is simulated for Submerged Arc Welding (SAW) using Gleeble ® 3800 thermomechanical simulator. A (Micro-alloyed) MA steel plate of thickness 18 mm having yield strength 450MPa is used for making test specimens. Determination of the mechanical properties of weld simulated specimens including Charpy V-notch toughness and hardness is performed. Peak temperatures of 1300°C, 1150°C, 1000°C, 900°C, 800°C, heat energy input of 22KJ/cm and preheat temperatures of 30°C have been used with Rykalin-3D simulation model. It is found that the impact toughness (75J) is the best for the simulated HAZ specimen at the peak temperature 900ºC. For parent steel, impact toughness value is 26.8J at -50°C in transverse direction.
Dark and Bright Envelopes for Dehazing Images

We present a method for dehazing images. A dark envelope image is derived with the bilateral minimum filter and a bright envelope is derived with the bilateral maximum filter. The ambient light and transmission of the scene are estimated from these two envelope images. An image without haze is reconstructed from the estimated ambient light and transmission.

Seismic Vulnerability Mitigation of Non-Engineered Buildings

The tremendous loss of life that resulted in the aftermath of recent earthquakes in developing countries is mostly due to the collapse of non-engineered and semi-engineered building structures. Such structures are used as houses, schools, primary healthcare centers and government offices. These building are classified structurally into two categories viz. non-engineered and semi-engineered. Non-engineered structures include: adobe, unreinforced masonry (URM) and wood buildings. Semi-engineered buildings are mostly low-rise (up to 3 story) light concrete frame structures or masonry bearing walls with reinforced concrete slab. This paper presents an overview of the typical damage observed in non-engineered structures and their most likely causes in the past earthquakes with specific emphasis on the performance of such structures in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake. It is demonstrated that seismic performance of these structures can be improved from life-safety viewpoint by adopting simple low-cost modifications to the existing construction practices. Incorporation of some of these practices in the reconstruction efforts after the 2005 Kashmir earthquake are examined in the last section for mitigating seismic risk hazard.

Automated Natural Hazard Zonation System with Internet-SMS Warning: Distributed GIS for Sustainable Societies Creating Schema & Interface for Mapping & Communication

The research describes the implementation of a novel and stand-alone system for dynamic hazard warning. The system uses all existing infrastructure already in place like mobile networks, a laptop/PC and the small installation software. The geospatial dataset are the maps of a region which are again frugal. Hence there is no need to invest and it reaches everyone with a mobile. A novel architecture of hazard assessment and warning introduced where major technologies in ICT interfaced to give a unique WebGIS based dynamic real time geohazard warning communication system. A never before architecture introduced for integrating WebGIS with telecommunication technology. Existing technologies interfaced in a novel architectural design to address a neglected domain in a way never done before – through dynamically updatable WebGIS based warning communication. The work publishes new architecture and novelty in addressing hazard warning techniques in sustainable way and user friendly manner. Coupling of hazard zonation and hazard warning procedures into a single system has been shown. Generalized architecture for deciphering a range of geo-hazards has been developed. Hence the developmental work presented here can be summarized as the development of internet-SMS based automated geo-hazard warning communication system; integrating a warning communication system with a hazard evaluation system; interfacing different open-source technologies towards design and development of a warning system; modularization of different technologies towards development of a warning communication system; automated data creation, transformation and dissemination over different interfaces. The architecture of the developed warning system has been functionally automated as well as generalized enough that can be used for any hazard and setup requirement has been kept to a minimum.

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