WorldWideScience

Sample records for greatly improving performance

  1. Extremely Durable, Flexible Supercapacitors with Greatly Improved Performance at High Temperatures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sung-Kon; Kim, Hae Jin; Lee, Jong-Chan; Braun, Paul V; Park, Ho Seok

    2015-08-25

    The reliability and durability of energy storage devices are as important as their essential characteristics (e.g., energy and power density) for stable power output and long lifespan and thus much more crucial under harsh conditions. However, energy storage under extreme conditions is still a big challenge because of unavoidable performance decays and the inevitable damage of components. Here, we report high-temperature operating, flexible supercapacitors (f-SCs) that can provide reliable power output and extreme durability under severe electrochemical, mechanical, and thermal conditions. The outstanding capacitive features (e.g., ∼40% enhancement of the rate capability and a maximum capacitances of 170 F g(-1) and 18.7 mF cm(-2) at 160 °C) are attributed to facilitated ion transport at elevated temperatures. Under high-temperature operation and/or a flexibility test in both static and dynamic modes at elevated temperatures >100 °C, the f-SCs showed extreme long-term stability of 100000 cycles (>93% of initial capacitance value) and mechanical durability after hundreds of bending cycles (at bend angles of 60-180°). Even at 120 °C, the versatile design of tandem serial and parallel f-SCs was demonstrated to provide both desirable energy and power requirements at high temperatures.

  2. Turning great strategy into great performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mankins, Michael C; Steele, Richard

    2005-01-01

    Despite the enormous time and energy that goes into strategy development, many companies have little to show for their efforts. Indeed, research by the consultancy Marakon Associates suggests that companies on average deliver only 63% of the financial performance their strategies promise. In this article, Michael Mankins and Richard Steele of Marakon present the findings of this research. They draw on their experience with high-performing companies like Barclays, Cisco, Dow Chemical, 3M, and Roche to establish some basic rules for setting and delivering strategy: Keep it simple, make it concrete. Avoid long, drawn-out descriptions of lofty goals and instead stick to clear language describing what your company will and won't do. Debate assumptions, not forecasts. Create cross-functional teams drawn from strategy, marketing, and finance to ensure the assumptions underlying your long-term plans reflect both the real economics of your company's markets and its actual performance relative to competitors. Use a rigorous analytic framework. Ensure that the dialogue between the corporate center and the business units about market trends and assumptions is conducted within a rigorous framework, such as that of "profit pools". Discuss resource deployments early. Create more realistic forecasts and more executable plans by discussing up front the level and timing of critical deployments. Clearly identify priorities. Prioritize tactics so that employees have a clear sense of where to direct their efforts. Continuously monitor performance. Track resource deployment and results against plan, using continuous feedback to reset assumptions and reallocate resources. Reward and develop execution capabilities. Motivate and develop staff. Following these rules strictly can help narrow the strategy-to-performance gap.

  3. Academic Performance and the Great Recession

    OpenAIRE

    Adamopoulou, Effrosyni; Tanzi, Giulia M.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper we study how the Great Recession affected university students in terms of performance, with a special focus on the dropout probability. To do so, we use individual-level data on a representative sample of university students in Italy in 2007 and 2011. We measure the severity of the recession in terms of increases in adult and youth unemployment rate and we exploit geographical variation to achieve identification. On the one hand, an increase in adult male unemployment rate deter...

  4. Improving fleet performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramjist, S.

    2015-01-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  5. Improving fleet performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ramjist, S. [Ontario Power Generation, Toronto, ON (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Use Fleet Initiatives to Improve Overall Fleet Performance . Tightly Integrated with Business Planning (Cause & Effect) . Leverage Strength of Broader Organization - Converge on Standard Business Practices . Ancillary Benefit of Improved Agility.

  6. MCNP Progress & Performance Improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Forrest B. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Bull, Jeffrey S. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Rising, Michael Evan [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-04-14

    Twenty-eight slides give information about the work of the US DOE/NNSA Nuclear Criticality Safety Program on MCNP6 under the following headings: MCNP6.1.1 Release, with ENDF/B-VII.1; Verification/Validation; User Support & Training; Performance Improvements; and Work in Progress. Whisper methodology will be incorporated into the code, and run speed should be increased.

  7. Containment performance improvement program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beckner, W.; Mitchell, J.; Soffer, L.; Chow, E.; Lane, J.; Ridgely, J.

    1990-01-01

    The Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program has been one of the main elements in the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) integrated approach to closure of severe accident issues for US nuclear power plants. During the course of the program, results from various probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) studies and from severe accident research programs for the five US containment types have been examined to identify significant containment challenges and to evaluate potential improvements. The five containment types considered are: the boiling water reactor (BMR) Mark I containment, the BWR Mark II containment, the BWR Mark III containment, the pressurized water reactor (PWR) ice condenser containment, and the PWR dry containments (including both subatmospheric and large subtypes). The focus of the CPI program has been containment performance and accident mitigation, however, insights are also being obtained in the areas of accident prevention and accident management

  8. Building unique surface structure on aramid fibers through a green layer-by-layer self-assembly technique to develop new high performance fibers with greatly improved surface activity, thermal resistance, mechanical properties and UV resistance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Lifang; Yuan, Li; Guan, Qingbao; Gu, Aijuan, E-mail: ajgu@suda.edu.cn; Liang, Guozheng, E-mail: lgzheng@suda.edu.cn

    2017-07-31

    Highlights: • A green technology is setup to build unique surface structure on aramid fiber (AF). • The method is layer-by-layer self-assembling SiO{sub 2} and layered double hydroxide. • The surface of AF is adjustable by controlling the self-assembly cycle number. • New AF has excellent surface activity, anti-UV, thermal and mechanical properties. • The origin behind attractive performances of new AFs was intensively studied. - Abstract: Combining green preparation and high performance is becoming the direction of sustainable development of materials. How to simultaneously overcome the two bottlenecks (poor surface activity and UV resistance) of aramid fibers (AFs) while improving thermal and mechanical properties through a green process is still an interesting issue with big challenge. Herein, new AFs (BL-AFs) were prepared by alternately self-assembling SiO{sub 2} and MgAlFe layered double hydroxide (LDH) on surfaces of AFs, successively, through a green layer-by-layer (LBL) self-assembly technique without using high temperature and organic solvent. The structures and properties of BL-AFs were systematically studied, which are controllable by adjusting the number of self-assembly cycle. The new fibers with three or more self-assembly cycles have remarkably improved surface activity, thermal resistance, mechanical properties and UV resistance compared with AFs. Typically, with three self-assembly cycles, the initial degradation temperature and char yield of the new fiber (3BL-AF) are as high as 552.9 °C and 81.2%, about 92 °C and 25.2% higher than those of AF, respectively; after 168 h-UV irradiation, the retention of tensile performances of 3BL-AF fiber is as high as 91–95%, about 29–14% higher than that of AF, showing the best overall performances among all modified AFs prepared using a green technique reported so far. The origin behind the attractive performances of BL-AFs is revealed through correlating with structures of original and

  9. Improved Performance With Ventilation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawakami, Ellison; Lee, Seung Jae; Karn, Ashish; Hong, Jiarong; Arndt, Roger

    2013-11-01

    Drag reduction and/or speed augmentation of marine vehicles by means of supercavitation is a topic of great interest. During the initial launch of a supercavitating vehicle, ventilation is required to supply an artificial cavity until conditions at which a natural supercavity can be sustained are reached. Various aspects of the flow physics of a supercavitating vehicle have been under investigation for several years at Saint Anthony Falls Laboratory. Both steady flow and simulated flow below a wave train have been studied. Using a high speed camera and the proper software, it is possible to synchronize cavity dimensions with pressure measurements taken inside the cavity to permit an in-depth study of unsteadiness. It was found that flow unsteadiness caused a decrease in the overall length of the supercavity while having only a minimal effect on the maximum diameter. Results regarding supercavity shape, ventilation demand, cavitation parameters and closure methods are reviewed in light of new studies that focused on various closure mechanisms. Sponsored by ONR.

  10. Improving construction performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-03-01

    Design for Constructability's overall purpose was to identify and address changes in the nuclear industry to restore nuclear energy as an attractive option for new generating capacity. As the centerpiece of project control, a comprehensive, stable schedule should organize the project logically to accomplish the project's objectives. A good schedule will: integrate the project team; serve as a communications tool to all members of the project team; and provide a means to monitor and measure project performance

  11. Can training improve human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Waylett, W.J. Jr.

    1986-01-01

    The nuclear industry has made a significant commitment to improve training through the implementation of performance-based training programs. Senior management expects that human performance improvement will result from this significant resource allocation. The author examines this hypothesis and discusses other issues that may interfere with enhancing human performance through training. The integration of quality improvement concepts to support training is also discussed by the author, who was a pioneer facilitator during the development of Florida Power and Light Company's Quality Improvement Program. Critical success factors are proposed based on the author's experience as a plant manager, training manager and quality facilitator

  12. Improved performance of the industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffrey, R.

    1994-01-01

    The remarkable improvements in the performance of AGR stations is illustrated. The underlying reasons for this improvement are discussed, emphasizing both the operational performance factors which have led to higher sustained output and the managerial and cultural changes which have focused attention at all levels on the need to be competitive. It is concluded that the UK nuclear industry has become world class with more improvements to come, an asset to the UK. (Author)

  13. Performance improvement: the organization's quest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinley, C O; Parmer, D E; Saint-Amand, R A; Harbin, C B; Roulston, J C; Ellis, R A; Buchanan, J R; Leonard, R B

    1999-01-01

    In today's health care marketplace, quality has become an expectation. Stakeholders are demanding quality clinical outcomes, and accrediting bodies are requiring clinical performance data. The Roosevelt Institute's quest was to define and quantify quality outcomes, develop an organizational culture of performance improvement, and ensure customer satisfaction. Several of the organization's leaders volunteered to work as a team to develop a specific performance improvement approach tailored to the organization. To date, over 200 employees have received an orientation to the model and its philosophy and nine problem action and process improvement teams have been formed.

  14. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doucett, J. [NB Nuclear Power, Point Lepreau, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  15. Performance improvement - business excellence processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doucett, J.

    2010-01-01

    This presentation discusses Performance Improvement which is defined as 'the process of identifying and analyzing important organizational and individual performance gaps, planning for future performance improvement, designing and developing cost-effective and ethically justifiable intervention to close performance gaps, implementing the interventions and evaluating the financial and non-financial results', i.e. making things better. Specifically, it discusses the refurbishment outage at the Point Lepreau Power Plant that began at the end of March 2008. The business risks identified in 2008 were leadership, demographics and management system.

  16. Windows with improved energy performances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2003-01-01

    Heat loss through windows represents a considerable part of the total heat loss from houses. However, apart from providing daylight access and view, windows offer a unique potential for solar gain to be exploited during the heating season. Until now valuation of the energy performance of windows...... has primary focused on the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However, as the U-value, especially for the glazing part, has improved considerably during the last years, the total solar energy transmittance, g-value, has become equally important to the total energy performance of windows. Improved energy...... resulted in a window with a positive net energy gain (in short the Net Gain Window), which means that it contributes to the space heating of the building. All improvements are based on existing technology and manufacturing methods. The results from this work show that the energy performances of windows can...

  17. Techniques for Improving Spelling Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saylor, Paul

    Improving spelling performance of college students is a question of insuring that the correct information is in long-term memory and readily retrievable. Any system of spelling instruction should recognize the capacity limits of the sensory register and short-term memory; provide for identification of and concentration on the distinctive features…

  18. Programs to improve plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Felmus, N.L.

    1987-01-01

    Looking toward the 1990's, we see a period in which our industry will face the challenge of improving the performance of the nuclear plants which are built and operating. The skills and technology are at hand to make good plant performance a reality and we believe the time has come to use them to achieve that end. As reserve margins decline, utilities and their regulators will increasingly seek to tap the unexploited capacity tied up in plants operating below their optimum availability. This paper describes a number of the programs, plant improvements and operations improvements which can yield a significant increase in nuclear plant availability and capacity factor now and into the 1990's. (author)

  19. 100 ways to make good photos great tips & techniques for improving your digital photography

    CERN Document Server

    Cope, Peter

    2013-01-01

    A practical, accessible guide to turning your good photographs into great ones whether you are shooting on the latest digital SLR or a camera phone! Discover 100 simple and fun ways to improve your photographs both in-camera and through post-processing image manipulation. Every key photographic genre is covered, from perfect portraits and the great outdoors, to travel photos and shooting at night. Filled with inspirational examples of great photographs compared against the more average images, with easy to follow techniques for how you can achieve the same results.

  20. Sodium bicarbonate improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindh, A M; Peyrebrune, M C; Ingham, S A; Bailey, D M; Folland, J P

    2008-06-01

    Sodium bicarbonate ingestion has been shown to improve performance in single-bout, high intensity events, probably due to an increase in buffering capacity, but its influence on single-bout swimming performance has not been investigated. The effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 200 m freestyle swimming performance were investigated in elite male competitors. Following a randomised, double blind counterbalanced design, 9 swimmers completed maximal effort swims on 3 separate occasions: a control trial (C); after ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (SB: NaHCO3 300 mg . kg (-1) body mass); and after ingestion of a placebo (P: CaCO3 200 mg . kg (-1) body mass). The SB and P agents were packed in gelatine capsules and ingested 90 - 60 min prior to each 200 m swim. Mean 200 m performance times were significantly faster for SB than C or P (1 : 52.2 +/- 4.7; 1 : 53.7 +/- 3.8; 1 : 54.0 +/- 3.6 min : ss; p bicarbonate were all elevated pre-exercise in the SB compared to C and P trials (p < 0.05). Post-200 m blood lactate concentrations were significantly higher following the SB trial compared with P and C (p < 0.05). It was concluded that SB supplementation can improve 200 m freestyle performance time in elite male competitors, most likely by increasing buffering capacity.

  1. Bitumen nanocomposites with improved performance

    KAUST Repository

    Kosma, Vasiliki

    2017-11-29

    Bitumen-clay nanocomposite binders with styrene-butadienestyrene triblock copolymer, SBS, and combinations of SBS and crumb rubber (CR) with different CR/SBS ratios have been synthesized and characterized. In addition to the binder, samples containing the binder and concrete sand (with a weight ratio 1:9) were prepared. The modified binders were studied in terms of filler dispersion, storage stability, mechanical performance and water susceptibility. We demonstrate that the samples containing nanoclays consistently outperform those based only on the polymer additives. We also find that nanocomposite samples based on a combination of SBS and CR are best, since in addition to other improvements they show excellent storage stability. Our work shows that substituting CR with SBS as a bitumen additive and combining it with inexpensive nanoclays leads to new materials with enhanced performance and improved stability for practical asphalt applications.

  2. Improving engineers' performance with computers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purvis, E.E. III

    1984-01-01

    The problem addressed is how to improve the performance of engineers in the design, operation, and maintenance of nuclear power plants. The application of computer science to this problem offers a challenge in maximizing the use of developments outside the nuclear industry and setting priorities to address the most fruitful areas first. Areas of potential benefits include data base management through design, analysis, procurement, construction, operation maintenance, cost, schedule and interface control and planning, and quality engineering on specifications, inspection, and training

  3. Windows with improved energy performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Noyé, Peter Anders; Laustsen, Jacob Birck; Svendsen, Svend

    2002-01-01

    According to the Danish energy protocol, Energy 21, one of the goals with highest priority is to reduce the CO2-emission. Energy consumption for domestic heating is a major contributor to the CO2-emission; hence one of the primary efforts to reach the goal is by saving energy in the households...... performances. During the last 20 years the U-value of the glazing part of windows has been improved considerably, but the frame part has not followed the same development with respect to energy performance. Therefore an increasingly large part of the total heat loss through windows is relating to the frame...... part, for which reason, as far as energy efficiency and total economy are concerned, it has become more interesting to further develop frame structures. Traditionally, the energy performance of windows has primarily been characterised by the heat loss coefficient, U-value. However as the heat loss has...

  4. Improved power performance assessment methods

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frandsen, S; Antoniou, I; Dahlberg, J A [and others

    1999-03-01

    The uncertainty of presently-used methods for retrospective assessment of the productive capacity of wind farms is unacceptably large. The possibilities of improving the accuracy have been investigated and are reported. A method is presented that includes an extended power curve and site calibration. In addition, blockage effects with respect to reference wind speed measurements are analysed. It is found that significant accuracy improvements are possible by the introduction of more input variables such as turbulence and wind shear, in addition to mean wind speed and air density. Also, the testing of several or all machines in the wind farm - instead of only one or two - may provide a better estimate of the average performance. (au)

  5. Performance improvement through management audits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arter, D.R.

    1986-01-01

    We should go back to the basics of what a quality assurance program is designed to accomplish and then use that program to provide confidence to the public that actions are correct. The quality assurance management audit, if done responsible with trained people, is the best tool we have to monitor the goal of conducting business safely and correctly. Audit report should be used to project future performance and should not be used as a forum for recommendations. They should be presented in such a manner as to allow the managers involved to continually improve the work activity

  6. Great improvement in pseudocapacitor properties of nickel hydroxide via simple gold deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Sun-I.; Thiyagarajan, Pradheep; Jang, Ji-Hyun

    2014-09-01

    In this letter, we report a facile approach to improve the capacitor properties of nickel hydroxide (Ni(OH)2) by simply coating gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) on the surface of Ni(OH)2. Au NP-deposited Ni(OH)2 (Au/Ni(OH)2) has been prepared by application of a conventional colloidal coating of Au NPs on the surface of 3D-Ni(OH)2 synthesized via a hydrothermal method. Compared with pristine Ni(OH)2, Au/Ni(OH)2 shows a 41% enhanced capacitance value, excellent rate capacitance behavior at high current density conditions, and greatly improved cycling stability for supercapacitor applications. The specific capacitance of Au/Ni(OH)2 reached 1927 F g-1 at 1 A g-1, which is close to the theoretical capacitance and retained 66% and 80% of the maximum value at a high current density of 20 A g-1 and 5000 cycles while that of pristine Ni(OH)2 was 1363 F g-1 and significantly decreased to 48% and 30%, respectively, under the same conditions. The outstanding performance of Au/Ni(OH)2 as a supercapacitor is attributed to the presence of metal Au NPs on the surface of semiconductor Ni(OH)2; this permits the creation of virtual 3D conducting networks via metal/semiconductor contact, which induces fast electron and ion transport by acting as a bridge between Ni(OH)2 nanostructures, thus eventually leading to significantly improved electrochemical capacitive behaviors, as confirmed by the EIS and I-V characteristic data.In this letter, we report a facile approach to improve the capacitor properties of nickel hydroxide (Ni(OH)2) by simply coating gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) on the surface of Ni(OH)2. Au NP-deposited Ni(OH)2 (Au/Ni(OH)2) has been prepared by application of a conventional colloidal coating of Au NPs on the surface of 3D-Ni(OH)2 synthesized via a hydrothermal method. Compared with pristine Ni(OH)2, Au/Ni(OH)2 shows a 41% enhanced capacitance value, excellent rate capacitance behavior at high current density conditions, and greatly improved cycling stability for

  7. improving performance of laying hens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.P Sinurat

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A trial was conducted in order to study the effect of the supplementation of Avizyme 1500® (Danisco Animal Nutrition, Marlborough, UK on the performance of laying hens for one year. A control diet based on corn – soybean meal was formulated to meet nutrient requirement of ISA Brown laying hens. Two treatments, the control diet (C and C + 1000 g Avizyme/tonne diet were tested. Each diet was fed to 80 birds (20 replicates of 4 birds from 20 to 72 weeks of age, and performances of birds (feed intake, egg production, egg size, egg mass, feed conversion ratio, and egg quality were measured. All data were subject to analyses of variance following the t-test. Results showed that the addition of Avizyme 1500 to the feed reduced feed intake by 4% (P < 0.01, mortality by 75 % or from 15% to 3.75% (P < 0.01 and improved the feed conversion ratio by 3 % (P < 0.05. The high mortality of the control treatment (15% is explained by an E.coli infection that was observed following the post-mortem examination of dead birds. The egg production (HD and HH, egg size and egg mass however were not significantly affected by the Avizyme supplementation. Egg quality (HU, yolk colour score, yolk weight and shell thickness was not significantly affected by Avizyme supplementation. It can be concluded that the supplementation of 1000 g Avizyme /tonne of diet improved feed efficiency and this was mediated via a reduction in feed intake.

  8. Performances and improvement of copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Fenfen; Zhang Hao; Sun Haijun; Liu Xiaojie

    2012-01-01

    Copper-hydrazine complexation deoxidising resin is tested to examine its performances including effluent water quality and capacity of deoxidisation. By the means of changing the resin type and regeneration, the deoxidising capacity of the resin can be improved to 13 times more than before. At the same time, physical performances of the resin are also greatly improved while maintaining its velocity of deoxidisation and effluent quality. (authors)

  9. Measuring and improving infrastructure performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Measuring and Improving Infrastructure Performance, National Research Council

    .... Developing a framework for guiding attempts at measuring the performance of infrastructure systems and grappling with the concept of defining good performance are the major themes of this book...

  10. Modeling detection probability to improve marsh bird surveys in southern Canada and the Great Lakes states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Marsh birds are notoriously elusive, with variation in detection probability across species, regions, seasons, and different times of day and weather. Therefore, it is important to develop regional field survey protocols that maximize detections, but that also produce data for estimating and analytically adjusting for remaining differences in detections. We aimed to improve regional field survey protocols by estimating detection probability of eight elusive marsh bird species throughout two regions that have ongoing marsh bird monitoring programs: the southern Canadian Prairies (Prairie region and the southern portion of the Great Lakes basin and parts of southern Québec (Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. We accomplished our goal using generalized binomial N-mixture models and data from ~22,300 marsh bird surveys conducted between 2008 and 2014 by Bird Studies Canada's Prairie, Great Lakes, and Québec Marsh Monitoring Programs. Across all species, on average, detection probability was highest in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region from the beginning of May until mid-June, and then fell throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was lowest in the Prairie region in mid-May and then increased throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was highest during darkness compared with light; and did not vary significantly according to temperature (range: 0-30°C, cloud cover (0%-100%, or wind (0-20 kph, or during morning versus evening. We used our results to formulate improved marsh bird survey protocols for each region. Our analysis and recommendations are useful and contribute to conservation of wetland birds at various scales from local single-species studies to the continental North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.

  11. Equipment improvements for performance enhancement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gaestel, P.; Guesnon, H.; Sauze, G.

    1994-01-01

    In order to enhance the reactor availability, several improvements on reactor equipment have been developed: design optimization for stator maintenance replacement in the main alternator; adjustment modification of stator coils in the main alternator for an easier maintenance; improvement of the fuel handling line (pole crane, transfer equipment, loading machine); development of a loose part trapping system in the steam generator secondary circuit. 1 tab

  12. Benchmark for Strategic Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gohlke, Annette

    1997-01-01

    Explains benchmarking, a total quality management tool used to measure and compare the work processes in a library with those in other libraries to increase library performance. Topics include the main groups of upper management, clients, and staff; critical success factors for each group; and benefits of benchmarking. (Author/LRW)

  13. Optimizing hyaluronidase dose and plasmid DNA delivery greatly improves gene electrotransfer efficiency in rat skeletal muscle

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Åkerström, Thorbjörn; Vedel, Kenneth; Needham Andersen, Josefine

    2015-01-01

    Transfection of rat skeletal muscle in vivo is a widely used research model. However, gene electrotransfer protocols have been developed for mice and yield variable results in rats. We investigated whether changes in hyaluronidase pre-treatment and plasmid DNA delivery can improve transfection...... with a homogenous distribution. We also show that transfection was stable over five weeks of regular exercise or inactivity. Our findings show that species-specific plasmid DNA delivery and hyaluronidase pre-treatment greatly improves transfection efficiency in rat skeletal muscle....... efficiency in rat skeletal muscle. We found that pre-treating the muscle with a hyaluronidase dose suitable for rats (0.56. U/g b.w.) prior to plasmid DNA injection increased transfection efficiency by >200% whereas timing of the pre-treatment did not affect efficiency. Uniformly distributing plasmid DNA...

  14. Big Ship Data: Using vessel measurements to improve estimates of temperature and wind speed on the Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, Kevin; Kerkez, Branko

    2017-05-01

    The sheer size of many water systems challenges the ability of in situ sensor networks to resolve spatiotemporal variability of hydrologic processes. New sources of vastly distributed and mobile measurements are, however, emerging to potentially fill these observational gaps. This paper poses the question: How can nontraditional measurements, such as those made by volunteer ship captains, be used to improve hydrometeorological estimates across large surface water systems? We answer this question through the analysis of one of the largest such data sets: an unprecedented collection of one million unique measurements made by ships on the North American Great Lakes from 2006 to 2014. We introduce a flexible probabilistic framework, which can be used to integrate ship measurements, or other sets of irregular point measurements, into contiguous data sets. The performance of this framework is validated through the development of a new ship-based spatial data product of water temperature, air temperature, and wind speed across the Great Lakes. An analysis of the final data product suggests that the availability of measurements across the Great Lakes will continue to play a large role in the confidence with which these large surface water systems can be studied and modeled. We discuss how this general and flexible approach can be applied to similar data sets, and how it will be of use to those seeking to merge large collections of measurements with other sources of data, such as physical models or remotely sensed products.

  15. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    OpenAIRE

    Buble, Marin; Dulčić, Želimir; Pavić, Ivan

    2017-01-01

    Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  16. Methodological approach to organizational performance improvement process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marin Buble

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Organizational performance improvement is one of the fundamental enterprise tasks. This especially applies to the case when the term “performance improvement” implies efficiency improvement measured by indicators, such as ROI, ROE, ROA, or ROVA/ROI. Such tasks are very complex, requiring implementation by means of project management. In this paper, the authors propose a methodological approach to improving the organizational performance of a large enterprise.

  17. Guiding principles for the improved governance of port and shipping impacts in the Great Barrier Reef.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grech, A; Bos, M; Brodie, J; Coles, R; Dale, A; Gilbert, R; Hamann, M; Marsh, H; Neil, K; Pressey, R L; Rasheed, M A; Sheaves, M; Smith, A

    2013-10-15

    The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region of Queensland, Australia, encompasses a complex and diverse array of tropical marine ecosystems of global significance. The region is also a World Heritage Area and largely within one of the world's best managed marine protected areas. However, a recent World Heritage Committee report drew attention to serious governance problems associated with the management of ports and shipping. We review the impacts of ports and shipping on biodiversity in the GBR, and propose a series of guiding principles to improve the current governance arrangements. Implementing these principles will increase the capacity of decision makers to minimize the impacts of ports and shipping on biodiversity, and will provide certainty and clarity to port operators and developers. A 'business as usual' approach could lead to the GBR's inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 2014. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Factors Associated With Worsened or Improved Mental Health in the Great East Japan Earthquake Survivors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamanouchi, Tomoko; Hiroshima, Mayo; Takeuchi, Yumiko; Sawada, Yumiko; Takahashi, Makiko; Amagai, Manami

    2018-02-01

    The aim of this study was to identify factors contributing to the worsening or improved mental health of long-term evacuees over three years following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The Japanese version of the K6 questionnaire was used as a measure of mental health. The first- and third-year survey results were compared and differences in mental health status calculated. Respondents were then divided into two groups according to worsening or improved mental health status. Differences in stress factors, stress relief methods, and demographics were compared between the two groups. Factors associated with exacerbation of poor mental health were the stress factors "Uncertainty about future" (p=0.048) and "Loss of purpose in life" (p=0.023). Multivariable analysis identified two factors associated with improved mental health, the stress relief methods "Accepting myself" (odds ratio (OR): 2.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.02-4.51) and "Interactions with others" (OR: 3.34, 95% CI: 1.43-7.79). While motivation and hope of livelihood reconstruction have gradually risen in the three years since the disaster, anxieties about an uncertain future, loss of purpose in life, and disruption of social networks continue adversely to affect the mental health of survivors. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Nanocoating covalent organic frameworks on nickel nanowires for greatly enhanced-performance supercapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Yang; Hu, Nantao; Liu, Shuai; Hou, Zhongyu; Liu, Jiaqiang; Hua, Xiaolin; Yang, Zhi; Wei, Liangming; Wang, Lin; Wei, Hao

    2017-08-01

    Nanocoatings of covalent organic frameworks (COFs) on nickel nanowires (NiNWs) have been designed and successfully fabricated for the first time, which showed greatly enhanced electrochemical performances for supercapacitors. The specific capacitance of electrodes based on as-fabricated COFs nanocoatings reached up to 314 F g-1 at 50 A g-1, which retained 74% of the specific capacitance under the current density of 2 A g-1. The ultrahigh current density makes the charge-discharge process extremely rapid. The outstanding electrochemical performances of COFs nanocoating on NiNWs make it an ideal candidate for supercapacitors. And the nanocoating-design can also give a guidance for application of COFs in high-performance energy storages.

  20. Relationships between reproductive performance and organochlorine contaminants in great black-backed gulls (Larus marinus)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helberg, Morten; Bustnes, Jan Ove; Erikstad, Kjell Einar; Kristiansen, Kai Ove; Skaare, Janneche Utne

    2005-01-01

    The great black-backed gull Larus marinus is a top predator in subarctic and temperate marine ecosystems, and the aim of this study was to investigate if organochlorines (OCs) were related to reproductive performance in this species at the subarctic parts of the Norwegian Coast. We measured blood levels of various OCs in 53 breeding birds. The OC levels were relatively low compared to levels found in nearby arctic areas. In females, however, there was a significant positive relationship between blood concentrations of OCs, especially hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and, p,p'-dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (DDE), and egg laying date, and a positive relationship between the probability of nest predation and blood concentration of β-hexachlorocyclohexane (β-HCH), oxychlordane, and DDE. In females with high levels of OCs, especially persistent polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), there was also a decline in egg volume as egg laying progressed; i.e. the second and third laid egg were relatively smaller, compared to females with low OC levels. No relationships between reproductive parameters and OC levels were found in males. - Elevated blood concentrations of organochlorine contaminants correlate with poor reproductive performance in female great black-backed gulls

  1. Human performance improvement for nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    The IAEA assists NPP operating organizations to improve plant performance through a focus on human performance improvement in areas like organizational and leadership development, senior management decision making, organization and management of HPI programmes including tools needed for effective HPI implementation, safety culture enhancement, knowledge management, personnel selection and staffing, career development, training and development, work design, scheduling and conditions, procedure and other job-aid development and use, effective communications, human performance monitoring, motivation. Many NPP operating organizations in Member States, are not yet achieving the full potential of their NPP technology/equipment regarding safety, operational or economic performance due to human performance weaknesses. The IAEA's HPI (Human Performance Improvement) services provide a means for these organizations to efficiently and effectively learn from international experts and the experiences of others in improving plant performance through human performance improvements. NPP operating organizations can benefit from these services in a number of ways, including requesting a national project, participating in a regional project, or requesting an assist visit. The types of activities provided through these services include assistance in benchmarking practices of successful organizations, providing information exchange and reviews of current practices through assist missions, conducting workshops on focused human performance topics, evaluating current human performance methods, including assistance in implementing self assessment programmes and providing support to safety culture enhancement programmes based on self-assessment

  2. Improving performance on core processes of care.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Austin, John Matthew; Pronovost, Peter J

    2016-06-01

    This article describes the recent literature on using extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to improve performance on core processes of care, highlighting literature that describes general frameworks for quality improvement work. The literature supporting the effectiveness of extrinsic motivators to improve quality is generally positive for public reporting of performance, with mixed results for pay-for-performance. A four-element quality improvement framework developed by The Armstrong Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine was developed with intrinsic motivation in mind. The clear definition and communication of goals are important for quality improvement work. Training clinicians in improvement science, such as lean sigma, teamwork, or culture change provides clinicians with the skills they need to drive the improvement work. Peer learning communities offer the opportunity for clinicians to engage with each other and offer support in their work. The transparent reporting of performance helps ensure accountability of performance ranging from individual clinicians to governance. Quality improvement work that is led by and engages clinicians offers the opportunity for the work to be both meaningful and sustainable. The literature supports approaching quality improvement work in a systematic way, including the key elements of communication, infrastructure building, training, transparency, and accountability.

  3. Great Expectations, Mixed Results: Standards and Performance in Denver's New Public Schools, 2007-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ooms, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    In conjunction with the Denver Plan instituted in 2005, Denver Public Schools (DPS) has embarked upon a consistent strategy of opening new schools in an effort to improve overall academic performance. DPS has pursued this strategy under several different paths: an annual request for proposals from charter school applicants; allowing current…

  4. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guglielmi, F. [Point Lepreau Generating Station, Maces Bay, New Brunswick (Canada)

    2015-07-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  5. Performance improvement program: goals and experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guglielmi, F.

    2015-01-01

    Following long 54 month refurbishment outage at Point Lepreau Generating Station, operational performance had fallen below industry standards in a number of areas. Leadership development and succession planning had stalled. Operational focus was low primarily due to the construction focus during refurbishment. Condition of balance of plant was poor including several long standing deficiencies. In order to improve performance, the site implemented a framework based on INPO 12-011: Focus on Improving Behaviours; Set common goals and demonstrate results; Align and engage the organization; Drive to achieve high levels of performance and sustain performance.

  6. Does Education Reform Improve Job Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Wenger, J

    2003-01-01

    .... Examining military personnel data, which is a highly detailed source of information for recent high school graduate's performance, we find that the quality of Navy recruits improved during the 1990...

  7. Improving Process Heating System Performance v3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2016-04-11

    Improving Process Heating System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry is a development of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO) and the Industrial Heating Equipment Association (IHEA). The AMO and IHEA undertook this project as part of an series of sourcebook publications developed by AMO on energy-consuming industrial systems, and opportunities to improve performance. Other topics in this series include compressed air systems, pumping systems, fan systems, steam systems, and motors and drives

  8. Performance improvement plan in customer technical services

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lachambre, L.

    1995-01-01

    This presentation centred around the philosophy, goals, and initiatives associated with Gaz Metropolitain's performance improvement plan. Various aspects of the plan including customer surveys, new customer service policies, the creation of small working units, the decentralization of the Montreal service department, and customer-harmonized shift schedules were explored. Implementation of new service plans and contracts, the formation of improvement groups related to human resources, human resource and productivity management, leadership training, and the use of performance indicators were also explained

  9. An Adaptive Middleware for Improved Computational Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bonnichsen, Lars Frydendal

    , we are improving computational performance by exploiting modern hardware features, such as dynamic voltage-frequency scaling and transactional memory. Adapting software is an iterative process, requiring that we continually revisit it to meet new requirements or realities; a time consuming process......The performance improvements in computer systems over the past 60 years have been fueled by an exponential increase in energy efficiency. In recent years, the phenomenon known as the end of Dennard’s scaling has slowed energy efficiency improvements — but improving computer energy efficiency...... is more important now than ever. Traditionally, most improvements in computer energy efficiency have come from improvements in lithography — the ability to produce smaller transistors — and computer architecture - the ability to apply those transistors efficiently. Since the end of scaling, we have seen...

  10. Problem-solving performance and reproductive success of great tits in urban and forest habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Preiszner, Bálint; Papp, Sándor; Pipoly, Ivett; Seress, Gábor; Vincze, Ernő; Liker, András; Bókony, Veronika

    2017-01-01

    Success in problem solving, a form of innovativeness, can help animals exploit their environments, and recent research suggests that it may correlate with reproductive success. Innovativeness has been proposed to be especially beneficial in urbanized habitats, as suggested by superior problem-solving performance of urban individuals in some species. If there is stronger selection for innovativeness in cities than in natural habitats, we expect problem-solving performance to have a greater positive effect on fitness in more urbanized habitats. We tested this idea in great tits (Parus major) breeding at two urban sites and two forests by measuring their problem-solving performance in an obstacle-removal task and a food-acquisition task. Urban pairs were significantly faster problem-solvers in both tasks. Solving speed in the obstacle-removal task was positively correlated with hatching success and the number of fledglings, whereas performance in the food-acquisition task did not correlate with reproductive success. These relationships did not differ between urban and forest habitats. Neophobia, sensitivity to human disturbance, and risk taking in the presence of a predator did not explain the relationships of problem-solving performance either with habitat type or with reproductive success. Our results suggest that the benefit of innovativeness in terms of reproductive success is similar in urban and natural habitats, implying that problem-solving skills may be enhanced in urban populations by some other benefits (e.g. increased survival) or reduced costs (e.g. more opportunities to gain practice with challenging tasks).

  11. Prenatal Diagnosis of Transposition of the Great Arteries over a 20-Year Period: Improved but Imperfect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escobar-Diaz, Maria C; Freud, Lindsay R; Bueno, Alejandra; Brown, David W; Friedman, Kevin; Schidlow, David; Emani, Sitaram; del Nido, Pedro; Tworetzky, Wayne

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate temporal trends in prenatal diagnosis of transposition of the great arteries with intact ventricular septum (TGA/IVS) and its impact on neonatal morbidity and mortality. Methods Newborns with TGA/IVS referred for surgical management to our center over a 20-year period (1992 – 2011) were included. The study time was divided into 5 four-year periods, and the primary outcome was rate of prenatal diagnosis. Secondary outcomes included neonatal pre-operative status and perioperative survival. Results Of the 340 patients, 81 (24%) had a prenatal diagnosis. Prenatal diagnosis increased over the study period from 6% to 41% (p<0.001). Prenatally diagnosed patients underwent a balloon atrial septostomy (BAS) earlier than postnatally diagnosed patients (0 vs. 1 day, p<0.001) and fewer required mechanical ventilation (56% vs. 69%, p=0.03). There were no statistically significant differences in pre-operative acidosis (16% vs. 26%, p=0.1) and need for preoperative ECMO (2% vs. 3%, p=1.0). There was also no significant mortality difference (1 pre-operative and no post-operative deaths among prenatally diagnosed patients, as compared to 4 pre-operative and 6 post-operative deaths among postnatally diagnosed patients). Conclusion The prenatal detection rate of TGA/IVS has improved but still remains below 50%, suggesting the need for strategies to increase detection rates. The mortality rate was not statistically different between pre- and postnatally diagnosed patients; however, there were significant pre-operative differences with regard to earlier BAS and less mechanical ventilation. Ongoing study is required to elucidate whether prenatal diagnosis confers long-term benefit. PMID:25484180

  12. Leveraging Big Data to Improve Health Awareness Campaigns: A Novel Evaluation of the Great American Smokeout.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayers, John W; Westmaas, J Lee; Leas, Eric C; Benton, Adrian; Chen, Yunqi; Dredze, Mark; Althouse, Benjamin M

    2016-01-01

    Awareness campaigns are ubiquitous, but little is known about their potential effectiveness because traditional evaluations are often unfeasible. For 40 years, the "Great American Smokeout" (GASO) has encouraged media coverage and popular engagement with smoking cessation on the third Thursday of November as the nation's longest running awareness campaign. We proposed a novel evaluation framework for assessing awareness campaigns using the GASO as a case study by observing cessation-related news reports and Twitter postings, and cessation-related help seeking via Google, Wikipedia, and government-sponsored quitlines. Time trends (2009-2014) were analyzed using a quasi-experimental design to isolate spikes during the GASO by comparing observed outcomes on the GASO day with the simulated counterfactual had the GASO not occurred. Cessation-related news typically increased by 61% (95% CI 35-87) and tweets by 13% (95% CI -21 to 48) during the GASO compared with what was expected had the GASO not occurred. Cessation-related Google searches increased by 25% (95% CI 10-40), Wikipedia page visits by 22% (95% CI -26 to 67), and quitline calls by 42% (95% CI 19-64). Cessation-related news media positively coincided with cessation tweets, Internet searches, and Wikipedia visits; for example, a 50% increase in news for any year predicted a 28% (95% CI -2 to 59) increase in tweets for the same year. Increases on the day of the GASO rivaled about two-thirds of a typical New Year's Day-the day that is assumed to see the greatest increases in cessation-related activity. In practical terms, there were about 61,000 more instances of help seeking on Google, Wikipedia, or quitlines on GASO each year than would normally be expected. These findings provide actionable intelligence to improve the GASO and model how to rapidly, cost-effectively, and efficiently evaluate hundreds of awareness campaigns, nearly all for the first time.

  13. Summary of Great East Japan Earthquake response at Onagawa Nuclear Power Station and further safety improvement measures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, Toru

    2013-01-01

    A large earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011 and tsunami was generated following it. The East Japan suffered serious damage by the earthquake and tsunami. This is called the Great East Japan Earthquake. Onagawa Nuclear Power Station (NPS) is located closest to the epicenter of Great East Japan Earthquake. We experienced intense shake by the earthquake and some flooding from the tsunami, however, we have succeeded safely cold shutdown of the reactors. In this paper, we introduce summary of Great East Japan Earthquake response a Onagawa NPS and safety improvement measures which are based on both experience of Onagawa NPS and lesson from Fukushima Daiichi NPS accident. (author)

  14. Peer Mentors Can Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asgari, Shaki; Carter, Frederick, Jr.

    2016-01-01

    The present study examined the relationship between peer mentoring and academic performance. Students from two introductory psychology classes either received (n = 37) or did not receive (n = 36) peer mentoring. The data indicated a consistent improvement in the performance (i.e., grades on scheduled exams) of the mentored group. A similar pattern…

  15. Do Leadership Changes Improve Electoral Performance?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Helboe Pedersen, H.; Schumacher, G.; Cross, W.; Pilet, J.-B.

    2015-01-01

    Does changing the leader improve a party’s electoral performance? And does it matter who for electoral performance who selects the leader? We hypothesize that in parties with inclusive selectorates leadership change is beneficial because the competition for the leadership is more open, receives more

  16. South Bank Coke Ovens heating performance improvements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fraser, A.J. [South Bank Coke Ovens (United Kingdom)

    1995-12-31

    The coke oven batteries at South Bank Coke Ovens had a history of refractory failure, overheating, and poor environmental performance despite repeated attempts to solve the problem. The fundamental design was poor, but previous upgrade attempts had a history of short term improvements followed by renewed decline, suggesting that the problem may not merely with the equipment. An audit of the area showed multiple morale, equipment and communications problems, although a significant proportion of the workforce were interested in improving the situation. A group of those interested in performance improvements was called together and objectives agreed upon. Communications were upgraded and problem walls analysed for their particular weaknesses. A team approach was used for maintenance, leading to slowly improving pushing emission factors. Temperature control equipment ensured better environmental performance and lower electricity consumption. 5 refs., 3 figs.

  17. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    OpenAIRE

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-01-01

    Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such a...

  18. Performance improvement integration: a whole systems approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Page, C K

    1999-02-01

    Performance improvement integration in health care organizations is a challenge for health care leaders. Required for accreditation by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (Joint Commission), performance improvement (PI) can be designed as a sustainable model for performance to survive in a turbulent period. Central Baptist Hospital developed a model for PI that focused on strategy established by the leadership team, delineated responsibility through the organizational structure of shared governance, and accountability for outcomes evidenced through the organization's profitability. Such an approach integrated into the culture of the organization can produce positive financial margins, positive customer satisfaction, and commendations from the Joint Commission.

  19. Do school inspections improve primary school performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Dinand Webbink; Rob Luginbuhl; I. de Wolf

    2007-01-01

    Inspectors from the Dutch Inspectorate of Education inspect primary schools, write inspection reports on each inspected school, and make recommendations as to how each school can improve. We test whether these inspections result in better school performance. Using a fixed-effects model, we find evidence that school inspections do lead to measurably better school performance. Our assessment of school performance is based on the Cito test scores of pupils in their final year of primary school. ...

  20. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veeger, Thom T J; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; Van Der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-10-16

    This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to assess their mobility performance. To determine which variables were the best predictors of mobility performance, forward stepwise linear regression analyses were performed on a set of 33 characteristics, including ten athlete, nineteen wheelchair and four athlete-wheelchair interface characteristics. Eight of the characteristics turned out to be significant predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. Classification, experience, maximal isometric force, wheel axis height and hand rim diameter - which both interchangeable with each other and wheel diameter - camber angle, and the vertical distance between shoulder and rear wheel axis - which was interchangeable with seat height - were positively associated with mobility performance. The vertical distance between the front seat and the footrest was negatively associated with mobility performance. With this insight, coaches and biomechanical specialists are provided with statistical findings to determine which characteristics they could focus on best to improve mobility performance. Six out of eight predictors are modifiable and can be optimized to improve mobility performance. These adjustments could be carried out both in training (maximal isometric force) and in wheelchair configurations (e.g. camber angle).

  1. Low offspring survival in mountain pine beetle infesting the resistant Great Basin bristlecone pine supports the preference-performance hypothesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika L Eidson

    Full Text Available The preference-performance hypothesis states that ovipositing phytophagous insects will select host plants that are well-suited for their offspring and avoid host plants that do not support offspring performance (survival, development and fitness. The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae, a native insect herbivore in western North America, can successfully attack and reproduce in most species of Pinus throughout its native range. However, mountain pine beetles avoid attacking Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva, despite recent climate-driven increases in mountain pine beetle populations at the high elevations where Great Basin bristlecone pine grows. Low preference for a potential host plant species may not persist if the plant supports favorable insect offspring performance, and Great Basin bristlecone pine suitability for mountain pine beetle offspring performance is unclear. We infested cut bolts of Great Basin bristlecone pine and two susceptible host tree species, limber (P. flexilis and lodgepole (P. contorta pines with adult mountain pine beetles and compared offspring performance. To investigate the potential for variation in offspring performance among mountain pine beetles from different areas, we tested beetles from geographically-separated populations within and outside the current range of Great Basin bristlecone pine. Although mountain pine beetles constructed galleries and laid viable eggs in all three tree species, extremely few offspring emerged from Great Basin bristlecone pine, regardless of the beetle population. Our observed low offspring performance in Great Basin bristlecone pine corresponds with previously documented low mountain pine beetle attack preference. A low preference-low performance relationship suggests that Great Basin bristlecone pine resistance to mountain pine beetle is likely to be retained through climate-driven high-elevation mountain pine beetle outbreaks.

  2. Goals and experience of performance improvement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, H. [CNNO, CNNP, Nuclear Power Operations Management Co., Ltd. (China)

    2015-07-01

    Performance improvement was achieved by reasonable arrangement of planned window for related work and optimization of time for important maintenance items, outage quality and duration. Unplanned output loss has been reduced through routine unit management and improvements to both personnel skill and equipment reliability. Planned power generation loss is reduced by controlling planned duration and quality of forced shutdowns and outages, to ensure safe and stable plant operation.

  3. Performance improvement using methodology: case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harmelink, Stacy

    2008-01-01

    The department of radiology at St. Luke's Regional Medical Center in Sioux City, IA implemented meaningful workflow changes for reducing patient wait times and, at the same time, improved customer and employee satisfaction scores. Lean methodology and the 7 Deadly Wastes, along with small group interaction, was used to evaluate and change the process of a patient waiting for an exam in the radiology department. The most important key to the success of a performance improvement project is the involvement of staff.

  4. Improving human performance in maintenance personnel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gonzalez Anez, Francisco; Agueero Agueero, Jorge

    2010-01-01

    The continuous evolution and improvement of safety-related processes has included the analysis, design and development of training plans for the qualification of maintenance nuclear power plant personnel. In this respect, the international references in this area recommend the establishment of systematic qualification programmes for personnel performing functions or carrying out safety related tasks. Maintenance personnel qualification processes have improved significantly, and training plans have been designed and developed based on Systematic Approach to Training methodology to each job position. These improvements have been clearly reflected in recent training programmes with new training material and training facilities focused not only on developing technical knowledge and skills but also on improving attitudes and safety culture. The objectives of maintenance training facilities such as laboratories, mock-ups real an virtual, hydraulic loops, field simulators and other training material to be used in the maintenance training centre are to cover training necessities for initial and continuous qualification. Evidently, all these improvements made in the qualification of plant personnel should be extended to include supplemental personnel (external or contracted) performing safety-related tasks. The supplemental personnel constitute a very spread group, covering the performance of multiple activities entailing different levels of responsibility. Some of these activities are performed permanently at the plant, while others are occasional or sporadic. In order to establish qualification requirements for these supplemental workers, it is recommended to establish a rigorous analysis of job positions and tasks. The objective will be to identify the qualification requirements to assure competence and safety. (authors)

  5. Performance improvements on passive activated charcoal 222Rn samplers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wei Suxia

    1996-01-01

    Improvements have been made on passive activated charcoal 222 Rn samplers with sintered metal filters. Based on the samplers of good adaptability to temperature and humidity developed before, better charcoal was selected to further improve their performance in radon absorption ability and moisture-resistance. And charcoal quantity in samplers was strictly controlled. The integration time constant of the improved samplers was about 4.3 days. As the sampler was combined with gamma spectrometer to measure radon concentration, the calibration factor was 0.518 min -1 ·Bq -1 ·m 3 for samplers of 7 days exposure time, and the minimum detectable concentration 0.28 Bq·m -3 if counting time for both background and sample is 1000 minutes. The improved samplers are suited to accurately determine the indoor and outdoor average radon concentration under conditions of great variation in temperature and humidity

  6. Recent technology on steam turbine performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirada, M.; Watanabe, E.; Tashiro, H.

    1991-01-01

    Continuous efforts have been made to improve turbine efficiency by applying the latest aerodynamic technologies to meet the energy saving requirement. In recent years, there has been considerable improvement in the field of computational fluid dynamics and these new technologies have been applied to the new blade design for HP, IP and LP turbines. Experimental verification for the new blade in turbine tests has established the overall turbine performance improvement and the excellent correspondence of flow pattern to the predicted value. This paper introduces the latest design technologies for the newly developed high efficiency blade and the verification test results

  7. Design aspects of PHWR for improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Das, M.

    1989-01-01

    The PHWR fuel bundle is elegantly simple in design consisting of only six components. The unique features of the design include high density natural UO 2 pellets, collapsible zircaloy cladding, no gas plenums and short (50 cm), simple bundle configuration. Over the last 20 years, considerable efforts have been expended and still being continued on development of analytical tools and computer codes generation of technical specifications tests and experimental studies type tests on prototype bundles irradiation of special documented fuel bundles in power reactors and monitoring and analysis of fuel performance. The knowledge thus gained has helped us to modify design requirements, relax technical specifications and to evolve new, improved designs. The PHWR fuel technology in India can now be considered as well proven but there is considerable scope for further improvements both in design and manufacturing. For example, in design, use of thinner wall cladding (to improve burn up) bundle design with graded elements, double dished pellet, improved coatings, use of MOX fuel etc. are being explored. On the manufacturing side emphasis need to be given on maintaining the quality, improvement on production and process control. The use of automation and advances in machine control techniques, for example, using micro processors can effectively contribute to improvements in quality, productivity and lowering of fuel fabrication costs. In this paper, the PHWR fuel design features, different fuel designs evolved, fuel specifications, influence of fabrication variables and future direction in improved fuel performance are discussed. (author) 9 refs., 7 figs

  8. Purchasing to improve health systems performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Robinson, Ray; Jakubowski, Elke; Figueras, Josep

    2005-01-01

    ... as they formulate purchasing strategies so that they can increase effectiveness and improve performance in their own national context An assessment of the intersecting roles of citizens, the government and the providers * * * Written by leading health policy analysts, this book is essential reading for health policy makers, planners and managers as well as resear...

  9. Improving the Performance of Justice Institutions

    OpenAIRE

    Decker, Klaus; Mohlen, Christian; Varela, David F.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a selection of experiences from Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries in managing justice institutions which are the most relevant for performance improvement of their counterparts in Latin America. The scope of the paper is mostly limited to the courts, but comprises all types of courts: specialized courts as well as courts of general j...

  10. The People Side of Performance Improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerson, Richard F.

    1999-01-01

    Discusses 11 keys to the personal side of performance improvement, including positive attitude, high self esteem and positive self-image, communication skills, lifelong learning, caring about other people, health and well-being, motivation, goal setting, relaxation, visualization, and personal value system. (LRW)

  11. Improving engineering performance by utilizing process indicators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, T.E.

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the work discussed in this paper was to develop engineering performance indicators used to facilitate improvement to the technical quality, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of engineering products and service. This work was specifically tailored for engineering support products and service associated with operating Florida Power and Light Company (FP and L) nuclear plants. The engineering process for the development of plant change packages was reviewed to identify critical in-process activities. Because each engineering project usually deals with a specific component or plant system, the different tasks are usually technically unique and of varying magnitudes. Although each engineering product may employ different analytical techniques or industry code requirements, several activities in documenting the engineering design process are generic. The quality of performance in these activities can be monitored analogously to the steps in a manufacturing process. This concept builds quality concepts into the package in lieu of inspecting package quality at the end of the process. The work has resulted in a valuable self-assessment tool that serves as a basis for engineering process improvements. The indicators are published in a semi-yearly performance report for FP and L contractors as well as FP and L in-house engineering work. Contracts have been set up to base fees on meeting targets established for the performance report. The ability to meet performance targets continues to improve

  12. Visuospatial training improves elementary students' mathematics performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowrie, Tom; Logan, Tracy; Ramful, Ajay

    2017-06-01

    Although spatial ability and mathematics performance are highly correlated, there is scant research on the extent to which spatial ability training can improve mathematics performance. This study evaluated the efficacy of a visuospatial intervention programme within classrooms to determine the effect on students' (1) spatial reasoning and (2) mathematics performance as a result of the intervention. The study involved grade six students (ages 10-12) in eight classes. There were five intervention classes (n = 120) and three non-intervention control classes (n = 66). A specifically designed 10-week spatial reasoning programme was developed collaboratively with the participating teachers, with the intervention replacing the standard mathematics curriculum. The five classroom teachers in the intervention programme presented 20 hr of activities aimed at enhancing students' spatial visualization, mental rotation, and spatial orientation skills. The spatial reasoning programme led to improvements in both spatial ability and mathematics performance relative to the control group who received standard mathematics instruction. Our study is the first to show that a classroom-based spatial reasoning intervention improves elementary school students' mathematics performance. © 2017 The British Psychological Society.

  13. Pre-task music improves swimming performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirmaul, B P; Dos Santos, R V; Da Silva Neto, L V

    2015-12-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-task music on swimming performance and other psychological variables. A randomized counterbalanced within-subjects (experimental and control condition) design was employed. Eighteen regional level male swimmers performed two 200-m freestyle swimming time trials. Participants were exposed to either 5 minutes of self-selected music (pre-task music condition) or 5 minutes of silence (control condition) and, after 1 minute, performed the swimming task. Swimming time was significantly shorter (-1.44%) in the pre-task music condition. Listening to pre-task music increased motivation to perform the swimming task, while arousal remained unchanged. While fatigue increased after the swimming task in both conditions, vigor, ratings of perceived exertion and affective valence were unaltered. It is concluded, for the first time, that pre-task music improves swimming performance.

  14. Improving performance by anchoring movement and "nerves".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iso-Ahola, Seppo E; Dotson, Charles O; Jagodinsky, Adam E; Clark, Lily C; Smallwood, Lorraine L; Wilburn, Christopher; Weimar, Wendi H; Miller, Matthew W

    2016-10-01

    Golf's governing bodies' recent decision to ban all putting styles "anchoring one end of the club against the body" bridges an important practical problem with psychological theory. We report the first experiment testing whether anchoring provides technical and/or psychological advantage in competitive performance. Many "greats" of professional golf from Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to Tiger Woods have argued against anchoring, believing that it takes "nerves" out of competitive performance and therefore artificially levels the playing field. To shed more light on the issue, we tested participants' performance with anchored and unanchored putters under low and high pressure when controlling for the putter length. We found no statistically significant evidence for a technical advantage due to anchoring but a clear psychological advantage: participants who anchored their putters significantly outperformed unanchored counterparts under high, but not low, pressure. Results provide tentative evidence for the ban's justification from a competitive standpoint. However, before any definite conclusions can be made, more research is needed when using high-level golfers. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Microinjection molding of microsystem components: new aspects in improving performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Can; Yin, Xiao-Hong; Cheng, Guang-Ming

    2013-01-01

    Microinjection molding (µIM) is considered to be one of the most flexible, reliable and cost effective manufacturing routes to form plastic micro-components for microsystems. The molding machine, mold tool fabrication, material selection and process controlling in this specific field have been greatly developed over the past decades. This review aims to present the new trends towards improving micro-component performance by reviewing the latest developments in this area and by considering potential directions. The key concerns in product and mold designing, essential factors in simulation, and micro-morphology and resultant properties are evaluated and discussed. In addition, the applications, variant processes and outlook for µIM are presented. Throughout this review, decisive considerations in seeking improved performance for microsystem components are highlighted. (topical review)

  16. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  17. Qinshan CANDU NPP outage performance improvement through benchmarking

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jiang Fuming

    2005-01-01

    With the increasingly fierce competition in the deregulated Energy Market, the optimization of outage duration has become one of the focal points for the Nuclear Power Plant owners around the world. People are seeking various ways to shorten the outage duration of NPP. Great efforts have been made in the Light Water Reactor (LWR) family with the concept of benchmarking and evaluation, which great reduced the outage duration and improved outage performance. The average capacity factor of LWRs has been greatly improved over the last three decades, which now is close to 90%. CANDU (Pressurized Heavy Water Reactor) stations, with its unique feature of on power refueling, of nuclear fuel remaining in the reactor all through the planned outage, have given raise to more stringent safety requirements during planned outage. In addition, the above feature gives more variations to the critical path of planned outage in different station. In order to benchmarking again the best practices in the CANDU stations, Third Qinshan Nuclear Power Company (TQNPC) have initiated the benchmarking program among the CANDU stations aiming to standardize the outage maintenance windows and optimize the outage duration. The initial benchmarking has resulted the optimization of outage duration in Qinshan CANDU NPP and the formulation of its first long-term outage plan. This paper describes the benchmarking works that have been proven to be useful for optimizing outage duration in Qinshan CANDU NPP, and the vision of further optimize the duration with joint effort from the CANDU community. (authors)

  18. Improved Low Temperature Performance of Supercapacitors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brandon, Erik J.; West, William C.; Smart, Marshall C.; Gnanaraj, Joe

    2013-01-01

    Low temperature double-layer capacitor operation enabled by: - Base acetonitrile / TEATFB salt formulation - Addition of low melting point formates, esters and cyclic ethers center dot Key electrolyte design factors: - Volume of co-solvent - Concentration of salt center dot Capacity increased through higher capacity electrodes: - Zeolite templated carbons - Asymmetric cell designs center dot Continuing efforts - Improve asymmetric cell performance at low temperature - Cycle life testing Motivation center dot Benchmark performance of commercial cells center dot Approaches for designing low temperature systems - Symmetric cells (activated carbon electrodes) - Symmetric cells (zeolite templated carbon electrodes) - Asymmetric cells (lithium titanate/activated carbon electrodes) center dot Experimental results center dot Summary

  19. Cloud Computing for Maintenance Performance Improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kour, Ravdeep; Karim, Ramin; Parida, Aditya

    2013-01-01

    Cloud Computing is an emerging research area. It can be utilised for acquiring an effective and efficient information logistics. This paper uses cloud-based technology for the establishment of information logistics for railway system which requires information based on data from different data sources (e.g. railway maintenance, railway operation, and railway business data). In order to improve the performance of the maintenance process relevant data from various sources need to be acquired, f...

  20. Reproductive performance in three neighbouring Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) colonies in sw Kattegat, Denmark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bregnballe, Thomas; Gregersen, Jens; Hénaux, Viviane

    of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis in the old Danish Vorsø colony as it quadrupled in number of breeding pairs and later declined markedly. Some of these parameters were also studied in two neighbouring colonies. We found marked declines in breeding success in the old colony while breeding...

  1. PROPOSAL FOR IMPROVEMENT OF BUINESS CONTINUITY PLAN (BCP) BASED ON THE LESSONS OF THE GREAT EAST JAPAN EARTHQUAKE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maruya, Hiroaki

    For most Japanese companies and organizations, the enormous damage of the Great East Japan Earthquake was more than expected. In addition to great tsunami and earthquake motion, the lack of electricity and fuel disturbed to business activities seriously, and they should be considered important constraint factors in future earthquakes. Furthermore, disruption of supply chains also led considerable decline of production in many industries across Japan and foreign countries. Therefore it becomes urgent need for Japanese government and industries to utilize the lessons of the Great Earthquake and execute effective countermeasures, considering great earthquakes such as Tonankai & Nankai earthquakes and Tokyo Inland Earthquakes. Obviously most basic step is improving earthquake-resistant ability of buildings and facilities. In addition the spread of BCP and BCM to enterprises and organizations is indispensable. Based on the lessons, the BCM should include the point of view of the supply chain management more clearly, and emphasize "substitute strategy" more explicitly because a company should survive even if it completely loses its present production base. The central and local governments are requested, in addition to develop their own BCP, to improve related systematic conditions for BCM of the private sectors.

  2. Error review: Can this improve reporting performance?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tudor, Gareth R.; Finlay, David B.

    2001-01-01

    AIM: This study aimed to assess whether error review can improve radiologists' reporting performance. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ten Consultant Radiologists reported 50 plain radiographs, in which the diagnoses were established. Eighteen of the radiographs were normal, 32 showed an abnormality. The radiologists were shown their errors and then re-reported the series of radiographs after an interval of 4-5 months. The accuracy of the reports to the established diagnoses was assessed. Chi-square test was used to calculate the difference between the viewings. RESULTS: On re-reporting the radiographs, seven radiologists improved their accuracy score, two had a lower score and one radiologist showed no score difference. Mean accuracy pre-education was 82.2%, (range 78-92%) and post-education was 88%, (range 76-96%). Individually, two of the radiologists showed a statistically significant improvement post-education (P < 0.01,P < 0.05). Assessing the group as a whole, there was a trend for improvement post-education but this did not reach statistical significance. Assessing only the radiographs where errors were made on the initial viewing, for the group as a whole there was a 63% improvement post-education. CONCLUSION: We suggest that radiologists benefit from error review, although there was not a statistically significant improvement for the series of radiographs in total. This is partly explained by the fact that some radiologists gave incorrect responses post-education that had initially been correct, thus masking the effect of the educational intervention. Tudor, G.R. and Finlay, D.B. (2001

  3. Cleanliness criteria to improve steam generator performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwarz, T.; Bouecke, R.; Odar, S.

    2005-01-01

    High steam generator performance is a prerequisite for high plant availability and possible life time extension. The major opponent to that is corrosion and fouling of the heating tubes. Such steam generator degradation problems arise from the continuous ingress of non-volatile contaminants, i.e. corrosion products and salt impurities may accumulate in the steam generators. These impurities have their origin in the secondary side systems. The corrosion products generally accumulate in the steam generators and form deposits not only in the flow restricted areas, such as on top of tube sheet and tube support structure, but also build scales on the steam generator heating tubes. In addition, the tube scales in general affect the steam generator thermal performance, which ultimately causes a reduction of power output. The most effective ways of counteracting all these degradation problems, and thus of improving the steam generator performance is to keep them in clean conditions or, if judged necessary, to plan cleaning measures such as mechanical tube sheet lancing or chemical cleaning. This paper presents a methodology how to assess the cleanliness condition of a steam generator by bringing together all available operational and inspection data such as thermal performance and water chemistry data. By means of this all-inclusive approach the cleanliness condition is quantified in terms of a fouling index. The fouling index allows to monitor the condition of a specific steam generator, compare it to other plants and, finally, to serve as criterion for cleaning measures such as chemical cleaning. The application of the cleanliness criteria and the achieved field results with respect to improvements of steam generator performance will be presented. (author)

  4. Signal Processing for Improved Wireless Receiver Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Christensen, Lars P.B.

    2007-01-01

    This thesis is concerned with signal processing for improving the performance of wireless communication receivers for well-established cellular networks such as the GSM/EDGE and WCDMA/HSPA systems. The goal of doing so, is to improve the end-user experience and/or provide a higher system capacity...... by allowing an increased reuse of network resources. To achieve this goal, one must first understand the nature of the problem and an introduction is therefore provided. In addition, the concept of graph-based models and approximations for wireless communications is introduced along with various Belief...... Propagation (BP) methods for detecting the transmitted information, including the Turbo principle. Having established a framework for the research, various approximate detection schemes are discussed. First, the general form of linear detection is presented and it is argued that this may be preferable...

  5. Restructuring primary care for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fawcett, Kenneth J; Brummel, Stacy; Byrnes, John J

    2009-01-01

    Primary care practices can no longer consider ongoing quality assessment and management processes to be optional. There are ever-increasing demands from any number of interested parties for objectively measured proof of outcomes and quality of care. Primary Care Partners (PCP), a 16-site ambulatory affiliate of the Spectrum Health system in Grand Rapids, Michigan, began such a continuous quality improvement (CQI) effort in 2005. The intent was to develop an ongoing systematic process that would raise its performance potential and improve patient outcomes in the areas of chronic disease management and preventive services. This article describes the partnerships PCP established, specific benchmarks and measurements used, processes utilized, and results to date. This could be used as a roadmap for other primary care systems that are working to establish CQI in their daily operations.

  6. Bayesian image reconstruction for improving detection performance of muon tomography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guobao; Schultz, Larry J; Qi, Jinyi

    2009-05-01

    Muon tomography is a novel technology that is being developed for detecting high-Z materials in vehicles or cargo containers. Maximum likelihood methods have been developed for reconstructing the scattering density image from muon measurements. However, the instability of maximum likelihood estimation often results in noisy images and low detectability of high-Z targets. In this paper, we propose using regularization to improve the image quality of muon tomography. We formulate the muon reconstruction problem in a Bayesian framework by introducing a prior distribution on scattering density images. An iterative shrinkage algorithm is derived to maximize the log posterior distribution. At each iteration, the algorithm obtains the maximum a posteriori update by shrinking an unregularized maximum likelihood update. Inverse quadratic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Laplacian priors and inverse cubic shrinkage functions are derived for generalized Gaussian priors. Receiver operating characteristic studies using simulated data demonstrate that the Bayesian reconstruction can greatly improve the detection performance of muon tomography.

  7. Improving cattle nutrition on the Great Plains with shrubs and fecal seeding of fourwing saltbush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Two in vitro trials were conducted for estimates of dietary percentage of fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens; FS) or winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata; WF) to improve diet digestibility when cattle graze mature cool-season grass. Three in vitro trials were conducted to estimate the percentage ...

  8. Improved performance of the Sao Paulo Pelletron

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sala, O.; Stier, M.; Acquadro, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    The Sao Paulo Pelletron was the first Pelletron constructed by the NEC and also the first to become operational at the end of 1971. Although the Herb Pelletron design was demonstrated from the beginning to be very good (later this was proven by the successful operation of several larger Pelletrons) our machine did suffer from defects in engineering which limited its performance and its application as a reliable tool for research in nuclear physics. This paper describes some of the improvements which we have introduced to increase the reliability of our Pelletron as a research tool in the University. (orig.)

  9. Job Loss at Home: Children's School Performance during the Great Recession in Spain. CEP Discussion Paper No. 1364

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Valenzuela, Jenifer

    2015-01-01

    This paper studies the effect of parental job loss on children's school performance during the Great Recession in Spain, using an original panel dataset for students observed since the beginning of the crisis in a school in the province of Barcelona. By using fixed effects, this paper is more likely to deal with the problem of selection into…

  10. Managing for Results in America's Great City Schools. A Report of the Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Project, Spring 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Council of the Great City Schools, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This report describes statistical indicators developed by the Council of the Great City Schools and its member districts to measure big-city school performance on a range of operational functions in business, finance, human resources and technology. The report also presents data city-by-city on those indicators. This is the second time that…

  11. Managing for Results in America's Great City Schools. A Report of the Performance Measurement and Benchmarking Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Council of the Great City Schools, 2008

    2008-01-01

    This report describes statistical indicators developed by the Council of the Great City Schools and its member districts to measure big-city school performance on a range of operational functions in business, finance, human resources and technology. The report also presents data city-by-city on those indicators. This is the second time that…

  12. Improving human performance: Industry factors influencing the ability to perform

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Güera Massyn Romo

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Learning interventions and new technologies that aim to improve human performance must take cognisance of industry factors inhibiting human performance. The dynamic and fast pace nature of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT and the engineering industries do not lend themselves to proper skills planning and management. These industries experience real skills gaps, to some of which they contribute by themselves. This study reports on these performance-inhibiting factors such as the underutilisation of available skills, tolerance for individual preferences, and dynamically, and informally refining a role objective while an employee is occupying a certain role. The important professional skills required by individuals to cope with these real life factors are also explored in the skills gaps management context. Moreover, these industries need a profile they refer to as Special Forces, which denotes a high calibre of worker that possesses well-developed professional skills whilst having advanced technical expertise and sufficient experience. This resource profile is required largely due to the poor management of human resource processes in practice and the current reported lack of adequate skills. Furthermore, this study refers to the recent lack of a working definition for these Special Forces leading to the omitted active development of these profiles in industry today, which appears to become a key human performance inhibiting factor.

  13. Artificial Astrocytes Improve Neural Network Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B.; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function. PMID:21526157

  14. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana B Porto-Pazos

    Full Text Available Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  15. Artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porto-Pazos, Ana B; Veiguela, Noha; Mesejo, Pablo; Navarrete, Marta; Alvarellos, Alberto; Ibáñez, Oscar; Pazos, Alejandro; Araque, Alfonso

    2011-04-19

    Compelling evidence indicates the existence of bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. Astrocytes, a type of glial cells classically considered to be passive supportive cells, have been recently demonstrated to be actively involved in the processing and regulation of synaptic information, suggesting that brain function arises from the activity of neuron-glia networks. However, the actual impact of astrocytes in neural network function is largely unknown and its application in artificial intelligence remains untested. We have investigated the consequences of including artificial astrocytes, which present the biologically defined properties involved in astrocyte-neuron communication, on artificial neural network performance. Using connectionist systems and evolutionary algorithms, we have compared the performance of artificial neural networks (NN) and artificial neuron-glia networks (NGN) to solve classification problems. We show that the degree of success of NGN is superior to NN. Analysis of performances of NN with different number of neurons or different architectures indicate that the effects of NGN cannot be accounted for an increased number of network elements, but rather they are specifically due to astrocytes. Furthermore, the relative efficacy of NGN vs. NN increases as the complexity of the network increases. These results indicate that artificial astrocytes improve neural network performance, and established the concept of Artificial Neuron-Glia Networks, which represents a novel concept in Artificial Intelligence with implications in computational science as well as in the understanding of brain function.

  16. Using Shadow Page Cache to Improve Isolated Drivers Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Zheng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users’ virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver’s write operations by the method of combining a driver’s write operation capture and a driver’s private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver’s write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages’ write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot’s reliability too much.

  17. Using shadow page cache to improve isolated drivers performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Hao; Dong, Xiaoshe; Wang, Endong; Chen, Baoke; Zhu, Zhengdong; Liu, Chengzhe

    2015-01-01

    With the advantage of the reusability property of the virtualization technology, users can reuse various types and versions of existing operating systems and drivers in a virtual machine, so as to customize their application environment. In order to prevent users' virtualization environments being impacted by driver faults in virtual machine, Chariot examines the correctness of driver's write operations by the method of combining a driver's write operation capture and a driver's private access control table. However, this method needs to keep the write permission of shadow page table as read-only, so as to capture isolated driver's write operations through page faults, which adversely affect the performance of the driver. Based on delaying setting frequently used shadow pages' write permissions to read-only, this paper proposes an algorithm using shadow page cache to improve the performance of isolated drivers and carefully study the relationship between the performance of drivers and the size of shadow page cache. Experimental results show that, through the shadow page cache, the performance of isolated drivers can be greatly improved without impacting Chariot's reliability too much.

  18. MEMS Actuators for Improved Performance and Durability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yearsley, James M.

    Micro-ElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS) devices take advantage of force-scaling at length scales smaller than a millimeter to sense and interact with directly with phenomena and targets at the microscale. MEMS sensors found in everyday devices like cell-phones and cars include accelerometers, gyros, pressure sensors, and magnetic sensors. MEMS actuators generally serve more application specific roles including micro- and nano-tweezers used for single cell manipulation, optical switching and alignment components, and micro combustion engines for high energy density power generation. MEMS rotary motors are actuators that translate an electric drive signal into rotational motion and can serve as rate calibration inputs for gyros, stages for optical components, mixing devices for micro-fluidics, etc. Existing rotary micromotors suffer from friction and wear issues that affect lifetime and performance. Attempts to alleviate friction effects include surface treatment, magnetic and electrostatic levitation, pressurized gas bearings, and micro-ball bearings. The present work demonstrates a droplet based liquid bearing supporting a rotary micromotor that improves the operating characteristics of MEMS rotary motors. The liquid bearing provides wear-free, low-friction, passive alignment between the rotor and stator. Droplets are positioned relative to the rotor and stator through patterned superhydrophobic and hydrophilic surface coatings. The liquid bearing consists of a central droplet that acts as the motor shaft, providing axial alignment between rotor and stator, and satellite droplets, analogous to ball-bearings, that provide tip and tilt stable operation. The liquid bearing friction performance is characterized through measurement of the rotational drag coefficient and minimum starting torque due to stiction and geometric effects. Bearing operational performance is further characterized by modeling and measuring stiffness, environmental survivability, and high

  19. Improving cardiac myocytes performance by CNTs platforms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina eMartinelli

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The application of nanotechnology to the cardiovascular system has increasingly caught scientists’ attention as a potentially powerful tool for the development of new generation devices able to interface, repair or boost the performance of cardiac tissue. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs are considered as promising materials for nanomedicine applications in general and have been recently tested towards excitable cell growth. CNTs are cylindrically shaped structures made up of rolled-up graphene sheets, with unique electrical, thermal and mechanical properties, able to effectively conducting electrical current in electrochemical interfaces. CNTs-based scaffolds have been recently found to support the in vitro growth of cardiac cells: in particular, their ability to improve cardiomyocytes proliferation, maturation and electrical behavior are making CNTs extremely attractive for the development and exploitation of interfaces able to impact on cardiac cells physiology and function.

  20. Assessing community values for reducing agricultural emissions to improve water quality and protect coral health in the Great Barrier Reef

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolfe, John; Windle, Jill

    2011-12-01

    Policymakers wanting to increase protection of the Great Barrier Reef from pollutants generated by agriculture need to identify when measures to improve water quality generate benefits to society that outweigh the costs involved. The research reported in this paper makes a contribution in several ways. First, it uses the improved science understanding about the links between management changes and reef health to bring together the analysis of costs and benefits of marginal changes, helping to demonstrate the appropriate way of addressing policy questions relating to reef protection. Second, it uses the scientific relationships to frame a choice experiment to value the benefits of improved reef health, with the results of mixed logit (random parameter) models linking improvements explicitly to changes in "water quality units." Third, the research demonstrates how protection values are consistent across a broader population, with some limited evidence of distance effects. Fourth, the information on marginal costs and benefits that are reported provide policymakers with information to help improve management decisions. The results indicate that while there is potential for water quality improvements to generate net benefits, high cost water quality improvements are generally uneconomic. A major policy implication is that cost thresholds for key pollutants should be set to avoid more expensive water quality proposals being selected.

  1. Complete exon sequencing of all known Usher syndrome genes greatly improves molecular diagnosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, Crystel; Grati, M'hamed; Marlin, Sandrine; Levilliers, Jacqueline; Hardelin, Jean-Pierre; Parodi, Marine; Niasme-Grare, Magali; Zelenika, Diana; Délépine, Marc; Feldmann, Delphine; Jonard, Laurence; El-Amraoui, Aziz; Weil, Dominique; Delobel, Bruno; Vincent, Christophe; Dollfus, Hélène; Eliot, Marie-Madeleine; David, Albert; Calais, Catherine; Vigneron, Jacqueline; Montaut-Verient, Bettina; Bonneau, Dominique; Dubin, Jacques; Thauvin, Christel; Duvillard, Alain; Francannet, Christine; Mom, Thierry; Lacombe, Didier; Duriez, Françoise; Drouin-Garraud, Valérie; Thuillier-Obstoy, Marie-Françoise; Sigaudy, Sabine; Frances, Anne-Marie; Collignon, Patrick; Challe, Georges; Couderc, Rémy; Lathrop, Mark; Sahel, José-Alain; Weissenbach, Jean; Petit, Christine; Denoyelle, Françoise

    2011-05-11

    Usher syndrome (USH) combines sensorineural deafness with blindness. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive mode. Early diagnosis is critical for adapted educational and patient management choices, and for genetic counseling. To date, nine causative genes have been identified for the three clinical subtypes (USH1, USH2 and USH3). Current diagnostic strategies make use of a genotyping microarray that is based on the previously reported mutations. The purpose of this study was to design a more accurate molecular diagnosis tool. We sequenced the 366 coding exons and flanking regions of the nine known USH genes, in 54 USH patients (27 USH1, 21 USH2 and 6 USH3). Biallelic mutations were detected in 39 patients (72%) and monoallelic mutations in an additional 10 patients (18.5%). In addition to biallelic mutations in one of the USH genes, presumably pathogenic mutations in another USH gene were detected in seven patients (13%), and another patient carried monoallelic mutations in three different USH genes. Notably, none of the USH3 patients carried detectable mutations in the only known USH3 gene, whereas they all carried mutations in USH2 genes. Most importantly, the currently used microarray would have detected only 30 of the 81 different mutations that we found, of which 39 (48%) were novel. Based on these results, complete exon sequencing of the currently known USH genes stands as a definite improvement for molecular diagnosis of this disease, which is of utmost importance in the perspective of gene therapy.

  2. Good to great: using 360-degree feedback to improve physician emotional intelligence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerly, Milton E; Harmon, Larry; Schwaitzberg, Steven D

    2014-01-01

    The past decade has seen intense interest and dramatic change in how hospitals and physician organizations review physician behaviors. The characteristics of successful physicians extend past their technical and cognitive skills. Two of the six core clinical competencies (professionalism and interpersonal/communication skills) endorsed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Board of Medical Specialties, and The Joint Commission require physicians to succeed in measures associated with emotional intelligence (EI). Using 360-degree anonymous feedback surveys to screen for improvement opportunities in these two core competencies enables organizations to selectively offer education to further develop physician EI. Incorporating routine use of these tools and interventions into ongoing professional practice evaluation and focused professional practice evaluation processes may be a cost-effective strategy for preventing disruptive behaviors and increasing the likelihood of success when transitioning to an employed practice model. On the basis of a literature review, we determined that physician EI plays a key role in leadership; teamwork; and clinical, financial, and organizational outcomes. This finding has significant implications for healthcare executives seeking to enhance physician alignment and transition to a team-based delivery model.

  3. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia; Universidade de São Paulo

    2017-01-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO 2 - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO 2 - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO 2 , providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U 3 Si 2 , UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO 2 . These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO 2 . A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO 2 - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  4. Complete exon sequencing of all known Usher syndrome genes greatly improves molecular diagnosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lacombe Didier

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Usher syndrome (USH combines sensorineural deafness with blindness. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive mode. Early diagnosis is critical for adapted educational and patient management choices, and for genetic counseling. To date, nine causative genes have been identified for the three clinical subtypes (USH1, USH2 and USH3. Current diagnostic strategies make use of a genotyping microarray that is based on the previously reported mutations. The purpose of this study was to design a more accurate molecular diagnosis tool. Methods We sequenced the 366 coding exons and flanking regions of the nine known USH genes, in 54 USH patients (27 USH1, 21 USH2 and 6 USH3. Results Biallelic mutations were detected in 39 patients (72% and monoallelic mutations in an additional 10 patients (18.5%. In addition to biallelic mutations in one of the USH genes, presumably pathogenic mutations in another USH gene were detected in seven patients (13%, and another patient carried monoallelic mutations in three different USH genes. Notably, none of the USH3 patients carried detectable mutations in the only known USH3 gene, whereas they all carried mutations in USH2 genes. Most importantly, the currently used microarray would have detected only 30 of the 81 different mutations that we found, of which 39 (48% were novel. Conclusions Based on these results, complete exon sequencing of the currently known USH genes stands as a definite improvement for molecular diagnosis of this disease, which is of utmost importance in the perspective of gene therapy.

  5. Improving chemistry performance in CANDU plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Turner, C.; Guzonas, D.

    2010-01-01

    system to facilitate improved chemistry control and to help staff to proactively identify and address emerging issues before they result in a loss of performance. This paper will outline AECL's chemistry control philosophy, and provide specific examples to illustrate how changes to plant design, materials, operational procedures, and chemistry specifications are being implemented to support improved chemistry performance in existing and new-build CANDU® plants. (author)

  6. Performance improvement of optical semiconductor sources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El Tokhy, M.E.M.E

    2009-01-01

    This thesis has been concerned with a detailed study of nano-technology quantum sources. From these sources, quantum cascaded laser (QCLs) and quantum dot lasers (QDs), are studied theoretically. Block diagram models based on VisSim environment in junction with mathematical models are developed to analyze these kinds of optical sources. The mathematical model is derived to express explicitly the performance of the device, while a block diagram model is implemented which implicitly describe the same device. By using these mathematical models, new expressions are obtained. Accurate and efficient modeling of these sources is being increasingly important in the design and optimization of optical integrated circuits and circuit component. In the case of QCLs, the diagram is used to calculate its characteristics such as potential voltage, output optical power, current, threshold current density, slope efficiency, differential efficiency, and optical gain of these devices. Furthermore, the effect of each parameter of the QCLs, such as number of periods; N p , operating temperature; T, waveguide losses; α w , mirror losses; α m , on its performance are discussed in details. To demonstrate these effects further, the changes in three dimensional are plotted. In another mean, improving the lasing properties of the QCLs through both block diagram and mathematical models is the main scope in this thesis. In order to enhance the performance of the underlined device, mathematical model parameters are tuned to obtain the optimum behavior. Additionally, it is important to model and analyze the effects of these physical parameters on the performance of QCLs. These parameters play the central role in specifying the optical characteristics of the considered laser source. Proposed relation that linked emitted power with QCLs parameters is deduced. Moreover, it is important to have a large amount of radiated power, where increasing the amount of radiated power represents the main

  7. Improving Software Performance in the Compute Unified Device Architecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandru PIRJAN

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper analyzes several aspects regarding the improvement of software performance for applications written in the Compute Unified Device Architecture CUDA. We address an issue of great importance when programming a CUDA application: the Graphics Processing Unit’s (GPU’s memory management through ranspose ernels. We also benchmark and evaluate the performance for progressively optimizing a transposing matrix application in CUDA. One particular interest was to research how well the optimization techniques, applied to software application written in CUDA, scale to the latest generation of general-purpose graphic processors units (GPGPU, like the Fermi architecture implemented in the GTX480 and the previous architecture implemented in GTX280. Lately, there has been a lot of interest in the literature for this type of optimization analysis, but none of the works so far (to our best knowledge tried to validate if the optimizations can apply to a GPU from the latest Fermi architecture and how well does the Fermi architecture scale to these software performance improving techniques.

  8. Organic photovoltaic cells: from performance improvement to manufacturing processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Youn, Hongseok; Park, Hui Joon; Guo, L Jay

    2015-05-20

    Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) have been pursued as a next generation power source due to their light weight, thin, flexible, and simple fabrication advantages. Improvements in OPV efficiency have attracted great attention in the past decade. Because the functional layers in OPVs can be dissolved in common solvents, they can be manufactured by eco-friendly and scalable printing or coating technologies. In this review article, the focus is on recent efforts to control nanomorphologies of photoactive layer and discussion of various solution-processed charge transport and extraction materials, to maximize the performance of OPV cells. Next, recent works on printing and coating technologies for OPVs to realize solution processing are reviewed. The review concludes with a discussion of recent advances in the development of non-traditional lamination and transfer method towards highly efficient and fully solution-processed OPV. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Nanotechnological inventions considerably improve performance characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLASOV Vladimir Alexeevich

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The invention «The method of production of carbon nanomaterial (RU 2509053» can be used as an additive for concretes and polymers which significantly improves their performance characteristics. The method of production of carbon nanomaterial consists of the following stages: preliminary preparation of sphagnous moss when it is refined from foreign admixtures, dried up to 10% humidity and ground, then ground material is exposed to pyrolysis under the temperature 850–950оC for 1–2 hours and cooled up to the environment temperature. After that amorphous carbon obtained in pyrolysis is treated with mechanical activation in the variable planetary mill for 7–10 hours. The invention makes it possible to provide increased outcome of nanotubes with high cleanliness. The invention «The method of production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them (RU 2509626» relates to the powder metallurgy. Powder metal chloride or powder mixture at least of two metal chlorides is treated in the environment of the water steam which is supplied in reaction space at the rate of 50–100 ml/min at the temperature 400–800оC at the presence of absorbent carbon or introducing carbon oxide (II obtained during dissolution of formic acid HCOOH. The invention provides reliable production of nanodispersed metal powders and alloys of them from 3-d metal range: Ni, Co, Cu, Fe, Zn which can be used in powder metallurgy to improve baking process, in chemical industry as the fillers of polymers and reaction catalysts; as additives to anticorrosive covers, etc.

  10. Improving performance with accident tolerant-fuels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomes, Daniel S.; Muniz, Rafael O.R.; Giovedi, Claudia, E-mail: dsgomes@ipen.br, E-mail: rafael.orm@gmail.com, E-mail: claudia.giovedi@ctmsp.mar.mil.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Universidade de São Paulo (USP), SP (Brazil). Departamento de Engenharia Naval e Oceânica

    2017-07-01

    After the Fukushima reactor accident, efforts to improve risk management in nuclear operations have included the intensification of research on accident-tolerant fuels (ATFs). In this investigation, the physical properties of recently developed ATFs were compared with those of the current standard fuel, UO{sub 2} - Zr. The goals for innovative fuel design include a rigorous characterization of the thermal, mechanical, and chemical considerations. The intentions are to lengthen the burnup cycle, raise the power density, and improve safety. Fuels must have a high uranium density - above that supported by UO{sub 2} - and possess a coating that exhibits better oxidation resistance than Zircaloys. ATFs such as U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC contain a higher uranium density and thermal conductivity than UO{sub 2}, providing significant benefits. The ideal combination of fuel and cladding must increase performance in a loss-of-coolant accident. However, U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}, UN, and UC have a disadvantage; their respective swelling rates are higher than that of UO{sub 2}. These ATFs also have thermal conductivities approximately four times higher than that of UO{sub 2}. A study was conducted investigating the hydrogen generated by the oxidation of zirconium alloys in contact with steam using cladding options such as Fe-Cr-Al and silicon carbide. It was confirmed that ferritic alloys offer a better response under severe conditions, because of their mechanical properties as creep rate. The findings of this study indicate that advanced fuels should replace UO{sub 2} - Zr as the fuel system of choice. (author)

  11. Spatial Modulation Improves Performance in CTIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bearman, Gregory H.; Wilson, Daniel W.; Johnson, William R.

    2009-01-01

    Suitably formulated spatial modulation of a scene imaged by a computed-tomography imaging spectrometer (CTIS) has been found to be useful as a means of improving the imaging performance of the CTIS. As used here, "spatial modulation" signifies the imposition of additional, artificial structure on a scene from within the CTIS optics. The basic principles of a CTIS were described in "Improvements in Computed- Tomography Imaging Spectrometry" (NPO-20561) NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 24, No. 12 (December 2000), page 38 and "All-Reflective Computed-Tomography Imaging Spectrometers" (NPO-20836), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 26, No. 11 (November 2002), page 7a. To recapitulate: A CTIS offers capabilities for imaging a scene with spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution. The spectral disperser in a CTIS is a two-dimensional diffraction grating. It is positioned between two relay lenses (or on one of two relay mirrors) in a video imaging system. If the disperser were removed, the system would produce ordinary images of the scene in its field of view. In the presence of the grating, the image on the focal plane of the system contains both spectral and spatial information because the multiple diffraction orders of the grating give rise to multiple, spectrally dispersed images of the scene. By use of algorithms adapted from computed tomography, the image on the focal plane can be processed into an image cube a three-dimensional collection of data on the image intensity as a function of the two spatial dimensions (x and y) in the scene and of wavelength (lambda). Thus, both spectrally and spatially resolved information on the scene at a given instant of time can be obtained, without scanning, from a single snapshot; this is what makes the CTIS such a potentially powerful tool for spatially, spectrally, and temporally resolved imaging. A CTIS performs poorly in imaging some types of scenes in particular, scenes that contain little spatial or spectral variation. The computed spectra of

  12. Learning to improve path planning performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, Pang C.

    1995-04-01

    In robotics, path planning refers to finding a short. collision-free path from an initial robot configuration to a desired configuratioin. It has to be fast to support real-time task-level robot programming. Unfortunately, current planning techniques are still too slow to be effective, as they often require several minutes, if not hours of computation. To remedy this situation, we present and analyze a learning algorithm that uses past experience to increase future performance. The algorithm relies on an existing path planner to provide solutions to difficult tasks. From these solutions, an evolving sparse network of useful robot configurations is learned to support faster planning. More generally, the algorithm provides a speedup-learning framework in which a slow but capable planner may be improved both cost-wise and capability-wise by a faster but less capable planner coupled with experience. The basic algorithm is suitable for stationary environments, and can be extended to accommodate changing environments with on-demand experience repair and object-attached experience abstraction. To analyze the algorithm, we characterize the situations in which the adaptive planner is useful, provide quantitative bounds to predict its behavior, and confirm our theoretical results with experiments in path planning of manipulators. Our algorithm and analysis are sufficiently, general that they may also be applied to other planning domains in which experience is useful

  13. EDUCATIONAL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES FOR IMPROVED PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flavia, CAIA

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available According to Gartner estimates, due to increased variety, speed and data volume, by 2015 there will be a global demand of 4.4 million professionals for real-time analysis of data from sources with different structures, but only one third of the demand will be met. The purpose of this research is to identify possible solutions for improved academic results in the IT domain, considering the time management policies, the content and the student motivations, as well as the business strategy tendencies. These proposals are targeted toward meeting the IT specialists demand. The research is composed of two parts: the first explores the Romanian IT labour market characteristics, while the second investigates the academic education policies that can help mitigate deficiencies and attain higher performance. The deficiencies are identified through a series of statistical research and analysis based on national level databases, adopting a quantitative approach. The policies proposed are supported by a flow model developed considering the students' activity, motivation, traits and results, measured and analysed quantitatively.

  14. Improved Bevatron local injector ion source performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stover, G.; Zajec, E.

    1985-05-01

    Performance tests of the improved Bevatron Local Injector PIG Ion Source using particles of Si 4 + , Ne 3 + , and He 2 + are described. Initial measurements of the 8.4 keV/nucleon Si 4 + beam show an intensity of 100 particle microamperes with a normalized emittance of .06 π cm-mrad. A low energy beam transport line provides mass analysis, diagnostics, and matching into a 200 MHz RFQ linac. The RFQ accelerates the beam from 8.4 to 200 keV/nucleon. The injector is unusual in the sense that all ion source power supplies, the ac distribution network, vacuum control equipment, and computer control system are contained in a four bay rack mounted on insulators which is located on a floor immediately above the ion source. The rack, transmission line, and the ion source housing are raised by a dc power supply to 80 kilovolts above earth ground. All power supplies, which are referenced to rack ground, are modular in construction and easily removable for maintenance. AC power is delivered to the rack via a 21 kVA, 3-phase transformer. 2 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  15. Improving Mobility Performance in Wheelchair Basketball

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Veeger, Thom T.J.; De Witte, Annemarie M H; Berger, Monique A M; van der Slikke, Rienk M A; Veeger, Dirkjan H E J; Hoozemans, Marco J M

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate which characteristics of athlete, wheelchair and athlete-wheelchair interface are the best predictors of wheelchair basketball mobility performance. DESIGN: Sixty experienced wheelchair basketball players performed a wheelchair mobility performance test to

  16. Using business intelligence to improve performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Tom; Graves, Brian; Glass, Steve; Harrison, A Marc; Donovan, Chris; Proctor, Andrew

    2009-10-01

    Cleveland Clinic's enterprise performance management program offers proof that comparisons of actual performance against strategic objectives can enable healthcare organization to achieve rapid organizational change. Here are four lessons Cleveland Clinic learned from this initiative: Align performance metrics with strategic initiatives. Structure dashboards for the CEO. Link performance to annual reviews. Customize dashboard views to the specific user.

  17. Intensive precipitation observation greatly improves hydrological modelling of the poorly gauged high mountain Mabengnong catchment in the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Zhang, Fan; Zhang, Hongbo; Scott, Christopher A.; Zeng, Chen; Shi, Xiaonan

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation is one of the most critical inputs for models used to improve understanding of hydrological processes. In high mountain areas, it is challenging to generate a reliable precipitation data set capturing the spatial and temporal heterogeneity due to the harsh climate, extreme terrain and the lack of observations. This study conducts intensive observation of precipitation in the Mabengnong catchment in the southeast of the Tibetan Plateau during July to August 2013. Because precipitation is greatly influenced by altitude, the observed data are used to characterize the precipitation gradient (PG) and hourly distribution (HD), showing that the average PG is 0.10, 0.28 and 0.26 mm/d/100 m and the average duration is around 0.1, 0.8 and 5.2 h for trace, light and moderate rain, respectively. A distributed biosphere hydrological model based on water and energy budgets with improved physical process for snow (WEB-DHM-S) is applied to simulate the hydrological processes with gridded precipitation data derived from a lower altitude meteorological station and the PG and HD characterized for the study area. The observed runoff, MODIS/Terra snow cover area (SCA) data, and MODIS/Terra land surface temperature (LST) data are used for model calibration and validation. Runoff, SCA and LST simulations all show reasonable results. Sensitivity analyses illustrate that runoff is largely underestimated without considering PG, indicating that short-term intensive precipitation observation has the potential to greatly improve hydrological modelling of poorly gauged high mountain catchments.

  18. Engaging service providers in improving industry performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oberth, R.

    2012-01-01

    Effective task leadership is the key to achieving results in the nuclear industry and in most other industries. One of the themes of this conference is to discuss how the nuclear industry can undertake Issue-Identification and Definition as a means of 'identifying what needs attention' and then 'defining what needs to be done to make that happen'. I will explore this theme from the perspective of the 'Service Provider' - which by the definition of this conference includes everyone not within an operating utility - meaning 'those involved in everything from inspection and repair to research and plant architecture' - basically the member companies of my association, OCI. Our members take the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the 'Service Provider' community very seriously. In the context of this discussion a key utility function is the early definition of requirements and expectations of Service Providers in supplying to these requirements. Let's explore for a moment the Service Provider role and perspective. Service Providers are by nature pro-active - they seek ways to engage with utilities (and tier one vendors) to solve problems and achieve good outcomes. They come to industry conferences like this one to learn about upcoming utility programs and supply opportunities and how they can improve performance. Service Providers particularly want to hear senior utility people comment on emerging issues even those at the very early identification stage. Some Clarification of Roles is in Order - as that is the focus of this conference: 'Issue-Identification and Definition'. 'Issue-Identification' is the utility's job - it is the utility's role to identify as early as possible 'what needs attention and what their needs and expectations are'. This takes place before service provider engagement. 'Issue-Definition' is more challenging. It means 'determining and prioritizing what needs to be done to deal with the situation at hand'. This typically involves

  19. Geodetic Finite-Fault-based Earthquake Early Warning Performance for Great Earthquakes Worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruhl, C. J.; Melgar, D.; Grapenthin, R.; Allen, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    GNSS-based earthquake early warning (EEW) algorithms estimate fault-finiteness and unsaturated moment magnitude for the largest, most damaging earthquakes. Because large events are infrequent, algorithms are not regularly exercised and insufficiently tested on few available datasets. The Geodetic Alarm System (G-larmS) is a GNSS-based finite-fault algorithm developed as part of the ShakeAlert EEW system in the western US. Performance evaluations using synthetic earthquakes offshore Cascadia showed that G-larmS satisfactorily recovers magnitude and fault length, providing useful alerts 30-40 s after origin time and timely warnings of ground motion for onshore urban areas. An end-to-end test of the ShakeAlert system demonstrated the need for GNSS data to accurately estimate ground motions in real-time. We replay real data from several subduction-zone earthquakes worldwide to demonstrate the value of GNSS-based EEW for the largest, most damaging events. We compare predicted ground acceleration (PGA) from first-alert-solutions with those recorded in major urban areas. In addition, where applicable, we compare observed tsunami heights to those predicted from the G-larmS solutions. We show that finite-fault inversion based on GNSS-data is essential to achieving the goals of EEW.

  20. Improving File System Performance by Striping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Terance L.; Kutler, Paul (Technical Monitor)

    1998-01-01

    This document discusses the performance and advantages of striped file systems on the SGI AD workstations. Performance of several striped file system configurations are compared and guidelines for optimal striping are recommended.

  1. Performance samples on academic tasks : improving prediction of academic performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tanilon, Jenny

    2011-01-01

    This thesis is about the development and validation of a performance-based test, labeled as Performance Samples on academic tasks in Education and Child Studies (PSEd). PSEd is designed to identify students who are most able to perform the academic tasks involved in an Education and Child Studies

  2. Sootblowing optimization for improved boiler performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, John Robert; McDermott, John; Piche, Stephen; Pickard, Fred; Parikh, Neel J.

    2012-12-25

    A sootblowing control system that uses predictive models to bridge the gap between sootblower operation and boiler performance goals. The system uses predictive modeling and heuristics (rules) associated with different zones in a boiler to determine an optimal sequence of sootblower operations and achieve boiler performance targets. The system performs the sootblower optimization while observing any operational constraints placed on the sootblowers.

  3. Football to Improve Math and Reading Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates "Playing for Success" (PfS), an extended school day program for underachieving…

  4. Football to improve math and reading performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Klaveren, Chris; De Witte, Kristof

    2015-01-01

    Schools frequently increase the instructional time to improve primary school children's math and reading skills. There is, however, little evidence that math and reading skills are effectively improved by these instruction-time increases. This study evaluates ‘Playing for Success’ (PfS), an extended

  5. An evaluation of The Great Escape: can an interactive computer game improve young children's fire safety knowledge and behaviors?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrongiello, Barbara A; Schwebel, David C; Bell, Melissa; Stewart, Julia; Davis, Aaron L

    2012-07-01

    Fire is a leading cause of unintentional injury and, although young children are at particularly increased risk, there are very few evidence-based resources available to teach them fire safety knowledge and behaviors. Using a pre-post randomized design, the current study evaluated the effectiveness of a computer game (The Great Escape) for teaching fire safety information to young children (3.5-6 years). Using behavioral enactment procedures, children's knowledge and behaviors related to fire safety were compared to a control group of children before and after receiving the intervention. The results indicated significant improvements in knowledge and fire safety behaviors in the intervention group but not the control. Using computer games can be an effective way to promote young children's understanding of safety and how to react in different hazardous situations.

  6. The development of a sub-daily gridded rainfall product to improve hydrological predictions in Great Britain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quinn, Niall; Freer, Jim; Coxon, Gemma; O'Loughlin, Fiachra; Woods, Ross; Liguori, Sara

    2015-04-01

    In Great Britain and many other regions of the world, flooding resulting from short duration, high intensity rainfall events can lead to significant economic losses and fatalities. At present, such extreme events are often poorly evaluated using hydrological models due, in part, to their rarity and relatively short duration and a lack of appropriate data. Such storm characteristics are not well represented by daily rainfall records currently available using volumetric gauges and/or derived gridded products. This research aims to address this important data gap by developing a sub-daily gridded precipitation product for Great Britain. Our focus is to better understand these storm events and some of the challenges and uncertainties in quantifying such data across catchment scales. Our goal is to both improve such rainfall characterisation and derive an input to drive hydrological model simulations. Our methodology involves the collation, error checking, and spatial interpolation of approximately 2000 rain gauges located across Great Britain, provided by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Environment Agency (EA). Error checking was conducted over the entirety of the TBR data available, utilising a two stage approach. First, rain gauge data at each site were examined independently, with data exceeding reasonable thresholds marked as suspect. Second, potentially erroneous data were marked using a neighbourhood analysis approach whereby measurements at a given gauge were deemed suspect if they did not fall within defined bounds of measurements at neighbouring gauges. A total of eight error checks were conducted. To provide the user with the greatest flexibility possible, the error markers associated with each check have been recorded at every site. This approach aims to enable the user to choose which checks they deem most suitable for a particular application. The quality assured TBR dataset was then spatially interpolated to produce a national

  7. 7804 PERFORMANCE OF IMPROVED BEAN VARIETIES IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Win7Ent

    2013-06-03

    Jun 3, 2013 ... 3. June 2013. ABSTRACT. A project aimed at improving bean production in Kigoma Region was carried out ... Some rain is required during the flowering and pod setting stages [2]. ..... library.ciat.cgiar.org/articulos/ciat/paperb.

  8. Measuring collections effort improves cash performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shutts, Joe

    2009-09-01

    Having a satisfied work force can lead to an improved collections effort. Hiring the right people and training them ensures employee engagement. Measuring collections effort and offering incentives is key to revenue cycle success.

  9. Performance improvement of professional printing systems : from theory to practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ezzeldin Mahdy Abdelmonem, M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance Improvement of Professional Printing Systems: from theory to practice Markets demand continuously for higher quality, higher speed, and more energy-efficient professional printers. In this thesis, control strategies have been developed to improve the performance of both professional

  10. Performance Results of CMMI-Based Process Improvement

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gibson, Diane L; Goldenson, Dennis R; Kost, Keith

    2006-01-01

    .... There now is evidence that process improvement using the CMMI Product Suite can result in improvements in schedule and cost performance, product quality, return on investment and other measures of performance outcome...

  11. Can visual arts training improve physician performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts - a subset of medical humanities - into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation.

  12. Can Visual Arts Training Improve Physician Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katz, Joel T.; Khoshbin, Shahram

    2014-01-01

    Clinical educators use medical humanities as a means to improve patient care by training more self-aware, thoughtful, and collaborative physicians. We present three examples of integrating fine arts — a subset of medical humanities — into the preclinical and clinical training as models that can be adapted to other medical environments to address a wide variety of perceived deficiencies. This novel teaching method has promise to improve physician skills, but requires further validation. PMID:25125749

  13. Improvement of irradiation facilities performance in JMTR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kanno, Masaru; Sakurai, Susumu; Honma, Kenzo; Sagawa, Hisashi; Nakazaki, Chousaburo

    1999-01-01

    Various kinds of irradiation facilities are installed in the JMTR for the purpose of irradiation tests on fuels and materials and of producing radioisotopes. The irradiation facilities have been improved so far at every opportunity of new irradiation requirements and of renewing them which reached the design lifetime. Of these irradiation facilities, improvements of the power ramping test facility (BOCA/OSF-1 facility) and the hydraulic rabbit No.2 (HR-2 facility) are described here. (author)

  14. Improving Student Performance Using Nudge Analytics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feild, Jacqueline

    2015-01-01

    Providing students with continuous and personalized feedback on their performance is an important part of encouraging self regulated learning. As part of our higher education platform, we built a set of data visualizations to provide feedback to students on their assignment performance. These visualizations give students information about how they…

  15. How Six Sigma Methodology Improved Doctors' Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zafiropoulos, George

    2015-01-01

    Six Sigma methodology was used in a District General Hospital to assess the effect of the introduction of an educational programme to limit unnecessary admissions. The performance of the doctors involved in the programme was assessed. Ishikawa Fishbone and 5 S's were initially used and Pareto analysis of their findings was performed. The results…

  16. Using Performance Task Data to Improve Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbott, Amy L.; Wren, Douglas G.

    2016-01-01

    Two well-accepted ideas among educators are (a) performance assessment is an effective means of assessing higher-order thinking skills and (b) data-driven instruction planning is a valuable tool for optimizing student learning. This article describes a locally developed performance task (LDPT) designed to measure critical thinking, problem…

  17. Industry activities to improve valve performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Callaway, C.

    1996-12-01

    Motor-operated valve issues refuse to go away. For over a decade the industry and the NRC have been focusing extraordinary resources on assuring these special components operate when called upon. Now that industry has fixed the design deficiencies, it is focusing on assuring that they perform their safety function within the current licensing basis for the remainder of plant life. NEI supported the efforts by ASME to develop OMN-1 and was encouraged that the industry and the NRC worked together to develop risk and performance based approaches to maintain MOV performance.

  18. Does Advertising Spending Improve Sales Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Assaf, A. George; Josiassen, Alexander; Mattila, Anna S.

    2015-01-01

    Hotel managers and investors commonly analyze the impact of advertising spending on firm performance. This paper investigates such an impact using a comprehensive framework incorporating the moderating effects of hotel size and star ratings. We estimated sales performance via dynamic, stochastic...... frontier modelling. Using longitudinal data from a sample of Slovenian and Croatian hotels, we demonstrate that advertising spending has a positive impact on hotel sales performance, and that the relationship strengthens for larger hotels and hotels with higher star ratings. Theoretical and managerial...

  19. Warehouse Performance Improvement at Linfox Logistics Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Pratama, Riyan Galuh; Simatupang, Togar M

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this research is to provide alternative solutions for Linfox Logistics Indonesia (LLI) in facing warehouse performance issues. The main warehouse performance indicators called Customer Case Filling on Time (CCFOT) and Case Picking Productivity failed to achieve the target. Several analyses were carried out regarding current dispatch process, value stream mapping, and root causes identification. The results find that much waste occurred in dispatch process. Proposed improvemen...

  20. A Management Tool for Improvement (Improving) IMS Stations Performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohammad, D.; Pantin, A.; Quintana, E.

    2011-01-01

    IMS-Maintenance is a software under development by the personnel of ARN-CTBT office, intended for the technical management of IMS stations under ARN's responsibility. This software integrates the whole control of the equipment in an IMS station, including the management of consumables used in daily or periodic operation. It permits an easy retrieval (access) of the technical features, suppliers, etc. of each item of the equipment, as well as its maintenance history and scheduled task. Although this project is still in a starting phase, a preliminary version of this software is being used in radionuclide station RN01 (Buenos Aires), having already demonstrated its usefulness and potential for the improvement of IMS station management. (authors)

  1. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents a partnership effort among managers, trainers, and employees to spring to life performance improvement using the performance templates (P-T) approach. P-T represents a process model as well as a method of training leading to performance improvement. Not only does it add to our repertoire of training and performance management…

  2. Improving operational performance by influencing shopfloor behavior via performance management practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Leeuw, S.L.J.M.; van den Berg, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    It is generally believed that companies applying performance management practices outperform those that do not measure and manage their performance. Studies examining the link between performance management and performance improvement implicitly assume that performance management affects behavior of

  3. Performance improvement by alumina coatings on Y

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zhou, Z.; Zhou, Nan; Lu, Xiangyang; ten Kate, O.M.; Valdesueiro Gonzalez, D.; van Ommen, J.R.; Hintzen, H.T.J.M.

    2016-01-01

    To improve the thermal stability, Al2O3 has been successfully coated on a Y3Al5O12:Ce3+ (YAG:Ce) phosphor powder host by using the Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) approach in a fluidized bed reactor. Transmission Electron Microscopy

  4. Reactor coolant pump seals: improving their performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pothier, N.E.; Metcalfe, R.

    1986-06-01

    Large CANDU plants are benefitting from transient-resistant four-year reliable reactor coolant pump seal lifetimes, a direct result of AECL's 20-year comprehensive seal improvement program involving R and D staff, manufacturers, and plant designers and operators. An overview of this program is presented, which covers seal modification design, testing, post-service examination, specialized maintenance and quality control. The relevancy of this technology to Light Water Reactor Coolant Pump Seals is also discussed

  5. Effects of dietary prebiotic GroBiotic®- A on growth performance, plasma thyroid hormones and mucosal immunity of great sturgeon, Huso huso (Linnaeus, 1758)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adel, M.; Nayak, S.; Lazado, Carlo Cabacang

    2016-01-01

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of Grobiotic®-A, a commercial prebiotics, when administered in feed on the growth performance, plasma thyroid hormones and mucosal immunity of great sturgeon (Huso huso). The commercial prebiotic mixture was supplemented in the diets at four...... changes in growth performance parameters were observed, but only in those groups fed with 1% and 2% prebiotics. Specifically, marked improvements relative to the control group were observed in percentage weight gain, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio and specific growth rate in prebiotic-fed fish....... The levels of plasma thyroid hormones, specifically thyroxine and thyroid stimulating hormones were significantly elevated in the group receiving 2% prebiotics. Activities of lysozyme and alkaline phosphatase in skin mucus were significantly enhanced in prebiotics-fed groups, particularly at an inclusion...

  6. Improvement an enterprises marketing performance measurement system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanković Ljiljana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Business conditions in which modern enterprises do business are more and more complex. The complexity of the business environment is caused by activities of external and internal factors, which imposes the need for the turn in management focus. One of key turns is related to the need of adaptation and development of new business performance evaluation systems. The evaluation of marketing contribution to business performance is very important however a complex task as well. The marketing theory and practice indicates the need for developing adequate standards and systems for evaluating the efficiency of marketing decisions. The better understanding of marketing standards and ways that managers use is a very important factor that affects the efficiency of strategic decision-making. The paper presents the results of researching the way in which managers perceive and apply marketing performance measures. The data that were received through the field research sample enabled the consideration of the managers' attitudes on practical ways of implementing marketing performance measurement and identifying measures that managers imply as used mostly in business practice.

  7. Does Negotiation Training Improve Negotiators' Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    ElShenawy, Eman

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: This paper's objective is to test the main effect of negotiation training-level on acquiring negotiation skills. Training level refers to the time a trainee spends in a negotiation training course receiving the standard style and methods of training. Negotiation skills are manifested through trainees' performance after receiving training.…

  8. Improving spelling performance and spelling consciousness

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cordewener, K.A.H.; Verhoeven, L.T.W.; Bosman, A.M.T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of

  9. Improving Spelling Performance and Spelling Consciousness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordewener, Kim A. H.; Verhoeven, Ludo; Bosman, Anna M. T.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the immediate and sustained effects of three training conditions on both spelling performance and spelling consciousness of 72 third-grade low- and high-skilled spellers. Spellers were assigned to a strategy-instruction, self-correction, or no-correction condition. The role of spelling ability and word characteristic were also…

  10. Tools for Measuring and Improving Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jurow, Susan

    1993-01-01

    Explains the need for meaningful performance measures in libraries and the Total Quality Management (TQM) approach to data collection. Five tools representing different stages of a TQM inquiry are covered (i.e., the Shewhart Cycle, flowcharts, cause-and-effect diagrams, Pareto charts, and control charts), and benchmarking is addressed. (Contains…

  11. Improving Student Performance through Parent Involvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steventon, Candace E.

    A personalized parenting program was implemented to address poor academic performance and low self-esteem of high school students. Student records, the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory, the Behavior Evaluation Scale, and teacher surveys were employed to identify and measure academic and/or self-perception growth. Parents participated in an 8-week…

  12. Improving fatigue performance of rail thermite welds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jezzini-Aouad, M.; Flahaut, P.; Hariri, S.; Winiar, L.

    2010-06-01

    Rail transport development offers economic and ecological interests. Nevertheless, it requires heavy investments in rolling material and infrastructure. To be competitive, this transportation means must rely on safe and reliable infrastructure, which requires optimization of all implemented techniques and structure. Rail thermite (or aluminothermic) welding is widely used within the railway industry for in-track welding during re-rail and defect replacement. The process provides numerous advantages against other welding technology commonly used. Obviously, future demands on train traffic are heavier axle loads, higher train speeds and increased traffic density. Thus, a new enhanced weld should be developed to prevent accidents due to fracture of welds and to lower maintenance costs. In order to improve such assembly process, a detailed metallurgical study coupled to a thermomechanical modelling of the phenomena involved in the thermite welding process is carried out. Obtained data enables us to develop a new improved thermite weld (type A). This joint is made by modifying the routinely specified procedure (type B) used in a railway rail by a standard gap alumino-thermic weld. Joints of type A and B are tested and compared. Based on experimental temperature measurements, a finite element analysis is used to calculate the thermal residual stresses induced. In the vicinity of the weld, the residual stress patterns depend on the thermal conditions during welding as it also shown by litterature [1, 2]. In parallel, X-Ray diffraction has been used to map the residual stress field that is generated in welded rail of types A and B. Their effect on fatigue crack growth in rail welds is studied. An experimental study based on fatigue tests of rails welded by conventional and improved processes adjudicates on the new advances and results will be shown.

  13. Improving Team Performance: Proceedings of the Rand Team Performance Workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1980-08-01

    Gene Gloye of ONR said at that time that by highlighting specific content areas for attention, one runs the risk of supporting "research by the yard...Meister The purpose of this paper is to describe how human factors engineering ( HFE ) relates to team performance. HFE is the application of...behavioral principles and data to the design and development of man-machine systems (MMS). HFE activities begin in the very early planning stages of MMS

  14. Benchmark and Continuous Improvement of Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alina Alecse Stanciu

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The present Economic Environment is challenge us to perform, to think and re-think our personal strategies in according with our entities strategies, even if we are simply employed or we are entrepreneurs. Is an environment characterised by Volatility, Uncertainity, Complexity and Ambiguity - a VUCA World in which the entities must fight for their position gained in the market, disrupt new markets and new economies, developing their client portofolio, with the Performance as one final goal. The pressure of driving forces known as the 2030 Megatrends: Globalization 2.0, Environmental Crisis and the Scarcity of Resources, Individualism and Value Pluralism, Demographic Change, This paper examines whether using benchmark is an opportunity to increase the competitiveness of Romanian SMEs and the results show that benchmark is therefore a powerful instrument, combining reduced negative impact on the environment with a positive impact on the economy and society.

  15. Does School Choice Improve Student Performance?

    OpenAIRE

    Kaja Høiseth Brugård

    2013-01-01

    This paper studies the relationship between school choice and student performance for high school students in Norway. The analysis exploits both the fact that the degree of school choice formally differs between counties, and detailed information on travelling distances to high schools, which more closely reflects the students' actual school choice possibilities. Information on students' residence, high school location, and the degree of formal school choice is used to estimate the effect on ...

  16. Brazilian economic performance since the emergence of the great recession: The effects of income distribution on consumption

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arestis Philip

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available After a long period of unstable and low economic activity, Brazil achieved a relatively high economic growth with low inflation from 2004 to 2008, when the world scenario was favourable for the Brazilian trade balance. An incomes policy, focused on real increases in the minimum wage along with a credit boom, led to a decade of high consumption growth rates. High levels of consumption and exports, in turn, induced investment and stimulated manufacturing production, despite the real appreciation of the national currency. However, the Great Recession that emerged after the global financial crisis of 2007/2008 brought challenges to the Brazilian economic performance, with unpleasant consequences for the country’s GDP growth. Consumption, investment and exports have decelerated, despite anti-cyclical macroeconomic policies. In this setting, manufacturing production stagnated and GDP growth slowed down substantially, while imports continued rising considerably. The aim of this paper is to provide an explanation to the slowdown of Brazilian growth rates after the Great Recession. The main hypothesis is that consumption was the main source of effective demand in the country since 2003. However, Brazil has not yet been able to sustain manufacturing and economic growth without a more active government policy to stimulate productive investment.

  17. Hybrid Modeling Improves Health and Performance Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    Scientific Monitoring Inc. was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) project by NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center to create a new, simplified health-monitoring approach for flight vehicles and flight equipment. The project developed a hybrid physical model concept that provided a structured approach to simplifying complex design models for use in health monitoring, allowing the output or performance of the equipment to be compared to what the design models predicted, so that deterioration or impending failure could be detected before there would be an impact on the equipment's operational capability. Based on the original modeling technology, Scientific Monitoring released I-Trend, a commercial health- and performance-monitoring software product named for its intelligent trending, diagnostics, and prognostics capabilities, as part of the company's complete ICEMS (Intelligent Condition-based Equipment Management System) suite of monitoring and advanced alerting software. I-Trend uses the hybrid physical model to better characterize the nature of health or performance alarms that result in "no fault found" false alarms. Additionally, the use of physical principles helps I-Trend identify problems sooner. I-Trend technology is currently in use in several commercial aviation programs, and the U.S. Air Force recently tapped Scientific Monitoring to develop next-generation engine health-management software for monitoring its fleet of jet engines. Scientific Monitoring has continued the original NASA work, this time under a Phase III SBIR contract with a joint NASA-Pratt & Whitney aviation security program on propulsion-controlled aircraft under missile-damaged aircraft conditions.

  18. Business intelligence: using insight to improve the value and performance of your practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coan, Tim

    2007-01-01

    Using information to improve the value of your practice can be a great way to create leverage and improve the performance of your practice. Business intelligence (BI) is the result of a complete system that produces meaningful insights by providing the information necessary to make business decisions. Changes made from these insights improve both the performance and value of your practice. It is important to identify the key elements required of a good BI system and the areas within a practice that can directly benefit from an effective BI system.

  19. Competitive Strategies and Improved Performance of Selected Nigeria Telecommunication Companies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Waidi Adeniyi Akingbad

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The influence of globalization in telecommunication companies has greatly increased the level of competition in the industry and they are forced to be competitive to survive. Different types of strategies are put in place in order to be profitable and competitive. All these strategies are directed to attract, retain and maintain customers for continuous profitability. However, majority of them hardly measure the impact of their strategic innovation on their customers. The paper seeks to explore the influence of competitive strategies embarked upon by selected telecommunication companies in Nigeria on their performance. The paper also examines how competitive strategies could be implemented for improved customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. Three null hypotheses were postulated to test the relationship between lower prices and customer satisfaction, uninterrupted trunk services and customer loyalty, and customer complaint handling and retention. Only customers using telephone service were selected as respondents from Lagos State. The state was stratified in to 20 local government council area and questionnaires were distributed to 125 respondents in each of them. The completion rate of the questionnaire in each of them is between 103 and 110. Survey research design was adopted to carry out the study. A structured questionnaire was designed and validated through the construct validity and tested for confirmation using the KMO measure of sampling adequacy. It was also made reliable using Cronbach’s Alpha test. From the study, findings revealed relationship between competitive strategies and customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty. The findings revealed that there is a relationship between competitive strategies, its constituents and performance of telecommunication companies. It is recommended that universal mobile telecommunication services (UMTS operators should adopt the culture of competitive strategies since it can

  20. Continuing education for performance improvement: a creative approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Patti-Ann; Hardesty, Ilana; White, Julie L; Zisblatt, Lara

    2012-10-01

    In an effort to improve patient safety and health care outcomes, continuing medical education has begun to focus on performance improvement initiatives for physician practices. Boston University School of Medicine's (BUSM) Continuing Nursing Education Accredited Provider Unit has begun a creative project to award nursing contact hours for nurses' participation in performance improvement activities. This column highlights its initial efforts. Copyright 2012, SLACK Incorporated.

  1. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry, Second Edition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-02-23

    This sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The sourcebook is divided into three main sections: steam system basics, performance improvement opportunities, and where to find help.

  2. The improvement of performances for PWR fuels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Debes

    2001-01-01

    UO 2 fuels used in French nuclear power plants are authorized for values of burn-ups up to 52 GWj/t. Constant technological progress concerning pellets, cladding, and the design of the assembly has led to better performance and a broader safety margin. EDF is gathering all the elements to qualify and back its demand to increase the limit burn-up to 65 GWj/t in 2004 and to 70 GWj/t in 2008. For the same amount of energy produced, this policy of higher burn-ups will allow: - a reduction of the number of spent fuel assemblies, - a direct economic spare by using less fuel assemblies, - a reduction of personnel dosimetry because of longer irradiation campaigns, and - less quantity of residual plutonium produced. (A.C.)

  3. Improving UV Resistance of High Performance Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Ahmed

    High performance fibers are characterized by their superior properties compared to the traditional textile fibers. High strength fibers have high modules, high strength to weight ratio, high chemical resistance, and usually high temperature resistance. It is used in application where superior properties are needed such as bulletproof vests, ropes and cables, cut resistant products, load tendons for giant scientific balloons, fishing rods, tennis racket strings, parachute cords, adhesives and sealants, protective apparel and tire cords. Unfortunately, Ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes serious degradation to the most of high performance fibers. UV lights, either natural or artificial, cause organic compounds to decompose and degrade, because the energy of the photons of UV light is high enough to break chemical bonds causing chain scission. This work is aiming at achieving maximum protection of high performance fibers using sheathing approaches. The sheaths proposed are of lightweight to maintain the advantage of the high performance fiber that is the high strength to weight ratio. This study involves developing three different types of sheathing. The product of interest that need be protected from UV is braid from PBO. First approach is extruding a sheath from Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) loaded with different rutile TiO2 % nanoparticles around the braid from the PBO. The results of this approach showed that LDPE sheath loaded with 10% TiO2 by weight achieved the highest protection compare to 0% and 5% TiO2. The protection here is judged by strength loss of PBO. This trend noticed in different weathering environments, where the sheathed samples were exposed to UV-VIS radiations in different weatheromter equipments as well as exposure to high altitude environment using NASA BRDL balloon. The second approach is focusing in developing a protective porous membrane from polyurethane loaded with rutile TiO2 nanoparticles. Membrane from polyurethane loaded with 4

  4. An Experimental Test of a Causal Link between Problem-Solving Performance and Reproductive Success in Wild Great Tits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laure Cauchard

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies have uncovered relationships between measures of various cognitive performances and proxies of fitness such as reproductive success in non-human animals. However, to better understand the evolution of cognition in the wild, we still have to determine the causality of these relationships and the underlying mechanisms. The cognitive ability of an individual may directly influence its ability to raise many and/or high quality young through for example its provisioning ability. Conversely, large and/or high quality broods may lead to high parental motivation to solve problems related to their care. To answer this question, we manipulated reproductive success through brood size and measured subsequent problem-solving performance in wild great tit parents. Our results show that brood size manipulation did not affect the probability to solve the task. Moreover, solver pairs fledged more young than non-solver pairs independently of brood size treatment in one of the two experimental years and they showed higher nestling provisioning rate in both years. Overall, it shows that problem-solving performance was not driven by motivation and suggest that problem-solvers may achieve higher fledging success through higher provisioning rates. Our study constitutes a first key step toward a mechanistic understanding of the consequences of innovation ability for individual fitness in the wild.

  5. Competence modelling for export performance improvement in Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Birru, W.T.

    2016-01-01

    Export is increasingly seen as an important route for entrepreneurial firms to realize their growth potential. Consequently, a better understanding of the determinant factors for export performance of the firm is of great importance for firms’ success and expansion in the export markets. In this

  6. Efficacy of a Template Creation Approach for Performance Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2011-01-01

    This article presents the training and performance improvement approach, performance templates (P-T), and provides empirical evidence to support the efficacy of P-T. This approach involves a partnership among managers, trainers, and employees in the creation, use, and improvement of guides to affect the performance of critical tasks in the…

  7. Improved human performance through appropriate work scheduling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morisseau, D.S.; Lewis, P.M.; Persensky, J.J.

    1987-01-01

    The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has had a policy, Generic Letter 82-12, on hours of work since 1982. The policy states that licensees should establish controls to prevent situations where fatigue could reduce the ability of operating personnel to perform their duties safely (USNRC 1982). While that policy does give guidance on hours of work and overtime, it does not address periods of longer than 7 days or work schedules other than the routine 8-hour day, 40-hour week. Recognizing that NRC policy could provide broader guidance for shift schedules and hours of overtime work, the Division of Human Factors Safety conducted a project with Pacific Northwest Laboratories (PNL) to help the NRC better understand the human factors principles and issues concerning hours of work so that the NRC could consider updating their policy as necessary. The results of this project are recommendations for guidelines and limits for periods of 14 days, 28 days, and 1 year to take into account the cumulative effects of fatigue. In addition, routine 12-hour shifts are addressed. This latter type of shift schedule has been widely adopted in the petroleum and chemical industries and several utilities operating nuclear power plants have adopted it as well. Since this is the case, it is important to consider including guidelines for implementing this type of schedule. This paper discusses the bases for the PNL recommendations which are currently being studied by the NRC

  8. Baking oven improvement by performance modelling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    The first phase of the project included both the derivation of an oven model and the development of a portable, rapid-response heat-flux sensor. Heat flux (defined as the instantaneous rate of heat flow per unit at the surface of the baking biscuit and expressed in W/cm[sup 2]) has been shown to be a more useful measure of oven performance than temperature alone. Fixed-point heat-flux sensors have already been developed and marketed, but a need was expressed at the start of this project for a travelling sensor which could be used to construct a more detailed picture of heat-flux variation in an oven. The travelling monitor developed can be used to measure variations in the heat flux experienced at the surface of products being baked in a travelling oven, both when oven conditions are fixed and when they are varied. It can also be used to identify the optimum locations within an oven for fixed heat-flux probes. It has been used effectively throughout the project for both purposes. Fuel savings of 18% and 21%, respectively, were achieved with two ovens. (author)

  9. Hardfacing and packings for improved valve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aikin, J.A.; Patrick, J.N.F.; Inglis, I.

    2003-01-01

    The CANDU Owners Group (COG), Chemistry, Materials and Components (CMC) Program has supported an ongoing program on valve maintenance and performance for several years. An overview is presented of recent work on iron-based hardfacing, packing qualification, friction testing of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) packings, and an investigation of re-torquing valve packing. Based on this program, two new valve-packing materials have been qualified for use in CANDU stations. By doing this, CANDU maintenance can avoid having only one packing qualified for station use, as well as assess the potential impact of the industry trend towards using lower gland loads. The results from corrosion tests by AECL and the coefficient of friction studies at Battelle' s tribology testing facilities on Delcrome 910, an iron-based hardfacing alloy, indicate it is an acceptable replacement for Stellite 6 under certain conditions. This information can be used to update in-line valve purchasing specifications. The renewed interest in friction characteristics, and environmental qualification (EQ) of packing containing PTFE has resulted in a new test program in these areas. The COG-funded valve programs have resulted in modifications to design specifications for nuclear station in-line valves and have led to better maintenance practices and valve reliability. In the end, this means lower costs and cheaper electricity. (author)

  10. Improving Vaginal Examinations Performed by Midwives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhoda S. Muliira

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available A vaginal examination (VE is an essential part of midwifery care, and is routinely performed when assessing the progress of labour. As evidence shows that during labour women may find VEs unpleasant,embarrassing and sometimes painful, the aim of this article is to review literature on the use of VEs during labour and to synthesise information from the available literature on how to provide an effective VE. The studies considered were retrieved from three databases (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature [CINAHL], SCOPUS and MEDLINE using the following search terms: “VEs in labour”, “midwives and use of VEs” and “women experiences of VEs in labour”. The literature reviewed suggests that midwives are not careful about VEs. Therefore, a concerted effort is needed to pay attention to the frequency of VEs, the management ofpain and distress, information-giving and the preferences of the patient, so that the patient can feel in control during a VE.

  11. Good-to-Great Superintendents: An Examination of Jim Collins' Good-to-Great Level Five Leadership Attributes as Demonstrated by the Leadership Behaviors of Superintendents of High-Performing California Public Single-School Districts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, James D.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine Collins' good-to-great Level Five leadership attributes, as demonstrated by the leadership behaviors of superintendents of high-performing California public single-school districts. Methodology: The researcher used a case study design to conduct this study. Personal interviews were conducted in…

  12. Complex Heat Exchangers for Improved Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bran, Gabriela Alejandra

    propagates along the channel. However, the sinusoidal behavior on one of the fluids does not fully translate to the other gets damped by the wall and the heat transfer coefficients that can be barely seen on the other flow. A scaling analysis and a parametric study were performed to determine the influence the different parameters on the system have on the time a heat exchanger takes to reach steady state. The results show the dependency of tst* (time a system takes to reach steady state) on the dimensionless parameters M, C, NTUh, NTUc, and Cw. t st* depends linearly on C and Cw, and it is a power function of M. It was also shown that tst* has a logarithmic dependency on NTUh and NTUc. A correlation was generated to approximate the time a system takes to reach steady state for systems where C w heat exchanger with the specific application of solar energy storage was also investigated. This application involves a counter-flow heat exchanger with a reacting flow in one of the channels, and it includes varying properties, heat generation, varying heat transfer coefficient, and axial conduction. The application for this reactor heat exchanger is on solar energy storage, and the goals is to heat up steam to 650 °C by using the ammonia synthesis heat of reaction. One of the concerns for this system is the start-up time and also how disturbances in reacting flow can affect the steam outlet temperature. The transient behavior during the system start-up was presented. In order to achieve the desired outlet steam temperature at a reasonable time, the system must operate at high gas mass flow rates. If the inlet temperature of the gas suffers a step change, it affects the reaction rate as well as the outlet steam temperature. A small perturbation on the gas mass flow rate has an effect on the profile shape. However, the maximum temperature reached by the gas due to reaction is not affected, and consequently, it has little effect on the steam temperature. Axial conduction in the

  13. Performance Improvement Quarterly. Volume 15, Number 1, 2002

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2002-01-01

    Performance Improvement Quarterly (PIQ) is a peer-reviewed journal whose goal is to stimulate professional discussion in the field and to advance the discipline of performance technology through the publication of scholarly works...

  14. The use of process models to inform and improve statistical models of nitrate occurrence, Great Miami River Basin, southwestern Ohio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walter, Donald A.; Starn, J. Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Statistical models of nitrate occurrence in the glacial aquifer system of the northern United States, developed by the U.S. Geological Survey, use observed relations between nitrate concentrations and sets of explanatory variables—representing well-construction, environmental, and source characteristics— to predict the probability that nitrate, as nitrogen, will exceed a threshold concentration. However, the models do not explicitly account for the processes that control the transport of nitrogen from surface sources to a pumped well and use area-weighted mean spatial variables computed from within a circular buffer around the well as a simplified source-area conceptualization. The use of models that explicitly represent physical-transport processes can inform and, potentially, improve these statistical models. Specifically, groundwater-flow models simulate advective transport—predominant in many surficial aquifers— and can contribute to the refinement of the statistical models by (1) providing for improved, physically based representations of a source area to a well, and (2) allowing for more detailed estimates of environmental variables. A source area to a well, known as a contributing recharge area, represents the area at the water table that contributes recharge to a pumped well; a well pumped at a volumetric rate equal to the amount of recharge through a circular buffer will result in a contributing recharge area that is the same size as the buffer but has a shape that is a function of the hydrologic setting. These volume-equivalent contributing recharge areas will approximate circular buffers in areas of relatively flat hydraulic gradients, such as near groundwater divides, but in areas with steep hydraulic gradients will be elongated in the upgradient direction and agree less with the corresponding circular buffers. The degree to which process-model-estimated contributing recharge areas, which simulate advective transport and therefore account for

  15. Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    1995-01-01

    Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa : Report of the Industrial Strategy Project. Couverture du livre Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa. Author(s):. Avril Joffe, David Kaplan, Raphael Kaplinsky et David Lewis. Publisher(s):. UCT Press, CRDI. January 1, 1995. ISBN: Épuisé. 264 pages.

  16. Glucocorticoids improve high-intensity exercise performance in humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casuso, Rafael A; Melskens, Lars; Bruhn, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise.......It was investigated whether oral dexamethasone (DEX) administration improves exercise performance by reducing the initial rate of muscle fatigue development during dynamic exercise....

  17. Improvement of Wind Farm Performance by Means of Spinner Anemometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis Pedersen, Troels; Demurtas, Giorgio; Gottschall, Julia

    This report is a project report on the EUDP research project SpinnerFarm. The objectives of the project were to improve software and hardware on the spinner anemometer concept and to demonstrate improvement of wind farm performance by opitmized yaw control. The hardware was improved by a more...

  18. Experience of safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gyoon Chang, Sang; Hee Lee, Dae

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to provide experience of safety and performance improvement of fuel handling equipment for nuclear power plants in Korea. The fuel handling equipment, which is used as an important part of critical processes during the refueling outage, has been improved to enhance safety and to optimize fuel handling procedures. Results of data measured during the fuel reloading are incorporated into design changes. The safety and performance improvement for fuel handling equipment could be achieved by simply modifying the components and improving the interlock system. The experience provided in this study can be useful lessons for further improvement of the fuel handling equipment. (authors)

  19. Improve strategic supplier performance using DMAIC to develop a Quality Improvement Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jardim, Kevin P.

    Supplier performance that meets the requirements of the customer has long plagued quality professionals. Despite the vast efforts by organizations to improve supplier performance, little has been done to standardize the plan to improve performance. This project presents a guideline and problem-solving strategy using a Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) structured tool that will assist in the management and improvement of supplier performance. An analysis of benchmarked Quality Improvement Plans indicated that this topic needs more focus on how to accomplish improved supplier performance. This project is part of a growing body of supplier continuous improvement efforts. With the input of Zodiac Aerospace quality professionals this project's results provide a solution to Quality Improvement Plans and show objective evidence of its benefits. This project contributes to the future research on similar topics.

  20. Training Attentional Control Improves Cognitive and Motor Task Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrocq, Emmanuel; Wilson, Mark; Vine, Sam; Derakshan, Nazanin

    2016-10-01

    Attentional control is a necessary function for the regulation of goal-directed behavior. In three experiments we investigated whether training inhibitory control using a visual search task could improve task-specific measures of attentional control and performance. In Experiment 1 results revealed that training elicited a near-transfer effect, improving performance on a cognitive (antisaccade) task assessing inhibitory control. In Experiment 2 an initial far-transfer effect of training was observed on an index of attentional control validated for tennis. The principal aim of Experiment 3 was to expand on these findings by assessing objective gaze measures of inhibitory control during the performance of a tennis task. Training improved inhibitory control and performance when pressure was elevated, confirming the mechanisms by which cognitive anxiety impacts performance. These results suggest that attentional control training can improve inhibition and reduce taskspecific distractibility with promise of transfer to more efficient sporting performance in competitive contexts.

  1. Impeller inlet geometry effect on performance improvement for centrifugal pumps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo, Xianwu; Zhang, Yao; Peng, Junqi; Xu, Hongyuan; Yu, Weiping

    2008-01-01

    This research treats the effect of impeller inlet geometry on performance improvement for a boiler feed pump, who is a centrifugal pump having specific speed of 183 m.m 3 min -1 .min -1 and close type impeller with exit diameter of 450 mm. The hydraulic performance and cavitation performance of the pump have been tested experimentally. In order to improve the pump, five impellers have been considered by extending the blade leading edge or applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet compared with the original impeller. The 3-D turbulent flow inside those pumps has been analyzed basing on RNG k-ε turbulence model and VOF cavitation model. It is noted that the numerical results are fairly good compared with the experiments. Based on the experimental test and numerical simulation, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Impeller inlet geometry has important influence on performance improvement in the case of centrifugal pump. Favorite effects on performance improvement have been achieved by both extending the blade leading edge and applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet: (2) It is suspected that the extended leading edge have favorite effect for improving hydraulic performance, and the much larger blade angle at impeller inlet have favorite effect for improving cavitation performance for the test pump: (3) Uniform flow upstream of impeller inlet is helpful for improving cavitation performance of the pump

  2. Impeller inlet geometry effect on performance improvement for centrifugal pumps

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luo, Xianwu; Zhang, Yao; Peng, Junqi; Xu, Hongyuan [Tsinghua University, Beijing (China); Yu, Weiping [Zhejiang Pump Works, Zhejiang (China)

    2008-10-15

    This research treats the effect of impeller inlet geometry on performance improvement for a boiler feed pump, who is a centrifugal pump having specific speed of 183 m.m{sup 3}min{sup -1}.min{sup -1} and close type impeller with exit diameter of 450 mm. The hydraulic performance and cavitation performance of the pump have been tested experimentally. In order to improve the pump, five impellers have been considered by extending the blade leading edge or applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet compared with the original impeller. The 3-D turbulent flow inside those pumps has been analyzed basing on RNG k-{epsilon} turbulence model and VOF cavitation model. It is noted that the numerical results are fairly good compared with the experiments. Based on the experimental test and numerical simulation, the following conclusions can be drawn: (1) Impeller inlet geometry has important influence on performance improvement in the case of centrifugal pump. Favorite effects on performance improvement have been achieved by both extending the blade leading edge and applying much larger blade angle at impeller inlet: (2) It is suspected that the extended leading edge have favorite effect for improving hydraulic performance, and the much larger blade angle at impeller inlet have favorite effect for improving cavitation performance for the test pump: (3) Uniform flow upstream of impeller inlet is helpful for improving cavitation performance of the pump

  3. Benchmarking and performance improvement at Rocky Flats Technology Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elliott, C.; Doyle, G.; Featherman, W.L.

    1997-03-01

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes

  4. Indonesian Private University Lecturer Performance Improvement Model to Improve a Sustainable Organization Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suryaman

    2018-01-01

    Lecturer performance will affect the quality and carrying capacity of the sustainability of an organization, in this case the university. There are many models developed to measure the performance of teachers, but not much to discuss the influence of faculty performance itself towards sustainability of an organization. This study was conducted in…

  5. Parametric Study for MOV Performance Improvement Using PPM Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee, Seungho; Seon, Juhyoung; Han, Bongsub [SOOSAN INDUSTRIES, Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-10-15

    Nuclear power plants mainly use Air Operated Valve(hereinafter referred to as AOV) and Motor Operator Valve(hereinafter referred to as MOV) for protecting system, blocking and controlling flow. Field test(static, dynamic test) results and performance prediction program are used to evaluate if MOV currently installed on nuclear power plants has the operational performance. The improvement of operating performance for Flexible Gate valve was confirmed on changing input variables of performance program(PPM). here are several methods through reviewing design basis, changes operating procedures and maintenance work of stem(or packing, etc.) to improve operating performance of MOV generally installed in the nuclear power plants. This study verified the changes of the MOV operating performance through the improvement of stem and hydraulic parts(seat, guide etc.). Especially, MOV operating performance was much greater improved when the Disk Seat Angle was decreasing. Generally, improvement work to minimize friction of seat, disk and guide is limited and dynamic diagnostic testing has to be performed with change in valve factor for improvement of hydraulic parts.

  6. Independent Coactors May Improve Performance and Lower Workload: Viewing Vigilance Under Social Facilitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claypoole, Victoria L; Szalma, James L

    2018-04-01

    The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of an independent coactor on vigilance task performance. It was hypothesized that the presence of an independent coactor would improve performance in terms of the proportion of false alarms while also increasing perceived workload and stress. Vigilance, or the ability to maintain attention for extended periods, is of great interest to human factors psychologists. Substantial work has focused on improving vigilance task performance, typically through motivational interventions. Of interest to vigilance researchers is the application of social facilitation as a means of enhancing vigilance. Social facilitation seeks to explain how social presence may improve performance. A total of 100 participants completed a 24-min vigil either alone or in the presence of an independent (confederate) coactor. Participants completed measures of perceived workload and stress. The results indicated that performance (i.e., proportion of false alarms) was improved for those who completed the vigil in the presence of an independent coactor. Interestingly, perceived workload was actually lower for those who completed the vigil in the presence of an independent coactor, although perceived stress was not affected by the manipulation. Authors of future research should extend these findings to other forms of social facilitation and examine vigilance task performance in social contexts in order to determine the utility of social presence for improving vigilance. The use of coactors may be an avenue for organizations to consider utilizing to improve performance because of its relative cost-effectiveness and easy implementation.

  7. Improving the environmental performance of biofuels with industrial symbiosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, Michael; Eklund, Mats

    2011-01-01

    In the production of biofuels for transport many critics have argued about the poor energy efficiency and environmental performance of the production industries. Optimism is thus set on the production of second generation biofuels, while first generation biofuels continue to dominate worldwide. Therefore it is interesting to consider how the environmental performance of first generation biofuel industries can be improved. The field of industrial symbiosis offers many possibilities for potential improvements in the biofuel industry and theories from this research field are used in this paper to highlight how environmental performance improvements can be accomplished. This comes in the form of by-product synergies and utility synergies which can improve material and energy handling. Furthermore, the processes and products can gain increased environmental performance improvements by the adaption of a renewable energy system which will act as a utility provider for many industries in a symbiotic network. By-products may thereafter be upcycled through biogas production processes to generate both energy and a bio-fertilizer. A case study of an actual biofuel industrial symbiosis is also reviewed to provide support for these theories. -- Highlights: → By-product and utility synergies may improve the production processes of biofuel industries for reduced energy consumption and improved environmental performance. → Upcycling tenants can make use of wastes to upgrade waste to a valuable product and/or energy source. → Energy systems for biofuel production have a large influence on the performance of biofuel industries.

  8. Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving Performances in the Public Sector: The Scientific Management Theory ... adopts the principles for enhanced productivity, efficiency and the attainment of ... of the public sector, as observed and reported by several scholars over time.

  9. Information Distribution in Complex Systems to Improve Team Performance

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sperling, Brian K; Pritchett, Amy; Estrada, Arthur; Adam, Gina E

    2006-01-01

    .... Specifically, this study hypothesizes that providing task specific information to individual team members will improve coordination and decision-making, and therefore team performance, at time-critical tasks...

  10. Alternative Frameworks for Improving Government Organizational Performance: A Comparative Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Simon, Cary

    1997-01-01

    .... Six major frameworks emerging in the U.S. since 1980, applicable to the public sector, and designed to enhance organizational change toward improved performance are reviewed and analyzed: Total Quality; 'Excellence...

  11. Maintenance of hyperglycaemia does not improve performance in a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a glucose clamp, improves 100 km cycling time-trial (TT) performance. Design. .... each TT, subjects were permitted to ingest water ad libitum. statistical .... The effects of normal and glucose syrup work diets on the ... Fructose and glucose ...

  12. Improving the performance parameters of metal cylindrical grid shell ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Improving the performance parameters of metal cylindrical grid shell structures. ... Finite element models are designed taking into account minimization of production and ... The force factors and deformation parameters of the basic circuits of a ...

  13. Improved Laser performance through Planar Waveguide Technology Development

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a laser technology development to improve efficiency and performance for a variety of science applications including: Lunar Ice, 2-Step Laser Tandem Mass...

  14. Improving Fan System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-04-01

    This is one of a series of sourcebooks on motor-driven equipment produced by the Industrial Technologies Program. It provides a reference for industrial fan systems users, outlining opportunities to improve fan system performance.

  15. Using international experience to improve performance of nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calori, F.; Csik, B.J.; Strickert, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    Information on performance achievements will assist nuclear power plant operating organizations to develop initiatives for improved or continued high performance of their plants. The paper describes the activities of the IAEA in reviewing and analysing the reasons for good performance by contacting operating organizations identified by its Power Reactor Information System as showing continued good performance. Discussions with operations personnel of utilities have indicated practices which have a major positive impact on good performance and which are generally common to all well performing organizations contacted. The IAEA also promotes further activities directed primarily to the achievement of standards of excellence in nuclear power operation. These are briefly commented

  16. Improved operational performance through the use of business planning tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoelscher, H.L.

    1996-01-01

    Improved operational performance at Point Beach Nuclear Plant is based on a focused business plan. Quantitative goals that compare past performance with the performance of potential competitors are the basis of the business plan. This establishes goals for the nuclear power business unit which support corporate goals. Strategies and objectives are then developed to meet the established goals. To continue support for these strategies and objectives, individual performance plans are developed for all management personnel. These performance management plans identify individual contributor actions to support the goals, and also provide periodic feedback for changes to better prioritize individual actions. Performance criteria are also established to measure progress toward achieving the goals. The author also has a program to provide incentives for improved performance based upon success of the organization in achieving established goals

  17. Biochar Improves Performance of Plants for Mine Soil Revegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biochar (the solid by-product of pyrolysis of biomass), has the potential to improve plant performance for revegetation of mine soils by improving soil chemistry, fertility, moisture holding capacity and by binding heavy metals. We investigated the effect of gasified conifer sof...

  18. Performance improvement of silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon coating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dzhafarov T. D.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the present paper the method is shown to improve the photovoltaic parameters of screen-printed silicon solar cells by nanoporous silicon film formation on the frontal surface of the cell using the electrochemical etching. The possible mechanisms responsible for observed improvement of silicon solar cell performance are discussed.

  19. Perceptual learning improves visual performance in juvenile amblyopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Roger W; Young, Karen G; Hoenig, Pia; Levi, Dennis M

    2005-09-01

    To determine whether practicing a position-discrimination task improves visual performance in children with amblyopia and to determine the mechanism(s) of improvement. Five children (age range, 7-10 years) with amblyopia practiced a positional acuity task in which they had to judge which of three pairs of lines was misaligned. Positional noise was produced by distributing the individual patches of each line segment according to a Gaussian probability function. Observers were trained at three noise levels (including 0), with each observer performing between 3000 and 4000 responses in 7 to 10 sessions. Trial-by-trial feedback was provided. Four of the five observers showed significant improvement in positional acuity. In those four observers, on average, positional acuity with no noise improved by approximately 32% and with high noise by approximately 26%. A position-averaging model was used to parse the improvement into an increase in efficiency or a decrease in equivalent input noise. Two observers showed increased efficiency (51% and 117% improvements) with no significant change in equivalent input noise across sessions. The other two observers showed both a decrease in equivalent input noise (18% and 29%) and an increase in efficiency (17% and 71%). All five observers showed substantial improvement in Snellen acuity (approximately 26%) after practice. Perceptual learning can improve visual performance in amblyopic children. The improvement can be parsed into two important factors: decreased equivalent input noise and increased efficiency. Perceptual learning techniques may add an effective new method to the armamentarium of amblyopia treatments.

  20. Maintenance performance improvement with System Dynamics : A Corrective Maintenance showcase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deenen, R.E.M.; Van Daalen, C.E.; Koene, E.G.C.

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents a case study of an analysis of a Corrective Maintenance process to realize performance improvement. The Corrective Maintenance process is supported by SAP, which has indicated the performance realisation problem. System Dynamics is used in a Group Model Building process to

  1. Does Multiple Intelligence Improve Performance? Evidence from a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study reports the findings of a study that investigated the relationship between multiple intelligence (MI) and academic performance in higher education. It addresses one question: does MI improve academic performance? Taking the case of the finalist cohort of the university's Faculty of Education of the academic year ...

  2. Linear Motion Systems. A Modular Approach for Improved Straightness Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijsse, G.J.P.

    2001-01-01

    This thesis deals with straight motion systems. A modular approach has been applied in order to find ways to improve the performance. The main performance parameters that are considered are position accuracy, repeatability and, to a lesser extent, cost. Because of the increasing requirements to

  3. Improving Employee Satisfaction Priority through Performance Control Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shun-Hsing Chen

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The study addresses Performance Control Matrix (PCM to determine service quality items of priority for improvement. Most businesses focus on customer satisfaction when undertaking surveys of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, while generally neglecting employee satisfaction. Therefore, this study develops an integrated model to improve service quality in Taiwanese finance industry employees. A questionnaire is designed to determine the priority of improvement objectives derived from certain questionnaire items that fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. Ten items are found to fall into the improvement zone of the PCM. The present results show that the finance industry employees surveyed in Taiwan were dissatisfied with their job security, salaries, annual bonus, and fair distribution of operational profits. The ten improvement items mostly belong to two dimensions - ‘Pay and Benefits’ and ‘Motivation’. The managers of the financial institutions should seek to improve these quality attributes by devoting more resources to these items, thus promoting employee satisfaction.

  4. IMPROVING THE PERFORMANCE OF THE LINEAR SYSTEMS SOLVERS USING CUDA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BOGDAN OANCEA

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Parallel computing can offer an enormous advantage regarding the performance for very large applications in almost any field: scientific computing, computer vision, databases, data mining, and economics. GPUs are high performance many-core processors that can obtain very high FLOP rates. Since the first idea of using GPU for general purpose computing, things have evolved and now there are several approaches to GPU programming: CUDA from NVIDIA and Stream from AMD. CUDA is now a popular programming model for general purpose computations on GPU for C/C++ programmers. A great number of applications were ported to CUDA programming model and they obtain speedups of orders of magnitude comparing to optimized CPU implementations. In this paper we present an implementation of a library for solving linear systems using the CCUDA framework. We present the results of performance tests and show that using GPU one can obtain speedups of about of approximately 80 times comparing with a CPU implementation.

  5. Physician Perceptions of Performance Feedback in a Quality Improvement Activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eden, Aimee R; Hansen, Elizabeth; Hagen, Michael D; Peterson, Lars E

    2017-10-01

    Physician performance and peer comparison feedback can affect physician care quality and patient outcomes. This study aimed to understand family physician perspectives of the value of performance feedback in quality improvement (QI) activities. This study analyzed American Board of Family Medicine open-ended survey data collected between 2004 and 2014 from physicians who completed a QI module that provided pre- and post-QI project individual performance data and peer comparisons. Physicians made 3480 comments in response to a question about this performance feedback, which were generally positive in nature (86%). Main themes that emerged were importance of accurate feedback data, enhanced detail in the content of feedback, and ability to customize peer comparison groups to compare performance to peers with similar patient populations or practice characteristics. Meaningful and tailored performance feedback may be an important tool for physicians to improve their care quality and should be considered an integral part of QI project design.

  6. Great Apes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sleeman, Jonathan M.; Cerveny, Shannon

    2014-01-01

    Anesthesia of great apes is often necessary to conduct diagnostic analysis, provide therapeutics, facilitate surgical procedures, and enable transport and translocation for conservation purposes. Due to the stress of remote delivery injection of anesthetic agents, recent studies have focused on oral delivery and/or transmucosal absorption of preanesthetic and anesthetic agents. Maintenance of the airway and provision of oxygen is an important aspect of anesthesia in great ape species. The provision of analgesia is an important aspect of the anesthesia protocol for any procedure involving painful stimuli. Opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are often administered alone, or in combination to provide multi-modal analgesia. There is increasing conservation management of in situ great ape populations, which has resulted in the development of field anesthesia techniques for free-living great apes for the purposes of translocation, reintroduction into the wild, and clinical interventions.

  7. (Too) optimistic about optimism: the belief that optimism improves performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tenney, Elizabeth R; Logg, Jennifer M; Moore, Don A

    2015-03-01

    A series of experiments investigated why people value optimism and whether they are right to do so. In Experiments 1A and 1B, participants prescribed more optimism for someone implementing decisions than for someone deliberating, indicating that people prescribe optimism selectively, when it can affect performance. Furthermore, participants believed optimism improved outcomes when a person's actions had considerable, rather than little, influence over the outcome (Experiment 2). Experiments 3 and 4 tested the accuracy of this belief; optimism improved persistence, but it did not improve performance as much as participants expected. Experiments 5A and 5B found that participants overestimated the relationship between optimism and performance even when their focus was not on optimism exclusively. In summary, people prescribe optimism when they believe it has the opportunity to improve the chance of success-unfortunately, people may be overly optimistic about just how much optimism can do. PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved.

  8. Healthcare Analytics: Creating a Prioritized Improvement System with Performance Benchmarking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolker, Eugene; Kolker, Evelyne

    2014-03-01

    The importance of healthcare improvement is difficult to overstate. This article describes our collaborative work with experts at Seattle Children's to create a prioritized improvement system using performance benchmarking. We applied analytics and modeling approaches to compare and assess performance metrics derived from U.S. News and World Report benchmarking data. We then compared a wide range of departmental performance metrics, including patient outcomes, structural and process metrics, survival rates, clinical practices, and subspecialist quality. By applying empirically simulated transformations and imputation methods, we built a predictive model that achieves departments' average rank correlation of 0.98 and average score correlation of 0.99. The results are then translated into prioritized departmental and enterprise-wide improvements, following a data to knowledge to outcomes paradigm. These approaches, which translate data into sustainable outcomes, are essential to solving a wide array of healthcare issues, improving patient care, and reducing costs.

  9. Rectangular-cladding silicon slot waveguide with improved nonlinear performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Zengzhi; Huang, Qingzhong; Wang, Yi; Xia, Jinsong

    2018-04-01

    Silicon slot waveguides have great potential in hybrid silicon integration to realize nonlinear optical applications. We propose a rectangular-cladding hybrid silicon slot waveguide. Simulation result shows that, with a rectangular-cladding, the slot waveguide can be formed by narrower silicon strips, so the two-photon absorption (TPA) loss in silicon is decreased. When the cladding material is a nonlinear polymer, the calculated TPA figure of merit (FOMTPA) is 4.4, close to the value of bulk nonlinear polymer of 5.0. This value confirms the good nonlinear performance of rectangular-cladding silicon slot waveguides.

  10. Implementing a Nurse Manager Profile to Improve Unit Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krugman, Mary E; Sanders, Carolyn L

    2016-06-01

    Nurse managers face significant pressures in the rapidly changing healthcare environment. Staying current with multiple sources of data, including reports that detail institutional and unit performance outcomes, is particularly challenging. A Nurse Manager Customized Profile was developed at a western academic hospital to provide a 1-page visual of pertinent data to help managers and director supervisors focus coaching to improve unit performance. Use of the Decisional Involvement Scale provided new insights into measuring manager performance.

  11. New software for improving performance in wind farm operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Collins, Mark [Ekho for Wind (Canada)

    2011-07-01

    The performance of wind farms depends on multiple field and business systems. This makes operational planning difficult because of so many data being in separate systems, duplication of data and the impossibility of gathering all relevant data together in one place. The aim of this paper is to present a new software, Ekho for Wind, which helps improve performance in wind farm operations by providing features such as high level views, performance analysis, downtime tracking, quality data management and forecast generation. This new software provides operational intelligence which offers incentives for continuous improvement. Ekho for Wind can bring such benefits as maximization of generation, increased lifetime of assets, minimization of costs and increased profitability. This presentation introduced a new software for improving the performance of wind farms and the lifetime of assets, resulting in significant payback.

  12. Benchmarking and Performance Improvement at Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Elliott, C. [Kaiser-Hill Co., LLC, Golden, CO (United States)], Doyle, D. [USDOE Rocky Flats Office, Golden, CO (United States)], Featherman, W.D. [Project Performance Corp., Sterline, VA (United States)

    1997-12-31

    The Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) has initiated a major work process improvement campaign using the tools of formalized benchmarking and streamlining. This paper provides insights into some of the process improvement activities performed at Rocky Flats from November 1995 through December 1996. It reviews the background, motivation, methodology, results, and lessons learned from this ongoing effort. The paper also presents important gains realized through process analysis and improvement including significant cost savings, productivity improvements, and an enhanced understanding of site work processes.

  13. Evaluating harvest-based control of invasive fish with telemetry: Performance of sea lamprey traps in the Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holbrook, Christopher; Bergstedt, Roger A.; Barber, Jessica M.; Bravener, Gale A; Jones, Michael L.; Krueger, Charles C.

    2016-01-01

    Physical removal (e.g., harvest via traps or nets) of mature individuals may be a cost-effective or socially acceptable alternative to chemical control strategies for invasive species, but requires knowledge of the spatial distribution of a population over time. We used acoustic telemetry to determine the current and possible future role of traps to control and assess invasive sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus, in the St. Marys River, the connecting channel between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Exploitation rates (i.e., fractions of an adult sea lamprey population removed by traps) at two upstream locations were compared among three years and two points of entry to the system. Telemetry receivers throughout the drainage allowed trap performance (exploitation rate) to be partitioned into two components: proportion of migrating sea lampreys that visited trap sites (availability) and proportion of available sea lampreys that were caught by traps (local trap efficiency). Estimated exploitation rates were well below those needed to provide population control in the absence of lampricides and were limited by availability and local trap efficiency. Local trap efficiency estimates for acoustic-tagged sea lampreys were lower than analogous estimates regularly obtained using traditional mark–recapture methods, suggesting that abundance had been previously underestimated. Results suggested major changes would be required to substantially increase catch, including improvements to existing traps, installation of new traps, or other modifications to attract and retain more sea lampreys. This case study also shows how bias associated with telemetry tags can be estimated and incorporated in models to improve inferences about parameters that are directly relevant to fishery management.

  14. Five training sessions improves 3000 meter running performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riiser, A; Ripe, S; Aadland, E

    2015-12-01

    The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of two weeks of endurance training on 3000-meter running performance. Secondary we wanted to assess the relationship between baseline running performance and change in running performance over the intervention period. We assigned 36 military recruits to a training group (N.=28) and a control group. The training group was randomly allocated to one of three sub-groups: 1) a 3000 meter group (test race); 2) a 4x4-minutes high-intensity interval group; 3) a continuous training group. The training group exercised five times over a two-week period. The training group improved its 3000 meter running performance with 50 seconds (6%) compared to the control group (P=0.003). Moreover, all sub-groups improved their performance by 37 to 73 seconds (4-8%) compared to the control group (Ptraining group. We conclude that five endurance training sessions improved 3000 meter running performance and the slowest runners achieved the greatest improvement in running performance.

  15. Do clinical safety charts improve paramedic key performance indicator results? (A clinical improvement programme evaluation).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ebbs, Phillip; Middleton, Paul M; Bonner, Ann; Loudfoot, Allan; Elliott, Peter

    2012-07-01

    Is the Clinical Safety Chart clinical improvement programme (CIP) effective at improving paramedic key performance indicator (KPI) results within the Ambulance Service of New South Wales? The CIP intervention area was compared with the non-intervention area in order to determine whether there was a statistically significant improvement in KPI results. The CIP was associated with a statistically significant improvement in paramedic KPI results within the intervention area. The strategies used within this CIP are recommended for further consideration.

  16. Performance Improvement of a Centrifugal Compressor by Passive Means

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Sitaram

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The present experimental investigation deals with performance improvement of a low-speed centrifugal compressor by inexpensive passive means such as turbulence generator placed at different positions and partial shroud near the rotor blade tip. The experiments are carried out at three values of tip clearance, namely 2.2%, 5.1%, and 7.9% of rotor blade height at the exit. Performance tests are carried out for a total of 13 configurations. From these measurements, partial shroud is found to give the best performance. The improvement in the compressor performance may be due to the reduction of tip leakage flows by the small extension of partial shroud (2 mm on the pressure surface side. Although there is nominal change in performance due to turbulence generator (TG, TG has beneficial effect of increased operating range.

  17. Framework for continuous performance improvement in small drinking water systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bereskie, Ty; Haider, Husnain; Rodriguez, Manuel J; Sadiq, Rehan

    2017-01-01

    Continuous performance improvement (CPI) can be a useful approach to overcome water quality problems impacting small communities. Small drinking water systems (SDWSs) struggle to meet regulatory requirements and often lack the economic and human resource flexibility for immediate improvement. A CPI framework is developed to provide SDWS managers and operators an approach to gauge their current performance against similar systems and to track performance improvement from the implementation of the new technologies or innovations into the future. The proposed CPI framework incorporates the use of a water quality index (WQI) and functional performance benchmarking to evaluate and compare drinking water quality performance of an individual water utility against that of a representative benchmark. The results are then used to identify and prioritize the most vulnerable water quality indicators and subsequently identify and prioritize performance improvement strategies. The proposed CPI framework has been demonstrated using data collected from SDWSs in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada and using the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) WQI. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. The Genesis of a Trauma Performance Improvement Plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pidgeon, Kristopher

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to assist the trauma medical and program director with developing a performance improvement and patients safety plan (PIPS), which is a required component of a successful trauma verification process by the American College of Surgeons. This article will review trauma quality standards and will describe in detail the required elements of a successful trauma center's performance improvement plan including a written comprehensive plan that outlines the mission and vision of the PIPS Program, authority of the PIPS Program, PIPS Program Committee reporting structure to the other hospital committees, list of required PIPS multidisciplinary team members, the operational components of the utilized data management system (trauma registry), list of indicators/audit filters, levels of review, peer determinations, corrective action plan with implementation, event resolution, and reevaluation. Strategies to develop a successful trauma performance improvement plan are presented.

  19. Performance analysis and improvement of WPAN MAC for home networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, Saurabh; Kwak, Kyung Sup

    2010-01-01

    The wireless personal area network (WPAN) is an emerging wireless technology for future short range indoor and outdoor communication applications. The IEEE 802.15.3 medium access control (MAC) is proposed to coordinate the access to the wireless medium among the competing devices, especially for short range and high data rate applications in home networks. In this paper we use analytical modeling to study the performance analysis of WPAN (IEEE 802.15.3) MAC in terms of throughput, efficient bandwidth utilization, and delay with various ACK policies under error channel condition. This allows us to introduce a K-Dly-ACK-AGG policy, payload size adjustment mechanism, and Improved Backoff algorithm to improve the performance of the WPAN MAC. Performance evaluation results demonstrate the impact of our improvements on network capacity. Moreover, these results can be very useful to WPAN application designers and protocol architects to easily and correctly implement WPAN for home networking.

  20. Performance Analysis and Improvement of WPAN MAC for Home Networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saurabh Mehta

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available The wireless personal area network (WPAN is an emerging wireless technology for future short range indoor and outdoor communication applications. The IEEE 802.15.3 medium access control (MAC is proposed to coordinate the access to the wireless medium among the competing devices, especially for short range and high data rate applications in home networks. In this paper we use analytical modeling to study the performance analysis of WPAN (IEEE 802.15.3 MAC in terms of throughput, efficient bandwidth utilization, and delay with various ACK policies under error channel condition. This allows us to introduce a K-Dly-ACK-AGG policy, payload size adjustment mechanism, and Improved Backoff algorithm to improve the performance of the WPAN MAC. Performance evaluation results demonstrate the impact of our improvements on network capacity. Moreover, these results can be very useful to WPAN application designers and protocol architects to easily and correctly implement WPAN for home networking.

  1. Carbohydrate mouth rinse: does it improve endurance exercise performance?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Painelli Vitor

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract It is well known that carbohydrate (CHO supplementation can improve performance in endurance exercises through several mechanisms such as maintenance of glycemia and sparing endogenous glycogen as well as the possibility of a central nervous-system action. Some studies have emerged in recent years in order to test the hypothesis of ergogenic action via central nervous system. Recent studies have demonstrated that CHO mouth rinse can lead to improved performance of cyclists, and this may be associated with the activation of brain areas linked to motivation and reward. These findings have already been replicated in other endurance modalities, such as running. This alternative seems to be an attractive nutritional tool to improve endurance exercise performance.

  2. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    OpenAIRE

    Kasie, Fentahun Moges; Belay, Alemu Moges

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM) practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview an...

  3. Dehalogenases: From Improved Performance to Potential Microbial Dehalogenation Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thiau-Fu Ang

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The variety of halogenated substances and their derivatives widely used as pesticides, herbicides and other industrial products is of great concern due to the hazardous nature of these compounds owing to their toxicity, and persistent environmental pollution. Therefore, from the viewpoint of environmental technology, the need for environmentally relevant enzymes involved in biodegradation of these pollutants has received a great boost. One result of this great deal of attention has been the identification of environmentally relevant bacteria that produce hydrolytic dehalogenases—key enzymes which are considered cost-effective and eco-friendly in the removal and detoxification of these pollutants. These group of enzymes catalyzing the cleavage of the carbon-halogen bond of organohalogen compounds have potential applications in the chemical industry and bioremediation. The dehalogenases make use of fundamentally different strategies with a common mechanism to cleave carbon-halogen bonds whereby, an active-site carboxylate group attacks the substrate C atom bound to the halogen atom to form an ester intermediate and a halide ion with subsequent hydrolysis of the intermediate. Structurally, these dehalogenases have been characterized and shown to use substitution mechanisms that proceed via a covalent aspartyl intermediate. More so, the widest dehalogenation spectrum of electron acceptors tested with bacterial strains which could dehalogenate recalcitrant organohalides has further proven the versatility of bacterial dehalogenators to be considered when determining the fate of halogenated organics at contaminated sites. In this review, the general features of most widely studied bacterial dehalogenases, their structural properties, basis of the degradation of organohalides and their derivatives and how they have been improved for various applications is discussed.

  4. Dehalogenases: From Improved Performance to Potential Microbial Dehalogenation Applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ang, Thiau-Fu; Maiangwa, Jonathan; Salleh, Abu Bakar; Normi, Yahaya M; Leow, Thean Chor

    2018-05-07

    The variety of halogenated substances and their derivatives widely used as pesticides, herbicides and other industrial products is of great concern due to the hazardous nature of these compounds owing to their toxicity, and persistent environmental pollution. Therefore, from the viewpoint of environmental technology, the need for environmentally relevant enzymes involved in biodegradation of these pollutants has received a great boost. One result of this great deal of attention has been the identification of environmentally relevant bacteria that produce hydrolytic dehalogenases—key enzymes which are considered cost-effective and eco-friendly in the removal and detoxification of these pollutants. These group of enzymes catalyzing the cleavage of the carbon-halogen bond of organohalogen compounds have potential applications in the chemical industry and bioremediation. The dehalogenases make use of fundamentally different strategies with a common mechanism to cleave carbon-halogen bonds whereby, an active-site carboxylate group attacks the substrate C atom bound to the halogen atom to form an ester intermediate and a halide ion with subsequent hydrolysis of the intermediate. Structurally, these dehalogenases have been characterized and shown to use substitution mechanisms that proceed via a covalent aspartyl intermediate. More so, the widest dehalogenation spectrum of electron acceptors tested with bacterial strains which could dehalogenate recalcitrant organohalides has further proven the versatility of bacterial dehalogenators to be considered when determining the fate of halogenated organics at contaminated sites. In this review, the general features of most widely studied bacterial dehalogenases, their structural properties, basis of the degradation of organohalides and their derivatives and how they have been improved for various applications is discussed.

  5. Improving Building Performance through Integrating Constructability in the Design Process

    OpenAIRE

    Ezzat Othman, Ayman Ahmed

    2011-01-01

    The traditional procurment approaches commonly adopted in construction projects and the involvement of multitude of various project participants with diverse objectives, skills and interests tended to separate design from construction.This separation obstructs contractors from providing designers with construction feedback and suggestions for design improvement, which ultimately hampers the improvement of building performance. Because of the importance of the design phase and the vit...

  6. LP turbine retrofit modernization: Improvements in performance and operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groenedaal, J.C.; Fowls, L.G.; Subbiah, R.; Maxwell, B.P.; Persson, B.

    1996-01-01

    Westinghouse Electric Corporation retrofitted six low pressure (LP) nuclear turbine rotors and associated blade path components at Ringhals 1, a 1960's vintage English Electric (GEC) unit located near Varobacka, Sweden, and operated by Vattenfall AB. This achieved significant performance improvements and provided improved mechanical features over the original equipment. This paper, discusses design, manufacture, installation, operation and project coordination. The retrofit processes employed for these units can be applied to any potential customers units

  7. Monolayer-Mediated Growth of Organic Semiconductor Films with Improved Device Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lizhen; Hu, Xiaorong; Chi, Lifeng

    2015-09-15

    Increased interest in wearable and smart electronics is driving numerous research works on organic electronics. The control of film growth and patterning is of great importance when targeting high-performance organic semiconductor devices. In this Feature Article, we summarize our recent work focusing on the growth, crystallization, and device operation of organic semiconductors intermediated by ultrathin organic films (in most cases, only a monolayer). The site-selective growth, modified crystallization and morphology, and improved device performance of organic semiconductor films are demonstrated with the help of the inducing layers, including patterned and uniform Langmuir-Blodgett monolayers, crystalline ultrathin organic films, and self-assembled polymer brush films. The introduction of the inducing layers could dramatically change the diffusion of the organic semiconductors on the surface and the interactions between the active layer with the inducing layer, leading to improved aggregation/crystallization behavior and device performance.

  8. Bacillus subtilis strain specificity affects performance improvement in broilers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhayat, L; Jacquier, V; Brinch, K S; Nielsen, P; Nelson, A; Geraert, P-A; Devillard, E

    2017-07-01

    The study reports the effects on broiler performance of a newly isolated Bacillus subtilis strain, which is phylogenetically not closely related to already well-described strains of B. subtilis. In the first experiment, birds were reared in battery cages and exposed to C. perfringens. An increase in growth performance was observed with the strain when compared to the challenged animals. Three additional growth trials were conducted to 35 d of age, in different rearing conditions (genetic breeds, corn-soybean meal-based diet with or without animal proteins, in presence or absence of phytase, on fresh or used litter) to investigate the efficacy and the specificity of this new B. subtilis strain on the improvement of BWG and FCR of broilers in comparison with a B. subtilis-based DFM already used in the field. Whatever the rearing conditions tested, the new B. subtilis strain led to an average 3.2% improvement in feed conversion ratio or bodyweight. Comparatively, the commercial Bacillus strain significantly improved broiler performance in only one trial out of 3 with an average improvement reaching 2%. All these results indicate that this new B. subtilis strain consistently improves broiler performances. © 2017 Poultry Science Association Inc.

  9. Outage preparation milestones - A tool to improve planned outage performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laplatney, Jere; Hwang, Euiyoub

    2006-01-01

    Sustainable development of Nuclear Energy depends heavily on excellent performance of the existing fleet which in turn depend heavily on the performance of planned outages. Nuclear Power Plants who have successfully undertaken outage optimization projects have demonstrated than an effective Outage Preparation Milestone program is a key component of their improvement programs. This paper will provide background into the field of 'Outage Optimization' including the philosophy, general approach, and results obtained in the U. S. industry. The significant safety improvements afforded by properly implementing outage improvement programs will be explained. Some specific examples of outage improvements will be given including the adoption of a strong Outage Preparation Milestone Program. The paper will then describe the attributes of an effective Outage Preparation Milestone Program and list a set of specific key milestones. The key milestones are defined and the reasons for each are explained. Suggested due dates for each key milestone relative to the outage start date are provided. Successful implementation of an Outage Preparation Milestone program depends heavily upon the management tools and methods used to assure that the organization meets the milestones on time and in a quality fashion. These include methods to handle cases where milestones are not met - either partially or fully. KHNP is investigating implementing an improved Outage Preparation Milestone program for its fleet of reactors as part of its overall program to improve its performance of planned outages

  10. Lightning Performance on Overhead Distribution Lines : After Improvement Field Observation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reynaldo Zoro

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Two feeders of 20 kV overhead distribution lines which are located in a high lightning density area are chosen to be observed as a field study due to their good lightning performance after improvement of lightning protection system. These two feeders used the new overhead ground wire and new line arrester equipped with lightning counter on the main lines. The significant reduced of lines outages are reported. Study was carried out to observe these improvements by comparing to the other two feeders line which are not improved and not equipped yet with the ground wire and line arrester. These two feeders located in the nearby area. Two cameras were installed to record the trajectory of the lightning strikes on the improved lines. Lightning peak currents are measured using magnetic tape measurement system installed on the grounding lead of lightning arrester. Lightning overvoltage calculations are carried out by using several scenarios based on observation results and historical lightning data derived from lightning detection network. Lightning overvoltages caused by indirect or direct strikes are analyzed to get the lightning performance of the lines. The best scenario was chosen and performance of the lines were improved significantly by installing overhead ground wire and improvement of lightning arrester installation.

  11. Prioritising indicators in improving supply chain performance using fuzzy AHP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Govindan, Kannan; Mangla, Sachin Kumar; Luthra, Sunil

    2017-01-01

    In this contribution, we aim to prioritise the indicators to enhance the organisational supply chain’s (SC) effectiveness from an industrial perspective. It will help industries to develop strategies for managing the SC effectively and ensuring improvement in performance continuously. To achieve...... this, this work proposes to use a two-phase research methodology. First, 36 SC performance improvement indicators are recognised from a literature survey and from field and industrial expert’s inputs. Secondly, a structural model is proposed using the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP...

  12. Network Performance Improvement under Epidemic Failures in Optical Transport Networks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fagertun, Anna Manolova; Ruepp, Sarah Renée

    2013-01-01

    In this paper we investigate epidemic failure spreading in large- scale GMPLS-controlled transport networks. By evaluating the effect of the epidemic failure spreading on the network, we design several strategies for cost-effective network performance improvement via differentiated repair times....... First we identify the most vulnerable and the most strategic nodes in the network. Then, via extensive simulations we show that strategic placement of resources for improved failure recovery has better performance than randomly assigning lower repair times among the network nodes. Our OPNET simulation...... model can be used during the network planning process for facilitating cost- effective network survivability design....

  13. Improvements in operational safety performance of the Magnox power stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marchese, C.J. [BNFL Magnox Generation, Berkeley (United Kingdom)

    2000-10-01

    In the 43 years since commencement of operation of Calder Hall, the first Magnox power station, there remain eight Magnox stations and 20 reactors still in operation, owned by BNFL Magnox Generation. This paper describes how the operational safety performance of these stations has significantly improved over the last ten years. This has been achieved against a background of commercial competition introduced by privatization and despite the fact that the Magnox base design belongs to the past. Finally, the company's future plans for continued improvements in operational safety performance are discussed. (author)

  14. Improve data integration performance by employing metadata management utility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wei, M.; Sung, A.H. [New Mexico Petroleum Recovery Research Center, Socorro, NM (United States)

    2005-07-01

    This conference paper explored ways of integrating petroleum and exploration data obtained from different sources in order to provide more comprehensive data for various analysis purposes and to improve the integrity and consistency of integrated data. This paper proposes a methodology to enhance oil and gas industry data integration performance by cooperating data management utilities in Microsoft SQL Server database management system (DBMS) for small scale data integration without support of commercial software. By semi-automatically capturing metadata, data sources are investigated in detail, data quality problems are partially cleansed, and the performance of data integration is improved. 20 refs., 7 tabs., 1 fig.

  15. Multilevel Empirical Bayes Modeling for Improved Estimation of Toxicant Formulations to Suppress Parasitic Sea Lamprey in the Upper Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatfield, L.A.; Gutreuter, S.; Boogaard, M.A.; Carlin, B.P.

    2011-01-01

    Estimation of extreme quantal-response statistics, such as the concentration required to kill 99.9% of test subjects (LC99.9), remains a challenge in the presence of multiple covariates and complex study designs. Accurate and precise estimates of the LC99.9 for mixtures of toxicants are critical to ongoing control of a parasitic invasive species, the sea lamprey, in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America. The toxicity of those chemicals is affected by local and temporal variations in water chemistry, which must be incorporated into the modeling. We develop multilevel empirical Bayes models for data from multiple laboratory studies. Our approach yields more accurate and precise estimation of the LC99.9 compared to alternative models considered. This study demonstrates that properly incorporating hierarchical structure in laboratory data yields better estimates of LC99.9 stream treatment values that are critical to larvae control in the field. In addition, out-of-sample prediction of the results of in situ tests reveals the presence of a latent seasonal effect not manifest in the laboratory studies, suggesting avenues for future study and illustrating the importance of dual consideration of both experimental and observational data. ?? 2011, The International Biometric Society.

  16. Improved extraction of ePTFE and medical adhesive modified defibrillation leads from the coronary sinus and great cardiac vein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkoff, Bruce L; Belott, Peter H; Love, Charles J; Scheiner, Avram; Westlund, Randy; Rippy, Marian; Krishnan, Mohan; Norlander, Barry E; Steinhaus, Bruce; Emmanuel, Janson; Zeller, Peter J

    2005-03-01

    Permanent leads with shocking coils for defibrillation therapy are sometimes implanted in the coronary sinus (CS) and great cardiac vein (GCV). These shocking coils, as documented by pathologic examination of animal investigations, often become tightly encapsulated by fibrosis and can be very difficult to remove. One of three configurations of the Guidant model 7109 Perimeter coronary sinus shocking lead was implanted into the distal portion of the GCV of 24 sheep for up to 14 months. Group 1 had unmodified coils (control), group 2 had coils backfilled with medical adhesive (MA), and Group 3 had coils coated with expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE). Eighteen leads, three from each group at 6 and 14 months were transvenously extracted from the left jugular vein. The remaining six animals were not subject to extraction. All animals were euthanized for pathological and microscopic examination. All six of the control, three of the MA, and one of the ePTFE leads required the use of an electrosurgical dissection sheath (EDS) for extraction. Five control, two MA, and none of the ePTFE leads had significant fibrotic attachments to the shocking coils. Significant trauma was observed at necropsy for those leads requiring the use of the EDS for extraction. Tissue ingrowth is a major impediment to the removal of defibrillation leads implanted in the CS and GCV of sheep. Reduction of tissue ingrowth by coating the shocking coils with ePTFE or by backfilling with MA facilitates transvenous lead removal with reduced tissue trauma.

  17. Good practices for improved nuclear power plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-04-01

    This report provides an overview of operational principles, practice and improvements which have contributed to good performance of eight selected world nuclear power stations. The IAEA Power Reactor Information System (PRIS) was used to identify a population of good performers. It is recognized that there are many other good performing nuclear power stations not included in this report. Specific criteria described in the introduction were used in selecting these eight stations. The information contained in this report was obtained by the staff from IAEA, Division of Nuclear Power. This was accomplished by visits to the stations and visits to a number of utility support groups and three independent organizations which provide support to more than one utility. The information in this report is intended as an aid for operating organizations to identify possible improvement initiatives to enhance plant performance. Figs and tabs

  18. Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozas, W. J

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The paper describes a Teacher’s comprehensive training strategy for improving didactics performance, together with its theoretical foundations. The strategy is structured into several dimensions related to teachers’ development (lesson planning, continuing education and research. It is organized into two phases and seven stages intended to improve leadership in the teaching-learning process. The finding are the expression of a comprehensive approach to school organization at Services Polytechnic School “Horacio Cobiellas Domínguez” resulting in teachers’ academic and scientific development and a significant growth of the staff scientific potentials manifested in scientific forum enrolment. The resulting impact should lead to a general use of the proposed strategy in the Polytechnic school web. Key words: professional performance, pedagogic professional performance, didactic professional performance, teachers’ developmental strategy

  19. Managing Human Performance to Improve Nuclear Facility Operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2013-01-01

    One of the IAEA's statutory objectives is to 'seek to accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world.' One way this objective is achieved is through the publication of a range of technical series. Two of these are the IAEA Nuclear Energy Series and the IAEA Safety Standards Series. According to Article III.A.6 of the IAEA Statute, the safety standards establish 'standards of safety for protection of health and minimization of danger to life and property'. The safety standards include the Safety Fundamentals, Safety Requirements and Safety Guides. These standards are written primarily in a regulatory style, and are binding on the IAEA for its own programmes. The principal users are the regulatory bodies in Member States and other national authorities. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series comprises reports designed to encourage and assist R and D on, and application of, nuclear energy for peaceful uses. This includes practical examples to be used by owners and operators of utilities in Member States, implementing organizations, academia, and government officials, among others. This information is presented in guides, reports on technology status and advances, and best practices for peaceful uses of nuclear energy based on inputs from international experts. The IAEA Nuclear Energy Series complements the IAEA Safety Standards Series. IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NG-G-2.1, Managing Human Resources in the Field of Nuclear Energy, was published in 2009. In that publication, four interrelated objectives of the management of human resources were identified and discussed: ensuring that nuclear industry personnel have the necessary competence for their jobs; effectively organizing work activities; anticipating human resource needs; and monitoring and continually improving performance. This publication addresses the fourth objective and, in particular, summarizes good practices in the area of managing human performance

  20. Thermal diagnostics in power plant to improve performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meister, H.

    1995-01-01

    The improvement of older power plants by changing poor performing components is a cost effective method to increase the capacity of the units. The necessary information for the detection of components that are to be replaced can be obtained from heat rate and component tests with accuracy instrumentation. The discussed methods and tools provided by ABB Were used with success in several power plants in Europe. These tools are in the process of permanent improvement and can be used in almost any type of power plant. Due to the reasons discussed above, there is a high potential for improvement of a lot of power plants in the next decade. (author)

  1. Great Expectations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dickens, Charles

    2005-01-01

    One of Dickens's most renowned and enjoyable novels, Great Expectations tells the story of Pip, an orphan boy who wishes to transcend his humble origins and finds himself unexpectedly given the opportunity to live a life of wealth and respectability. Over the course of the tale, in which Pip

  2. Access Agent Improving The Performance Of Access Control Lists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thelis R. S.

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The main focus of the proposed research is maintaining the security of a network. Extranet is a popular network among most of the organizations where network access is provided to a selected group of outliers. Limiting access to an extranet can be carried out using Access Control Lists ACLs method. However handling the workload of ACLs is an onerous task for the router. The purpose of the proposed research is to improve the performance and to solidify the security of the ACLs used in a small organization. Using a high performance computer as a dedicated device to share and handle the router workload is suggested in order to increase the performance of the router when handling ACLs. Methods of detecting and directing sensitive data is also discussed in this paper. A framework is provided to help increase the efficiency of the ACLs in an organization network using the above mentioned procedures thus helping the organizations ACLs performance to be improved to be more secure and the system to perform faster. Inbuilt methods of Windows platform or Software for open source platforms can be used to make a computer function as a router. Extended ACL features allow the determining of the type of packets flowing through the router. Combining these mechanisms allows the ACLs to be improved and perform in a more efficient manner.

  3. Improving Steam System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2002-06-01

    The sourcebook is a reference for industrial steam system users, outlining opportunities to improve steam system performance. This Sourcebook is designed to provide steam system users with a reference that describes the basic steam system components, outlines opportunities for energy and performance improvements, and discusses the benefits of a systems approach in identifying and implementing these improvement opportunities. The Sourcebook is divided into the following three main sections: Section 1: Steam System Basics--For users unfamiliar with the basics of steam systems, or for users seeking a refresher, a brief discussion of the terms, relationships, and important system design considerations is provided. Users already familiar with industrial steam system operation may want to skip this section. This section describes steam systems using four basic parts: generation, distribution, end use, and recovery. Section 2: Performance Improvement Opportunities--This section discusses important factors that should be considered when industrial facilities seek to improve steam system performance and to lower operating costs. This section also provides an overview of the finance considerations related to steam system improvements. Additionally, this section discusses several resources and tools developed by the U. S. Department of Energy's (DOE) BestPractices Steam Program to identify and assess steam system improvement opportunities. Section 3: Programs, Contacts, and Resources--This section provides a directory of associations and other organizations involved in the steam system marketplace. This section also provides a description of the BestPractices Steam Program, a directory of contacts, and a listing of available resources and tools, such as publications, software, training courses, and videos.

  4. Improvement programme of safety performance indicators (SPIs) in Korea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, S.Y.

    2001-01-01

    KINS has developed and used Safety Performance Indicators (SPIs), which are count based and composed of 10 indicators in 8 areas, to monitor the trend of performance of NPPs in Korea since 1997. However, the limited usage of SPIs and the increasing worldwide interest on SPIs became the motivation of the SPI improvement programme in Korea. Korea is planning to establish plant performance evaluation programme through analysis of SPI and result of inspection. The SPI improvement programme is a part of the plant performance evaluation programme and includes study on performance evaluation areas, indicator categories, selection and development of indicators, redefinition of indicators and introduction of graphical display system. The selected performance evaluation areas are general performance, reactor safety and radiation safety. Each area will have categories as sub-areas and a total of six categories are selected. One or two indicators for each category are determined or will be developed to make a set of Safety Performance Indicators. Also, a graphic display system will be introduced to extend the usage of SPIs. (author)

  5. Social support improves mental health among the victims relocated to temporary housing following the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koyama, Shihoko; Aida, Jun; Kawachi, Ichiro; Kondo, Naoki; Subramanian, S V; Ito, Kanade; Kobashi, Gen; Masuno, Kanako; Kondo, Katsunori; Osaka, Ken

    2014-11-01

    The victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami have been forced to live in temporary housing, mainly by two different methods of resettlement: group allocation that preserved pre-existing local social ties and lottery allocation. We examined the effects of various factors, including the resettlement methods and social support, on mental health. From February to March 2012, we completed a cross-sectional survey of 281 refugees aged 40 years or older, who had lost their homes in the tsunami and were living in temporary housing in Iwanuma city. Psychological distress of the victims was assessed using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) that consists of six self-reported items. Participants were also asked whether they had provided or received social support during this time. Participants were categorized as "providing social support" if they listened to someone else's concerns and complaints, or "receiving social support" if they have someone who listened to their concerns and complaints. After adjusting for age and sex, multiple log-binomial regression analysis showed that participants without social support had a higher risk of psychological distress. Group allocation victims were more likely to receive social support than those who underwent lottery allocation. However, the resettlement approach did not significantly correlate with distress. Other factors associated with a higher risk of psychological distress were a younger age (55 or younger), living with either 3 people or 6 or more people, and having a lower income. The present results suggest that social support promotes the mental health of disaster victims.

  6. Variable geometry gas turbines for improving the part-load performance of marine combined cycles - Combined cycle performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Haglind, Fredrik

    2011-01-01

    The part-load performance of combined cycles intended for naval use is of great importance, and it is influenced by the gas turbine configuration and load control strategy. This paper is aimed at quantifying the effects of variable geometry gas turbines on the part-load efficiency for combined...... cycles used for ship propulsion. Moreover, the paper is aimed at developing methodologies and deriving models for part-load simulations suitable for energy system analysis of various components within combined cycle power plants. Two different gas turbine configurations are studied, a two-shaft aero......-derivative configuration and a single-shaft industrial configuration. The results suggest that by the use of variable geometry gas turbines, the combined cycle part-load performance can be improved. In order to minimise the voyage fuel consumption, a combined cycle featuring two-shaft gas turbines with VAN control...

  7. Runtime buffer management to improve the performance in irregular ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    S¯adhan¯a Vol. 40, Part 4, June 2015, pp. 1117–1137. c Indian Academy of Sciences. Runtime buffer management to improve the performance in irregular Network-on-Chip architecture. UMAMAHESWARI S1,∗, MEGANATHAN D2 and. RAJA PAUL PERINBAM J3. 1Department of Information Technology, Anna University, ...

  8. Size-based scheduling to improve web performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Harchol-Balter, M.; Schroeder, B.; Bansal, N.; Agrawal, M.

    2003-01-01

    Is it possible to reduce the expected response time of every request at a web server, simply by changing the order in which we schedule the requests? That is the question we ask in this paper.This paper proposes a method for improving the performance of web servers servicing static HTTP requests.

  9. Performance improvement CME for quality: challenges inherent to the process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vakani, Farhan Saeed; O'Beirne, Ronan

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to discuss the perspective debates upon the real-time challenges for a three-staged Performance Improvement Continuing Medical Education (PI-CME) model, an innovative and potential approach for future CME, to inform providers to think, prepare and to act proactively. In this discussion, the challenges associated for adopting the American Medical Association's three-staged PI-CME model are reported. Not many institutions in USA are using a three-staged performance improvement model and then customizing it to their own healthcare context for the specific targeted audience. They integrate traditional CME methods with performance and quality initiatives, and linking with CME credits. Overall the US health system is interested in a structured PI-CME model with the potential to improve physicians practicing behaviors. Knowing the dearth of evidence for applying this structured performance improvement methodology into the design of CME activities, and the lack of clarity on challenges inherent to the process that learners and providers encounter. This paper establishes all-important first step to render the set of challenges for a three-staged PI-CME model.

  10. Developing a system engineering program to improve performance and reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keuter, D.

    1985-01-01

    After several maintenance, operational, and equipment problems last year, Trojan set out on a mission to improve plant performance and reliability by strengthening its on-site engineering organization. This paper presents Trojan's plans in developing an on-site system engineering organization

  11. Coaching as a Performance Improvement Tool at School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yirci, Ramazan; Karakose, Turgut; Kocabas, Ibrahim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the current literature and have an insight about coaching as a performance improvement tool at school. In today's world, schools have to survive and keep their organizational success in the highest level because of the high expectations from school stakeholders. Taking place in such a fierce competitive…

  12. Warning Signals for Poor Performance Improve Human-Robot Interaction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Brule, Rik; Bijlstra, Gijsbert; Dotsch, Ron; Haselager, Pim; Wigboldus, Daniel HJ

    2016-01-01

    The present research was aimed at investigating whether human-robot interaction (HRI) can be improved by a robot’s nonverbal warning signals. Ideally, when a robot signals that it cannot guarantee good performance, people could take preventive actions to ensure the successful completion of the

  13. Improving health worker performance : in search of promising practices

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dieleman, M.A.; Harnmeijer, JW

    2006-01-01

    Qualified and motivated human resources (HR) are essential for adequate health service provision, but HR shortages have now reached critical levels in many resource-poor settings, especially in rural areas. Strategies improving performance are essential to address shortages of the existing

  14. Educational Technology Research Journals: Performance Improvement Quarterly, 2001-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayer, Alisha Rasmussen; Francis, Jenifer; Harrison, J. Buckley; McPhillen, Ammon S.; West, Richard E.

    2012-01-01

    This article is an analysis of "Performance Improvement Quarterly" (PIQ) for the years 2001-2010. The intent was to examine the article types used, the authors who contributed the most to the journal, the topics the journal most commonly focused on, and the citation frequency of the journal's articles. The analysis revealed that…

  15. Undergraduate Medical Academic Performance is Improved by Scientific Training

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-01-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and…

  16. Driving Performance Improvements by Integrating Competencies with Human Resource Practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin Gu; Park, Yongho; Yang, Gi Hun

    2010-01-01

    This study explores the issues in the development and application of a competency model and provides implications for more precise integration of competencies into human resource (HR) functions driving performance improvement. This research is based on a case study from a Korean consumer corporation. This study employed document reviews,…

  17. Improving the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire using Rasch analysis.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Buuren, S. van; Beek, A.J. van der; Vet, H.C.W. de

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) version 0.2 was developed using Rasch analysis. The goal of the current study was to improve targeting of the IWPQ scales by including additional items. The IWPQ 0.2 (original) and 0.3 (including additional items) were examined using

  18. Motivation to Avoid Loss Improves Implicit Skill Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Danbee; Thompson, Kelsey R.; Reber, Paul J.

    2018-01-01

    Implicit learning reflects learning from experience that occurs without intention or awareness of the information acquired and is hypothesized to contribute to skill acquisition by improving performance with practice. The role of motivation has not been examined because this kind of memory is represented outside awareness. We manipulated…

  19. Improvement on the Performance of Canal Network and Method of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper presents the required improvement on the performance of canal network and method of on-farm water application systems at Tunga-Kawo irrigation scheme, Wushishi, Niger state. The problems of poor delivery of water to the farmland were identified to include erosion of canal embarkment, lack of water ...

  20. Can Near-Peer Teaching Improve Academic Performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Brett; Fowler, James

    2014-01-01

    Near peer teaching is becoming increasingly popular within healthcare education. The experiences and effects of near-peer teaching upon the near-peer teachers' academic performance are poorly understood. In order to address this, the objective of this study was to examine whether a near-peer teaching program improved the overall clinical unit…

  1. Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Influence of age on reproductive performance of the Improved Boer goat doe. JA Erasmus, AJ Fourie, JJ Venter. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for ...

  2. Performance in physiology evaluation: possible improvement by active learning strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H

    2016-12-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages interaction with their peers, and stimulates thinking about physiological mechanisms. This study examined the performance of medical students on physiology over four semesters with and without active engagement methodologies. Four activities were used: a puzzle, a board game, a debate, and a video. The results show that engaging in activities with active methodologies before a physiology cognitive monitoring test significantly improved student performance compared with not performing the activities. We integrate the use of these methodologies with classic lectures, and this integration appears to improve the teaching/learning process in the discipline of physiology and improves the integration of physiology with cardiology and neurology. In addition, students enjoy the activities and perform better on their evaluations when they use them. Copyright © 2016 The American Physiological Society.

  3. Active Learning Improves Student Performance in a Respiratory Physiology Lab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Alex M.; Liachovitzky, Carlos; Abdullahi, Abass S.

    2015-01-01

    This study assessed the effectiveness of the introduction of active learning exercises into the anatomy and physiology curriculum in a community college setting. Specifically, the incorporation of a spirometry-based respiratory physiology lab resulted in improved student performance in two concepts (respiratory volumes and the hallmarks of…

  4. Improving Performance in a Second Year Chemistry Course: An ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    NJD

    Improving Performance in a Second Year Chemistry. Course: An Evaluation of a Tutorial Scheme on the. Learning of Chemistry. Bette Davidowitza* and Marissa Rollnickb**. aDepartment of Chemistry, University of Cape Town, South Africa. bSchool of Education, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Received 11 ...

  5. Introducing Model Predictive Control for Improving Power Plant Portfolio Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edlund, Kristian Skjoldborg; Bendtsen, Jan Dimon; Børresen, Simon

    2008-01-01

    This paper introduces a model predictive control (MPC) approach for construction of a controller for balancing the power generation against consumption in a power system. The objective of the controller is to coordinate a portfolio consisting of multiple power plant units in the effort to perform...... reference tracking and disturbance rejection in an economically optimal way. The performance function is chosen as a mixture of the `1-norm and a linear weighting to model the economics of the system. Simulations show a significant improvement of the performance of the MPC compared to the current...

  6. Improving the performance of a filling line based on simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jasiulewicz-Kaczmarek, M.; Bartkowiak, T.

    2016-08-01

    The paper describes the method of improving performance of a filling line based on simulation. This study concerns a production line that is located in a manufacturing centre of a FMCG company. A discrete event simulation model was built using data provided by maintenance data acquisition system. Two types of failures were identified in the system and were approximated using continuous statistical distributions. The model was validated taking into consideration line performance measures. A brief Pareto analysis of line failures was conducted to identify potential areas of improvement. Two improvements scenarios were proposed and tested via simulation. The outcome of the simulations were the bases of financial analysis. NPV and ROI values were calculated taking into account depreciation, profits, losses, current CIT rate and inflation. A validated simulation model can be a useful tool in maintenance decision-making process.

  7. Reducing the occurrence of plant events through improved human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, T.; Burkhart, A.D.

    1993-01-01

    During a routine control room surveillance, the reactor operator is distracted by an alarming secondary annunciator and a telephone call. When the reactor operator resumes the surveillance, he inadvertently performs the procedural steps out of order. This causes a reportable nuclear event. How can procedure-related human performance problems such as this be prevented? The question is vitally important for the nuclear industry. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Office for Analysis and Evaluation of Operational Data observed, open-quotes With the perceived reduction in the number of events caused by equipment failures, INPO and other industry groups and human performance experts agree that a key to continued improvement in plant performance and safety is improved human performance.close quotes In fact, open-quotes more than 50% of the reportable events occurring at nuclear power plants involve human error.close quotes Prevention (or correction) of a human performance problem is normally based on properly balancing the following three factors: (1) supervisory involvement; (2) personnel training; and (3) procedures. The nuclear industry is implementing a formula known as ACME, which better balances supervisory involvement, personnel training, and procedures. Webster's New World Dictionary defines acme as the highest point, the peak. ACME human performance is the goal: ACME Adherence to and use of procedures; Self-Checking; Management Involvement; and Event Investigations

  8. PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT STRATEGIES USED BY MANAGERS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raþiu Patricia

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract: There are many situations in professional life when for various reasons we are employed in jobs that do not meet our emotional expectations our professional capabilities, our passions and therefore performance on that job will not be high. Analysis of the causes of under-utilization of human potential and adoption of appropriate strategies according to employee needs help reduce staff turnover costs. The main objective of the present paper consists in identifying managerial strategies which contribute to the improvement of the employees’ performances by stimulating their motivation, and the extent to which they are used in the managerial practice. Based on literature review we realized an integrated model and developed a classification, that present our own vision regarding performance improvement strategies. Our classification divides strategies for improving employees’ performances into four main groups: by employees’ development, by rewarding employees, by modifying the job description, by employee involvement in the organization. Starting from this model, through two types of questionnaires we have made an empirical research among managers as well as among office personnel, in order to capture both perspectives regarding the pursued objectives. For the present paper we will present only research results obtained for performance improvement strategies by employees’ development because support a higher degree of generality and do not depend on the organization characteristics. A quantitative data analize from the two samples show that there are differences between managers and employees perception when it comes to strategies used in their organizations and also manager did not know which determines employees to strive in order to improve their performance and obtain better results. The strategies to improve the employee’s performances, proposed within this article have the role to show the fact that managers cannot

  9. Public sector benchmarking and performance improvement : what is the link and can it be improved?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tillema, Sandra

    2010-01-01

    Benchmarking is often used in the public sector as a way of driving up performance. This article explains why benchmarking does not necessarily lead to better performance and why it can generate unwanted consequences. The article recommends ways of improving the link between benchmarking and

  10. Improving co-running program’s performance on CMP

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tian Dawei

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Chip multi-processor (CMP has become the most common processor in the current cluster and desktop computer, and it is also the current development direction. On CMP, programs usually co-running with each other. However, programs commonly interfere with each other. Some time the interference takes big effect, which cause serious drop down of performance. In order to avoid the serious performance interference, programs should be scheduled reasonably to different socket to improve the program’s performance and system’s utilization. In this paper we propose a new scheduling method to realize a more reasonable scheduling. We do not only consider the LLC miss rate, but also consider the LLC reference of the programs. By the information of LLC reference and LLC miss rate, we schedule programs to different sockets, which realize a reasonable scheduling. The experiment result show that making use of the scheduling method proposed by our paper, program’s performance can improve 4%, because the performance improve is realized by on-chip resource, which is a big contribution.

  11. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nidhi M Bhatnagar

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (both critical and routine to number of donors reactive for TTI. We conducted a study to measure the impact of monitoring Performance Indicators and how it could be used as a tool for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI. Materials and Methods: The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. "Shifts" or "Trends", if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. Results: After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Conclusion: Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  12. Performance indicators: A tool for continuous quality improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhatnagar, Nidhi M; Soni, Shital; Gajjar, Maitrey; Shah, Mamta; Shah, Sangita; Patel, Vaidehi

    2016-01-01

    Performance monitoring is an important tool which can be used for setting priorities for process improvement. At our centre, we have been monitoring every step in the processes, right from inventory of consumables (both critical and routine) to number of donors reactive for TTI. We conducted a study to measure the impact of monitoring Performance Indicators and how it could be used as a tool for Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). The present study was a retrospective study where the performance indicator (PI) data of blood bank was analyzed for over four years. For certain parameters, benchmarks or thresholds were set that represented warning limits or action limits. The yearly data were collated from monthly data. Shifts or Trends, if any, were identified and Corrective and Preventive Action (CAPA) taken accordingly. At the end, outcomes of the analysis were charted. After the yearly data evaluation, outcomes obtained were used to plan, correct and amend processes and systems in the blood center. It was observed that the workload of the center showed an upward trend. This helped us to plan for the purchase of consumables and management of manpower. The monitoring of usage and discard of blood helped in the efficient management of blood stocks. The need for any new equipment could also be judged by the trends in workload. Performance indicators are indispensible tools which various stakeholders in the Blood Transfusion centres should implement to improve on quality performance.

  13. Improving Sustainability Performance for Public-Private-Partnership (PPP Projects

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liyin Shen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Improving sustainability performance in developing infrastructure projects is an important strategy for pursuing the mission of sustainable development. In recent years, the business model of public-private-partnership (PPP is promoted as an effective approach in developing infrastructure projects. It is considered that the distribution of the contribution on project investment between private and public sectors is one of the key variables affecting sustainability performance of PPP-type projects. This paper examines the impacts of the contribution distribution between public and private sectors on project sustainability performance. A model named the sustainability performance-based evaluation model (SPbEM is developed for assisting the assessment of the level of sustainability performance of PPP projects. The study examines the possibility of achieving better sustainability through proper arrangement of the investment distribution between the two primary sectors in developing PPP-type infrastructure projects.

  14. A Mathematical Model to Improve the Performance of Logistics Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Izman Herdiansyah

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available The role of logistics nowadays is expanding from just providing transportation and warehousing to offering total integrated logistics. To remain competitive in the global market environment, business enterprises need to improve their logistics operations performance. The improvement will be achieved when we can provide a comprehensive analysis and optimize its network performances. In this paper, a mixed integer linier model for optimizing logistics network performance is developed. It provides a single-product multi-period multi-facilities model, as well as the multi-product concept. The problem is modeled in form of a network flow problem with the main objective to minimize total logistics cost. The problem can be solved using commercial linear programming package like CPLEX or LINDO. Even in small case, the solver in Excel may also be used to solve such model.Keywords: logistics network, integrated model, mathematical programming, network optimization

  15. Improving the performance of IPMCs with a gradient in thickness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao, Yang; Xu, Bing; Zheng, Gaofeng; Zheng, Jianyi; Qiu, Xiaochun; Zhuang, Mingfeng; Sun, Daoheng

    2013-01-01

    An ionic polymer metal composite (IPMC) is a kind of electro-active polymer. Due to the properties of low driving voltage, large deformation, flexibility and lightness, it is becoming one of the more popular from a diversity of smart materials. In this study, a novel structure of Nafion ® film is proposed to improve the performance of an IPMC. IPMC samples with a gradient structure in thickness are fabricated and their performance is investigated to confirm the validity of the gradient structure. The deformation displacement and the blocking force are compared under AC and DC voltage by experiments. The results indicate that the structure of gradient in thickness would improve the performance both in deformation displacement and blocking force. (paper)

  16. Diet-Induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance in Aged Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Kui; Sun, Xiaoyan; Eroku, Bernadette O.; Tsipis, Constantinos P.; Puchowicz, Michelle A.; LaManna, Joseph C.

    2010-01-01

    Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1α levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. PMID:20204773

  17. Altitude control performance improvement via preview controller for unmanned airplane for radiation monitoring system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sato, Masayuki; Muraoka, Koji; Hozumi, Koki; Sanada, Yukihisa; Yamada, Tsutomu; Torii, Tatsuo

    2017-01-01

    This paper is concerned with the design problem of preview altitude controller for Unmanned Airplane for Radiation Monitoring System (UARMS) to improve its control performance. UARMS has been developed for radiation monitoring around Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant which spread radiation contaminant due to the huge tsunamis caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The monitoring area contains flat as well as mountain areas. The basic flight controller has been confirmed to have satisfactory performance with respect to altitude holding; however, the control performance for variable altitude commands is not sufficient for practical use in mountain areas. We therefore design preview altitude controller with only proportional gains by considering the practicality and the strong requirement of safety for UARMS. Control performance of the designed preview controller was evaluated by flight tests conducted around Fukushima Sky Park. (author)

  18. Effectively managing nuclear risk through human performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, R.P.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: The US commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained/qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a consistently high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of NPP ownership, as well as the current climate of concern about both rising energy costs and availability of power, has raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and improve performance even further in a generally high performing organization. Newer technology and more training by themselves are not the answer. Rather, the answer will lie in the human side of the organization and management's ability to tap into the unused potential of employee commitment and productivity. It is people who offer the greatest potential for organizational success. Given the fact that human performance has been demonstrated to yield higher rates of return than physical capital, it makes good business sense to determine how to encourage the behaviors in the workplace to manage the risk that will accompany efforts to boost the nuclear industry to new heights of excellence. This means effectively developing a performance improvement culture through identifying measurable performance indicators and determining how behaviors can best be influenced to improve those indicators. It also means seeing a culture of performance improvement and risk management as a strategic planning tool rather than a solution to a particular problem. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture of performance improvement and effectively managing risk

  19. Measuring performance improvement: total organizational commitment or clinical specialization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caron, Aleece; Jones, Paul; Neuhauser, Duncan; Aron, David C

    2004-01-01

    Resources for hospitals are limited when they are faced with multiple publicly reported performance measures as tools to assess quality. The leadership in these organizations may choose to focus on 1 or 2 of these outcomes. An alternative approach is that the leadership may commit resources or create conditions that result in improved quality over a broad range of measures. We used aggregated data on mortality, length of stay, and obstetrical outcomes from Greater Cleveland Health Quality Choice data to test these theories. We used Pearson correlation analysis to determine of outcomes were correlated with one another. We used repeated-measures ANOVA to determine if an association existed between outcome and time and outcome and hospital. All of the outcomes across all hospitals demonstrate a trend of overall improvement. Both the Pearson and ANOVA result support the hypothesis for the organization-wide approach to quality improvement. Hospital that make improvements in one clinical area trend to make improvements in others. Hospitals that produce improvements in limited clinical or administrative areas may not have completely adopted CQI into their culture or may not have yet realized the benefits of their organizational commitments, but use some of the concepts to improve quality outcomes.

  20. Improving the Performance of the Extreme-scale Simulator

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engelmann, Christian [ORNL; Naughton III, Thomas J [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    Investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale on future high-performance computing (HPC) architectures and the performance impact of different architecture choices is an important component of HPC hardware/software co-design. The Extreme-scale Simulator (xSim) is a simulation-based toolkit for investigating the performance of parallel applications at scale. xSim scales to millions of simulated Message Passing Interface (MPI) processes. The overhead introduced by a simulation tool is an important performance and productivity aspect. This paper documents two improvements to xSim: (1) a new deadlock resolution protocol to reduce the parallel discrete event simulation management overhead and (2) a new simulated MPI message matching algorithm to reduce the oversubscription management overhead. The results clearly show a significant performance improvement, such as by reducing the simulation overhead for running the NAS Parallel Benchmark suite inside the simulator from 1,020\\% to 238% for the conjugate gradient (CG) benchmark and from 102% to 0% for the embarrassingly parallel (EP) and benchmark, as well as, from 37,511% to 13,808% for CG and from 3,332% to 204% for EP with accurate process failure simulation.

  1. Effectively Managing Nuclear Risk Through Human Performance Improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coe, Richard; Lake, Patricia

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. commercial nuclear industry has just completed an outstanding decade of plant performance. Safety levels and electric production are at unprecedented high levels and continue to exceed even high industry goals. Nuclear energy continues to keep the highest priority on performance improvement programs and highly trained and qualified people that maintain its record setting safety and reliability of operations. While the industry has maintained a high level of performance, the advent of deregulation and the consolidation of nuclear power plant ownership, as well as the current climate for concern about both rising energy costs and the availability of power, have raised the standard for nuclear energy's level of competitiveness in today's market place. The resulting challenge is how to more effectively manage risk and to improve performance even further in a generally high-performing industry. One of the most effective ways to develop this culture is to apply the principles of Hum an Performance Technology, or HPT. HPT is a relatively new field. Its principles are derived from the research and practice of behavioral and cognitive psychologists, instructional technologists, training designers, organizational developers, and various human resource specialists. Using the principles of HPT can help the nuclear industry successfully meet ever-changing environmental and business demands

  2. Citrus Flavonoid Supplementation Improves Exercise Performance in Trained Athletes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elvera Overdevest, Jeroen A. Wouters, Kevin H.M. Wolfs, Job J.M. van Leeuwen, Sam Possemiers

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have shown that polyphenol supplementation may be an effective strategy to improve exercise performance, due to their antioxidant character and ability to stimulate NO production. These properties may contribute to exercise performance, yet no conclusive research has been performed in exploring the direct effects of citrus flavonoids on human exercise performance. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess whether supplementation of a customized citrus flavonoid (CF extract for 4 weeks improves cycling time-trial performance in trained male athletes. In a double-blind, randomized, parallel study, 39 healthy, trained males were given a daily dose of either 500 mg of a customized citrus flavonoid extract (CF or a placebo for 4 weeks. Exercise performance was tested by means of a time-trial test on a cycle ergometer, during which participants had to generate as much power as possible for duration of 10 minutes. Absolute power output significantly increased with 14.9 ± 3.9 W after 4 weeks of CF supplementation, corresponding with a 5.0% increase, compared to 3.8 ± 3.2 W (1.3% increase in placebo (p < 0.05. In addition, oxygen consumption/power ratio significantly decreased in the CF group compared to placebo (p = 0.001, and a trend was found in the change in peak power output in CF (18.2 ± 23.2 W versus placebo (-28.4 ± 17.6 W; p = 0.116. The current study is the first convincing report that citrus flavonoid supplementation can improve exercise performance, as shown by a significant increase in power output during the exercise test.

  3. Improving creativity performance by short-term meditation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background One form of meditation intervention, the integrative body-mind training (IBMT) has been shown to improve attention, reduce stress and change self-reports of mood. In this paper we examine whether short-term IBMT can improve performance related to creativity and determine the role that mood may play in such improvement. Methods Forty Chinese undergraduates were randomly assigned to short-term IBMT group or a relaxation training (RT) control group. Mood and creativity performance were assessed by the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) questionnaire respectively. Results As predicted, the results indicated that short-term (30 min per day for 7 days) IBMT improved creativity performance on the divergent thinking task, and yielded better emotional regulation than RT. In addition, cross-lagged analysis indicated that both positive and negative affect may influence creativity in IBMT group (not RT group). Conclusions Our results suggested that emotion-related creativity-promoting mechanism may be attributed to short-term meditation. PMID:24645871

  4. Low offspring survival in mountain pine beetle infesting the resistant Great Basin bristlecone pine supports the preference-performance hypothesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erika L. Eidson; Karen E. Mock; Barbara J. Bentz

    2018-01-01

    The preference-performance hypothesis states that ovipositing phytophagous insects will select host plants that are well-suited for their offspring and avoid host plants that do not support offspring performance (survival, development and fitness). The mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), a native insect herbivore in western North America, can successfully...

  5. Neurofeedback training improves attention and working memory performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jinn-Rong; Hsieh, Shulan

    2013-12-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of the frontal-midline theta (fmθ) activity uptraining protocol on attention and working memory performance of older and younger participants. Thirty-two participants were recruited. Participants within each age group were randomly assigned to either the neurofeedback training (fmθ uptraining) group or the sham-neurofeedback training group. There was a significant improvement in orienting scores in the older neurofeedback training group. In addition, there was a significant improvement in conflict scores in both the older and young neurofeedback training groups. However, alerting scores failed to increase. In addition, the fmθ training was found to improve working memory function in the older participants. The results further showed that fmθ training can modulate resting EEG for both neurofeedback groups. Our study demonstrated that fmθ uptraining improved attention and working memory performance and theta activity in the resting state for normal aging adults. In addition, younger participants also benefited from the present protocol in terms of improving their executive function. The current findings contribute to a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying neurofeedback training in cognitive function, and suggest that the fmθ uptraining protocol is an effective intervention program for cognitive aging. Copyright © 2013 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Improving the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire using Rasch analysis.

    OpenAIRE

    Koopmans, L.; Bernaards, C.M.; Hildebrandt, V.H.; Buuren, S. van; Beek, A.J. van der; Vet, H.C.W. de

    2014-01-01

    Recently, the Individual Work Performance Questionnaire (IWPQ) version 0.2 was developed using Rasch analysis. The goal of the current study was to improve targeting of the IWPQ scales by including additional items. The IWPQ 0.2 (original) and 0.3 (including additional items) were examined using Rasch analysis. Additional items that showed misfit or did not improve targeting were removed from the IWPQ 0.3, resulting in a final IWPQ 1.0. Subsequently, the scales showed good model fit and relia...

  7. Microchannel electron multiplier: improvement in gain performances and detection dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Audier, M.; Delmotte, J.C.; Boutot, J.P.

    1978-01-01

    The performances of an MCP are a function of its geometrical characteristics (diameter d and ratio 1/d of a channel, useful area) and of the applied voltage. Gain and mean output current are limited by saturation phenomena. By using a particular cascaded MCP's configuration, it is possible to simultaneously improve the gain, its associated fluctuations and the detection dynamics (detected level, counting rate). For gains 10 6 7 , the fluctuations, can be kept as low as 20% and an improvement by a factor > 10 can be obtained on the detection dynamics [fr

  8. Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edsall, Thomas A.; Mac, Michael J.; Opler, Paul A.; Puckett Haecker, Catherine E.; Doran, Peter D.

    1998-01-01

    The Great Lakes region, as defined here, includes the Great Lakes and their drainage basins in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The region also includes the portions of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and the 21 northernmost counties of Illinois that lie in the Mississippi River drainage basin, outside the floodplain of the river. The region spans about 9º of latitude and 20º of longitude and lies roughly halfway between the equator and the North Pole in a lowland corridor that extends from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean.The Great Lakes are the most prominent natural feature of the region (Fig. 1). They have a combined surface area of about 245,000 square kilometers and are among the largest, deepest lakes in the world. They are the largest single aggregation of fresh water on the planet (excluding the polar ice caps) and are the only glacial feature on Earth visible from the surface of the moon (The Nature Conservancy 1994a).The Great Lakes moderate the region’s climate, which presently ranges from subarctic in the north to humid continental warm in the south (Fig. 2), reflecting the movement of major weather masses from the north and south (U.S. Department of the Interior 1970; Eichenlaub 1979). The lakes act as heat sinks in summer and heat sources in winter and are major reservoirs that help humidify much of the region. They also create local precipitation belts in areas where air masses are pushed across the lakes by prevailing winds, pick up moisture from the lake surface, and then drop that moisture over land on the other side of the lake. The mean annual frost-free period—a general measure of the growing-season length for plants and some cold-blooded animals—varies from 60 days at higher elevations in the north to 160 days in lakeshore areas in the south. The climate influences the general distribution of wild plants and animals in the region and also influences the activities and distribution of the human

  9. The Social Responsibility Performance Outcomes Model: Building Socially Responsible Companies through Performance Improvement Outcomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatcher, Tim

    2000-01-01

    Considers the role of performance improvement professionals and human resources development professionals in helping organizations realize the ethical and financial power of corporate social responsibility. Explains the social responsibility performance outcomes model, which incorporates the concepts of societal needs and outcomes. (LRW)

  10. The better model to predict and improve pediatric health care quality: performance or importance-performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Rebecca M; Bryant, Carol A; McDermott, Robert J; Ortinau, David

    2013-01-01

    The perpetual search for ways to improve pediatric health care quality has resulted in a multitude of assessments and strategies; however, there is little research evidence as to their conditions for maximum effectiveness. A major reason for the lack of evaluation research and successful quality improvement initiatives is the methodological challenge of measuring quality from the parent perspective. Comparison of performance-only and importance-performance models was done to determine the better predictor of pediatric health care quality and more successful method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Fourteen pediatric health care centers serving approximately 250,000 patients in 70,000 households in three West Central Florida counties were studied. A cross-sectional design was used to determine the importance and performance of 50 pediatric health care attributes and four global assessments of pediatric health care quality. Exploratory factor analysis revealed five dimensions of care (physician care, access, customer service, timeliness of services, and health care facility). Hierarchical multiple regression compared the performance-only and the importance-performance models. In-depth interviews, participant observations, and a direct cognitive structural analysis identified 50 health care attributes included in a mailed survey to parents(n = 1,030). The tailored design method guided survey development and data collection. The importance-performance multiplicative additive model was a better predictor of pediatric health care quality. Attribute importance moderates performance and quality, making the importance-performance model superior for measuring and providing a deeper understanding of pediatric health care quality and a better method for improving the quality of care provided to children. Regardless of attribute performance, if the level of attribute importance is not taken into consideration, health care organizations may spend valuable

  11. Improving Physical Task Performance with Counterfactual and Prefactual Thinking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammell, Cecilia; Chan, Amy Y C

    2016-01-01

    Counterfactual thinking (reflecting on "what might have been") has been shown to enhance future performance by translating information about past mistakes into plans for future action. Prefactual thinking (imagining "what might be if…") may serve a greater preparative function than counterfactual thinking as it is future-orientated and focuses on more controllable features, thus providing a practical script to prime future behaviour. However, whether or not this difference in hypothetical thought content may translate into a difference in actual task performance has been largely unexamined. In Experiment 1 (n = 42), participants performed trials of a computer-simulated physical task, in between which they engaged in either task-related hypothetical thinking (counterfactual or prefactual) or an unrelated filler task (control). As hypothesised, prefactuals contained more controllable features than counterfactuals. Moreover, participants who engaged in either form of hypothetical thinking improved significantly in task performance over trials compared to participants in the control group. The difference in thought content between counterfactuals and prefactuals, however, did not yield a significant difference in performance improvement. Experiment 2 (n = 42) replicated these findings in a dynamic balance task environment. Together, these findings provide further evidence for the preparatory function of counterfactuals, and demonstrate that prefactuals share this same functional characteristic.

  12. Improved automated perimetry performance following exposure to Mozart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiorelli, V Macedo Batista; Kasahara, N; Cohen, R; França, A Santucci; Della Paolera, M; Mandia, C; de Almeida, G Vicente

    2006-05-01

    To evaluate the performance on automated perimetry (AP) after listening to a Mozart sonata in normal subjects naive to AP. 60 naive normal subjects underwent AP (SITA 24-2). The study group (30 subjects) underwent AP after listening to Mozart's Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major and the control group (30 subjects) underwent AP without previous exposure to the music. The study group had significantly less fixation loss, false positive, and false negative rates compared to controls (p Mozart seems to improve AP performance in normal naive subjects.

  13. The experience of liquid radwaste evaporator performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwon, S. H.

    1997-01-01

    Ulchin NPP has only one monobloc evaporation column which treated all radwaste liquid for two units. Since commercial operation in 1988 the evaporator performance is very poor. I think that the bad condition of evaporator is because of the bad quality of liquid radwaste, the large volume of liquid radwaste to treated, the poor skill of operation and some mistake in equipment design. Because of above conditions the average released activity by liquid radwaste is 35.153mCi/year in last eight years(1988∼1995). So it is necessary that we have to improve the evaporator performance and to reduce the liquid radwaste volume to evaporate

  14. Improvement of tokamak performance by injection of electrons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ono, Masayuki.

    1992-12-01

    Concepts for improving tokamak performance by utilizing injection of hot electrons are discussed. Motivation of this paper is to introduce the research work being performed in this area and to refer the interested readers to the literature for more detail. The electron injection based concepts presented here have been developed in the CDX, CCT, and CDX-U tokamak facilities. The following three promising application areas of electron injection are described here: 1. Non-inductive current drive, 2. Plasma preionization for tokamak start-up assist, and 3. Charging-up of tokamak flux surfaces for improved plasma confinement. The main motivation for the dc-helicity injection current drive is in its efficiency that, in theory, is independent of plasma density. This property makes it attractive for driving currents in high density reactor plasmas

  15. Using storyboards to make your performance improvement plan come alive.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfaadt, M

    1998-01-01

    The key to successfully using storyboarding within the PI plan is to create a storyboard for each activity as it is completed. Our agency waited until JCAHO was almost upon us. The historical preservation of activities as they occur will create an archive of activities for your PI committee and staff as well as for surveyors. The storyboard's second purpose is the communication of activities to the staff. Take the opportunity to use the boards as educational activities for the staff. Performance Improvement can many times be a frightening, or at best frustrating and uncomfortable activity for staff personnel. Bringing the PI plan alive through the use of storyboards accomplishes many goals as well as helps all staff see how Performance Improvement really makes a difference.

  16. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%-4.3% (20-40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes.

  17. On analyzing colour constancy approach for improving SURF detector performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zulkiey, Mohd Asyraf; Zaki, Wan Mimi Diyana Wan; Hussain, Aini; Mustafa, Mohd. Marzuki

    2012-04-01

    Robust key point detector plays a crucial role in obtaining a good tracking feature. The main challenge in outdoor tracking is the illumination change due to various reasons such as weather fluctuation and occlusion. This paper approaches the illumination change problem by transforming the input image through colour constancy algorithm before applying the SURF detector. Masked grey world approach is chosen because of its ability to perform well under local as well as global illumination change. Every image is transformed to imitate the canonical illuminant and Gaussian distribution is used to model the global change. The simulation results show that the average number of detected key points have increased by 69.92%. Moreover, the average of improved performance cases far out weight the degradation case where the former is improved by 215.23%. The approach is suitable for tracking implementation where sudden illumination occurs frequently and robust key point detection is needed.

  18. N-doped graphene/graphite composite as a conductive agent-free anode material for lithium ion batteries with greatly enhanced electrochemical performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guanghui, Wu; Ruiyi, Li; Zaijun, Li; Junkang, Liu; Zhiguo, Gu; Guangli, Wang

    2015-01-01

    Graphical abstract: The study reported a novel N-doped graphene/graphite anode material for lithium ion batteries. The composite exhibits a largely enhanced electrochemical performance. The study also provides an attractive approach for the fabrication of various graphite-based materials for high power batteries. Display Omitted -- Highlights: • The paper developed a new N-doped graphene/graphite composite for lithium ion battery • The composite contains a three-dimensional graphene framework with rich of open pores • The hybrid offers a higher electrical conductivity when compared with pristine graphite • The hybrid electrode provides a greatly enhanced electrochemical performance • The study provides a prominent approach for fabrication of graphite-based materials -- ABSTRACT: Present graphite anode cannot meet the increasing requirement of electronic devices and electric vehicles due to its low specific capacity, poor cycle stability and low rate capability. The study reported a promising N-doped graphene/graphite composite as a conductive agent-free anode material for lithium ion batteries. Herein, graphite oxide and urea were dispersed in ultrapure water and partly reduced by ascorbic acid. Followed by mixing with graphite and hydrothermal treatment to produce graphene oxide/graphite hydrogel. The hydrogel was dried and finally annealed in Ar/H 2 to obtain N-doped graphene/graphite composite. The result shows that all of graphite particles was dispersed in three-dimensional graphene framework with a rich of open pores. The open pore accelerates the electrolyte transport. The graphene framework works as a conductive agent and graphite particle connector and improves the electron transfer. Electrical conductivity of the composite reaches 5912 S m −1 , which is much better than that of the pristine graphite (4018 S m −1 ). The graphene framework also acts as an expansion absorber in the anodes of lithium ion battery to relieve the large strains

  19. Cooling improves the writing performance of patients with writer's cramp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohl, Christoph; Happe, Jörg; Klockgether, Thomas

    2002-11-01

    Cooling of hand and forearm muscles by immersion in 15 degrees C cold water for 5 minutes improved the writing performance of patients with writer's cramp. Since abnormal processing of muscle spindle afferent discharges contributes to the pathology of writer's cramp, this effect might result from a reduction in muscle spindle activity by lowering muscle temperature. Cooling is a simple, cheap, and safe procedure, providing temporary relief for patients with writer's cramp. Copyright 2002 Movement Disorder Society

  20. Deep Recurrent Convolutional Neural Network: Improving Performance For Speech Recognition

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Zewang; Sun, Zheng; Liu, Jiaqi; Chen, Jingwen; Huo, Zhao; Zhang, Xiao

    2016-01-01

    A deep learning approach has been widely applied in sequence modeling problems. In terms of automatic speech recognition (ASR), its performance has significantly been improved by increasing large speech corpus and deeper neural network. Especially, recurrent neural network and deep convolutional neural network have been applied in ASR successfully. Given the arising problem of training speed, we build a novel deep recurrent convolutional network for acoustic modeling and then apply deep resid...

  1. Sensorimotor Adaptability Training Improves Motor and Dual-Task Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomberg, J.J.; Peters, B.T.; Mulavara, A.P.; Brady, R.; Batson, C.; Cohen, H.S.

    2009-01-01

    The overall objective of our project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability (SA) training program designed to facilitate recovery of functional capabilities when astronauts transition to different gravitational environments. The goal of our current study was to determine if SA training using variation in visual flow and support surface motion produces improved performance in a novel sensory environment and demonstrate the retention characteristics of SA training.

  2. A collaborative brain-computer interface for improving human performance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yijun Wang

    Full Text Available Electroencephalogram (EEG based brain-computer interfaces (BCI have been studied since the 1970s. Currently, the main focus of BCI research lies on the clinical use, which aims to provide a new communication channel to patients with motor disabilities to improve their quality of life. However, the BCI technology can also be used to improve human performance for normal healthy users. Although this application has been proposed for a long time, little progress has been made in real-world practices due to technical limits of EEG. To overcome the bottleneck of low single-user BCI performance, this study proposes a collaborative paradigm to improve overall BCI performance by integrating information from multiple users. To test the feasibility of a collaborative BCI, this study quantitatively compares the classification accuracies of collaborative and single-user BCI applied to the EEG data collected from 20 subjects in a movement-planning experiment. This study also explores three different methods for fusing and analyzing EEG data from multiple subjects: (1 Event-related potentials (ERP averaging, (2 Feature concatenating, and (3 Voting. In a demonstration system using the Voting method, the classification accuracy of predicting movement directions (reaching left vs. reaching right was enhanced substantially from 66% to 80%, 88%, 93%, and 95% as the numbers of subjects increased from 1 to 5, 10, 15, and 20, respectively. Furthermore, the decision of reaching direction could be made around 100-250 ms earlier than the subject's actual motor response by decoding the ERP activities arising mainly from the posterior parietal cortex (PPC, which are related to the processing of visuomotor transmission. Taken together, these results suggest that a collaborative BCI can effectively fuse brain activities of a group of people to improve the overall performance of natural human behavior.

  3. Improved radiation protection for physicians performing cardiac catheterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertz, E.W.; Wisneski, J.A.; Gould, R.G.; Akin, J.R.

    1982-01-01

    Physicians and their assistants performing diagnostic angiography must be concerned with the radiation exposure they receive. The introduction of hemiaxial projections for imaging has increased diagnostic accuracy but has also greatly increased the physicians' exposure to scattered radiation. This increase is especially critical for the eyes and thyroid of the physician who routinely performs these procedures. To reduce such exposure a ceiling-suspended shield (60 x 45 cm), made of 6.4 mm glass with a 19.5 kg/m2 (4 lb/ft2) lead equivalency, was developed. During procedures the shield is interposed between the physician and the region of the patient acting as the source of scattered radiation. The degree of radiation protection to the operator was assessed by measuring the distribution of scattered radiation in the vicinity of the operator with and without the shield. The effectiveness of the shield was determined in the 30 degrees right anterior oblique (RAO), 5 degrees left anterior oblique (LAO), 35 degrees LAO, and 50 degrees LAO-15 degrees cranial angulations. At critical heights such as the level of the eyes and thyroid, scattered radiation levels were reduced by 85% or greater in all angulations. Without interfering with the physician's ability to observe the patient or manipulate the catheter, this shield can significantly reduce the physician's exposure to radiation

  4. Improving performance and reducing costs of cooling towers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bartz, J.A.

    1992-01-01

    Cooling towers represent a significant capital investment at a steam electric power station. In addition, deficiencies in thermal performance can result in major operating penalties of fuel cost, replacement energy, and capacity addition. This paper summarizes two recent EPRI research projects aimed at reducing thermal performance deficiencies and decreasing installed costs of evaporative cooling towers. First, EPRI Research Project 2113, Cooling Tower Performance Prediction and Improvement, is summarized. This project has resulted in published data sets on the measured thermal performance characteristics of a variety of cooling tower packings, computer codes to predict tower performance, and computer code validation through large-scale tower performance measurements. Principal results are contained in an EPRIGEMS software module, Cooling Tower Advisor. This PC- based software contains a tutorial plus codes to predict tower thermal performance, arranged in a user-friendly format. The second EPRI effort, Research Project 2819-10/11, Fabric Structures for Power Plant Applications, has resulted in designs and costs of large structures with shells constructed of recently-developed fabrics. Primary power plant applications for such structures are the shells of natural draft cooling towers and coal-pile covers. Fabric structures offer low initial cost, acceptable life, and seismic superiority, among other advantages. Detailed conceptual designs and installed cost data are reviewed. 8 refs., 9 figs., 3 tabs

  5. Clinical performance improvement series. Classic CQI integrated with comprehensive disease management as a model for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, M S; Bernard, D B

    1999-08-01

    In recent years, health and disease management has emerged as an effective means of delivering, integrating, and improving care through a population-based approach. Since 1997 the University of Pennsylvania Health System (UPHS) has utilized the key principles and components of continuous quality improvement (CQI) and disease management to form a model for health care improvement that focuses on designing best practices, using best practices to influence clinical decision making, changing processes and systems to deploy and deliver best practices, and measuring outcomes to improve the process. Experience with 28 programs and more than 14,000 patients indicates significant improvement in outcomes, including high physician satisfaction, increased patient satisfaction, reduced costs, and improved clinical process and outcome measures across multiple diseases. DIABETES DISEASE MANAGEMENT: In three months a UPHS multidisciplinary diabetes disease management team developed a best practice approach for the treatment of all patients with diabetes in the UPHS. After the program was pilot tested in three primary care physician sites, it was then introduced progressively to additional practice sites throughout the health system. The establishment of the role of the diabetes nurse care managers (certified diabetes educators) was central to successful program deployment. Office-based coordinators ensure incorporation of the best practice protocols into routine flow processes. A disease management intranet disseminates programs electronically. Outcomes of the UPHS health and disease management programs so far demonstrate success across multiple dimensions of performance-service, clinical quality, access, and value. The task of health care leadership today is to remove barriers and enable effective implementation of key strategies, such as health and disease management. Substantial effort and resources must be dedicated to gain physician buy-in and achieve compliance. The

  6. Improvement of sludge removal performance for steam generators

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nishida, K.; Sakai, K.; Ito, H.; Tanahashi, A.; Nakao, F.

    2002-01-01

    Scale, mainly consisting of magnetite, flows on the secondary side of steam generators (SGs), causing the formation of concentrations of impurities on the tubesheet (TS), increasing the fouling of tube heat transfer, and blocking the broached egg crates (BEC) on the tube support plates (TSP). Accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet forms environment in which impurities are highly concentrated on the tubes. And we have experienced tube degradation, in the past, from the concentration of impurities. In Japan, the first tubesheet sludge lancing, via water jets, was done at the Mihama-2 plant in 1975. And that is why this pile sludge becomes hard depending on time, removal made an effort toward removal with CECIL* (in bundle cleaning system) us very difficulty. However, sludge remained in localized areas and it had possibility of concentration. So that we improve the CECIL for the purpose of removing it, and we improved removal performance of the device. In addition to the improvement of CECIL, we install a sludge collector in order to decrease accumulation of sludge on the tubesheet. This paper introduces these improvements in sludge removal performance. (authors)

  7. Performance Improvement of Solar Water Stills by Using Reflectors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Humphrey Hamusonde Maambo

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The lack of safe and clean drinking water sources is one of the problems faced in most rural communities in Zambia. Water in these communities is mostly obtained from shallow wells and rivers. However, this water might be potentially contaminated with harmful substances such as pathogenic bacteria and therefore, unsafe for drinking. Solar water distillation represents an important alternative to palliate problems of fresh water shortages. Solar water stills can be used to eliminate harmful substances from contaminated water by treating it using free solar energy before it can be consumed. Therefore, there is a need to improve solar still performance to produce a greater quantity of safe drinking water. One possible method to improve performance is through adding reflectors to solar stills. Reflectors improve performance by increasing the quantity of distillate by about 22.3 % at a water depth of 15 mm and about 2 9% at a water depth of 10 mm when compared to the distillate produced from a still without reflectors. The water produced using solar stills with reflectors was tested and adhered to World Health Organization (WHO drinking water standards. This implies that solar distillation with reflectors could be adopted at a larger scale to produce safer drinking water at a reduced cost.

  8. Undergraduate medical academic performance is improved by scientific training.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Lili; Zhang, Wei; Wu, Chong; Liu, Zhongming; Cai, Yunfei; Cao, Xingguo; He, Yushan; Liu, Guoxiang; Miao, Hongming

    2017-09-01

    The effect of scientific training on course learning in undergraduates is still controversial. In this study, we investigated the academic performance of undergraduate students with and without scientific training. The results show that scientific training improves students' test scores in general medical courses, such as biochemistry and molecular biology, cell biology, physiology, and even English. We classified scientific training into four levels. We found that literature reading could significantly improve students' test scores in general courses. Students who received scientific training carried out experiments more effectively and published articles performed better than their untrained counterparts in biochemistry and molecular biology examinations. The questionnaire survey demonstrated that the trained students were more confident of their course learning, and displayed more interest, motivation and capability in course learning. In summary, undergraduate academic performance is improved by scientific training. Our findings shed light on the novel strategies in the management of undergraduate education in the medical school. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):379-384, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  9. Integrating patient satisfaction into performance measurement to meet improvement challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, J E; Fisher, D L; Endorf-Olson, J J

    2000-05-01

    A Value Compass has been proposed to guide health care data collection. The "compass corners" represent the four types of data needed to meet health care customer expectations: appropriate clinical outcomes, improved functional status, patient satisfaction, and appropriate costs. Collection of all four types of data is necessary to select processes in need of improvement, guide improvement teams, and monitor the success of improvement efforts. INTEGRATED DATA AT BRYANLGH: BryanLGH Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska, has adopted multiple performance measurement systems to collect clinical outcome, financial, and patient satisfaction data into integrated databases. Data integration allows quality professionals at BryanLGH to identify quality issues from multiple perspectives and track the interrelated effects of improvement efforts. A CASE EXAMPLE: Data from the fourth quarter of 1997 indicated the need to improve processes related to cesarean section (C-section) deliveries. An interdisciplinary team was formed, which focused on educating nurses, physicians, and the community about labor support measures. Physicians were given their own rates of C-section deliveries. The C-section rate decreased from 27% to 19%, but per-case cost increased. PickerPLUS+ results indicated that BryanLGH obstetric patients reported fewer problems with receiving information than the Picker norm, but they reported more problems with the involvement of family members and friends. The data collected so far have indicated a decrease in the C-section rate and a need to continue to work on cost and psychosocial issues. A complete analysis of results was facilitated by integrated performance management systems. Successes have been easily tracked over time, and the need for further work on related processes has been clearly identified.

  10. Alpha neurofeedback training improves SSVEP-based BCI performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, Feng; Nuno da Cruz, Janir; Nan, Wenya; Wong, Chi Man; Vai, Mang I.; Rosa, Agostinho

    2016-06-01

    Objective. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP)-based brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) can provide relatively easy, reliable and high speed communication. However, the performance is still not satisfactory, especially in some users who are not able to generate strong enough SSVEP signals. This work aims to strengthen a user’s SSVEP by alpha down-regulating neurofeedback training (NFT) and consequently improve the performance of the user in using SSVEP-based BCIs. Approach. An experiment with two steps was designed and conducted. The first step was to investigate the relationship between the resting alpha activity and the SSVEP-based BCI performance, in order to determine the training parameter for the NFT. Then in the second step, half of the subjects with ‘low’ performance (i.e. BCI classification accuracy <80%) were randomly assigned to a NFT group to perform a real-time NFT, and the rest half to a non-NFT control group for comparison. Main results. The first step revealed a significant negative correlation between the BCI performance and the individual alpha band (IAB) amplitudes in the eyes-open resting condition in a total of 33 subjects. In the second step, it was found that during the IAB down-regulating NFT, on average the subjects were able to successfully decrease their IAB amplitude over training sessions. More importantly, the NFT group showed an average increase of 16.5% in the SSVEP signal SNR (signal-to-noise ratio) and an average increase of 20.3% in the BCI classification accuracy, which was significant compared to the non-NFT control group. Significance. These findings indicate that the alpha down-regulating NFT can be used to improve the SSVEP signal quality and the subjects’ performance in using SSVEP-based BCIs. It could be helpful to the SSVEP related studies and would contribute to more effective SSVEP-based BCI applications.

  11. Performance of industrial melting pots in the provision of dynamic frequency response in the Great Britain power system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cheng, Meng; Wu, Jianzhong; Galsworthy, Stephen J.; Gargov, Nikola; Hung, William H.; Zhou, Yue

    2017-01-01

    Highlights: •Thermodynamics of Melting Pot (MP) loads is modeled based on field measurements. •Power consumption of MPs is controlled to keep varying with grid frequency changes. •Frequency response (FR) of MPs is similar but faster than that of generators. •FR provided by loads can mitigate the impact of reduced system inertia. •Firm FR in the GB power system is most beneficial for load aggregators to tender. -- Abstract: As a result of the increasing integration of Renewable Energy Source (RES), maintenance of the balance between supply and demand in the power system is more challenging because of RES’s intermittency and uncontrollability. The smart control of demand is able to contribute to the balance by providing the grid frequency response. This paper uses the industrial Melting Pot (MP) loads as an example. A thermodynamic model depicting the physical characteristics of MPs was firstly developed based on field measurements carried out by Open Energi. A distributed control was applied to each MP which dynamically changes the aggregated power consumption of MPs in proportion to changes in grid frequency while maintaining the primary heating function of each MP. An aggregation of individual MP models equipped with the control was integrated with the Great Britain (GB) power system models. Case studies verified that the aggregated MPs are able to provide frequency response to the power system. The response from MPs is similar but faster than the conventional generators and therefore contributes to the reduction of carbon emissions by replacing the spinning reserve capacity of fossil-fuel generators. Through the reviews of the present balancing services in the GB power system, with the proposed frequency control strategy, the Firm Frequency Response service is most beneficial at present for demand aggregators to tender for. All studies have been conducted in partnership between Cardiff University, Open Energi London – Demand Aggregator, and National

  12. Clinical audit training improves undergraduates' performance in root canal therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, J Y M; Tan, V J H; Lee, J R; Tong, Z G M; Foong, Y K; Tan, J M E; Parolia, A; Pau, A

    2017-12-20

    To evaluate the effectiveness of clinical audit-feedback cycle as an educational tool in improving the technical quality of root canal therapy (RCT) and compliance with record keeping performed by dental undergraduates. Clinical audit learning was introduced in Year 3 of a 5-year curriculum for dental undergraduates. During classroom activities, students were briefed on clinical audit, selected their audit topics in groups of 5 or 6 students, and prepared and presented their audit protocols. One chosen topic was RCT, in which 3 different cohorts of Year 3 students conducted retrospective audits of patients' records in 2012, 2014 and 2015 for their compliance with recommended record keeping criteria and their performance in RCT. Students were trained by and calibrated against an endodontist (κ ≥ 0.8). After each audit, the findings were reported in class, and recommendations were made for improvement in performance of RCT and record keeping. Students' compliance with published guidelines was presented and their RCT performances in each year were compared using the chi-square test. Overall compliance with of record keeping guidelines was 44.1% in 2012, 79.6% in 2014 and 94.6% in 2015 (P = .001). In the 2012 audit, acceptable extension, condensation and the absence of mishap were observed in 72.4, 75.7% and 91.5%; in the 2014 audit, 95.1%, 64.8% and 51.4%; and in 2015 audit, 96.4%, 82.1% and 92.8% of cases, respectively. In 2015, 76.8% of root canal fillings met all 3 technical quality criteria when compared to 48.6% in 2014 and 44.7% in 2012 (P = .001). Clinical audit-feedback cycle is an effective educational tool for improving dental undergraduates' compliance with record keeping and performance in the technical quality of RCT. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  13. Spatial distribution and trends of total mercury in waters of the Great Lakes and connecting channels using an improved sampling technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dove, A.; Hill, B.; Klawunn, P.; Waltho, J.; Backus, S.; McCrea, R.C.

    2012-01-01

    Environment Canada recently developed a clean method suitable for sampling trace levels of metals in surface waters. The results of sampling for total mercury in the Laurentian Great Lakes between 2003 and 2009 give a unique basin-wide perspective of concentrations of this important contaminant and represent improved knowledge of mercury in the region. Results indicate that concentrations of total mercury in the offshore regions of the lakes were within a relatively narrow range from about 0.3 to 0.8 ng/L. The highest concentrations were observed in the western basin of Lake Erie and concentrations then declined towards the east. Compared to the offshore, higher levels were observed at some nearshore locations, particularly in lakes Erie and Ontario. The longer-term temporal record of mercury in Niagara River suspended sediments indicates an approximate 30% decrease in equivalent water concentrations since 1986. - Highlights: ► Basin-wide concentrations of total mercury in Great Lakes surface waters are provided for the first time. ► A clean sampling method is described, stressing isolation of the sample from extraneous sources of contamination. ► Sub-ng/L concentrations of total mercury are observed in most Great Lakes offshore areas. ► Concentrations in the western basin of Lake Erie are consistently the highest observed in the basin. ► The longer-term record of mercury in Niagara River suspended sediments indicates an approximate 30% decrease since 1986. - A new, clean sampling method for metals is described and basin-wide measurements of total mercury are provided for Great Lakes surface waters for the first time.

  14. Engaging clinical nurses in quality and performance improvement activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albanese, Madeline P; Evans, Dietra A; Schantz, Cathy A; Bowen, Margaret; Disbot, Maureen; Moffa, Joseph S; Piesieski, Patricia; Polomano, Rosemary C

    2010-01-01

    Nursing performance measures are an integral part of quality initiatives in acute care; however, organizations face numerous challenges in developing infrastructures to support quality improvement processes and timely dissemination of outcomes data. At the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, a Magnet-designated organization, extensive work has been conducted to incorporate nursing-related outcomes in the organization's quality plan and to integrate roles for clinical nurses into the Department of Nursing and organization's core performance-based programs. Content and strategies that promote active involvement of nurses and prepare them to be competent and confident stakeholders in quality initiatives are presented. Engaging clinical nurses in the work of quality and performance improvement is essential to achieving excellence in clinical care. It is important to have structures and processes in place to bring meaningful data to the bedside; however, it is equally important to incorporate outcomes into practice. When nurses are educated about performance and quality measures, are engaged in identifying outcomes and collecting meaningful data, are active participants in disseminating quality reports, and are able to recognize the value of these activities, data become one with practice.

  15. Elasticity improves handgrip performance and user experience during visuomotor control.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mace, Michael; Rinne, Paul; Liardon, Jean-Luc; Uhomoibhi, Catherine; Bentley, Paul; Burdet, Etienne

    2017-02-01

    Passive rehabilitation devices, providing motivation and feedback, potentially offer an automated and low-cost therapy method, and can be used as simple human-machine interfaces. Here, we ask whether there is any advantage for a hand-training device to be elastic, as opposed to rigid, in terms of performance and preference. To address this question, we have developed a highly sensitive and portable digital handgrip, promoting independent and repetitive rehabilitation of grasp function based around a novel elastic force and position sensing structure. A usability study was performed on 66 healthy subjects to assess the effect of elastic versus rigid handgrip control during various visuomotor tracking tasks. The results indicate that, for tasks relying either on feedforward or on feedback control, novice users perform significantly better with the elastic handgrip, compared with the rigid equivalent (11% relative improvement, 9-14% mean range; p  training devices.

  16. Audits and their effectiveness in improving plant performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Callen, L.J.

    1986-01-01

    For several years, the NRC's performance appraisal teams (PATs) have been assessing the effectiveness of the various audit programs established by operating nuclear power plants. A major focus of the PAT assessments is on the audit programs mandated by 10 CFR, technical specifications, industry codes and standards, and NRC operating license conditions. These audits are typically performed by a plant's quality assurance organization, and program oversight is often provided at the corporate level by a safety review committee. The scope of these audit programs is broad, typically including such functional areas as maintenance, operations, health physics, emergency preparedness, training, procurement, and security. For an audit program to be truly effective in improving plant performance beyond the minimum level established by regulatory requirements, the audits must first be effective in identifying deficiencies that go beyond minimum regulatory requirements. The PAT experience to date is that typical industry audit programs are not designed to identify these types of deficiencies

  17. Multi-focal Vision and Gaze Control Improve Navigation Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kolja Kuehnlenz

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Multi-focal vision systems comprise cameras with various fields of view and measurement accuracies. This article presents a multi-focal approach to localization and mapping of mobile robots with active vision. An implementation of the novel concept is done considering a humanoid robot navigation scenario where the robot is visually guided through a structured environment with several landmarks. Various embodiments of multi-focal vision systems are investigated and the impact on navigation performance is evaluated in comparison to a conventional mono-focal stereo set-up. The comparative studies clearly show the benefits of multi-focal vision for mobile robot navigation: flexibility to assign the different available sensors optimally in each situation, enhancement of the visible field, higher localization accuracy, and, thus, better task performance, i.e. path following behavior of the mobile robot. It is shown that multi-focal vision may strongly improve navigation performance.

  18. Improved rate control for electron-beam evaporation and evaluation of optical performance improvements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gevelber, Michael; Xu, Bing; Smith, Douglas

    2006-03-01

    A new deposition-rate-control and electron-beam-gun (e-gun) strategy was developed that significantly reduces the growth-rate variations for e-beam-deposited SiO2 coatings. The resulting improvements in optical performance are evaluated for multilayer bandpass filters. The adverse effect of uneven silica-source depletion on coating spectral performances during long deposition runs is discussed.

  19. Perspectives on containment performance improvement based on the IPEs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lehner, J.R.; Lin, C.C.; Pratt, W.T. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States)] [and others

    1995-04-01

    Generic Letter 88-20, {open_quotes}Individual Plant Examination (IPE) for Severe Accident Vulnerabilities - 10CFR 50.54(f),{close_quotes} was issued by the NRC on November 23, 1988. In addition to assessing the core damage frequency from severe accidents, licensees were requested to report the results of their analyses regarding containment performance. Supplements to the Generic Letter forwarded technical insights obtained by the NRC staff through its Containment Performance Improvement (CPI) program. At this time, most of the IPEs have been submitted by the licensees. In a follow-on effort to support regulatory activities, the NRC staff with assistance from Brookhaven National Laboratory, has initiated a program involving a global examination of the containment performance results documented in the IPEs. The objective is to identify insights of potential generic safety significance relative to plant design, operation and maintenance, as well as to assess response to the previously forwarded CPI insights. The containment performance results of the IPEs are being categorized for commonalities and differences for different reactor and containment types. Preliminary results show that not only differences in plant design but also the methods, data, boundary conditions, and assumptions used in the different IPEs have a major impact on the containment performance results obtained. This paper presents preliminary results regarding the differences in containment performance observed in the IPEs and discusses some of the underlying reasons for these differences.

  20. Presence of Spotters Improves Bench Press Performance: A Deception Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheridan, Andrew; Marchant, David C; Williams, Emily L; Jones, Hollie S; Hewitt, Phil A; Sparks, S Andy

    2017-10-24

    Sheridan, A, Marchant, DC, Williams, EL, Jones, HS, Hewitt, PA, and Sparks, SA. Presence of spotters improves bench press performance: a deception study. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2017-Resistance exercise is a widely used method of physical training in both recreational exercise and athletic populations. The use of training partners and spotters during resistance exercise is widespread, but little is known about the effect of the presence of these individuals on exercise performance. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effect of spotter presence on bench press performance. Twelve recreationally trained participants (age, 21.3 ± 0.8 years, height, 1.82 ± 0.1 m, and weight, 84.8 ± 11.1 kg) performed 2 trials of 3 sets to failure at 60% of 1 repetition maximum on separate occasions. The 2 trials consisted of spotters being explicitly present or hidden from view (deception). During the trials, total repetitions (reps), total weight lifted, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and self-efficacy were measured. Total reps and weight lifted were significantly greater with spotters (difference = 4.5 reps, t = 5.68, p < 0.001 and difference = 209.6 kg, t = 5.65, p < 0.001, respectively). Although RPE and local RPE were significantly elevated in the deception trials (difference = 0.78, f = 6.16, p = 0.030 and difference = 0.81, f = 5.89, p = 0.034, respectively), self-efficacy was significantly reduced (difference = 1.58, f = 26.90, p < 0.001). This study demonstrates that resistance exercise is improved by the presence of spotters, which is facilitated by reduced RPE and increased self-efficacy. This has important implications for athletes and clients, who should perform resistance exercise in the proximity of others, to maximize total work performed.

  1. Improved iodine status is associated with improved mental performance of schoolchildren in Benin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van den Briel, T; West, C E; Bleichrodt, N; van de Vijver, F J; Ategbo, E A; Hautvast, J G

    2000-11-01

    An adequate iodine supply in utero and shortly after birth is known to be crucial to an individual's physical and mental development. The question of whether iodine supplementation later in life can exert a favorable influence on the mental performance of iodine-deficient populations was addressed in various studies, but with contradictory results. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of an improvement in iodine status on mental and psychomotor performance of schoolchildren (7-11 y) who were moderately to severely iodine deficient. The study, which was originally planned as a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled intervention, was carried out in an iodine-deficient population of schoolchildren (n = 196) in northern Benin. As the population began to have access to iodized salt during the 1-y intervention period, the study population was split post hoc-on the basis of urinary iodine concentrations-into a group with improved iodine status and a group with unchanged iodine status. Changes in mental and psychomotor performance over the intervention period were compared. Children with increased urinary iodine concentrations had a significantly greater increase in performance on the combination of mental tests than did the group with no change in urinary iodine concentrations. An improvement in iodine status, rather than iodine status itself, determined mental performance in this population, which was initially iodine deficient. These findings suggest a "catch-up" effect in terms of mental performance.

  2. Improving Docking Performance Using Negative Image-Based Rescoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurkinen, Sami T; Niinivehmas, Sanna; Ahinko, Mira; Lätti, Sakari; Pentikäinen, Olli T; Postila, Pekka A

    2018-01-01

    Despite the large computational costs of molecular docking, the default scoring functions are often unable to recognize the active hits from the inactive molecules in large-scale virtual screening experiments. Thus, even though a correct binding pose might be sampled during the docking, the active compound or its biologically relevant pose is not necessarily given high enough score to arouse the attention. Various rescoring and post-processing approaches have emerged for improving the docking performance. Here, it is shown that the very early enrichment (number of actives scored higher than 1% of the highest ranked decoys) can be improved on average 2.5-fold or even 8.7-fold by comparing the docking-based ligand conformers directly against the target protein's cavity shape and electrostatics. The similarity comparison of the conformers is performed without geometry optimization against the negative image of the target protein's ligand-binding cavity using the negative image-based (NIB) screening protocol. The viability of the NIB rescoring or the R-NiB, pioneered in this study, was tested with 11 target proteins using benchmark libraries. By focusing on the shape/electrostatics complementarity of the ligand-receptor association, the R-NiB is able to improve the early enrichment of docking essentially without adding to the computing cost. By implementing consensus scoring, in which the R-NiB and the original docking scoring are weighted for optimal outcome, the early enrichment is improved to a level that facilitates effective drug discovery. Moreover, the use of equal weight from the original docking scoring and the R-NiB scoring improves the yield in most cases.

  3. Clinical performance feedback and quality improvement opportunities for perioperative physicians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaye AD

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Alan David Kaye,1 Olutoyin J Okanlawon,2 Richard D Urman21Department of Anesthesiology, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, LA, 2Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston MA, USAAbstract: Clinical performance feedback is an important component of the ongoing development and education of health care practitioners. For physicians, feedback about their clinical practice and outcomes is central to developing both confidence and competence at all stages of their medical careers. Cultural and financial infrastructures need to be in place, and the concept of feedback needs to be readily embraced and encouraged by clinical leadership and other stakeholders. The "buy-in" includes the expectation and view that feedback occurs on a routine basis, and those engaged in the process are both encouraged to participate and held accountable. Feedback must be part of an overarching quality improvement and physician education agenda; it is not meant to be an isolated, fragmented initiative that is typically undermined by lack of resources or systemic barriers to gaining improvement within programs. Effective feedback should be an integral part of clinical practice. Anesthesiologists and other perioperative physicians are identifying specialty-specific indicators that can be used when creating a broader quality improvement agenda. Placing a more immediate formal feedback strategy that focuses on goal-oriented behavior is rapidly becoming a mainstay. Physicians may use their individual feedback reports for reflection and designing personal development plans as lifelong learners and leaders in improving patient care.Keywords: physician education, outcomes measurement, performance improvement, anesthesiology

  4. Implementation of renal key performance indicators: promoting improved clinical practice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toussaint, Nigel D; McMahon, Lawrence P; Dowling, Gregory; Soding, Jenny; Safe, Maria; Knight, Richard; Fair, Kathleen; Linehan, Leanne; Walker, Rowan G; Power, David A

    2015-03-01

    In the Australian state of Victoria, the Renal Health Clinical Network (RHCN) of the Department of Health Victoria established a Renal Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Working Group in 2011. The group developed four KPIs related to chronic kidney disease and dialysis. A transplant working group of the RHCN developed two additional KPIs. The aim was to develop clinical indicators to measure performance of renal services to drive service improvement. A data collection and benchmarking programme was established, with data provided monthly to the Department using a purpose-designed website portal. The KPI Working Group is responsible for analysing data each quarter and ensuring indicators remain accurate and relevant. Each indicator has clear definitions and targets, and assess (i) patient education, (ii) timely creation of vascular access for haemodialysis, (iii) proportion of patients dialysing at home, (iv) incidence of dialysis-related peritonitis, (v) incidence of pre-emptive renal transplantation, and (vi) timely listing of patients for deceased donor transplantation. Most KPIs have demonstrated improved performance over time with limited gains notably in two: the proportion of patients dialysing at home (KPI 3) and timely listing patients for transplantation (KPI 6). KPI implementation has been established in Victoria for 2 years, providing performance data without additional funding. The six Victorian KPIs are measurable, relevant and modifiable, and implementation relies on enthusiasm and goodwill of physicians and nurses involved in collecting data. The KPIs require further evaluation, but adoption of a similar programme by other jurisdictions could lead to improved national outcomes. © 2014 Asian Pacific Society of Nephrology.

  5. Towards Effective Educational Politics through Improving the Performance Measurement System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tuuli Reisberg

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Educational field is impelled to increase performance and quality, financial discipline, strategic behaviour and its goals in order to enhance “effectiveness”. As a result the incorporation of private sector management practices into the educational field is taking place. But it is important to notice that a proliferation of private managerial practices into the educational field goes along with a conflict-laden and contradictory process. Education provides an important area of implementation for techniques of performance evaluation aimed at improving the performance of public services. One of the most common conceptual frameworks in measuring organisational performance takes the form of a production function where the educational institution is seen as analogous to a company transforming inputs into outputs and outcomes through a production process. But the problems and the vagueness in determining educational system’s inputs, outputs and outcomes cause difficulties in making political decisions and that is why clear policy prescriptions have been difficult to derive. The purpose of this article is to create a discussion whether performance measurement should be a part of decision-making in educational politics. The authors debate about incorporating private sector management practices into the educational field. The debate is based on the example of evaluating the social impact in the educational field and the performance of teachers’ work in the educational system. The article consists of three parts. Firstly, the theoretical background of the performance measurement in educational field is discussed. Secondly, the important criteria for performance measurement design and political issues are argued. Thirdly, the evaluated shortcomings in Estonian educational organisations, which restrict them to be effective, are brought out. Relieving some of these shortcomings could be in authority of Estonian educational politics.

  6. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G. R.; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X. P.

    2016-01-01

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells. PMID:27934924

  7. Towards improving construction labor productivity and projects’ performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa E. Shehata

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Proper management of resources in construction projects can yield substantial savings in time and cost. As construction is a labor-intensive industry, this paper focuses on labor productivity in the construction industry. This study considers the current state-of-the-art issues relevant to this subject. It covers the construction labor productivity definitions, aspects, measurements, factors affecting it, different techniques used for measuring it and modeling techniques. The main outcome from the literature is that there is no standard definition of productivity. This study provides a guide for necessary steps required to improve construction labor productivity and consequently, the project performance. It can help improve the overall performance of construction projects through the implementation of the concept of benchmarks. Also, it gives an up to date concept of loss of productivity measurement for construction productivity claims. Two major case studies, from the literature, are presented to show construction labor productivity rates, factors affecting construction labor productivity and how to improve it.

  8. Improving the photovoltaic performance of perovskite solar cells with acetate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Qian; Li, G R; Song, Jian; Zhao, Yulong; Qiang, Yinghuai; Gao, X P

    2016-12-09

    In an all-solid-state perovskite solar cell, methylammonium lead halide film is in charge of generating photo-excited electrons, thus its quality can directly influence the final photovoltaic performance of the solar cell. This paper accentuates a very simple chemical approach to improving the quality of a perovskite film with a suitable amount of acetic acid. With introduction of acetate ions, a homogeneous, continual and hole-free perovskite film comprised of high-crystallinity grains is obtained. UV-visible spectra, steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectra reveal that the obtained perovskite film under the optimized conditions shows a higher light absorption, more efficient electron transport, and faster electron extraction to the adjoining electron transport layer. The features result in the optimized perovskite film can provide an improved short-circuit current. The corresponding solar cells with a planar configuration achieves an improved power conversion efficiency of 13.80%, and the highest power conversion efficiency in the photovoltaic measurements is up to 14.71%. The results not only provide a simple approach to optimizing perovskite films but also present a novel angle of view on fabricating high-performance perovskite solar cells.

  9. Strategies for Improving the Performance of Sensors Based on Organic Field-Effect Transistors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Xiaohan; Mao, Shun; Chen, Junhong; Huang, Jia

    2018-04-01

    Organic semiconductors (OSCs) have been extensively studied as sensing channel materials in field-effect transistors due to their unique charge transport properties. Stimulation caused by its environmental conditions can readily change the charge-carrier density and mobility of OSCs. Organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) can act as both signal transducers and signal amplifiers, which greatly simplifies the device structure. Over the past decades, various sensors based on OFETs have been developed, including physical sensors, chemical sensors, biosensors, and integrated sensor arrays with advanced functionalities. However, the performance of OFET-based sensors still needs to be improved to meet the requirements from various practical applications, such as high sensitivity, high selectivity, and rapid response speed. Tailoring molecular structures and micro/nanofilm structures of OSCs is a vital strategy for achieving better sensing performance. Modification of the dielectric layer and the semiconductor/dielectric interface is another approach for improving the sensor performance. Moreover, advanced sensory functionalities have been achieved by developing integrated device arrays. Here, a brief review of strategies used for improving the performance of OFET sensors is presented, which is expected to inspire and provide guidance for the design of future OFET sensors for various specific and practical applications. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Anesthesia report card - a customizable tool for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peccora, Christian D; Gimlich, Robert; Cornell, Richard P; Vacanti, Charles A; Ehrenfeld, Jesse M; Urman, Richard D

    2014-09-01

    Measuring and providing performance feedback to physicians has gained momentum not only as a way to comply with regulatory requirements, but also as a way to improve patient care. Measurement of structural, process, and outcome metrics in a reliable, evidence-based, specialty-specific manner maximizes the probability of improving physician performance. The manner in which feedback is provided influences whether the measurement tool will be successful in changing behavior. We created an innovative reporting tool template for anesthesiology practitioners designed to provide detailed, continuous feedback covering many aspects of clinical practice. The literature regarding quality metric measurement and feedback strategies was examined to design a reporting tool that could provide high quality information and result in improved performance of clinical and academic tasks. A committee of department leaders and information technology professionals was tasked with determining the measurement criteria and infrastructure needed to generate these reports. Data was collected in a systematic, unbiased manner, and reports were populated with information from multiple databases and software systems. Feedback would be based on frequently updated information and allow for analysis of historical performance as well as comparison amongst peers. A template for an anesthesia report card was created. Categories included compliance, credentialing and qualifications, education, clinical and operating room responsibilities, and academic achievements. Physicians were able to choose to be evaluated in some of the categories and had to meet a minimum number of criteria within each category. This allowed for customization to each practitioner's practice. Criteria were derived from the measures of academic and clinical proficiency, as well as quality metrics. Criteria were objective measures and data gathering was often automated. Reports could be generated that were updated daily and provided

  11. The impact of multi-criteria performance measurement on business performance improvement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fentahun Moges Kasie

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between multi-criteria performance measurement (MCPM practice and business performance improvement using the raw data collected from 33 selected manufacturing companies. In addition, it proposes modified MCPM model as an effective approach to improve business performance of manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach:Research paper. Primary and secondary data were collected using questionnaire survey, interview and observation of records. The methodology is to evaluate business performances of sampled manufacturing companies and the extent of utilization of crucial non-financial (lagging and non-financial (leading performance measures. The positive correlation between financial business performance and practice of MCPM is clearly shown using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Findings –This research paper indicates that companies which measure their performance using important financial and non-financial measures achieve better business performance. Even though certain companies are currently using non-financial measures, the researchers have learned that these financial measures were not integrated with each other, financial measures and strategic objectives. Research limitations/implications: The limitation of this paper is that the number of surveyed companies is small to make generalization and they are found in a single country. Further researches which incorporate a large number of companies from various developing nations are suggested to minimize the limitation of this research.Practical Implication: The paper shows that multi-dimensional performance measures with the inclusion of key leading indicator are essential to predict the future environment. But cost-accounting based financial measures are inadequate to do so. These are shown practically using Pearson’s correlation coefficient analysis. Originality/value: The significance of multi

  12. New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fletcher, James H. [University of North Florida; Campbell, Joseph L. [University of North Florida; Cox, Philip [University of North Florida; Harrington, William J. [University of North Florida

    2013-09-16

    Abstract Project Title: New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost The University of North Florida (UNF)--with project partners the University of Florida, Northeastern University, and Johnson Matthey--has recently completed the Department of Energy (DOE) project entitled “New MEA Materials for Improved DMFC Performance, Durability and Cost”. The primary objective of the project was to advance portable fuel cell MEA technology towards the commercial targets as laid out in the DOE R&D roadmap by developing a passive water recovery MEA (membrane electrode assembly). Developers at the University of North Florida identified water management components as an insurmountable barrier to achieving the required system size and weight necessary to achieve the energy density requirements of small portable power applications. UNF developed an innovative “passive water recovery” MEA for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) which provides a path to system simplification and optimization. The passive water recovery MEA incorporates a hydrophobic, porous, barrier layer within the cathode electrode, so that capillary pressure forces the water produced at the cathode through holes in the membrane and back to the anode. By directly transferring the water from the cathode to the anode, the balance of plant is very much simplified and the need for heavy, bulky water recovery components is eliminated. At the heart of the passive water recovery MEA is the UNF DM-1 membrane that utilizes a hydrocarbon structure to optimize performance in a DMFC system. The membrane has inherent performance advantages, such as a low methanol crossover (high overall efficiency), while maintaining a high proton conductivity (good electrochemical efficiency) when compared to perfluorinated sulfonic acid membranes such as Nafion. Critically, the membrane provides an extremely low electro-osmotic drag coefficient of approximately one water molecule per proton (versus the 2-3 for

  13. Lean methodology for performance improvement in the trauma discharge process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, Michael Shaymus; Ramaniuk, Aliaksandr; Graymire, Vickie; Rozzell, Monica; Martin, Stacey

    2014-07-01

    High-volume, complex services such as trauma and acute care surgery are at risk for inefficiency. Lean process improvement can reduce health care waste. Lean allows a structured look at processes not easily amenable to analysis. We applied lean methodology to the current state of communication and discharge planning on an urban trauma service, citing areas for improvement. A lean process mapping event was held. The process map was used to identify areas for immediate analysis and intervention-defining metrics for the stakeholders. After intervention, new performance was assessed by direct data evaluation. The process was completed with an analysis of effect and plans made for addressing future focus areas. The primary area of concern identified was interservice communication. Changes centering on a standardized morning report structure reduced the number of consult questions unanswered from 67% to 34% (p = 0.0021). Physical therapy rework was reduced from 35% to 19% (p = 0.016). Patients admitted to units not designated to the trauma service had 1.6 times longer stays (p miscommunication exists around patient education at discharge. Lean process improvement is a viable means of health care analysis. When applied to a trauma service with 4,000 admissions annually, lean identifies areas ripe for improvement. Our inefficiencies surrounded communication and patient localization. Strategies arising from the input of all stakeholders led to real solutions for communication through a face-to-face morning report and identified areas for ongoing improvement. This focuses resource use and identifies areas for improvement of throughput in care delivery.

  14. Game elements improve performance in a working memory training task

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Ninaus

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available The utilization of game elements in a non-game context is currently used in a vast range of different domains. However, research on game elements’ effects in cognitive tasks is still sparse. Thus, in this study we implemented three game elements, namely, progress bar, level indicator, and a thematic setting, in a working memory training task. We evaluated the impact of game elements on user performance and perceived state of flow when compared to a conventional version of the task. Participants interacting with game elements showed higher scores in the working memory training task than participants from a control group who completed the working memory training task without the game elements. Moreover, game elements facilitated the individuals’ performance closer to their maximum working memory capacity. Finally, the perceived flow did not differ between the two groups, which indicates that game elements can induce better performance without changing the perception of being “in the zone”, that is without an increase in anxiety or boredom. This empirical study indicates that certain game elements can improve the performance and efficiency in a working memory task by increasing users’ ability and willingness to train at their optimal performance level. 

  15. Energy and architecture: improvement of energy performance in existing buildings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haase, Matthias; Wycmans, Annemie; Solbraa, Anne; Grytli, Eir

    2011-07-01

    This book aims to give an overview of different aspects of retrofitting existing buildings. The target group is students of architecture and building engineering as well as building professionals. Eight out of ten buildings which we will inhabit in 2050 already exist. This means that a great potential for reducing our carbon footprint lies in the existing building stock. Students from NTNU have used the renovation of a 1950s school building at Linesoeya in Soer-Trondelag as a case to increase their awareness and knowledge about the challenges building professionals need to overcome to unite technical details and high user quality into good environmental performance. The students were invited by the building owners and initiators of LIPA Eco Project to contribute to its development: By retrofitting an existing building to passive house standards and combining this with energy generated on site, LIPA Eco Project aims to provide a hands-on example with regard to energy efficiency, architectural design and craftsmanship for a low carbon society. The overall goal for this project is to raise awareness regarding resource efficiency measures in architecture and particularly in existing building mass.(au)

  16. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-07-01

    This report aims to provide the basis for improvements in the understanding of nuclear power plants operation and ideas for improving future productivity. The purpose of the project was to identify good practices of operating performance at a few of the world's most productive plants. This report was prepared through a series of consultants meetings, a specialists meeting and an Advisory Group meeting with participation of experts from 23 Member States. The report is based on self-assessment of half a dozen plants that have been chosen as representatives of different reactor types in as many different countries, and the views and assessment of the participants on good practices influencing plant performance. Three main areas that influence nuclear power plant availability and reliability were identified in the discussions: (1) management practices, (2) personnel characteristics, and (3) working practices. These areas cover causes influencing plant performance under plant management control. In each area the report describes factors or good practices that positively influence plant availability. The case studies, presented in annexes, contain the plant self-assessment of areas that influence their availability and reliability. Six plants are represented in the case studies: (1) Dukovany (WWER, 1760 MW) in the Czech Republic; (2) Blayais (PWR, 3640 MW) in France; (3) Paks (WWER, 1840 MW) in Hungary; (4) Wolsong 1 (PHWR, 600 MW) in the Republic of Korea; (5) Trillo 1 (PWR, 1066 MW) in Spain; and (6) Limerick (BWR, 2220 MW) in the United States of America

  17. Evaluating and improving nuclear power plant operating performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1999-07-01

    This report aims to provide the basis for improvements in the understanding of nuclear power plants operation and ideas for improving future productivity. The purpose of the project was to identify good practices of operating performance at a few of the world`s most productive plants. This report was prepared through a series of consultants meetings, a specialists meeting and an Advisory Group meeting with participation of experts from 23 Member States. The report is based on self-assessment of half a dozen plants that have been chosen as representatives of different reactor types in as many different countries, and the views and assessment of the participants on good practices influencing plant performance. Three main areas that influence nuclear power plant availability and reliability were identified in the discussions: (1) management practices, (2) personnel characteristics, and (3) working practices. These areas cover causes influencing plant performance under plant management control. In each area the report describes factors or good practices that positively influence plant availability. The case studies, presented in annexes, contain the plant self-assessment of areas that influence their availability and reliability. Six plants are represented in the case studies: (1) Dukovany (WWER, 1760 MW) in the Czech Republic; (2) Blayais (PWR, 3640 MW) in France; (3) Paks (WWER, 1840 MW) in Hungary; (4) Wolsong 1 (PHWR, 600 MW) in the Republic of Korea; (5) Trillo 1 (PWR, 1066 MW) in Spain; and (6) Limerick (BWR, 2220 MW) in the United States of America Figs, tabs

  18. Performance improvement tool for Thai make–to–order manufacturing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Apichat Sopadang

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a framework to improve a performance of shop floor control for Thai make-to-order (MTO smalland medium enterprises (SMEs. Integrated definition for function modeling is exploited to explore activities and relate ofcomponents. In-depth interview with experts and practitioners in the case study is provided useful information. The empiricalstudy is evaluated to suit for using the finalized SHEN model as a benchmark. Factor analysis is performed to find simplifiedinformation from variables. The data are collected from experience respondents by using a designed questionnaire. Eachobserved variable is assigned to test validity and reliability by factor loading and Cronbach’s alpha, respectively. The resultsshow that finalized SHEN can use as a performance improvement tool for Thai MTO SMEs. For example principle 11 is tested.Each observed variable has covariance value between 0.380-0.873. The value of reliability Cronbach’s alpha for this factoris shown 0.869. Based on the scree plot, it is asserted that 5 observed variables are correctly formed in the same principle.

  19. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance: Integrating From the Nanoscale

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roco, M.C.; Bainbridge, W.S.

    2002-01-01

    In the early decades of the twenty-first century, concentrated efforts can unify science based on the unity of nature, thereby advancing the combination of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology, and new humane technologies based in cognitive science. Converging technologies integrated from the nanoscale could determine a tremendous improvement in human abilities and societal outcomes. This is a broad, cross cutting, emerging, and timely opportunity of interest to individuals, society, and humanity in the long term.About eighty scientific leaders, industry experts, and policy makers across a range of fields have contributed to develop a vision for the potential to improve human physical, mental, and social capabilities through the convergence of the four technologies. Six major themes have emerged: (a) The broad potential of converging technologies; (b) Expanding human cognition and communication; (c) Improving human health and physical capabilities; (d) Enhancing group and societal outcomes; (e) National security, and (f) Unifying science and education. This article summarizes the observations, conclusions, and recommendations made in the report (Roco and Bainbridge, eds., 2002. Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, NSF-DOC Report, June 2002, Arlington VA, USA)

  20. Shark skin-inspired designs that improve aerodynamic performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domel, August G; Saadat, Mehdi; Weaver, James C; Haj-Hariri, Hossein; Bertoldi, Katia; Lauder, George V

    2018-02-01

    There have been significant efforts recently aimed at improving the aerodynamic performance of aerofoils through the modification of their surfaces. Inspired by the drag-reducing properties of the tooth-like denticles that cover the skin of sharks, we describe here experimental and simulation-based investigations into the aerodynamic effects of novel denticle-inspired designs placed along the suction side of an aerofoil. Through parametric modelling to query a wide range of different designs, we discovered a set of denticle-inspired surface structures that achieve simultaneous drag reduction and lift generation on an aerofoil, resulting in lift-to-drag ratio improvements comparable to the best-reported for traditional low-profile vortex generators and even outperforming these existing designs at low angles of attack with improvements of up to 323%. Such behaviour is enabled by two concurrent mechanisms: (i) a separation bubble in the denticle's wake altering the flow pressure distribution of the aerofoil to enhance suction and (ii) streamwise vortices that replenish momentum loss in the boundary layer due to skin friction. Our findings not only open new avenues for improved aerodynamic design, but also provide new perspective on the role of the complex and potentially multifunctional morphology of shark denticles for increased swimming efficiency. © 2018 The Author(s).

  1. Infrared Illuminated CdZnTe detectors with improved performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ivanov, V.; Loutchanski, A.; Dorogov, P.; Khinoverov, S.

    2013-06-01

    It was found that IR illumination of a properly chosen wavelength and intensity can significantly improve spectrometric characteristics of CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors [1]. Improving of the spectrometric characteristics is due to improvement of uniformity of charge collection by the detector volume. For operation at room temperature the optimal wavelength of IR illumination is about 940 nm, but for operation at lower temperature of -20 deg. C the optimal wavelengths of IR illumination is about 1050 nm. Infrared illumination can be performed using conventional low-power IR LEDs. Application of SMD LEDs allows produce miniature detection probes with IR illuminated CdZnTe detectors. We have fabricated and tested a variety of detection probes with CdZnTe quasi-hemispherical detectors from the smallest with volumes of 1-5 mm 3 to larger with volumes of 1.5 cm 3 and 4.0 cm 3 . The use of IR illumination significantly improves spectrometric characteristics of the probes operating at room temperature, especially probes with detectors of large volumes. The probe with the detector of 4 cm 3 without IR illumination had energy resolution of 24.2 keV at 662 keV and of 12.5 keV with IR illumination. (authors)

  2. Improving Seismic Data Accessibility and Performance Using HDF Containers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, B. J. K.; Wang, J.; Yang, R.

    2017-12-01

    The performance of computational geophysical data processing and forward modelling relies on both computational and data. Significant efforts on developing new data formats and libraries have been made the community, such as IRIS/PASSCAL and ASDF in data, and programs and utilities such as ObsPy and SPECFEM. The National Computational Infrastructure hosts a national significant geophysical data collection that is co-located with a high performance computing facility and provides an opportunity to investigate how to improve the data formats from both a data management and a performance point of view. This paper investigates how to enhance the data usability in several perspectives: 1) propose a convention for the seismic (both active and passive) community to improve the data accessibility and interoperability; 2) recommend the convention used in the HDF container when data is made available in PH5 or ASDF formats; 3) provide tools to convert between various seismic data formats; 4) provide performance benchmark cases using ObsPy library and SPECFEM3D to demonstrate how different data organization in terms of chunking size and compression impact on the performance by comparing new data formats, such as PH5 and ASDF to traditional formats such as SEGY, SEED, SAC, etc. In this work we apply our knowledge and experience on data standards and conventions, such as CF and ACDD from the climate community to the seismology community. The generic global attributes widely used in climate community are combined with the existing convention in the seismology community, such as CMT and QuakeML, StationXML, SEGY header convention. We also extend such convention by including the provenance and benchmarking records so that the r user can learn the footprint of the data together with its baseline performance. In practise we convert the example wide angle reflection seismic data from SEGY to PH5 or ASDF by using ObsPy and pyasdf libraries. It quantitatively demonstrates how the

  3. Titan I propulsion system modeling and possible performance improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusti, Oreste

    This thesis features the Titan I propulsion systems and offers data-supported suggestions for improvements to increase performance. The original propulsion systems were modeled both graphically in CAD and via equations. Due to the limited availability of published information, it was necessary to create a more detailed, secondary set of models. Various engineering equations---pertinent to rocket engine design---were implemented in order to generate the desired extra detail. This study describes how these new models were then imported into the ESI CFD Suite. Various parameters are applied to these imported models as inputs that include, for example, bi-propellant combinations, pressure, temperatures, and mass flow rates. The results were then processed with ESI VIEW, which is visualization software. The output files were analyzed for forces in the nozzle, and various results were generated, including sea level thrust and ISP. Experimental data are provided to compare the original engine configuration models to the derivative suggested improvement models.

  4. THE PUZZLE TECHNIQUE, COOPERATIVE LEARNING STRATEGY TO IMPROVE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.ª José Mayorga Fernández

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available This  article  presents  an  innovative  experience  carried  out  in  the  subject Pedagogical Bases of Special Education, a 4.5 credit core subject taught at the second year of the Degree in Physical Education Teacher Training (to be extinguish, based on the use of a methodological strategic in accordance with the new demands of the EEES. With the experience we pursue a double purpose: firstly, to present the technique of jigsaw or puzzle as a useful methodological strategy for university learning and, on the other hand, to show whether this strategy improves students results. Comparing the results with students previous year results shows that the performance of students who participated in the innovative experience has improved considerably, increasing their motivation and involvement towards the task.

  5. Improving the precision of genotype selection in wheat performance trials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giovani Benin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to verify whether using the Papadakis method improves model assumptions and experimental accuracy in field trials used to determine grain yield for wheat lineages indifferent Value for Cultivation and Use (VCU regions. Grain yield data from 572 field trials at 31 locations in the VCU Regions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in 2007-2011 were used. Each trial was run with and without the use of the Papadakis method. The Papadakis method improved the indices of experimental precision measures and reduced the number of experimental repetitions required to predict grain yield performance among the wheat genotypes. There were differences among the wheat adaptation regions in terms of the efficiency of the Papadakis method, the adjustment coefficient of the genotype averages and the increases in the selective accuracy of grain yield.

  6. Special report. New products that improve officer performance, safety.

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-12-01

    The need for products that improve performance of security officers is counterbalanced these days by budgetary constraints. While this may limit major investments in security systems and personnel, less costly improvements or innovations might be worth considering. In this report, we will discuss four advances that may be valuable not only in hospital security, but in other industries as well. One of them, a smoke filter, was originally developed for the hotel industry. Another, a drug detection device, may replace the use of undercover agents or drug-sniffing' dogs in certain circumstances. The third new product is an economical patrol vehicle for parking facilities which might replace more costly vehicles such as golf carts or cars. The fourth product, a roving CCTV camera, is actually being tested at a Midwest medical center and may allow you to monitor areas of parking garages with cameras instead of officers on patrol.

  7. Improving productivity and firm performance with enterprise resource planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beheshti, Hooshang M.; Beheshti, Cyrus M.

    2010-11-01

    Productivity is generally considered to be the efficient utilisation of organisational resources and is measured in terms of the efficiency of a worker, company or nation. Focusing on efficiency alone, however, can be harmful to the organisation's long-term success and competitiveness. The full benefits of productivity improvement measures are realised when productivity is examined from two perspectives: operational efficiency (output/input) of an individual worker or a business unit as well as performance (effectiveness) with regard to end user or customer satisfaction. Over the years, corporations have adopted new technology to integrate business activities in order to achieve both effectiveness and efficiency in their operations. In recent years, many firms have invested in enterprise resource planning (ERP) in order to integrate all business activities into a uniform system. The implementation of ERP enables the firm to reduce the transaction costs of the business and improve its productivity, customer satisfaction and profitability.

  8. A conceptual model to improve performance in virtual teams

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shopee Dube

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: The vast improvement in communication technologies and sophisticated project management tools, methods and techniques has allowed geographically and culturally diverse groups to operate and function in a virtual environment. To succeed in this virtual environment where time and space are becoming increasingly irrelevant, organisations must define new ways of implementing initiatives. This virtual environment phenomenon has brought about the formation of virtual project teams that allow organisations to harness the skills and knowhow of the best resources, irrespective of their location. Objectives: The aim of this article was to investigate performance criteria and develop a conceptual model which can be applied to enhance the success of virtual project teams. There are no clear guidelines of the performance criteria in managing virtual project teams. Method: A qualitative research methodology was used in this article. The purpose of content analysis was to explore the literature to understand the concept of performance in virtual project teams and to summarise the findings of the literature reviewed. Results: The research identified a set of performance criteria for the virtual project teams as follows: leadership, trust, communication, team cooperation, reliability, motivation, comfort and social interaction. These were used to conceptualise the model. Conclusion: The conceptual model can be used in a holistic way to determine the overall performance of the virtual project team, but each factor can be analysed individually to determine the impact on the overall performance. The knowledge of performance criteria for virtual project teams could aid project managers in enhancing the success of these teams and taking a different approach to better manage and coordinate them.

  9. Improving retention and performance in civil society in Uganda

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paydos Michael

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This article is the second article in the Human Resources for Health journal's first quarterly feature. The series of seven articles has been contributed by Management Sciences for Health (MSH under the theme of leadership and management in public health and will be published article-by-article over the next few weeks. The journal invited Dr Manuel M. Dayrit, Director of the WHO Department of Human Resources for Health and former Minister of Health for the Philippines to launch the feature with an opening editorial to be found in the journal's blog. This article – number two in the series – describes the experience of the Family Life Education Programme (FLEP, a reproductive health program that provides community-based health services through 40 clinics in five districts of Uganda, in improving retention and performance by using the Management Sciences for Health (MSH Human Resource Management Rapid Assessment Tool. A few years ago, the FLEP of Busoga Diocese began to see an increase in staff turnover and a decrease in overall organizational performance. The workplace climate was poor and people stopped coming for services even though there were few other choices in the area. An external assessment found the quality of the health care services provided was deficient. An action plan to improve their human resource management (HRM system was developed and implemented. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of their system and to develop an action plan, they used the Rapid Assessment Tool. The tool guides users through a process of prioritizing and action planning after the assessment is done. By implementing the various recommended changes, FLEP established an improved, responsive HRM system. Increased employee satisfaction led to less staff turnover, better performance, and increased utilization of health services. These benefits were achieved by cost-effective measures focused on professionalizing the organization's approach to HRM.

  10. Improvement of multiprocessing performance by using optical centralized shared bus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuliang; Chen, Ray T.

    2004-06-01

    With the ever-increasing need to solve larger and more complex problems, multiprocessing is attracting more and more research efforts. One of the challenges facing the multiprocessor designers is to fulfill in an effective manner the communications among the processes running in parallel on multiple multiprocessors. The conventional electrical backplane bus provides narrow bandwidth as restricted by the physical limitations of electrical interconnects. In the electrical domain, in order to operate at high frequency, the backplane topology has been changed from the simple shared bus to the complicated switched medium. However, the switched medium is an indirect network. It cannot support multicast/broadcast as effectively as the shared bus. Besides the additional latency of going through the intermediate switching nodes, signal routing introduces substantial delay and considerable system complexity. Alternatively, optics has been well known for its interconnect capability. Therefore, it has become imperative to investigate how to improve multiprocessing performance by utilizing optical interconnects. From the implementation standpoint, the existing optical technologies still cannot fulfill the intelligent functions that a switch fabric should provide as effectively as their electronic counterparts. Thus, an innovative optical technology that can provide sufficient bandwidth capacity, while at the same time, retaining the essential merits of the shared bus topology, is highly desirable for the multiprocessing performance improvement. In this paper, the optical centralized shared bus is proposed for use in the multiprocessing systems. This novel optical interconnect architecture not only utilizes the beneficial characteristics of optics, but also retains the desirable properties of the shared bus topology. Meanwhile, from the architecture standpoint, it fits well in the centralized shared-memory multiprocessing scheme. Therefore, a smooth migration with substantial

  11. Expectation of having consumed caffeine can improve performance and mood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawkins, Lynne; Shahzad, Fatima-Zahra; Ahmed, Suada S; Edmonds, Caroline J

    2011-12-01

    We explored whether caffeine, and expectation of having consumed caffeine, affects attention, reward responsivity and mood using double-blinded methodology. 88 participants were randomly allocated to 'drink-type' (caffeinated/decaffeinated coffee) and 'expectancy' (told caffeinated/told decaffeinated coffee) manipulations. Both caffeine and expectation of having consumed caffeine improved attention and psychomotor speed. Expectation enhanced self-reported vigour and reward responsivity. Self-reported depression increased at post-drink for all participants, but less in those receiving or expecting caffeine. These results suggest caffeine expectation can affect mood and performance but do not support a synergistic effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Improved nuclear emergency management system reflecting lessons learned from the emergency response at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station after the Great East Japan Earthquake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kawamura, Shinichi; Narabayashi, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Three nuclear reactors at Fukushima Daini Nuclear Power Station lost all their ultimate heat sinks owing to damage from the tsunami caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011. Water was injected into the reactors by alternate measures, damaged cooling systems were restored with promptly supplied substitute materials, and all the reactors were brought to a cold shutdown state within four days. Lessons learned from this experience were identified to improve emergency management, especially in the areas of strategic response planning, logistics, and functions supporting response activities continuing over a long period. It was found that continuous planning activities reflecting information from plant parameters and response action results were important, and that relevant functions in emergency response organizations should be integrated. Logistics were handled successfully but many difficulties were experienced. Therefore, their functions should be clearly established and improved by emergency response organizations. Supporting emergency responders in the aspects of their physical and mental conditions was important for sustaining continuous response. As a platform for improvement, the concept of the Incident Command System was applied for the first time to a nuclear emergency management system, with specific improvement ideas such as a phased approach in response planning and common operation pictures. (author)

  13. Input/Output of ab-initio nuclear structure calculations for improved performance and portability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laghave, Nikhil

    2010-01-01

    Many modern scientific applications rely on highly computation intensive calculations. However, most applications do not concentrate as much on the role that input/output operations can play for improved performance and portability. Parallelizing input/output operations of large files can significantly improve the performance of parallel applications where sequential I/O is a bottleneck. A proper choice of I/O library also offers a scope for making input/output operations portable across different architectures. Thus, use of parallel I/O libraries for organizing I/O of large data files offers great scope in improving performance and portability of applications. In particular, sequential I/O has been identified as a bottleneck for the highly scalable MFDn (Many Fermion Dynamics for nuclear structure) code performing ab-initio nuclear structure calculations. We develop interfaces and parallel I/O procedures to use a well-known parallel I/O library in MFDn. As a result, we gain efficient I/O of large datasets along with their portability and ease of use in the down-stream processing. Even situations where the amount of data to be written is not huge, proper use of input/output operations can boost the performance of scientific applications. Application checkpointing offers enormous performance improvement and flexibility by doing a negligible amount of I/O to disk. Checkpointing saves and resumes application state in such a manner that in most cases the application is unaware that there has been an interruption to its execution. This helps in saving large amount of work that has been previously done and continue application execution. This small amount of I/O provides substantial time saving by offering restart/resume capability to applications. The need for checkpointing in optimization code NEWUOA has been identified and checkpoint/restart capability has been implemented in NEWUOA by using simple file I/O.

  14. Performance of the Improvements of the CAESAR Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Riaan Stopforth

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Robots are able to enter concealed and unstable environments inaccessible to rescuers. Previous Urban Search And Rescue (USAR robots have experienced problems with malfunction of communication systems, traction systems, control and telemetry. These problems were accessed and improved in developing a prototype robot called CAESAR, which is an acronym for Contractible Arms Elevating Search And Rescue. Problems encountered with previous USAR robots are discussed. The mechanical, sensory and communication systems that were used on CAESAR are briefly explained. Each system was separately tested by performed experiments. Results of field tests and the robot performance experienced during a disaster scenario that was created are discussed. The capabilities of CAESAR are explained in these tests to determine if some of the problems experienced previously are solved.

  15. Westinghouse fuel manufacturing systems: a step change in performance improvements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mutyala, Meena

    2009-01-01

    Today's competitive electrical generation industry demands that nuclear power plant operators minimize total operating costs, including fuel cycle cost while maintaining flawless fuel performance. The mission of Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel is to be the industry's most responsive supplier of flawless, value added fuel products and services, as judged by our customers. As nuclear is fast becoming the choice of many countries, existing manufacturing plants and facilities are once again running at full capacity. In this context Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel is committed to deliver a step change in performance improvement worldwide through its manufacturing operations by the introduction of a set of fundamentals collectively named the 'Westinghouse Fuel Manufacturing System' (WFMS), whose key principles are discussed in this paper. (author)

  16. Improvements in EMC performance of inverter-fed motor drives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhong, E.; Lipo, T.A.

    1995-01-01

    An experimental investigation of conducted radio-noise emission from a conventional pulse width modulated (PWM) inverter of medium power feeding an induction motor is described. It is determined that the inverter system generates considerable impulse currents through the power leads feeding the system resulting in serious conducted electromagnetic interference (EMI) problems and significant voltage waveform distortion in the power system. The dominant emission sources in the system are identified. A proposed model of the drive system for the purpose of evaluation of EMI are developed. Several low-cost strategies for improvement in EMC performance of the PWM inverter are then proposed. Experimental results demonstrate that disturbance from the modified system can be dramatically reduced and that the EMC performance of the system has come very close to meeting the IEC CISPR and FCC limits on conducted emissions for digital devices

  17. Prioritising Investments in Marketing Activities to Improve Business Performance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Martensen, Anne; Mouritsen, Jan

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to prioritise investments in marketing activities based on their effect on business performance (BP). On the basis of the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM) model adapted to a marketing context, four generic marketing activities are structured in two...... dimensions: (1) Small m: marketing strategy and marketing implementation and (2) big M: cross-functional coordination and innovation. Big M and small m interact and influence BP similarly. When considering investing in marketing activities to improve financial performance, the first priority is to recruit...... and retain competent employees and the second, to collect, disseminate and act upon market insight in the form of measurement of effectiveness and production of intelligence. These provide resources for the development of a customer-oriented marketing strategy that in turn helps innovation and cross...

  18. An innovative fuel design concept for improved Light Water Reactor performance and safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tulenko, J.S.; Connell, R.G.

    1993-01-01

    The primary goal of this research is to develop a new fuel design which will have improved thermal/mechanical performance characteristics greatly superior to current thermal and mechanical design performance. The mechanical/thermal constraints define the lifetime of the fuel, the maximum power at which the fuel can be operated, the probability of fuel failure over core lifetime, and the integrity of a core during a transient excursion. The thermal/mechanical limits act to degrade fuel integrity when they are violated. The purpose of this project is to investigate a novel design for light water reactor fuel which will extend fuel performance limits and improve reactor safety even further than is currently achieved. This project is investigating liquid metal bonding of LWR fuel in order to radically decrease fuel centerline temperatures which has major performance and safety benefits. The project will verify the compatibility of the liquid metal bond with both the fuel pellets and cladding material, verify the performance enhancement features of the new design over the fuel lifetime, and verify the economic fabricability of the concept and will show how this concept will benefit the LWR nuclear industry

  19. Aromatherapy Improves Work Performance Through Balancing the Autonomic Nervous System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Capdevila, Lluis

    2017-03-01

    This study analyzed the efficacy of aromatherapy in improving work performance and reducing workplace stress. The initial sample comprised 42 administrative university workers (M age  = 42.21 years, standard deviation = 7.12; 10 male). All sessions were performed in a university computer classroom. The participants were randomly assigned into an aromatherapy group (AG) and a control group (CG), and they were invited to participate in a specific session only once. They were seated in front of a computer. During the intervention period, some oil diffusers were switched on and were in operation throughout the session with petitgrain essential oil for AG sessions and a neutral oil (almond) for CG sessions. At the same time, participants completed a computer task on a specific Web site typing on their keyboard until they had finished it. The single times were different for all participants and were recorded on the Web site as "performance time." Before and after the intervention, participants completed anxiety and mood state questionnaires (the Stait-Trait Anxiety Inventory [STAI] and the Profile of Mood States [POMS]). Heart-rate variability (HRV) was measured before (PRE), during (20-25 min), and after (POS) the intervention to analyze autonomic nervous system regulation. The AG performed the Web site task 2.28 min faster than the CG (p = 0.05). The two groups showed differences in the following HRV parameters: low frequency (p = 0.05), high frequency (p = 0.02), standard deviation of all RR intervals (p = 0.05), and root mean square of differences (p = 0.02). All participants in all groups showed a decrease from PRE to POST for STAI (p Aromatherapy (inhaling petitgrain essential oil) can improve performance in the workplace. These results could be explained by an autonomic balance on the sympathetic/parasympathetic system through a combined action of the petitgrain main components (linalyl acetate, linalool, and myrcene). The final

  20. Training improves laparoscopic tasks performance and decreases operator workload.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Jesse S L; Lu, Jirong; Tan, Wee Boon; Lomanto, Davide

    2016-05-01

    It has been postulated that increased operator workload during task performance may increase fatigue and surgical errors. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration-Task Load Index (NASA-TLX) is a validated tool for self-assessment for workload. Our study aims to assess the relationship of workload and performance of novices in simulated laparoscopic tasks of different complexity levels before and after training. Forty-seven novices without prior laparoscopic experience were recruited in a trial to investigate whether training improves task performance as well as mental workload. The participants were tested on three standard tasks (ring transfer, precision cutting and intracorporeal suturing) in increasing complexity based on the Fundamentals of Laparoscopic Surgery (FLS) curriculum. Following a period of training and rest, participants were tested again. Test scores were computed from time taken and time penalties for precision errors. Test scores and NASA-TLX scores were recorded pre- and post-training and analysed using paired t tests. One-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to analyse differences in NASA-TLX scores between the three tasks. NASA-TLX score was lowest with ring transfer and highest with intracorporeal suturing. This was statistically significant in both pre-training (p NASA-TLX scores mirror the changes in test scores for the three tasks. Workload scores decreased significantly after training for all three tasks (ring transfer = 2.93, p NASA-TLX score is an accurate reflection of the complexity of simulated laparoscopic tasks in the FLS curriculum. This also correlates with the relationship of test scores between the three tasks. Simulation training improves both performance score and workload score across the tasks.

  1. Facile Synthesis of Coaxial CNTs/MnOx-Carbon Hybrid Nanofibers and Their Greatly Enhanced Lithium Storage Performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Zunxian; Lv, Jun; Pang, Haidong; Yan, Wenhuan; Qian, Kun; Guo, Tailiang; Guo, Zaiping

    2015-12-01

    Carbon nanotubes (CNTs)/MnOx-Carbon hybrid nanofibers have been successfully synthesized by the combination of a liquid chemical redox reaction (LCRR) and a subsequent carbonization heat treatment. The nanostructures exhibit a unique one-dimensional core/shell architecture, with one-dimensional CNTs encapsulated inside and a MnOx-carbon composite nanoparticle layer on the outside. The particular porous characteristics with many meso/micro holes/pores, the highly conductive one-dimensional CNT core, as well as the encapsulating carbon matrix on the outside of the MnOx nanoparticles, lead to excellent electrochemical performance of the electrode. The CNTs/MnOx-Carbon hybrid nanofibers exhibit a high initial reversible capacity of 762.9 mAhg(-1), a high reversible specific capacity of 560.5 mAhg(-1) after 100 cycles, and excellent cycling stability and rate capability, with specific capacity of 396.2 mAhg(-1) when cycled at the current density of 1000 mAg(-1), indicating that the CNTs/MnOx-Carbon hybrid nanofibers are a promising anode candidate for Li-ion batteries.

  2. Breeding performance of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) in a heavy metal polluted area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eeva, T., E-mail: tapio.eeva@utu.f [Section of Ecology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku (Finland); Ahola, M.; Lehikoinen, E. [Section of Ecology, University of Turku, FIN-20014 Turku (Finland)

    2009-11-15

    We compared heavy metal levels, calcium levels, breeding parameters and condition of nestling and adult Cyanistes caeruleus and Parus major along a heavy metal pollution gradient. Both species started laying earlier and showed inferior nestling growth and smaller fledging probability in the polluted areas, which are phenologically advanced in spring due to sparse forests. The major inter-specific difference in the responses was that the clutch size and hatching success were decreased in the polluted area in P. major, but not in C. caeruleus. Heavy metal profiles in nestling feces were relatively similar in the two species, though Ni and Pb levels were higher in C. caeruleus than in P. major. However, the latter species showed markedly higher fecal calcium concentrations. Lower calcium levels and higher levels of some heavy metals in C. caeruleus suggest that in Ca-deficient environments this species might be more susceptible to negative pollution effects than P. major. - Breeding performance in two Parid species near a Cu smelter.

  3. Breeding performance of blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) and great tits (Parus major) in a heavy metal polluted area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eeva, T.; Ahola, M.; Lehikoinen, E.

    2009-01-01

    We compared heavy metal levels, calcium levels, breeding parameters and condition of nestling and adult Cyanistes caeruleus and Parus major along a heavy metal pollution gradient. Both species started laying earlier and showed inferior nestling growth and smaller fledging probability in the polluted areas, which are phenologically advanced in spring due to sparse forests. The major inter-specific difference in the responses was that the clutch size and hatching success were decreased in the polluted area in P. major, but not in C. caeruleus. Heavy metal profiles in nestling feces were relatively similar in the two species, though Ni and Pb levels were higher in C. caeruleus than in P. major. However, the latter species showed markedly higher fecal calcium concentrations. Lower calcium levels and higher levels of some heavy metals in C. caeruleus suggest that in Ca-deficient environments this species might be more susceptible to negative pollution effects than P. major. - Breeding performance in two Parid species near a Cu smelter.

  4. Dentate Gyrus circuitry features improve performance of sparse approximation algorithms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Panagiotis C Petrantonakis

    Full Text Available Memory-related activity in the Dentate Gyrus (DG is characterized by sparsity. Memory representations are seen as activated neuronal populations of granule cells, the main encoding cells in DG, which are estimated to engage 2-4% of the total population. This sparsity is assumed to enhance the ability of DG to perform pattern separation, one of the most valuable contributions of DG during memory formation. In this work, we investigate how features of the DG such as its excitatory and inhibitory connectivity diagram can be used to develop theoretical algorithms performing Sparse Approximation, a widely used strategy in the Signal Processing field. Sparse approximation stands for the algorithmic identification of few components from a dictionary that approximate a certain signal. The ability of DG to achieve pattern separation by sparsifing its representations is exploited here to improve the performance of the state of the art sparse approximation algorithm "Iterative Soft Thresholding" (IST by adding new algorithmic features inspired by the DG circuitry. Lateral inhibition of granule cells, either direct or indirect, via mossy cells, is shown to enhance the performance of the IST. Apart from revealing the potential of DG-inspired theoretical algorithms, this work presents new insights regarding the function of particular cell types in the pattern separation task of the DG.

  5. Improved Functional Performance in Geriatric Patients During Hospital Stay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anders; Loeb, Mads Rohde; Andersen, Kristine Bramsen

    2017-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.Measurement......OBJECTIVE: The aim of this work was to evaluate the time course of changes in strength and functional performance in elderly hospitalized medical patients. DESIGN: This was a prospective observational study in elderly medical patients of age 65 years or older at a geriatric department.......Measurements were obtained on days 2 to 4, day 5 to 8, and days 9 to 13. Functional performance was measured with De Morton Mobility Index (DEMMI) test and a 30-second chair stand test (30-s CST). Muscular strength was measured with handgrip strength. Activity level was determined with accelerometry (Activ...... in 30-s CST (P performance of the lower extremities in geriatric patients improves moderately over the time of a hospital stay...

  6. Future thinking instructions improve prospective memory performance in adolescents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altgassen, Mareike; Kretschmer, Anett; Schnitzspahn, Katharina Marlene

    2017-07-01

    Studies on prospective memory (PM) development in adolescents point to age-related increases through to adulthood. The goal of the present study was to examine whether instructing adolescents to engage in an episodic prospection of themselves executing future actions (i.e., future thinking) when forming an intention would improve their PM performance and reduce age-related differences. Further, we set out to explore whether future thinking instructions result in stronger memory traces and/or stronger cue-context associations by evaluating retrospective memory for the PM cues after task completion and monitoring costs during PM task processing. Adolescents and young adults were allocated to either the future thinking, repeated-encoding or standard condition. As expected, adolescents had fewer correct PM responses than young adults. Across age groups, PM performance in the standard condition was lower than in the other encoding conditions. Importantly, the results indicate a significant interaction of age by encoding condition. While adolescents benefited most from future thinking instructions, young adults performed best in the repeated-encoding condition. The results also indicate that the beneficial effects of future thinking may result from deeper intention-encoding through the simulation of future task performance.

  7. Play for Performance: Using Computer Games to Improve Motivation and Test-Taking Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dennis, Alan R.; Bhagwatwar, Akshay; Minas, Randall K.

    2013-01-01

    The importance of testing, especially certification and high-stakes testing, has increased substantially over the past decade. Building on the "serious gaming" literature and the psychology "priming" literature, we developed a computer game designed to improve test-taking performance using psychological priming. The game primed…

  8. Device Engineering Towards Improved Tin Sulfide Solar Cell Performance and Performance Reproducibility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steinmann, Vera; Chakraborty, Rupak; Rekemeyer, Paul; Siol, Sebastian; Martinot, Loic; Polizzotti, Alex; Yang, Chuanxi; Hartman, Katy; Gradecak, Silvija; Zakutayev, Andriy; Gordon, Roy G.; Buonassisi, Tonio

    2016-11-21

    As novel absorber materials are developed and screened for their photovoltaic (PV) properties, the challenge remains to rapidly test promising candidates in high-performing PV devices. There is a need to engineer new compatible device architectures, including the development of novel transparent conductive oxides and buffer layers. Here, we consider the two approaches of a substrate-style and a superstrate-style device architecture for novel thin-film solar cells. We use tin sulfide as a test absorber material. Upon device engineering, we demonstrate new approaches to improve device performance and performance reproducibility.

  9. Practice makes perfect: Performance optimisation in 'arboreal' parkour athletes illuminates the evolutionary ecology of great ape anatomy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halsey, Lewis G; Coward, Samuel R L; Crompton, Robin H; Thorpe, Susannah K S

    2017-02-01

    An animal's size is central to its ecology, yet remarkably little is known about the selective pressures that drive this trait. A particularly compelling example is how ancestral apes evolved large body mass in such a physically and energetically challenging environment as the forest canopy, where weight-bearing branches and lianas are flexible, irregular and discontinuous, and the majority of preferred foods are situated on the most flexible branches at the periphery of tree crowns. To date the issue has been intractable due to a lack of relevant fossil material, the limited capacity of the fossil record to reconstruct an animal's behavioural ecology and the inability to measure energy consumption in freely moving apes. We studied the oxygen consumption of parkour athletes while they traversed an arboreal-like course as an elite model ape, to test the ecomorphological and behavioural mechanisms by which a large-bodied ape could optimize its energetic performance during tree-based locomotion. Our results show that familiarity with the arboreal-like course allowed the athletes to substantially reduce their energy expenditure. Furthermore, athletes with larger arm spans and shorter legs were particularly adept at finding energetic savings. Our results flesh out the scanty fossil record to offer evidence that long, strong arms, broad chests and a strong axial system, combined with the frequent use of uniform branch-to-branch arboreal pathways, were critical to off-setting the mechanical and energetic demands of large mass in ancestral apes. Crown Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Location decision strategies for improving SMME business performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shereen Barnard

    2011-12-01

    relationship between electricity tariffs and business performance. Employment and business performance attained the strongest positive relationship; indicating that business owners regarded employment as an important factor to consider when searching for suitable business premises. The relationship between location and business performance obtained the lowest positive correlation. Originality and value of the research: Research on South African SMMEs regarding location decisions and the specific factors identified in this study has not been done previously in South Africa. Therefore, because evidence exists that the macro-environmental factors influence location decisions to varying degrees, this study can provide SMME owners with insight into the factors influencing location choice. It is vital that business owners consider these factors as they could influence business performance, and ultimately, business survival. An increased awareness of the importance of the aspects discussed in this study could consequently lead to improved performance in the SMME sector.

  11. Optimal setpoint generation for improved fuel temperature performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johns, R.M.; Edwards, R.M.

    1995-01-01

    Nuclear power plant systems feature a high degree of non-linearity and high noise level, and the performance of conventional control systems may degrade when power plants operate under a wide range of conditions, such as startup, test, shutdown, etc. The conventional control system is not intended for nuclear power plant full-range operation. This is the reason that, at present, nuclear power plants rely on manual operations for most wide-range control and only use automatic control around nominal conditions. The availability of new powerful control techniques and mathematical tools has motivated an expanding research effort toward the development of the advanced hybrid feedforward-feedback control system. The planned command input is based on the analysis of a system model in some form in order to improve the performance of the overall system. The use of a feedforward optimal controller to improve the fuel temperature response to a step change in desired reactor power is being demonstrated. The Penn State TRIGA reactor is used as the basis of the reactor model so that validation of the controller may be shown

  12. Combined Space and Water Heating: Next Steps to Improved Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schoenbauer, B. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Bohac, D. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States); Huelman, P. [NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, Minneapolis, MN (United States)

    2016-07-13

    A combined space- and water-heating (combi) system uses a high-efficiency direct-vent burner that eliminates safety issues associated with natural draft appliances. Past research with these systems shows that using condensing water heaters or boilers with hydronic air handling units can provide both space and water heating with efficiencies of 90% or higher. Improved controls have the potential to reduce complexity and improve upon the measured performance. This project demonstrates that controls can significantly benefit these first-generation systems. Laboratory tests and daily load/performance models showed that the set point temperature reset control produced a 2.1%–4.3% (20–40 therms/year) savings for storage and hybrid water heater combi systems operated in moderate-load homes. The full modulation control showed additional savings over set point control (in high-load homes almost doubling the savings: 4%–5% over the no-control case). At the time of installation the reset control can be implemented for $200–$400, which would provide paybacks of 6–25 years for low-load houses and 3–15 years for high-load houses. Full modulation implementation costs would be similar to the outdoor reset and would provide paybacks of 5-½–20 years for low-load houses and 2-½–10 years for high-load houses.

  13. Continuous improvement of the MHTGR safety and competitive performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eichenberg, T.W.; Etzel, K.T.; Mascaro, L.L.; Rucker, R.A.

    1992-05-01

    An increase in reactor module power from 350 to 450 MW(t) would markedly improve the economics of the Modular High Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR). The higher power level was recommended as the result of an in-depth cost reduction study undertaken to compete with the declining price of fossil fuel. The safety assessment confirms that the high level of safety, which relies on inherent characteristics and passive features, is maintained at the elevated power level. Preliminary systems, nuclear, and safety performance results are discussed for the recommended 450 MW(t) design. Optimization of plant parameters and design modifications accommodated the operation of the steam generator and circulator at the higher power level. Events in which forced cooling is lost, designated as conduction cooldowns are described in detail. For the depressurized conduction cooldown, without full helium inventory, peak fuel temperatures are significantly lowered. A more negative temperature coefficient of reactivity was achieved while maintaining an adequate fuel cycle and reactivity control. Continual improvement of the MHTGR delivers competitive performance without relinquishing the high safety margins demanded of the next generation of power plants

  14. Advanced digital technology - improving nuclear power plant performance through maintainability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, J.L.; Senechal, R.R.; Altenhein, G.D.; Harvey, R.P.

    1998-01-01

    In today's energy sector there is ever increasing pressure on utilities to operate power plants at high capacity factors. To ensure nuclear power is competitive into the next century, it is imperative that strategic design improvements be made to enhance the performance of nuclear power plants. There are a number of factors that affect a nuclear power plant's performance; lifetime maintenance is one of the major contributors. The maturing of digital technology has afforded ABB the opportunity to make significant design improvements in the area of maintainability. In keeping with ABB's evolutionary advanced nuclear plant design approach, digital technology has systematically been incorporated into the control and protection systems of the most recent Korean nuclear units in operation and under construction. One example of this was the multi-functional design team approach that was utilized for the development of ABB's Digital Plant Protection System (DPPS). The design team consisted of engineers, maintenance technicians, procurement specialists and manufacturing personnel in order to provide a complete perspective on all facets of the design. The governing design goals of increased reliability and safety, simplicity of design, use of off-the-shelf products and reduced need for periodic surveillance testing were met with the selection of proven ABB-Advant Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs) as the heart of the DPPS. The application of digital PLC technology allows operation for extended periods without requiring routine maintenance or re-calibration. A well documented commercial dedication program approved by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (US NRC) as part of the System 80+ TM Advanced Light Water Reactor Design Certification Program, allowed the use of off-the shelf products in the design of the safety protection system. In addition, a number of mechanical and electrical improvements were made which support maintainability. The result is a DPPS

  15. Conceptual Designs for the Performance Improvement of APR1400 SIT and Preliminary Performance Evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chu, In-Cheol; Kwon, Tae-Soon; Song, Chul-Hwa

    2008-01-01

    Some evolutionary type PWRs such as APR1400 and APWR adopt advanced safety injection tank (SIT). The SIT of APR1400 has a fluidic device (FD) which passively controls ECC water injection flow rate into reactor coolant system during refill and reflood phases of LB-LOCA (i.e., a high injection flow rate during the refill phase and a low injection flow rate during the reflood phase). The benefit of the FD is the elimination of the function of low pressure safety injection pump from the safety injection system. The flow controlling performance of the APR1400 FD was evaluated using a prototypical full-scale test facility, called VAPER (Valve Performance Evaluation Rig). Even though the performance of the APR1400 FD satisfied major design and licensing requirements, further improvement of the performance is expected such as the extension of total injection period, the delay of nitrogen gas discharge. Several conceptual designs have been being drawn out in order to improve the performance of the APR1400 SIT. The performance of some designs was evaluated using a small scale SIT test rig. The present paper introduces some of the conceptual designs and shows the performance evaluation experimental results

  16. Carbohydrate ingestion improves performance of a new reliable test of soccer performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currell, Kevin; Conway, Steve; Jeukendrup, Asker E

    2009-02-01

    The aim of the study was to investigate the reliability of a new test of soccer performance and evaluate the effect of carbohydrate (CHO) on soccer performance. Eleven university footballers were recruited and underwent 3 trials in a randomized order. Two of the trials involved ingesting a placebo beverage, and the other, a 7.5% maltodextrin solution. The protocol comprised a series of ten 6-min exercise blocks on an outdoor Astroturf pitch, separated by the performance of 2 of the 4 soccer-specific tests, making the protocol 90 min in duration. The intensity of the exercise was designed to be similar to the typical activity pattern during soccer match play. Participants performed skill tests of dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting throughout the protocol. The coefficients of variation for dribbling, agility, heading, and shooting were 2.2%, 1.2%, 7.0%, and 2.8%, respectively. The mean combined placebo scores were 42.4 +/- 2.7 s, 43.1 +/- 3.7 s, 210 +/- 34 cm, and 212 +/- 17 points for agility, dribbling, heading, and kicking, respectively. CHO ingestion led to a combined agility time of 41.5 +/- 0.8 s, for dribbling 41.7 +/- 3.5 s, 213 +/- 11 cm for heading, and 220 +/- 5 points for kicking accuracy. There was a significant improvement in performance for dribbling, agility, and shooting (p soccer performance, and ingesting CHO leads to an improvement in soccer performance.

  17. Application of Advanced Technology to Improve Plant Performance. Safety and Performance in Current NPPs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hashemian, H.M.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in computer technologies, signal processing, analytical modeling, and the advent of wireless sensors have provided the nuclear industry with ample means to automate and optimize maintenance activities and improve safety, efficiency, and availability, while reducing costs and radiation exposure to maintenance personnel. This paper provides a review of these developments and presents examples of their use in the nuclear power industry and the financial and safety benefits that they have produced. As the current generation of nuclear power plants have passed their mid-life, increased monitoring of their health is critical to their safe operation. This is especially true now that license renewal of nuclear power plants has accelerated, allowing some plants to operate up to 60 years or more. Furthermore, many utilities are maximizing their power output through uprating projects and retrofits. This puts additional demand and more stress on the plant equipment such as the instrumentation and control (I and C) systems and the reactor internal components making them more vulnerable to the effects of aging, degradation, and failure. In the meantime, the nuclear power industry is working to reduce generation costs by adopting condition-based maintenance strategies and automation of testing activities. These developments have stimulated great interest in on-line monitoring (OLM) technologies and new diagnostic and prognostic methods to anticipate, identify, and resolve equipment and process problems and ensure plant safety, efficiency, and immunity to accidents. The foundation for much of the required technologies has already been established through 40 years of research and development (R and D) efforts performed by numerous organizations, scientists, and engineers around the world including the author. This paper provides examples of these technologies and demonstrates how the gap between some of the more important R and D efforts and end users have been filled

  18. Packaging of active fiber composites for improved sensor performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melnykowycz, M; Barbezat, M; Koller, R; Brunner, A J

    2010-01-01

    Active fiber composites (AFC) composed of lead zirconate titanate (PZT) fibers embedded in an epoxy matrix and sandwiched between two interdigitated electrodes provide a thin and flexible smart material device which can act as a sensor or actuator. The thin profiles of AFC make them ideal for integration in glass or carbon fiber composite laminates. However, due to the low tensile limit of the PZT fibers, AFC can fail at strains below the tensile limit of many composites. This makes their use as a component in an active laminate design somewhat undesirable. In the current work, tensile testing of smart laminates composed of AFC integrated in glass fiber laminates was conducted to assess the effectiveness of different packaging strategies for improving AFC sensor performance at high strains relative to the tensile limit of the AFC. AFC were encased in carbon fiber, silicon, and pre-stressed carbon fiber to improve the tensile limit of the AFC when integrated in glass fiber laminates. By laminating AFC with pre-stressed carbon fiber, the tensile limit and strain sensor ability of the AFC were significantly improved. Acoustic emission monitoring was used and the results show that PZT fiber breakage was reduced due to the pre-stressed packaging process

  19. Improving human object recognition performance using video enhancement techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitman, Lucy S.; Lewis, Colin; Oakley, John P.

    2004-12-01

    Atmospheric scattering causes significant degradation in the quality of video images, particularly when imaging over long distances. The principle problem is the reduction in contrast due to scattered light. It is known that when the scattering particles are not too large compared with the imaging wavelength (i.e. Mie scattering) then high spatial resolution information may be contained within a low-contrast image. Unfortunately this information is not easily perceived by a human observer, particularly when using a standard video monitor. A secondary problem is the difficulty of achieving a sharp focus since automatic focus techniques tend to fail in such conditions. Recently several commercial colour video processing systems have become available. These systems use various techniques to improve image quality in low contrast conditions whilst retaining colour content. These systems produce improvements in subjective image quality in some situations, particularly in conditions of haze and light fog. There is also some evidence that video enhancement leads to improved ATR performance when used as a pre-processing stage. Psychological literature indicates that low contrast levels generally lead to a reduction in the performance of human observers in carrying out simple visual tasks. The aim of this paper is to present the results of an empirical study on object recognition in adverse viewing conditions. The chosen visual task was vehicle number plate recognition at long ranges (500 m and beyond). Two different commercial video enhancement systems are evaluated using the same protocol. The results show an increase in effective range with some differences between the different enhancement systems.

  20. Improved performance of the control scheme for IUAC superconducting Linac

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sahu, B.K.; Suman, S.K.; Kumar, R.

    2015-01-01

    Since many years energized ion beams from linac are being delivered routinely for scheduled experiments using all the three accelerating modules of linac along with super buncher and rebuncher. Major efforts are dedicated to improve the performance of the control scheme to minimise the down time of the linac during operation. Earlier, a number of developments were carried out to improve the dynamics of the control scheme. The most significant of them is the piezoelectric actuator based tuning mechanism which is implemented in all the operational resonators of second and third accelerating modules of superconducting linac. This has helped us to bridge the gap between the accelerating fields achieved during Q measurement at 6 W of helium power and during phase locking of the resonator during beam operation at a given RF power (∼120W). The piezoelectric actuator based tuner is also instrumental to reduce the unlocking rate of the resonators. Pulse width modulation (PWM) control based helium gas operated tuner is implemented in few resonators to improve phase locking performance. CAMAC based distributed control scheme is upgraded to VME based distributed control without changing the existing client interface to maintain uniformity between the Pelletron and linac control. Python code support has been implemented to protect the resonators against high forward power during unlocking. This is also integrated with the display status of the resonators for monitoring. A frequency to voltage converter is incorporated in control scheme to monitor the frequency error. This has helped us to develop a scheme for automatic phase locking of the cavities using piezoelectric actuator based tuner control. (author)

  1. Neck-cooling improves repeated sprint performance in the heat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline eSunderland

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The present study evaluated the effect of neck-cooling during exercise on repeated sprint ability in a hot environment. Seven team-sport playing males completed two experimental trials involving repeated sprint exercise (5 x 6 s before and after two 45 min bouts of a football specific intermittent treadmill protocol in the heat (33.0  0.2 ºC; 53 ± 2% relative humidity. Participants wore a neck-cooling collar in one of the trials (CC. Mean power output and peak power output declined over time in both trials but were higher in CC (540 ± 99 v 507 ± 122W, d = 0.32; 719 ± 158 v 680 ± 182 W, d = 0.24 respectively. The improved power output was particularly pronounced (d = 0.51 – 0.88 after the 2nd 45 min bout but the CC had no effect on % fatigue. The collar lowered neck temperature and the thermal sensation of the neck (P 0.05. There were no trial differences but interaction effects were demonstrated for prolactin concentration and rating of perceived exertion (RPE. Prolactin concentration was initially higher in the collar cold trial and then was lower from 45 minutes onwards (interaction trial x time P=0.04. RPE was lower during the football intermittent treadmill protocol in the collar cold trial (interaction trial x time P = 0.01. Neck-cooling during exercise improves repeated sprint performance in a hot environment without altering physiological or neuroendocrinological responses. RPE is reduced and may partially explain the performance improvement.

  2. Does correcting astigmatism with toric lenses improve driving performance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Daniel J; Banton, Thomas; Record, Steven; Grabman, Jesse H; Hawkins, Ronald J

    2015-04-01

    Driving is a vision-based activity of daily living that impacts safety. Because visual disruption can compromise driving safety, contact lens wearers with astigmatism may pose a driving safety risk if they experience residual blur from spherical lenses that do not correct their astigmatism or if they experience blur from toric lenses that rotate excessively. Given that toric lens stabilization systems are continually improving, this preliminary study tested the hypothesis that astigmats wearing toric contact lenses, compared with spherical lenses, would exhibit better overall driving performance and driving-specific visual abilities. A within-subject, single-blind, crossover, randomized design was used to evaluate driving performance in 11 young adults with astigmatism (-0.75 to -1.75 diopters cylinder). Each participant drove a highly immersive, virtual reality driving simulator (210 degrees field of view) with (1) no correction, (2) spherical contact lens correction (ACUVUE MOIST), and (3) toric contact lens correction (ACUVUE MOIST for Astigmatism). Tactical driving skills such as steering, speed management, and braking, as well as operational driving abilities such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and foot and arm reaction time, were quantified. There was a main effect for type of correction on driving performance (p = 0.05). Correction with toric lenses resulted in significantly safer tactical driving performance than no correction (p driving safety from no correction (p = 0.118). Operational tests differentiated corrected from uncorrected performance for both spherical (p = 0.008) and toric (p = 0.011) lenses, but they were not sensitive enough to differentiate toric from spherical lens conditions. Given previous research showing that deficits in these tactical skills are predictive of future real-world collisions, these preliminary data suggest that correcting low to moderate astigmatism with toric lenses may be important to driving safety. Their

  3. A review of hospital characteristics associated with improved performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Caroline A; Barker, Anna L; Morello, Renata T; Vitale, Michael R; Evans, Sue M; Scott, Ian A; Stoelwinder, Johannes U; Cameron, Peter A

    2012-10-01

    The objective of this review was to critically appraise the literature relating to associations between high-level structural and operational hospital characteristics and improved performance. The Cochrane Library, MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL, proQuest and PsychINFO were searched for articles published between January 1996 and May 2010. Reference lists of included articles were reviewed and key journals were hand searched for relevant articles. and data extraction Studies were included if they were systematic reviews or meta-analyses, randomized controlled trials, controlled before and after studies or observational studies (cohort and cross-sectional) that were multicentre, comparative performance studies. Two reviewers independently extracted data, assigned grades of evidence according to the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council guidelines and critically appraised the included articles. Data synthesis Fifty-seven studies were reported within 12 systematic reviews and 47 observational articles. There was heterogeneity in use and definition of performance outcomes. Hospital characteristics investigated were environment (incentives, market characteristics), structure (network membership, ownership, teaching status, geographical setting, service size) and operational design (innovativeness, leadership, organizational culture, public reporting and patient safety practices, information technology systems and decision support, service activity and planning, workforce design, staff training and education). The strongest evidence for an association with overall performance was identified for computerized physician order entry systems. Some evidence supported the associations with workforce design, use of financial incentives, nursing leadership and hospital volume. There is limited, mainly low-quality evidence, supporting the associations between hospital characteristics and healthcare performance. Further characteristic-specific systematic reviews are

  4. Improving performance in the ED through laboratory information exchange systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Louis; Paré, Guy; Maillet, Éric; Ortiz de Guinea, Ana; Trudel, Marie-Claude; Marsan, Josianne

    2018-03-12

    The accessibility of laboratory test results is crucial to the performance of emergency departments and to the safety of patients. This study aims to develop a better understanding of which laboratory information exchange (LIE) systems emergency care physicians (ECPs) are using to consult their patients' laboratory test results and which benefits they derive from such use. A survey of 163 (36%) ECPs in Quebec was conducted in collaboration with the Quebec's Department of Health and Social Services. Descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, cluster analyses, and ANOVAs were conducted. The great majority of respondents indicated that they use several LIE systems including interoperable electronic health record (iEHR) systems, laboratory results viewers (LRVs), and emergency department information systems (EDIS) to consult their patients' laboratory results. Three distinct profiles of LIE users were observed. The extent of LIE usage was found to be primarily determined by the functional design differences between LIE systems available in the EDs. Our findings also indicate that the more widespread LIE usage, the higher the perceived benefits. More specifically, physicians who make extensive use of iEHR systems and LRVs obtain the widest range of benefits in terms of efficiency, quality, and safety of emergency care. Extensive use of LIE systems allows ECPs to better determine and monitor the health status of their patients, verify their diagnostic assumptions, and apply evidence-based practices in laboratory medicine. But for such benefits to be possible, ECPs must be provided with LIE systems that produce accurate, up-to-date, complete, and easy-to-interpret information.

  5. Does plyometric training improve strength performance? A meta-analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez-Sáez de Villarreal, Eduardo; Requena, Bernardo; Newton, Robert U

    2010-09-01

    Majority of the research suggests plyometric training (PT) improves maximal strength performance as measured by 1RM, isometric MVC or slow velocity isokinetic testing. However, the effectiveness of PT depends upon various factors. A meta-analysis of 15 studies with a total of 31 effect sizes (ES) was carried out to analyse the role of various factors on the effects of PT on strength performance. The inclusion criteria for the analysis were: (a) studies using PT programs for lower limb muscles; (b) studies employing true experimental design and valid and reliable measurements; (c) studies including sufficient data to calculate ES. When subjects can adequately follow plyometric exercises, the training gains are independent of fitness level. Subjects in either good or poor physical condition, benefit equally from plyometric work, also men obtain similar strength results to women following PT. In relation to the variables of program design, training volume of less than 10 weeks and with more than 15 sessions, as well as the implementation of high-intensity programs, with more than 40 jumps per session, were the strategies that seem to maximize the probability to obtain significantly greater improvements in performance (p<0.05). In order to optimise strength enhancement, the combination of different types of plyometrics with weight-training would be recommended, rather than utilizing only one form (p<0.05). The responses identified in this analysis are essential and should be considered by the strength and conditioning professional with regard to the most appropriate dose-response trends for PT to optimise strength gains.

  6. Performance Improvement of a Radioactive Forced Circulation Evaporator System

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zaki, A.A.; Hala, A.A.; Othman, E.A.

    2016-01-01

    Evaporation is a proven method for treatment of liquid radioactive wastes providing both good decontamination and high concentration. In a radioactive waste treatment plant a forced circulation evaporator is used to reduce the volume of radioactive liquid wastes arising from different applications of nuclear industries. The safe operation, limiting the composition of the liquid radioactive waste at a prescribed value, with high performance efficiency, requires good control for the evaporator operating pressure and the level of liquid waste inside the separator part of the evaporator. The aim of this work was to improve the safety and performance of a forced-circulation evaporator used in a liquid radioactive wastes treatment plant. In this respect, a level controller system for this type of evaporator was designed, where proportional (P), proportional Integral (PI) and deadbeat response controllers for the separator level system were suggested. More over, an ideal 2×2(2 inputs and 2 outputs )de coupler controller for controlling the operating pressure and the product composition was developed. Computer results demonstrated that the deadbeat response has been success fully obtained from the developed separator control system. The maximum over shoot in the unit-step response curve was reduce d to 25 % and the settling time also was reduced to more than the half; about 26 minutes using Ziegler-Nichols tuning technique.The designed de coupling controller has been found effective in achieving a good trade-off between stability and performance

  7. Chicken Essence Improves Exercise Performance and Ameliorates Physical Fatigue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wen-Ching Huang

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Chicken essence (CE is a liquid nutritional supplement made from cooking whole chickens. In traditional Chinese medicine, CE is used to support health, promote healing, increase metabolism, and relieve fatigue. However, few studies have examined the effect of CE on exercise performance and physical fatigue. We aimed to evaluate the potential beneficial effects of CE on fatigue and ergogenic functions following physical challenge in mice. Male ICR mice were divided into four groups to receive vehicle or CE by oral gavage at 0, 845, 1690, or 4225 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks. Exercise performance and anti-fatigue function were evaluated by forelimb grip strength, exhaustive swimming time, and levels of physical fatigue-related biomarkers serum lactate, ammonia, glucose, and creatine kinase (CK after physical challenge. CE supplementation dose-dependently elevated endurance and grip strength. CE supplementation significantly decreased lactate, ammonia, and CK levels after physical challenge. Tissue glycogen content, an important energy source for exercise, was significantly increased with CE supplementation. In addition, CE supplementation had few subchronic toxic effects. The supplementation with CE can have a wide spectrum of bioactivities on health promotion, performance improvement and anti-fatigue.

  8. Improved electrochemical performance of hierarchical porous carbon/polyaniline composites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Juan; Wang Huanlei; Huang Xiao

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Polyaniline-coated hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) composites have been synthesized by in situ polymerization. ► The HPC/polyaniline composite has significantly better electrochemical capacitance performance than pure HPC and polyaniline. ► The amount of polyaniline loading has a significant effect on the composites’ electrochemical performances. - Abstract: Polyaniline (PANI)-coated hierarchical porous carbon (HPC) composites (HPC/PANI) for use as supercapacitor electrodes were prepared by in situ chemical oxidation polymerization at 273 K of an aniline solution containing well-dispersed HPC particles. After polymerization, a thin layer of PANI was coated on the surface of the HPC particles, which was confirmed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Compared to pure PANI and HPC, the electrochemical capacitance performance of the composites was significantly improved. The highest specific capacitance of the composites obtained is 478 F g −1 at 1 mV s −1 , which is more than twice as that of pure PANI and three times as that of pure HPC. Because of the influence from the hierarchical pore structure of the carbon material, the calculated specific capacitance of PANI in the composite (pseudocapacitance contribution from PANI) is almost one magnitude higher than that of pure PANI.

  9. Improving scanner wafer alignment performance by target optimization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leray, Philippe; Jehoul, Christiane; Socha, Robert; Menchtchikov, Boris; Raghunathan, Sudhar; Kent, Eric; Schoonewelle, Hielke; Tinnemans, Patrick; Tuffy, Paul; Belen, Jun; Wise, Rich

    2016-03-01

    In the process nodes of 10nm and below, the patterning complexity along with the processing and materials required has resulted in a need to optimize alignment targets in order to achieve the required precision, accuracy and throughput performance. Recent industry publications on the metrology target optimization process have shown a move from the expensive and time consuming empirical methodologies, towards a faster computational approach. ASML's Design for Control (D4C) application, which is currently used to optimize YieldStar diffraction based overlay (DBO) metrology targets, has been extended to support the optimization of scanner wafer alignment targets. This allows the necessary process information and design methodology, used for DBO target designs, to be leveraged for the optimization of alignment targets. In this paper, we show how we applied this computational approach to wafer alignment target design. We verify the correlation between predictions and measurements for the key alignment performance metrics and finally show the potential alignment and overlay performance improvements that an optimized alignment target could achieve.

  10. Improving Large-scale Storage System Performance via Topology-aware and Balanced Data Placement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Feiyi [ORNL; Oral, H Sarp [ORNL; Vazhkudai, Sudharshan S [ORNL

    2014-01-01

    With the advent of big data, the I/O subsystems of large-scale compute clusters are becoming a center of focus, with more applications putting greater demands on end-to-end I/O performance. These subsystems are often complex in design. They comprise of multiple hardware and software layers to cope with the increasing capacity, capability and scalability requirements of data intensive applications. The sharing nature of storage resources and the intrinsic interactions across these layers make it to realize user-level, end-to-end performance gains a great challenge. We propose a topology-aware resource load balancing strategy to improve per-application I/O performance. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our algorithm on an extreme-scale compute cluster, Titan, at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). Our experiments with both synthetic benchmarks and a real-world application show that, even under congestion, our proposed algorithm can improve large-scale application I/O performance significantly, resulting in both the reduction of application run times and higher resolution simulation runs.

  11. Microstructured Electrolyte Membranes to Improve Fuel Cell Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xue

    Fuel cells, with the advantages of high efficiency, low greenhouse gas emission, and long lifetime are a promising technology for both portable power and stationary power sources. The development of efficient electrolyte membranes with high ionic conductivity, good mechanical durability and dense structure at low cost remains a challenge to the commercialization of fuel cells. This thesis focuses on exploring novel composite polymer membranes and ceramic electrolytes with the microstructure engineered to improve performance in direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), respectively. Polymer/particle composite membranes hold promise to meet the demands of DMFCs at lower cost. The structure of composite membranes was controlled by aligning proton conducting particles across the membrane thickness under an applied electric field. The field-induced structural changes caused the membranes to display an enhanced water uptake, proton conductivity, and methanol permeability in comparison to membranes prepared without an applied field. Although both methanol permeability and proton conductivity are enhanced by the applied field, the permeability increase is relatively lower than the proton conductivity improvement, which results in enhanced proton/methanol selectivity and improved DMFC performance. Apatite ceramics are a new class of fast ion conductors being studied as alternative SOFC electrolytes in the intermediate temperature range. An electrochemical/hydrothermal deposition method was developed to grow fully dense apatite membranes containing well-developed crystals with c-axis alignment to promote ion conductivity. Hydroxyapatite seed crystals were first deposited onto a metal substrate electrochemically. Subsequent ion substitution during the hydrothermal growth process promoted the formation of dense, fully crystalline films with microstructure optimal for ion transport. The deposition parameters were systematically investigated, such as

  12. Virtual reality training improves da Vinci performance: a prospective trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Jae Sung; Hahn, Koo Yong; Kwak, Jung Myun; Kim, Jin; Baek, Se Jin; Shin, Jae Won; Kim, Seon Hahn

    2013-12-01

    The DV-Trainer™ (a virtual reality [VR] simulator) (Mimic Technologies, Inc., Seattle, WA) is one of several different robotic surgical training methods. We designed a prospective study to determine whether VR training could improve da Vinci(®) Surgical System (Intuitive Surgical, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA) performance. Surgeons (n=12) were enrolled using a randomized protocol. Groups 1 (VR training) and 2 (control) participated in VR and da Vinci exercises. Participants' time and moving distance were combined to determine a composite score: VR index=1000/(time×moving distance). The da Vinci exercises included needle control and suturing. Procedure time and error were measured. A composite index (DV index) was computed and used to measure da Vinci competency. After the initial trial with both the VR and da Vinci exercises, only Group 1 was trained with the VR simulator following our institutional curriculum for 3 weeks. All members of both groups then participated in the second trial of the VR and da Vinci exercises and were scored in the same way as in the initial trial. In the initial trial, there was no difference in the VR index (Group 1 versus Group 2, 8.9 ± 3.3 versus 9.4 ± 3.7; P=.832) and the DV index (Group 1 versus Group 2, 3.85 ± 0.73 versus 3.66 ± 0.65; P=.584) scores between the two groups. At the second time point, Group 1 showed increased VR index scores in comparison with Group 2 (19.3 ± 4.5 versus 9.7 ± 4.1, respectively; P=.001) and improved da Vinci performance skills as measured by the DV index (5.80 ± 1.13 versus 4.05 ± 1.03, respectively; P=.028) and by suturing time (7.1 ± 1.54 minutes versus 10.55 ± 1.93 minutes, respectively; P=.018). We found that VR simulator training can improve da Vinci performance. VR practice can result in an early plateau in the learning curve for robotic practice under controlled circumstances.

  13. Long-Term Heating to Improve Receiver Performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glatzmaier, Greg C.; Cable, Robert; Newmarker, Marc

    2017-06-27

    The buildup of hydrogen in the heat transfer fluid (HTF) that circulates through components of parabolic trough power plants decreases receiver thermal efficiency, and ultimately, it decreases plant performance and electricity output. The generation and occurrence of hydrogen in the HTF provides the driving force for hydrogen to permeate from the HTF through the absorber tube wall and into the receiver annulus. Getters adsorb hydrogen from the annulus volume until they saturate and are no longer able to maintain low hydrogen pressure. The increase in hydrogen pressure within the annulus significantly degrades thermal performance of the receiver and decreases overall power-plant efficiency. NREL and Acciona Energy North America (Acciona) are developing a method to control the levels of dissolved hydrogen in the circulating HTF. The basic approach is to remove hydrogen from the expansion tanks of the HTF subsystem at a rate that maintains hydrogen in the circulating HTF to a target level. Full-plant steady-state models developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) predict that if hydrogen is removed from the HTF within the expansion tanks, the HTF that circulates through the collector field remains essentially free of hydrogen until the HTF returns to the power block in the hot headers. One of the key findings of our modeling is the prediction that hydrogen will reverse-permeate out of the receiver annulus if dissolved hydrogen in the HTF is kept sufficiently low. To test this prediction, we performed extended heating of an in-service receiver that initially had high levels of hydrogen in its annulus. The heating was performed using NREL's receiver test stand. Results of our testing showed that receiver heat loss steadily decreased with daily heating, resulting in a corresponding improvement in receiver thermal efficiency.

  14. Improving performances of suboptimal greedy iterative biclustering heuristics via localization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erten, Cesim; Sözdinler, Melih

    2010-10-15

    Biclustering gene expression data is the problem of extracting submatrices of genes and conditions exhibiting significant correlation across both the rows and the columns of a data matrix of expression values. Even the simplest versions of the problem are computationally hard. Most of the proposed solutions therefore employ greedy iterative heuristics that locally optimize a suitably assigned scoring function. We provide a fast and simple pre-processing algorithm called localization that reorders the rows and columns of the input data matrix in such a way as to group correlated entries in small local neighborhoods within the matrix. The proposed localization algorithm takes its roots from effective use of graph-theoretical methods applied to problems exhibiting a similar structure to that of biclustering. In order to evaluate the effectivenesss of the localization pre-processing algorithm, we focus on three representative greedy iterative heuristic methods. We show how the localization pre-processing can be incorporated into each representative algorithm to improve biclustering performance. Furthermore, we propose a simple biclustering algorithm, Random Extraction After Localization (REAL) that randomly extracts submatrices from the localization pre-processed data matrix, eliminates those with low similarity scores, and provides the rest as correlated structures representing biclusters. We compare the proposed localization pre-processing with another pre-processing alternative, non-negative matrix factorization. We show that our fast and simple localization procedure provides similar or even better results than the computationally heavy matrix factorization pre-processing with regards to H-value tests. We next demonstrate that the performances of the three representative greedy iterative heuristic methods improve with localization pre-processing when biological correlations in the form of functional enrichment and PPI verification constitute the main performance

  15. Improvement of Sprint Performance in Wheelchair Sportsmen With Caffeine Supplementation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham-Paulson, Terri S; Perret, Claudio; Watson, Phil; Goosey-Tolfrey, Victoria L

    2016-03-01

    Caffeine can be beneficial during endurance and repeated-sprint exercise in able-bodied individuals performing leg or whole-body exercise. However, little evidence exists regarding its effects during upper-body exercise. This study therefore aimed to investigate the effects of caffeine on sprint (SPR) and 4-min maximal-push (PUSH) performance in wheelchair sportsmen. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 12 male wheelchair rugby players (age 30.0 ± 7.7 y, body mass 69.6 ± 15.3 kg, training 11.1 ± 3.5 h/wk) completed 2 exercise trials, separated by 7-14 d, 70 min after ingestion of 4 mg/kg caffeine (CAF) or dextrose placebo (PLA). Each trial consisted of four 4-min PUSHes and 3 sets of 3 × 20-m SPRs, each separated by 4 min rest. Participants responded to the Felt Arousal (a measure of perceived arousal), Feeling (a measure of the affective dimension of pleasure/displeasure), and rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) scales. Salivary caffeine secretion rates were measured. Average SPR times were faster during CAF than PLA during SPR 1 and SPR 2 (P = .037 and .016). There was no influence of supplementation on PUSHes 2-4 (P > .099); however, participants pushed significantly farther during PUSH 1 after CAF than after PLA (mean ± SD 677 ± 107 and 653 ± 118 m, P = .047). There was no influence of CAF on arousal or RPE scores (P > .132). Feeling scores improved over the course of the CAF trial only (P = .017) but did not significantly differ between trials (P > .167). Pre-warm-up (45 min postingestion) salivary CAF secretion rates were 1.05 ± 0.94 and 0.08 ± 0.05 μg/min for CAF and PLA, respectively. Acute CAF supplementation can improve both 20-m-sprint performance and a 1-off bout of short-term endurance performance in wheelchair sportsmen.

  16. Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation Assessment, Diagnosis and Improvement of Control Loop Performance

    CERN Document Server

    Jelali, Mohieddine

    2013-01-01

    Control Performance Management in Industrial Automation provides a coherent and self-contained treatment of a group of methods and applications of burgeoning importance to the detection and solution of problems with control loops that are vital in maintaining product quality, operational safety, and efficiency of material and energy consumption in the process industries. The monograph deals with all aspects of control performance management (CPM), from controller assessment (minimum-variance-control-based and advanced methods), to detection and diagnosis of control loop problems (process non-linearities, oscillations, actuator faults), to the improvement of control performance (maintenance, re-design of loop components, automatic controller re-tuning). It provides a contribution towards the development and application of completely self-contained and automatic methodologies in the field. Moreover, within this work, many CPM tools have been developed that goes far beyond available CPM packages. Control Perform...

  17. Operator/contractor teamwork is the key to performance improvement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robins, K.B.; Roberts, J.D.M.

    1996-01-01

    The contract strategies developed by the two major E and P companies operating in the North Sea emphasize teamwork between operator and contractors to achieve the common goal of maximizing project value. These strategies have had significant repercussions across the whole industry. This paper compares these strategies and concludes that although they are structurally different, they have the same fundamental objectives. It describes the evolution of what these operators consider to be their core business, with the resultant changing roles for both operator and contractor staff. Several examples of results achieved through implementing these changes are described, highlighting the need for a structured performance measurement system to quantify the success of these initiatives. Finally, the potential for even greater efficiency improvements through further industry-wide cooperation is emphasized

  18. Confirmation test on confinement performance of improved glove box

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miura, S.; Kanazawa, J.; Nakajima, M.; Sakuno, K.; Miyata, H.

    1995-01-01

    Glove boxes are used at nuclear facilities to confine radioactive materials by ensuring a high level of airtightness and negative internal pressure. The allowable rate of air leakage is 0.1% vol/hr or less at the pre-service inspection. The negative pressure value is normally maintained at about -30 mm H 2 O. Structural strength and confinement reliability of glove boxes during earthquake are major concerns, and most important glove boxes are designed to withstand seismic class A events is Japan. This paper describes vibration tests done to confirm that improve large-sized glove boxes maintain their confinement performance and structural strength even during earthquake and that the design analysis methods used are appropriate. (author). 1 ref., 6 figs., 3 tabs

  19. The EXPLORER gravitational wave antenna: recent improvements and performances

    CERN Document Server

    Astone, P; Bonifazi, P; Carelli, P; Castellano, M G; Cavallari, G; Coccia, E; Cosmelli, C; D'Antonio, S; Fafone, V; Federici, G; Minenkov, Y; Modestino, G; Modena, I; Moleti, A; Pizzella, G; Pallottino, G V; Quintieri, L; Rocchi, A; Ronga, F; Terenzi, R; Torrioli, G; Visco, M

    2002-01-01

    Since the beginning of 2000 the EXPLORER gravity wave (GW) detector has been operated continuously after a stop devoted to improve the apparatus. The antenna has been equipped with a new read-out. The use of a new transducer, characterized by a very small gap, and a dc-SQUID with a high coupling, led to a better sensitivity and a larger bandwidth. The EXPLORER sensitivity in terms of spectral noise amplitude, at present (June 2001), is 10 sup - sup 2 sup 0 Hz sup - sup 1 sup / sup 2 over a bandwidth of 35 Hz and 3 x 10 sup - sup 2 sup 1 Hz sup - sup 1 sup / sup 2 with a bandwidth of about 6 Hz, corresponding to a sensitivity to short conventional GW bursts of h = 4 x 10 sup - sup 1 sup 9. The performance is stable and the apparatus is taking data with a duty cycle in excess of 80%.

  20. The EXPLORER gravitational wave antenna: recent improvements and performances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Astone, P; Bassan, M; Bonifazi, P; Carelli, P; Castellano, M G; Cavallari, G; Coccia, E; Cosmelli, C; D'Antonio, S; Fafone, V; Federici, G; Minenkov, Y; Modestino, G; Modena, I; Moleti, A; Pizzella, G; Pallottino, G V; Quintieri, L; Rocchi, A; Ronga, F; Terenzi, R; Torrioli, G; Visco, M

    2002-01-01

    Since the beginning of 2000 the EXPLORER gravity wave (GW) detector has been operated continuously after a stop devoted to improve the apparatus. The antenna has been equipped with a new read-out. The use of a new transducer, characterized by a very small gap, and a dc-SQUID with a high coupling, led to a better sensitivity and a larger bandwidth. The EXPLORER sensitivity in terms of spectral noise amplitude, at present (June 2001), is 10 -20 Hz -1/2 over a bandwidth of 35 Hz and 3 x 10 -21 Hz -1/2 with a bandwidth of about 6 Hz, corresponding to a sensitivity to short conventional GW bursts of h = 4 x 10 -19 . The performance is stable and the apparatus is taking data with a duty cycle in excess of 80%

  1. Albendazole nanocrystals with improved pharmacokinetic performance in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paredes, Alejandro J; Bruni, Sergio Sánchez; Allemandi, Daniel; Lanusse, Carlos; Palma, Santiago D

    2018-02-01

    Albendazole (ABZ) is a broad-spectrum antiparasitic agent with poor aqueous solubility, which leads to poor/erratic bioavailability and therapeutic failures. Here, we aimed to produce a novel formulation of ABZ nanocrystals (ABZNC) and assess its pharmacokinetic performance in mice. Results/methodology: ABZNC were prepared by high-pressure homogenization and spray-drying processes. Redispersion capacity and solid yield were measured in order to obtain an optimized product. The final particle size was 415.69±7.40 nm and the solid yield was 72.32%. The pharmacokinetic parameters obtained in a mice model for ABZNC were enhanced (p < 0.05) with respect to the control formulation. ABZNC with improved pharmacokinetic behavior were produced by a simple, inexpensive and potentially scalable methodology.

  2. Improving reservoir performance using new 'smart' well technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roggensack, W.D.; Matthews, C.M.

    1997-01-01

    The technologies that were available in the past to improve reservoir performance include 3-D seismic, coiled tubing, horizontal wells, and PCP's. Future enabling technologies will also include multi-lateral wells, 'smart' wells, underbalanced drilling, and downhole fluids processing. A description of 'smart' well technology was given, defined as well completions which facilitate downhole monitoring and control of production to achieve maximum reserves recovery. The current development for 'smart' wells is focused on offshore and subsea wells for marginal field development and work-over mitigation, with the emphasis in system design for production control of horizontal and multi-lateral wells. Basic 'smart' well configuration, instrumentation and monitoring systems, applications of 'smart' well technology in the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin, and future developments and applications for the technology in general, were also discussed. 30 figs

  3. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, Frederick W.; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-01-01

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion

  4. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bryan, Frederick W., E-mail: frederick.w.bryan@vanderbilt.edu; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M. [Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); Reich, Daniel S. [Translational Neuroradiology Unit, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892 (United States); Landman, Bennett A. [Electrical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); Biomedical Engineering, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States); and Radiology and Radiological Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37235 (United States)

    2014-03-15

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion.

  5. Combining satellite data and appropriate objective functions for improved spatial pattern performance of a distributed hydrologic model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demirel, Mehmet C.; Mai, Juliane; Mendiguren Gonzalez, Gorka

    2018-01-01

    Satellite-based earth observations offer great opportunities to improve spatial model predictions by means of spatial-pattern-oriented model evaluations. In this study, observed spatial patterns of actual evapotranspiration (AET) are utilised for spatial model calibration tailored to target...... and potential evapotranspiration correction parameterisations, based on soil type and vegetation density. These parameterisations are utilised as they are most relevant for simulated AET patterns from the hydrologic model. Due to the fundamental challenges encountered when evaluating spatial pattern performance...

  6. Optimization Controller for Mechatronic Sun Tracking System to Improve Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustafa Engin

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available An embedded system that contains hardware and software was developed for two-axis solar tracking system to improve photovoltaic panel utilization. The hardware section of the embedded system consists of a 32-bit ARM core microcontroller, motor driver circuits, a motion control unit, pyranometer, GPS receiver, and an anemometer. The real-time control algorithm enables the solar tracker to operate automatically without external control as a stand-alone system, combining the advantages of the open-loop and the closed-loop control methods. The pyranometer is employed to continuously send radiation data to the controller if the measured radiation is above the lower radiation limit the photovoltaic panel can generate power, guaranteeing the solar tracking process to be highly efficient. The anemometer is utilized in the system to ensure that the solar tracking procedure halts under high wind speed conditions to protect the entire system. Latitude, longitude, altitude, date, and real-time clock data are provided by GPS receiver. The algorithm calculates solar time using astronomical equations with GPS data and converts it to pulse-width modulated motor control signal. The overall objective of this study is to develop a control algorithm that improves performance and reliability of the two-axis solar tracker, focusing on optimization of the controller board, drive hardware, and software.

  7. Improving Ballistic Performance of Polyurethane Foam by Nanoparticle Reinforcement

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. F. Uddin

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We report improving ballistic performance of polyurethane foam by reinforcing it with nanoscale TiO2 particles. Particles were dispersed through a sonic cavitation process and the loading of particles was 3 wt% of the total polymer. Once foams were reinforced, sandwich panels were made and impacted with fragment simulating projectiles (FSPs in a 1.5-inch gas gun. Projectile speed was set up to have complete penetration of the target in each experiment. Test results have indicated that sandwich with nanophased cores absorbed about 20% more kinetic energy than their neat counterpart. The corresponding increase in ballistic limit was around 12% over the neat control samples. The penetration phenomenon was also monitored using a high-speed camera. Analyses of digital images showed that FSP remained inside the nanophased sandwich for about 7 microseconds longer than that of a neat sandwich demonstrating improved energy absorption capability of the nanoparticle reinforced core. Failure modes for energy absorption have been investigated through a microscope and high-speed images.

  8. Improving Ballistic Performance of Polyurethane Foam by Nanoparticle Reinforcement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uddin, M.F.; Zainuddin, S.; Mahfuz, H.; Jeelani, S.

    2009-01-01

    We report improving ballistic performance of polyurethane foam by reinforcing it with nano scale TiO 2 particles. Particles were dispersed through a sonic cavitation process and the loading of particles was 3 wt % of the total polymer. Once foams were reinforced, sandwich panels were made and impacted with fragment simulating projectiles (FSPs) in a 1.5-inch gas gun. Projectile speed was set up to have complete penetration of the target in each experiment. Test results have indicated that sandwich with nano phased cores absorbed about 20% more kinetic energy than their neat counterpart. The corresponding increase in ballistic limit was around 12% over the neat control samples. The penetration phenomenon was also monitored using a high-speed camera. Analyses of digital images showed that FSP remained inside the nano phased sandwich for about 7 microseconds longer than that of a neat sandwich demonstrating improved energy absorption capability of the nanoparticle reinforced core. Failure modes for energy absorption have been investigated through a microscope and high-speed images.

  9. Commitment to COT verification improves patient outcomes and financial performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggio, Paul M; Brundage, Susan I; Hernandez-Boussard, Tina; Spain, David A

    2009-07-01

    After an unsuccessful American College of Surgery Committee on Trauma visit, our level I trauma center initiated an improvement program that included (1) hiring new personnel (trauma director and surgeons, nurse coordinator, orthopedic trauma surgeon, and registry staff), (2) correcting deficiencies in trauma quality assurance and process improvement programs, and (3) development of an outreach program. Subsequently, our trauma center had two successful verifications. We examined the longitudinal effects of these efforts on volume, patient outcomes and finances. The Trauma Registry was used to derive data for all trauma patients evaluated in the emergency department from 2001 to 2007. Clinical data analyzed included number of admissions, interfacility transfers, injury severity scores (ISS), length of stay, and mortality for 2001 to 2007. Financial performance was assessed for fiscal years 2001 to 2007. Data were divided into patients discharged from the emergency department and those admitted to the hospital. Admissions increased 30%, representing a 7.6% annual increase (p = 0.004), mostly due to a nearly fivefold increase in interfacility transfers. Severe trauma patients (ISS >24) increased 106% and mortality rate for ISS >24 decreased by 47% to almost half the average of the National Trauma Database. There was a 78% increase in revenue and a sustained increase in hospital profitability. A major hospital commitment to Committee on Trauma verification had several salient outcomes; increased admissions, interfacility transfers, and acuity. Despite more seriously injured patients, there has been a major, sustained reduction in mortality and a trend toward decreased intensive care unit length of stay. This resulted in a substantial increase in contribution to margin (CTM), net profit, and revenues. With a high level of commitment and favorable payer mix, trauma center verification improves outcomes for both patients and the hospital.

  10. Improving Operational Risk Management Using Business Performance Management Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram Pieket Weeserik

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Operational Risk Management (ORM comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business Performance Management (BPM technologies are believed to provide a solution for effective Operational Risk Management by offering several combined technologies including: work flow, data warehousing, (advanced analytics, reporting and dashboards. BPM technologies can be integrated with an organization’s Planning & Control cycle and related to strategic objectives. This manuscript aims to show how ORM can benefit from BPM technologies via the development and practical validation of a new maturity model. The B4ORM maturity model was developed following the Design Science Research approach. The maturity model relates specific maturity levels of ORM processes with BPM technologies applicable for a specific maturity stage. There appears to be a strong relationship (0.78 with ORM process maturity and supporting BPM technologies. The B4ORM maturity model as described in this manuscript provides an ideal path of BPM technologies related to six distinctive stages of ORM, leading towards technologies suitable for continuous improvement of ORM processes and organization-wide integration.

  11. Hypoxic training methods for improving endurance exercise performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob A. Sinex

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Endurance athletic performance is highly related to a number of factors that can be altered through altitude and hypoxic training including increases in erythrocyte volume, maximal aerobic exercise capacity, capillary density, and economy. Physiological adaptations in response to acute and chronic exposure to hypoxic environments are well documented and range from short-term detrimental effects to longer-term adaptations that can improve performance at altitude and in sea-level competitions. Many altitude and hypoxic training protocols have been developed, employing various combinations of living and training at sea-level, low, moderate, and high altitudes and utilizing natural and artificial altitudes, with varying degrees of effectiveness. Several factors have been identified that are associated with individual responses to hypoxic training, and techniques for identifying those athletes most likely to benefit from hypoxic training continue to be investigated. Exposure to sufficiently high altitude (2000–3000 m for more than 12 h/day, while training at lower altitudes, for a minimum of 21 days is recommended. Timing of altitude training related to competition remains under debate, although general recommendations can be considered.

  12. Non toxic additives for improved fabric filter performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bustard, C.J.; Baldrey, K.E.; Ebner, T.G. [ADA Technologies, Inc., Englewood, CO (United States)] [and others

    1995-11-01

    The overall objective of this three-phase Small Business innovative Research (SBIR) program funded by the Department of Energy pittsburgh Energy Technology Center (PETC) is to commercialize a technology based upon the use of non-toxic, novel flue gas conditioning agents to improve particulate air toxic control and overall fabric filter performance. The ultimate objective of the Phase II program currently in progress is to demonstrate that the candidate additives are successful at full-scale on flue gas from a coal-fired utility boiler. This paper covers bench-scale field tests conducted during the period February through May, 1995. The bench-scale additives testing was conducted on a flue gas slipstream taken upstream of the existing particulate control device at a utility power plant firing a Texas lignite coal. These tests were preceded by extensive testing with additives in the laboratory using a simulated flue gas stream and re-dispersed flyash from the same power plant. The bench-scale field testing was undertaken to demonstrate the performance with actual flue gas of the bet candidate additives previously identified in the laboratory. Results from the bench-scale tests will be used to establish operating parameters for a larger-scale demonstration on either a single baghouse compartment or a full baghouse at the same site.

  13. Improving the performance of jaggery making unit using solar energy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshmi Pathi Jakkamputi

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The thermal performance of open earth pan furnace used conventionally for preparing jaggery (gur is very low. Dry bagasse is used as a fuel to produce heat in a combustion process in the open earth furnace. The energy loss due to inefficient combustion process, the energy loss through exhaust gases and other losses due to furnace wall, convection and radiation bring the thermal efficiency of open earth pan furnace to a low value. Certain quantity of energy produced in combustion process is used to sensibly heat the sugarcane juice to its evaporation temperature. Solar collectors can supply the sensible heat required to raise the sugarcane juice temperature up to its boiling point, thereby reducing the total quantity of heat required in preparing the jaggery. Solar drier can be used to supply hot air required for the combustion process to burn the bagasse in more efficient manner. This paper presents analytical calculations done to study the performance improvement of the jaggery making unit using solar collector and solar drier.

  14. Recent advances in improving performances of the lightweight complex hydrides Li-Mg-N-H system

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bao Zhang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available A brief review of state-of-the art advances in improving performances of the lightweight complex hydrides Li-Mg-N-H system is reported. Among the hydrogen storage materials, Li-Mg-N-H combination systems are regarded as one of the most potential candidates for the vehicular applications owing to their high hydrogen storage capacity (>5 wt% H and a more appropriate thermodynamic properties of hydrogen absorption and desorption. In the Li-Mg-N-H systems, tremendous efforts have been devoted to improving the hydrogen storage properties by adjusting composition, revealing reaction mechanisms, adding catalysts and refining the microstructures, etc. During the studies, different mechanisms, such as the coordinated two-molecule or multimolecule reaction mechanism and the ammonia-mediated mechanism, are proposed and applied under some certain conditions. Catalysis and nanosizing are very effective in enhancing the kinetic properties and thermodynamic destabilization of Li-Mg-N-H systems. Due to nano effects, the space-confinement and nanoconfinement seems to be more effective for improving the hydrogen storage performance, and it is great significant to develop hydrogen storage materials by studying the nanoconfined effects on the Li-Mg-N-H systems.

  15. Energy extraction from atmospheric turbulence to improve flight vehicle performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Chinmay Karsandas

    Small 'bird-sized' Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) have now become practical due to technological advances in embedded electronics, miniature sensors and actuators, and propulsion systems. Birds are known to take advantage of wind currents to conserve energy and fly long distances without flapping their wings. This dissertation explores the possibility of improving the performance of small UAVs by extracting the energy available in atmospheric turbulence. An aircraft can gain energy from vertical gusts by increasing its lift in regions of updraft and reducing its lift in downdrafts - a concept that has been known for decades. Starting with a simple model of a glider flying through a sinusoidal gust, a parametric optimization approach is used to compute the minimum gust amplitude and optimal control input required for the glider to sustain flight without losing energy. For small UAVs using optimal control inputs, sinusoidal gusts with amplitude of 10--15% of the cruise speed are sufficient to keep the aircraft aloft. The method is then modified and extended to include random gusts that are representative of natural turbulence. A procedure to design optimal control laws for energy extraction from realistic gust profiles is developed using a Genetic Algorithm (GA). A feedback control law is designed to perform well over a variety of random gusts, and not be tailored for one particular gust. A small UAV flying in vertical turbulence is shown to obtain average energy savings of 35--40% with the use of a simple control law. The design procedure is also extended to determine optimal control laws for sinusoidal as well as turbulent lateral gusts. The theoretical work is complemented by experimental validation using a small autonomous UAV. The development of a lightweight autopilot and UAV platform is presented. Flight test results show that active control of the lift of an autonomous glider resulted in approximately 46% average energy savings compared to glides with fixed

  16. Caffeinated energy drinks improve volleyball performance in elite female players.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-López, Alberto; Salinero, Juan José; Abian-Vicen, Javier; Valadés, David; Lara, Beatriz; Hernandez, Cesar; Areces, Francisco; González, Cristina; Del Coso, Juan

    2015-04-01

    The objective of this study is to determine the effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on female volleyball players' performance. Thirteen elite female volleyball players ingested 3 mg·kg of caffeine with an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo drink) in a double-blind and randomized study. Then, participants performed the following: standing spike, jumping spike, spike jump, blocking jump, squat jump, countermovement jump, manual dynamometry, and the agility t-test. A simulated volleyball game was played, videotaped, and notated afterward. In comparison to the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased the ball velocity in the standing spike (19.2 ± 2.1 vs 19.7 ± 1.9 m·s, P = 0.023) and in the jumping spike (17.9 ± 2.2 vs 18.8 ± 2.2 m·s, P = 0.038) and the jump height in the squat jump (28.1 ± 3.2 vs 29.4 ± 3.6 cm, P = 0.028), countermovement jump (32.0 ± 4.6 vs 33.1 ± 4.5 cm, P = 0.018), spike jump (43.3 ± 4.7 vs 44.4 ± 5.0 cm, P = 0.025), and block jump (35.2 ± 5.1 vs 36.1 ± 5.1 cm, P = 0.044). Furthermore, the caffeinated energy drink decreased the time needed to complete the agility t-test (11.1 ± 0.5 vs 10.9 ± 0.3 s, P = 0.036). During the game, the volleyball actions categorized as successful were more frequent with the caffeinated energy drink (34% ± 9% vs 45% ± 9%, P volleyball players. Increased physical performance led to improved accuracy during an actual volleyball match.

  17. The experiences to improve plant performance and reliability of Ko-Ri nuclear power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Ho Weon [Korea Electric Power Corp. Ko-Ri nuclear power division, Ko-Ri (Korea, Republic of)

    1998-07-01

    This paper provides a discussion of the lessons learned from operational experience and the future plans to improve performance of the Ko-Ri plant. To operate nuclear power plants safely with good performance is the only way to mitigate the negative image of nuclear power generation to the public and to enhance the economical benefit compared to other electrical generation method. Therefore, in a continuous effort to overcome a negative challenge from outside, we have driven an aggressive 'OCTF' campaign as part of safety. As a result of our efforts, the following remarkable achievements have been accomplished. (1) 3 times of OCTF during recent three years (2) Selected twice as a top notch power plant on the list of NEI magazine in terms of plant capacity factor (3) No scram recorded in 1997 for all 4 units at Ko-Ri site. Ko-Ri is now undergoing the large scale plant betterment projects for retaking-off our operating performance to the level of new challenge target. Such improvement of critical components in the reactor coolant system and turbine system greatly contribute to increase the safety and reliability of the plant and to shortening of the planned outage period as well as to reduction of radiation exposure and radwaste. (Cho, G. S.). 5 tabs., 10 figs.

  18. The experiences to improve plant performance and reliability of Ko-Ri nuclear power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kang, Ho Weon

    1998-01-01

    This paper provides a discussion of the lessons learned from operational experience and the future plans to improve performance of the Ko-Ri plant. To operate nuclear power plants safely with good performance is the only way to mitigate the negative image of nuclear power generation to the public and to enhance the economical benefit compared to other electrical generation method. Therefore, in a continuous effort to overcome a negative challenge from outside, we have driven an aggressive 'OCTF' campaign as part of safety. As a result of our efforts, the following remarkable achievements have been accomplished. (1) 3 times of OCTF during recent three years (2) Selected twice as a top notch power plant on the list of NEI magazine in terms of plant capacity factor (3) No scram recorded in 1997 for all 4 units at Ko-Ri site. Ko-Ri is now undergoing the large scale plant betterment projects for retaking-off our operating performance to the level of new challenge target. Such improvement of critical components in the reactor coolant system and turbine system greatly contribute to increase the safety and reliability of the plant and to shortening of the planned outage period as well as to reduction of radiation exposure and radwaste. (Cho, G. S.). 5 tabs., 10 figs

  19. Improving the Performance of Lithium–Sulfur Batteries by Conductive Polymer Coating

    KAUST Repository

    Yang, Yuan

    2011-11-22

    Rechargeable lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries hold great potential for next-generation high-performance energy storage systems because of their high theoretical specific energy, low materials cost, and environmental safety. One of the major obstacles for its commercialization is the rapid capacity fading due to polysulfide dissolution and uncontrolled redeposition. Various porous carbon structures have been used to improve the performance of Li-S batteries, as polysulfides could be trapped inside the carbon matrix. However, polysulfides still diffuse out for a prolonged time if there is no effective capping layer surrounding the carbon/sulfur particles. Here we explore the application of conducting polymer to minimize the diffusion of polysulfides out of the mesoporous carbon matrix by coating poly(3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene)- poly(styrene sulfonate) (PEDOT:PSS) onto mesoporous carbon/sulfur particles. After surface coating, coulomb efficiency of the sulfur electrode was improved from 93% to 97%, and capacity decay was reduced from 40%/100 cycles to 15%/100 cycles. Moreover, the discharge capacity with the polymer coating was ∼10% higher than the bare counterpart, with an initial discharge capacity of 1140 mAh/g and a stable discharge capacity of >600 mAh/g after 150 cycles at C/5 rate. We believe that this conductive polymer coating method represents an exciting direction for enhancing the device performance of Li-S batteries and can be applicable to other electrode materials in lithium ion batteries. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

  20. Improved Fatigue Performance of Threaded Drillstring Connections by Cold Rolling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kristoffersen, Steinar

    2002-01-01

    pits inside the pipe. Therefore, an optimisation of the roll geometry and rolling parameters was not possible. However, a significant fatigue life improvement was achieved. Based on experiments, a roller with similar profile as the thread root is recommended. A rolling force of maximum 20 kN is recommended to minimise the possibility of damaging the thread profile. Shallow cracks were observed typically when 5% of the fatigue life had expired. Re-rolling after 50% of expected improved fatigue life, when also short cracks were observed in the notch roots further increased the fatigue improvement. Pretensioned small steel specimens with a notch were used to simulate cold rolled threads. The specimens were fatigue tested in tension with minimum load close to zero. Pretensioning increased the fatigue life from approximately 50 000 cycles to an infinite number of cycles. In these tests non-propagating cracks of typically 0.4 mm length were found. The benefit from pretensioning gradually disappeared with increasing mean stress. FE analyses indicated that an almost instant relaxation of residual stresses to a level with no monotonic strain hardening from preloading would take place when cycled at moderate mean stress. Cycled at low mean stress, an instant relaxation of the surface layer was found in analysis. All observations from notched pretensioned fatigue specimens were in good agreement with the available literature. However, preloading was found to be strain rate dependent in tests where a pretension load held for 2 minutes gave a longer fatigue life than a sinusoidal loading-unloading cycle performed over a one minute interval. Strain hardening was found not contributing to the fatigue life improvement, whereas the polishing effect from improved surface quality after cold rolling increased the fatigue initiation period. However, residual stress and subsequent early crack closure was the dominating effect at moderate cyclic mean loads. The material data required to

  1. Improvement of performance of ultra-high performance concrete based composite material added with nano materials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pang Jinchang

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Ultra-high performance concrete (UHPC, a kind of composite material characterized by ultra high strength, high toughness and high durability. It has a wide application prospect in engineering practice. But there are some defects in concrete. How to improve strength and toughness of UHPC remains to be the target of researchers. To obtain UHPC with better performance, this study introduced nano-SiO2 and nano-CaCO3 into UHPC. Moreover, hydration heat analysis, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD, mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP and nanoindentation tests were used to explore hydration process and microstructure. Double-doped nanomaterials can further enhance various mechanical performances of materials. Nano-SiO2 can promote early progress of cement hydration due to its high reaction activity and C-S-H gel generates when it reacts with cement hydration product Ca(OH2. Nano-CaCO3 mainly plays the role of crystal nucleus effect and filling effect. Under the combined action of the two, the composite structure is denser, which provides a way to improve the performance of UHPC in practical engineering.

  2. What makes great boards great.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonnenfeld, Jeffrey A

    2002-09-01

    In the wake of meltdowns at WorldCom, Tyco, and Enron, enormous attention has been focused on the companies' boards. It seems inconceivable that business disasters of such magnitude could happen without gross or even criminal negligence on the part of board members. And yet a close examination of those boards reveals no broad pattern of incompetence or corruption. In fact, they followed most of the accepted standards for board operations: Members showed up for meetings; they had money invested in the company; audit committees, compensation committees, and codes of ethics were in place; the boards weren't too small or too big, nor were they dominated by insiders. In other words, they passed the tests that would normally be applied to determine whether a board of directors was likely to do a good job. And that's precisely what's so scary, according to corporate governance expert Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, who suggests that it's time for some new thinking about how corporate boards operate and are evaluated. He proposes thinking not only about how to structure the board's work but also about how to manage it as a social system. Good boards are, very simply, high-functioning work groups. They're distinguished by a climate of respect, trust, and candor among board members and between the board and management. Information is shared openly and on time; emergent political factions are quickly eliminated. Members feel free to challenge one another's assumptions and conclusions, and management encourages lively discussion of strategic issues. Directors feel a responsibility to contribute meaningfully to the board's performance. In addition, good boards assess their own performance, both collectively and individually.

  3. Measuring US Army medical evacuation: Metrics for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvagno, Samuel M; Mabry, Robert L; Maddry, Joseph; Kharod, Chetan U; Walrath, Benjamin D; Powell, Elizabeth; Shackelford, Stacy

    2018-01-01

    The US Army medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) community has maintained a reputation for high levels of success in transporting casualties from the point of injury to definitive care. This work served as a demonstration project to advance a model of quality assurance surveillance and medical direction for prehospital MEDEVAC providers within the Joint Trauma System. A retrospective interrupted time series analysis using prospectively collected data was performed as a process improvement project. Records were reviewed during two distinct periods: 2009 and 2014 to 2015. MEDEVAC records were matched to outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry. Abstracted deidentified data were reviewed for specific outcomes, procedures, and processes of care. Descriptive statistics were applied as appropriate. A total of 1,008 patients were included in this study. Nine quality assurance metrics were assessed. These metrics were: airway management, management of hypoxemia, compliance with a blood transfusion protocol, interventions for hypotensive patients, quality of battlefield analgesia, temperature measurement and interventions, proportion of traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with hypoxemia and/or hypotension, proportion of traumatic brain injury patients with an appropriate assessment, and proportion of missing data. Overall survival in the subset of patients with outcomes data available in the Department of Defense Trauma Registry was 97.5%. The data analyzed for this study suggest overall high compliance with established tactical combat casualty care guidelines. In the present study, nearly 7% of patients had at least one documented oxygen saturation of less than 90%, and 13% of these patients had no documentation of any intervention for hypoxemia, indicating a need for training focus on airway management for hypoxemia. Advances in battlefield analgesia continued to evolve over the period when data for this study was collected. Given the inherent high

  4. Does model performance improve with complexity? A case study with three hydrological models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orth, Rene; Staudinger, Maria; Seneviratne, Sonia I.; Seibert, Jan; Zappa, Massimiliano

    2015-04-01

    In recent decades considerable progress has been made in climate model development. Following the massive increase in computational power, models became more sophisticated. At the same time also simple conceptual models have advanced. In this study we validate and compare three hydrological models of different complexity to investigate whether their performance varies accordingly. For this purpose we use runoff and also soil moisture measurements, which allow a truly independent validation, from several sites across Switzerland. The models are calibrated in similar ways with the same runoff data. Our results show that the more complex models HBV and PREVAH outperform the simple water balance model (SWBM) in case of runoff but not for soil moisture. Furthermore the most sophisticated PREVAH model shows an added value compared to the HBV model only in case of soil moisture. Focusing on extreme events we find generally improved performance of the SWBM during drought conditions and degraded agreement with observations during wet extremes. For the more complex models we find the opposite behavior, probably because they were primarily developed for prediction of runoff extremes. As expected given their complexity, HBV and PREVAH have more problems with over-fitting. All models show a tendency towards better performance in lower altitudes as opposed to (pre-) alpine sites. The results vary considerably across the investigated sites. In contrast, the different metrics we consider to estimate the agreement between models and observations lead to similar conclusions, indicating that the performance of the considered models is similar at different time scales as well as for anomalies and long-term means. We conclude that added complexity does not necessarily lead to improved performance of hydrological models, and that performance can vary greatly depending on the considered hydrological variable (e.g. runoff vs. soil moisture) or hydrological conditions (floods vs. droughts).

  5. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-01-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  6. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike [Neptune and Company, Inc., Los Alamos, New Mexico 87544 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus

  7. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, M.J.F.; Wilderom, C.P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  8. Why do employees take more initiatives to improve their performance after co-developing performance measures? A field study.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groen, B.A.C.; Wouters, Marc; Wilderom, Celeste P.M.

    2012-01-01

    Performance measurements may stimulate employee initiatives to improve operational performance, especially when employees themselves participate in the development of their own departmental performance measures. Using the theory of planned behavior, we examine why this occurs in a beverage

  9. Roasted sesame hulls improve broiler performance without affecting carcass characteristics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kamel Z. Mahmoud

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effect of using graded levels of roasted sesame hulls (RSH on growth performance and meat quality characteristics in broiler chickens. A total of 360 day-old Lohmann chicks were randomly allocated into 24 floor pens and raised over 42 days. One of four dietary treatments was assigned to each group of six pens in a completely randomized fashion. The chicks in the control group were fed a corn-soybean based diet (RSH-0, while the chicks in treatments two, three, and four were fed graded levels of RSH at 4% (RSH-4, 8% (RSH-8, and 12% (RSH-12, respectively. Diets were formulated to meet broiler chicks’ requirements according to the National Research Council for both starter and finisher rations. The results showed that RSH inclusion increased (P<0.05 feed intake and final body weight without adversely affecting the feed conversion ratio. Broiler chicks fed RSH-12 had heavier (P<0.05 breast and leg cuts compared to the control-fed group with no change to their chemical composition. Water holding capacity (WHC, cooking loss (CL, and shear force (SF reported similar results in all dietary groups. The chemical composition of both thigh and breast cuts was not affected by the RSH. After one day of thawing, colour coordinates of breast cuts behaved similarly in all dietary groups. The results of this study suggest that the addition of RSH to broiler diets up to 12% improves their growth performance; nevertheless, carcass characteristics and meat quality showed no alterations compared to the control-fed group.

  10. Quality improvement using the Baldrige Criteria for Organizational Performance Excellence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeJong, Douglas J

    2009-06-01

    The criteria needed to achieve the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) are described. The MBNQA was created in 1987 to recognize quality and performance and to encourage excellence in American companies. In 2003, Saint Luke's Hospital, the largest hospital in the Saint Luke's Health System, received the MBNQA. In the years since, the hospital has continued to use the Baldrige approach and has pursued the award on the health-system level. The Baldrige Criteria for Organizational Performance Excellence provide a framework that focuses on obtaining the highest levels of organizational excellence. These criteria consist of seven categories-leadership; strategic planning; focus on patients, customers, and markets; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; work-force focus; process management; and results. At Saint Luke's Hospital, a category leader was designated for each of the seven categories in order to fully apply the criteria to the organization. Pharmacy leaders worked closely with each category leader to ensure that the appropriate format was being followed and to contribute positively to the written application and the site visit conducted by MBNQA examiners. The MBNQA involves its own vernacular and pattern. Effort should be made to fully understand and embrace the path that the organization's leaders have chosen. Departmental activities should be placed in front of an individual's leadership so that he or she can play an active part in demonstrating quality-improvement success stories. The criteria for the MBNQA are structured around seven categories that form a framework by which any organization or department can structure its own pursuit of quality and excellence. Pharmacy leaders can play an important role in the successful pursuit of quality within their organization.

  11. Improving growth performance in calves under hot weather conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Emara, S.S.M.

    2009-01-01

    The main objectives of the present study were to evaluate the effect of some supplement such as dried live yeast DLY (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), DLY + vitamin E and / or dried whey milk (DWM) on blood constituents and thyroid activity in relation to some immune indices and growth performance of calves under hot weather conditions. The ambient temperature and relative humidity averaged 36.9±4 degree C and 43-58 % during day and 29±4 degree C and 60-68 % during night, respectively, which were equivalent to temperature humidity index of 86-89 during day and 78-80 during night . The present study included three experiments as follows. Experiment 1 : Six female bovine Baladi calves of 8-10 months old and 100 kg initial body weight (IBW) were used during two periods. In the first period, the calves were offered the basal diet for one month and considered as a control period. In the second period, the same calves were fed the same basal diet which supplemented with 15 g / calf/ day DLY for one month and considered as treated period. The obtained results indicated that supplementation of DLY reduced significantly the respiration rate (RR) and rectal temperature (RT) as well as serum lipids profile including total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL- cholesterol) very low density lipoprotein (VLDL-cholesterol) triglycerides and phospholipids.The second and third experiments were carried out for improving growth performance of heat-stressed bovine baladi calves by adding DLY and vitamine E (alpha-tocopherol) to their diet in experiment 2 and dried whey milk (DWM) in experiment 3.

  12. Solar multi-conjugate adaptive optics performance improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhicheng; Zhang, Xiaofang; Song, Jie

    2015-08-01

    In order to overcome the effect of the atmospheric anisoplanatism, Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO), which was developed based on turbulence correction by means of several deformable mirrors (DMs) conjugated to different altitude and by which the limit of a small corrected FOV that is achievable with AO is overcome and a wider FOV is able to be corrected, has been widely used to widen the field-of-view (FOV) of a solar telescope. With the assistance of the multi-threaded Adaptive Optics Simulator (MAOS), we can make a 3D reconstruction of the distorted wavefront. The correction is applied by one or more DMs. This technique benefits from information about atmospheric turbulence at different layers, which can be used to reconstruct the wavefront extremely well. In MAOS, the sensors are either simulated as idealized wavefront gradient sensors, tip-tilt sensors based on the best Zernike fit, or a WFS using physical optics and incorporating user specified pixel characteristics and a matched filter pixel processing algorithm. Only considering the atmospheric anisoplanatism, we focus on how the performance of a solar MCAO system is related to the numbers of DMs and their conjugate heights. We theoretically quantify the performance of the tomographic solar MCAO system. The results indicate that the tomographic AO system can improve the average Strehl ratio of a solar telescope by only employing one or two DMs conjugated to the optimum altitude. And the S.R. has a significant increase when more deformable mirrors are used. Furthermore, we discuss the effects of DM conjugate altitude on the correction achievable by the MCAO system, and present the optimum DM conjugate altitudes.

  13. Carbohydrate mouth rinse does not improve repeated sprint performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leandro Ricardo Altimari

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of a carbohydrate mouth rinse on the repeated sprint ability (RSA of young soccer players. Nine youth soccer players (15.0 ± 1.5 years; 60.7 ± 4.84 kg; 1.72 ± 0.05 m; 20.5 ± 1.25 kg/m2 were selected. The athletes were submitted to an RSA test consisting of six sprints of 40 m (going/return = 20 m + 20 m, separated by 20 s of passive recovery, under three experimental conditions: carbohydrate mouth rinse (CHO or placebo (PLA and control (CON. The mouth rinses containing CHO or PLA were administered 5 min and immediately before the beginning of the test in doses of 100 mL. The best sprint time (RSAbest, mean sprint time (RSAmean, and drop-off in sprint performance (fatigue index were determined for the different treatments. One-not identify significant differences (p> 0.05 in RSAbest (CHO way ANOVA for repeated measures did = 7.30 ± 0.31 s; PLA = 7.30 ± 0.30 s; CON = 7.26 ±0.16 s, RSA mean (CHO = 7.71 ± 0.30 s; PLA = 7.71 ± 0.25 s; CON = 7.66 ± 0.24s, or fatigue index (CHO = 5.58 ± 2.16%; PLA = 5.77 ± 3.04%; CON = 5.55 ±3.72%. The results suggest that a carbohydrate mouth rinse does not improve the repeated sprint performance of young soccer players.

  14. Improving the performance of minimizers and winnowing schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marçais, Guillaume; Pellow, David; Bork, Daniel; Orenstein, Yaron; Shamir, Ron; Kingsford, Carl

    2017-07-15

    The minimizers scheme is a method for selecting k -mers from sequences. It is used in many bioinformatics software tools to bin comparable sequences or to sample a sequence in a deterministic fashion at approximately regular intervals, in order to reduce memory consumption and processing time. Although very useful, the minimizers selection procedure has undesirable behaviors (e.g. too many k -mers are selected when processing certain sequences). Some of these problems were already known to the authors of the minimizers technique, and the natural lexicographic ordering of k -mers used by minimizers was recognized as their origin. Many software tools using minimizers employ ad hoc variations of the lexicographic order to alleviate those issues. We provide an in-depth analysis of the effect of k -mer ordering on the performance of the minimizers technique. By using small universal hitting sets (a recently defined concept), we show how to significantly improve the performance of minimizers and avoid some of its worse behaviors. Based on these results, we encourage bioinformatics software developers to use an ordering based on a universal hitting set or, if not possible, a randomized ordering, rather than the lexicographic order. This analysis also settles negatively a conjecture (by Schleimer et al. ) on the expected density of minimizers in a random sequence. The software used for this analysis is available on GitHub: https://github.com/gmarcais/minimizers.git . gmarcais@cs.cmu.edu or carlk@cs.cmu.edu. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com

  15. Leveraging EHRs to improve hospital performance: the role of management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adler-Milstein, Julia; Woody Scott, Kirstin; Jha, Ashish K

    2014-11-01

    Recent studies fail to find a consistent relationship between adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and improved hospital performance. We sought to examine whether the quality of hospital management modifies the association between EHR adoption and outcomes related to cost and quality. Retrospective study of a random sample of US acute care hospitals. Management quality was assessed via phone interviews with clinical managers predominantly from cardiac units in a random sample of 325 hospitals using a validated scale of management practices in 4 areas: operations, performance monitoring, target setting, and talent management. American Hospital Association InformationTechnology Supplement data captured whether or not these hospitals had at least a basic EHR. Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) outcomes included risk-adjusted 30-day mortality, average length-of-stay, and average payment per discharge measured using MedPAR data. Ordinary least squares regressions assessed whether management quality modifies the relationship between EHR adoption and AMI outcomes. While we found no association between EHR adoption and our outcomes, management quality modified the relationship in the predicted direction. For length of stay, the coefficient on the interaction between EHR and management was -1.48 (P = .05) and for payment, it was -7786.74 (P = .014). We did not find strong evidence of effect modification for mortality (coefficient = -0.05; P = .37). Coupled with ongoing policy efforts to achieve nationwide EHR adoption is a growing unease that our national investment may not result in better, more efficient care. Our study is among the first to offer empirical evidence that management quality may help explain why some hospitals see substantial gains from EHR adoption while others do not.

  16. The effectiveness of strategies to change organisational culture to improve healthcare performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmelli, Elena; Flodgren, Gerd; Schaafsma, Mary Ellen; Baillie, Nick; Beyer, Fiona R; Eccles, Martin P

    2011-01-19

    Organisational culture is an anthropological metaphor used to inform research and consultancy and to explain organisational environments. Great emphasis has been placed during the last years on the need to change organisational culture in order to pursue effective improvement of healthcare performance. However, the precise nature of organisational culture in healthcare policy often remains underspecified and the desirability and feasibility of strategies to be adopted has been called into question. To determine the effectiveness of strategies to change organisational culture in order to improve healthcare performance.To examine the effectiveness of these strategies according to different patterns of organisational culture. We searched the following electronic databases for primary studies: The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Sociological Abstracts, Web of Knowledge, PsycINFO, Business and Management, EThOS, Index to Theses, Intute, HMIC, SIGLE, and Scopus until October 2009. The Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE) was searched for related reviews. We also searched the reference lists of all papers and relevant reviews identified, and we contacted experts in the field for advice on further potential studies. We considered randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or well designed quasi-experimental studies, controlled clinical trials (CCTs), controlled before and after studies (CBAs) and interrupted time series analyses (ITS) meeting the quality criteria used by the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC). Studies should be set in any type of healthcare organisation in which strategies to change organisational culture in order to improve healthcare performance were applied. Our main outcomes were objective measures of professional performance and patient outcome. At least two review authors independently applied the criteria for inclusion and exclusion criteria to scan titles and

  17. Performance studies and improvements of CMS distributed data transfers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bonacorsi, D; Flix, J; Kaselis, R; Magini, N; Letts, J; Sartirana, A

    2012-01-01

    CMS computing needs reliable, stable and fast connections among multi-tiered distributed infrastructures. CMS experiment relies on File Transfer Services (FTS) for data distribution, a low level data movement service responsible for moving sets of files from one site to another, while allowing participating sites to control the network resource usage. FTS servers are provided by Tier-0 and Tier-1 centers and used by all the computing sites in CMS, subject to established CMS and sites setup policies, including all the virtual organizations making use of the Grid resources at the site, and properly dimensioned to satisfy all the requirements for them. Managing the service efficiently needs good knowledge of the CMS needs for all kind of transfer routes, and the sharing and interference with other VOs using the same FTS transfer managers. This contribution deals with a complete revision of all FTS servers used by CMS, customizing the topologies and improving their setup in order to keep CMS transferring data to the desired levels, as well as performance studies for all kind of transfer routes, including overheads measurements introduced by SRM servers and storage systems, FTS server misconfigurations and identification of congested channels, historical transfer throughputs per stream, file-latency studies,… This information is retrieved directly from the FTS servers through the FTS Monitor webpages and conveniently archived for further analysis. The project provides an interface for all these values, to ease the analysis of the data.

  18. Simulations of backgate sandwich nanowire MOSFETs with improved device performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhao Hengliang; Zhu Huilong; Zhong Jian; Ma Xiaolong; Wei Xing; Zhao Chao; Chen Dapeng; Ye Tianchun

    2014-01-01

    We propose a novel backgate sandwich nanowire MOSFET (SNFET), which offers the advantages of ETSOI (dynamic backgate voltage controllability) and nanowire FETs (good short channel effect). A backgate is used for threshold voltage (V t ) control of the SNFET. Compared with a backgate FinFET with a punch-through stop layer (PTSL), the SNFET possesses improved device performance. 3D device simulations indicate that the SNFET has a three times larger overdrive current, a ∼75% smaller off leakage current, and reduced subthreshold swing (SS) and DIBL than those of a backgate FinFET when the nanowire (NW) and the fin are of equal width. A new process flow to fabricate the backgate SNFET is also proposed in this work. Our analytical model suggests that V t control by the backgate can be attributed to the capacitances formed by the frontgate, NW, and backgate. The SNFET devices are compatible with the latest state-of-the-art high-k/metal gate CMOS technology with the unique capability of independent backgate control for nFETs and pFETs, which is promising for sub-22 nm scaling down. (semiconductor devices)

  19. Biomechanical modelling and evaluation of construction jobs for performance improvement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parida, Ratri; Ray, Pradip Kumar

    2012-01-01

    Occupational risk factors, such as awkward posture, repetition, lack of rest, insufficient illumination and heavy workload related to construction-related MMH activities may cause musculoskeletal disorders and poor performance of the workers, ergonomic design of construction worksystems was a critical need for improving their health and safety wherein a dynamic biomechanical models were required to be empirically developed and tested at a construction site of Tata Steel, the largest steel making company of India in private sector. In this study, a comprehensive framework is proposed for biomechanical evaluation of shovelling and grinding under diverse work environments. The benefit of such an analysis lies in its usefulness in setting guidelines for designing such jobs with minimization of risks of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and enhancing correct methods of carrying out the jobs leading to reduced fatigue and physical stress. Data based on direct observations and videography were collected for the shovellers and grinders over a number of workcycles. Compressive forces and moments for a number of segments and joints are computed with respect to joint flexion and extension. The results indicate that moments and compressive forces at L5/S1 link are significant for shovellers while moments at elbow and wrist are significant for grinders.

  20. Improved Ant Colony Clustering Algorithm and Its Performance Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Wei

    2016-01-01

    Clustering analysis is used in many disciplines and applications; it is an important tool that descriptively identifies homogeneous groups of objects based on attribute values. The ant colony clustering algorithm is a swarm-intelligent method used for clustering problems that is inspired by the behavior of ant colonies that cluster their corpses and sort their larvae. A new abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm using a data combination mechanism is proposed to improve the computational efficiency and accuracy of the ant colony clustering algorithm. The abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm is used to cluster benchmark problems, and its performance is compared with the ant colony clustering algorithm and other methods used in existing literature. Based on similar computational difficulties and complexities, the results show that the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm produces results that are not only more accurate but also more efficiently determined than the ant colony clustering algorithm and the other methods. Thus, the abstraction ant colony clustering algorithm can be used for efficient multivariate data clustering. PMID:26839533

  1. Improving secondary clarifier performance at the Oakville Oil Refinery

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edwards, S.M.; Bagley, D.M.

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study was threefold: to investigate the relationship between settleability and the physical properties of activated sludge, to correlate settleability and key operational parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration at the aeration basin inlet and to determine potential operational improvements to the Oakville Oil Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nine separate sets of stirred sludge-settling tests were conducted over a six-month period to measure settleability. The stirred sludge volume index (SSVI), the zone settling constants, and the Zheng-Bagley compression constants were determined. State point analyses were conducted to determine the maximum solids flux of the clarifiers. The concentrations of Al, Mn, Mg, Fe, Ca, Na, and K were determined to identify potential correlations to settling characteristics. Extracellular polymeric substances were extracted from the sludge and analyzed for the same reason. The performance of the clarifiers was highly variable during the period examined. As the refinery process flows and effluent streams changed, influent COD increased, from an average of 180mg/L to 600mg/L. Concurrently the settleability of the sludge decreased from excellent (SSVI = 68mL/g) to very poor (150mL/g), perhaps as the result of under aeration. State point analyses indicated that the clarifiers are under-sized for process upsets of this magnitude. (author)

  2. Improving secondary clarifier performance at the Oakville Oil Refinery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edwards, S.M.; Bagley, D.M. [Univ. of Toronto, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Toronto, Ontario (Canada)

    2002-06-15

    The purpose of this study was threefold: to investigate the relationship between settleability and the physical properties of activated sludge, to correlate settleability and key operational parameters such as chemical oxygen demand (COD) concentration at the aeration basin inlet and to determine potential operational improvements to the Oakville Oil Refinery Wastewater Treatment Plant. Nine separate sets of stirred sludge-settling tests were conducted over a six-month period to measure settleability. The stirred sludge volume index (SSVI), the zone settling constants, and the Zheng-Bagley compression constants were determined. State point analyses were conducted to determine the maximum solids flux of the clarifiers. The concentrations of Al, Mn, Mg, Fe, Ca, Na, and K were determined to identify potential correlations to settling characteristics. Extracellular polymeric substances were extracted from the sludge and analyzed for the same reason. The performance of the clarifiers was highly variable during the period examined. As the refinery process flows and effluent streams changed, influent COD increased, from an average of 180mg/L to 600mg/L. Concurrently the settleability of the sludge decreased from excellent (SSVI = 68mL/g) to very poor (150mL/g), perhaps as the result of under aeration. State point analyses indicated that the clarifiers are under-sized for process upsets of this magnitude. (author)

  3. Improving the thermal performance of the US residential window stock

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, R.E.; Arasteh, D.K.; Eto, J.H.

    1992-05-01

    Windows have typically been the least efficient thermal component in the residential envelope, but technology advances over the past decade have helped to dramatically improve the energy efficiency of window products. While the thermal performance of these advanced technology windows can be easily characterized for a particular building application, few precise estimates exist of their aggregate impact on national or regional energy use. Policy-makers, utilities, researchers and the fenestration industry must better understand these products` ultimate conservation potential in order to determine the value of developing new products and initiating programs to accelerate their market acceptance. This paper presents a method to estimate the conservation potential of advanced window technologies, combining elements of two well-known modeling paradigms: supply curves of conserved energy and residential end-use forecasting. The unique features include: detailed descriptions of the housing stock by region and vintage, state-of-the-art thermal descriptions of window technologies, and incorporation of market effects to calculate achievable conservation potential and timing. We demonstrate the methodology by comparing, for all new houses built between 1990 and 2010, the conservation potential of very efficient, high R-value ``superwindows`` in the North Central federal region and spectrally-selective low-emissivity (moderate Revalue and solar transmittance) windows in California.

  4. Improved Performance in Mammalian Cell Perfusion Cultures by Growth Inhibition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Moritz K F; Closet, Aurélie; Bzowska, Monika; Bielser, Jean-Marc; Souquet, Jonathan; Broly, Hervé; Morbidelli, Massimo

    2018-05-21

    Mammalian cell perfusion cultures represent a promising alternative to the current fed-batch technology for the production of various biopharmaceuticals. Long-term operation at a fixed viable cell density (VCD) requires a viable culture and a constant removal of excessive cells. Product loss in the cell removing bleed stream deteriorates the process yield. In this study, the authors investigate the use of chemical and environmental growth inhibition on culture performance by either adding valeric acid (VA) to the production media or by reducing the culture temperature (33.0 °C) with respect to control conditions (36.5 °C, no VA). Low temperature significantly reduces cellular growth, thus, resulting in lower bleed rates accompanied by a reduced product loss of 11% compared to 26% under control conditions. Additionally, the cell specific productivity of the target protein improves and maintained stable leading to media savings per mass of product. VA shows initially an inhibitory effect on cellular growth. However, cells seemed to adapt to the presence of the inhibitor resulting in a recovery of the cellular growth. Cell cycle and Western blot analyses support the observed results. This work underlines the role of temperature as a key operating variable for the optimization of perfusion cultures. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. Intentional Weight Loss Improved Performance in Obese Ischaemic Heart Patient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geiker, Nina; Myint, Khin Swe; Heck, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Aims: The risk of heart failure (HF) increases with BMI, but paradoxically obesity has been associated with reduced mortality in patients with HF. The effect of intentional or therapeutic weight loss on HF is not well known. We examined the effect of weight loss induced by low energy diet (LED......) on physical performance and cardiovascular risk factors in obese patients with moderate-to-severe HF and/or ischaemic heart disease (IHD). Methods and Results: Results from two weight loss interventions at two centres, one in Denmark (DK - 12 week intervention in 21 subjects (14 LED, 7 controls)) and one.......1 in the intervention group versus -22.1% ± 25.6 in the control group (P=0.000). Treatment also improved triglycerides (P=0.000), very low lipoprotein (P=0.001) and C-reactive protein (P=0.010). Conclusion: Weight loss induced by LED in obese patients with moderate-to-severe HF or IHD resulted in clinically significant...

  6. Tablet computer enhanced training improves internal medicine exam performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumgart, Daniel C; Wende, Ilja; Grittner, Ulrike

    2017-01-01

    Traditional teaching concepts in medical education do not take full advantage of current information technology. We aimed to objectively determine the impact of Tablet PC enhanced training on learning experience and MKSAP® (medical knowledge self-assessment program) exam performance. In this single center, prospective, controlled study final year medical students and medical residents doing an inpatient service rotation were alternatingly assigned to either the active test (Tablet PC with custom multimedia education software package) or traditional education (control) group, respectively. All completed an extensive questionnaire to collect their socio-demographic data, evaluate educational status, computer affinity and skills, problem solving, eLearning knowledge and self-rated medical knowledge. Both groups were MKSAP® tested at the beginning and the end of their rotation. The MKSAP® score at the final exam was the primary endpoint. Data of 55 (tablet n = 24, controls n = 31) male 36.4%, median age 28 years, 65.5% students, were evaluable. The mean MKSAP® score improved in the tablet PC (score Δ + 8 SD: 11), but not the control group (score Δ- 7, SD: 11), respectively. After adjustment for baseline score and confounders the Tablet PC group showed on average 11% better MKSAP® test results compared to the control group (plearning to their respective training programs.

  7. metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station

    CERN Document Server

    Montenero, Giuseppe; Ballarino, Amalia

    The work presented in this PhD thesis concerns the metrological performance improvement of a superconducting cable test station based on superconducting transformers. The main cable’s parameter to be assessed –as a function of temperature and magnetic field– is the critical current, i.e. beyond this limit the phase transition to the normal state occurs. Ramping the current at levels in the order of the tens of kA can be achieved with superconducting transformers at moderate capital and operational cost. But, issues such as (i) accurate/precise measurements and (ii) monitoring of the secondary current during the device operation have to be addressed. In this regard, the goals of the thesis are the design, prototyping, and validation of a new cryogenic current transducer and effective monitoring system for test stations transformer-based. Among the available transducers for current sensing at room temperature, the DC current transformer (DCCT) provides measurement accuracy in the order of the hundreds of ...

  8. Performance analysis of PV plants: Optimization for improving profitability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Díez-Mediavilla, M.; Alonso-Tristán, C.; Rodríguez-Amigo, M.C.; García-Calderón, T.; Dieste-Velasco, M.I.

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Real PV production from two 100 kW p grid-connected installations is conducted. ► Data sets on production were collected over an entire year. ► Economic results highlight the importance of properly selecting the system components. ► Performance of PV plants is directly related to improvements of all components. - Abstract: A study is conducted of real PV production from two 100 kW p grid-connected installations located in the same area, both of which experience the same fluctuations in temperature and radiation. Data sets on production were collected over an entire year and both installations were compared under various levels of radiation. The installations were assembled with mono-Si panels, mounted on the same support system, and the power supply was equal for the inverter and the measurement system; the same parameters were also employed for the wiring, and electrical losses were calculated in both cases. The results, in economic terms, highlight the importance of properly selecting the system components and the design parameters for maximum profitability.

  9. Photopolymerized materials and patterning for improved performance of neural prosthetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tuft, Bradley William

    Neural prosthetics are used to replace or substantially augment remaining motor and sensory functions of neural pathways that were lost or damaged due to physical trauma, disease, or genetics. However, due to poor spatial signal resolution, neural prostheses fail to recapitulate the intimate, precise interactions inherent to neural networks. Designing materials and interfaces that direct de novo nerve growth to spatially specific stimulating elements is, therefore, a promising method to enhance signal specificity and performance of prostheses such as the successful cochlear implant (CI) and the developing retinal implant. In this work, the spatial and temporal reaction control inherent to photopolymerization was used to develop methods to generate micro and nanopatterned materials that direct neurite growth from prosthesis relevant neurons. In particular, neurite growth and directionality has been investigated in response to physical, mechanical, and chemical cues on photopolymerized surfaces. Spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs) serve as the primary neuronal model as they are the principal target for CI stimulation. The objective of the research is to rationally design materials that spatially direct neurite growth and to translate fundamental understanding of nerve cell-material interactions into methods of nerve regeneration that improve neural prosthetic performance. A rapid, single-step photopolymerization method was developed to fabricate micro and nanopatterned physical cues on methacrylate surfaces by selectively blocking light with photomasks. Feature height is readily tuned by modulating parameters of the photopolymerizaiton including initiator concentration and species, light intensity, separation distance from the photomask, and radiation exposure time. Alignment of neural elements increases significantly with increasing feature amplitude and constant periodicity, as well as with decreasing periodicity and constant amplitude. SGN neurite alignment strongly

  10. Evidence from Scientific Literature about Improved Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  11. What You Can Do to Improve Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies that measure school conditions using an index of several variables consistently show improved scores on standardized tests as school conditions improve. On the other hand, schools with major unmet repair needs and fewer custodial workers per square

  12. Improvability of assembly systems I: Problem formulation and performance evaluation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.-Y. Chiang

    2000-01-01

    Full Text Available This work develops improvability theory for assembly systems. It consists of two parts. Part I includes the problem formulation and the analysis technique. Part II presents the so-called improvability indicators and a case study.

  13. Performance improvement of coherent free-space optical communication with quadrature phase-shift keying modulation using digital phase estimation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xueliang; Geng, Tianwen; Ma, Shuang; Li, Yatian; Gao, Shijie; Wu, Zhiyong

    2017-06-01

    The performance of coherent free-space optical (CFSO) communication with phase modulation is limited by both phase fluctuations and intensity scintillations induced by atmospheric turbulence. To improve the system performance, one effective way is to use digital phase estimation. In this paper, a CFSO communication system with quadrature phase-shift keying modulation is studied. With consideration of the effects of log-normal amplitude fluctuations and Gauss phase fluctuations, a two-stage Mth power carrier phase estimation (CPE) scheme is proposed. The simulation results show that the phase noise can be suppressed greatly by this scheme, and the system symbol error rate performance with the two-stage Mth power CPE can be three orders lower than that of the single-stage Mth power CPE. Therefore, the two-stage CPE we proposed can contribute to the performance improvements of the CFSO communication system and has determinate guidance sense to its actual application.

  14. Virtual airway simulation to improve dexterity among novices performing fibreoptic intubation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Oliveira, G S; Glassenberg, R; Chang, R; Fitzgerald, P; McCarthy, R J

    2013-10-01

    We developed a virtual reality software application (iLarynx) using built-in accelerometer properties of the iPhone(®) or iPad(®) (Apple Inc., Cupertino, CA, USA) that mimics hand movements for the performance of fibreoptic skills. Twenty novice medical students were randomly assigned to virtual airway training with the iLarynx software or no additional training. Eight out of the 10 subjects in the standard training group had at least one failed (> 120 s) attempt compared with two out of the 10 participants in the iLarynx group (p = 0.01). There were a total of 24 failed attempts in the standard training group and four in the iLarynx group (p < 0.005). Cusum analysis demonstrated continued group improvement in the iLarynx, but not in the standard training group. Virtual airway simulation using freely available software on a smartphone/tablet device improves dexterity among novices performing upper airway endoscopy. © 2013 The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.

  15. A Control Variate Method for Probabilistic Performance Assessment. Improved Estimates for Mean Performance Quantities of Interest

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    MacKinnon, Robert J.; Kuhlman, Kristopher L

    2016-05-01

    We present a method of control variates for calculating improved estimates for mean performance quantities of interest, E(PQI) , computed from Monte Carlo probabilistic simulations. An example of a PQI is the concentration of a contaminant at a particular location in a problem domain computed from simulations of transport in porous media. To simplify the presentation, the method is described in the setting of a one- dimensional elliptical model problem involving a single uncertain parameter represented by a probability distribution. The approach can be easily implemented for more complex problems involving multiple uncertain parameters and in particular for application to probabilistic performance assessment of deep geologic nuclear waste repository systems. Numerical results indicate the method can produce estimates of E(PQI)having superior accuracy on coarser meshes and reduce the required number of simulations needed to achieve an acceptable estimate.

  16. Cryptanalytic Performance Appraisal of Improved CCH2 Proxy Multisignature Scheme

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raman Kumar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Many of the signature schemes are proposed in which the t out of n threshold schemes are deployed, but they still lack the property of security. In this paper, we have discussed implementation of improved CCH1 and improved CCH2 proxy multisignature scheme based on elliptic curve cryptosystem. We have represented time complexity, space complexity, and computational overhead of improved CCH1 and CCH2 proxy multisignature schemes. We have presented cryptanalysis of improved CCH2 proxy multisignature scheme and showed that improved CCH2 scheme suffered from various attacks, that is, forgery attack and framing attack.

  17. Improving Job Performance: Workplace Learning Is the First Step

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daryoush, Younes; Silong, Abu Daud; Omar, Zohara; Othman, Jamilah

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims to contribute new knowledge to the existing literature on workplace learning and job performance. Particularly, the study analyzes contemporary literature on workplace learning and job performance, specifically formal and informal learning as well as employee task performance and contextual performance. The study…

  18. Evaluation of Software Quality to Improve Application Performance Using Mc Call Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Inda D Lestantri

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The existence of software should have more value to improve the performance of the organization in addition to having the primary function to automate. Before being implemented in an operational environment, software must pass the test gradually to ensure that the software is functioning properly, meeting user needs and providing convenience for users to use it. This test is performed on a web-based application, by taking a test case in an e-SAP application. E-SAP is an application used to monitor teaching and learning activities used by a university in Jakarta. To measure software quality, testing can be done on users randomly. The user samples selected in this test are users with an age range of 18 years old up to 25 years, background information technology. This test was conducted on 30 respondents. This test is done by using Mc Call model. Model of testing Mc Call consists of 11 dimensions are grouped into 3 categories. This paper describes the testing with reference to the category of product operation, which includes 5 dimensions. The dimensions of testing performed include the dimensions of correctness, usability, efficiency, reliability, and integrity. This paper discusses testing on each dimension to measure software quality as an effort to improve performance. The result of research is e-SAP application has good quality with product operation value equal to 85.09%. This indicates that the e-SAP application has a great quality, so this application deserves to be examined in the next stage on the operational environment.

  19. HOW TO IMPROVE EMPLOYEE MOTIVATION AND GROUP PERFORMANCE THROUGH LEADERSHIP – CONCEPTUAL MODEL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tebeian Adriana

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available We live times of intense change, due to fast technological development, when information and knowledge are certain factors of power. Organizations today must not underestimate the importance of capable employees, owners of these great factors like information and knowledge. The key to success, as many organizations have shown, is, of course a mix of attributes, but one of much importance stands in the quality of employees and their performance. How to motivate and keep such employees is a real challenge in the actual business world. Employee fluctuation is a big risk, because it brings many losses: loss of expertise, of know-how, of time, it breaks relationships and teams. One solution to this problem is creating a good and attractive environment, so that employees are motivated enough to bring up the best in them and rise their performance to a high level. The main objective of this study is to present a new approach in motivating employees and raising their performance. In this approach, the leader is the main pawn, the generator and sustainer of a healthy environment. By reviewing the literature and the most recent works in this domain, two styles of leadership come into focus: transformational and servant leadership. Both are relatively new concepts, with common but also different attributes, and both having the same final goal: performance, but through a different approach. Based on a vast literature research, the conceptual model was built, considering the main attributes of the two leadership styles, their impact on motivational factors, their influence on job satisfaction and ultimately on team performance. The intermediary results of the research sustain the conceptual framework and main hypothesis of the study. One important contribution of this research is introducing elements of servant leadership together with transformational leadership in the empirical research and also creating an overall conceptual framework which can be applied

  20. Building High-Performing and Improving Education Systems: Teachers. Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Liz

    2013-01-01

    There is overwhelming evidence that teachers have the most effect on pupil outcomes (closely followed by the quality of leadership). The Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) concluded that: (1) teachers were central to school improvement; (2) in order to improve the quality and fairness of education, teachers had to be…

  1. Stress-inducible expression of AtDREB1A transcription factor greatly improves drought stress tolerance in transgenic indica rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravikumar, G; Manimaran, P; Voleti, S R; Subrahmanyam, D; Sundaram, R M; Bansal, K C; Viraktamath, B C; Balachandran, S M

    2014-06-01

    The cultivation of rice (Oryza sativa L.), a major food crop, requires ample water (30 % of the fresh water available worldwide), and its productivity is greatly affected by drought, the most significant environmental factor. Much research has focussed on identifying quantitative trait loci, stress-regulated genes and transcription factors that will contribute towards the development of climate-resilient/tolerant crop plants in general and rice in particular. The transcription factor DREB1A, identified from the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, has been reported to enhance stress tolerance against drought stress. We developed transgenic rice plants with AtDREB1A in the background of indica rice cultivar Samba Mahsuri through Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The AtDREB1A gene was stably inherited and expressed in T1 and T2 plants and in subsequent generations, as indicated by the results of PCR, Southern blot and RT-PCR analyses. Expression of AtDREB1A was induced by drought stress in transgenic rice lines, which were highly tolerant to severe water deficit stress in both the vegetative and reproductive stages without affecting their morphological or agronomic traits. The physiological studies revealed that the expression of AtDREB1A was associated with an increased accumulation of the osmotic substance proline, maintenance of chlorophyll, increased relative water content and decreased ion leakage under drought stress. Most of the homozygous lines were highly tolerant to drought stress and showed significantly a higher grain yield and spikelet fertility relative to the nontransgenic control plants under both stressed and unstressed conditions. The improvement in drought stress tolerance in combination with agronomic traits is very essential in high premium indica rice cultivars, such as Samba Mahsuri, so that farmers can benefit in times of seasonal droughts and water scarcity.

  2. Improving performance through vertical disintegration: Evidence from UK manufacturing firms

    OpenAIRE

    Desyllas, Panos

    2009-01-01

    Unlike previous work on the vertical integration-performance relationship, we investigate the performance consequences of vertical disintegration. We offer a theoretical justification for the disintegration decision and we condition the disintegration effect on performance on the initial degree of firm integration, the timing and the direction of disintegration. Using a sample of UK manufacturing firms and controlling for disintegration endogeneity, we find that disintegration eventually resu...

  3. A framework to improve performance measurement in engineering projects

    OpenAIRE

    Zheng , Li; Baron , Claude; Esteban , Philippe; Xue , Rui; Zhang , Qiang

    2017-01-01

    International audience; A wide range of methods and good practices have been developed for the measurement of projects performance. They help project managers to effectively monitor the project progress and evaluate results. However, from a literature review, we noticed several remaining critical issues in measuring projects performance, such as an unbalanced development of Key Performance Indicators types between lagging and leading indicators. On the other hand, systems engineering measurem...

  4. Job control and coworker support improve employee job performance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagami, Makiko; Tsutsumi, Akizumi; Tsuchiya, Masao; Morimoto, Kanehisa

    2010-01-01

    We examined the prospective association of psychosocial job characteristics with employee job performance among 777 full-time employees at a manufacturing company in Japan, using data from a one-year follow-up survey. Psychosocial job characteristics were measured by the Job Content Questionnaire in 2008; job performance was evaluated using the item from the World Mental Health Survey Instrument in 2008 and 2009. The association between psychosocial job characteristics and job performance was tested using multiple regression analysis, controlling for demographic variables, work status, average working hours per day, job type and job performance in 2008. Job control and coworker support in 2008 were positively related to job performance in 2009. Stratified analyses revealed that job control for staff and coworker support for managers were positively related to job performance in 2009. These associations were prominent among men; however, supervisor support in 2008 was negatively related to job performance in 2009 among men. Job demand was not significantly related to job performance. Our findings suggest that it is worthwhile to enhance employees' job control and provide a mutually supportive environment to ensure positive employee job performance.

  5. Improving health in the community: a role for performance monitoring

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Durch, Jane; Bailey, Linda A; Stoto, Michael A

    How do communities protect and improve the health of their populations? Health care is part of the answer but so are environmental protections, social and educational services, adequate nutrition, and a host of other activities...

  6. A formalised performance assessment process to improve audit ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a requirement for individual committee members in King II. This ... Key words: audit committees, audit committee members, best practices, audit committee ..... that the foundation is laid for future improvement (AICPA 2004: 103; IoD 2009b: 44).

  7. Improving the performance of hysteresis direct torque control of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Hysteresis direct torque control (HDTC) of an interior permanent magnet synchronous motor ... response, and improved the quality of the current waveforms. Luukko ..... LF , however, the cost and size of the AF increases, and therefore suitable ...

  8. Don't fix it, make it better! : using frontline service employees to improve recovery performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Heijden, van der G.A.H.; Schepers, J.J.L.; Nijssen, E.J.; Ordanini, A.

    2013-01-01

    This study examines how frontline service employees (FSEs) can learn from recovery services and improve their performance accordingly. While research recognizes that FSEs can fulfill an innovation role by sourcing customer knowledge and developing ideas for performance improvement, it remains

  9. Improving operator training and performance through simulator observations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.P.

    1987-01-01

    This paper describes the methods and results of INPO observations of simulator training for licensed operators. It discusses the history of the observation program to the present. Effective methods for conducting and documenting simulator observations are discussed. The methods used to analyze the observations is also discussed. The major conclusion of the analysis is that opportunities exist for improvement in the use of emergency operating procedures. Teamwork, communication, and simulator instructor skills are also areas where improvement could be made

  10. Performance improvement planning : developing effective billing and collection practices

    OpenAIRE

    anonymous

    2008-01-01

    Effective billing and collection systems are a critical component for ensuring the viability of a service provider. Improving billing and collection activities has an immediate impact on the revenue streams of a service provider that can, in turn, help the service provider in improving services. However, while effective billing and collection practices depend on many internal factors (including customer databases, the extent of metered and unmetered service provision, tariff and billing struc...

  11. A New Performance Improvement Model: Adding Benchmarking to the Analysis of Performance Indicator Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kuwaiti, Ahmed; Homa, Karen; Maruthamuthu, Thennarasu

    2016-01-01

    A performance improvement model was developed that focuses on the analysis and interpretation of performance indicator (PI) data using statistical process control and benchmarking. PIs are suitable for comparison with benchmarks only if the data fall within the statistically accepted limit-that is, show only random variation. Specifically, if there is no significant special-cause variation over a period of time, then the data are ready to be benchmarked. The proposed Define, Measure, Control, Internal Threshold, and Benchmark model is adapted from the Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control (DMAIC) model. The model consists of the following five steps: Step 1. Define the process; Step 2. Monitor and measure the variation over the period of time; Step 3. Check the variation of the process; if stable (no significant variation), go to Step 4; otherwise, control variation with the help of an action plan; Step 4. Develop an internal threshold and compare the process with it; Step 5.1. Compare the process with an internal benchmark; and Step 5.2. Compare the process with an external benchmark. The steps are illustrated through the use of health care-associated infection (HAI) data collected for 2013 and 2014 from the Infection Control Unit, King Fahd Hospital, University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Monitoring variation is an important strategy in understanding and learning about a process. In the example, HAI was monitored for variation in 2013, and the need to have a more predictable process prompted the need to control variation by an action plan. The action plan was successful, as noted by the shift in the 2014 data, compared to the historical average, and, in addition, the variation was reduced. The model is subject to limitations: For example, it cannot be used without benchmarks, which need to be calculated the same way with similar patient populations, and it focuses only on the "Analyze" part of the DMAIC model.

  12. Improving Operational Risk Management Using Business Performance Management Technologies

    OpenAIRE

    Bram Pieket Weeserik; Marco Spruit

    2018-01-01

    Operational Risk Management (ORM) comprises the continuous management of risks resulting from: human actions, internal processes, systems, and external events. With increasing requirements, complexity and a growing volume of risks, information systems provide benefits for integrating risk management activities and optimizing performance. Business Performance Management (BPM) technologies are believed to provide a solution for effective Operational Risk Management by offering several combined ...

  13. The Use of Performance Feedback in School Improvement in Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schildkamp, Kim; Visscher, Adrie

    2010-01-01

    Although school performance feedback is available in schools all over the world, there is a dearth of information about the use made of feedback and about the effects of its use. This paper presents case study research into the use of school performance feedback and its perceived effects. All schools used the feedback in writing school improvement…

  14. The use of performance feedback in school improvement in Louisiana

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schildkamp, Kim; Visscher, Arend J.

    2010-01-01

    Although school performance feedback is available in schools all over the world, there is a dearth of information about the use made of feedback and about the effects of its use. This paper presents case study research into the use of school performance feedback and its’ perceived effects. All

  15. A Composite Model for Employees' Performance Appraisal and Improvement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manoharan, T. R.; Muralidharan, C.; Deshmukh, S. G.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an innovative method of performance appraisal that will be useful for designing a structured training programme. Design/methodology/approach: Employees' performance appraisals are conducted using new approaches, namely data envelopment analysis and an integrated fuzzy model. Interpretive structural…

  16. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement plan... assessment and performance improvement plan. (a) Basic rule. A PACE organization must have a written quality assessment and performance improvement plan. (b) Annual review. The PACE governing body must review the plan...

  17. Tips pentacene crystal alignment for improving performance of solution processed organic thin film transistors

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Zhengran

    devices. A novel method is demonstrated here to switch between lateral and vertical phase separation in semiconducting TIPS pentacene/ polymer blend films by simply varying the alkyl length of the polyacrylate polymer component. The phase separation modes depend on intermolecular interactions between small molecule TIPS pentacene and polymer additives. The blend film with a dominant vertical phase separation exhibits a significant enhancement in average mobility and performance consistency of organic OTFTs. Chapter 5 demonstrates an effective approach to improve both charge transport and performance consistency in solution-processed OTFTs by blending TIPS pentacene with a series of small-molecule additives: 4-butylbenzoic acid (BBA), 4-hexylbenzoic acid (HBA), and 4-octylbenzoic acid (OBA). These three small molecules share a benzoic acid moiety, but have different length of hydrophobic tails. The self-assembled interfacial layer of small molecules on the gate oxide surface leads to uniform deposition of TIPS pentacene crystal seeds and facilitates TIPS pentacene to grow along the tilted orientation of substrate, which results in a film of enhanced crystal orientation and areal coverage. OTFTs based on TIPS pentacene/small molecule blends demonstrate greatly improved average hole mobility and performance consistency, which correlates with the length of hydrophobic tail of the small-molecule additives. Chapter 6 summarizes the conclusions of this dissertation and the related future work.

  18. Novel biometric flow slab design for improvement of PEMFC performance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Chin-Tsan; Hu, Yuh-Chung; Zheng, Pei-Lun [Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering, Center of Green Technology, National I Lan University, I Lan 26047 (China)

    2010-04-15

    Designing a better flow slab is important to cell performance because of its significant influence on the total pressure drop and flow uniformity. Two novel biometric flow slabs, BFF1 and BFF2, which are addressed in this study, are believed to enhance the capability of oxygen transportation and promote the liquid water removal. Hence, its possession of a higher flow uniformity and lower pressure drop would produce a better power performance than the serpentine and parallel flow. These findings with respect to the design of biometric flow slab could be useful to promote the cell performance of PEMFC, and could even be expanded to other cell types. (author)

  19. The use of hormonal treatments to improve reproductive performance of anestrous beef cattle in tropical climates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baruselli, P S; Reis, E L; Marques, M O; Nasser, L F; Bó, G A

    2004-07-01

    Most of the world's bovine herd is found in tropical regions. Bos indicus predominates, due to their adaptation to the climate and management conditions. Anestrous is the main factor that negatively affects reproductive performance of animals bred in these regions of the globe. Several factors affect postpartum anestrous, including suckling and maternal-offspring bond, and pre- and postpartum nutritional status. The short duration of estrus and the tendency to show estrus during the night, greatly affect the efficiency of artificial insemination (AI) programs in B. indicus cattle managed in tropical areas. Several restricted suckling or weaning procedures (temporary or permanent), and hormonal treatments have been used to induce ovulation and cyclicity in postpartum cows. Most hormonal treatments are based on progesterone/progestogen (P4) releasing devices associated with estradiol benzoate (EB), or a combination of GnRH/PGF(2alpha)/GnRH (Ovsynch). Treatments with GnRH/PGF(2alpha)/GnRH has presented inconsistent results, probably due to the variable number of cows in anestrous. Treatments using P4 devices and EB have resulted in apparently more consistent results than Ovsynch programs in B. indicus cattle; however, pregnancy rates are low in herds presenting high anestrous rates and moderate to low body condition. The addition of an eCG treatment at the time of device removal, which increased plasma progesterone concentrations and pregnancy rates in anestrous postpartum suckled B. indicus cows, may be useful to improve reproductive performance of beef cattle in tropical climates.

  20. The Great Recession was not so Great

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Ours, J.C.

    2015-01-01

    The Great Recession is characterized by a GDP-decline that was unprecedented in the past decades. This paper discusses the implications of the Great Recession analyzing labor market data from 20 OECD countries. Comparing the Great Recession with the 1980s recession it is concluded that there is a

  1. Improving Performance of Urban Areas in the Context of Kenya's ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    IEA-Kenya intends to use an adapted version of the Municipal Performance Index that it ... IDRC and key partners will showcase critical work on adaptation and ... IDRC congratulates first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows.

  2. Does Innovating Customer Relationship Management Improve Firm Performance?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geersbro, Jens; Ritter, Thomas

    Based on an empirical study of more than 400 B2B firms, this paper investigates the role of innovating a firm’s customer relationship management capability on firm performance. There is a lot of evidence for the positive impact of customer relationship management capability on firm performance....... This paper advances this stream of literature by analyzing whether or not investments into developing a firm’s customer relationship capability increase firm performance. The findings illustrate that although relationship management innovation (defined as new (to the firm) processes, systems and tools...... for relationship management) has a positive correlation with firm performance, the impact is fully mediated by the firms’ relationship management capability. The paper also identifies internal and external drivers of customer relationship management innovation. Not surprisingly customer and competitor dynamics...

  3. Assessment of mental training in improving performance serve in volleyball

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Maria Montiel

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This article aimed to investigate the effects of mental training on volleyball players service performance. Six male volleyball players aged from 18 to 25 years old of a team from the interior of São Paulo’s state were studied. The service performance was evaluated in three different championships of the same season. The services were scored in game situations at the same time of the intervention process. The measure means indicated service performance increased with the mental training practice, with more services performed correctly and less mistakes at the end of the intervention process. The mistakes dimished significantly from the baseline to the final of the intervention process and from the start of the intervention process to its final.

  4. New Li Battery Chemistry for Improved Performance, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Current state-of-the-art Lithium (Li) or Li-ion systems are unable to meet the performance goals of space-rated rechargeable batteries for many NASA's future robotic...

  5. Schoolbus driver performance can be improved with driver training ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    and compares the school transport driver performance with that of general motorists. Despite concerns that ... To compare Safe Travel to School Programme driver safety perfor- .... The SA government has recognised the challenges faced with.

  6. Understanding, modeling, and improving main-memory database performance

    OpenAIRE

    Manegold, S.

    2002-01-01

    textabstractDuring the last two decades, computer hardware has experienced remarkable developments. Especially CPU (clock-)speed has been following Moore's Law, i.e., doubling every 18 months; and there is no indication that this trend will change in the foreseeable future. Recent research has revealed that database performance, even with main-memory based systems, can hardly benefit from the ever increasing CPU power. The reason for this is that the performance of other hardware components h...

  7. Kia Kaha: Improving Classroom Performance through Developing Cultural Awareness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubie, Christine

    A study of 24 Maori children in grades 3-6 who were invited to perform at a children's festival in Turkey and two control groups (control 1, n=24; control 2, n=23) of Maori children who did not participate in the festival examined the effect of an intense cultural program on children's self-esteem, locus of control, and academic performance.…

  8. Improving Internal Communication, a Tool for Increasing Organizational Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ioan Bordean

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Communication may be considered an important management tool. Internal communication is notan invention in management, but a basic need. Informing people - or even better, involving them – it is notonly in the employees’ best interest. The Company may take advantage of this state of affairs in several ways:informed employees know what they do, and especially why. They understand the company’s objectives andhow they can achieve them more effectively. A good working environment is in the best interest of everyresponsible employer, for that is a source of increased efficiency. Informed employees are generally morecontent with their professional status; they have a contextualized sense of their personal and professionalvalue and they show more responsibility. Their personal orientation is much better aligned with the companyand it may contribute significantly to achieving its business objectives. To inform people is a good thing, butto involve them it is even better. Involvement is the living proof of the difference between a good employerand a great one. This information can help in attracting good quality staff and it creates support fromemployees in terms of recruitment and sales, it generates passion, satisfaction at work and it reduces theabsenteeism; it provides opportunities for personal growth and development, it creates a sense of communityand an open and honest organizational culture.

  9. Performance in Physiology Evaluation: Possible Improvement by Active Learning Strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montrezor, Luís H.

    2016-01-01

    The evaluation process is complex and extremely important in the teaching/learning process. Evaluations are constantly employed in the classroom to assist students in the learning process and to help teachers improve the teaching process. The use of active methodologies encourages students to participate in the learning process, encourages…

  10. Evaluating School Improvement Plans and Their Affect on Academic Performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez, Kenneth E.

    2011-01-01

    The development of a school improvement plan (SIP) has become an integral part of many school reform efforts. However, there are almost no studies that empirically examine the effectiveness of SIPs. The few studies examining the planning activities of organizations have generally focused on the private sector and have not provided clear or…

  11. Improvement in operators training for better performance of RAPS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banerjee, D.K.

    1989-01-01

    Nuclear Power Corporation (India) will need substantial number of technical personnel in the next couple of years to operate the new power plants. With number of stations coming up within a short span of time, standardisation of training, improved quality trainer, better technical support will be required to ensure reliable operation. (author)

  12. Evolutionary Pattern of Improved 1-Mile Running Performance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Foster, C.S.; de Koning, J.J.; Thiel, C.

    2014-01-01

    The official world records (WR) for the 1-mile run for men (3: 43.13) and for women (4: 12.58) have improved 12.2% and 32.3%, respectively, since the first WR recognized by the International Association of Athletics Federations. Previous observations have suggested that the pacing pattern for

  13. Improving Compressed Air System Performance: A Sourcebook for Industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    2003-11-01

    NREL will produce this sourcebook for DOE's Industrial Technologies Office as part of a series of documents on industrial energy equipment. The sourcebook is a reference for industrial compressed air system users, outlining opportunities to improve system efficiency.

  14. 30-day mortality after coronary artery bypass grafting and valve surgery has greatly improved over the last decade, but the 1-year mortality remains constant

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Sommer Hansen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: European system for cardiac operative risk evaluation (EuroSCORE is a valuable tool in control of the quality of cardiac surgery. However, the validity of the risk score for the individual patient may be questioned. The present study was carried out to investigate whether the continued fall in short-term mortality reflects an actual improvement in late mortality, and subsequently, to investigate EuroSCORE as predictor of 1-year mortality. Methods: A population-based cohort study of 25,602 patients from a 12-year period from three public university hospitals undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG or valve surgery. Analysis was carried out based on EuroSCORE, age and co-morbidity factors (residual EuroSCORE. Results: During the period the average age increased from 65.1 ± 10.0 years to 68.9 ± 10.7 years (P < 0.001, one-way ANOVA, and the number of females increased from 26.0% to 28.2% (P = 0.0012, Chi-square test. The total EuroSCORE increased from 4.67 to 5.68 while the residual EuroSCORE decreased from 2.64 to 1.83. Thirty-day mortality decreased from 4.07% in 1999-2000 to 2.44% in 2011-2012 (P = 0.0056; Chi-square test, while 1-year mortality was unchanged (6.50% in 1999-2000 vs. 6.25% in 2011-2012 [P = 0.8086; Chi-square test]. Discussion: The study demonstrates that both co-morbidity and age has a great impact on 30-day mortality. However, with time the impact of co-morbidity seems less. Thus, age is more important than co-morbidity in late mortality. The various developments in short and long-term mortality are not readily explained. Conclusion: Although 30-day mortality of CABG and valve surgery patients has decreased during the 12-year period, the 1-year mortality remains the same.

  15. Phototherapy during treadmill training improves quadriceps performance in postmenopausal women.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paolillo, F R; Corazza, A V; Paolillo, A R; Borghi-Silva, A; Arena, R; Kurachi, C; Bagnato, V S

    2014-06-01

    To evaluate the effects of infrared-light-emitting diode (LED) during treadmill training on functional performance. Thirty postmenopausal women aged 50-60 years were randomly assigned to one of three groups and successfully completed the full study. The three groups were: (1) the LED group, which performed treadmill training associated with phototherapy (n = 10); (2) the exercise group, which carried out treadmill training only (n = 10); and (3) the sedentary group, which neither performed physical training nor underwent phototherapy (n = 10). Training was performed over a period of 6 months, twice a week for 45 min per session at 85-90% of maximal heart rate, which was obtained during progressive exercise testing. The irradiation parameters were 100 mW, 39 mW/cm(2) and 108 J/cm(2) for 45 min. Quadriceps performance was measured during isokinetic exercise testing at 60°/s and 300°/s. Peak torque did not differ amongst the groups. However, the results showed significantly higher values of power and total work for the LED group (∆ = 21 ± 6 W and ∆ = 634 ± 156 J, p women.

  16. Drivers of improved health sector performance in Rwanda: a qualitative view from within.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayinzoga, Felix; Bijlmakers, Leon

    2016-04-08

    Rwanda has achieved great improvements in several key health indicators, including maternal mortality and other health outcomes. This raises the question: what has made this possible, and what makes Rwanda so unique? We describe the results of a web-based survey among district health managers in Rwanda who gave their personal opinions on the factors that drive performance in the health sector, in particular those that determine maternal health service coverage and outcomes. The questionnaire covered the six health systems building blocks that make up the WHO framework for health systems analysis, and two additional clusters of factors that are not directly covered by the framework: community health and determinants beyond the health sector. Community health workers and health insurance come out as factors that are considered to have contributed most to Rwanda's remarkable achievements in the past decade. The results also indicate the importance of other health system features, such as managerial skills and the culture of continuous monitoring of key indicators. In addition, there are factors beyond the health sector per se, such as the widespread determination of people to increase performance and achieve targets. This determination appears multi-levelled and influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. It is the comprehensiveness and combination of interventions that drive performance in Rwanda, rather than a single health systems strengthening intervention or a set of interventions that target a specific disease. There is need for policy makers and scholars to acknowledge the complexity of health systems, and the fact that they are dynamic and influenced by society's fabric, including the overall culture of performance management in the public sector. Rwanda's robust model is difficult to replicate and fast-tracking elsewhere in the world of some of the interventions that form part of its success will require a holistic approach.

  17. Performance Improvement of an Inhomogeneous Cathode by Infiltration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seyed-Vakili, S. V.; Graves, Christopher R.; Babaei, A.

    2017-01-01

    The performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is considerably influenced by the microstructure and chemical composition of cathode materials. Porous La0.85Sr0.15FeO3– Ce0.9Gd0.1O2 composite electrodes were infiltrated by La0.6Sr0.4CoO3 and La0.6Sr0.4FeO3. The effects of infiltration loading...... performance of the electrodes. The electrochemical results revealed that the polarization resistance of the cathodes significantly was decreased by infiltration from 2.59 to 0.034 Ω cm2 measured at 670 °C. The best electrode performance was achieved at a calcination temperature of 770 °C. It was also found...

  18. GROWTH OF MANAGERIAL PERFORMANCE BY IMPROVING AUDITING ACTIVITY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel DĂNECI-PĂTRĂU

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available To reflect the place and role of internal audit in the economic entity and its function as assistant manager in this paper we followed the presentation of the preliminary assumptions of a model for measuring the quality of internal audit. Also, we presented a possible model of research regarding managerial effectiveness. Questions that sought answer in this research are: How can we streamline internal audit? What is meant by effective internal audit? What is the relationship between internal audit efficiency and performance management? Recording a high level of performance of internal audit provide a high level of performance of the whole economic entity. Of course, responsible for the implementation of recommendations made by the Internal Auditor is the manager, but in our opinion, as long as the internal audit department conducts activities / tasks with maximum seriousness, conscientiousness and professionalism, the manager will be to some extent forced to implement the recommendations, having a high confidence in those.

  19. Acting Irrationally to Improve Performance in Stochastic Worlds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belavkin, Roman V.

    Despite many theories and algorithms for decision-making, after estimating the utility function the choice is usually made by maximising its expected value (the max EU principle). This traditional and 'rational' conclusion of the decision-making process is compared in this paper with several 'irrational' techniques that make choice in Monte-Carlo fashion. The comparison is made by evaluating the performance of simple decision-theoretic agents in stochastic environments. It is shown that not only the random choice strategies can achieve performance comparable to the max EU method, but under certain conditions the Monte-Carlo choice methods perform almost two times better than the max EU. The paper concludes by quoting evidence from recent cognitive modelling works as well as the famous decision-making paradoxes.

  20. Integrating educational resources for improvement in operating performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chewning, J.S.

    1985-01-01

    The contribution nuclear power is making to the world's supply of electric power has greatly decreased our dependence on oil. It is imperative that this vital resource continue to replace finite resources. Improper and/or insufficient attention on the part of nuclear facility management to the quality and amount of training given to operating and maintenance personnel can be a major factor in impeding the growth of nuclear generation. Haphazard, 'knee jerk' attention to staff preparation invites public opposition and fuels the anti-nuclear fires. Plant managers must be the overseers of the training programme for their plant. While they can delegate the day-to-day supervision to a training manager, top management must see that the person chosen for this job is well qualified, that he or she has the physical resources needed to carry out an adequate training programme, and that all plant personnel understand the important position the training programme holds in the plant. Managers must be responsible for seeing that the training programme is an integral part of the plant by defining avenues of communication between the training manager and the instructors, on the one hand, and between the training manager and the supervisors on the other. Management has the greatest impact on the overall attitude throughout the plant towards the importance of training and, therefore, must keep abreast of the quality of the training programme in the plant and move quickly to remedy any deficiencies. Such action is a message to all staff that training should be given the same respect as that given to plant operation