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A performance comparison between FRC and WWM reinforced slabs on grade
Proceedings of 4th International Conference on Structural Health Monitoring of Intelligent Infrastructure (SHMII-4) 2009, 22-24 July 2009, Zurich, Switzerland. A comparative experimental study was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of fiber reinforcement as a non-corrosive alternative for welded-wire reinforcement in slabs on grade. Six full-scale slabs-on-grade, reinforced with various combinations of WWM (Welded Wire Mesh), polymeric macro-synthetic fibers (PMF) and cellulose fibers were tested under a centrally concentrated load. Their ductility and load carrying capacity were evaluated and compared. Based on the results of this study, it seems that high dosages of polymeric macrofibers can be used to successfully reinforce concrete slabs. Given that the use of PMF eliminates the possibility of corrosion of reinforcement, this may be a superior option. Furthermore, it seems low dosages of fibers act as an ineffective replacement for WWM. Low dosages of PMF and cellulose fiber when added on their own, or in combination with each other were found to be insufficient in providing sufficient ductility or load carrying capacity compared to the control slab when subjected to the load test. Slabs reinforced with cellulose fiber had a poor mechanical response in comparison to WWM and therefore cellulose fiber on its own is not recommended., Conference paper, Published.
Performance of sprayed fiber reinforced polymer strengthened timber beams
A study was carried out to investigate the use of Sprayed Fiber Reinforced Polymer (SFRP) for retrofit of timber beams. A total of 10-full scale specimens were tested. Two different timber preservatives and two different bonding agents were investigated. Strengthening was characterized using load deflection diagrams. Results indicate that it is possible to enhance load-carrying capacity and energy absorption characteristics using the technique of SFRP. Of the two types of preservatives investigated, the technique appears to be more effective for the case of creosote-treated specimens, where up to a 51% improvement in load-carrying capacity and a 460% increase in the energy absorption capacity were noted. Effectiveness of the bonding agent used was dependent on the type of preservative the specimen had been treated with., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 26 July 2010; Revised 8 October 2010; Accepted 12 October 2010.
Performance-risk analysis for the design of high-performance affordable homes
Proceedings of the 3rd Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference, Atlanta, USA, April 2-4, 2014. Net-zero energy, emissions, and carbon sustainability targets for buildings are becoming achievable with the use of renewable energy technologies and high-performance construction, equipment, and appliances. Methodologies and tools have also been developed and tested to help design teams search for viable strategies for net-zero buildings during the early stages of design. However, the risks for underperformance of high-performance technologies, systems, and whole buildings are usually not assessed methodically. The negative consequences have been, often reluctantly, reported. This paper presents a methodology for explicitly considering and assessing underperformance risks during the design of high-performance buildings. The methodology is a first attempt to formalize extensive applied research and industry experiences in the quest for net-zero energy homes in the U.S., and build on existing tools and methods from performance-based design, as well as optimization, decision, and risk analysis. The methodology is knowledge driven and iterative in order to facilitate new knowledge acquired to be incorporated in the decision making. As a point of departure in the process, a clear definition of the project vision and a two-level organization of the corresponding building function performance objectives are laid out, with objectives further elaborated into high-performance targets and viable alternatives selected from the knowledge-base to meet these. Then, a knowledge guided search for optimized design strategies to meet the performance targets takes place, followed by a selection of optimized strategies to meet the objectives and the identification of associated risks from the knowledge-base. These risks are then evaluated, leading either to mitigation strategies or to changing targets and alternatives, and feeding back to the knowledge-base. A case study of affordable homes in hot humid climate is used to test the methodology and demonstrate its application. The case study clearly illustrates the advantages of using the methodology to minimize under performance risks. Further work will follow to develop the underpinning mathematical formalisms of the knowledge base and the risk evaluation procedure., Conference paper, Published.
Phase change material's (PCM) impacts on the energy performance and thermal comfort of buildings in a mild climate
The current residential buildings are of light weight construction. As such, they tend to frequent indoor air temperatures fluctuations and have been proven detrimental for thermal comfort and mechanical system energy consumption. This is reflected in the energy consumption statistics for residential buildings. More than 62% of the building energy use is towards maintaining comfortable indoor conditions. Phase change materials (PCM); a latent heat thermal storage material, have the potential to increase the thermal mass of these buildings without drastically affecting the current construction techniques. In this paper, the potential of phase change materials is investigated through numerical and experimental studies. The field experimental study is conducted using twin side-by-side buildings exposed to the same interior and exterior boundary conditions, and EnergyPlus, after being benchmarked with the experimental results, is used for the numerical study. The numerical study is carried out for an existing residential apartment unit with particular emphasis on the effects of different design parameters such as orientation and window to wall ratio. Preliminary analyses of experimental data show that phase change materials are effective in stabilizing the indoor air by reversing the heat flow direction. In fact, the indoor air and wall temperature fluctuations are reduced by 1.4 °C and 2.7 °C respectively. Following, benchmarking of the numerical simulation shows confidence levels in predicting the interior conditions since discrepancies between experimental data and numerical data are within tolerance limits of the measuring device. Further, from the analysis of the numerical data, phase change material is effective in moderating the operative temperature but does not translate to significant thermal comfort improvement when evaluated over a night time occupancy regime in the summer. On the contrary, PCM is effective in lowering the heating energy demand by up to 57% during the winter condition., Peer reviewed article, Published. Received 1 October 2015, Revised 22 January 2016, Accepted 23 January 2016, Available online 29 January 2016.
A pilot scale comparison of the effects of chemical pre-treatments of wood chips on the properties of low consistency refined TMP
Proceedings of the International Mechanical Pulping Conference 2016, IMPC 2016. After decades of research and development, the technology of thermomechanical pulping (TMP) has dramatically improved resulting in higher pulp quality, especially strength. However, the TMP industry is still faced with the challenge of continually increasing energy costs. One approach to reducing the energy costs is to replace the second-stage high consistency (HC) refiner with several low consistency (LC) refiners. This is based on the observation that low consistency refining is more energy efficient than high consistency refining. The limitation of LC refining is loss of paper strength due to the high frequency of fibre cutting especially at high refining intensity. Chemical treatment combined with low consistency refining provides opportunity for even further energy savings. The chemical treatment could improve pulp properties allowing for further energy reduction in the HC refining stage or reduced intensity during LC refining resulting in less fibre cutting. Indeed, it is also possible that the chemical treatment itself will improve the resistance of the fibre to the cutting during LC refining., Conference paper, Published.
Planning for climate action in British Columbia, Canada
Significant greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions from all sectors of human enterprise are necessary to avoid further effects and reduce the current effects of climate change. Agriculture and the global food system are estimated to contribute to one-third of all anthropogenic GHGs. In British Columbia, Canada, mandated GHG reduction targets and voluntary climate action programs are challenging local governments to include emission reduction targets, policies, and actions within official planning documents. At this early stage of GHG reductions, local government attention does not yet include agriculture but is directed toward the transportation, buildings, and waste management sectors. Given agriculture's contribution to GHG emissions and local government's engagement with GHG mitigation and food system planning, it seems reasonable to anticipate that over time, local governments should and will engage increasingly in reducing GHGs from agriculture. With the goal of advancing agriculture GHG mitigation by local governments, this paper reviews the jurisdictional powers governing agriculture and climate change within British Columbia. It examines how local governments can support mitigation within the sector through their roles in planning, policy, programming, and public engagement, and identifies potential research agenda items., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Submitted 18 April 2011 ; Revised 4 July 2011 and 1 August 2011 ; Accepted 2 September 2011 ; Published online 20 March 2012.
Precision of non-invasive temperature measurement by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy
Diffuse reflectance spectroscopy can be used as a noninvasive probe for measurement of temperature in real time. We have measured the precision of this technique to determine the temperature of Si and GaAs substrates during semiconductor processing. Our results show that the standard deviation of the noninvasive optical technique is less than 1.5 °C for GaAs and less than 2.0 °C for Si over the temperature range 25 °C≪T≪600 °C. This standard deviation compares favorably to that for a type‐K thermocouple used in the same measurements: s.d.≪1.5 °C. These results support the notion that noninvasive optical temperature measurement can be used in semiconductor processing with a precision approaching that of a thermocouple., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Predicting academic performance
Proceedings of the 23rd Annual ACM Conference on Innovation and Technology in Computer Science Education. The ability to predict student performance in a course or program creates opportunities to improve educational outcomes. With effective performance prediction approaches, instructors can allocate resources and instruction more accurately. Research in this area seeks to identify features that can be used to make predictions, to identify algorithms that can improve predictions, and to quantify aspects of student performance. Moreover, research in predicting student performance seeks to determine interrelated features and to identify the underlying reasons why certain features work better than others. This working group report presents a systematic literature review of work in the area of predicting student performance. Our analysis shows a clearly increasing amount of research in this area, as well as an increasing variety of techniques used. At the same time, the review uncovered a number of issues with research quality that drives a need for the community to provide more detailed reporting of methods and results and to increase efforts to validate and replicate work., Peer reviewed, Conference paper, Published.
Predictive algorithm for Volt/VAR optimization of distribution networks using Neural Networks
Proceedings of IEEE Canadian Conference on Electrical and Computer Engineering (CCECE2014),May 2014, Toronto, Canada. Smart Grid functions such as Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Pervasive Control and Distribution Management Systems have brought numerous control and optimization opportunities for distribution networks through more accurate and reliable techniques. This paper presents a new predictive approach for Volt/VAr Optimization (VVO) of smart distribution systems using Neural Networks (NN) and Genetic Algorithm (GA). The proposed predictive algorithm is capable of predicting the load profile of target nodes a day ahead by employing the historical metrology data of Smart Meters, It can further perform a comprehensive VVO in order to minimize distribution network loss/operating costs and run Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR) to conserve more energy. To test the merits of the proposed algorithm, British Columbia Institute of Technology north campus distribution grid is used as research case study., Conference paper, Published.
Preliminary results from field experimental study of rain load and penetration into wood-frame wall systems at window sill defects
14th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology, Toronto, Canada, October 29th-30th, 2014. A field study is presented here on the investigation of the correlation between wind-driven rain (WDR) as the driving force and the relative proportions of water penetration at intended defects (openings) located at the interface of windows and exterior walls. In this field study, eight full-scale exterior-wall panels of vinyl siding and stucco claddings were built and installed on a field testing station, which is subjected to British Columbia’s west coast climate rain. This paper focuses on the preliminary results from one of the stucco wall panels with a discontinuity in the sealant around the perimeters of the windows. The water passing through this defect was collected and measured. The instantaneous and automatic water collection measurements were synchronized to the data gathered by a nearby weather station on wind-driven rain intensity, wind speed and direction. In addition, rain gauges on exterior of walls collected the wind-driven rain against each façade of the test station. Compared to previous computer simulations and laboratory experimental studies on rain penetration through exterior walls, this study was conducted under more realistic conditions. The panels were subjected to real wind-driven rain events. Also collectively, the experiment took into account rain that splashed off the wall façade upon impact and the rain water around the defect location due to run-off. The study is ongoing. However, when complete, the results from this study will be useful for fine-tuning the principal moisture load that is applied in hygrothermal performance assessment and design of exterior wall systems., Conference paper, Published.
Program Comprehension: Identifying Learning Trajectories for Novice Programmers
This working group asserts that Program Comprehension (PC) plays a critical part in the writing process. For example, this abstract is written from a basic draft that we have edited and revised until it clearly presents our idea. Similarly, a program is written in an incremental manner, with each step being tested, debugged and extended until the program achieves its goal. Novice programmers should develop their program comprehension as they learn to code, so that they are able to read and reason about code while they are writing it. To foster such competencies our group has identified two main goals: (1) to collect and define learning activities that explicitly cover key components of program comprehension and (2) to define possible learning trajectories that will guide teachers using those learning activities in their CS0/CS1 or K-12 courses. We plan to achieve these goals as follows: Step 1 Review the current state of research and development by analyzing literature on classroom activities that improve program comprehension. Step 2 Concurrently, survey lecturers at various institutions on their use of workshop activities to foster PC. Step 3 Use the outputs from both activities to define and conceptualize what is meant by PC in the context of novice programmers. Step 4 Catalog learning activities with regard to their prerequisites, intended learning outcomes and additional special characteristics. Step 5 Catalog learning activities with regard to their prerequisites, intended learning outcomes and additional special characteristics. Step 6 Develop a map of learning activities and thereby also models of probable learning trajectories., Not peer reviewed, Conference proceedings
Program comprehension: identifying learning trajectories for novice programmers
This working group asserts that Program Comprehension (PC) plays a critical part in the writing process. For example, this abstract is written from a basic draft that we have edited and revised until it clearly presents our idea. Similarly, a program is written in an incremental manner, with each step being tested, debugged and extended until the program achieves its goal. Novice programmers should develop their program comprehension as they learn to code, so that they are able to read and reason about code while they are writing it. To foster such competencies our group has identified two main goals: (1) to collect and define learning activities that explicitly cover key components of program comprehension and (2) to define possible learning trajectories that will guide teachers using those learning activities in their CS0/CS1 or K-12 courses. We plan to achieve these goals as follows: Step 1 Review the current state of research and development by analyzing literature on classroom activities that improve program comprehension. Step 2 Concurrently, survey lecturers at various institutions on their use of workshop activities to foster PC. Step 3 Use the outputs from both activities to define and conceptualize what is meant by PC in the context of novice programmers. Step 4 Catalog learning activities with regard to their prerequisites, intended learning outcomes and additional special characteristics. Step 5 Catalog learning activities with regard to their prerequisites, intended learning outcomes and additional special characteristics. Step 6 Develop a map of learning activities and thereby also models of probable learning trajectories., Not peer reviewed, Conference proceedings
Proteomic analysis of the effects of aged garlic extract and its FruArg component on lipopolysaccharide-induced neuroinflammatory response in microglial cells
Aged garlic extract (AGE) is widely used as a dietary supplement, and is claimed to promote human health through anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory activities with hypolipidemic, antiplatelet and neuroprotective effects. Prior studies of AGE have mainly focused on its organosulfur compounds, with little attention paid to its carbohydrate derivatives, such as N-α-(1-deoxy-D-fructos-1-yl)-L-arginine (FruArg). The goal of this study is to investigate actions of AGE and FruArg on antioxidative and neuroinflammatory responses in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated murine BV-2 microglial cells using a proteomic approach. Our data show that both AGE and FruArg can significantly inhibit LPS-induced nitric oxide (NO) production in BV-2 cells. Quantitative proteomic analysis by combining two dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) with mass spectrometry revealed that expressions of 26 proteins were significantly altered upon LPS exposure, while levels of 20 and 21 proteins exhibited significant changes in response to AGE and FruArg treatments, respectively, in LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells. Notably, approximate 78% of the proteins responding to AGE and FruArg treatments are in common, suggesting that FruArg is a major active component of AGE. MULTICOM-PDCN and Ingenuity Pathway Analyses indicate that the proteins differentially affected by treatment with AGE and FruArg are involved in inflammatory responses and the Nrf2-mediated oxidative stress response. Collectively, these results suggest that AGE and FruArg attenuate neuroinflammatory responses and promote resilience in LPS-activated BV-2 cells by suppressing NO production and by regulating expression of multiple protein targets associated with oxidative stress., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received: May 16, 2014; Accepted: October 24, 2014; Published: November 24, 2014.
Protracted myelin clearance hinders central primary afferent regeneration following dorsal rhizotomy and delayed neurotrophin-3 treatment
Regeneration within or into the CNS is thwarted by glial inhibition at the site of a spinal cord injury and at the dorsal root entry zone (DREZ), respectively. At the DREZ, injured axons and their distal targets are separated by degenerating myelin and an astrocytic glia limitans. The different glial barriers to regeneration following dorsal rhizotomy are temporally and spatially distinct. The more peripheral astrocytic barrier develops first, and is surmountable by neurotrophin-3 (NT-3) treatment; the more central myelin-derived barrier, which prevents dorsal horn re-innervation by NT-3-treated axons, becomes significant only after the onset of myelin degeneration. Here we test the hypothesis that in the presence of NT-3, axonal regeneration is hindered by myelin degeneration products. To do so, we used the Long Evans Shaker (LES) rat, in which oligodendrocytes do not make CNS myelin, but do produce myelin-derived inhibitory proteins. We show that delaying NT-3 treatment for 1 week in normal (LE) rats, while allowing axonal penetration of the glia limitans and growth within degenerating myelin, results in misdirected regeneration with axons curling around presumptive degenerating myelin ovoids within the CNS compartment of the dorsal root. In contrast, delaying NT-3 treatment in LES rats resulted in straighter, centrally-directed regenerating axons. These results indicate that regeneration may be best optimized through a combination of neurotrophin treatment plus complete clearance of myelin debris., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 3 June 2006, Revised 8 September 2006, Accepted 8 September 2006, Available online 22 November 2006.
Purification and characterization of a selective growth regulator for human myelopoietic progenitor cells
A monoclonal antibody, named CAMAL-1, was raised previously in our laboratory to a common antigen of acute myeloid leukemia (CAMAL), and was shown to be highly specific in its recognition of cells from patients with acute (AML) or chronic (CML) myelogenous leukemia. CAMAL was also reported to be prognostic of disease, in that patients whose numbers of CAMAL-1 reactive cells were high, or rose over time, had poorer prognoses and shorter survival times than patients whose CAMAL values were low or decreased. This correlation between CAMAL and disease prognosis led to the discovery that CAMAL-1immunoaffinity-purified leukemic cellular lysates contained a selective growth inhibitory activity for normal myeloid progenitor cells, since the growth of CML progenitors was not inhibited. The work described in this thesis focused primarily on the purification and characterization of the myelopoietic activity present in the CAMAL preparations, and its relationship to the leukemic marker (CAMAL). Initial purifications involved CAMAL-1immunoaffinity chromatography of leukemic cellular lysates, followed by FPLC molecular size fractionation and/or preparative SDS-PAGE. The myelopoietic activity was located within a30-35 kDa molecular weight fraction (P30), and the P30 fraction was consistently found to be selective in its inhibition of normal myeloid progenitors, since the growth of CML progenitors was not inhibited but was, in fact, stimulated. Antibodies were raised to P30 and used in the subsequent purification and characterization of the myelopoietic activity. Amino acid sequence analysis of the N-terminus and P30 tryptic peptides strongly suggested that P30 belonged to the serine protease family of enzymes, and the results obtained from protease assays indicated thatP30 preparations did possess enzyme activity. Prior to the completion of P30 molecular cloning experiments, however, the cDNA sequence for azurocidin/CAP37 was reported, and its predicted amino acid sequence was found to be identical to those obtained from the P30 protein samples. Azurocidin is a proteolytically inactive serine protease homologue, normally present in neutrophilic granules. Purifiedazurocidin did not possess inhibitory activity in normal progenitor cell assays; therefore, in order to isolate the biologic activity from azurocidin and other potentially contaminating proteins, P30 preparations were fractionated by reverse phase HPLC. The rpHPLC profiles were found to be similar to those reported for neutrophilic granules; however, the myelopoietica ctivity was obtained in a single rpHPLC fraction that aligned with the front portion of the azurocidin protein peak. Two dimensional isoelectric focusing/SDS-PAGE analysis of the biologically active rpHPLC fraction confirmed that it contained azurocidin, and no additional protein species were detected. Only the earlier eluting azurocidin rpHPLC fraction mediated the myelopoietic activity, and this fraction was also enriched in the higher molecular weight isoforms of azurocidin. Therefore, it appeared that a variably glycosylated isoform of azurocidin was mediating the biologic effects on myeloid progenitor cells, and because azurocidin obtained from normal neutrophils did not possess the myelopoietic activity, we speculate that the bioactive isoform of azurocidin is present in relatively higher amounts and/or is uniquely synthesized by leukemic cells., Thesis, Published.
Quantification of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in North American plants and honey by LC-MS
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are a class of naturally occurring compounds produced by many flowering plants around the World. Their presence as contaminants in food systems has become a significant concern in recent years. For example, PAs are often found as contaminants in honey through pollen transfer. A validated method was developed for the quantification of four pyrrolizidine alkaloids and one pyrrolizidine alkaloidN-oxide in plants and honey grown and produced in British Columbia. The method was optimised for extraction efficiency from the plant materials and then subjected to a single-laboratory validation to assess repeatability, accuracy, selectivity, LOD, LOQ and method linearity. The PA content in plants ranged from1.0 to 307.8 µg/g with repeatability precision between 3.8 and 20.8% RSD. HorRat values were within acceptable limits and ranged from 0.62 to 1.63 for plant material and 0.56–1.82 for honey samples. Method accuracy was determined through spike studies with recoveries ranging from 84.6 to 108.2% from the raw material negative control and from 82.1–106.0 % for the pyrrolizidine alkaloids in corn syrup. Based on the findings in this single-laboratory validation, this method is suitable for the quantitation of lycopsamine, senecionine, senecionineN-oxide, heliosupine and echimidine in common comfrey (Symphytum officinale), tansy ragwort (Senecio jacobaea), blueweed (Echium vulgare) and hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum officinale)and for PA quantitation in honey and found that PA contaminants were present at low levels in BC honey., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 4 June 2015; accepted 20 September 2015.

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