There is nearly unanimous consensus amongst scientists that increasing greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2 generated by human activity, are affecting the Earth‘s climate. Climate change has the potential to overwhelm existing capacities, as well as durability of concrete infrastructure. Carbonation of concrete occurs due to a reaction between atmospheric CO2 and the hydrated phases of concrete, leading to a drop in its pH and the depassivation of embedded rebar. Therefore, increases in carbonation rates of reinforced concrete structures are expected as a result of increased temperatures and CO2 concentrations, with the enhanced risk of carbonation induced corrosion likely affecting the longevity of our concrete infrastructure. This thesis considered the potential consequences of global climate change on our concrete infrastructure, with the objective being to determine if there is an increased risk of deterioration due to carbonation induced corrosion. A unique numerical model was developed to determine carbonation rates in structures, and verified through experimental tests. The model was applied to a numbers of cities in locations throughout the world to determine where structures were most vulnerable. Additionally, a number of other laboratory experiments were carried out to supplement the numerical model and provide insights as to how carbonation progress can be monitored within a structure. Using the model developed, and inputting forecasts for increases in future atmospheric CO2 concentrations and weather conditions, it was shown that for medium quality, non-pozzolonic concrete in geographic areas where carbonation induced corrosion is a concern, global climate change will affect its progress in our concrete infrastructure. We will see much higher ultimate carbonation depths in the long term. The use of non-destructive testing (NDT) methods, and structural health monitoring (SHM) techniques could be invaluable in monitoring the progress of carbonation in a structure, but the data generated by the methods and techniques used must be analyzed carefully before making any conclusions. For the NDT methods and carbonation pH sensors which were evaluated in this study, it was found that ambient test conditions had a major impact on results., Thesis, Published.
Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on the Durability of Concrete Structures, 17-19 September 2012, Queen’s University Belfast. There is nearly unanimous consensus among scientists that increasing greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2 generated by human activity, are affecting the Earth’s climate. One essential area which will be affected is the durability of concrete infrastructure. Past research indicates that climate change will exacerbate the rate of carbonation of reinforced concrete structures, potentially leading to premature corrosion of embedded rebar. Cracking of the covering concrete could further increase carbonation rates, but the extent of the increase is unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the carbonation of cracked concrete under accelerated test conditions, and to numerically model the movement of the carbonation front in cracked concrete using the concept of effective diffusivity. It was found that the presence of a deep structural crack in a concrete specimen greatly increases the rate of carbonation, possibly leading to premature, localized corrosion within the specimen. The effect of cracks is likely to be much greater than the effect of increased temperatures and increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations. As a result, emphasis must be placed on designing durable infrastructure and following proper maintenance practices so that cracks are less likely to form, thereby extending the longevity of the structure in question., Conference paper, Published.
In my teaching and software development practice, I realized that most applications with human-computer interaction do not respond to usersâ emotional needs. The dualism of reason and emotion as two fairly opposite entities that dominated Western philosophy was also reflected in software design. Computing was originally intended to provide applications for military and industrial activities and was primarily associated with cognition and rationality. Today, more and more computer applications interact with users in very complex and sophisticated ways. In human-computer interaction, attention is given to issues of usability and user modeling, but techniques to emotionally engage users or respond to their emotional needs have not been fully developed, even as specialists like Klein, Norman and Picard argued that machines that recognize and express emotions respond better and more appropriately to user interaction (Picard, 1997; Picard & Klein, 2002; Norman, 2004). This study investigated emotion from designersâ perspectives and tentatively concludes that there is little awareness and involvement in emotional design in the IT community. By contrast, participants in this study (36 IT specialists from various fields) strongly supported the idea of emotional design and confirmed the need for methodologies and theoretical models to research emotional design. Based on a review of theory, surveys and interviews, I identified a set of themes for heuristics of emotional design and recommended future research directions. Attention was given to consequences; participants in this study raised issues of manipulation, ethical responsibilities of designers, and the need for regulations, and recommended that emotional design should carry standard ethical guidelines for games and any other applications. The research design utilized a mixed QUAN-qual methodological model proposed by Creswell (2003) and Gay, Mills, and Airasian (2006), which was modified to equally emphasize both quantitative and qualitative stages. An instrument in the form of a questionnaire was designed, tested and piloted in this study and will be improved and used in future research., Published., Peer reviewed, Thesis/Dissertation
Proceedings from the First Biannual Conference on Technological Learning and Thinking: Culture, Design, Sustainability, Human Ingenuity held in Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2010., Not peer reviewed, Conference paper
Dorsal root injury (DRI) disrupts the flow of sensory information to the spinal cord. Although primary afferents do not regenerate to their original targets, spontaneous recovery can, by unknown mechanisms, occur after DRI. Here, we show that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), but not nerve growth factor or neurotrophin-4, are upregulated in the spinal gray matter after DRI. Because endognous BDNF and NT-3 have well established roles in synaptic and axonal plasticity, we hypothesized that they contributed to spontaneous recovery after DRI. We first developed a model of DRI-induced mechanosensory dysfunction: rat C7/8 DRI produced a deficit in low-threshold cutaneous mechanosensation that spontaneously improved within 10 d but did not recover completely. To determine the effects of endogenous BDNF and NT-3, we administered TrkB-Fc or TrkC-Fc fusion proteins throughout the recovery period. To our surprise, TrkB-Fc stimulated complete recovery of mechanosensation by 6 d after DRI. It also stimulated mechanosensory axon sprouting but prevented deafferentation-induced serotonergic sprouting. TrkC-Fc had no effect on low-threshold mechanosensory behavior or axonal plasticity. There was no mechanosensory improvement with single-bolus TrkB-Fc infusions at 10 d after DRI (despite significantly reducing rhizotomy-induced cold pain), indicating that neuromodulatory effects of BDNF did not underlie mechanosensory recovery. Continuous infusion of the pan-neurotrophin antagonist K252a also stimulated behavioral and anatomical plasticity, indicating that these effects of TrkB-Fc treatment occurred independent of signaling by other neurotrophins. These results illustrate a novel, plasticity-suppressing effect of endogenous TrkB ligands on mechanosensation and mechanosensory primary afferent axons after spinal deafferentation., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received Oct. 2, 2006; revised March 26, 2007; accepted April 20, 2007.
Proceedings of 4th International Building Physics Conference: 15 June 2009, Istanbul, Turkey.
This is the first of a series of papers to present the results of this major project. In this paper, an overview of the project, its objectives and the theoretical approach to determine the WER are presented. A description of air leakage and R-value test procedures, wall samples construction and the experimental results of two walls and a sample of the analytical results of the same two walls will also be presented. Future papers will summa-rise the experimental and analytical results of the remaining walls, along with the results of the computer modeling of the air leakage and thermal performance of all the walls tested in this project., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: 4th International Building Physics Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, June 15-18, 2009, pp. 1-8.
This project proposes teaching-learning coupling as students take different roles during the course, from being learners, teachers, and proponents; finally, students take exams in a collaborative manner – initially, their exam is done individually followed by a team consultation period for the exam completion., Not peer reviewed, report
This paper presents a model of environmental regulation in the presence of measurement costs and asymmetric information. Environmental regulation can be viewed as a form of agency problem where the polluting firms may have better information about the true level of their abatement activities than the regulator. If certain aspects of environmental quality are costly to measure, regulators may resort to proxies to infer information about environmental quality. This may allow firms to circumvent the regulatory constraints by maximizing along those margins that are costly to measure. This problem is especially acute when a single firm produces multiple pollutants., Essay, Published.
Essiac, a widely consumed, sparsely tested herbal tea, was evaluated for preparation consistency and antiproliferative effects on prostate cancer cells and xenografts. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) was used to compare different lots of Essiac and evaluate extraction consistency by comparing peak areas in concentrated preparations. Repeated analysis of one lot showed < 2% RSD between corresponding peaks. Absolute peak areas varied widely between lots, but similarity in relative size of corresponding peaks was observed. Cytotoxic effects of Essiac were tested in vitro by crystal violet assay and analysis of cell cycle distribution by flow cytometry, but no differences between control and treatment groups was observed. Paclitaxel was used as a positive control in cell cycle analysis and was the only treatment which showed significant effects on cell cycle distribution. Toxicity in nude mice was tested, and efficacy in inhibiting PC-3 xenograft growth. No toxicity or tumour size difference was observed dosing up to 240 mg/kg QD, over 28 days, excepting the positive control group treated with paclitaxel. Ki-67 and PCNA expression was analyzed in treated tumors, but no difference in expression of either marker was observed. These evaluations suggest Essiac has no marked antiproliferative effect on the models tested., Peer-reviewed article, Published.
Proceedings of the 3rd Building Enclosure Science & Technology (BEST3) Conference, Atlanta, USA, April 2-4, 2012. The thermal performance of two innovative pre-fabricated wood-frame wall systems was evaluated in comparison with a conventional 2x6 wood frame wall through one year’s field monitoring on BCIT’s Building Envelope Test Facility. Prefabricated wall system I has 4” Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) infill in the stud cavity with 1” additional EPS added on the interior side of 2x4 wood stud. Prefabricated wall system II has 4” EPS infill in the stud cavity only. The conventional 2x6 wood frame wall has 5-1/2” fiberglass insulation infill in the stud cavity. The effective thermal efficiency of these test walls is evaluated in terms of heat flux, effective in-situ R-values, and temperature distribution. The heat flux measurements show that, in comparison with the conventional 2x6 wood frame wall, prefabricated wall system I with 4” EPS infill in the stud cavity has 5.1% less heat loss and 16% less heat gain and the prefabricated wall system II with 1" extra EPS has 22.9% less heat loss and 37.5% less heat gain. The improvement of thermal efficiency in the prefabricated wall systems is mainly attributed to the significant improvement over the stud areas. Estimated effective R-values over the winter months from December 2008 to March 2009 show that the R-value over the stud area in prefabricated wall system I is improved by 32.7% while the R-value over the cavity area is reduced by 8.7%, resulting in a net improvement of effective wall R-value by 2.9%; and the R-value over the stud area in prefabricated wall system II is improved by 112.3% with only a 2.6% improvement in the R-value over the cavity area, resulting in a net improvement of effective wall R-value by 26.5%. Temperature measurements show that the interior surface temperatures over the stud area in the conventional wall fluctuate much more and are higher during the summer months and lower during the winter months compared to the prefabricated systems, due to the thermal bridging effect of the stud., Conference paper, Published.