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आयतन 2, मुद्दा 4 (2013)

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Technology Readiness of School Teachers - An Empirical Study of Measurement and Segmentation

Masood A Badri, Jihad Mohaidat and Asma Al Rashedi

Technology Readiness Index (TRI) developed by Parasuraman was adapted to measure technology readiness of public school teachers in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The study aims at better understand the factors (mostly demographics) that affect such readiness level. In addition, Abu Dhabi teachers are segmented into mainly five groups with the highest percentage being “laggards” and “explorers”. The findings of this study suggest that the TRI could be considered a cross-culturally valid measurement scale for Abu Dhabi teachers too. Sample of study was (796) teachers in (105) different public schools. The teachers’ overall mean technology readiness level was (3. 5767). With regard to TRI self-perception, there are no significant differences across subject area of the teachers and the grade level they teach. There are significant differences with regard to teacher’s gender, background (nationality), and the number of students a teacher is responsible for. Other variables such as teacher’s age, experience, education, and work location had partial effects.


Some New Trends in Multiobjective Programming Problems Under Uncertainty

MK Luhandjula

In this postmodernism era characterized by the fragmentation of the truth, the ascendency of subjective perceptions and the triumph of approximative reasoning it is crucial to take into account imprecision and uncertainty in scientific models. In this Editorial, we indicate some new trends in ways for dealing with Multi objective Programming Problems (MOPP) under uncertainty.

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Cost Effective Strategies to Reduce CO2 Emissions in the UAE: A Literature Review

Faisal Saleh Aidrous, Abdulla Al Wahedi and Zin Eddine Dadach

The objective of this literature review is to propose cost-effective strategies to reduce CO2 emissions in the UAE. First, fuel gas is the most suitable combustible to avoid corrosion and other technical problems in a future Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) plant. The resulting low concentration of CO2 in the absorption column could be increased by recycling part of the flue gas or using oxygen for combustion. To capture CO2, a blend of a Task Specific Ionic Liquid containing amine moiety mixed with an ionic liquid in polymer form is a potential candidate to replace the existing amine mixture. For the compression of CO2, the combined process of reciprocating compressors with inter-cooling, liquefaction and pumping with a diaphragm pump could offer a higher overall efficiency than using compressors alone. For the sequestration of CO2, the “New Generation” miscible CO2-EOR technique optimizes both oil production and CO2 storage but immiscible CO2-EOR is the recommended strategy for wells that fail the asphaltene precipitation test. Finally, if the 76 million tons of CO2 presently emitted in Abu Dhabi and nearby could be stored using the “New- Generation” and the “Second-Generation” CO2-EOR technologies, 152 billion AED could be annually added to the UAE’s economy.

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Neural Network Control Chart Architecture for Monitoring Non-Conformities in a Poisson Process

Yousef S Alhammadi and Michael Adams B

The uses of Neural Network (NN) models have recently been recommended as statistical quality control (SQC) tools. The advantages of NNs, particularly the robustness of the nonlinear modeling abilities, are appealing to quality control practitioners for use in process monitoring. Advances in computing power have also made the Neural Network Control Charts (NNCC) an alternative SQC technique.The systematic Design of Experiment (DOE) methodology is employed to find near optimal NN topology for NNCC for Poisson data. A (2k) full factorial design is implemented and supplemented as needed to investigate NN topologies. The effect of the following factors were investigated through a simulation study: the number of the inputs “n”, the number of nodes in the hidden layer(s), the training data size, and in-control mean for shift range 0-3σ . The guidelines and steps of constructing the DOE study for the NNCC is given, along with an example.

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Effect of Excluding Travel Time Variations in Urban Areas on Emissions

Chaher Alzaman

The literature on Green Supply Chains is growing in importance as production and transportation of goods make a significant contribution to greenhouse emissions worldwide. The literature indicates an increasing number of papers in the field but however also shows a gap for further research. This work looks at transportation through urban areas with high population densities and evaluates the impact of idle transportation time which is due to frequent stops through congested traffic. The work compares fuel consumption costs, and their corresponding CO2 emissions, due to driving time variations to the case when idle time and driving time variations are not considered. This work is a comparison study between the case when driving time variations is not considered and the case when it’s included. The overall goal is to show how significant are the CO2 emissions due to driving time variations in a supply chain network of which transportation runs through urban sprawls.

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An Enhanced QFD Approach for Improving Water Tanks Sustainability at a Local Water Distributor

Raid Al-Aomar, Jassem Al-Dhanhani and Salem Al-Ali

Purpose: This paper utilizes a modified version of Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and the House of Quality (HOQ) in enhancing the technical requirements of constructing water tanks at a local water distribution company in Abu Dhabi and in developing a viable/sustainable solution to water leakage problem. Reported tanks problems negatively affect the company in terms of increased costs of maintenance and water losses and reduced customer satisfaction which hinders water sustainability and consumes company resources.

Design/methodology/approach: A customer-driven approach is followed to identify internal and external customer needs, construct the QFD-HoQ, and develop feasible technical solutions to existing water tanks problems. To this end, surveys were used to collect data from internal and external customers. The data is analyzed to identify the specific needs of customers and use them as an input to construct the HoQ along with their ranking of relative importance. However, the standard QFD approach is adapted to fit the nature of the problem and the needs of the study. A complete HoQ is developed to translate customer needs into specific set of technical requirements tank standards. The results obtained from the complete HoQ are then analyzed to set a technical solution and an action plan.

Findings and originality/value: Applying the proposed method at the local water distribution company in Abu Dhabi has resulted in enhancing the standards of constructing the currently used tanks (RCC and Steel types) by setting targets/changes to 16 technical requirements. These technical requirements meet 6 identified categories of customer needs in terms of tanks durability, leakage, quality, assembly, maintenance, and cost. The results analysis has also led to proposing a solution alternative for replacing the old RCC and Steel tanks by GRP tanks wherever possible. Such results benefit both the customer (in terms of better service and higher satisfaction) and the company (in terms of reduced cost and more effective operations) and improve the sustainability of water resources on the long run.

Research limitations/implications: The project was limited by the data collection and access to specific technical information of water tanks. This is mostly related to tanks location, exact amount of water leakage, and tanks design and technical specifications. A team of subject matter experts is, therefore, consulted when developing the technical solutions in response to certain customer needs. The Also, the study was limited by difficulties in gaining the access to the remote areas of external customers. Surveys were emailed to these locations instead of having face-to-face interviews.

Practical implications: The proposed approach showed how to practically integrate the generic needs/expectations of external customers with the technical requirements of internal customers in departments such as operations, maintenance, and asset management and how to develop an action plan that meets the needs of both sides. This method can be utilized by other 46 water distribution companies to improve the sustainability of their water tanks, to minimize any unnecessary spending, and to solve problems reported by customers. Utilizing QFD as an important tool of Total Quality Management (TQM) can also pave the way in the future to exploit more TQM practices in water distribution companies towards achieving organizational excellence.

Social implications: Reducing water waste and improving the sustainability of water tanks and networks is getting more attention in many societies. This is particularly important in the Gulf States where water resources are scares and the cost of water desalination is high and consumes significant energy.

Originality/value: The approach emphasizes the importance of utilizing QFD in selecting technical solution alternatives based on customer voice. It addresses the costs of poor quality or hidden costs which are typically ignored in standard QFD applications. The approach also integrates several quality tools and graphical techniques into the standard QFD approach.

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