The stakeholders’ pressure on corporate managers to maintain firm’s profitability has created economic incentives for management to engage in earnings management practices. Therefore, this study examines the effects of audit quality and corporate governance on earnings management of quoted deposit money banks (DMBs) in Nigeria. This study specifically investigates the influence of audit tenure, audit fee, board independence, and board size on earnings management of DMBs. Explanatory research design was employed in carrying out the study while secondary data were sourced from the annual reports and accounts of all the 15 quoted DMBs in Nigerian Stock Exchange as at December 31, 2015 for a period of 10 years covering from 2006 to 2015. The data obtained for the study were analyzed using panel regression analysis approach. The findings reveal that board independence has a negative significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.002), while audit fee has a positive significant effect on earnings management at a 5% level of significance (p=0.013) and audit tenure has a negative significant effect on earnings management of DMBs at a 5% level of significance (p=0.003). Surprisingly, board size was statistically not significant at a 5% level of significance (p=0.086). The study concludes that high audit quality and sound corporate governance could improve the earnings quality of DMBs. Hence, the study recommends that the authorities saddled with the responsibility of banking supervision in Nigeria such the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and CBN to advise the National Assembly in Nigeria to pass into law the three years professional requirement for audit tenure.
Iron nanoparticles were used to cleanup effluents. This paper involves synthesis of iron nanoparticles chemically by sodium borohydride reduction of ammonium ferrous sulfate solution (FAS). Iron oxide nanoparticles have lesser efficiency of adsorption than Zero Valent Iron nanoparticles (nZVI). Glucosamine acts as a stabilizing agent and chelating agent to prevent Iron nanoparticles from oxidation. nZVI particles were characterized using Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). Thus, the synthesized nZVI was subjected to entrapment in biopolymer, viz. barium (Ba)-alginate beads. The beads were characterized using SEM. Batch dye degradation studies were conducted using Reactive black Water soluble Nontoxic Natural substances (WNN) dye which is one of the most hazardous dyes used in textile industries. Effect of contact time, effect of pH, initial dye concentration, adsorbent dosage, isotherm and kinetic studies were carried out.
The use of nanostructured semiconducting material to catalyze degradation of environmental pollutants still receives much attention to date. One of the desired characteristics for pollutant degradation under ultra-violet visible light is the materials with extended carrier charge separation that allows for electronic transfer between the catalyst and the pollutants. In this work, zinc oxide n-type semiconductor vertically aligned structures were fabricated on silicon (100) substrates using the chemical bath deposition method. The as-synthesized structures were treated with nickel and sulphur. X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy were used to characterize the phase purity, structural dimensions and elemental composition of the obtained structures respectively. Photoluminescence emission measurements showed a decrease in both the near band edge emission as well as the defect band emission upon addition of nickel and sulphur with different concentrations. This was attributed to increased charger-carrier-separation due to the presence of Ni-S material on ZnO surface, which is linked to improved charge transfer during photocatalytic reactions.
Forced vibration problem of a delaminated beam made of fiber metal laminates is studied in this paper. Firstly, a delamination is considered to divide the beam into four sections. The classic beam theory is assumed to dominate each section. The layers on two sides of the delamination are constrained to have the same deflection. This hypothesis approves the conditions of compatibility as well. Consequently, dynamic response of the beam is obtained by the means of differential transform method (DTM). In order to verify the correctness of the results, a model is constructed using commercial software ABAQUS 6.14. A linear spring with constant stiffness takes the effect of contact between delaminated layers into account. The attained semi-analytical outcomes are in great agreement with finite element analysis.
Computing with Words (CWW) and Possibilistic Relational Universal Fuzzy (PRUF) are the two concepts which widely represent and measure the vaguely defined natural phenomenon. In this paper, we study the positional alteration of the phrases by which the impact of a natural language proposition gets affected and/or modified. We observe the gradations due to sensitivity/feeling of a statement towards the positional alterations. We derive the classification and modification of the meaning of words due to the positional alteration. We present the results with reference to set theoretic interpretations.
It is of great importance for an architectural student to know the parameters through which he/she can conduct his/her design and makes his/her design effective in architectural education. Therefore; an empirical application study was carried out through the designing activity using the emulation model to support the design and design approaches of architectural students. During the investigation period, studies were done on the basic design elements and principles of the fall semester, and the emulation model, one of the designing methods that constitute the subject of the study, was fictionalized as three phased “recognition-interpretation-application”. As a result of the study, it was observed that when students were given a key method during the design process, their awareness increased and their aspects improved as well.
Internal insulation of external walls is often problematic due to increased moisture content in the wall and interstitial or surface condensation risk. In this paper, the hygrothermal performance of prefabricated, concrete, large panel, external wall typical for WK70 system, commonly used in Poland in the 70’s, with inside, additional insulation was investigated. Thermal insulation board made out of hygroscopic, natural materials with moisture buffer capacity and extruded polystyrene (EPS) board was used as interior insulation. Experience with this natural insulation is rare in Poland. The analysis was performed using WUFI software. First of all, the impact of various standard boundary conditions on the behavior of the different wall assemblies was tested. The comparison of results showed that the moisture class according to the EN ISO 13788 leads to too high values of total moisture content in the wall since the boundary condition according to the EN 15026 should be usually applied. Then, hygrothermal 1D-simulations were conducted by WUFI Pro for analysis of internally added insulation, and the weak point like the joint of the wall with the concrete ceiling was verified using 2D simulations. Results showed that, in the Warsaw climate and the indoor conditions adopted in accordance with EN 15026, in the tested wall assemblies, regardless of the type of interior insulation, there would not be any problems with moisture - inside the structure and on the interior surface.
This paper presents design and analysis of an electrothermally symmetrical actuated microgripper applicable for performing micro assembly or biological cell manipulation. Integration of micro-optics with microdevice leads to achieve extremely precise control over the operation of the device. Geometry, material, actuation, control, accuracy in measurement and temperature distribution are important factors which have to be taken into account for designing the efficient microgripper device. In this work, analyses of four different geometries are performed by means of COMSOL Multiphysics 5.2 with implementing Finite Element Methods. Then, temperature distribution along the fingertip, displacement of gripper site as well as optical efficiency vs. displacement and electrical potential are illustrated. Results show in addition to the industrial application of this device, the usage of that as a cell manipulator is possible.
The paper is aimed at developing a model to measure the impact of Lean manufacturing deployment on organizational performance. The model will help industry practitioners to assess the impact of implementing Lean constructs on organizational performance. It will also harmonize the measurement models of Lean performance with the house of Lean that seems to have become the industry standard. The sheer number of measurement models for impact assessment of Lean implementation makes it difficult for new adopters to select an appropriate assessment model or deployment methodology. A literature review is conducted to classify the Lean performance model. Pareto analysis is used to select the Lean constructs for the development of the model. The model is further formalized through the use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) in defining the underlying latent structure of a Lean system. An impact assessment measurement model developed can be used to measure Lean performance and can be adopted by different industries.
Increasing quality requirements make reliable and effective quality management indispensable. This includes the complaint handling in which the 8D method is widely used. The 8D report as a written documentation of the 8D method is one of the key quality documents as it internally secures the quality standards and acts as a communication medium to the customer. In practice, however, the 8D report is mostly faulty and of poor quality. There is no quality control of 8D reports today. This paper describes the use of natural language processing for the automated evaluation of 8D reports. Based on semantic analysis and text-mining algorithms the presented system is able to uncover content and formal quality deficiencies and thus increases the quality of the complaint processing in the long term.
This paper presents an innovative method to control the rotational speed of a satellite solar panel during its deployment phase. A brushed DC motor has been utilized in the passive spring driven deployment mechanism to reduce the deployment speed. In order to use the DC motor as a damper, its connector terminals have been connected with an external resistance in a closed circuit. It means that, in this approach, there is no external power supply in the circuit. The working principle of this method is based on the back electromotive force (or back EMF) of the DC motor when an external torque (here the torque produced by the torsional springs) is coupled to the DC motor’s shaft. In fact, the DC motor converts to an electric generator and the current flows into the circuit and then produces the back EMF. Based on Lenz’s law, the generated current produced a torque which acts opposite to the applied external torque, and as a result, the deployment speed of the solar panel decreases. The main advantage of this method is to set an intended damping coefficient to the system via changing the external resistance. To produce the sufficient current, a gearbox has been assembled to the DC motor which magnifies the number of turns experienced by the DC motor. The coupled electro-mechanical equations of the system have been derived and solved, then, the obtained results have been presented. A full-scale prototype of the deployment mechanism has been built and tested. The potential application of brushed DC motors as a rotational speed damper has been successfully demonstrated.
Coatings based on polyaniline (PANI) can improve the resistance of steel against corrosion. In this work, the preparation of stable suspensions of colloidal PANI-SiO2 particles, suitable for obtaining of composite anticorrosive coating on steel, is described. Electrokinetic data as a function of pH are presented, showing that the zeta potentials of the PANI-SiO2 particles are governed primarily by the charged groups at the silica oxide surface. Electrosteric stabilization of the PANI-SiO2 particles’ suspension against aggregation is realized at pH>5.5 (EB form of PANI) by adsorption of positively charged polyelectrolyte molecules onto negatively charged PANI-SiO2 particles. The PANI-SiO2 particles are incorporated by electrodeposition into the metal matrix of zinc in order to obtain composite (hybrid) coatings. The latter are aimed to ensure sacrificial protection of steel mainly in aggressive media leading to local corrosion damages. The surface morphology of the composite zinc coatings is investigated with SEM. The influence of PANI-SiO2 particles on the cathodic and anodic processes occurring in the starting electrolyte for obtaining of the coatings is followed with cyclic voltammetry. The electrochemical and corrosion behavior is evaluated with potentiodynamic polarization curves and polarization resistance measurements. The beneficial effect of the stabilized PANI-SiO2 particles for the increased protective ability of the composites is commented and discussed.
Cellulose acetate (CA) is a natural biodegradable polymer. It forms transparent films by the casting technique. CA suffers from high degree of water permeability as well as the low thermal stability at high temperatures. To adjust the CA polymeric films to the manufacture of food packaging, its thermal and mechanical properties should be improved. The modification of CA by grafting it with N-Amino phenyl maleimide (N-APhM) led to the construction of hydrophobic branches throughout the polymeric matrix which reduced its wettability as compared to the parent CA. The branches built onto the polymeric chains had been characterized by UV/Vis, 13C-NMR and ESEM. The improvement of the thermal properties was investigated and compared to the parent CA using thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), differential thermal analysis (DTA), contact angle and mechanical testing measurements. The results revealed that the water-uptake was reduced by increasing the graft percentage. The thermal and mechanical properties were also improved.
The transition of a student with a disability from school to work is the most crucial phase while moving from the stage of adolescence into early adulthood. In this process, young individuals face various difficulties and challenges in order to accomplish the next venture of life successfully. In this respect, this paper aims to examine the challenges encountered by the individuals with intellectual disabilities in transition to work in Saudi Arabia. For this purpose, this study has undertaken a qualitative research-based methodology; wherein interpretivist philosophy has been followed along with inductive approach and exploratory research design. The data for the research has been gathered with the help of semi-structured interviews, whose findings are analysed with the help of thematic analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of persons with intellectual disabilities, officials, supervisors and specialists of two vocational rehabilitation centres providing training to intellectually disabled students, in addition to that, directors of companies and websites in hiring those individuals. The total number of respondents for the interview was 15. The purposive sampling method was used to select the respondents for the interview. This sampling method is a non-probability sampling method which draws respondents from a known population and allows flexibility and suitability in selecting the participants for the study. The findings gathered from the interview revealed that the lack of awareness among their parents regarding the rights of their children who are intellectually disabled; the lack of adequate communication and coordination between various entities; concerns regarding their training and subsequent employment are the key difficulties experienced by the individuals with intellectual disabilities. Training in programmes such as bookbinding, carpentry, computing, agriculture, electricity and telephone exchange operations were involved as key training programmes. The findings of this study also revealed that information technology and media were playing a significant role in smoothing the transition to employment of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, religious and cultural attitudes have been identified to be restricted for people with such disabilities in seeking advantages from job opportunities. On the basis of these findings, it can be implied that the information gathered through this study will serve to be highly beneficial for Saudi Arabian schools/ rehabilitation centres for individuals with intellectual disability to facilitate them in overcoming the problems they encounter during the transition to work.
Methanol-to-propylene conversion was carried out in a continuous-flow fixed-bed reactor over nano-sized HZSM-5 zeolites. The HZSM-5 catalysts were synthesized with different Si/Al ratio and silicon sources, and treated with NaOH. The structural property, morphology, and acidity of catalysts were measured by XRD, N2 adsorption, FE-SEM, TEM, and NH3-TPD. The results indicate that the increment of Si/Al ratio decreased the acidity of catalysts and then improved propylene selectivity, while silicon sources had slight impact on the acidity but affected the product distribution. The desilication after alkali treatment could increase intracrystalline mesopores and enhance propylene selectivity.
The construction industry is a renowned latecomer to the efficiency offered by the adoption of information technology. Whereas, the banking, manufacturing, retailing industries have keyed into the future by using digitization and information technology as a new approach for ensuring competitive gain and efficiency. The construction industry has yet to fully realize similar benefits because the adoption of ICT is still at the infancy stage with a major concentration on the use of software. Thus, this study evaluates the awareness and readiness of construction professionals towards embracing a full digitalization of the construction industry using construction 4.0. The term ‘construction 4.0’ was coined from the industry 4.0 concept which is regarded as the fourth industrial revolution that originated from Germany. A questionnaire was utilized for sourcing data distributed to practicing construction professionals through a convenience sampling method. Using SPSS v24, the hypotheses posed were tested with the Mann Whitney test. The result revealed that there are no differences between the consulting and contracting organizations on the readiness for adopting construction 4.0 concepts in the construction industry. Using factor analysis, the study discovers that adopting construction 4.0 will improve the performance of the construction industry regarding cost and time savings and also create sustainable buildings. In conclusion, the study determined that construction professionals have a low awareness towards construction 4.0 concepts. The study recommends an increase in awareness of construction 4.0 concepts through seminars, workshops and training, while construction professionals should take hold of the benefits of adopting construction 4.0 concepts. The study contributes to the roadmap for the implementation of construction industry 4.0 concepts in the South African construction industry.
In this work, adsorption of chlorophylls a and b pigments in aqueous solution on the inner and outer surfaces of single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNT) has been studied using molecular dynamics simulation. The linear interaction energy algorithm has been used to calculate the binding free energy. The results show that the adsorption of two pigments is fine on the both positions. Although there is the close similarity between these two pigments, their interaction with the nanotube is different. This result is useful to separate these pigments from one another. According to interaction energy between the pigments and carbon nanotube, interaction between these pigments-SWCNT on the inner surface is stronger than the outer surface. The interaction of SWCNT with chlorophylls phytol tail is stronger than the interaction of SWCNT with porphyrin ring of chlorophylls.
The Canadian Used Fuel Container (UFC) is a mid-size hemispherical headed copper coated steel container measuring 2.5 meters in length and 0.5 meters in diameter containing 48 used fuel bundles. The contained used fuel produces significant gamma radiation requiring automated assembly processes to complete the assembly. The design throughput of 2,500 UFCs per year places constraints on equipment and hot cell design for repeatability, speed of processing, robustness and recovery from upset conditions. After UFC assembly, the UFC is inserted into a Buffer Box (BB). The BB is made from adequately pre-shaped blocks (lower and upper block) and Highly Compacted Bentonite (HCB) material. The blocks are practically ‘sandwiching’ the UFC between them after assembly. This paper identifies one possible approach for the BB automatic assembly cell and processes. Automation of the BB assembly will have a significant positive impact on nuclear safety, quality, productivity, and reliability.
There is an increasing trend toward student-centred interactive e-learning methods and students’ feedback is a valuable tool for improving learning methods. The aim of this study was to explore the attitude of second year pharmacy students at the University of Babylon, Iraq, towards lectures, exams and e-learning. Materials and methods: Ninety pharmacy students were surveyed by paper questionnaire about their preference for lecture format, use of e-files, theoretical lectures versus practical experiments, lecture and lab time. Students were also asked about their predilection for Moodle-based online exams, different types of exam questions, exam time and other extra academic activities. Results: Students prefer to read lectures on paper (73.3%), use of PowerPoint file (76.7%), short lectures of less than 10 pages (94.5%), practical experiments (66.7%), lectures and lab time of less than two hours (89.9% and 96.6 respectively) and intra-lecture discussions (68.9%). Students also like to have paper-based exam (73.3%), short essay (40%) or MCQ (34.4%) questions and also prefer to do extra activities like reports (22.2%), seminars (18.6%) and posters (10.8%). Conclusion: Second year pharmacy students have different attitudes toward traditional and electronic leaning and assessment methods. Using multimedia, e-learning and Moodle are increasingly preferred methods among some students.
Because die drawing requires insertion of a die, a plug, or a mandrel, higher precision and efficiency are demanded for drawing equipment for a tube having smaller diameter. Manufacturing of such tubes is also accompanied by problems such as cracking and fracture. We specifically examine dieless drawing, which is less affected by these drawing-related difficulties. This deformation process is governed by a similar principle to that of reduction in diameter when pulling a heated glass tube. We conducted dieless drawing of SUS304 stainless steel microtubes under various conditions with three factor parameters of heating temperature, area reduction, and drawing speed. We used SEM-EBSD to observe the processing condition effects on microstructural elements. As the result of this study, crystallographic orientation of microtube is clear by using SEM-EBSD analysis.
Data mining has, over recent years, seen big advances because of the spread of internet, which generates everyday a tremendous volume of data, and also the immense advances in technologies which facilitate the analysis of these data. In particular, classification techniques are a subdomain of Data Mining which determines in which group each data instance is related within a given dataset. It is used to classify data into different classes according to desired criteria. Generally, a classification technique is either statistical or machine learning. Each type of these techniques has its own limits. Nowadays, current data are becoming increasingly heterogeneous; consequently, current classification techniques are encountering many difficulties. This paper defines new measure functions to quantify the resemblance between instances and then combines them in a new approach which is different from actual algorithms by its reliability computations. Results of the proposed approach exceeded most common classification techniques with an f-measure exceeding 97% on the IRIS Dataset.
Lightning strikes can cause severe negative impacts to the electrical sector causing direct damage to equipment as well as shutdowns, especially when occurring in power substations. In order to mitigate this problem, a meticulous planning of the power substation protection system is of vital importance. A critical part of this is the distribution of shielding wires through the substation, which creates a 3D imaginary protection mesh similar to a circus tarpaulin. Equipment enclosed in the volume defined by that 3D mesh is considered protected against lightning strikes. The use of traditional methods of longitudinal cutting analysis based on 2D CAD tools makes the process laborious and the results obtained may not guarantee satisfactory protection of electrical equipment. This work describes the application of a Game Engine to the problem of lightning protection of power substations providing the visualization of the 3D protection mesh, the amount of protected components and the highlight of equipment which remain unprotected. In addition, aspects regarding the implementation and the advantages of approaching the problem using Unreal® Engine 4 are described. In order to validate results, a comparison with traditional 2D methods is applied to the same case study to which the proposed technique has been applied. Finally, a comparative study involving different levels of protection using the technique developed in this work is presented, showing that modern game engines can be a powerful accessory for simulations in several areas of engineering.
In this paper, we perform the investigation of some routing protocols in Vehicular Ad-Hoc Network (VANET) context. Indeed, we study the efficiency of protocols like Dynamic Source Routing (DSR), Ad hoc On-demand Distance Vector Routing (AODV), Destination Sequenced Distance Vector (DSDV), Optimized Link State Routing convention (OLSR) and Vehicular Multi-hop algorithm for Stable Clustering (VMASC) in terms of packet delivery ratio (PDR) and throughput. The performance evaluation and comparison between the studied protocols shows that the VMASC is the best protocols regarding fast data transmission and link stability in VANETs. The validation of all results is done by the NS3 simulator.
In this paper, an experimental and theoretical study of the processes of mesoporous silicon carbonization during the formation of buffer layers for the subsequent epitaxy of 3C-SiC films and related wide-band-gap semiconductors is performed. Experimental samples were obtained by the method of chemical vapor deposition and investigated by scanning electron microscopy. Analytic expressions were obtained for the effective diffusion factor and carbon atoms diffusion length in a porous system. The proposed model takes into account the processes of Knudsen diffusion, coagulation and overgrowing of pores during the formation of a silicon carbide layer.
A crucial component to the success of any financial advising relationship is for the financial professional to understand the perceptions, preferences and thought-processes carried by the financial clients they serve. Armed with this information, financial professionals are more quickly able to understand how they can tailor their approach to best match the individual preferences and needs of each personal investor. Our research explores the use of a quantitative assessment tool in the financial services industry to assist in the identification of the personal investor’s consumer behaviors, especially in terms of financial risk tolerance, as it relates to their financial decision making. Through this process, the Unitifi Consumer Insight Tool (UCIT) was created and refined to capture and categorize personal investor financial behavioral categories and the financial personality tendencies of individuals prior to the initiation of a financial advisement relationship. This paper discusses the use of this tool to place individuals in one of four behavior-based financial risk tolerance categories. Our discoveries and research were aided through administration of a web-based survey to a group of over 1,000 individuals. Our findings indicate that it is possible to use a quantitative assessment tool to assist in predicting the behavioral tendencies of personal consumers when faced with consumer financial risk and decisions.
A comparison of resistance to quinolones was carried out on isolates of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coliO157:H7 from cattle and mecA and nuc genes harbouring Staphylococcus aureus from pigs. The isolates were separately tested in the first and current decades of the 21st century. The objective was to demonstrate the dissemination of resistance to this frontline class of antibiotic by bacteria from food animals and bring to the limelight the spread of antibiotic resistance in Nigeria. A total of 10 isolates of the E. coli O157:H7 and 9 of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus were obtained following isolation, biochemical testing, and serological identification using the Remel Wellcolex E. coli O157:H7 test. Shiga toxin-production screening in the E. coli O157:H7 using the verotoxin E. coli reverse passive latex agglutination (VTEC-RPLA) test; and molecular identification of the mecA and nuc genes in S. aureus. Detection of the mecA and nuc genes were carried out using the protocol by the Danish Technical University (DTU) using the following primers mecA-1:5'-GGGATCATAGCGTCATTATTC-3', mecA-2: 5'-AACGATTGTGACACGATAGCC-3', nuc-1: 5'-TCAGCAAATGCATCACAAACAG-3', nuc-2: 5'-CGTAAATGCACTTGCTTCAGG-3' for the mecA and nuc genes, respectively. The nuc genes confirm the S. aureus isolates and the mecA genes as being methicillin-resistant and so pathogenic to man. The fluoroquinolones used in the antibiotic resistance testing were norfloxacin (10 µg) and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the E. coli O157:H7 isolates and ciprofloxacin (5 µg) in the S. aureus isolates. Susceptibility was tested using the disk diffusion method on Muller-Hinton agar. Fluoroquinolone resistance was not detected from isolates of E. coli O157:H7 from cattle. However, 44% (4/9) of the S. aureus were resistant to ciprofloxacin. Resistance of up to 44% in isolates of mecA and nuc genes harbouring S. aureus is a compelling evidence for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance from bacteria in food animals from Nigeria. Ciprofloxacin is the drug of choice for the treatment of Typhoid fever, therefore widespread resistance to it in pathogenic bacteria is of great public health significance. The study concludes that antibiotic resistance in bacteria from food animals is on the increase in Nigeria. The National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) agency in Nigeria should implement the World Health Organization (WHO) global action plan on antimicrobial resistance. A good starting point can be coordinating the WHO, Office of International Epizootics (OIE), Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) tripartite draft antimicrobial resistance monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework in Nigeria.