Archive

For December, 2009

Egypt: Nanotechnology Comes to AUC

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This article details research being carried out at the Yousef Jameel Science and Technology Research Center (YJSTRC) at The American University in Cairo (AUC), Egypt, in the nanoscience and other technology-oriented fields. AUC says their new research includes “…the development of novel diagnostic tests for sensitive detection of the hepatitis C virus; detection of cancer biomarkers, as well as creating a new generation of nanodevices that include smart bricks with tiny sensors, which can analyze building safety and warn of fires and earthquakes.” The AUC is using a variety of nanoparticles, including gold and nanocrystals, to develop unique diagnostic tests for detection of the hepatitis C virus. Sherif Sedky, a physics professor and associate director of YJSTRC, added that they “…are also working on developing energy harvesters that could convert wasted energy into a useful one, which could then be used to charge devices implemented inside the human body, as well as developing miniaturized antennas and high precision motion systems that are suitable for space applications.” The projects are funded by grants from YJSTRC and the Arab Science Technology Foundation in the United Arab Emirates. The article can be viewed online at the link below.

Name change highlights links between engineering and biology

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nanotechnologyThis news is adopted from Princeton University website.

Reflecting the growing intersection of biology and engineering, the Department of Chemical Engineering will change its name as of July 1, 2010, to the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering.

“Adding ‘biological’ to our name makes a public statement,” said Richard Register, who chairs the department. “It signals to the community — especially prospective graduate students and faculty — our commitment to leading in this area of great scientific and social importance.”

The name change was formally approved at the Faculty Meeting on Dec. 7.

The field of chemical engineering has had longstanding ties to biology, Register noted. Fermentation processes, discovered millennia ago, became a modern tool for chemical production and most recently in making advanced biofuels. Chemical engineers pioneered the use of polymeric materials (plastics) for implantable medical devices and controlled drug delivery.

These connections have developed rapidly in the last decade, and now about a third of the department’s faculty members focus a significant portion of their research on questions related to biology. Two senior faculty members, Christodoulos Floudas and Robert Prud’homme, have moved much of their research into biological engineering. Floudas collaborates with biologists to apply his expertise in optimization to the analysis and design of proteins. Prud’homme has leveraged his understanding of polymers and nanoscale processes to develop innovative drug-delivery technologies.

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Talented Men Leave – Dead Wood Doesn’t

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WHY EMPLOYEES LEAVE ORGANISATIONS ? – Azim Premji, CEO- Wipro

Every company faces the problem of people leaving the company for better pay or profile.

Early this year, Mark, a senior software designer, got an offer from a prestigious international firm to work in its India operations developing specialized software. He was thrilled by the offer.

He had heard a lot about the CEO. The salary was great. The company had all the right systems in place employee-friendly human resources (HR) policies, a spanking new office, and the very best technology,even a canteen that served superb food.

Twice Mark was sent abroad for training. ‘My learning curve is the sharpest it’s ever been,’ he said soon after he joined.

Last week, less than eight months after he joined, Mark walked out of the job.

Why did this talented employee leave ?

Arun quit for the same reason that drives many good people away.

The answer lies in one of the largest studies undertaken by the Gallup Organization. The study surveyed over a million employees and 80,000 managers and was published in a book called ‘First Break All The Rules’. It came up with this surprising finding:

If you’re losing good people, look to their immediate boss .Immediate boss is the reason people stay and thrive in an organization. And he ‘s the reason why people leave. When people leave they take knowledge, experience and contacts with them, straight to the competition.

‘People leave managers not companies,’ write the authors Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman.

Mostly manager drives people away?

HR experts say that of all the abuses, employees find humiliation the most intolerable. The first time, an employee may not leave,but a thought has been planted. The second time, that thought gets strengthened. The third time, he looks for another job.

When people cannot retort openly in anger, they do so by passive aggression. By digging their heels in and slowing down. By doing only what they are told to do and no more.. By omitting to give the boss crucial information. Dev says: ‘If you work for a jerk, you basically want to get him into trouble. You don ‘t have your heart and soul in the job.’

Different managers can stress out employees in different ways – by being too controlling, too suspicious,too pushy, too critical, but they forget that workers are not fixed assets, they are free agents. When this goes on too long, an employee will quit – often over a trivial issue.

Talented men leave. Dead wood doesn’t.

How to Spec Lighting for Sight Glass Applications

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This new white paper from L.J. Star explains how to specify lighting for sight glass applications. It covers the surprising relationship between voltage and wattage, how to mitigate heat concerns, the relationship between reflectors and bulb position, and the difference between foot-candles, lumens, and lux.

Handy reference charts give the recommended distances for different types of explosion-proof and non-explosion-proof lights.

View this FREE white paper

Why Performance Management Matters

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Upstream oil and gas exploration and production is a skill-based industry made up of highly trained individuals, and its use of advanced technologies and computerization is unmatched. Yet there is pressing demand in the upstream, as in other industries, to move away from point solutions and over-reliance on spreadsheets.
This need is exacerbated for the upstream by increasing volatility in supply, demand and prices; the need to tap into difficult-to-access reserves; and the need to increase recovery from existing wells.

It’s news then, but not entirely surprising, that oil and gas professionals are increasingly drawn to the idea of performance management based on a common business-intelligence platform.

“What we’ve seen,” says Paul Hoy, industry director, IBM Cognos Software, “is that the petroleum industry, like a number of others, is in a state of transition, moving from automation of day-to-day transactions to the strategic use of information as a means for driving optimized business operations.”

Performance-management applications include business intelligence (BI), which can be said to describe a decision-support system that relies on historical, current and predictive views of business operations based on data gathered from disparate sources. In production-driven industries, performance-management applications—by integrating on-site process monitoring, operations decision-making, and business functions—allow better decision making based on a single version of the truth.

“IBM Cognos is used today by petroleum companies for performance management,” Hoy says, “to control costs, improve customer service, maximize productivity and manage all elements of their upstream operations.”

IBM Cognos makes it easier for the oil and gas industry to benefit from performance management by providing tools, including a pre-defined industry-based data model. Such tools ease implementation and furnish industry-specific applications. Companies tend to engage with the system based on the need to solve a specific problem, then, based on its benefits and flexibility, deploy it in other uses throughout the organization.

CLICK HERE to access this alert to learn uses, methods, and benefits of performance management and business intelligence based on a common platform, especially as applied to upstream oil and gas.

Diana goes green, opts for sustainability

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vag-goes-green-by-jin-chen_0Barnard’s new Diana Center may be bright orange at the moment, but planners and architects plan to make sure the building “goes green.”

When the Diana opens in 2010, it will follow in the footsteps of a number of recently renovated Columbia structures opting for sustainability, as it has a certified silver rating from Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The newly renovated Columbia Faculty House was also LEED certified.

“Barnard is really conscientious of our community and also our environment,” said Giselle Léon, BC ’10 and vice president of communications of the Barnard Student Government Association, said. Léon is also a member of the Diana Opening Committee.

The Diana will include a host of environmentally friendly features, such as a daylight dimming system and recycled building materials. Perhaps the most visually striking feature of the Diana Center will be the green planted roof, which can help to reduce storm runoff, extend the life of the roofing membrane, and reduce the heat load of the building. The roof will also provide an additional social area for students as well as resources for the biology department.

Continue reading the full article here.

Ircon® Announces Advanced Features for Modline® 6 Series Fiber Optic Infrared Thermometers

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modline_sIrcon®, the worldwide leader in infrared (IR) noncontact temperature measurement, has introduced the new Modline® 6 Series of infrared thermometers.

The new line of high performance sensors features advanced signal processing and background-reflected energy compensation capabilities, and includes one-and two-color fiber optic IR devices designed for harsh operating environments

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