Professional Studies Summary:
Ultrasound uses sound waves of high frequency to diagnose patients and image the body. Ultrasound waves are longitudinal in nature and they induce back and forth oscillation of particles thus producing a series of compressions and rarefactions. The velocity, wavelength and frequencies of these sound waves can be calculated using the formula,v=fλ where velocity (v) is the speed of the wave in meters per second (ms-1), frequency (f) is the number of oscillations in a second measured in Hertz (Hz), and wavelength (λ) is the distance between two rarefactions and compressions in meters (m).
Ultrasound uses sound waves of high frequency that cannot be heard by the human ear and the higher the frequency the higher the resolution. In fact ultrasound is unable to detect objects smaller than its wavelength. However, high frequency ultrasound is easily absorbed due to a short wavelength and is thus used to scan areas closer to the body surface while lower frequency ultrasound is used for scanning deep tissues. Ultrasound frequencies usually range between 1-50MHz.
Ultrasound waves are detected and produced using ultrasound transducers that send an ultrasound signal, detect the sound and then convert the detected sound into an electrical signal for diagnosis. Ultrasound production is done by applying an alternating current (AC) across a piezoelectric crystal. The crystal grows and shrinks depending on the voltage applied and when an AC voltage is applied, it vibrates rapidly to produce ultrasound. Energy conversion from electrical to mechanical is known as the piezoelectric effect. The sound bounces back off the object being investigated and hits the piezoelectric crystal thus producing a reverse effect of converting mechanical energy to electrical. When the amplitude, pitch and time between the sending and reception of the sound is measured, a computer uses this information to produce images, and calculate speeds and depths.
There are several types of ultrasound scans possible in medicine and they include A-scans, B-scans, sector scans and phase scans. A-scans usually measure distance by graphing the time taken for an ultrasound pulse to bounce off an object and thus determining how far away the object is. This type of scan is one dimensional and thus unsuitable for imaging. B-scans are used to take a cross-sectional image of the body by sweeping the transducer across the area. The time taken for sound pulses to return can be used to determine distances that are plotted as series of dots on the image. B-scans can therefore be used to give two dimensional information about the body cross-section.
Sector scans take a sector shaped body image and are taken by sweeping the transducer back and forth across the area thus producing a series of B-scans which build up an image. Sector scans are used to take images when the space is little, and are harder to produce compared to phase scans. Phase scans are done using multiple transducers on the same probe in order to capture high resolution real-time scans. The wave-front angle can be altered by firing the transducers after each other thus keeping them out of phase. When the wave-front angle is changed, a three-dimensional image is built up over a large area.
Project Management in the Industry:
According to the PMBOK (1996), project management involves applying knowledge, skills, techniques and tools on project activities to meet the needs and expectations of stakeholders on the project and even exceed these requirements. A project, on the other hand, is a unique undertaking comprising a series of tasks conducted in a pre-defined sequence or relationship that produces a consequent predefined result. A project thus has a beginning, middle and end (PMBOK, 1999).
Project management in the industry involves a lot of activities and it is the duty of all project team members to ensure the project is a success. Project management activities may include effectively communicating with team members, alignment of task to meet deadlines and estimating the duration of tasks.
Modeling decisions in project management involves developing models, techniques and tools that reflect the relationships between relevant factors in real scenarios. In this regard, modeling is an important aspect of industrial project management since it helps develop specific methods that help in comprehending the project. Models are applied in industrial project management to study various decision alternatives and determine the best solutions. Models can be mathematical, schematic or physical. Mathematical models include linear programming, transportation and assignment models used to solve optimization problems, solve transport problems, and determine how to assign tasks respectively (Boboulos & Peshev, 2012).
Schematic models are widely used in project management since they provide a logical view of relationships between activities, tasks, schedules, personnel and other resources which are the transferred easily into graphical representations. Graphical representations allows managers to follow logical links in time and control the performance of individual tasks with respect to time and resource consumption. Tools used in schematic modelling include Gantt charts and network diagrams.
Gantt charts give a relevant indication of activities to be executed as spread out in time. Gantt charts thus make it possible to graphically represent work progress visually which allows managers to control performance and determine when several parallel activities pile. This helps managers to foresee and fix the technical and organizational difficulties that may occur in case activities conflict. Possible ways of fixing pile-ups include task redistribution and time schedule readjustments (Boboulos & Peshev, 2012).
Network models such as the Critical Path Method (CPM) are also widely used graphical models. Network analysis is a planning and control technique used for complex projects and developing time schedules for the resources required for the project. This is achieved by analyzing the component activities of a project and evaluating the consecutive relationships between each event. The end result of this analysis is a network diagram which contains internally linked activities, their durations, and sequences (Boboulos & Peshev, 2012).
Conclusively, project management is still developing profession and for it to flourish, it is essential that theories are developed, processes are refined and standards developed to ensure universal agreement about ways of doing things.
Autonomous systems and ethics:
Autonomous systems are those systems that are adaptive, capable of learning and can make ‘decisions’. Autonomous systems can be partially autonomous or fully autonomous. In the partially autonomous systems there exists some level of human input with direct responsibility on system functioning either as an operator or designer. However fully autonomous systems provide a hurdle where it is difficult to determine where human responsibility lies in terms of functioning or malfunctioning. It is obvious that a human chain exists but the issue of responsibility is unclear in the case of injury to a person. Questions asked include who bears responsibility among the designer, programmer, manufacturer and the user (RAENG, 2009).
Autonomous systems are usually more predictable and reliable than human beings but a system that makes ‘decisions’ will be largely influenced by past operations and input. Such systems lack the human element of impulsiveness and this makes them highly valuable for tasks that require quick decision making and in potentially dangerous circumstances. In complex decision making situations, human experience could lead to better judgment compared to decisions made by a programmed system which makes decisions based on previous behavior.
There are various ethical issues raised by the use of autonomous systems especially in terms of autonomous vehicles and weaponry. In transport issues include the fact that autonomous systems allow for detailed recording of system usage and in current times, road accidents are examined in less detail compared to air or rail accidents. Issues arising will include whether accidents will be more critically analyzed. This is a privacy concern especially if most road accidents which are usually classified as ‘accidental’ by insurance companies may turn out to blame-assigned and consequently payment denied due to technicalities (RAENG, 2009)..
Ethical issues also revolve around the use of robots and these include issues such as conflicting rights, unemployment, and loss of integrity, safety and status. Military robots such as drones (unmanned aerial vehicles - UAV) are in fact considered to have a larger ethical impact since some of them are involved in killing people. Issues are being raised to prevent the development of autonomous killer robots as artificial soldiers since they would be incapable of meeting international humanitarian laws (HRW, 2012).
Generation and Transmission:
Conventional methods of generating electricity are thermal (coal, nuclear, gas) and hydroelectric generation. These methods enjoy several advantages such more advanced generation technologies sue to the vast experiences and knowledge acquired during the past century. Conventional methods are thus popular, efficient and economical. However, traditional electricity generation methods have disadvantages such as expected future depletion as in the case of gas and oil, environmental pollution and high maintenance costs (Bali, 2013).
Non-conventional electricity generation methods use non-polluting processes and their longevity is assured due to renewability and perpetuity of the main sources. Examples of such sources include wind, solar, geothermal, tidal wave and biomass as sources of electricity. Further advantages of these sources include almost zero running costs especially for wind and solar power. The main disadvantage of renewable sources are the initial costs of implementation and uncertainty resulting from weather patterns such as dense clouds in the case of solar energy, and still air conditions in the case of wind energy (Bali, 2013).
Embedded generation (EG) is the onsite generation and transmission of electricity for the sole purpose of internal use. Consumers with EG facilities are allowed to connect to the power grid to supplement their electricity supply or as backup supply. Consumers may also sell excess power in the wholesale electricity market (EG, 2014).
Onshore transmissions provide power grid connections on the mainland while offshore transmission systems provide connections between offshore energy generation locations such as offshore wind farms, and the onshore grid network. Offshore transmission systems comprise offshore and onshore transmission cables and sub-stations. Power is transmitted as either DC or AC depending on the power output of the offshore stations.
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