PhD Candidate, University of Washington
Efficient decision practices help reduce adverse environmental impacts in the aftermath of disasters
During disaster response, infrastructure decisions for displaced populations must be made rapidly and often with limited information. For the handling of wastewater, pit toilets and latrines are among the most common recommendations when host community facilities cannot accommodate the extra flow. However, these systems are not designed to treat the wastewater, and therefore have potential to put already vulnerable populations at risk of waterborne diseases and cause irreversible environmental impacts in the hosting communities. The Azraq refugee camp serving the displaced Syrian populations in Jordan is among the first in the world to have advanced wastewater treatment system on site. The new improved approach to sanitation service provision in a refugee camp offers an unprecedented opportunity to investigate the wastewater treatment plant construction and process operation in extreme emergency response conditions. Understanding wastewater treatment delivery to displaced populations at the Azraq refugee camp will have far-reaching implications: As extreme weather events and climate-related natural and humanitarian disasters are predicted to increase in frequency and veracity, research on advanced wastewater treatment plant operation under uncertainty is needed to help create guidelines for preventing increased environmental pollution in the aftermath of future disasters. This research observes how a newly formed expert team worked and made decisions together while bringing the Azraq wastewater treatment system into operation. The mixed research methodology pairs stakeholder mental models, i.e. representations of individual thought processes, with chemical process data, and investigates the relationship between decision process inputs and outcomes. The preliminary findings show that while stakeholders used water quality data and process observations in decision-making, their operational decisions were also heavily guided by a number of non-technical, internal concepts, such as prior professional experiences and ability to share ideas effectively with others. The performance of the Azraq wastewater treatment system was improved, when project stakeholders had a clear role division, shared understanding of the project goals and were personally motivated to solve problems related to environmental protection and humanitarian aid provision.
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of a Multicultural Relationship Enhancement Workshop on American education majors' ability to confront prejudice in order to create more peaceful communities in school settings. Due to the diverse group membership, participants were provided an opportunity to practice communication skills in a multicultural context that emphasized a social justice perspective. A repeated measures design with random assignment of participants to experimental (n = 26) and wait-list control (n = 22) groups was employed. Participants were studied at three different points in time, in five-week intervals, with the experimental group participating in the workshop during the first five-week interval and the control group receiving the treatment during the second five-week interval. The repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant time by treatment interaction effects between Times 1 and 2 on a measure of communication skills in multicultural situations. The intervention is discussed in the context of policies that promote cultures of peace.
Pub.: 01 Dec '03, Pinned: 04 Jul '17
Abstract: Biological wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) are complex systems to assess. Many parameters are recorded daily in WWTP to monitor and control the treatment process, providing huge amounts of registered data. A combined approach of extracting information from the WWTP databases by statistical methods and from the sludge physico-chemical characterization was used here for a better understanding of the WWTP operation. The monitored parameters were analysed by multivariate statistical methods: Principal Components Analysis and multiple partial linear regression. The WWTP operational conditions determine the sludge characteristics. The bacterial activity of the sludge in terms of extra-cellular polymeric substances (EPS) production was assessed using size exclusion chromatography and the internal structure of sludge flocs was observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. The diagnosis of three paper mill WWTP enabled the identification of an important EPS production, the presence of the nitrification process and the presence of PO(4)(3-) nutrient in WWTP-A. These three main characteristics of WWTP-A were related with a systematically good sludge settling. In WWTP-B and C with bad settling, the bacterial activity was weak.
Pub.: 21 Dec '10, Pinned: 04 Jul '17
Abstract: A fuzzy matter-element model, combined with the entropy weight of an index, has been used as an evaluation method to achieve a comprehensive assessment and analysis of the operational efficiency of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). The feasibility of the method had been validated based on actual operational data and instance from eight WWTPs located in a city in Northern China. According to the results of the comprehensive evaluation, the operational efficiency of the WWTP using an anaerobic/anoxic/oxic process was generally better than other wastewater treating technologies. And especially, the removal efficiencies of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants were much higher for the process, which suits well the actual operational situation of Chinese WWTPs. Total nitrogen (TN) removal rate and the productive quantity of the excess sludge cake were identified as important factors in the evaluation of the operational efficiency for a WWTP. So the operation level of WWTP could be improved by increasing the TN removal rate and decreasing the excess sludge cake quantity. The developed method can evaluate and analyze the operational efficiency scientifically and objectively, and the evaluation results can be used to guide the construction, operation and management of WWTPs in The Three Gorge reservoir district of China.
Pub.: 24 Aug '12, Pinned: 04 Jul '17
Abstract: There are several factors that have been identified as the critical success factors for the performance of construction projects. A lot of research work is available identifying the critical success factors for construction projects. Most of the research findings show similar grouping of the critical success factors. However the research papers showing the role of flexibility in the construction process are very few. This paper is an attempt to identify the role of flexibility for reducing risk and increasing probability of project success. The paper deals with the traditional critical success factors and makes an attempt to find out the role of flexibility for managing construction projects. Flexibility as an alternative approach is emerging in the business world. In a flexible process, project managers and their team work together to evolve, and prioritize functionality. The paper attempts a definition of flexibility for construction process and to identify whether flexibility can be added into the list of critical success factors in managing construction projects. The authors interviewed 60 project managers from construction industries in Nagpur region, India, for indentifying the scope of flexibility as one of the critical success factors of construction projects. The result showed that there exist a high correlation between the project success and flexibility as one of the parameter of project success.
Pub.: 02 Feb '13, Pinned: 22 Jun '17
Abstract: The single-stage deammonification moving bed biofilm reactor (MBBR) is a process for treating high strength nitrogen waste streams. In this process, partial nitritation and anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) occur simultaneously within a biofilm attached to plastic carriers. An existing tank at the James River Treatment Plant (76 ML/d) in Newport News, Virginia was modified to install a sidestream deammonification MBBR process. This was the second sidestream deammonification process in North America and the first MBBR type installation. After 4 months the process achieved greater than 85% ammonia removal at the design loading rate of 2.4 g <inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="00500-ilm01.gif"/>/m2·d (256 kg <inline-graphic xmlns:xlink="http://www.w3.org/1999/xlink" xlink:href="00500-ilm12.gif"/>/d) signaling the end of startup. Based on observations during startup and process optimization phases, a novel pH-based control system was developed that maximizes ammonium removal and results in stable aeration and effluent alkalinity.
Pub.: 27 May '17, Pinned: 22 Jun '17
Abstract: While contingency planning may provide a perspective for anticipating critical incidents, supply chain managers must develop competencies to address the long-term disruptions that stem from both natural and man-made disasters. The broad-reaching nature of disasters brings public and private entities together and often requires collaboration to revitalize disrupted supply chains. Leveraging supply chain governance logic through the dual lenses of resource management and competing values, a research framework is introduced to address the nature of public–private short-term collaboration and its influence on supply chain resilience. The largely unstudied concept of short-term collaboration is at the heart of a model focusing on the alignment and adjustment of potentially disparate organizational values (public/private) to establish collective responsiveness while facilitating the fulfillment of mutual goals for a single event and/or discrete repeat events. We offer research propositions pertaining to the model and conclude with a discussion of managerial implications and the dire need for future research.
Pub.: 02 Mar '17, Pinned: 22 Jun '17
Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine the practices of crisis management adopted by operative staff when facing a crisis situation in their workplace. This research is based on interviews with personnel from social services and staff from homes for unaccompanied youth. The interviewees asked respondents about their actions in caring for young refugees during the refugee situation. The results are structured around three themes: everyday practices, crisis work, and the process of normalization. Three practices for handling the situation—improvisation, prioritization, and creating alternatives—served as crisis management-as-practice. The staff members' everyday practice for solving problems became the basic method employed during the crisis to normalize everyday work.
Pub.: 20 Jun '17, Pinned: 22 Jun '17