2,732 research outputs found

    An integrated TQM approach for the development of medium size organisations.

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    TQM is seen to be a key ingredient in the working of some of the most successful companies in the world. Awards for these companies include 'The Deming Award' in Japan, 'The Baldrige Award' in America, the 'EFQM Award' in Europe, and the UK has also recently launched 'The U.K. Quality Award'. This thesis serves to lay a foundation for investigating quality in medium size organisations; where, with management understanding, there is potential to comprehensively implement such strategies and thereby enhance those organisations.In this thesis I have considered TECs as medium-size organisations. In order to develop a TQM approach for TECs I have considered a number of TQM authorities and compared their principles with the European Quality Award (EQA) model in order to develop a model suitable for TECs.In the process of this comparison work it was realised that the EQA model was too complex for this particular application. Hence, I have developed a simpler TQM model which also incorporates all the characteristics of the EQA model.With the help of this model and personal interviews, data was gathered in order to test the suitability of the model and to identify critical success factors with medium-size organisations.The results, in general, indicate that there is a high calibre of management and staff, within the organisations visited, but with little understanding of TQM concepts. However, there were examples of 'good practice' and strong processes. Recommendations are set out detailing the kind of quality strategies medium-size organisations could adopt to enhance their effectiveness

    Dense and accurate motion and strain estimation in high resolution speckle images using an image-adaptive approach

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    Digital image processing methods represent a viable and well acknowledged alternative to strain gauges and interferometric techniques for determining full-field displacements and strains in materials under stress. This paper presents an image adaptive technique for dense motion and strain estimation using high-resolution speckle images that show the analyzed material in its original and deformed states. The algorithm starts by dividing the speckle image showing the original state into irregular cells taking into consideration both spatial and gradient image information present. Subsequently the Newton-Raphson digital image correlation technique is applied to calculate the corresponding motion for each cell. Adaptive spatial regularization in the form of the Geman-McClure robust spatial estimator is employed to increase the spatial consistency of the motion components of a cell with respect to the components of neighbouring cells. To obtain the final strain information, local least-squares fitting using a linear displacement model is performed on the horizontal and vertical displacement fields. To evaluate the presented image partitioning and strain estimation techniques two numerical and two real experiments are employed. The numerical experiments simulate the deformation of a specimen with constant strain across the surface as well as small rigid-body rotations present while real experiments consist specimens that undergo uniaxial stress. The results indicate very good accuracy of the recovered strains as well as better rotation insensitivity compared to classical techniques

    The Underlying Event at the LHC

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    We discuss a study of "minimum-bias'' collisions and the "Underlying Event" at CMS (under nominal conditions) by measuring charged particles and muons. The Underlying Event is studied by examining charged particles in the "transverse" region in charged particle jet production and in the central region of Drell-Yan muon-pair production (after removing the muon-pair)

    Student access to the curriculum in an age of performativity and accountability: an examination of policy enactment

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    The curriculum is often the target of reform and governments use a range of accountability measures to ensure compliance. This paper examines the decisions schools in England make regarding history provision, in a period of curriculum change, and the potential consequences of these decisions. Drawing on a large, longitudinal data set, of primary and secondary material, the study examines the relationship between the number of students entered for public examination in history in England and a range of situated and material factors (Braun, Maguire and Ball, 2010). The data suggest that particular measures of accountability are effective in shaping school decision-making, but the type of school, socio-economic nature of the school intake, and students’ prior attainment are also important factors in understanding the decisions made. This does result in an inequitable access to history education; this inequity exists between different types of schools and socio-economic areas, and is also evident within schools where students with low prior attainment are less likely to be allowed to study history

    Spring-Summer Temperatures Since AD 1780 Reconstructed from Stable Oxygen Isotope Ratios in White Spruce Tree-Rings from the Mackenzie Delta, Northwestern Canada

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    High-latitude delta(exp 18)O archives deriving from meteoric water (e.g., tree-rings and ice-cores) can provide valuable information on past temperature variability, but stationarity of temperature signals in these archives depends on the stability of moisture source/trajectory and precipitation seasonality, both of which can be affected by atmospheric circulation changes. A tree-ring delta(exp 18)O record (AD 1780-2003) from the Mackenzie Delta is evaluated as a temperature proxy based on linear regression diagnostics. The primary source of moisture for this region is the North Pacific and, thus, North Pacific atmospheric circulation variability could potentially affect the tree-ring delta(exp 18)O-temperature signal. Over the instrumental period (AD 1892-2003), tree-ring delta(exp 18)O explained 29% of interannual variability in April-July minimum temperatures, and the explained variability increases substantially at lower-frequencies. A split-period calibration/verification analysis found the delta(exp 18)O-temperature relation was time-stable, which supported a temperature reconstruction back to AD 1780. The stability of the delta(exp 18)O-temperature signal indirectly implies the study region is insensitive to North Pacific circulation effects, since North Pacific circulation was not constant over the calibration period. Simulations from the NASA-GISS ModelE isotope-enabled general circulation model confirm that meteoric delta(exp 18)O and precipitation seasonality in the study region are likely insensitive to North Pacific circulation effects, highlighting the paleoclimatic value of tree-ring and possibly other delta(exp 18)O records from this region. Our delta(exp 18)O-based temperature reconstruction is the first of its kind in northwestern North America, and one of few worldwide, and provides a long-term context for evaluating recent climate warming in the Mackenzie Delta region

    New land-use-change emissions indicate a declining CO<sub>2</sub> airborne fraction

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    About half of the anthropogenic CO2 emissions remain in the atmosphere and half are taken up by the land and ocean1. If the carbon uptake by land and ocean sinks becomes less efficient, for example, owing to warming oceans2 or thawing permafrost3, a larger fraction of anthropogenic emissions will remain in the atmosphere, accelerating climate change. Changes in the efficiency of the carbon sinks can be estimated indirectly by analysing trends in the airborne fraction, that is, the ratio between the atmospheric growth rate and anthropogenic emissions of CO2 (refs. 4–10). However, current studies yield conflicting results about trends in the airborne fraction, with emissions related to land use and land cover change (LULCC) contributing the largest source of uncertainty7,11,12. Here we construct a LULCC emissions dataset using visibility data in key deforestation zones. These visibility observations are a proxy for fire emissions13,14, which are — in turn — related to LULCC15,16. Although indirect, this provides a long-term consistent dataset of LULCC emissions, showing that tropical deforestation emissions increased substantially (0.16 Pg C decade−1) since the start of CO2 concentration measurements in 1958. So far, these emissions were thought to be relatively stable, leading to an increasing airborne fraction4,5. Our results, however, indicate that the CO2 airborne fraction has decreased by 0.014 ± 0.010 decade−1 since 1959. This suggests that the combined land–ocean sink has been able to grow at least as fast as anthropogenic emissions
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