2009 WSU Annual CGRS Abstracts

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    Damage detection in metal structures using acoustic
    (2009-03-12) Kral, Zachary Tyler; Horn, Walter J.; Steck, James E.
    The structural components of many machines remain in service far beyond their designed lifetimes. This is especially true in the field of aerospace structures, where aircraft, wind turbines, satellites, and other components are expected to be in service for decades. Therefore, a good maintenance system is desired, allowing these structures further service use, while maintaining efficiency and reliability from failures. The focus of this research paper is on developing an improved maintenance system, called structural health monitoring, using acoustic emission sensors and artificial neural networks to detect and analyze any damage well before any component failure occurs. To replicate a damaged component for this study, an experiment was performed, involving thin, flat panels of aluminum with a designed, initial crack. These panels were subjected to static loads that were increased until crack propagation occurred. Acoustic emission sensors, which detect energy released by growing cracks in the form of strain waves, were used to detect this propagation and transform the characteristics of the propagation into electrical signals. These complex signals were then analyzed through an artificial neural network system, which allowed for fast post-processing. A structural health monitoring system was found to be plausible, using real-time analysis of the aluminum panel, detecting and reporting any growing crack from a size larger than 0.05 inches, well before any failure occurred. This study proved that acoustic emission could make structural health monitoring a reality.
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    The study of the effect of long term water cover on the mill tailings of the Silver Lake Mill # 1, near Silverton, Colorado
    (2009-03-12) Vardy, Renee L.
    Mining and milling of metals were the primary industries in the study area during the late 1800’s into the early 1900’s. Wastes from the mining and milling processes are abundant in the area and present a significant environmental threat. Abandoned in 1900, the Silver Lake Mill # 1 is located on Silver Lake, southeast of Silverton, CO. Tailings (mill wastes) are located above and below the lake level providing an excellent location to study long term water cover of mill tailings. The project included water samples from the lake, its outlet and inlets plus tailings samples above and below water. These samples were used to determine if the lake is contaminated and if so, the pollution source. Field parameters of pH, conductivity, temperature, and dissolved oxygen were observed. Samples were analyzed for Al, Fe, Cu, Ni, Zn, Cd, and Pb. All parameters except Ni were found in the lake, but the inlets, which had low concentrations, cannot entirely account for this. Examination of results show the lake holds contaminated water with increasing metal concentrations with depth. It also reveals the source of contamination is primarily transfer from submerged tailings. Lastly, it shows that the contamination is generally contained within the lake.
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    Impact of the First Step to Active Aging on older adult’s Functional Fitness, Balance, and Daily Activity
    (2009-03-12) Slimmer, Mindy Lynn; Park, Eun Young; Rogers, Nicole L.
    Purpose of the study was to determine how the First Step to Active Aging (FSAH) program impacts functional fitness (FF), balance, and daily physical activity (DPA) in older adults. The FSAH group consisted of 18 women. FSAH group met at a senior center for 12 wk, 2d·wk for a 50 min. training program (flexibility, strength, balance, aerobic). The control group consisted of 15 women. Program effectiveness was assessed using measures of FF (chair stand, arm curl, sit & reach, up & go, scratch test, and 12-min walk), balance (movement velocity (MVL), endpoint excursion (EPE), maximum EPE (MXE), and directional control (DCL) for forward (F), right (R), left (L) and back (B) movements), pedometer measured DPA, and weight. Findings show that no baseline difference existed between groups. Repeated measures ANOVAs revealed group x time interactions (p<.05) on all measures except flexibility. After 12 weeks, FF improvements were noted in the FSAH group: Chair Stand 35%, Arm Curl 26%; Up-&-Go 8%; 12-min Walk 14%. With respect to LOS, MXE improved in all directions (F 18%, R 14%, B 23%, L 10%) and DCL improved in the F direction 9%. DPA also increased from 3,108 to 5,077 steps (38%) and Ss lost 2.3lbs (2%). The control group did not change in any variable. DISCUSSION: Participating in a FSAH program improves FF, which may result in improved function and more years living independently.
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    Testing a global screening method to probe the role of epigenetics in an experimental model of estrogen-dependent uterine
    (2009-03-12) Simpson, Megan Odetta; Hendry, William J. III
    Diethylstilbestrol (DES), a synthetic estrogen, was widely administered to pregnant women between 1947 and 1971 based on the misconception that it could prevent miscarriages. Consequently, at least four million women and their fetuses were exposed to the drug and the offspring often developed various reproductive tract abnormalities, including cancer. We focused this study on DES-induced abnormalities in the uterus. More specifically, we screened for altered DNA methylation patterns. DNA methylation is a major component of the currently high-profile topic of epigenetics. Epigenetic modifications are now viewed as just as important to the development of cancer as are DNA mutations. We use Syrian golden hamsters to study the consequences of early developmental DES exposure. This study used Methylation Sensitive Restriction Fingerprinting (MSRF) to screen for altered DNA methylation patterns in uteri from control vs. neonatally DES-treated hamsters. Preliminary results show differential DNA methylation patterns in uteri of control vs. DES-treated hamsters. Further studies will be done to determine the identity and functional significance of the differentially methylated DNA elements.
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    Peer reviews of teaching: are they useful?
    (2009-03-12) Maeda, Masako; Sechtem, Phillip R.; Scudder, Rosalind Regier
    Peer reviews of teachers consist of formal evaluations of faculty members performed by colleagues and peers in their college or university. They are frequently used for promotion, tenure, and salary adjustments. According to existing literature, they may also be used for formative purposes as in the development and improvement of teaching methods, techniques, and styles. Despite the purposes mentioned above, little is known about the authenticity, practicality, and usefulness of peer reviews of university teachers. The purpose of this study was to learn more about methods and uses of information gained from peer reviews of teaching, specifically in Communication Sciences and Disorders programs. Through a national survey, 115 participants from 85 programs returned information. Results showed that peer reviews are being used in many programs with mostly positive results, even though the use, format, and conduct of the reviews vary greatly among programs. The results of peer reviews were meaningful to almost 80% of the respondents, who also included comments and suggestions about the authenticity and helpfulness of reviews conducted by their peers.