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Neu C.,Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
Geographische Rundschau

Demographic change and cash-strapped public coffers have brought about diverse changes in the public provision of infrastructure at the municipal level. Peripheral rural regions are confronted by numerous challenges due to the conversion and dismantling of public infrastructure: schools are being closed and public transportation services reduced to the bussing of school children. Rural populations are already feeling the negative impacts: reduced quality of life, and for many, reduced access to infrastructure services in the areas of health, education, and public transport. These developments in rural regions should not, however, be viewed in isolation; they are evidence of the broader transformation of the welfare state. In this situation, citizens are being expected to take on a new level of personal responsibility-for their personal well-being, for their retirement, or for the neighborhood and community in which they live. To stop rural areas from being increasingly cut off and isolated, new priorities need to be set to increase the quality of life and establish new forms of cooperation between the state, the market, and the citizens themselves. Changes making infrastructure provision more flexible should no longer be understood purely as cost-cutting measures, but as a possible means of developing needs-based, demand-oriented services (e.g., schools, public transport). Actually new forms of rural corner shops were established. These multifunctional stores do not just sell food and beverages; they offer also a wide range of services like stamps and an ATM to increase quality of life in remote areas. Moreover such shops are a means to empower the rural community to stay autonomous and to participate in municipal life. As long as citizen engagement is misunderstood solely as a stopgap to take the place of disappearing government services, an active civic society will have no potential to develop. If citizens are to be encouraged to take on a more active role at the municipal level, it will be essential to provide them with the legal and financial resources they need, and to grant them explicit decision-making powers. Source

Renkens W.,Renkens Consulting | Kyosev Y.,Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
Textile Research Journal

Warp knitted fabrics are widely used in medical and technical applications, as well as for clothing textiles. To predict their properties, it is useful to have knowledge about the yarn geometry and the yarn interactions within these fabrics. The geometrical modelling of warp knitted structures from single bed knitting machines is documented in the literature. This text concentrates on a computation of the geometry of warp knitted structures, which have complex 3D forms or which are draped over similar ones. The topological information about the structure produced on the machine, is used to create the basic geometry of this structure. After creating the basic geometry, it is transferred to a 3D deformed state of the relaxed fabric. The paper starts with a short overview of the research papers about simulation of warp knitted structures. General theoretical remarks about the transformation from basic structure to 3D structure are given. Examples of spacer fabric with constant or non-constant thickness and tubular fabrics are included. All the results concentrate on the topological representation of the geometry and at this stage do not take into account the influence of internal and external forces exerted on the fabric. © The Author(s) 2010. Source

Abdel-Wahab M.,Robert Gordon University | Vogl B.,Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
Construction Management and Economics

Productivity is a key driver for economic growth and prosperity in any country. The pursuit of productivity growth requires an understanding of the factors affecting productivity. The trend of productivity growth, along with the possible factors underlying such growth across Europe, the US and Japan, is thus examined. In particular, there is a focus on comparing the productivity performance of the construction sector to that of other industries. Using the recently released EU KLEMS 1 database, 2 a growth accounting framework was adopted to assess the contribution of the following factors to productivity growth (during 1971-2005): capital, labour quality and total factor productivity (TFP). It was found that there is a general slowdown in labour productivity growth in total industries including construction across major OECD countries, with the exception of the UK. The differences in labour productivity growth between construction and total industries can be largely explained by construction's poor TFP performance. With the exception of the UK, TFP negatively contributed to labour productivity growth in the period 1990-2005, suggesting that the industry has become less efficient in combining the factors of production. That phenomenon seems to be consistent across all selected countries and warrants further investigation. Indeed a better understanding of the factors underlying productivity growth in OECD countries is a prerequisite for effective intervention of policy makers to support sustained productivity growth. © 2011 Taylor & Francis. Source

Strehmel V.,Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences

Ionic liquids are discussed as new solvents for synthesis and modification of polymers. Polymerizations occuring by radical, ionic, complex coordinative or enzymatic mechanism, ring opening polymerizations, group transfer polymerizations, and polycondensations have been successfully carried out in ionic liquids. Polymer analogous reactions using either natural or synthetic polymers dissolved in ionic liquids result in modification of the polymer structure, and therefore, in variation of the polymer properties. Ionic liquids bearing polymerizable functional groups are interesting monomers for manufacturing of new polymer materials. Potential application fields include batteries, materials for separation processes in analytical chemistry up to coatings with antimicrobial effects. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

This paper provides a critical overview about the state of the art in the area of three-dimensional modeling of braided structures. It gives a generalized geometrical approach for modeling braided structures with arbitrary floating length and filaments in the yarn. The approach is tested with large set of structures of different types. Subsequently, one of the simulated geometries is compared with the real geometry of braided tube. © 2015, © The Author(s) 2015. Source

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