Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CPIT research month - week 2 day 1

Attended the presentations on 'new technologies and new approaches' with tutors from business, engineering and computing departments.

First up, Dr. Juan Pellegrino from business on 'learning in rapidly vs incrementally - internationalising firms - reporting on progress made with his research project on assisting SMEs to become players on the international market. covered models from internalisation process and international new ventures, the organisational literature and Juan's study on how SME's go about internationalising their products, services etc. There is a knowledge gap evident between the various studies on internationalisation and organisational learning with regards to the processes taken by companies who decide to move beyond the local market. Found learning and internationalisation are intertwined and two approaches - rapid or incremental, occur. Incremental approaches based on experiential learning so local firm moves into markets which are similar or familiar. Rapid approaches often based on entrepreneurial expertise which are international focused.

Then, presentation from Ian Williamson from engineering department on his project 'harnessing urban wind'. A practical project with regards to how to maximise power generation using wind turbines and situation of wind farms. Wind turbulence is a major challenge and present sites selected through a long period of evaluation might change due to urban developments or change in climate / weather patterns. Therefore important to understand urban turbulence and match turbine to the site conditions plus take advantage of wind pressures and turbulence coming off large buildings.

Next up, Tom Cronje, also from engineering who presents on work in progress with regards to his Phd project 'cancer zapper - a novel design for high voltage, high frequency and bipolar electroporation'. Presented research method and considerations and some findings. Electrochemotheraphy and irreversible electroporation is seen to be a new promising cancer treatment method. These are relatively low risk procedures, using electrodes to genera te heat to destroy abnormal tissue for unresectable liver and small tumours (skin, head, neck cancers). Tom is developing experimental apparatus to be used in clinical trials. worked through various design and technical challenges through a developmental / incremental method.

Last presentation today with Dr. Malcolm Wieck from computing who presents on a study with Mehdi Asgarkhani on the topic of 'technology assisted education'.  Briefly covered the theories and practice. some of the 'advances' include moving from desk-based to computer suites, introduction of data shows, high tech teaching facilities, smart boards, course and student management systems. Potential benefits vs potential drawbacks to provider and learners of elearning solutions summarised. hope to improve effectiveness, efficiency and growth but realities may not always allow for delivery.

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