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Heading toward Artificial Intelligence 2.0
Yunhe Pan
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 409-413.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.018
Abstract   HTML   PDF (452KB)

With the popularization of the Internet, permeation of sensor networks, emergence of big data, increase in size of the information community, and interlinking and fusion of data and information throughout human society, physical space, and cyberspace, the information environment related to the current development of artificial intelligence (AI) has profoundly changed. AI faces important adjustments, and scientific foundations are confronted with new breakthroughs, as AI enters a new stage: AI 2.0. This paper briefly reviews the 60-year developmental history of AI, analyzes the external environment promoting the formation of AI 2.0 along with changes in goals, and describes both the beginning of the technology and the core idea behind AI 2.0 development. Furthermore, based on combined social demands and the information environment that exists in relation to Chinese development, suggestions on the development of AI 2.0 are given.

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Infrastructure for China’s Ecologically Balanced Civilization
Chris Kennedy, Ma Zhong, Jan Corfee-Morlot
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 414-425.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.014
Abstract   HTML   PDF (792KB)

China’s green investment needs up to 2020 are ¥1.7 trillion—2.9 trillion CNY ($274 billion—468 billion USD) per year. Estimates of financing requirements are provided for multiple sectors, including sustainable energy, infrastructure (including for environmental protection), environmental remediation, industrial pollution control, energy and water efficiency, and green products. The context to China’s green financing is discussed, covering urbanization, climate change, interactions between infrastructure sectors, and the transformation of industry. Much of the infrastructure financing will occur in cities, with a focus on equity, environmental protection, and quality of life under the National New-Type Urbanization Plan (20142020). China has implemented many successful policies in the building sector, but there is still considerable scope for improvement in the energy efficiency of Chinese buildings. China is currently pursuing low-carbon growth strategies that are consistent with its overall environmental and quality-of-life objectives. Beyond 2020, China’s future as an ecologically balanced civilization will rest on the implementation of a central infrastructure policy: China 2050 High Renewable Energy Penetration Scenario and Roadmap Study. As exemplified by the Circular Economy Development Strategy and Near-Term Action Plan, an essential part of China’s green industrial transformation involves engineering systems that conserve materials, thereby reducing or even eliminating wastes. To better understand changes to China’s economy under its green transformation and to unlock large potential sources of finance, it is necessary to undertake a fuller examination of all of China’s infrastructure sectors, particularly freight rail infrastructure and ports. Large investments are required to clean up a legacy of environmental contamination of soil and groundwater and to reduce industrial pollution. Transformation of the power sector away from coal will avoid some industrial treatment costs. The contribution of engineers in planning, designing, and constructing China’s new green infrastructure will be furthered by understanding the broad policy context and the interactions between land use, infrastructure, and environmental performance.

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Thermal Treatment of Hydrocarbon-Impacted Soils: A Review of Technology Innovation for Sustainable Remediation
Julia E. Vidonish, Kyriacos Zygourakis, Caroline A. Masiello, Gabriel Sabadell, Pedro J. J. Alvarez
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 426-437.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.005
Abstract   HTML   PDF (4082KB)

Thermal treatment technologies hold an important niche in the remediation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils and sediments due to their ability to quickly and reliably meet cleanup standards. However, sustained high temperature can be energy intensive and can damage soil properties. Despite the broad applicability and prevalence of thermal remediation, little work has been done to improve the environmental compatibility and sustainability of these technologies. We review several common thermal treatment technologies for hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, assess their potential environmental impacts, and propose frameworks for sustainable and low-impact deployment based on a holistic consideration of energy and water requirements, ecosystem ecology, and soil science. There is no universally appropriate thermal treatment technology. Rather, the appropriate choice depends on the contamination scenario (including the type of hydrocarbons present) and on site-specific considerations such as soil properties, water availability, and the heat sensitivity of contaminated soils. Overall, the convergence of treatment process engineering with soil science, ecosystem ecology, and plant biology research is essential to fill critical knowledge gaps and improve both the removal efficiency and sustainability of thermal technologies.

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Advances in Energy-Producing Anaerobic Biotechnologies for Municipal
Wen-Wei Li, Han-Qing Yu
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 438-446.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.017
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1326KB)

Municipal wastewater treatment has long been known as a high-cost and energy-intensive process that destroys most of the energy-containing molecules by spending energy and that leaves little energy and few nutrients available for reuse. Over the past few years, some wastewater treatment plants have tried to revamp themselves as “resource factories,” enabled by new technologies and the upgrading of old technologies. In particular, there is an renewed interest in anaerobic biotechnologies, which can convert organic matter into usable energy and preserve nutrients for potential reuse. However, considerable technological and economic limitations still exist. Here, we provide an overview of recent advances in several cutting-edge anaerobic biotechnologies for wastewater treatment, including enhanced side-stream anaerobic sludge digestion, anaerobic membrane bioreactors, and microbial electrochemical systems, and discuss future challenges and opportunities for their applications. This review is intended to provide useful information to guide the future design and optimization of municipal wastewater treatment processes.

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Clean Coal Technologies in China: Current Status and Future Perspectives
Shiyan Chang, Jiankun Zhuo, Shuo Meng, Shiyue Qin, Qiang Yao
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 447-459.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.015
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2155KB)

Coal is the dominant primary energy source in China and the major source of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. To facilitate the use of coal in an environmentally satisfactory and economically viable way, clean coal technologies (CCTs) are necessary. This paper presents a review of recent research and development of four kinds of CCTs: coal power generation; coal conversion; pollution control; and carbon capture, utilization, and storage. It also outlines future perspectives on directions for technology research and development (R&D). This review shows that China has made remarkable progress in the R&D of CCTs, and that a number of CCTs have now entered into the commercialization stage.

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Sustainable Application of a Novel Water Cycle Using Seawater for Toilet Flushing
Xiaoming Liu, Ji Dai, Di Wu, Feng Jiang, Guanghao Chen, Ho-Kwong Chui, Mark C. M. van Loosdrecht
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 460-469.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.013
Abstract   HTML   PDF (3630KB)

Global water security is a severe issue that threatens human health and well-being. Finding sustainable alternative water resources has become a matter of great urgency. For coastal urban areas, desalinated seawater could serve as a freshwater supply. However, since 20%–30% of the water supply is used for flushing waste from the city, seawater with simple treatment could also partly replace the use of freshwater. In this work, the freshwater saving potential and environmental impacts of the urban water system (water-wastewater closed loop) adopting seawater desalination, seawater for toilet flushing (SWTF), or reclaimed water for toilet flushing (RWTF) are compared with those of a conventional freshwater system, through a life-cycle assessment and sensitivity analysis. The potential applications of these processes are also assessed. The results support the environmental sustainability of the SWTF approach, but its potential application depends on the coastal distance and effective population density of a city. Developed coastal cities with an effective population density exceeding 3000 persons·km–2 and located less than 30?km from the seashore (for the main pipe supplying seawater to the city) would benefit from applying SWTF, regardless of other impact parameters. By further applying the sulfate reduction, autotrophic denitrification, and nitrification integrated (SANI) process for wastewater treatment, the maximum distance from the seashore can be extended to 60?km. Considering that most modern urbanized cities fulfill these criteria, the next generation of water supply systems could consist of a freshwater supply coupled with a seawater supply for sustainable urban development.

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Water, Air Emissions, and Cost Impacts of Air-Cooled Microturbines for Combined Cooling, Heating, and Power Systems: A Case Study in the Atlanta Region
Jean-Ann James, Valerie M. Thomas, Arka Pandit, Duo Li, John C. Crittenden
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 470-480.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.008
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1982KB)

The increasing pace of urbanization means that cities and global organizations are looking for ways to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions. Combined cooling, heating, and power (CCHP) systems have the potential to improve the energy generation efficiency of a city or urban region by providing energy for heating, cooling, and electricity simultaneously. The purpose of this study is to estimate the water consumption for energy generation use, carbon dioxide (CO2) and NOx emissions, and economic impact of implementing CCHP systems for five generic building types within the Atlanta metropolitan region, under various operational scenarios following the building thermal (heating and cooling) demands. Operating the CCHP system to follow the hourly thermal demand reduces CO2 emissions for most building types both with and without net metering. The system can be economically beneficial for all building types depending on the price of natural gas, the implementation of net metering, and the cost structure assumed for the CCHP system. The greatest reduction in water consumption for energy production and NOx emissions occurs when there is net metering and when the system is operated to meet the maximum yearly thermal demand, although this scenario also results in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and, in some cases, cost. CCHP systems are more economical for medium office, large office, and multifamily residential buildings.

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More than Target 6.3: A Systems Approach to Rethinking Sustainable Development Goals in a Resource-Scarce World
Qiong Zhang, Christine Prouty, Julie B. Zimmerman, James R. Mihelcic
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 481-489.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.010
Abstract   HTML   PDF (833KB)

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development outlines 17 individual Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that guide the needs of practice for many professional disciplines around the world, including engineering, research, policy, and development. The SDGs represent commitments to reduce poverty, hunger, ill health, gender inequality, environmental degradation, and lack of access to clean water and sanitation. If a typical reductionist approach is employed to address and optimize individual goals, it may lead to a failure in technological, policy, or managerial development interventions through unintended consequences in other goals. This study uses a systems approach to understand the fundamental dynamics between the SDGs in order to identify potential synergies and antagonisms. A conceptual system model was constructed to illustrate the causal relationships between SDGs, examine system structures using generic system archetypes, and identify leverage points to effectively influence intentional and minimize unintentional changes in the system. The structure of interactions among the SDGs reflects three archetypes of system behavior: Reinforcing Growth, Limits to Growth, and Growth and Underinvestment. The leverage points identified from the conceptual model are gender equality, sustainable management of water and sanitation, alternative resources, sustainable livelihood standards, and global partnerships. Such a conceptual system analysis of SDGs can enhance the likelihood that the development community will broaden its understanding of the potential synergistic benefits of their projects on resource management, environmental sustainability, and climate change. By linking the interactions and feedbacks of those projects with economic gains, women’s empowerment, and educational equality, stakeholders can recognize holistic improvements that can be made to the quality of life of many of the world’s poor.

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The Cemented Material Dam: A New, Environmentally Friendly Type of Dam
Jinsheng Jia, Michel Lino, Feng Jin, Cuiying Zheng
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 490-497.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.003
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2412KB)

The first author proposed the concept of the cemented material dam (CMD) in 2009. This concept was aimed at building an environmentally friendly dam in a safer and more economical way for both the dam and the area downstream. The concept covers the cemented sand, gravel, and rock dam (CSGRD), the rockfill concrete (RFC) dam (or the cemented rockfill dam, CRD), and the cemented soil dam (CSD). This paper summarizes the concept and principles of the CMD based on studies and practices in projects around the world. It also introduces new developments in the CSGRD, CRD, and CSD.

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Major Technologies for Safe Construction of High Earth-Rockfill Dams
Hongqi Ma, Fudong Chi
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 498-509.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.001
Abstract   HTML   PDF (6069KB)

The earth-rockfill dam is one of the primary dam types in the selection of high dams to be constructed in Western China, since it is characterized by favorable adaptability of the dam foundation; full utilization of local earth, rock, and building-excavated materials; low construction cost; and low cement consumption. Many major technical issues regarding earth-rockfill dams with a height of over 250 m were studied and solved successfully in the construction of the 261.5 m Nuozhadu earth core rockfill dam. This paper describes research achievements and basic conclusions; systematically summarizes the accumulated experiences from the construction of the Nuozhadu Dam and other high earth-rockfill dams; and discusses major technical issues, such as deformation control, seepage control, dam slope stability, safety and control of flood discharging, safety and quality control of dam construction, safety assessments, early warning, and other key technical difficulties. This study also provides a reference and technological support for the future construction of 300 m high earth-rockfill dams.

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A Feasibility Study of Power Generation from Sewage Using a Hollowed Pico-Hydraulic Turbine
Tomomi Uchiyama, Satoshi Honda, Tomoko Okayama, Tomohiro Degawa
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 510-517.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.007
Abstract   HTML   PDF (4809KB)

This study is concerned with the feasibility of power generation using a pico-hydraulic turbine from sewage flowing in pipes. First, the sewage flow rate at two connection points to the Toyogawa River-Basin Sewerage, Japan, was explored for over a year to elucidate the hydraulic energy potential of the sewage. Second, the performance of the pico-hydraulic turbine was investigated via laboratory experiments that supposed the turbine to be installed in the sewage pipe at the connection points. This study indicates that the connection points have hydraulic potential that can be used for power generation throughout the year. It also demonstrates that the pico-hydraulic turbine can be usefully employed for power generation from sewage flowing in the pipe at the connection points.

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Fiber-Reinforced Polymer Bridge Design in the Netherlands: Architectural Challenges toward Innovative, Sustainable, and Durable Bridges
Joris Smits
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 518-527.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.004
Abstract   HTML   PDF (7053KB)

This paper reviews the use of fiber-reinforced polymers (FRPs) in architectural and structural bridge design in the Netherlands. The challenges and opportunities of this relatively new material, both for the architect and the engineer, are discussed. An inventory of recent structural solutions in FRP is included, followed by a discussion on architectural FRP applications derived from the architectural practice of the author and of other pioneers.

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A Train-Bridge Dynamic Interaction Analysis Method and Its Experimental Validation
Nan Zhang, Yuan Tian, He Xia
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 528-536.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.012
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2289KB)

The train-bridge dynamic interaction problem began with the development of railway technology, and requires an evaluation method for bridge design in order to ensure the safety and stability of the bridge and the running train. This problem is studied using theoretical analysis, numerical simulation, and experimental study. In the train-bridge dynamic interaction system proposed in this paper, the train vehicle model is established by the rigid-body dynamics method, the bridge model is established by the finite element method, and the wheel/rail vertical and lateral interaction are simulated by the corresponding assumption and the Kalker linear creep theory, respectively. Track irregularity, structure deformation, wind load, collision load, structural damage, foundation scouring, and earthquake action are regarded as the excitation for the system. The train-bridge dynamic interaction system is solved by inter-history iteration. A case study of the dynamic response of a CRH380BL high-speed train running through a standard-design bridge in China is discussed. The dynamic responses of the vehicle and of the bridge subsystems are obtained for speeds ranging from 200 km·h-1 to 400 km·h-1, and the vibration mechanism are analyzed.

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An Enhanced Physically Based Scour Model for Considering Jet Air Entrainment
Rafael Duarte,António Pinheiro,Anton J. Schleiss
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 294-301.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.003
Abstract   HTML   PDF (7105KB)

Based on systematic experiments on the influence of air entrainment on rock block stability in plunge pools impacted by high-velocity jets, this study presents adaptations of a physically based scour model. The modifications regarding jet aeration are implemented in the Comprehensive Scour Model (CSM), allowing it to reproduce the physical-mechanical processes involved in scour formation concerning the three phases; namely, water, rock, and air. The enhanced method considers the reduction of momentum of an aerated jet as well as the decrease of energy dissipation in the jet diffusive shear layer, both resulting from the entrainment of air bubbles. Block ejection from the rock mass depends on a combination of the aerated time-averaged pressure coefficient and the modified maximum dynamic impulsion coefficient, which was found to be a constant value of 0.2 for high-velocity jets in deep pools. The modified model is applied to the case of the observed scour hole at the Kariba Dam, with good agreement.

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A Technical Review of Hydro-Project Development in China
Jinsheng Jia
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 302-312.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.008
Abstract   HTML   PDF (11589KB)

This paper summarizes the development of hydro-projects in China, blended with an international perspective. It expounds major technical progress toward ensuring the safe construction of high dams and river harnessing, and covers the theorization of uneven non-equilibrium sediment transport, inter-basin water diversion, giant hydro-generator units, pumped storage power stations, underground caverns, ecological protection, and so on.

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The Role of Hydropower in Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation: A Review
Luis Berga
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 313-318.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.004
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1620KB)

Hydropower is a clean, renewable, and environmentally friendly source of energy. It produces 3930?(TW•h)•a–1, and yields 16% of the world’s generated electricity and about 78% of renewable electricity generation (in 2015). Hydropower and climate change show a double relationship. On the one hand, as an important renewable energy resource, hydropower contributes significantly to the avoidance of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to the mitigation of global warming. On the other hand, climate change is likely to alter river discharge, impacting water availability and hydropower generation. Hydropower contributes significantly to the reduction of GHG emissions and to energy supply security. Compared with conventional coal power plants, hydropower prevents the emission of about 3?GT CO2 per year, which represents about 9% of global annual CO2 emissions. Hydropower projects may also have an enabling role beyond the electricity sector, as a financing instrument for multipurpose reservoirs and as an adaptive measure regarding the impacts of climate change on water resources, because regulated basins with large reservoir capacities are more resilient to water resource changes, less vulnerable to climate change, and act as a storage buffer against climate change. At the global level, the overall impact of climate change on existing hydropower generation may be expected to be small, or even slightly positive. However, there is the possibility of substantial variations across regions and even within countries. In conclusion, the general verdict on hydropower is that it is a cheap and mature technology that contributes significantly to climate change mitigation, and could play an important role in the climate change adaptation of water resource availability. However, careful attention is necessary to mitigate the substantial environmental and social costs. Roughly more than a terawatt of capacity could be added in upcoming decades.

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Computational Aspects of Dam Risk Analysis: Findings and Challenges
Ignacio Escuder-Bueno,Guido Mazzà,Adrián Morales-Torres,Jesica T. Castillo-Rodríguez
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 319-324.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.005
Abstract   HTML   PDF (6375KB)

In recent years, risk analysis techniques have proved to be a useful tool to inform dam safety management. This paper summarizes the outcomes of three themes related to dam risk analysis discussed in the Benchmark Workshops organized by the International Commission on Large Dams Technical Committee on “Computational Aspects of Analysis and Design of Dams.” In the 2011 Benchmark Workshop, estimation of the probability of failure of a gravity dam for the sliding failure mode was discussed. Next, in 2013, the discussion focused on the computational challenges of the estimation of consequences in dam risk analysis. Finally, in 2015, the probability of sliding and overtopping in an embankment was analyzed. These Benchmark Workshops have allowed a complete review of numerical aspects for dam risk analysis, showing that risk analysis methods are a very useful tool to analyze the risk of dam systems, including downstream consequence assessments and the uncertainty of structural models.

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Safety Aspects of Sustainable Storage Dams and Earthquake Safety of Existing Dams
Martin Wieland
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 325-331.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.011
Abstract   HTML   PDF (7728KB)

The basic element in any sustainable dam project is safety, which includes the following safety elements: ① structural safety, ② dam safety monitoring, ③ operational safety and maintenance, and ④ emergency planning. Long-term safety primarily includes the analysis of all hazards affecting the project; that is, hazards from the natural environment, hazards from the man-made environment, and project-specific and site-specific hazards. The special features of the seismic safety of dams are discussed. Large dams were the first structures to be systematically designed against earthquakes, starting in the 1930s. However, the seismic safety of older dams is unknown, as most were designed using seismic design criteria and methods of dynamic analysis that are considered obsolete today. Therefore, we need to reevaluate the seismic safety of existing dams based on current state-of-the-art practices and rehabilitate deficient dams. For large dams, a site-specific seismic hazard analysis is usually recommended. Today, large dams and the safety-relevant elements used for controlling the reservoir after a strong earthquake must be able to withstand the ground motions of a safety evaluation earthquake. The ground motion parameters can be determined either by a probabilistic or a deterministic seismic hazard analysis. During strong earthquakes, inelastic deformations may occur in a dam; therefore, the seismic analysis has to be carried out in the time domain. Furthermore, earthquakes create multiple seismic hazards for dams such as ground shaking, fault movements, mass movements, and others. The ground motions needed by the dam engineer are not real earthquake ground motions but models of the ground motion, which allow the safe design of dams. It must also be kept in mind that dam safety evaluations must be carried out several times during the long life of large storage dams. These features are discussed in this paper.

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Technical Progress on Researches for the Safety of High Concrete-Faced Rockfill Dams
Hongqi Ma,Fudong Chi
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 332-339.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.010
Abstract   HTML   PDF (8519KB)

The concrete-faced rockfill dam (CFRD) is an important dam type in the selection of high dams to be constructed in Western China, owing to its direct utilization of local materials, good adaptability, and distinct economic advantages. Over the past decades, China has gained successful experience in the construction of 200?m CFRDs, providing the necessary technical accumulation for the development of 250–300?m ultra-high CFRDs. This paper summarizes these successful experiences and analyzes the problems of a number of major 200?m CFRDs around the world. In addition, it discusses the key technologies and latest research progress regarding safety in the construction of 250–300?m ultra-high CFRDs, and suggests focuses and general ideas for future research.

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Key Technologies of the Hydraulic Structures of the Three Gorges Project
Xinqiang Niu
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 340-349.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.006
Abstract   HTML   PDF (10551KB)

To date, the Three Gorges Project is the largest hydro junction in the world. It is the key project for the integrated water resource management and development of the Changjiang River. The technology of the project, with its huge scale and comprehensive benefits, is extremely complicated, and the design difficulty is greater than that of any other hydro project in the world. A series of new design theories and methods have been proposed and applied in the design and research process. Many key technological problems regarding hydraulic structures have been overcome, such as a gravity dam with multi-layer large discharge orifices, a hydropower station of giant generating units, and a giant continual multi-step ship lock with a high water head.

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Key Technologies in the Design and Construction of 300 m Ultra-High Arch Dams
Renkun Wang
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 350-359.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.012
Abstract   HTML   PDF (2717KB)

Starting with the Ertan arch dam (240 m high, 3300 MW) in 2000, China successfully built a total of seven ultra-high arch dams over 200 m tall by the end of 2014. Among these, the Jinping I (305 m), Xiaowan (294.5m), and Xiluodu (285.5 m) arch dams have reached the 300 m height level (i.e., near or over 300 m), making them the tallest arch dams in the world. The design and construction of these 300 m ultra-high arch dams posed significant challenges, due to high water pressures, high seismic design criteria, and complex geological conditions. The engineering team successfully tackled these challenges and made critical breakthroughs, especially in the area of safety control. In this paper, the author summarizes various key technological aspects involved in the design and construction of 300?m ultra-high arch dams, including the strength and stability of foundation rock, excavation of the dam base and surface treatment, dam shape optimization, safety design guidelines, seismic analysis and design, treatment of a complex foundation, concrete temperature control, and crack prevention. The experience gained from these projects should be valuable for future practitioners.

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New Monitoring Technologies for Overhead Contact Line at 400 km·h−1
Chul Jin Cho, Young Park
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 360-365.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.016
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Various technologies have recently been developed for high-speed railways, in order to boost commercial speeds from 300 km·h−1to 400 km·h−1. Among these technologies, this paper introduces the 400 km·h−1 class current collection performance evaluation methods that have been developed and demonstrated by Korea. Specifically, this paper reports details of the video-based monitoring techniques that have been adopted to inspect the stability of overhead contact line (OCL) components at 400 km·h−1 without direct contact with any components of the power supply system. Unlike conventional OCL monitoring systems, which detect contact wire positions using either laser sensors or line cameras, the developed system measures parameters in the active state by video data. According to experimental results that were obtained at a field-test site established at a commercial line, it is claimed that the proposed measurement system is capable of effectively measuring OCL parameters.

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High-Speed Railway Train Timetable Conflict Prediction Based on Fuzzy Temporal Knowledge Reasoning
He Zhuang, Liping Feng, Chao Wen, Qiyuan Peng, Qizhi Tang
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 366-373.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.019
Abstract   HTML   PDF (7164KB)

Trains are prone to delays and deviations from train operation plans during their operation because of internal or external disturbances. Delays may develop into operational conflicts between adjacent trains as a result of delay propagation, which may disturb the arrangement of the train operation plan and threaten the operational safety of trains. Therefore, reliable conflict prediction results can be valuable references for dispatchers in making more efficient train operation adjustments when conflicts occur. In contrast to the traditional approach to conflict prediction that involves introducing random disturbances, this study addresses the issue of the fuzzification of time intervals in a train timetable based on historical statistics and the modeling of a high-speed railway train timetable based on the concept of a timed Petri net. To measure conflict prediction results more comprehensively, we divided conflicts into potential conflicts and certain conflicts and defined the judgment conditions for both. Two evaluation indexes, one for the deviation of a single train and one for the possibility of conflicts between adjacent train operations, were developed using a formalized computation method. Based on the temporal fuzzy reasoning method, with some adjustment, a new conflict prediction method is proposed, and the results of a simulation example for two scenarios are presented. The results prove that conflict prediction after fuzzy processing of the time intervals of a train timetable is more reliable and practical and can provide helpful information for use in train operation adjustment, train timetable improvement, and other purposes.





Referred to by
He Zhuang,Liping Feng,Chao Wen, et al. Corrigendum to “High-Speed Railway Train Timetable Conflict Prediction Based on Fuzzy Temporal Knowledge Reasoning” [Engineering (2016) 366–373][J]. Engineering, 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.01.002 

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Influence and Control Strategy for Local Settlement for High-Speed Railway Infrastructure
Gaoliang Kang
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 374-379.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.014
Abstract   HTML   PDF (5758KB)

This paper discusses the main impact factors of the local settlement and differential settlement of high-speed railway lines. The analysis results show that groundwater exploitation is the direct cause of differential settlement. Based on the study of ballastless track additional load and of vehicle, track, and bridge dynamic responses under different differential settlements, a control standard of differential settlement during operation is proposed preliminarily.

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How to Deal with Revolutions in Train Control Systems
Hideo Nakamura
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 380-386.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.015
Abstract   HTML   PDF (6367KB)

Train control systems ensure the safety of railways. This paper begins with a summary of the typical train control systems in Japan and Europe. Based on this summary, the author then raises the following question regarding current train control systems: What approach should be adopted in order to enhance the functionality, safety, and reliability of train control systems and assist in commercial operations on railways? Next, the author provides a desirable architecture that is likely to assist with the development of new train control systems based on current information and communication technologies. A new unified train control system (UTCS) is proposed that is effective in enhancing the robustness and competitiveness of a train control system. The ultimate architecture of the UTCS will be only composed of essential elements such as point machines and level crossing control devices in the field. Finally, a processing method of the UTCS is discussed.

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Smart Cities as Cyber-Physical Social Systems
Christos G. Cassandras
Engineering    2016, 2 (2): 156-158.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.012
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The emerging prototype for a Smart City is one of an urban environment with a new generation of innovative services for transportation, energy distribution, healthcare, environmental monitoring, business, commerce, emergency response, and social activities. Enabling the technology for such a setting requires a viewpoint of Smart Cities as cyber-physical systems (CPSs) that include new software platforms and strict requirements for mobility, security, safety, privacy, and the processing of massive amounts of information. This paper identifies some key defining characteristics of a Smart City, discusses some lessons learned from viewing them as CPSs, and outlines some fundamental research issues that remain largely open.

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Autonomous Driving in the iCity—HD Maps as a Key Challenge of the Automotive Industry
Heiko G. Seif, Xiaolong Hu
Engineering    2016, 2 (2): 159-162.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.010
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1884KB)

This article provides in-depth insights into the necessary technologies for automated driving in future cities. State of science is reflected from different perspectives such as in-car computing and data management, road side infrastructure, and cloud solutions. Especially the challenges for the application of HD maps as core technology for automated driving are depicted in this article.

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Big Data Research in Italy: A Perspective
Sonia Bergamaschi,Emanuele Carlini,Michelangelo Ceci,Barbara Furletti,Fosca Giannotti,Donato Malerba,Mario Mezzanzanica,Anna Monreale,Gabriella Pasi,Dino Pedreschi,Raffele Perego,Salvatore Ruggieri
Engineering    2016, 2 (2): 163-170.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.011
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The aim of this article is to synthetically describe the research projects that a selection of Italian universities is undertaking in the context of big data. Far from being exhaustive, this article has the objective of offering a sample of distinct applications that address the issue of managing huge amounts of data in Italy, collected in relation to diverse domains.

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Urban Big Data and the Development of City Intelligence
Yunhe Pan, Yun Tian, Xiaolong Liu, Dedao Gu, Gang Hua
Engineering    2016, 2 (2): 171-178.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.003
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This study provides a definition for urban big data while exploring its features and applications of China’s city intelligence. The differences between city intelligence in China and the “smart city” concept in other countries are compared to highlight and contrast the unique definition and model for China’s city intelligence in this paper. Furthermore, this paper examines the role of urban big data in city intelligence by showing that it not only serves as the cornerstone of this trend as it also plays a core role in the diffusion of city intelligence technology and serves as an inexhaustible resource for the sustained development of city intelligence. This study also points out the challenges of shaping and developing of China’s urban big data. Considering the supporting and core role that urban big data plays in city intelligence, the study then expounds on the key points of urban big data, including infrastructure support, urban governance, public services, and economic and industrial development. Finally, this study points out that the utility of city intelligence as an ideal policy tool for advancing the goals of China’s urban development. In conclusion, it is imperative that China make full use of its unique advantages—including using the nation’s current state of development and resources, geographical advantages, and good human relations—in subjective and objective conditions to promote the development of city intelligence through the proper application of urban big data.

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Strategies and Principles of Distributed Machine Learning on Big Data
Eric P. Xing,Qirong Ho,Pengtao Xie,Dai Wei
Engineering    2016, 2 (2): 179-195.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.02.008
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The rise of big data has led to new demands for machine learning (ML) systems to learn complex models, with millions to billions of parameters, that promise adequate capacity to digest massive datasets and offer powerful predictive analytics (such as high-dimensional latent features, intermediate representations, and decision functions) thereupon. In order to run ML algorithms at such scales, on a distributed cluster with tens to thousands of machines, it is often the case that significant engineering efforts are required—and one might fairly ask whether such engineering truly falls within the domain of ML research. Taking the view that “big” ML systems can benefit greatly from ML-rooted statistical and algorithmic insights—and that ML researchers should therefore not shy away from such systems design—we discuss a series of principles and strategies distilled from our recent efforts on industrial-scale ML solutions. These principles and strategies span a continuum from application, to engineering, and to theoretical research and development of big ML systems and architectures, with the goal of understanding how to make them efficient, generally applicable, and supported with convergence and scaling guarantees. They concern four key questions that traditionally receive little attention in ML research: How can an ML program be distributed over a cluster? How can ML computation be bridged with inter-machine communication? How can such communication be performed? What should be communicated between machines? By exposing underlying statistical and algorithmic characteristics unique to ML programs but not typically seen in traditional computer programs, and by dissecting successful cases to reveal how we have harnessed these principles to design and develop both high-performance distributed ML software as well as general-purpose ML frameworks, we present opportunities for ML researchers and practitioners to further shape and enlarge the area that lies between ML and systems.

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