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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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Desert “Soilization”: An Eco-Mechanical Solution to Desertification
Zhijian Yi, Chaohua Zhao
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 270-273.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.002
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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 World’s Longest Tunnel
Lance A. Davis
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 263-264.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.013
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1774KB)
 
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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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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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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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Genetically Engineered Crops
Lance A. Davis
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 268-269.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.007
Abstract   HTML   PDF (910KB)
 
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Reflections on the Three Gorges Project since Its Operation
Shouren Zheng
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 389-397.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.002
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The South-to-North Water Diversion Project
Office of the South-to-North Water Diversion Project Construction Committee, State Council, PRC
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 265-267.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.022
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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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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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How Does the Microbiota Affect Human Health?
Lanjuan Li
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 1-.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.01.021
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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
Abstract   HTML   PDF (6737KB)

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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Emerging Trends for Microbiome Analysis: From Single-Cell Functional Imaging to Microbiome Big Data
Jian Xu, Bo Ma, Xiaoquan Su, Shi Huang, Xin Xu, Xuedong Zhou, Wei Huang, Rob Knight
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 66-70.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.01.020
Abstract   HTML   PDF (813KB)

Method development has always been and will continue to be a core driving force of microbiome science. In this perspective, we argue that in the next decade, method development in microbiome analysis will be driven by three key changes in both ways of thinking and technological platforms: ① a shift from dissecting microbiota structureby sequencing to tracking microbiota state, function, and intercellular interaction via imaging; ② a shift from interrogating a consortium or population of cells to probing individual cells; and ③ a shift from microbiome data analysis to microbiome data science. Some of the recent method-development efforts by Chinese microbiome scientists and their international collaborators that underlie these technological trends are highlighted here. It is our belief that the China Microbiome Initiative has the opportunity to deliver outstanding “Made-in-China” tools to the international research community, by building an ambitious, competitive, and collaborative program at the forefront of method development for microbiome science.

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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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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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The Highest Dam in the World under Construction: The Shuangjiangkou Core-Wall Rockfill Dam
Shanping Li, Bin Duan
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 274-275.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.018
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Compromise through Competition: A More Widely Applicable Approach?
Robin Batterham
Engineering    2016, 2 (3): 286-287.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.03.009
Abstract   HTML   PDF (373KB)
 
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Advances in Energy-Producing Anaerobic Biotechnologies for Municipal Wastewater Treatment
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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Noncoding RNAs and Their Potential Therapeutic Applications in Tissue Engineering
Shiying Li, Tianmei Qian, Xinghui Wang, Jie Liu, Xiaosong Gu
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 3-15.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.01.005
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1142KB)

Tissue engineering is a relatively new but rapidly developing field in the medical sciences. Noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs) are functional RNA molecules without a protein-coding function; they can regulate cellular behavior and change the biological milieu of the tissue. The application of ncRNAs in tissue engineering is starting to attract increasing attention as a means of resolving a large number of unmet healthcare needs, although ncRNA-based approaches have not yet entered clinical practice. In-depth research on the regulation and delivery of ncRNAs may improve their application in tissue engineering. The aim of this review is: to outline essential ncRNAs that are related to tissue engineering for the repair and regeneration of nerve, skin, liver, vascular system, and muscle tissue; to discuss their regulation and delivery; and to anticipate their potential therapeutic applications.

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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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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
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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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Climate Agreement
Lance A. Davis
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 387-388.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.009
Abstract   HTML   PDF (407KB)
 
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Fundamental Theories and Key Technologies for Smart and Optimal Manufacturing in the Process Industry
Feng Qian,Weimin Zhong,Wenli Du
Engineering    2017, 3 (2): 154-160.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.02.011
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1352KB)

Given the significant requirements for transforming and promoting the process industry, we present the major limitations of current petrochemical enterprises, including limitations in decision-making, production operation, efficiency and security, information integration, and so forth. To promote a vision of the process industry with efficient, green, and smart production, modern information technology should be utilized throughout the entire optimization process for production, management, and marketing. To focus on smart equipment in manufacturing processes, as well as on the adaptive intelligent optimization of the manufacturing process, operating mode, and supply chain management, we put forward several key scientific problems in engineering in a demand-driven and application-oriented manner, namely: ① intelligent sensing and integration of all process information, including production and management information; ② collaborative decision-making in the supply chain, industry chain, and value chain, driven by knowledge; ③ cooperative control and optimization of plant-wide production processes via human-cyber-physical interaction; and ④life-cycle assessments for safety and environmental footprint monitoring, in addition to tracing analysis and risk control. In order to solve these limitations and core scientific problems, we further present fundamental theories and key technologies for smart and optimal manufacturing in the process industry. Although this paper discusses the process industry in China, the conclusions in this paper can be extended to the process industry around the world.

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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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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
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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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The Human Microbiota in Health and Disease
Baohong Wang, Mingfei Yao, Longxian Lv, Zongxin Ling, Lanjuan Li
Engineering    2017, 3 (1): 71-82.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2017.01.008
Abstract   HTML   PDF (1171KB)

Trillions of microbes have evolved with and continue to live on and within human beings. A variety of environmental factors can affect intestinal microbial imbalance, which has a close relationship with human health and disease. Here, we focus on the interactions between the human microbiota and the host in order to provide an overview of the microbial role in basic biological processes and in the development and progression of major human diseases such as infectious diseases, liver diseases, gastrointestinal cancers, metabolic diseases, respiratory diseases, mental or psychological diseases, and autoimmune diseases. We also review important advances in techniques associated with microbial research, such as DNA sequencing, metabonomics, and proteomics combined with computation-based bioinformatics. Current research on the human microbiota has become much more sophisticated and more comprehensive. Therefore, we propose that research should focus on the host-microbe interaction and on cause-effect mechanisms, which could pave the way to an understanding of the role of gut microbiota in health and disease. and provide new therapeutic targets and treatment approaches in clinical practice.

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High-Speed Rail: Opportunities and Threats
Michel Leboeuf
Engineering    2016, 2 (4): 402-408.   DOI: 10.1016/J.ENG.2016.04.006
Abstract   PDF (1977KB)
 
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