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Low Back Pain (LBP) has become a common cause of pain and disability in the U.S., especially among office workers (Janwantanakul, Pensri, Mookay, et al., 2011). Not only does office work leave an individual inactive, but also, as time progresses, inadequate desk and chair ergonomics, as well as other factors can lead to fatigued muscles, poor posture and pain (Cho, Freivalds & Rovniak, 2017; Janwantanakul, et al., 2011). Over time, this disability can affect overall performance and has the potential to result in lost work hours (Ramdan, Hashim, Kamat, et al., 2014). If this condition is not treated properly or if the underlying cause is not addressed, it often leads to chronic LBP (Petit, Fouquet & Roquelaure, 2015). In fact, approximately 73% of individuals with LBP still have symptoms 1 year later (Carragee, 2005).
Depending on the severity or chronicity of LBP, medical treatment varies. The average cost per patient for a period of 12 months with LBP is approximately $2,380 but may exceed $76,080 if the severity and longevity of the LBP has progressed to the point of surgical intervention (Stewart, Yan, Boscarino, et al., 2015).
A solution to this expensive impairment associated with sedentary seated occupations is alternative ergonomic seat designs. Typically, an ergonomic seat design incorporates the appropriate seat height, depth, width, backrest dimensions, backrest angle, seat angle, armrests, legroom and the seat surface (Pheasant & Haslegrave, 2005). More recently, it is believed that constructing a chair to incorporate dynamic movement with the attributes noted may further improve the ergonomic design (Jackson, Banerjee- Guénette, Gregory, et al., 2013; Pheasant & Haslegrave, 2005).
Seadrill has announced implementation throughout its fleet of a health program designed for employees before they leave for work on one of the company's rigs. The Medfit program, a preventative medical strategy, is being delivered in partnership with the International SOS Medfit team. Since Medfit's implementation in 2016, 98% of Seadrill's offshore workers have reported a greater awareness of their health, improved productivity, and increased wellbeing. The implementation of Medfit has reduced days lost by identifying psychological and physiological conditions ahead of time. Medfit establishes a new standard for all medical examinations across Seadrill's operations worldwide.
President's column The world is still in a crisis, and SPE is beginning to see consequences. Some of our conferences and workshops have seen fewer attendees. However, membership growth doesn't seem to be affected much. Financial crises are strange creatures. When I visited the Vietnam Section in April, section secretary Ben Gedge made a very wise observation. He said that most of us can live very happily without buying anything new for the next 2 years. However, if we do that, he said, of course the people who manufacture those new things have less income and they will also delay buying "new things," which will cause the global economy to continue its downward spiral, and there is your crisis. This is exactly what is happening at the moment. Many of our members’ companies are "managing" costs by delaying expenditures, including those for learning/networking events like our conferences and workshops. This is a dangerous path, as it will create a downward spiral in knowledge dissemination, where knowledge and global cooperation is key to our industry if we want to continue to provide the world with energy when demand picks up. SPE therefore is trying to break this spiral in a number of ways and has taken a number of actions, mainly to reduce need for travel for members. One example was piloted in the Gulf Coast Section's recent Digital Energy Conference in Houston, where we held a parallel conference in Second Life. Instead of being there physically, the authors presented their papers "virtually" via the Internet, through their avatars in Second Life. The Second Life conference was presented to the audience in Houston on a big screen. In March, we used Webex and Skype to bring a presenter in Colorado, USA, to workshop attendees in Queensland, Australia. Remote presentations with interactive audience participation were also done at our May workshop on IOR Petrophysics in Cairo. No visitors yet in a "virtual presentation room," but that could be the next step. Second, SPE will also bring meetings/workshops/conferences closer to where the members are. So, we will hold very few conferences in fancy places, and, if practicable, more in major industry centres like Amsterdam, Aberdeen, Houston, and Kuala Lumpur. Third, we will webstream key presentations from large conferences, so that anyone can follow the presentations in his/her own office on the computer screen. More innovations may come, and I am open for suggestions. In the long run, conferences and workshops without real people will not be easy to sustain, as building a network is an important aspect of those events. However, we believe that for the next 1 to 2 years this will work and we will put a lot of effort into finding new ways to bring people together, such as SPE virtual networks, discussion groups, etc.
Vega, Lourdes F. (Gas Research Center and Chemical Engineering Department. The Petroleum Institute and Alya Technology & Innovation) | Bahamon, Daniel (Departament de Ciència de Materials i Química Física, Universitat de Barcelona and Alya Technology & Innovation)
Abstract We present a systematic computational comparison of several types of MOFs vs. zeolites and other materials for gas storage and CO2 purification. The work focuses on CO2 capture and separation from multi-component mixtures in flue gas streams, evaluating the behavior of the materials at industrial conditions, and the impact that impurities have on the process. A first screen was done based on adsorption isotherms and isosteric heats of adsorption, calculated from Grand Canonical Monte Carlo simulations for pure components (CO2, N2, O2, H2O and SO2), binary and multi-component mixtures. Predicted selectivities were evaluated and complemented with breakthrough curves and working capacities for PSA/TSA processes among the different frameworks, with and without impurity traces. Results show that Mg-MOF-74 stands up as the most promising material to be used in PSA and TSA processes; however, considering its current availability to large scale and its cost, the zeolite 13X (NaX) still remains, at present, as a the preferred candidate for the industrial process (specially for VSA systems). This work highlights the use of molecular simulations for optimizing environmental related processes, focused on CO2 capture and separation. It provides new procedures to assess the use of these materials from their fundamental knowledge to their final implementation.