Automotive Supply Chains and the Engineering Steel Supplier

Corus Engineering Steels (CES) produces approximately 1.5MTpa of engineering steel, over half of which is consumed by the automotive industry, through its associated supply chains. Two of the most significant drivers in the automotive component sector are weight and through-cost reduction. Forged engineering steels face increasing challenges to their dominant role in the automotive engine, transmission and suspension sectors. Not only are alternative materials and competitive processing routes significant elements of that challenge, but so are the globalisation of the automotive industry and progressive rationalisation of component supply chains. Steel suppliers, forgers and other supply chain players must therefore co-operate effectively if engineering steel components are to meet the automotive industry's through-cost, weight, durability, recyclability and other performance expectations. This paper illustrates how, through working closely with its supply chain, involving forgers, machinists and end users, CES has exploited its materials expertise and the component design expertise of Corus colleagues, to develop innovative and effective solutions to the automotive industry's evolving needs.

Call for Papers: Cloud Computing and Service-Oriented Architecture

A special issue of International Journal of Information and Communication Technology

Cloud computing is a new paradigm in the area of computing with a pool of virtualised computer resources and is driven by economics of scale. A cloud supports redundant, self-recovering, highly scalable programming models and allows workloads to recover from many unavoidable hardware/software failures. The idea of cloud computing is to move desktop computing to a service-oriented platform using server clusters and huge databases at datacenters.

Cloud computing overlaps some of the concepts of cluster, distributed, grid, service, ubiquitous, utility and virtual computing; however, it has emerged from these computing domains and now has its own meaning. Cloud computing is now associated with a higher level abstraction of the cloud. Instead of there being application software, routers and servers, there are now services. Using these cloud computing models and toolsets, IT-related capabilities are provided as services, accessible without requiring detailed knowledge of the underlying technology.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) also generally provides a way for consumers of services such as web-based applications to be aware of available SOA-based services. SOA defines how to integrate widely disparate applications for a Web-based environment and uses multiple implementation platforms.

This special issue will cover all of the above issues.

Although we welcome submissions on any area within the scope of cloud computing, the following areas are particularly suitable (but not exhaustive):
  • Auditing, monitoring and scheduling
  • Automatic reconfiguration
  • Autonomic computing
  • Cloud architecture and modelling
  • Cloud-based services
  • Consistency models
  • Data grid and semantic web
  • Fault tolerance and reliability
  • Hardware as a service (HaaS)
  • High-performance computing
  • Integration of mainframe and large systems
  • Innovations in IP (especially open source) systems
  • IT service and relationship management
  • Load balancing
  • Middleware frameworks
  • New and innovative pedagogical approaches
  • Novel programming models for large computing
  • Optimal deployment configuration
  • Peer-to-peer computing
  • Power-aware profiling, modelling and optimisation
  • Resource registration and discovery
  • Scalable fault resilience techniques for large computing
  • Scalable scheduling on heterogeneous architectures
  • Security and risk
  • Self-healing
  • Self-monitoring
  • Service integration and management
  • Service level agreement definitions
  • Software as a service
  • Trustworthiness, security and privacy
  • Utility computing
  • Virtualisation technologies
Important Dates
Paper submission deadline: 30 April, 2012
Notification of acceptance: 1 June, 2012
Submission of final revised paper: 1 August, 2012

Call for Papers: Commercial Diplomacy and International Business

A special issue of International Journal of Diplomacy and Economy

Governments have a major interest in supporting business abroad as it may lead to domestic job creation, tax revenue increase and a stable economy (Naray, 2010). As a consequence, a change in the current practice of diplomacy towards more commercial activities can be observed (Kostecki & Naray, 2007). According to Lee and Hudson (2004: 343), “commercial activities of diplomatic services have been centralized, […] extended, and business interests have been formally integrated within diplomatic systems”.

 Commercial diplomacy has thereby become a foreign policy priority of governments. Activities within the field of commercial diplomacy aim at “encouraging business development” (Naray, 2010: 122), “the development of socially beneficial international business ventures” (Kostecki & Naray, 2007: 1), and “national economic development” (Saner & Yiu, 2003: 1).

 The spectrum of actors in commercial diplomacy ranges from the high-policy level (head of state or prime minister to ambassador) to the lower level of specialised diplomatic envoy, such as trade representative, commercial attaché or commercial diplomat.

 But more and more private actors are involved, especially international business representatives. “Many of the global challenges now confronting international business are issues and matters of diplomacy”, as Muldoon (2005, p. 355) puts it. Terms such as business diplomacy (Muldoon, 2005), the business-government interface (Hillman & Keim, 1995), corporate diplomacy (Ordeix-Rigo and Duarte, 2009), strategic political management (Hillman, 2003) and corporate political strategy (Oliver & Holzinger, 2008) have been proposed in the literature to label and describe international business’ involvement in diplomatic activity.

 But whereas the commercial aspect seems to be gaining importance in diplomatic practice, the body of literature on the subject is still rather limited. The literature “fails to identify, explain and understand […] the increased influence of private interests in diplomacy” (Lee & Hudson, 2004: 344), and hardly draws a complete picture of all its aspects.

 This special issue aims to contribute to expanding the body of literature on the relationship between commercial diplomacy and international business. This call for papers therefore invites conceptual as well as empirical (quantitative and qualitative) work.

 Hillman, A.J. (2003). Determinants of political strategies in U.S. Multinationals. Business & Society. 42 (4): 455-484.
 Hillman, A., Keim, G. (1995). International variation in the business-government interface: institutional and organizational considerations.  Academy of  Management Review. 20 (1): 193-214.
 Kostecki M., Naray O. (2007). Commercial Diplomacy and International Business, Clingendael Discussion Paper in Diplomacy, The Hague, Clingendael Institute, April 2007.
 Lee, D., Hudson, D. 2004. The Old en new significance of political economy in diplomacy. Review of International Studies, 30, 343 – 360.
 Naray, O. (2010a). Commercial Diplomats in the context of International Business. The Hague Journal of Diplomacy, 6, 121-148.
 Muldoon, J.P. (2005). The Diplomacy of Business. Diplomacy and Statecraft. 16: 341-359.
 Ordeix-Rigo, E., Duarte, J. (2009). From Public diplomacy to corporate diplomacy: increasing corporation’s legitimacy and influence. American Behavioral Scientist. 53 (4): 549-564.
 Oliver, C., Holzinger, I. (2008). The Effectiveness of Strategic Political Management: A Dynamic Capabilities Framework.  Academy of  Management Review. 33 (2), 496–520.
 Potter, E. 2004. Branding Canada : The Renaissance of Canada’s Commercial Diplomacy, International Studies Perspectives, 5, 55-60.
 Saner, & Yiu, L. (2003). International economic diplomacy: Mutations in post-modern times.  The Hague : Netherlands Institute of International Relations "Clingendael", January, -37p.
 Yakop, M. & Bergeijk, P.A.G. van (2009). The weight of economic and commercial diplomacy. International Institute of Social Studies, working paper 478

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • The relationship between commercial diplomats and international business representatives
  • The value of commercial diplomacy for international business
  • The role of international business in commercial diplomacy's effectiveness
  • International business networks and commercial diplomats
  • Commercial diplomats' competence for international business collaboration
  • Foreign policy, economic policy, and international justice
  • Corporate social responsibility and commercial diplomacy
  • Commercial diplomacy instruments for international business support
  • Theory development on the commercial diplomacy and international business relationship
  • International business' involvement in commercial diplomacy
  • Research methodology for studying the commercial diplomacy and international business relationship
Important Dates
Extended abstract due: 1 March, 2012 (by email)
First paper submission due: 1 April, 2012 (online submission)
Notification of acceptance/Reviews: 1 June, 2012
Final paper submission due: 1 September, 2012

Call for Papers: Role of ICT in Vocational Education and Training and Lifelong Learning

A special issue of International Journal of Information and Communication Technology

ICT is a general tool in all fields of work and professions today. Consequently, ICT and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) professional education are integrated at all levels.

In the use of ICT in and for education in general, UNESCO stresses several points. Firstly, ICT is only part of a continuum of technologies, starting with chalk and books, all of which can support and enrich learning. Secondly, ICT, as is the case with any tool, must be considered as such, and used and adapted to serve educational goals. Thirdly, many ethical and legal issues intervene in the widespread use of ICT in education, such as ownership of knowledge, the increasing exchange of education as a commodity, and the globalisation of education in relation to cultural diversity.

The aim of this special issue is to concentrate on “21st century competencies” in a knowledge economy driven by technology. The efforts aim at finding indicators, criteria and benchmarks for international comparisons in order to assess the effects of ICT in education. Recent documents emphasise innovation strategy for education and training. Attention will be given to the needs and skills used by innovative firms, the working population, and also in arts and science education. In TVET there is a tendency to emphasise the “learning by doing” approach.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • ICT and TVET
  • TVET and lifelong learning
  • Technology-enhanced education
  • Skills and competences in TVET
  • Skills acquisition processes
  • Quality assessment
  • Entrepreneurship and SMEs
  • Human-computer interaction blended learning
  • Distributed work
  • Global networking
  • Knowledge management and collaboration systems
  • Global e-learning
  • TVET and sustainability
  • ICT and new literacies
  • ICT and new humanism
  • TVET and the global knowledge society
Important Dates
Deadlines for papers: 15 April, 2012
Notification of acceptance: 15 June, 2012
Submission of final paper: 15 August, 2012

Call for Papers: Biomedical Signal and Image Processing

A special issue of International Journal of Convergence Computing

Biomedical signal and image processing is an active area of research where disciplines such as engineering, computer science, physics, biology and medicine inter-disciplinarily synchronise in order to improve healthcare.

This particular area deals with the generation, reconstruction, pre-processing, improvement, analysis, quantification, visualisation and management of all kind of medical images. We invite the submission of highly innovative research papers on recent trends and challenges in the field of biomedical signal and image processing, describing new methods employing computer-aided detection and diagnosis of diseases, and improvement of diagnostic imaging using soft computing techniques.

This special issue will focus particularly on image enhancement, edge detection and segmentation methods/algorithms/tools developed to aid early detection/diagnosis of diseases (e.g. brain tumours, breast cancers, malignant melanomas) by the processing of images obtained from modalities such ultrasounds, mammography, MRI, CT-scans, etc. These methods must be preferably supported by thorough clinical evaluation or assessment on recognised standard medical databases.

The issue will be an important resource for research scholars, engineers and scientists interested in theoretical and methodological aspects of biomedical signal and image processing in reference to the development of computer-aided diagnosis techniques.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Mathematical models for medical image contrast enhancement
  • Algorithms for noise suppression in medical images
  • Edge enhancement techniques for segmentation of abnormality in diagnostic images
  • Algorithms for growth detection of lesions/tumours
  • Multi-scale/multi-resolution techniques for analysis of fine details in medical images
  • Quantitative assessment techniques for evaluation of computer-aided detection/diagnosis algorithms
  • Efficient pre- and post-processing of image-based computational models
  • Non-linear techniques for contrast enhancement and edge detection of medical images
  • Medical image compression and watermarking
  • Fractal-based approaches for medical image analysis
  • Mathematical morphology
  • Soft computing and bio-inspired computing techniques in medical image processing
  • Bioinformatics and computational biology
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 31 March, 2012
Notification of acceptance: 30 May, 2012
Final version due: 20 June, 2012

Call for Papers: eCRM and the Hospitality Industry

A special issue of International Journal of Electronic Customer Relationship Management

We are pleased to announce a special issue focused on electronic customer relationship management (eCRM) systems used in the hospitality industry. eCRM systems have been used by many businesses to support both strategic decision making and daily operations. Traditionally, the role of eCRM has been to engage customers in a mutually beneficial relationship. But increasingly, eCRM is becoming a major part of the extended ERP system.

As with any other information system, the implementation of eCRM systems is a reconfiguration process and requires industry-specific knowledge. This is especially true when eCRM is used in the people-oriented hospitality industry. All aspects of the eCRM system, including system development issues, system quality issues, system implementation issues, evaluation issues, security and privacy issues and human-computer interface issues, should be examined in the context of the hospitality industry.

The goal of this special issue is to provide an open discussion in which researchers and practitioners can share the latest developments in electronic customer relationship management relating to the hospitality industry. The issue’s main objective focuses on the application of information and communication technology (ICT) in solving various issues in the hospitality industry.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Electronic customer relationship management (eCRM)
  • Effects of CRM systems on hospitality
  • Hospitality CRM strategies for the internet and e-CRM
  • Hospitality CRM marketing
  • Hospitality CRM technology and software
  • Hospitality custom marketing
  • Hospitality customer lifetime value
  • Hospitality customer loyalty
  • Hospitality customer satisfaction
  • Hospitality consumer behaviour
  • Hospitality customer databases
  • Issues for implementing CRM systems in hospitality
  • Tools for capturing customer information
  • Solutions for hospitality CRM problems
  • Hospitality partner relationship management
  • Managing and sharing customer data
  • Business to business market (B2B)
  • Business to consumer market (B2C)
  • Hospitality enterprise resource planning (ERP)
  • e-commerce customer relationships on the internet
  • Channel management
  • Demand chain management (DCM)
  • Hospitality strategic alliances and partnerships
  • Hospitality sales management
  • Hospitality information technology and systems
  • Hospitality performance measurement and performance indicators
  • Logistics information systems
  • International hospitality issues
Important Dates
Manuscript submission: 1 September, 2012
Notification of initial decision: 1 October, 2012
Submission of revised manuscript: 1 November, 2012
Notification of final acceptance: 1 December, 2012
Submission of final revised paper: 1 January, 2013

Special issue: Aerodynamics of rotating bodies

International Journal of Engineering Systems Modelling and Simulation 4(1/2) 2012

Papers from the 46th International Symposium of AppliedAerodynamics, held in Orleans, France,  28-30 March 2011
  • Wind turbine wake: a disturbance to wind resource in wind farms
  • On the prediction of tip vortices in the near wake of the MEXICO rotor using the actuator surface method
  • Aerodynamic study of a 'humpy' propeller
  • Assessment of propeller 1P loads predictions
  • Numerical simulations of a low-speed radial fan
  • Installation impact on pusher CROR engine low speed performance and noise emission characteristics
  • Semi-/empirical transition prediction and application to an isolated rotor in hover
  • Optimisation of aspects of rotor blades in forward flight
  • Direct numerical simulation of helical vortices
  • Application of vorticity confinement to rotor wake simulations