The growth of cross-registering

first_imgAt the start of fall, Jessica Walradt boarded the Harvard shuttle from the Longwood area to attend classes at the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). A student of public health, Walradt had spent her summer interning at the White House in the Medicaid branch, and she was curious about affordable housing and federal government programs.“During my internship, I learned that an inadequate supply of affordable housing presented the primary obstacle to individuals receiving long-term services,” said Walradt, who is pursuing a master of science in health policy and management at the Harvard School of Public Health. “I felt it would be beneficial to learn more about the housing system in order to better approach the intersection of these issues in the future.”She enrolled in “Housing Delivery Systems,” taught by Jim Stockard, and “The Business-Government Relationship,” taught by Roger Porter. Discussing her experience cross-registering courses, she said, “I really enjoyed the opportunity to meet students from other Schools and to hear perspectives that are not grounded in health care.”Waldradt is hardly alone in venturing to other Schools. In the past four years, there’s been a 30 percent increase in the number of Harvard students cross-registering.According to Michael Burke, registrar at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, there are two explanations for the upward trend: There is a greater interest in interdisciplinary studies, and the enrollment process has become much easier.“It used to be a paper-based process, where you had to walk around and get a faculty signature and bring it to your host School. It was a really daunting process,” Burke said. “Now, it’s completely online for all Harvard students. You simply go to the course website. The rest is done through back-end process.”Many of Harvard’s graduate Schools adjusted their calendars a few years ago so that winter and spring breaks better aligned. The calendar reform made it easier for students to take courses at other Schools, since they didn’t have to forfeit a spring break under mismatched schedules.In the coming years, cross-registration will be streamlined for registrar’s offices too, as technicians are working on a system in which grades and student information are transferred more fluidly. Right now, a lot of information continues to be transferred manually, which takes time and manpower. The cross-registration process still requires some determination and motivation on the part of students. Not only do they have to familiarize themselves with a new campus and course structures, there’s also a degree of adaptation to new styles of classroom learning.“It was somewhat intimidating at first,” said David Garfunkel, a second-year policy student at the Kennedy School who enrolled in “Business at the Base of the Pyramid” at Harvard Business School (HBS). “It takes a few classes to understand how to properly prepare for class and draw out relevant insights from the cases and other students’ comments. [The challenge] is compounded by the fact that you are in a class full of second-year M.B.A.s who … to a large extent, speak a business language that is not necessarily familiar.“All that said,” Garfunkel added, “I found the challenge to be very rewarding. I would echo the advice of students that had come before me: Cross-register; you won’t regret it.”According to Burke, who went back through old catalogs, students were cross-registering between the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) and the professional Schools as far back as 1890. Cross-registration has taken on new meaning today as more students look to supplement their studies with salient courses from other fields.“There’s a lot more interest in interdisciplinary study,” Burke said. “We see students who are studying economics but want some management expertise or want some public service expertise. In general, more and more students are coming through here who are looking to augment their education.”For Rebecca Lebowitz, a doctoral student at the Graduate School of Education (HGSE), signing up for a course at the Kennedy School was an opportunity to hear perspectives from those outside the education world.“It’s easy to get caught in your personal, narrow area of focus, and cross-registering gave me the chance to expand my horizons and perspective,” she said. “In most fields, we work with all types of people, so it was important to me to learn among people with different focuses.”She enrolled in “Public Narrative,” taught by Marshall Ganz. Reflecting on the experience, she said, “It’s funny that the Schools [HGSE and HKS] are just across the Square from one another, and they’re so different … In the end, I expanded my perspective on education, what students look like, what teaching looks like, and the University and world in which I am getting my degree.”But cross-registration isn’t for everyone, especially those in a one-year program or those with a heavily structured core curriculum. Joann Wilson-Singleton, the registrar at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), said, “Cross-registration is challenged by the fact that many programs are only one year. There are a lot of core requirements, with very little flexibility. That’s our biggest limitation. In exit surveys, students say that they wish they had more room in their schedule.”Yet, for those with flexibility in course requirements, venturing to other Schools not only can add a new dimension to a graduate experience, it can help with career transitions, said Peter Harrington, a policy student at the Kennedy School who is looking to work in the private sector upon graduation. Many students find that adding courses to their resume from another of Harvard’s 12 graduate Schools can give them an edge in rebranding themselves for a career shift.Harrington’s advice on cross-registration? “Do it, but do your homework first.”“Don’t just cross-register for the sake of it. Have a clear objective in mind, and research thoroughly before committing. Talk to people who have taken it, shop it, and then, if it’s the right one for you, do everything you can to increase your chances of getting in.”last_img read more

D.C. Fellows

first_imgFor more information on the fellowship program, email CAES Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Josef Broder at jbroder@uga.edu for details. For more information on CAES, visit www.caes.uga.edu. With immigration reform, the farm bill and student loan negotiations making headlines this summer, the six University of Georgia students who spent the summer in Washington as College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences D.C. Ag Fellows were extremely busy. “My first week there, I was up all night (going through farm bill mark ups), but I wasn’t tired,” said Valerie Noles, a senior studying agribusiness from Nevils, Ga. Noles worked in Rep. Austin Scott’s office. “You’re seeing history in the making, and people know that. The entire staff all actually care about what’s happening. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be up there.” The UGA CAES D.C. Ag Fellowship program has given students an insight into the inner-workings of the U.S. Congress for more than two decades. This year’s fellows got a behind-the-scenes view of the hot button issues that made headlines on CNN, Fox News and the Sunday morning talk shows. While these headlines can leave a lot of the public disheartened and shaking their heads, the fellows came out of their D.C. summer more optimistic and more willing to get involved. “I’ve been surprised by how much responsibility is given to staff members and how many decisions are made by staff,” said Heather Hatzenbuhler, a senior studying environmental economics and management. She spent the summer working in Rep. Sanford Bishop’s office. “The whole idea that this city is run by 25 year-olds is not far from the truth. It’s encouraging to see that diligence and hard work can help you rise through the ranks.” Over the past 16 years, Georgia legislators have recruited some of the best and brightest CAES students to work as fellows during the summer months. They in turn provide valuable insight into the real-world impact of agricultural policies. “Ag Fellows typically work the entire summer and serve more like apprentice staff members,” said Josef Broder, CAES associate dean for academic affairs and the fellowship program’s coordinator. “Some may be asked to serve as mentors to other student interns.” The academic training and leadership opportunities that students receive at the state’s largest agricultural college leave them uniquely qualified to jump right in to the day-to-day work of a congressional office, Broder said. Rebecca Rykard, a junior from Moultrie, Ga. studying animal science, hit the ground running when she arrived at Rep. Jack Kingston’s office in May. One of her first tasks was to create a briefing book for the 2014 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Being an integral part of Kingston’s team of staffers — all working to get legislation smoothly through the House — gave Rykard the kind of real world experience she would not have gained during an average summer internship, she said. “Everyone in my office was good about working to help me learn and explaining the way that things work — but at the same time — they’ve let me learn things on my own,” Rykard said. “They let you know what’s expected of you, and you just figure it out and do it.” She said it was empowering to take on that kind of real-world challenge and succeed. Over the years many CAES D.C. fellows have been agribusiness or agricultural communication majors, but others have majored in food science, animal science and the plant sciences. “I wasn’t originally sure if this is what I wanted to do this summer,” said Lee Lister, a senior from Cochran, Ga., studying food science. He worked in Sen. Johnny Isakson’s office. “I’ve always been interested in politics, but I thought that I might need to spend the summer in a scientific-based internship. But the more I thought about it, the more this opportunity kept coming up in my mind and I realized it was where I needed to be.” Lister’s work in Sen. Isakson’s office gave him insight into how policies that affect science, research and industry are decided and implemented. That may prove to be unique and valuable knowledge as he starts his career, he said. The deadline for applying for the 2014 D.C. Ag Fellows program is Feb. 1, 2014. The program provides a living stipend while students are in D.C. and is open to all students in the college. The fellowship is made possible through the UGA CAES Deans’ Promise, a collection of enrichment opportunities ranging from internships to study abroad programs. last_img read more

Vermont continues to see increase in bad mortgages

first_imgThe percent of delinquent and foreclosed mortgages in Vermont continues to increase slowly, as the 2011 increase in non-current mortgages was 7.9 percent. The November Mortgage Monitor report released today by Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE: LPS) shows that while mortgage delinquencies at the end of November 2011 were nearly 25 percent less than the January 2010 peak, the  trend toward fewer loans becoming delinquent, which dominated 2010 and the first quarter of 2011, appears to have halted. At the same time, new problem loans – those loans seriously delinquent as of the end of November that were current six months prior – have not improved significantly in the last year. This degree of stagnation indicates that while the situation is not getting markedly worse, it is not improving either, and inventories of troubled loans remain significantly higher than pre-crisis levels across the board.The November mortgage performance data also showed both new and repeat foreclosure starts dropped sharply in November, down nearly 30 percent from the month prior. As late-stage delinquencies in the pipeline still number close to 2 million, the sharp drop is more indicative of the impact of ongoing document reviews, additional state legislation and new regulatory requirements rather than a shift in trend.Prepayment activity – a key indicator of refinances – remained strong after several consecutive months of growth; however the October origination data showed a month-over-month drop of nearly 12 percent. While still the second highest level for the year, originations through October 2011 were down 21 percent vs. the same period in 2010 and down almost 30 percent vs. 2009. As reported in LPS’ First Look release, other key results from LPS’ latest Mortgage Monitor report include:Total U.S. loan delinquency rate:    8.15%Month-over-month change in delinquency rate: 2.7%Total U.S. foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate: 4.16%Month-over-month change in foreclosure pre-sale inventory rate:  3.0% States with highest percentage of non-current* loans: FL, MS, NV, NJ, ILStates with the lowest percentage of non-current* loans: ND, AK, WY, SD, MT*Non-current totals combine foreclosures and delinquencies as a percent of active loans in that state.Notes:(1) Totals are extrapolated based on LPS Applied Analytics’ loan-level database of mortgage assets.(2) All whole numbers are rounded to the nearest thousand.About the Mortgage MonitorLPS manages the nation’s leading repository of loan-level residential mortgage data and performance information on nearly 40 million loans across the spectrum of credit products. The company’s research experts carefully analyze this data to produce a summary supplemented by dozens of charts and graphs that reflect trend and point-in-time observations for LPS’ monthly Mortgage Monitor Report. To review the full report, visit http://www.lpsvcs.com/NEWSROOM/INDUSTRYDATA/Pages/default.aspx(link is external).About Lender Processing ServicesLender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS) is a leading provider of integrated technology, services and mortgage performance data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries. LPS offers solutions that span the mortgage continuum, including lead generation, origination, servicing, workflow automation (Desktop®), portfolio retention and default, augmented by the company’s award-winning customer support and professional services. Approximately 50 percent of all U.S. mortgages by dollar volume are serviced using LPS’ loan servicing platform, MSP. LPS also offers proprietary mortgage and real estate data and analytics for the mortgage and capital markets industries. For more information about LPS, visit www.lpsvcs.com(link is external). JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jan. 6, 2012 –last_img read more

US Coast Guard Cutter Offloads 13 Metric Tons of Drugs

first_imgBy Marcos Ommati/Diálogo June 11, 2020 Units assigned to U.S. Southern Command’s (SOUTHCOM) enhanced counternarcotics operations, which launched on April 1, continue to support operations, in cooperation with 22 partner nations, to increase surveillance, disruption, and seizures of drug shipments and strengthen eradication efforts in the Caribbean Sea and Eastern Pacific Ocean. The U.S. has deployed additional Navy destroyers, combat ships, aircraft, and helicopters; Coast Guard cutters; and Air Force surveillance aircraft, doubling capabilities in the region.On June 9, several media outlets gathered at Port Everglades, Florida, as the crew of U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCG) James offloaded 13 metric tons of drugs, while officials presented a summary of what can be considered the biggest success story so far in this new pan-regional, counternarcotics effort.U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller (podium), SOUTHCOM commander, said at a June 9 press conference that success stories like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama require a continued and concerted effort through a whole-of-U.S. government approach. (Photo: Steven McLoud/Diálogo)“The United States Coast Guard Cutter James offloaded 23,000 pounds [10, 433 kilograms] of cocaine and 6,900 pounds [3,130 kilograms] of marijuana, worth an estimated $438 million, seized in international waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea,” said U.S. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf.Four U.S. Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships seized the drugs during 11 suspected drug smuggling vessel interdictions off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, between April and May. “Navy and Coast Guard vessels worked cooperatively to stop the flow of illegal narcotics on the high seas before they could be delivered to Central America and continue their journey to the United States,” said Captain Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of USCG Cutter James.A deadly relationshipAccording to U.S. Navy Admiral Craig S. Faller, commander of SOUTHCOM, “the cocaine that arrives in Central America and Mexico from South America triggers violence, corruption, extortion, and instability, driving families from their homes to seek safe haven elsewhere.” Recent reports from the United Nations (U.N.) show a relationship between homicide and known drug trafficking routes. High drug trafficking routes, one U.N. report indicates, like those on the coastlines of Honduras and Guatemala, and on their shared border, have murder rates more than twice as high than those in areas with lower or no known trafficking.Drugs the USCG Cutter James offloaded on June 9 at Port Everglades were worth an estimated $438 million. (Photo: Steven McLoud/Diálogo)According to a USCG release, the massive profits from cocaine trafficking allow cartels to diversify and fund other illicit activities, including opioid, synthetic opioid, and methamphetamine trafficking. “This scourge is devastating American cities and rural towns, resulting in more than 70,000 drug-related deaths in the United States in 2019. Attacking the cartels’ profit sources in maritime transit zones, where they are most vulnerable, is part of a holistic approach to mitigate their influence enabled by cocaine smuggling,” said Admiral Karl Schultz, USCG commandant. “Bottom line: At sea interdictions of pure cocaine are the most effective ways to limit cartels from trafficking their entire spectrum of illicit products.”A reliable maritime sourceAccording to the same USCG press release, as a member of the armed services, law enforcement, and intelligence communities, the USCG is uniquely suited to operate with, and provide capability and capacity development programs to Latin American and Caribbean nations. “The USCG continues to expand international training team capacity to assist partner nations in developing organic maritime governance. This has the combined benefit of helping address challenges and threats to our own national security interests,” said Adm. Schultz.The USCG commandant also said that his organization seeks to strengthen ties with source and transit zone nations to increase willingness and capability to reduce the production and trafficking of illicit drugs.“Success stories like Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama — who are fully involved in this fight — require continued, concerted effort through a whole-of-U.S. government approach,” added Adm. Faller. “To the enemy, the transnational criminal organizations, I say, ‘We are ready’ (Estamos listos), and we are going to relentlessly put pressure on these networks, which are destroying democracies and impacting homeland security, and killing citizens on the streets of Bogotá, Tegucigalpa, and here in Miami, Pittsburgh, L.A. [Los Angeles], and elsewhere. We will disrupt and defeat these networks.”last_img read more

The EC has launched a public consultation on a special VAT procedure for travel agencies and tour operators

first_imgNamely, congress agencies are uncompetitive in the sense that clients have the right to deduct input tax in case they organize corporate events directly with hoteliers or PR and similar agencies that are also not obliged to apply a special taxation procedure. In case they do it through a travel agency that invoices services according to the PPO, they cannot get a VAT refund because it is not stated on the invoice. “A special taxation procedure puts travel agencies in an unequal position with other participants in tourism, because travel agencies are taxed at a general VAT rate of 25 percent, while for all others a reduced rate of 13 percent applies.”Emphasizes the whole issue Boris Žgomba, and the president of the Association of Travel Agencies of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, adds that an additional problem is that EU member states implement and apply a special procedure for taxing agencies differently, and the general VAT rate is different in EU countries. In Croatia, the VAT rate is one of the highest, which means that Croatian agencies are in the most unfavorable situation. Travel agencies and tour operators located in third countries, such as our neighboring BiH and Serbia, but also some online platforms registered outside the EU zone, are not covered by a special taxation procedure, which further puts our agencies at a disadvantage. The public consultation will be open until 14 September, and in line with the results and recommendations, the Commission will carry out an impact assessment leading to a change in the procedure. The European Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (ECTAA) has strongly lobbied to put this topic on the European Commission’s agenda. One of ECTAA’s key figures is Boris Žgomba, who was ECTAA President from 2012 to 2014, then continuously Vice President until 2018, and currently serves as one of the four members of the ECTAA Executive Board. . The European Commission will decide by the end of the year to change the VAT procedure for travel agencies. This is an important topic and one of the key issues for travel agencies, especially for domestic travel agencies and tour operators. “In various public tenders, our offer without VAT is equal to the offer with VAT. If the hotel applies for this tender directly, it does not apply a special procedure, but expresses the price without VAT. The client who is in the VAT system in that case looks at the price without VAT, so the agencies have no chance,Žgomba points out and adds that the congress and business tourism segment, as well as the entire travel agency sector, was hit by the corona crisis, which has resulted in over 90 percent drop in traffic since February without any signs of a significant shift before spring 2021.   “It is therefore more important than ever to simplify and enable agencies to recover, and a special taxation process is a key step towards this. The ball is in the European Commission, but we believe that the new Government, Minister Marić with whom we had meetings on this topic and showed great understanding, as well as the new Minister of Tourism who has experience in EU affairs, will put pressure to bring this issue to an end. earlier”, Concluded Žgomba.  ECTAA’s efforts resulted in an EC study that examined the special taxation process in all countries and made recommendations for its amendment. last_img read more

TikTok owner ByteDance moves to shift power out of China: Sources

first_imgTikTok’s poaching of Disney’s Kevin Mayer to be its CEO was just the most visible part of a broader strategy by its Chinese owner to shift its centre of power away from China at a time of rising global tensions, several people familiar with the plans said.The short video app’s parent company ByteDance has quietly made a series of moves in recent months to transfer global decision-making and research capabilities out of its home country, the sources told Reuters.The strategy is aimed not only at TikTok, which is not available in China, but all of ByteDance’s non-China focused businesses, the sources said. Such businesses also include units in India like social networking app Helo. Formerly Walt Disney Co streaming chief Mayer, who was dually named ByteDance’s chief operating officer based in Los Angeles, will also be handed leadership for areas such as global corporate development. Many of his responsibilities were previously managed out of Beijing, according to three sources.More broadly, ByteDance is also recruiting engineers around the world, including in Singapore, Jakarta and Warsaw, online job postings show.These significant organizational changes are being greeted warily by some ByteDance staff who support the company’s global operations from China, three sources told Reuters. They are concerned they may become less relevant in the next phase of expansion and have started to look for work elsewhere, the sources said.American migration For TikTok, the rapid expansion of the US engineering team is part of efforts to migrate its technical resources to the West from China, where most of the work on the app has been done up to this point, according to two of the sources familiar with the company’s plans. It is not uncommon for multinational tech companies like Google to have engineers in China.Although the engineering team on the app have previously reported to managers in China, TikTok is in the process of recruiting a high-level executive to run the engineering department from the United States, according to two sources. It has approached a senior Google employee in recent months, one source said.Severing ties with the China-based team will be difficult, however.Some of the engineers in China support TikTok as well as ByteDance’s Chinese social media app Douyin, the three sources said. Separating development completely would be nearly impossible as both apps share some infrastructure, two of the sources said.TikTok, which allows users to create short videos with special effects, has become wildly popular with American teenagers doing viral challenges that pair dances with music clips from the app’s library.Its Chinese ownership has, however, caused concerns in Washington about TikTok’s handling of personal data. The company uses sophisticated artificial intelligence to make video recommendations based on users’ behavior on the app.Separately from the hiring of 150 staff, the Mountain View team has poached a few dozen data engineers from US tech giants to manage user data security, one source said.’Issue of credibility’Since last year, TikTok has faced scrutiny by US authorities over potential national security risks. An investigation by the US Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) is focused on the handling of personal data, Reuters reported in November.Legal experts said regulators would study TikTok’s latest actions to determine if they mitigated any potential risks and were more than cosmetic touches.”With any attempted restructuring, the issue is one of credibility,” said Paul Marquardt, CFIUS lawyer at law firm Cleary Gottlieb, who is not involved in the TikTok review.”CFIUS would assess whether it actually believed that the operations were functionally independent and insulated from potentially hostile influence.”Republican Senator Marco Rubio was among US lawmakers who last year urged CFIUS to review ByteDance’s 2018 acquisition of Musical.ly, a music video app popular in the United States.When asked about whether TikTok’s recent moves could assuage US regulatory concerns, he told Reuters: “As long as TikTok or any other application operates in a way that gives the Chinese government and Communist Party leverage, it is impossible to separate the dangers of using such an application from the reality that users’ information could be at risk.”  Topics :center_img ByteDance has expanded TikTok’s engineering and research and development operations in Mountain View, California, according to three sources. One of the people said it had hired more than 150 engineers there.ByteDance has also hired a New York-based investor relations director to stay in touch with major investors including General Atlantic and KKR, relationships that were previously managed through Beijing, according to two sources.The new hire, Michelle Huang, is a former SoftBank investor who worked on the Japanese firm’s investment in ByteDance. Huang did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.The changes come at a time of heightened tension between the United States and China over trade, technology and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as intense US regulatory scrutiny of TikTok, which has rapidly gained popularity around the globe and counts the United States as one of its biggest market.last_img read more

Gold Coast mega mansion hits the market with a $14.88 million price tag

first_imgIs it a resort? Picture: Richard GoslingThe home takes up most of the 2103sq m block and overlooks the Broadwater.It has 55m of water frontage and features multiple entertainment areas, seven bedrooms and nine bathrooms with extensive marble and timber flooring.From the gated entry, cylindrical pillars and a high wooden portico stand guard over a stone driveway and manicured gardens. Fancy a dinner overlooking the Broadwater?Inside, a combination of timber and wrought-iron features demand your attention while floor-to-ceiling glass offers a spectacular vista of the open water.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North11 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day agoA sunken carpeted lounge is beneath 7m ceilings and warmed by a fireplace.There is a collection of stunning formal and casual living spaces at every turn with extensive marble and timber floors throughout.“It’s a perfect house for a large family as there’s so many areas you don’t feel like you’re on top of each other,” Mr Peat said. Brian Peat and Eileen Peat in front of their home Grand Vista. Picture: Richard GoslingA MEGA mansion on the Sovereign Islands has hit the market for $14.88 million, more than double its 2010 selling price after major renovations.Vendors Brian and Eileen Peat bought Grand Vista at auction for $7 million from receivers in 2010.It was fallen Gold Coast developer John Fish’s mansion which had previously been on the market in 2009 for $15 million. The mansion from the water. The kitchen has been expanded.Prestige Property Agents principal Amir Mian is marketing the property.“It suits someone wealthy who wants privacy and wants something unique,” he said.“There’s no blocks available on this side now with three blocks and city views so you cannot replace this now.” Tour this palatial mansion in tomorrow’s Gold Coast Bulletin Realestate magazine. The bedrooms feature stunning views of the Broadwater. From the air it is a sight to behold.As well as expanding the kitchen and creating a seamless indoor-outdoor flow to the poolside teppanyaki alfresco area, the pair also worked their magic at the other end of the house, in the entertainment precinct.A stunning open-plan wing complete with a bar, dining, lounge, library and outdoor area accessible via bi-folds can operate as a large-scale functions area.From the foyer, a curved timber and wrought iron staircase leads to the five ensuited bedrooms on the upper level including the luxurious main bedroom. Brian and Eileen Peat have put their sprawling mansion on the market. Picture: Richard GoslingMr Fish paid $6.5 million for the home in 2003 and had undertaken a major refurbishment but when the Peats bought the property it was incomplete and hadn’t been maintainedThey then spent big bucks transforming it from a Mediterranean-style mansion into a contemporary resort-style haven.“The owner virtually ran out of money,” Mr Peat said.“The floor was concrete, the kitchen was tiny and there were whole areas of blank space.”“We rewired a lot of things, changed the lighting and installed CBUS throughout.” The view once you step inside the front door.The basement has a wine cellar, gym, steam room and a powder room, plus a 10-car garage.The Peats have lived on the Sovereign Islands since 2007 and said Grand Vista’s privacy, luxury features and sprawling design initially sparked their interest.“A lot of big houses don’t have the separation that this property does,” Mr Peat said.“You can have a big house but you are all on top of each other whereas here there’s plenty of different areas.” The entertainment wing. No detail has been spared in the design of this luxury mansion.last_img read more

BP strengthens in-house team with hires from PPF, Aon Hewitt

first_imgSmart joined in June from consultancy Aon Hewitt, which he joined in December 2012 as senior researcher for bond managers.Prior to that, he spent nearly three years as managing director at Switzerland’s Helvetica WMP.However, Smart spent the majority of his career at Lazard Asset Management, leaving Invesco in 1995 for his new role.Prior to his departure in 2009, he was the firm’s UK head of fixed income.Sara also joined in June, after nearly five years at the PPF as principal fund manager, in charge of asset allocation and investment strategy.In June, he told IPE the lifeboat fund would look into building its funded hedging strategy following concerns over the price of derivatives trades.Prior to joining the PPF, Sara spent more than nine years at HSBC Global Asset Management, starting his career at WestLB Asset Management in 1994.BP IM declined to comment on either appointment.Both appointments come after Sally Bridgeland resigned as chief executive of the fund.Bridgeland, who had been chief executive of BP Pension Trustees for nearly seven years, left in April and has since confirmed she will join Dutch outsourcing advisers Avida International.The fund slightly underperformed its 15% benchmark in 2013 – the last full year under Bridgeland’s tenure – returning 14.7%. BP’s £19bn (€22.7bn) pension fund has increased its in-house capacity, hiring new heads of fixed income and investment strategy.BP Investment Management (BP IM) has named Ian Smart as head of fixed income and the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) Opkar Sara as head of investment strategy.In his new role, Smart will be responsible for more than £3.3bn in fixed income holdings, spread across the fund’s £2.6bn fixed interest and £469m index-linked bond portfolio.It holds a further £201m in UK fixed income as part of its pooled investments.last_img read more

GE tests 80 MW induction motor for LNG industry

first_imgDigital industrial giant, General Electric, completed the no-load testing of the 80-megawatt two-pole induction motor for the LNG industry in its factory in Nancy, France. GE noted the motor is one of the world’s largest induction electric motors, leapfrogging from the 22-MW induction motor, the next highest power rating induction motor with a rotating speed up to 4,000 rotations per minute (rpm).“In the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry, reliability is the name of the game. A mid-size LNG facility could suffer costs of $4 million a day through unplanned downtime,” said Ed Torres, marine and O&G segment leader, GE’s Power Conversion business.He added that the electric motors, running 99.5 percent of the time, are critical assets to LNG operations.Operating at a high voltage of 11 kilovolts and running from 2,500-4,000 rpm, GE’s motor reaches efficiency up to 98.1 percent, among the highest of electric motors.Compared to its traditional 75-MW two-pole synchronous peer, one of the highest power rating in synchronous motors, it has 10 times less rotating parts and can increase operational reliability, leading to 48 percent more uptime and greater availability.The design also results in a 30 percent smaller footprint and weight, providing flexibility when integrating the equipment into existing plant infrastructure.last_img read more

Teledyne Gavia AUVs get AI boost

first_imgAutoTRap Onboard includes: Teledyne Gavia has introduced Charles River Analytics’ AutoTRap Onboard, an AI-based object detection software as a new capability onboard their Gavia marine vehicles. As underwater operations become more complex and dangerous, AI tech has emerged as the clear solution for delivering the consistent and accurate results that have proven elusive until now due to the challenges of ever-changing marine environments. The new partnership with Teledyne Gavia expands the boundaries for underwater unmanned sonar operation. Now, operators can acquire Teledyne Gavia’s best-in-class unmanned underwater vehicles with AutoTRap Onboard software inside. Target Library – Collection of trained targets. The Target Detector searches for these targets in the sonar image. “AutoTRap Onboard automatically detects and identifies target objects in real time,” “This product saves time and money – operators don’t have to bring the vehicle to the surface, download its data, and then send it back down for further investigation (if necessary). “Our customers have been asking us for a reliable way to carry out seafloor surveys, such as mine hunting. AutoTRap Onboard has been designed with a versatile architecture that is robust across different environments, new sensor types, and changing mission goals. Dr. Arjuna Balasuriya, senior scientist at Charles River Analytics, said: Bob Melvin, vice president of engineering at Teledyne Marine Systems, also noted: “AutoTRap Onboard makes finding these targets of interest much easier and builds higher levels of confidence in AI systems.” AI software must perform as expected despite constant variations in the deployment environment. Target Detector and Target Classifier – Novel machine learning algorithms that process sonar images to detect, classify, and localize targets of interest. In environments that are challenging for target detection, AutoTRap Onboard has demonstrated excellent detection rates and false positive rates; identifying truncated conical objects on a rocky volcanic seafloor with a 90 per cent probability of detection. Enter AutoTRap Onboard – a smart, real-time automated target recognition (ATR) app offered by Charles River Analytics.last_img read more