• Age consideration when prescribing for the elderly

      Morrissey, Hana; Abed, Howraa; Ball, Patrick (International Journal of Current Research, 2019-09-30)
      Since the year 2000, the world elderly population increased by 48%. Medical problems become more predominant with aging leading to polypharmacy. Biological changes can occur with aging resulting in increased susceptibility of older people to medications and their side effects. These changes may have greater effect in a frail person or person with number or long-term or chronic diseases and conditions. Atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, perindopril, amlodipine and paracetamol are commonly used medications among elderly. This paper has reviewed clinical trials and publications on these medications among elderly. It has been found that the safety and effectiveness of these medications among elderly had been evaluated with the main focus on the effectiveness of these medications on different medical conditions and less focus on the effects of the elderly pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic changes on these medications. Thus, more clinical trials are required to test elderly biological changes’ effects on these medications.
    • Mass spectrometry reveals molecular structure of polyhydroxyalkanoates attained by bioconversion of oxidized polypropylene waste fragments

      Johnston, Brian; Radecka, Iza; Chiellini, Emo; Barsi, David; Ilieva, Vassilka Ivanova; Sikorska, Wanda; Musioł, Marta; Zięba, Magdalena; Chaber, Paweł; Marek, Adam A; et al. (MDPI AG, 2019-09-27)
      This study investigated the molecular structure of the polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) produced via a microbiological shake flask experiment utilizing oxidized polypropylene (PP) waste as an additional carbon source. The bacterial strain Cupriavidus necator H16 was selected as it is non-pathogenic, genetically stable, robust, and one of the best known producers of PHA. Making use of PHA oligomers, formed by controlled moderate-temperature degradation induced by carboxylate moieties, by examination of both the parent and fragmentation ions, the ESI-MS/MS analysis revealed the 3-hydroxybutyrate and randomly distributed 3-hydroxyvalerate as well as 3-hydroxyhexanoate repeat units. Thus, the bioconversion of PP solid waste to a value-added product such as PHA tert-polymer was demonstrated.
    • Lip-reading driven deep learning approach for speech enhancement

      Adeel, Ahsan; Gogate, Mandar; Hussain, Amir; Whitmer, William M (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019-09-05)
      This paper proposes a novel lip-reading driven deep learning framework for speech enhancement. The proposed approach leverages the complementary strengths of both deep learning and analytical acoustic modelling (filtering based approach) as compared to recently published, comparatively simpler benchmark approaches that rely only on deep learning. The proposed audio-visual (AV) speech enhancement framework operates at two levels. In the first level, a novel deep learning-based lip-reading regression model is employed. In the second level, lip-reading approximated clean-audio features are exploited, using an enhanced, visually-derived Wiener filter (EVWF), for the clean audio power spectrum estimation. Specifically, a stacked long-short-term memory (LSTM) based lip-reading regression model is designed for clean audio features estimation using only temporal visual features considering different number of prior visual frames. For clean speech spectrum estimation, a new filterbank-domain EVWF is formulated, which exploits estimated speech features. The proposed EVWF is compared with conventional Spectral Subtraction and Log-Minimum Mean-Square Error methods using both ideal AV mapping and LSTM driven AV mapping. The potential of the proposed speech enhancement framework is evaluated under different dynamic real-world commercially-motivated scenarios (e.g. cafe, public transport, pedestrian area) at different SNR levels (ranging from low to high SNRs) using benchmark Grid and ChiME3 corpora. For objective testing, perceptual evaluation of speech quality is used to evaluate the quality of restored speech. For subjective testing, the standard mean-opinion-score method is used with inferential statistics. Comparative simulation results demonstrate significant lip-reading and speech enhancement improvement in terms of both speech quality and speech intelligibility.
    • Implementation of building information modelling in the UK infrastructure sector – a case study

      Suresh, Subashini; Jallow, Haddy; Renukappa, Suresh; Al Neyadi, Ahmed (CIB, 2019-09-19)
      The Building Information Model concepts includes a range of IT tools supporting the collaborative processes in an organisation. This approach allows all stakeholders to have an integrated system in which editing and retrieving up to date information on shared models will become easier changing the businesses processes. This paper will be presenting a review of research on the Building Information Model in practice. The Building Information Model has been around for some time and is becoming more popular as of its mandate in the UK back in April 2016. This research is based on case studies on BIM in practice in the transport infrastructure sector. The methodology for this research is a case study on a Tier 1 contractor in the UK who are using BIM as one of their processes. A brief overview of BIM will be explained and the key findings in the research will be highlighted identifying the business value of BIM, the results will demonstrate how BIM is being practiced within the organisation and to improve design management, the challenges with the implementation of the new processes will be outlined, this paper will also show how the construction company have utilised the adoption of BIM to mitigate and manage communication issues within their projects. Research has shown that the key communication and management problems such as loss of documentation, poor communication and quality can be mitigated with the use of BIM. Finding out these challenges will allow the issues found along with the potential of BIM to be outlined and allows the conclusion that BIM is the future of construction. This research allows professionals and academics to understand the process of the Building Information Model and how it can benefit the infrastructure sector. The research will provide challenges faced by the case studies which will enable readers to overcome these challenges as they are aware of what to expect, hence finding solutions.
    • BIM in the water industry: addressing challenges to improve the project delivery process

      Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh; Kamunda, Andrew (CIB, 2019-09-18)
      The UK Government BIM implementation 2016 target for all public projects formed the major driver for the construction industry to upskill and learn new ways of working. The water industry is a private sector that has no mandate to implement BIM and would also benefit from its use. Research has identified that fragmentation and inefficiency still existed in the water industry project delivery processes. These issues can be addressed by harnessing the collaboration that BIM brings by using emerging information technology. The UK water industry has had little research in the use of BIM in the project delivery processes over the years. Therefore, the aim of the research is to explore and examine BIM use in the water construction industry, as well as understand the challenges faced and how they are being addressed to improve project delivery processes. The qualitative case study approach was adopted for the collection and analysis of data which was carried out by undertaking observations, document reviews and semi structured interviews. A water company and a design and build contractor on a framework formed the research sample. The design and build contractor was also part of other water industry frameworks. The research findings identified that there are similarities between the water industry and the other infrastructure sectors in the use of BIM realizing benefits of collaborative working. These benefits included improved information quality, cost reductions, shorter programme durations and greater collaboration. However, BIM was yet to be fully understood and used which led to challenges of overcoming and changing organizational cultures, developing levels of BIM expertise, data and information control, interoperability and data entry. The research also identified that the water company was lagging in BIM use despite noticeable benefits shown by its supply chain. The paper concludes by identifying that the water industry supply chain has taken positive steps and started to benefit from BIM use. However, more needs to be done as BIM is still in its infancy facing challenges associated with changing organizational cultures. The research recommends that the water industry and its supply chain should continue to invest more resources in implementing BIM to achieve the benefits realized by other sectors with NBS and CITB becoming more visible. This should include staff training, creating standardized approaches, processes to harness the collaborative nature of BIM.
    • A novel architecture to verify offline hand-written signature using convolutional neural network

      Alkaabi, Sultan; Yussof, Salman; Almulla, Sameera; Al-Khateeb, Haider; AAlAbdulsalam, Abdulrahman (IEEE, 2019-12-31)
      Hand-written signatures are marked on documents to establish legally binding evidence of identity and intent. However, they are prone to forgery, and the design of an accurate feature extractor to distinguish between highlyskilled forgeries and genuine signatures is a challenging task. In this paper, we propose a Convolution Neural Network (CNN) architecture for Signature Verification (SV). The algorithm is trained using two signatures, genuine and forged. Then the SV module performs a classification task to determine if any two signatures are of the same individual or not. The simulation results show that the proposed method can achieve 27% (relatively) better results than the benchmark scheme. The paper also integrated different data augmentation techniques for the signature data, which further improved the efficiency of the proposed method by 14% (relative).
    • Improving construction management practice in the Gibraltar construction industry

      Daniel, Emmanuel I.; Garcia, Daniel; Marasini, Ramesh; Kolo, Shaba; Oshodi, Olalekan; Pasquire, Christine; Hamzeh, Farook (Annual Conference of the International. Group for Lean Construction (IGLC), 2019-07-03)
      Research has shown that 57% of activities in a construction project is non-value adding (waste) which contributes to the poor performance of the sector. While other countries of the world such the USA, UK, Brazil, Nigeria and Israel among others are seeking to understand this challenge and deploy innovative ways and modern techniques to improve it, limited studies have explored factors that contribute to non-value adding activities (NVA) in the Gibraltar construction industry. The current study aims to identify the factors that contribute to NVA on construction sites in Gibraltar and to present an outlook on how this could be minimised using Last Planner System(LPS). A combination of quantative and qualitative research approaches were used. Thirtyone questionnaire responses were analysed and seven semi-structured interviews were conducted. The investigation reveals that the development of unrealistic schedules, lack of adequate training, delayed approval process and work interruption due to the community are the key factors that contribute to NVA. The study found that the suggestions offered by construction professional for minimising NVA align with some LPS principles. The study concludes that some of the current practices, could serve as justification for the introduction of LPS in the construction sector of Gibraltar.
    • Female citation impact superiority 1996-2018 in six out of seven English-speaking nations

      Thelwall, Mike (Wiley, 2019-12-31)
      Efforts to combat continuing gender inequalities in academia need to be informed by evidence about where differences occur. Citations are relevant as potential evidence in appointment and promotion decisions, but it is unclear whether there have been historical gender differences in average citation impact that might explain the current shortfall of senior female academics. This study investigates the evolution of gender differences in citation impact 1996-2018 for six million articles from seven large English-speaking nations: Australia, Canada, Ireland, Jamaica, New Zealand, UK, and the USA. The results show that a small female citation advantage has been the norm over time for all these countries except the USA, where there has been no practical difference. The female citation advantage is largest, and statistically significant in most years, for Australia and the UK. This suggests that any academic bias against citing female authored research cannot explain current employment inequalities. Nevertheless, comparisons using recent citation data, or avoiding it altogether, during appointments or promotion may disadvantage females in some countries by underestimating the likely impact of their work, especially in the long term.
    • Perception of university students on gender issues in the industry

      Suresh, Subashini; Abdul Aziz, Amal Hj; Stride, Mark; Hampton, Paul; Renukappa, Suresh (Springer, 2019-12-31)
      The UK construction industry is currently suffering from a skills shortage. There are many reasons and issues that surround this, however Office of National Statistics data shows only 13% of the construction industry is employed by females. This research study will discuss the perception of the construction industry by students studying construction subjects. The research within this study involved literature review and 12 qualitative interviews. The results revealed that there are campaigns to encourage women to join the constructions industry however there is still a stigma attached that the industry is scarred by discrimination harassment, pay equality and stereo typing that are deterring females from offering greater diversity, new ideas and a solution to the skills shortage from joining the industry. On this basis, a culture change and new legislation clearing up the major issues within the construction industry needs to be completed prior to remarketing the image of the industry campaigning enabling females to join the sector
    • Web of Science and Scopus language coverage

      Thelwall, Michael; Kousha, Kayvan; Vera-Baceta, Miguel-Angel (Springer International Publishing, 2019-10-12)
      The evaluation of research outputs in the form of journal articles is important to help with monitoring performance and to allocate funds. Elsevier’s Scopus and Clarivate’s Web of Science (WoS) are the two main sources for identifying outputs. For non-English-speaking countries, it is especially important that most of the scientific activity evaluated is represented in the bibliometric database used. All documents published in Scopus and WoS during 2018 (6,094,079 documents) were therefore analysed and compared for their languages and research areas. The most comprehensive source for each language and research area were identified and some coverage problems have been found.
    • No evidence of citation bias as a determinant of STEM gender disparities in US Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology research

      Thelwall, Michael; Nevill, Tamara (Springer International Publishing, 2019-10-12)
      The lack of females in many Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in the USA is an ongoing concern, with many initiatives attempting to redress this imbalance. Some life sciences are apparently areas of relatively good practice, with higher proportions of female researchers than most other STEM subjects. This paper assesses gender differences in research contributions to 14 biochemistry, genetics or molecular biology specialisms in the USA 1996–2014/8, seeking evidence of trends in publishing and citation impact that may give insights into female success. With four exceptions (biochemistry, biophysics, biotechnology, and structural biology), the fields achieved or maintained at least 40% female first authors by 2018, with developmental biology and endocrinology both attaining female first author majorities. A regression analysis found close to gender parity overall in citation impact but a small male first author citation advantage in more fields than the opposite: an up to 3% increase in logged citation ratio to the world mean. This was partly due to males first authoring with larger teams. Fields with relatively many females did not favour female-led research with more citations, however.
    • Academic collaboration rates and citation associations vary substantially between countries and fields

      Thelwall, Michael; Maflahi, Nabeil (Wiley-Blackwell, 2019-12-31)
      Research collaboration is promoted by governments and research funders but if the relative prevalence and merits of collaboration vary internationally different national and disciplinary strategies may be needed to promote it. This study compares the team size and field normalised citation impact of research across all 27 Scopus broad fields in the ten countries with the most journal articles indexed in Scopus 2008-2012. The results show that team size varies substantially by discipline and country, with Japan (4.2) having two thirds more authors per article than the UK (2.5). Solo authorship is rare in China (4%) but common in the UK (27%). Whilst increasing team size associates with higher citation impact in almost all countries and fields, this association is much weaker in China than elsewhere. There are also field differences in the association between citation impact and collaboration. For example, larger team sizes in the Business, Management & Accounting category do not seem to associate with greater research impact, and for China and India, solo authorship associates with higher citation impact. Overall, there are substantial international and field differences in the extent to which researchers collaborate and the extent to which collaboration associates with higher citation impact.
    • Laser Cleaning of Grey Cast Iron Automotive Brake Disc: Rust Removal and Improvement in Surface Integrity

      Ogbekene, Y. F.; Shukla, P.; Zhang, Y.; Shen, X.; Prabhakaran, S.; Kalainathan, S.; Gulia, Kiran; Lawrence, J. (Oldcity Publications USA, 2018-11-30)
      There is a great need for removal of rust and surface damage from corroded engineering parts. This enables the retention of strength and increased longevity of metals and alloys in general. The use of lasers for cleaning, polishing and ablation has proven to be effective and promising overtime. This research is focused on a parametric study of laser cleaning a corroded grey cast iron brake disc. A continuous wave CO2 laser having a wavelength of 10.6μm was used for the study. A systematic approach was employed for the experiments where one parameter was changed while other parameters remained constant. Additional effects of laser cleaning were predicted by a Gaussian process regression approach. The results revealed that the best parameters which cleanly removed the rust were 60W of laser power, 900mm/s traverse speed, and a spot size of 722μm. The enhancement of surface microhardness of laser cleaned specimen was 37% compared to the rusted specimen surfaces. The roughness of the laser cleaned surface was, 1.29μm while the rusted surface comprised of 55.45μm (Ra). Microstructural analysis showed a presence of randomly distributed graphite flakes surrounded by a pearlitic matrix containing ferrite and cementite after laser cleaning. This was similar to that of the un-rusted surface. The hardness, roughness and microstructural content were in close relation with the respective properties of the unrusted automotive brake disc. This showed that the mechanical and physical properties of the brake disc were not altered negatively during the laser cleaning process. Implementation of the laser-cleaning technique in automotive and manufacturing industries should be embraced as it provides a faster, safer and cheaper way of enhancing the surface integrity of components and also paves way for other surface enhancement methodologies to be applied such as blast cleaning or laser shock cleaning for inducing extra strength, by beneficial residual stresses.
    • Coherent generation of nonclassical light on chip via detuned photon blockade

      Müller, K; Rundquist, A; Fischer, KA; Sarmiento, T; Lagoudakis, KG; Kelaita, YA; Sánchez Muñoz, C; Del Valle, E; Laussy, FP; Vučković, J; et al. (American Physical Society (APS), 2015-06-08)
      © 2015 American Physical Society. The on-chip generation of nonclassical states of light is a key requirement for future optical quantum hardware. In solid-state cavity quantum electrodynamics, such nonclassical light can be generated from self-assembled quantum dots strongly coupled to photonic crystal cavities. Their anharmonic strong light-matter interaction results in large optical nonlinearities at the single photon level, where the admission of a single photon into the cavity may enhance (photon tunneling) or diminish (photon blockade) the probability for a second photon to enter the cavity. Here, we demonstrate that detuning the cavity and quantum-dot resonances enables the generation of high-purity nonclassical light from strongly coupled systems. For specific detunings we show that not only the purity but also the efficiency of single-photon generation increases significantly, making high-quality single-photon generation by photon blockade possible with current state-of-the-art samples.
    • Biased perceptions and personality traits attribution: cognitive aspects in future interventions for organizations

      Riva, Silvia; Chinyio, Ezekiel; Hampton, Paul (Frontiers Media, 2019-01-15)
      In most European countries, the proportion of females and males pursuing a career in Technology and Engineering is quite different. The under-representation of women in these jobs may be attributable to a variety of factors, one of which could be the negative and stereotyped perception of these work sectors as unsuitable for women. The purpose of this study was to determine whether stereotyped perceptions impact the job representation of males and females in the Construction Industry, which is a particularly male-dominated work sector. Three construction organizations in the West Midlands (United Kingdom) were studied by means of ethnographic interviews and observations. Three (6.7%) of the 45 research participants (mean age 44.3) were women (focusing only in people working in Construction sites). There was a high differentiation of activities between the males and females. Biased perceptions and personality traits attribution played a fundamental role in such a differentiation. Despite some main limitations (low generalisability, lack of longitudinal findings), this study focused on some important practical implications for current work policies: changing the mindsets of people (starting from school age), using new flexible strategies and creating the role of internal advocates. The findings provide definitive evidence of the need to increase the promotion of social communication and public campaigns on gender equalities in male-dominated work sectors, taking into account the cognitive processes behind gender differences. The findings also give new hints on re-thinking the contribution of Psychology, particularly Cognitive Psychology, in fields with allegedly wide gender gaps.
    • Emitters of N-photon bundles

      Muñoz, CS; Del Valle, E; Tudela, AG; Müller, K; Lichtmannecker, S; Kaniber, M; Tejedor, C; Finley, JJ; Laussy, FP; Condensed Matter Physics Center (IFIMAC), Departamento de Física Teórica de la Materia Condensada, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2014-06-01)
      Controlling the output of a light emitter is one of the basic tasks in photonics, with landmarks such as the development of the laser and single-photon sources. The ever growing range of quantum applications is making it increasingly important to diversify the available quantum sources. Here, we propose a cavity quantum electrodynamics scheme to realize emitters that release their energy in groups (or 'bundles') of N photons (where N is an integer). Close to 100% of two-photon emission and 90% of three-photon emission is shown to be within reach of state-of-the-art samples. The emission can be tuned with the system parameters so that the device behaves as a laser or as an N-photon gun. Here, we develop the theoretical formalism to characterize such emitters, with the bundle statistics arising as an extension of the fundamental correlation functions of quantum optics. These emitters will be useful for quantum information processing and for medical applications. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
    • Microstructural analysis of TRISO particles using multi-scale X-ray computed tomography

      Lowe, T; Bradley, RS; Yue, S; Barii, K; Gelb, J; Rohbeck, N; Turner, J; Withers, PJ (Elsevier BV, 2015-02-28)
      TRISO particles, a composite nuclear fuel built up by ceramic and graphitic layers, have outstanding high temperature resistance. TRISO fuel is the key technology for High Temperature Reactors (HTRs) and the Generation IV Very High Temperature Reactor (VHTR) variant. TRISO offers unparalleled containment of fission products and is extremely robust during accident conditions. An understanding of the thermal performance and mechanical properties of TRISO fuel requires a detailed knowledge of pore sizes, their distribution and interconnectivity. Here 50 nm, nano-, and 1 μm resolution, micro-computed tomography (CT), have been used to quantify non-destructively porosity of a surrogate TRISO particle at the 0.3–10 μm and 3–100 μm scales respectively. This indicates that pore distributions can reliably be measured down to a size approximately 3 times the pixel size which is consistent with the segmentation process. Direct comparison with Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) sections indicates that destructive sectioning can introduce significant levels of coarse damage, especially in the pyrolytic carbon layers. Further comparative work is required to identify means of minimizing such damage for SEM studies. Finally since it is non-destructive, multi-scale time-lapse X-ray CT opens the possibility of intermittently tracking the degradation of TRISO structure under thermal cycles or radiation conditions in order to validate models of degradation such as kernel movement. X-ray CT in-situ experimentation of TRISO particles under load and temperature could also be used to understand the internal changes that occur in the particles under accident conditions.
    • Knowledge integration challenges and critical success factors within construction traditional procurement system

      Takhtravanchi, Mohammad; Pathirage, Chaminda (LLC CPC Business Perspectives, 2018-10-11)
      <jats:p>The purpose of this study is to explore and identify the challenges and Critical Success Factors (CSFs) of Knowledge Integration (KI) in terms of capturing, sharing and transferring knowledge within construction projects based on the Traditional Procurement System (TPS). On the basis of available studies on KI and TPS within the industry investigated, multiple case studies were developed to reach the aforementioned objective, involving two case studies to reflect the building sector within construction industry. Furthermore, an Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) approach was used to summarize and identify the relationships between the identified challenges. ‘Culture of Organization, ‘Contractual Boundaries’ and ‘Knowledge Management System’ (policies and strategies of organization) are identified as the main challenges. Having an ‘open environment’ and ‘clear liability of project members for sharing knowledge at different phases of project’ are two of identified CSFs, which will assist project managers to enhance the KI process within construction projects undertaken through the TPS.</jats:p>
    • Farmers perceptions of climate change related events in Shendam and Riyom, Nigeria

      Goyol, S; Pathirage, C (MDPI AG, 2018-12-19)
      © 2018 by the authors. Although agriculture in Nigeria is the major source of income for about 70% of the active population, the impact of agrarian infrastructure on boosting productivity and supporting livelihoods has increased. Climate change and the increasing trend of climate-related events in Nigeria challenge both the stability of agrarian infrastructure and livelihood systems. Based on case studies of two local communities in Plateau state in Nigeria, this paper utilizes a range of perceptions to examine the impacts of climate-related events on agrarian infrastructures and how agrarian livelihood systems are, in turn, affected. Data are obtained from a questionnaire survey (n = 175 farmers) and semi-structured interviews (n = 14 key informants). The study identifies local indicators of climate change, high risks climate events and the components of agrarian infrastructures that are at risk from climate events. Findings reveal that, changes in rainfall and temperature patterns increase the probability of floods and droughts. They also reveal that, although locational differences account for the high impact of floods on road transport systems and droughts on irrigation infrastructures, both have a chain of negative effects on agricultural activities, economic activities and livelihood systems. A binomial logistic regression model is used to predict the perceived impact levels of floods and droughts, while an in-depth analysis is utilized to corroborate the quantitative results. The paper further stresses the need to strengthen the institutional capacity for risk reduction through the provision of resilient infrastructures, as the poor conditions of agrarian infrastructure were identified as dominant factors on the high impact levels.
    • Analysis and optimization of sandwich tubes energy absorbers under lateral loading

      Baroutaji, A; Gilchrist, MD; Smyth, D; Olabi, AG (Elsevier BV, 2015-02-07)
      © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. In this paper, the sandwich tubes, which consist of thin-walled circular tubes with aluminium foam core, were proposed as energy absorption devices. The sandwich tubes were laterally crushed under quasi-static loading conditions. Detailed finite element model, validated against existing experimental results, was developed using the explicit code (ANSYS-LSDYNA) to assess the energy absorption responses and deformation modes. Response surface methodology (RSM) was employed in parallel with the finite element models to perform both parametric studies and multi-objective optimization in order to establish the optimal configuration of the sandwich tube. Sampling designs of the sandwich tubes were constructed based on a D - optimal design of experiment (DOE) method. Factorial analysis was performed using the DOE results to investigate the influences of the geometric parameters on the responses of sandwich tubes. In addition, multi-objective optimization design (MOD) of the sandwich tubes is carried out by adopting a desirability approach. It was found that the tube with a minimum diameter of the inner layer and a maximum foam thickness are more suitable for use as energy absorbing components.