• Land use and agriculture

      Harper, Peter; Wexler, Josie; Kemp, Martin; Perez-Minana, Elena; Fullen, Michael A. (Centre for Alternative Technology,, 2010)
    • Large publishing consortia produce higher citation impact research but co-author contributions are hard to evaluate

      Thelwall, Michael (MIT Press, 2020-02-20)
      This paper introduces a simple agglomerative clustering method to identify large publishing consortia with at least 20 authors and 80% shared authorship between articles. Based on Scopus journal articles 1996-2018, under these criteria, nearly all (88%) of the large consortia published research with citation impact above the world average, with the exceptions being mainly the newer consortia for which average citation counts are unreliable. On average, consortium research had almost double (1.95) the world average citation impact on the log scale used (Mean Normalised Log Citation Score). At least partial alphabetical author ordering was the norm in most consortia. The 250 largest consortia were for nuclear physics and astronomy around expensive equipment, and for predominantly health-related issues in genomics, medicine, public health, microbiology and neuropsychology. For the health-related issues, except for the first and last few authors, authorship seem to primary indicate contributions to the shared project infrastructure necessary to gather the raw data. It is impossible for research evaluators to identify the contributions of individual authors in the huge alphabetical consortia of physics and astronomy, and problematic for the middle and end authors of health-related consortia. For small scale evaluations, authorship contribution statements could be used, when available.
    • Large-vscale hydrogen production and storage technologies: Current status and future directions

      Olabi, AG; Abdelghafar, Aasim Ahmed; Baroutaji, Ahmad; Sayed, Enas Taha; Alami, Abdul Hai; Rezk, Hegazy; Abdelkareem, Mohammad Ali; Bahri, Adel Saleh (Elsevier, 2020-11-13)
      Over the past years, hydrogen has been identified as the most promising carrier of clean energy. In a world that aims to replace fossil fuels to mitigate greenhouse emissions and address other environmental concerns, hydrogen generation technologies have become a main player in the energy mix. Since hydrogen is the main working medium in fuel cells and hydrogen-based energy storage systems, integrating these systems with other renewable energy systems is becoming very feasible. For example, the coupling of wind or solar systems hydrogen fuel cells as secondary energy sources is proven to enhance grid stability and secure the reliable energy supply for all times. The current demand for clean energy is unprecedented, and it seems that hydrogen can meet such demand only when produced and stored in large quantities. This paper presents an overview of the main hydrogen production and storage technologies, along with their challenges. They are presented to help identify technologies that have sufficient potential for large-scale energy applications that rely on hydrogen. Producing hydrogen from water and fossil fuels and storing it in underground formations are the best large-scale production and storage technologies. However, the local conditions of a specific region play a key role in determining the most suited production and storage methods, and there might be a need to combine multiple strategies together to allow a significant large-scale production and storage of hydrogen.
    • 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.
    • Lasers and Materials in Selective Laser Sintering

      Kruth, J. P.; Wang, X.; Laoui, Tahar; Froyen, Ludo (Emerald Publishing Group Ltd., 2003)
      Selective laser sintering (SLS) is one of the most rapidly growing rapid prototyping techniques (RPT). This is mainly due to its suitability to process almost any material: polymers, metals, ceramics (including foundry sand) and many types of composites. The material should be supplied as powder that may occasionally contain a sacrificial polymer binder that has to be removed (debinded) afterwards. The interaction between the laser beam and the powder material used in SLS is one of the dominant phenomena that defines the feasibility and quality of any SLS process. This paper surveys the current state of SLS in terms of materials and lasers. It describes investigations carried out experimentally and by numerical simulation in order to get insight into laser-material interaction and to control this interaction properly. (Emerald Publishing Group Limited)
    • Late disputes and the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract

      Ndekugri, Issaka E. (Institution of Civil Engineers, 2016-03-07)
      One of the reasons for project owners’ choice of the NEC3 Engineering and Construction Contract (ECC) is the avoidance of the risk of claims and disputes long after project completion. In a number of cases the court has been presented with difficult questions concerning adjudication after project completion and delayed reference of adjudicated disputes to the applicable final tribunal. The cases have not been from projects procured with NEC contracts. This paper critically examines these questions, the court’s answers to them and their implications for the NEC3 ECC family of contracts. It concludes that, in the drafting of future editions of the contract, the promoters of the contract should consider provisions targeted at: ensuring that the test of awareness for the purposes of the Clause 61.3 time-bar is on an objective basis; conclusive evidence clauses that impose a disincentive against seriously delayed challenges to assessment of compensation events and payment; and providing that the decision of an adjudicator becomes finally binding if the dispute decided is not referred to the tribunal within a stated period.
    • Latent fingermark pore area reproducibility.

      Gupta, Abhishek; Buckley, K.A.; Sutton, Raul (Amsterdam: Elsevier., 2008)
      The study of the reproducibility of friction ridge pore detail in fingermarks is a measure of their usefulness in personal identification. Pore area in latent prints developed using cyanoacrylate and ninhydrin were examined and measured by photomicrography using appropriate software tools. The data were analysed statistically and the results showed that pore area is not reproducible in developed latent prints, using either of the development techniques. The results add further support to the lack of reliability of pore area in personal identification.
    • Lateral collapse of short-length sandwich tubes compressed by different indenters and exposed to external constraints

      Baroutaji, A; Olabi, AG (Wiley, 2014-05-02)
      In this paper, sandwich tube components which consist of thin-walled circular tubes with aluminium foam core are proposed as energy absorption systems. The sandwich tubes were laterally crushed under quasi-static loading conditions. The sandwich tubes were crushed under two types of indenters and exposed to three different types of external constraints. The collapsing behaviour and the energy absorption responses of these systems were investigated by nonlinear finite element analysis through ANSYS-LS-DYNA. Various indicators which describe the effectiveness of energy absorbing systems were used as a marker to compare the various systems. It was found that the sandwich tube systems compressed by cylindrical indenters particularly the unconstrained system and the system with inclined constraints offered a very desirable force-deflection in which the force is almost constant in the post collapse stage. The employing of external constraints was noticed as a feasible method of increasing the SEA particularly when cylindrical indenter is used. © 2014 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
    • Law for engineering undergraduates on accredited courses

      Charlson, Jennifer (Thomas Telford, 2014-08-01)
      To achieve economies of scale, engineering departments in UK universities may choose to develop common modules. Law is a candidate for such shared delivery. However, professional institution accreditation for undergraduate degree programmes is important. Therefore engineering professional institutions' accreditation documentation was analysed and the relevant law requirements were extracted and summarised. The accreditation role of the Engineering Council and Joint Board of Moderators is explained. In addition, in recognition of the close relationship between civil engineering and construction the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Institute of Building's requirements were scrutinised. This paper then critiques the engineering and construction professional institutions' law requirements. Some overlap between the legal topics required by engineering and construction professional institutions is identified; for example, the legal framework, contract, environmental and health and safety law. They differ in that engineering bodies additionally require intellectual property awareness and construction institutions include dispute resolution and land law. It can be argued that both professional bodies should recognise the importance of European law. Who was consulted about the content and who could teach law to engineering and construction undergraduates is questioned. There is some commonality between the requirements of the engineering and construction professional institutions facilitating the delivery of shared law modules.
    • Leadership Initiatives for Health and Safety Risk Management Systems in a Small Construction Company: A Case Study

      Suresh, Subashini; Oduoza, Chike; Renukappa, Suresh; Oduoza, Chike (INTECH OPEN, 2018-11-27)
      The need for leadership in the construction industry has been greater due to the fact that health and safety has become an important business tool to reduce accidents to save lives and minimise injuries. This chapter demonstrates the importance and role of leadership for manging risks associated with health and safety aspects in small construction companies. A case study of an Italian family run small construction company is investigated and reported. A diagnostic tool Leadership and Worker Involvement toolkit was administrated in the company. The toolkit had assessment levels (walking, running and sprinting). Analysis showed the company was at walking and running stages in various aspects. But the leadership aspiration of the company was to reach the ?sprinting? stage as a long-term target and sustain it to minimise health and safety risk. A holistic approach was developed to achieve the leadership aspirations of the company. In conclusion, the role of leadership in small companies is to understand the importance of H&S aspects and develop strategies which are then embedded in the processes of the companies to minimise H&S risks for their sustainability and competitiveness. This chapter is beneficial for professional at site, project and programme level and for leadership team.
    • Lean-excellence business management for manufacturing SMEs focusing on KRI

      Mohammad, Ibrahim Salih; Oduoza, Chike F (Emerald, 2019-05-22)
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop an effective framework for implementing Lean strategies in small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Design/methodology/approach Based on the integration of LM tools and techniques with the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award (MBNQA) criteria a systematic Lean implementation framework for manufacturing SMEs has been proposed. The core values, drivers and tools of the proposed framework were further developed based on case studies in three SMEs in the KRI. Findings Proposed framework is able to provide a simple pathway for SMEs to systematically implement Lean techniques in seven functional areas in order to create Lean culture in the organisation. Business performance measurement in terms of profitability, customer satisfaction, employee’s satisfaction, competitiveness growth and ergonomic improvement is presented in favour of evaluating Lean outcomes appropriately. It also presents the experience of small firms in implementing Lean programmes to show that Lean is valid in SMEs. Research limitations/implications The framework concentrates only on the internal issues of the organisation, while external variables such as national culture and external support are excluded. Practical implications The framework assists improvements in SMEs that either initially attempt to start Lean journey or those that are at more advanced levels towards excellent-Lean manufacturing. The framework can also be used as a self-assessment model to determine the degree of Lean readiness. Originality/value To the best knowledge of the author, it is the first framework that integrates Lean techniques with MBNQA criteria to support Lean implementation in SMEs. It is also the first study regarding Lean-excellence in the KRI.
    • Lecture substitution by technology supported learning (WOLF) - an investigation of effectiveness on the module Introductory Microbiology

      Protheroe, Roy; Hill, David J. (University of Wolverhampton, 2004)
      The Introductory Microbiology topic within the Wolverhampton Online Learning Framework (WOLF) has been developed over a number of years. The topic contains the whole of the module syllabus in an interactive form, including lecture material, tutorials and laboratory practical support. The topic also contains tests for student self-assessment. The material has traditionally been used as a student support mechanism, although in recent times it has also been used as a direct substitution of a proportion of formal lectures. This project was devised to determine the effectiveness of this strategy in relation to student performance and to integrate the University pilot of computer assisted assessment (QMark), since multiple choice testing is used on the module.
    • Legal Risk Identification for SMEs in the Construction Industry

      Charlson, Jennifer; Oduoza, Chike; University of Wolverhampton (Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 2014)
      This research contributes to a European Union (EU) funded project "Risk Management Software System for SMEs in the Construction Industry (RiMaCon)." The aim was to identify relevant legal risks with a view to manage them. A critical literature review was undertaken and the themes that emerged included procurement, building information modelling, building regulation and construction contract issues including delay, claims and dispute resolution. A case study approach was adopted as the researcher benefitted from a secondment to an SME contractor in Italy where pilot interviews were undertaken. The paper concludes that the literature review seems to have identified legal risks relevant to construction SMEs which will be investigated further.
    • Lessons from Participatory Evaluation of Cropping Practices in Yunnan Province, China: Overview of the Effectiveness of Technologies and Issues Related to Technology Adoption

      Subedi, Madhu; Hocking, Trevor J.; Fullen, Michael A.; McCrea, Alison R.; Milne, E. (Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI), 2009)
      Increasing crop production, while maintaining sustainability, is a priority for agricultural development projects, particularly in developing countries. This study investigated the factors contributing to the effectiveness of agricultural development projects in improving the sustainability of cropping systems in a small upland watershed in south-west China. This involved a review of recent related projects and detailed evaluation of one project: the SHASEA Project. Farmers’ perceptions of several agricultural technologies are discussed, along with factors contributing to farmers’ adoption of these technologies. Local, national and international institutions need to adopt several strategies to improve project effectiveness and agro-environmental sustainability.
    • Let'S Talk About Technology for Peace: A Systematic Assessment of Problem-Based Group Collaboration Around an Interactive Tabletop

      Ioannou, Andri, Zaphiris, Panayiotis, Loizides, Fernando, Vasiliou, Christina (Oxford Journals, 2013)
      This work is concerned with the exploration of ideas in the realm of technology for peace, produced by small groups of students working around an interactive tabletop. A collaboration-enforcing tabletop application was used to mediate dialog and collaborative construction of a taxonomy of ideas based on the participants' consensus. The scenarios for discussion concerned the promotion of global peace and the social integration of immigrants in the society. The participants' dialog and interactions were video-recorded and analyzed. The study contributes a systematically developed coding scheme capturing the cognitive and physical elements of problem-based group collaboration around the interactive tabletop. Also, the consistent themes and ideas contributed across the participating groups highlight a number of areas where research could focus in terms of using technology for peace.
    • Level of empowerment and decision-making style of women with epilepsy in childbirth age

      Turner, Katherine; Cutica, Ilaria; Riva, Silvia; Zambrelli, Elisa; Canevini, Maria Paola; Pravettoni, Gabriella (Elsevier, 2019-03-01)
      Objectives This research investigates level of empowerment, decisional skills, and the perceived relationship with the clinician, of women in childbirth age, also in relationship with clinical variables such as epilepsy type, seizure frequency, therapy, and pregnancy status. In particular, as concerning therapy, we were interested in women who take valproic acid (VPA), for its specific balance of risks and benefits, especially in pregnant women. Methods The sample is composed of 60 women with epilepsy (6 were excluded), who underwent a standardized clinical protocol for assessment of level of empowerment, decisional skills, and of their judgment about how they feel to be involved by their clinician in medical decision making. Results Overall, the sample does not show signs of low empowerment level nor of abnormal decision-making patterns. The type of epilepsy, the frequency of seizures, and the treatment type (VPA versus no VPA) do not impact on empowerment, on decision styles, nor on medical relationship, with the only exception of a specific decision style, the avoidant style, that is more frequent in women treated with VPA with respect to those taking other therapies. Interestingly, regarding VPA dosage, we found that women taking equal or more than 700 mg/day of VPA have lower scores on empowerment in all dimensions compared with women with a VPA dosage lower than 700 mg/day. Conclusions Shared decision making including improved decision quality, more informed choices and better treatment concordance, should be a central part of epilepsy care. In addition, for clinicians it would be useful to have specific tools to know if the patient has really understood the risks and benefits of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), particularly VPA, and all treatment alternatives.
    • Light field geometry of a standard plenoptic camera

      Hahne, Christopher; Aggoun, Amar; Haxha, Shyqyri; Velisavljevic, Vladan; Fernández, Juan Carlos Jácome (Optical Society of America, 2014-10-21)
      The Standard Plenoptic Camera (SPC) is an innovation in photography, allowing for acquiring two-dimensional images focused at different depths, from a single exposure. Contrary to conventional cameras, the SPC consists of a micro lens array and a main lens projecting virtual lenses into object space. For the first time, the present research provides an approach to estimate the distance and depth of refocused images extracted from captures obtained by an SPC. Furthermore, estimates for the position and baseline of virtual lenses which correspond to an equivalent camera array are derived. On the basis of paraxial approximation, a ray tracing model employing linear equations has been developed and implemented using Matlab. The optics simulation tool Zemax is utilized for validation purposes. By designing a realistic SPC, experiments demonstrate that a predicted image refocusing distance at 3.5 m deviates by less than 11% from the simulation in Zemax, whereas baseline estimations indicate no significant difference. Applying the proposed methodology will enable an alternative to the traditional depth map acquisition by disparity analysis.
    • Limited design life in geosynthetic materials

      Sarsby, Robert W. (Abington: Woodhead Publishing Ltd. ALSO: CRC Press (Taylor & Francis Group), 2007)
      THE BOOK: Discusses the fundamentals of geosynthetics. Examines various applications in areas such as filters, separators, landfills and foundation materials. Reviews quality assurance and the service life of geosynthetics. Geosynthetics are man-made polymer-based materials which facilitate cost effective building, environmental, transportation and other construction projects. Given their versatility, geosynthetics are a vital material in all aspects of civil engineering. Part 2 examines the various applications of geosynthetics in areas such as filters, separators, landfills, barriers and foundation materials. THIS CHAPTER: - Introduction - Limited life of geotextile concept - Natural fibres as industrial materials - Agro-industrial fibres - Vegetable fibre characteristics - Erosion control - Basal reinforcement of embankments on soft soil - Conclusions - References.
    • Linear stability analysis of the flow between rotating cylinders of wide gap

      Adebayo, D; Al-Ameri, J; Tyukin, I; Rona, A (Elsevier BV, 2018-07-05)
      © 2018 The Authors This study investigated by an analytical method the flow that develops in the gap between concentric rotating cylinders when the Taylor number Ta exceeds the first critical value. Concentric cylinders rotating at the speed ratio μ=0 are investigated over the radius ratio range 0.20≤η≤0.95. This range includes configurations characterised by a larger annular gap width d than classical journal bearing test cases and by a Taylor number beyond the first critical Taylor number at which Taylor vortices develop. The analysis focuses on determining the parameters for the direct transition from axisymmetric Couette flow to wavy Taylor vortex flow. The results show a marked change in trend as the radius ratio η reduces below 0.49 and 0.63 for the azimuthal wave-numbers m=2 and 3 respectively. The axial wavenumber increases so that the resulting wavy Taylor vortex flow is characterised by vortex structures elongated in the radial direction, with a meridional cross-section that is significantly elliptical. The linear stability analysis of the perturbation equations suggests this instability pattern is neutrally stable. Whereas a direct transition from axisymmetric Couette flow is not necessarily the only route for the onset of wavy Taylor vortex flow, the significant difference between the predicted pattern at large gap widths and classical wavy Taylor vortex flow merits further investigation.
    • Linking floral biodiversity with nitrogen and carbon translocations in semi-natural grasslands in Lithuania

      Marcinkonis, S; Karpavičien˛, B; Fullen, Michael A. (Walter de Gruyter, 2015-05-29)
      The aim of the present study is to evaluate the long-term effects of long-term piggery effluent application on semi-natural grassland ecotop-phytotop changes (above- and below-ground phytomass production, and carbon and nitrogen allocation in grassland communities) in relation to changes (or variability) in topsoil properties. Analysis of phytomass distribution in piggery effluent irrigated grassland communities showed that dry biomass yield varied from 1.7-5.3 t ha<sup>-1</sup>. Variability in soil and plant cover created a unique and highly unpredictable site specific system, where long-term anthropogenic influences established successor communities with specific characteristics of above- and below-ground biomass distribution. These characteristics depend more on grassland communities than on soil chemical properties. Families of grasses (Poaceae) dominated the surveyed communities and accumulated most carbon and least nitrogen, while legumes accumulated most nitrogen and lignin and least carbon. Carbon concentrations in above-ground biomass had minor variations, while accumulation of nitrogen was strongly influenced by species diversity (r = 0.94, n = 10, p <0.001) and production of above-ground biomass.