• Preliminaries of orthogonal layered defence using functional and assurance controls in industrial control systems

      Mackintosh, Mike; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Al-Khateeb, Haider; Burnham, Keith J.; Pillai, Prashant; Hammoudeh, Mohammad (MDPI, 2019-02-14)
      Industrial Control Systems (ICSs) are responsible for the automation of different processes and the overall control of systems that include highly sensitive potential targets such as nuclear facilities, energy-distribution, water-supply, and mass-transit systems. Given the increased complexity and rapid evolvement of their threat landscape, and the fact that these systems form part of the Critical National infrastructure (CNI), makes them an emerging domain of conflict, terrorist attacks, and a playground for cyberexploitation. Existing layered-defence approaches are increasingly criticised for their inability to adequately protect against resourceful and persistent adversaries. It is therefore essential that emerging techniques, such as orthogonality, be combined with existing security strategies to leverage defence advantages against adaptive and often asymmetrical attack vectors. The concept of orthogonality is relatively new and unexplored in an ICS environment and consists of having assurance control as well as functional control at each layer. Our work seeks to partially articulate a framework where multiple functional and assurance controls are introduced at each layer of ICS architectural design to further enhance security while maintaining critical real-time transfer of command and control traffic.
    • Preliminary SAR on indole-3-carbinol and related fragments reveals a novel anticancer lead compound against resistant glioblastoma cells

      Sherer, Christopher; Tolaymat, Ibrahim; Rowther, Farzana; Warr, Tracy; Snape, Timothy J (Elsevier, 2017-02-17)
      The prognosis for glioblastoma patients is, at best, poor, with the median time of survival after diagnosis measured in months. As such, there is much need for the rapid development of potent and novel treatments. Herein, we report our preliminary findings on the SAR of a series of indole-3-carbinol and related fragments and reveal a potent lead with low micromolar activity against a particularly resistant glioblastoma cell culture, providing a new platform for future development of a new therapy in this area.
    • Preparation of isomorphously substituted scandium ZSM-5 using aqueous fluoride gels.

      Brigden, Clive T.; Thompsett, David; Williams, Craig D. (RSC Publishing, 2004)
      Sc-ZSM-5 zeolite is synthesised using a hydrothermal fluoride based synthesis medium and evidence, viz. XRF, NMR, XRD, TGA and FT-IR shows that scandium (Sc3+) has been isomorphously substituted into the zeolite framework.
    • Preparation, characterization and application of a molecularly imprinted polymer for selective recognition of Sulpiride

      Zhang, Wei; She, Xuhui; Wang, Liping; Fan, Huajun; Zhou, Qing; Huang, Xiaowen; Tang, James Z (MDPI, 2017-04-28)
      A novel molecular imprinting polymer (MIP) was prepared by bulk polymerization using sulpiride as the template molecule, itaconic acid (ITA) as the functional monomer and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the crosslinker. The formation of the MIP was determined as the molar ratio of sulpiride-ITA-EGDMA of 1:4:15 by single-factor experiments. The MIP showed good adsorption property with imprinting factor α of 5.36 and maximum adsorption capacity of 61.13 μmol/g, and was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) and surface area analysis. With the structural analogs (amisulpride, tiapride, lidocaine and cisapride) and small molecules containing a mono-functional group (p-toluenesulfonamide, formamide and 1-methylpyrrolidine) as substrates, static adsorption, kinetic adsorption, and rebinding experiments were also performed to investigate the selective adsorption ability, kinetic characteristic, and recognition mechanism of the MIP. A serial study suggested that the highly selective recognition ability of the MIP mainly depended on binding sites provided by N-functional groups of amide and amine. Moreover, the MIP as solid-phase extractant was successfully applied to extraction of sulpiride from the mixed solution (consisted of p-toluenesulfonamide, sulfamethoxazole, sulfanilamide, p-nitroaniline, acetanilide and trimethoprim) and serum sample, and extraction recoveries ranged from 81.57% to 86.63%. The tentative tests of drug release in stimulated intestinal fluid (pH 6.8) demonstrated that the tablet with the MIP–sulpiride could obviously inhibit sulpiride release rate. Thus, ITA-based MIP is an efficient and promising alternative to solid-phase adsorbent for extraction of sulpiride and removal of interferences in biosample analysis, and could be used as a potential carrier for controlled drug release
    • The prevalence of anaemia in a district general hospital in the United Kingdom

      Hamid, Mohammed; Naz, Aysha; Alawattegama, Lakna H; Steed, Helen; General Surgery, University Hospital Birmingham National Health Service (NHS) Trust, Birmingham, GBR. (Cureus, Inc., 2021-05-18)
      Aim Investigating the prevalence of hospital-acquired anaemia in a United Kingdom (UK) secondary care setting to describe the level of appropriate management prior to discharge back to primary care. Design and settings An observational study of 13 medical and surgical wards in a UK district general hospital. Method Single-day examination of notes, blood results and drug charts, with a 30-day follow up, using pre-set definitions of anaemia and exclusion criteria. Results Two hundred and sixty-seven patients were included. Of them, 52% were anaemic on admission, 62.2% were anaemic on the study day, 16% had hospital-acquired anaemia and 49%-82% had no biochemical indices checked during the admission or in the last 12 months. Also, 53% of anaemic patients are being discharged without appropriate treatment, with over a third being under-investigated. Conclusion The prevalence of anaemia in a UK district general hospital is high. Causes of anaemia are complex, posing a potentially modifiable risk factor for falls, readmission and mortality.
    • Prevention through design: clients’ pre-construction health and safety arrangements

      Adaku, Ebenezer; Ankrah, Nii A; Ndekugri, Issaka E; Arezes, Pedro M.; Boring, Ronald L. (Springer, 2021-07-04)
      Proactive management of health and safety risk often minimises ill-health, injuries and fatalities on projects. Hence, in some jurisdictions like the UK, statutory duties are placed on project Clients to make suitable arrangements for projects to be carried out without risk to health and safety. This study surveys Clients and practitioners in the UK construction industry in focus group workshops to establish seven dominant practices being employed by Clients in response to this obligation under the health and safety Regulations.
    • Prevention through design: conceptual models for the assessment of a principal designer’s skills, knowledge and experience

      Adaku, Ebenezer; Ankrah, Nii A; Issaka, Ndekugri E (Emerald, 2021-01-18)
      Purpose - The prevention through design (PtD) initiative places a duty on designers to originate designs that are inherently safe for construction, maintenance, occupation and demolition. In the UK, legislation has been introduced creating a new statutory role called the Principal Designer (PD) to ensure that PtD occurs during the design process. In order to realize this objective, Principal Designers under the Regulations must have appropriate skills, knowledge and experience (SKE) of occupational safety and health (OSH) risks as they relate to construction products. However, there is a paucity of knowledge, in the extant literature and in practice, regarding what specifically constitutes Principal Designers’ skills, knowledge and experience of PtD as well as how to measure same. Design/Methodology/Approach – The study undertook a systematic review of meanings of skills, knowledge and experience, and carried out content analyses to provide robust conceptualizations of the constructs skill, knowledge and experience. This underpinned the development of nomological networks to operationalize the constructs skills, knowledge and experience in respect of Principal Designers’ ability to ensure PtD. Results – Principal Designers’ skills, knowledge and experience of PtD are presented as multi-dimensional constructs that can be operationalized at different levels of specificity in three theoretical models. Practical implications – The models indicated in this study can assist project clients to clarify the PtD skills, knowledge and experience of prospective Principal Designers in the procurement process. Correspondingly, Principal Designers can look to these frameworks to identify their skills, knowledge and experience gaps and take steps to address them. Originality/Value – This study contributes to the PtD literature by providing theoretical frameworks to clarify the PtD skills, knowledge and experience of Principal Designers. The study provides a basis for future research to empirically test the attributes of these as they relate to Principal Designers’ competence to ensure PtD.
    • Principles for developing an effective framework to control minerals and rocks extraction impacts, mitigate waste and optimise sustainable quarries management

      Ogan, Deinsam D.; Ndekugri, Issaka E.; Oduoza, Chike F.; Khatib, Jamal M. (Elsevier, 2016-03-01)
      An investigation into how and why frameworks are developed led to the understanding of the facts that most frameworks or guides are developed for specific reasons. However, this study reveals that for a framework to be ‘effective’, certain factors ought to be ‘integrated’ in order to specifically address the aim and objectives of the particular framework – especially in specific sectors such as the extractive resources sector. A study of fifteen influential frameworks provided insight as to some outstanding factors that must be atleast considered in developing ‘an effective framework’ for a developing resources extraction sector. Although the knowledge of a granite quarry environment in a developing country has been used in expounding the study, the study is also a referral of ongoing research and can be applicable to the development of similar guides. So, because the principles discussed in this study were also applied in the development of this paper, the principles of this guide could also be applied by governing bodies, local governments, researchers and research institutes, non-governmental and private organisations in the extractive industry and beyond, for the development of ‘effective’ guides aimed at impacts control and waste management.
    • Prioritizing cost management system considerations for Nigerian housing projects

      Obi, Lovelin Ifeoma; Arif, Mohammed; Kulonda, Dennis J.; The School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK; The School of the Built Environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK; School of Business and Technology Management, Northcentral University, Prescott Valley, Arizona, USA (Emerald, 2017-08-07)
      Purpose- This study develops a success factor model to understand and facilitate improved cost management system (CMS) implementation in Low-cost housing (LcH) project delivery in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach- Literature findings highlight thirteen drivers’ affecting effective implementation within the CMS and employs series of brainstorming sessions and questionnaire survey to validate the drivers’. Factor analysis (FA) identifies possible contextual relationships among the validated drivers’ and groups them into three success factors. The results of the FA are refined employing interpretive structural modelling (ISM). The ISM identifies and models the influential drivers’ and aids the development of the success factor model. Findings- Effective team qualities, information and management actions and a stable operational environment are the three essential success factors for effective CMS implementation. Practical implications- The paper highlights effective team qualities as the most important CMS considerations for Nigerian LcH project delivery. This finding creates the needed awareness to guide project sponsors and project managers in the appropriate selection of Project Management Team (PMT) as well procurement system that facilitates their collaboration. Originality/value- This study is a novel research using FA and ISM to investigate the influence of success factors needful for effective implementation within the CMS. It further develops a hierarchy model that aids the PMT with the better understanding of the drivers’ and factors interrelationships for use on LcH projects within the Nigerian context.
    • Privacy enhancing technologies (PETs) for connected vehicles in smart cities

      Safa, Nader Sohrabi; Mitchell, Faye; Maple, Carsten; Azad, Muhammad Ajmal; Dabbagh, Mohammad (Wiley, 2020-11-18)
      Many Experts believe that the Internet of Things (IoT) is a new revolution in technology that has brought many benefits for our organizations, businesses, and industries. However, information security and privacy protection are important challenges particularly for smart vehicles in smart cities that have attracted the attention of experts in this domain. Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs) endeavor to mitigate the risk of privacy invasions, but the literature lacks a thorough review of the approaches and techniques that support individuals' privacy in the connection between smart vehicles and smart cities. This gap has stimulated us to conduct this research with the main goal of reviewing recent privacy-enhancing technologies, approaches, taxonomy, challenges, and solutions on the application of PETs for smart vehicles in smart cities. The significant aspect of this study originates from the inclusion of data-oriented and process-oriented privacy protection. This research also identifies limitations of existing PETs, complementary technologies, and potential research directions.
    • Private Finance Initiative in the Healthcare Sector: Trends and Risk Assessment

      Akintoye, Akintola; Chinyio, Ezekiel A. (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2005)
      Abstract: Purpose – The UK Government has now adopted Private Finance Initiative (PFI) as a major vehicle for the delivery of additional resources to the health sector in order to achieve a greater investment in healthcare facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the trends and risk assessment of the PFI in the healthcare sector. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employed secondary data and interviews of key participants in two hospital PFI projects to highlight developments in healthcare PFI and the risk management of hospital projects. Findings – The results show that the use of PFI in the provision of healthcare is increasing in terms of number, capital value and size of projects. What emerged in the healthcare PFI project was a usage of a plethora of risk management techniques, albeit to varying degrees. Experience appeared to be the prime risk assessment technique employed, while risk avoidance was first explored before pricing and allocating any residual risks. “Risk prompts”, such as using checklists and risk registers were also useful in the identification of risks. Among all participants, insurance cover and sub-contracting appear to be the most prominent strategies employed for managing out the risks. Originality/value – The negotiations that precede the signing of a healthcare PFI project contract had an impact on the final choice of facilities or their specifications. The two contracting parties sought a balance between an optimal allocation of risks, choice of facilities and project price. Although the risk management techniques being used are generic in nature, there is still no evidence at the moment to show that these are appropriate for PFI projects. It is important that further investigation is undertaken to assess the level of current skills in risk management techniques to deal with PFI projects and the extent to which these techniques are appropriate to tackle complex healthcare PFI projects. (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.)
    • Proactive threat detection for connected cars using recursive Bayesian estimation

      al-Khateeb, Haider; Epiphaniou, Gregory; Reviczky, Adam; Karadimas, Petros; Heidari, Hadi (IEEE, 2017-12-12)
      Upcoming disruptive technologies around autonomous driving of connected cars have not yet been matched with appropriate security by design principles and lack approaches to incorporate proactive preventative measures in the wake of increased cyber-threats against such systems. In this paper, we introduce proactive anomaly detection to a use-case of hijacked connected cars to improve cyber-resilience. Firstly, we manifest the opportunity of behavioural profiling for connected cars from recent literature covering related underpinning technologies. Then, we design and utilise a new dataset file for connected cars influenced by the Automatic Dependent Surveillance – Broadcast (ADS–B) surveillance technology used in the aerospace industry to facilitate data collection and sharing. Finally, we simulate the analysis of travel routes in real-time to predict anomalies using predictive modelling. Simulations show the applicability of a Bayesian estimation technique, namely Kalman Filter. With the analysis of future state predictions based on the previous behaviour, cyber-threats can be addressed with a vastly increased time-window for a reaction when encountering anomalies. We discuss that detecting real-time deviations for malicious intent with predictive profiling and behavioural algorithms can be superior in effectiveness than the retrospective comparison of known-good/known-bad behaviour. When quicker action can be taken while connected cars encounter cyber-attacks, more effective engagement or interception of command and control will be achieved.
    • Problem-based learning: enhancing students learning of building information modelling

      Obi, Lovelin; Moses, Tochukwu; Chukwudi, Obi (University of Wolverhampton, 2018-12-20)
      Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an innovative collaborative process underpinned by digital technologies introduced to improve project performance in the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. Growth in industry demands has necessitated BIM inclusion into the Higher Education (HE) curricula as both a pedagogic and practical objective to prepare and develop aspiring Built Environment (BE) professionals with the required competence for contemporary practice. However, comprehension of BIM concepts and developing the skill set required for its application can be overwhelming for students and crucial to mitigating this challenge is the adoption of appropriate learner-centred strategies. Problem-based Learning (PBL) is becoming a widespread strategy to address such concern. This paper evaluates the impact of PBL strategy on students accelerated learning of BIM based on a case study of an undergraduate BIM module. Findings from the study show PBL benefits on students’ knowledge acquisition (cognitive and affective) of BIM concept and development of transferable skills (academic and disciplinary) equipping them with capabilities to become BIM competent and workplace ready for the AEC industry.
    • Problems and potential of mineral magnetic measurements as a soil particle size proxy

      Booth, Colin A.; Fullen, Michael A.; Walden, John; Worsley, Annie T.; Marcinkonis, Saulius; Coker, Akinwale O. (Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, 2008)
      The use of mineral magnetic concentration parameters (cLF, cARM and SIRM) as a potential particle size proxy for soil samples collected from the Isle of Man (British Isles) is explored as an alternative means of normalizing particle size effects. Comparison of soil-related analytical data by correlation analyses between each magnetic parameter and individual particle size classes (i.e. sand, silt and clay), more discrete intervals within classes (e.g. fine sand or medium silt) and cumulative size fractions (e.g. clay + fine silt) are reported. Both cLF and cARM parameters reveal significant (p <0.05; n = 46), but relatively weak (rs = 0.297 and 0.369), associations with clay content, while cLF, cARM and SIRM parameters have no significant relationship with sand and silt content or any discrete or cumulative size fractions. Contrary to earlier research findings, this indicates that magnetic measurements are not always a suitable particle size proxy and it is only certain environments and/or specific settings that are appropriate for granulometric normalization by this technique. However, if future researchers working in other soil settings can identify a formal predictable relationship, the technique is known to offer a simple, reliable, rapid, sensitive, inexpensive and non-destructive approach that could be a valuable particle size proxy for normalizing particle size effects in soil contamination studies.
    • Problems of drought and its management in Yobe State, Nigeria

      Hassan Gana, Abdullahi; Fullen, Michael A.; Oloke, David A. (Elsevier, 2019-01-09)
      Drought poses an enormous global threat to sustainable development and is expected to increase with global climate change. Drought and desertification are major problems in Yobe State (north-east Nigeria). This study investigates the main problems associated with drought in Yobe State. Qualitative methods were employed to investigate socio-economic impacts of drought via Focus Group Discussions (FDG). Farmers and officials from the State Ministry of the Environment were the discussants. Both groups confirmed the frequency and severity of drought in Yobe. However, farmers have practises that cause environmental degradation. Developing a viable and holistic approach to drought mitigation is crucial, to arresting and hopefully reversing environmental degradation. Understanding the causes and consequences of drought will help develop drought mitigation and management strategies. Currently, there is no proper drought mitigation and management framework in Yobe State. This paper introduces the socio-economic and environmental effects of drought and makes recommendations for mitigation and management strategies in Yobe State.

      Fullen, Michael A.; dos Santos Pereira, Leonardo; Rodrigues, Aline Muniz; Jorge, Maria do Carmo Oliveira; Guerra, Antônio José Teixeira (UGB, 2016-06-30)
    • The production and application of hydrogels for wound management: a review

      Gupta, Abhishek; Kowalczuk, Marek; Heaselgrave, Wayne; Britland, Stephen T; Martin, Clare; Radecka, Iza (Elsevier, 2018-12-15)
      Wound treatment has increased in importance in the wound care sector due to the pervasiveness of chronic wounds in the high-risk population including, but not limited to, geriatric population, immunocompromised and obese patients. Furthermore, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is rapidly growing. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global diabetic occurrence has increased from 4.7% in 1980 to 8.5% in 2014. As diabetes becomes a common medical condition, it has also become one of the major causes of chronic wounds which require specialised care to address patients’ unique needs. Wound dressings play a vital role in the wound healing process as they protect the wound site from the external environment. They are also capable of interacting with the wound bed in order to facilitate and accelerate the healing process. Advanced dressings such as hydrogels are designed to maintain a moist environment at the site of application and due to high water content are ideal candidates for wound management. Hydrogels can be used for both exudating or dry necrotic wounds. Additionally, hydrogels also demonstrate other unique features such as softness, malleability and biocompatibility. Nowadays, advanced wound care products make up around $7.1 billion of the global market and their production is growing at an annual rate of 8.3% with the market projected to be worth $12.5 billion by 2022. The presented review focuses on novel hydrogel wound dressings, their main characteristics and their wound management applications. It also describes recent methodologies used for their production and the future potential developments.
    • Production and characterisation of bacterial cellulose hydrogels loaded with curcumin encapsulated in cyclodextrins as wound dressings

      Gupta, A; Keddie, DJ; Kannappan, V; Gibson, H; Khalil, IR; Kowalczuk, M; Martin, C; Shuai, X; Radecka, I (Elsevier, 2019-06-14)
      © 2019 Elsevier Ltd Natural bioactive materials with wound healing properties such as curcumin are attracting interest due to the emergence of resistant bacterial strains. The hydrophobicity of curcumin has been counteracted by using solubility enhancing cyclodextrins. Hydrogels facilitate wound healing due to unique properties and 3D network structures which allows encapsulation of healing agents. In this study, biosynthetic cellulose produced by Gluconacetobacter xylinus (ATCC 23770) was loaded with water soluble curcumin:hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin supramolecular inclusion complex produced by a solvent evaporation method to synthesise hydrogel dressings. The ratios of solvents to solubilise curcumin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin were tested for the production of the inclusion complex with optimum encapsulation efficacy. The results confirmed that hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin enhanced the aqueous solubility of curcumin and allowed loading into bacterial cellulose hydrogels. These hydrogels were characterised for wound management applications and exhibited haemocompatability, cytocompatability, anti-staphylococcal and antioxidant abilities and therefore support the potential use of the curcumin:hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-loaded-bacterial cellulose as hydrogel dressings.