• Evaluation of phase transformation behaviors of zeolite and antibacterial properties against Gram-positive and -negative bacteria

      Ishak, SN; Malek, NANN; Yusop, Z; Williams, CD; Suhartono, S; Syafiuddin, A (Wiley, 2020-05-25)
      © 2020 The Chemical Society Located in Taipei & Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim This study deals with the synthesis of zeolite from natural kaolinite using hydrothermal treatment and evaluation of its phase transformation behaviors. The synthesized zeolites were modified with silver ion by using the ion exchange method for the enhancement of antibacterial properties. The characterizations were performed by using X-ray diffraction spectroscopy, Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, field emission scanning electron microscopy, and energy-dispersive X-ray. Disk diffusion technique (DDT) was used for the evaluation of the antibacterial property of the modified zeolites. This study observed the transformation of kaolinite into amorphous metakaolin after calcination treatment at 900°C and the successful reconstruction of amorphous metakaolin into synthesized crystal zeolite in the presence of sodium hydroxide as an activating agent. It was also found that the zeolite type A was produced at 100°C, while sodalites were produced at 120 and 140°C. DDT analysis revealed that the modified zeolites showed significant antibacterial capability against Escherichia coli ATCC 11229 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538. In general, the present study has proven that the zeolites can be synthesized from natural material and can be modified with silver ion to enhance their antibacterial activity.
    • Evaluation of the role of smart city technologies to combat COVID-19 pandemic

      Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Shetty, Nisha; Algahtani, Khaled (British Academy of Management, 2021-08)
      Shetty, N., Renukappa, S., Suresh, S. & Algahtan, K. (2021) Evaluation of the role of smart city technologies to combat COVID-19 pandemic, presented at Recovering from COVID: Responsible Management and Reshaping the Economy, 35th British Academy of Management Conference, the 31st August - 3rd September, Lancaster University Management School, United Kingdom.
    • Evaluation of thermo-mechanical damage and fatigue life of solar cell solder interconnections

      Zarmai, Musa T.; Ekere, N.N.; Oduoza, C.F.; Amalu, Emeka H. (Elsevier, 2016-12-31)
      The soldering process of interconnecting crystalline silicon solar cells to form photovoltaic (PV) module is a key manufacturing process. However, during the soldering process, stress is induced in the solar cell solder joints and remains in the joint as residual stress after soldering. Furthermore, during the module service life time, thermo-mechanical degradation of the solder joints occurs due to thermal cycling of the joints which induce stress, creep strain and strain energy. The resultant effect of damage on the solder joint is premature failure, hence shortened fatigue life. This study seeks to determine accumulated thermo-mechanical damage and fatigue life of solder interconnection in solar cell assembly under thermo-mechanical cycling conditions. In this investigation, finite element modelling (FEM) and simulations are carried out in order to determine nonlinear degradation of SnAgCu solder joints. The degradation of the solder material is simulated using Garofalo-Arrhenius creep model. A three dimensional (3D) geometric model is subjected to six accelerated thermal cycles (ATCs) utilising IEC 61215 standard for photovoltaic panels. The results demonstrate that induced stress, strain and strain energy impacts the solder joints during operations. Furthermore, the larger the accumulated creep strain and creep strain energy in the joints, the shorter the fatigue life. This indicates that creep strain and creep strain energy in the solder joints significantly impacts the thermo-mechanical reliability of the assembly joints. Regions of solder joint with critical stress, strain and strain energy values including their distribution are determined. Analysis of results demonstrates that creep energy density is a better parameter than creep strain in predicting interconnection fatigue life. The use of six ATCs yields significant data which enable better understanding of the response of the solder joints to the induced loads. Moreover, information obtained from this study can be used for improved design and better-quality fabrication of solder interconnections in solar cell assembly for enhanced thermo-mechanical reliability.
    • Evaluation of tuberculosis disease awareness and understanding amongst pharmacy students at the University of Wolverhampton

      Morrissey, Hana; John, Agnes Maria; Rahman, Ayesha; Ball, Patrick (European Journal of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2019-05-01)
      Introduction: Tuberculosis (TB) caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis is recognised as the leading cause of death due to infectious disease in the world. Pharmacies and pharmacy workers, together with GPs and other health care professionals, have key roles and responsibilities in facilitating TB management, therefore aiding prompt treatment and reducing incidence. Objectives: This study aims to determine the level of awareness, perceptions and knowledge of TB and its treatment among pharmacy students at various stages in study. One of the main objectives is to identify key sources of gained awareness and identify which of these were the most effective in information delivery. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among pharmacy students at the University of Wolverhampton using a questionnaire. A total of 50 participants, who fully completed the questionnaire, were included in the study. Results: All participants had previously heard about TB, 46.0% of participants indicated that they first heard of TB through their school or college. More than half of respondents (71.4%) highlighted that the most effective source of TB-related learning was through university. Questions based on basic knowledge of TB, such as causative organism, achieved the highest correct answers (98.0%), those based on treatment duration (56.0%) and medications yielded poorer results. Participants‟ perceptions of whether complete recovery can be achieved and whether TB is curable, or a long-term illness, were poor. Conclusion: Results suggest that participants‟ basic knowledge of TB is acceptable, although improvements are advised in understanding of preventative measures that can be taken, recommended standard pharmacological treatments and their durations.
    • An evaluation of University of Wolverhampton Master of Pharmacy students’ perceptions of pharmacist prescribing

      Morrissey, Hana; Khan, Adnan; Key, Michelle; Ball, Patrick (FIP, 2019-10-31)
      The Prescribers Survey Report 2016 identified 3,944 annotated pharmacist prescribers on the General Pharmaceutical Council register in 2015 with 2,567 independent prescribers, 425 are supplementary prescribers and 952 are both. This survey-based study evaluated the perceptions of University of Wolverhampton Master of Pharmacy students about pharmacist independent prescribing. Ethics clearance was granted by the School of Pharmacy Ethics Board. A link to an online survey was sent to all students enrolled in the Master of Pharmacy course. The anonymous data analysed thematically. Cohort-dependant variations were identified, with Year 1 and 2 students more informed about independent prescribing and including it in their career plans. Students in Year 3 and 4 were more likely to pursue the career if it was appealing after graduation. This may be due to the course workload in Year 3 and 4 plus another year of internship, making further study unappealing at that time.
    • Evaluation studies of a sensing technique for electrostatic charge polarity of pharmaceutical particulates

      Kaialy, Waseem; Gorman, Terry; Hussain, Tariq; Armour-Chélu, David; Deng, Tong; Bradley, Michael Samuel Arthur (IET Digital Library, 2016-08-01)
      Electrostatic charge due to inter-particle and particle-wall contacts may generate significant hazards during the processing of particulates within the pharmaceutical industry. Although charge behaviour of particulates is erratic and not easy to predict, it would be desirable to characterise the tendency of tribocharging prior to manufacturing. The work reported in this paper concentrates on a new and novel techniques for the detection of the active ingredient and excipient in a bipolar material. Three different case studies are presented for demonstration of the applicability of the method in different practical situations. Work confirmed through an experimental rig set-up indicates that materials that accumulate opposite charge via contact and rubbing can be detected from their charge sign as well as their relative magnitude. The results reported clearly demonstrated that the developed method for charge characterisation is a useful tool to understand how the charges are distributed in a population of particles showing a number of advantages over conventional methods.
    • Evidence for unnatural-parity contributions to electron-impact ionization of laser-aligned atoms

      Armstrong, G. S. J.; Colgan, J.; Pindzola, M. S.; Amami, S.; Madison, D. H.; Pursehouse, J.; Nixon, K. L.; Murray, A. J. (American Physical Society, 2015-09-11)
      Recent measurements have examined the electron-impact ionization of excited-state laser-aligned Mg atoms. In this work we show that the ionization cross section arising from the geometry where the aligned atom is perpendicular to the scattering plane directly probes the unnatural parity contributions to the ionization amplitude. The contributions from natural parity partial waves cancel exactly in this geometry. Our calculations resolve the discrepancy between the nonzero measured cross sections in this plane and the zero cross section predicted by distorted-wave approaches. We demonstrate that this is a general feature of ionization from p-state targets by additional studies of ionization from excited Ca and Na atoms.
    • Evidence that differences in fructosamine-3-kinase activity may be associated with the glycation gap in human diabetes

      Dunmore, Simon J; Al-Derawi, Amr S; Nayak, Ananth U; Narshi, Aruna; Nevill, Alan M; Hellwig, Anne; Majebi, Andrew; Kirkham, Paul; Brown, James E; Singh, Baldev M (American Diabetes Association, 2017-10-24)
      The phenomenon of a discrepancy between glycated haemoglobin levels and other indicators of average glycaemia may be due to many factors but can be measured as the glycation gap (GGap). This GGap is associated with differences in complications in patients with diabetes and may possibly be explained by dissimilarities in deglycation in turn leading to altered production of Advanced Glycation End (AGE) products. We hypothesised that variations in the level of the deglycating enzyme Fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K) might be associated with the GGap. We measured erythrocyte FN3K concentrations and enzyme activity in a population dichotomised for a large positive or negative GGap. FN3K protein was higher and we found a striking 3-fold greater activity (323%) at any given FN3K protein level in the erythrocytes of the negative compared with positive GGap groups. This was associated with lower AGE levels in the negative GGap group (79%), lower pro-inflammatory adipokines (Leptin/Adiponectin ratio) (73%) and much lower pro-thrombotic PAI-1 levels (19%). We conclude that FN3K may play a key role in the GGap and thus diabetes complications such that FN3K may be potential predictor of the risk of diabetes complications. Pharmacological modifications of its activity may provide a novel approach to their prevention.
    • The evolution of Blockchain: a bibliometric study

      Dabbagh, Mohammad; Sookhak, Mehdi; Safa, Nader Sohrabi (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019-01-29)
      Blockchain as emerging technology is revolutionizing several industries, and its abundant privileges have opened up a bunch of research directions in various industries; thereby, it has acquired many interests from the research community. The rapid evolution of blockchain research papers in recent years has resulted in a need to conduct research studies that investigate a detailed analysis of the current body of knowledge in this field. To address this need, a few review papers have been published to report the latest accomplishments and challenges of blockchain technology from different perspectives. Nonetheless, there has not been any bibliometric analysis of the state of the art in blockchain where Web of Science (WoS) has been taken into consideration as a literature database. Hence, a thorough analysis of the current body of knowledge in blockchain research through a bibliometric study would be needed. In this paper, we performed a bibliometric analysis of all Blockchain’s conference papers, articles, and review papers that have been indexed byWoS from 2013 to 2018. We have analyzed those collected papers against five research questions. The results revealed some valuable insights, including yearly publications and citations trends, hottest research areas, top-ten influential papers, favorite publication venues, and most supportive funding bodies. The findings of this paper offer several implications that can be used as a guideline by both fresh and experienced researchers to establish a baseline before initiating a blockchain research project in the future.
    • Evolution of communities of software: using tensor decompositions to compare software ecosystems

      Blanthorn, Oliver A; Caine, Colin M; Navarro-López, Eva M (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-12-23)
      Modern software development is often a collaborative effort involving many authors through the re-use and sharing of code through software libraries. Modern software “ecosystems” are complex socio-technical systems which can be represented as a multilayer dynamic network. Many of these libraries and software packages are open-source and developed in the open on sites such as , so there is a large amount of data available about these networks. Studying these networks could be of interest to anyone choosing or designing a programming language. In this work, we use tensor factorisation to explore the dynamics of communities of software, and then compare these dynamics between languages on a dataset of approximately 1 million software projects. We hope to be able to inform the debate on software dependencies that has been recently re-ignited by the malicious takeover of the npm package and other incidents through giving a clearer picture of the structure of software dependency networks, and by exploring how the choices of language designers—for example, in the size of standard libraries, or the standards to which packages are held before admission to a language ecosystem is granted—may have shaped their language ecosystems. We establish that adjusted mutual information is a valid metric by which to assess the number of communities in a tensor decomposition and find that there are striking differences between the communities found across different software ecosystems and that communities do experience large and interpretable changes in activity over time. The differences between the elm and R software ecosystems, which see some communities decline over time, and the more conventional software ecosystems of Python, Java and JavaScript, which do not see many declining communities, are particularly marked.
    • Evolving Trends in nD Modelling: The Construction Planning Workbench

      Aranda-Mena, Guillermo; Sher, William; Gameson, Rod; Ward, Peter (Earthscan, 2005)
      This paper investigates the requirements of product modelling in the construction industry. Product models incorporate multifaceted aspects of design information (required at each stage of the lifecycle of buildings) by integrating additional information (such as time, costs, etc.) into a three-dimensional (3D) computer model, thereby adding intelligence to it. The project also investigates methodologies for automatically linking construction processes with 3D CAD models to allow users to visualize and simulate construction methodologies. Our study adopts a qualitative approach where semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 key design and construction professionals from two major Australian companies. Data were coded in relation to six main clusters – themes and summaries of results are presented as repertory grids. The paper identifies some of the risks and opportunities of implementing nD modelling in the construction industry. Analysis of data indicates a shift to 3D CAD, with a strong interest being identified for integration of CAD and construction programming. Although the use of product models is not presently seen as feasible for this purpose, the increasing use of 3D CAD is seen as positive. Results indicate a need for alignment models and user-friendly technologies if product models are to assist communication between clients, consultants and construction companies. (Earthscan)
    • Ex-situ evaluation of PTFE coated metals in a proton exchange membrane fuel cell environment

      Baroutaji, A.; Carton, J.G.; Oladoye, A.M.; Stokes, J.; Twomey, B.; Olabi, A.G. (Elsevier, 2016-12-01)
      Metallic-based bipolar plates exhibit several advantages over graphite-based plates, including higher strength, lower manufacturing cost and better electrical conductivity. However, poor corrosion resistance and high interfacial contact resistance (ICR) are major challenges for metallic bipolar plates used in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Corrosion of metallic parts in PEM fuel cells not only increases the interfacial contact resistance but it can also decrease the proton conductivity of the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA), due to catalyst poisoning phenomena caused by corrosive products. In this paper, a composite coating of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) was deposited on stainless steel alloys (SS304, SS316L) and Titanium (G-T2) via a CoBlast™ process. Corrosion resistance of the coated and uncoated metals in a simulated PEM fuel cell environment of 0.5 M H2SO4 + 2 ppm HF at 70 °C was evaluated using potentiodynamic polarisation. ICR between the selected metals and carbon paper was measured and used as an indicator of surface conductivity. Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), 3D microscopy, Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX), X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), and contact angle measurements were used to characterise the samples. The results showed that the PTFE coating improved the hydrophobicity and corrosion resistance but increased the ICR of the coated metals due to the unconductive nature of such coating. Thus, it was concluded that it is not fully feasible to use the PTFE alone for coating metals for fuel cell applications and a hybrid coating consisting of PTFE and a conductive material is needed to improve surface conductivity.
    • Examining the direct effect of the use of traffic safety technologies in Abu Dhabi highways on other traffic safety dimensions

      Georgakis, Panagiotis; Al Junaibi, Musallem M; Mushatat, Sabah (JTLE, 2017-06-30)
      his paper presents the findings of a study, implemented in Abu Dhabi, which aimed to examine the direct effects of the use of traffic safety technologies on the mitigation of risks associated with traffic accidents. The study adopted the use of a questionnaire-based survey with traffic safety experts in Abu Dhabi Emirate. The views of more than a hundred respondents were collected on areas such as the status of existing traffic safety technologies in Abu Dhabi’s highway network, the impact of traffic safety technologies on enforcement, existing highway design practices, effects of driver education on safety and the impact of safety technologies on the efficiency of emergency responses. Factor analysis and Freidman tests were employed for the interrogation of the data in order to extract findings from the views of different experts on the aforementioned areas. The analysis showed that the deployment of traffic safety technologies has a positive impact on the efficiency of enforcement practices and improvements on traffic safety, and on enhancing operators’ efficiency and capability in taking appropriate and prompt action in situations calling for emergency responses. Moreover, speed cameras and VMS deployment are highly favoured in addressing engineering design shortfalls. Also, training and awareness enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of traffic safety technologies.
    • Examining the satisfaction level of construction workers on safety management in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Suresh, Subashini; Renukappa, Suresh; Alghanmi, Ibrahim; Mushatat, Sabah; Olayinka, Raymond (Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2017-08-30)
      The importance of the construction industry in Saudi Arabia cannot be overemphasised as it provides the infrastructure required for other sectors of the economy to grow, thus reflecting the level of economic development in the country. However, in Saudi Arabia, the construction industry is recognized to be the one of the most hazardous with high levels of accidents and fatalities. This research aimed to examine construction Health and Safety practices in Saudi Arabia, and to identify means of facilitating improvements within the practices. It also discusses about safety climate. The research adopted a quantitative approach in which a survey questionnaire was distributed and returned at 60% response rate. The survey data was analysed through descriptive statistics using the SPSS statistical software. The findings showed that the Saudi construction industry has made improvements in Health and Safety standards, however there are opportunities for further improvements. There are on-going efforts to maintain reasonable Health and Safety standards of employees on-site, their conditions off-site particularly those of migrant employees on fixed term contract labour are difficult. Unpaid wages and lack of welfare facilities contribute to physical and psychological stresses that are linked to impaired on-site performance, lack of motivation, lack of productivity and a lack of interest in adhering to Health and Safety guidelines. The study concludes that it is possible to improve construction Health and Safety through effective enforcement of existing Health and Safety laws, enacting legislation for off-site Health and Safety for migrant workers, maintaining a fund for social security and improving regulation of commercial and contractual transactions. This study contributes to knowledge in the areas of government policy and decision making in health and safety implementation for the construction industry.
    • Experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate pharmacy students in community pharmacies in the United Kingdom

      Morrissey, Hana; Ball, Patrick; Singh, Amardeep (Pharmacy Management, 2020-01-05)
      Pharmacists in the UK are a resource at many levels of patient care, regularly providing expert clinical advice with and without appointment or signposting to appropriate help or support. The NHS is under increasing pressure to deliver services and pharmacists play an increasing role in helping people understand how to use their medication, along with providing healthy living advice. The recent development of pharmacists employed in general practice has broadened possible career pathways. Preparing pharmacy graduates to develop smoothly into these roles requires pharmacy education to adapt and evolve. One possible innovation is the introduction of experiential learning modules in the curriculum, similar to that provided to other healthcare professionals such as doctors, nurses, physician associates, etc. Workplace-based learning would align the attainment of professional competencies during the undergraduate course to reflect the future roleThe paper examines the inclination of community sector pharmacists to provide experiential learning through a survey of stakeholders and pharmacists. It was found that pharmacists value workplace experiential learning opportunities and liked the concept of students arriving trained and validated in certain services prior to placement. Placement students would have the opportunity to contribute something back to their placement site. The survey underpins the need to examine current gaps of pharmacy education curriculum, why the change is required, and the models that could possibly be used to deliver that change.
    • Experimental and artificial intelligence modelling study of oil palm trunk sap fermentation

      Ezzatzadegan, L; Yusof, R; Morad, NA; Shabanzadeh, P; Muda, NS; Borhani, TN (MDPI, 2021-04-11)
      Five major operations for the conversion of lignocellulosic biomasses into bioethanol are pre-treatment, detoxification, hydrolysis, fermentation, and distillation. The fermentation process is a significant biological step to transform lignocellulose into biofuel. The interactions of biochemical networks and their uncertainty and nonlinearity that occur during fermentation processes are major problems for experts developing accurate bioprocess models. In this study, mechanical processing and pre-treatment on the palm trunk were done before fermentation. Analysis was performed on the fresh palm sap and the fermented sap to determine the composition. The analysis for total sugar content was done using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and the percentage of alcohols by volume was determined using gas chromatography (GC). A model was also developed for the fermentation process based on the Adaptive-Network-Fuzzy Inference System (ANFIS) combined with particle swarm optimization (PSO) to predict bioethanol production in biomass fermentation of oil palm trunk sap. The model was used to find the best experimental conditions to achieve the maximum bioethanol concentration. Graphical sensitivity analysis techniques were also used to identify the most effective parameters in the bioethanol process.
    • Experimental investigation of the permeability and mechanical behaviours of chemically corroded limestone under different unloading conditions

      Li, H; Zhong, Z; Eshiet, KII; Sheng, Y; Liu, X; Yang, D (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-11-04)
      This paper investigates the mechanical properties and permeability of chemically corroded rock during deep underground tunneling. Nuclear magnetic resonance tests are carried out to quantify the chemical damage of limestone samples at the microscopic scale. Coupled hydrostatic pressure-unloading tests at different unloading rates are also conducted on these chemically corroded limestone samples to investigate permeability changes and chemical effects on mechanical behaviours. Magnetic resonance imaging, T2 spectrum distribution and porosity of the samples are obtained, and the chemical micro damage is visualized and quantified. The relationship between permeability and mechanical behaviors of the rock under hydrochemical–mechanical coupled effects is investigated. The results show that the permeability development process of the chemical corroded samples can be divided into three stages: at the first stage, the permeability initially decreases, and the second stage starts at the inflection point of the permeability curve, from where the permeability begins to increase slightly. At the third stage, the permeability of the limestone increases dramatically until the sample is ruptured. Chemical corrosion and unloading rates have a combined and significant influence on the development of micro cracks in rocks, which is the root cause of the permeability changes. A stress-permeability model is proposed to describe the permeability and stresses in chemical-corroded limestone; this can be adopted for other sedimentary rocks.
    • Experimental investigation on the micro damage evolution of chemical corroded limestone subjected to cyclic loads

      Li, H; Yang, D; Zhong, Z; Sheng, Y; Liu, X (Elsevier BV, 2018-03-20)
      © 2018 Elsevier Ltd Micro damage evolution in chemical corroded limestone samples subjected to cyclic loads is investigated using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) system. Based on the experimental data of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), T2 values and porosity, the micro damage evolution process is visualized and analyzed. It is found that the porosity and micro cracking of the corroded limestone samples increase with the cyclic loading, and the micro damage evolution process consists of three distinct stages: micro crack emergence stage, micro damage development stage and damage development accelerated stage. Chemical erosion is found to have a significant influence on the propagation of micro cracks and accelerate the damage development of the limestone samples under cyclic loading. With the same number of load cycles, the chemical corroded samples always have lower peak strength than that of the water softened samples. Before the inflection point in the micro damage-loading cycles curve, the main damage is caused by new micro cracks increase inside the limestone; while after this point, the new micro crack emergence is being restrained, and the existed micro cracks connect into rupture bands. A damage model is finally proposed to quantify the damage evolution of the chemical corroded rocks subjected to cyclic loads.
    • Experimental Investigation on the Sound Reduction Performance of Frequency Controlled Acoustic Interference Cavities

      Arjunan, Arun; Stanford, Mark; Rackley, Jonathan (German Acoustical Society (DEGA), 2016-08)
      The European directives on noise reduction associated with rail, road and aviation clearly depicts the need for high efficiency sound attenuating structures for targeted noise reduction. Consequently, this paper presents key observations from Phase 1 of the UK Department of Transport (DfT) funded research project to investigate the targeted creation of acoustic interference to develop high-efficiency noise abatement structures. Geometrical cavity inspired from existing theories around Herschel-Quincke concept is experimentally investigated for the creation of frequency dependent acoustic interference. The interference cavity within a global structure was digitally conceived and prototyped using the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process in a Nylon 12 material. A modified impedance tube method was then used to measure the frequency dependent Sound Reduction Index (R) for a frequency range of 250 to 1600 Hz. The results showed that depending on the frequency of interest acoustic interference can be recreated by controlling the cavity length. In addition R values of 72.47 dB were observed at 900 Hz confirming the potential of the technology for high efficiency noise barriers. The observation presented in this paper establishes a new viewpoint for the use of acoustic interference for targeted noise abatement.