• Factors affecting on student unsuccessfulness in engineering programmes in distance education

      Senanayake, Samans; Liyanage, Kapila; Dadigamuwa, Pushpa Ranjani; The Open University of Sri Lanka (Duquesne University, 2005-06)
      This study was conducted to ascertain the reasons for unsuccessfulness among students enrolling for engineering (technology) study programme in distance learning conducted by the Open University of Sri Lanka. The profile of students, students’ awareness about distance learning methodology, reasons for selecting distance learning courses, students’ appraisal of course delivery, and level of support given by the faculty were studied through a survey conducted among students who follow courses at levels 1 and 2. According to the study, it was revealed that majority of students who passed the G C E (A/L) examination were found to be either willing to continue or undecided whether to abandon or continue studies. Non-familiarity with distance learning method, lack of time, and high course fees were major reasons for deciding to give up the programme. Language difficulty and difficulty in course material were rated below other factors influencing possible student drop outs. Most students (87%) indicated securing employment and gaining knowledge as their reason for selecting the study programme in distance learning. Only a 13% joined because of persuasion by others. As far as course delivery is concerned, 86% of students needed more face-to-face teaching reflecting the fact that they have not made up minds to do self-study which is characteristic of distance learning. Further, 78% stated that even the limited face-to-face classes were not conducted to the satisfaction of students. In conclusion, it was evident that students joined the programme with an understanding of the content of the programme but they seem to find difficulty in coping due to distance learning methods. As far as delivery is concerned there were no major complaints on course material, but a more significant factor was the way faculty, staff and visiting academics conducted limited face-to-face classes. Therefore, making students, as well as all tutors and lectures who undertake to guide the students, thoroughly aware of the distance learning methods at enrolment, is strongly recommended.
    • Fatigue life of lead-free solder thermal interface materials at varying bond line thickness in microelectronics.

      Ekpu, Mathias; Bhatti, Raj; Okereke, Michael I.; Mallik, Sabuj; Otiaba, Kenny; University of Greenwich (Elsevier, 2013-09-03)
      Microelectronics failure during operation is commonly attributed to ineffective heat management within the system. Hence, reliability of such devices becomes a challenge area. The use of lead-free solders as thermal interface materials to improve the heat conduction between a chip level device and a heat sink is becoming popular due to their promising thermal and mechanical material properties. Finite element modelling was employed in the analysis of the fatigue life of three lead-free solders (SAC105, SAC305, and SAC405) under commercial thermal cycling load (between −40 °C and 85 °C). This paper presents the results of the simulation work focusing on the effect of varying the solder thermal interface thickness (or bond line thickness) on the reliability of the microelectronic device. The results obtained were based on stress, strain, deformation, and plastic work density. The results showed that the fatigue life of the three solders increases as the solder thermal interface thickness increases. Also, the stresses, strains, and deformation were highest around the edges and vertices of the solder interface. In addition, the optimal solder material of choice based on the criteria of this research is given as SAC405. It has higher operational life span and good reliability capabilities.
    • Field programmable gate arrays-based number plate binarization and adjustment for automatic number plate recognition systems

      Zhai, Xiaojun; Bensaali, Faycal; Sotudeh, Reza; University of Hertfordshire (2013-01-15)
    • Finite element analyses of mini combined harvester chassis and hitch.

      Abdulkarim, K. O.; Abdulrahman, Olajide; Ahmed, Ismaila I.; Abdulkareem, Suleiman; Adebisi, Jeleel Adekunie; Harmanto, Dani; University of Johannesburg; University of Ilorin; University of Derby (University of Novi Sad, 2017-06)
      The perennial problems associated with harvesting of agricultural products in sub-Sahara Africa are not unconnected with financial limitations of the farmers. The design of low cost mini combine harvester was aimed at ameliorating the challenges of agricultural products harvest in Nigeria. The work presented here was a detailed analysis of low cost mini combine harvester chassis and hitch. The need for cost effectiveness, affordability, durability and efficiency of the designs necessitated detail analysis of the design to achieve the above objectives. Solidworks Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software was employed in carrying out both static and fatigue analysis of a low-cost mini combine harvester chassis and hitch design. The results were compared and contrasted, with appreciable improvements on available existing data. The stresses, displacements and strains on the chassis were significantly low with factors of safety of 2.48 and 2.80 for chassis and hitch respectively.
    • Florence: a city immersed in fame, water and gardens

      Tracada, Eleni; University of Derby (University of Bath, 2017-02-01)
    • Foreign direct investment in the UK real estate market

      Poon, Joanna; University of Derby (Taylor and Francis, 2017-09-09)
      The aim of this paper is to identify the key factors affecting foreign real estate investment (FREI) in the UK, with a particular focus in London. The panel regression method was used as a data analysis approach for this paper. Two panel regression equations were developed. Equation 1 has five explanatory variables including GDP, wage, property price, land price and interest rate. Equation 2 has the sixth explanatory variable, tourists, as well as the five variables used in Equation 1. Pearson coefficient analysis was also conducted to identify the correlation between the dependent variable, FREI and the explanatory variables. For equation 1 of panel regression analysis showed all five explanatory variables are statistically significant and have an expected impact on FREI. That is GDP and house price, have positive impacts on FREI, while wage, land price and interest rate have negative impacts. For equation 2, all explanatory variables, apart from interest rate and tourists, are statistically significant. Tourists have an unexpected negative impact on FREI. Pearson coefficient analysis showed that FREI has a statistically significant correlation relationship with GDP, wage, house price, land price and interest rate. FREI also has a positive relationship with all explanatory variables except interest rate.
    • Forming low-cost, high quality carbon tows for automotive application.

      Sharif, Tahir; Potluri, P; Choudhry, R S; Dodworth, A; University of Derby; The University of Manchester; Bright Lite Structures (BLS), UK (IOP Publishing, 2018-09-21)
      Carbon fiber reinforced composites are widely used in many industries due to their high performance. Its application in the aerospace industry has increased significantly, however, in mass produced automobile sector it is still limited. The current production of carbon fiber tow is slow and capital intensive. Thus, carbon manufactures produce higher tow counts to increase production rate to reduce its cost. In order to offset the higher cost of carbon fiber composite, an innovative and unique approach has been developed. The higher tow count carbon spools are split into smaller tow counts. Due to the delicate nature of carbon fiber, it is important to control the filamentation during that process. Different splitting process line strategies have been developed in this research work for understanding the process limitations and challenges involved. The process was made feasible for production by developing a fully automated process line with a laser feedback system. The system splits a 12K spool into two 6K tows. The quality of the 6K split tows has been determined statistically by recording real time data from the laser during the splitting process. It was demonstrated that the proposed process effectively controls filamentation and produces consistent tow quality.
    • Framework for a chemical substance reporting system.

      Takhar, Sukhraj; Liyanage, Kapila; University of Derby (2018-03-08)
      Chemical regulations exist to control hazardous chemical substance use within society. As more chemical substances become more regulated, industry must adapt and develop mechanisms to analyze and report data on substances used on their own, in mixtures or within materials. A chemical substance reporting system is required to ensure compliance by identifying the chemical substances used within a product, which can then be compared against regulated chemical substance lists to identify potential business risks, as well as providing safety data to consumers. This paper contributes to material compliance reporting literature by identifying a research gap and presenting a framework model to enable chemical substance information to be collated (internal and external) to allow for accurate chemical substance reporting
    • Framework for a chemical substance reporting system.

      Takhar, Sukhraj Singh; Liyanage, Kapila; University of Derby (2018-10-25)
      In this paper a chemical substance reporting system is presented to enable industry to assess the impacts of increasing chemical regulations. Chemical regulations impose the need to monitor, control and restrict the use of hazardous substances. As chemical substances become more regulated, industry requires mechanisms to identify potential business continuity risks, posed by increased regulation. A chemical reporting system is one such mechanism that identifies chemical substances used on their (i) own, (ii) in mixtures, (iii) in materials, (iv) in internally defined articles (products) and (v) from articles (products) procured from the supply chain. The chemical reporting system will contrast product related information against chemical regulation substance lists, identifying the applicable reporting obligations and potential supply chain risks.
    • From concept to laboratory testing: the development cycle of a novel wave energy converter

      Collins, Keri M.; David-West, O.; Le, Huirong; Greaves, Deborah M.; University of Plymouth (International Conference on Ocean Energy, 2014-11)
    • Gender leadership and inequality study on higher education in Indonesia.

      Dhaniarti, Iswachyu; Harmanto, Dani; Universitas Narotama; University of Derby (IEOM Society, 2018-03)
      Although the Republic of Indonesia had conducted number of gender equality programmes, it is still remaining as one of the highest inequality index in the far east. This shows that males are still dominant in each indicator, whether employment, education or representation in parliament. The importance of women's decision-making issues has been recognised within the framework of the millennium development goals. One of the indicators to monitor the Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality. One of the skill requirements for a leader that can be a benchmark of leadership effectiveness is decision making. The research was conducted at Universitas Narotama, Surabaya, while for survey and data collection was done at Ministry of Research and Technology Dikti and Kopertis VII East Java. One of the skill requirements for a leader that can be a benchmark of leadership effectiveness is decision making as one of the methodology content. The paper will provide an insight research on finding the impact of inequality gender within the University in Indonesia focusing on the management leadership. The paper will summaries and provide a recommendation to the Ministry of the Higher Education of Indonesia .
    • Geotechnical assessment strategy for bridge maintenance – case study.

      Hamza, Omar; University of Derby (CRC Press, 2017-06-12)
      This paper presents a practical strategy used to conduct a geotechnical assessment, drawing principally on a maintenance work carried out recently for Rashwood Interchange which carries the M5 Motorway over the A38. The bridge, which was constructed in the early 1960s, had experienced long-term settlement attributed to historical brine pumping activities in the proximity of the bridge area. In planning for its maintenance work several issues challenged the geotechnical assessment, including the review of settlement history and mining instability in the area, the exploitation of as-built data records and the determination of foundation response to additional loading during the bridge repair. The paper presents how these complex challenges were approached, yet using simple procedures and common design tools. The procedures are also applicable to other infrastructure maintenance projects, particularly in transportation geotechnics.
    • The good, the bad, and the distant: soundscape cues for larval fish

      Piercy, Julius J. B.; Smith, David J.; Codling, Edward A.; Hill, Adam J.; Simpson, Stephen D.; University of Essex; University of Exeter; University of Derby (2015-11)
      Coral reef noise is an important navigation cue for settling reef fish larvae and can thus potentially affect reef population dynamics. Recent evidence has shown that fish are able to discriminate between the soundscapes of different types of habitat (e.g., mangrove and reef). In this study, we investigated whether discernible acoustic differences were present between sites within the same coral reef system. Differences in sound intensity and transient content were found between sites, but site-dependent temporal variation was also present. We discuss the implications of these findings for settling fish larvae.
    • Habitat quality affects sound production and likely distance of detection on coral reefs

      Piercy, Julius J. B.; Codling, Edward A.; Hill, Adam J.; Smith, David J.; Simpson, Stephen D.; University of Essex; University of Derby; University of Exeter (2012-12-13)
      The interwoven nature of habitats and their acoustic fingerprints (soundscapes) is being increasingly recognized as a key component of animal ecology. Natural soundscapes are crucial for orientation in many different taxa when seeking suitable breeding grounds or settlement habitats. In the marine environment, coral reef noise is an important navigation cue for settling reef fish larvae and is thus a possible driver of reef population dynamics. We explored reef noise across a gradient of reef qualities, tested sound propagation models against field recordings and combined them with fish audio grams to demonstrate the importance of reef quality in determining which reefs larvae are likely to detect. We found that higher-quality reefs were significantly louder and richer in acoustic events (transient content) than degraded reefs, and observed that sound propagated farther with less attenuation than predicted by classic models. We discuss how zones of detection of poor-quality reefs could be reduced by over an order of magnitude com-pared to healthy reefs. The present study provides new perspectives on the far reaching effects habitat degradation may have on organisms that utilize soundscapes for orientation towards or away from coral reefs, and highlights the value of sound recordings as a cost-effective reef survey and monitoring tool.
    • Health, Energy and Thermal Comfort.

      Shahzad, Sally; Brennan, John; Theodossopoulos, Dimitris; Hughes, Ben; Calautit, John Kaiser; University of Derby; University of Edinburgh; University of Sheffield (The University of Sheffield Engineering Symposium, 2015)
      This study examined the impact of providing thermal control systems on occupants’ wellbeing in two particular European contexts, including a Norwegian cellular plan office with high levels of thermal control and a British open plan office with limited thermal control. The former provided each occupant with a personal office, within which openable windows, blinds, door and the ability to control the temperature was provided. In the Norwegian approach, personal differences in perceiving the thermal environment were respected and the architectural design of the building allowed each individual to set the thermal environment. In contrast, limited openable windows were provided for occupants seated around the perimeter of the building in the open plan office. The main strategy in the British approach was to provide a uniform thermal environment for all occupants according to the standard comfort zone. Natural ventilation was the main system, while in the Norwegian practice a combination of natural ventilation and air conditioning was in operation. As a result, the energy use of the Norwegian practice was much higher than the British practice. A field study of thermal comfort was applied. Survey questionnaires, environmental measurements and interviews were conducted. The Norwegian occupants reported much higher health rate up to 40% compared to those in the British practice. The follow up interviews revealed the importance of lack of thermal control on occupants’ wellbeing. A balanced appraisal was made of energy performance and users’ health between the two buildings.
    • High fidelity numerical simulations of gas turbine flows.

      Yang, Zhiyin; University of Derby (Chinese International Turbomachinery Conference, 2018-04-12)
      Traditionally the so called Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Unsteady RANS (URANS) have been the main numerical tools for computing gas turbine flows due to their computational efficiency and reasonable accuracy. However, the limitations of RANS and URANS to resolve appropriate details and capture some essential flow features associated with turbulence are also well known, in some cases such as transition they could fail to predict the flow behaviors completely. Therefore, the desire for greater accuracy has led to the development and application of high fidelity numerical simulation tools for gas turbine flows. Two conventional such tools are Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) which captures directly all details of turbulent flow in space and time, and Large Eddy Simulation (LES) which computes large scale motions of turbulent flow directly in space and time while the small scale motions are modelled. DNS is computationally very expensive and even with the available most powerful supercomputers today or in the foreseeable future it is still prohibitive to apply DNS for gas turbine flows. LES is the most promising simulation tool which has already reasonably widely used for gas turbine flows. This paper will very briefly review first the applications of LES in turbomachinery flows and then focus on two gas turbine combustor related flow cases, demonstrating the superiority of LES in those cases where the RANS performs poorly
    • Highway infrastructure and building information modelling in UK

      Omoregie, Alohan; Turnbull, Daniel Ernest; Newcastle College (Institution of Civil Engineers, 2016-12)
      Traditional methods of design are becoming less relevant and prevalent, due to institutionalising of building information modelling (BIM) within statutory regulations and the huge amount of data that BIM presents to practice; especially in 3D models. This can be seen in the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton road infrastructure improvement scheme which comprises the A1 Dishforth-to-Leeming and A1 Leeming-to-Barton schemes. The traditional method of design was central to the A1 Dishforth-to-Leeming scheme and BIM central to the A1 Leeming-to-Barton scheme. So this report presents a comparative study of the traditional and BIM methods in relation to the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton improvement scheme through the perception of key professionals involved in this project. A qualitative research study was conducted through the use of an open-ended questionnaire intended to bridge gaps in perceptions and understanding of both methods. Judgemental sampling technique was used to select experienced respondents who understand and participated in the A1 Dishforth-to-Barton road infrastructure improvement scheme. The study reveals an incontrovertible complementary nature of both methods and that the realisation of the 2016 mandate appears doubtful due to lack of standardization, training and level of awareness. It is highly recommended that a statutory incentivization framework for BIM be conceptualised and considered for implementation to attract and encourage small scale participants. Of high priority is the subsidization of in-house training by local authorities and localized joint ventures by smaller companies for specialist training.
    • Housing infrastructure: contemporary issues in timber adoption

      Omoregie, Alohan; English, Mark; University of Derby; Newcastle College; Leeds Beckett University (ICE Publishing, 2016-12)
      Scotland currently has 76·7% of all implemented timber-framed buildings in the UK housing market. England’s figure is 16%. The English contribution is considered relatively low given its demand for more sustainable, low-cost social housing. The aim of this study is to investigate potential contemporary barriers to the adoption of timber as a primary structural material in residential housing developments in England. The research methodology is quantitative and findings revealed that a combination of economic, cultural and psychological issues rather than technical and durability performance are responsible. These are fundamentally due to lack of education regarding the use of timber, erroneously perceived increased maintenance costs of timber housing, developers’ influence and monopoly over timber technology, uncertainty in property resale value and the recent overall lack of confidence in timber technology. It is recommended that improved training comprising compulsory basic timber technology and sustainable construction is adopted as a formal prerequisite for the attainment of relevant qualifications within the built environment, civil engineering and architecture. To this end, the benefits of sustainable construction, specifically, timber, in housing should be introduced even at the pre-university level, within schools and colleges. Also recommended are public awareness campaigns through relevant institutions, in the public and private sectors and among construction professionals, of the merits and misconceptions surrounding timber technology.
    • Hydroxyapatite/Carbon nanotubes composite bone implants - Biocompatibility Vs Toxicity Analysis

      Natesan, Kiruthika; Le, Huirong; Tredwin, Christopher; Handy, Richard; University of Derby; University of Plymouth (International Association for Dental Research, 2015-09-15)
      Poor wear resistance and low fracture toughness are the main disadvantages of using hydroxyapatite (HA) for orthopaedic implants. This can be overcome by the use of Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as reinforcements due to their versatile properties e.g. high stiffness and mechanical strength.The main aim of this study is to develop HA composite reinforced with CNTs and to investigate their biocompatibility.Methods: HA in the presence of CNTs was synthesised following a sol-gel technique. Six different types of powders were produced by altering two variables – functionalization and presence of surfactants. The composites were produced by mixing Hydroxyapatite /carbon nanotube powder with Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) in equal proportions. Primary Human Osteoblast cells were used for the biocompatibility study. LDH, ALP, pH and Ion content analyses were performed on external media every 24 h for 3 days and at the end of the study LDH, ALP and protein assays were performed using cell homogenate to measure various cell activities. SEM analysis was also performed.Results: A drop in pH was observed after 24 h which recovered to neutral pH by the end of day 3. Total protein content was confirmed on all materials. Cell survival was analysed by performing LDH assay on cell homogenate at the end of day 3. ALP assay was performed to determine the mineralization activity of the cells. Finally, the material was qualitatively analysed under SEM and the presence of cell material was observed.Conclusions: CNTs possess properties that are highly desirable in the development of biomaterials. However, there has been controversy regarding their biocompatibility and cytotoxicity. This study explores the biocompatibility of HA /CNTs composite as bone implants. The results show that CNTs are biocompatible and can be employed in the development of bone implants.
    • IDEF based methodology for rapid data collection

      Perera, Terrence; Liyanage, Kapila; Sheffield Hallam University (Emerald, 2001)
      In recent years, computer simulation has become a mainstream decision support tool in manufacturing industry. In order to maximise the benefits of using simulation within businesses simulation models should be designed, developed and deployed in a shorter time span. A number of factors, such as excessive model details, inefficient data collection, lengthy model documentation and poorly planned experiments, increase the overall lead time of simulation projects. Among these factors, input data modelling is seen as a major obstacle. Input data identification, collection, validation, and analysis, typically take more than one‐third of project time. This paper presents a IDEF (Integrated computer‐aided manufacturing DEFinition) based approach to accelerate identification and collection of input data. The use of the methodology is presented through its application in batch manufacturing environments. A functional module library and a reference data model, both developed using the IDEF family of constructs, are the core elements of the methodology. The paper also identifies the major causes behind the inefficient collection of data.