• Electrical resistance tomography-based multi-modality sensor and drift flux model for measurement of oil–gas–water flow

      Rashed, Sara; orcid: 0000-0003-1518-0596; Faraj, Yousef; orcid: 0000-0003-4418-3649; email: y.faraj@chester.ac.uk; Wang, Mi; Wilkinson, Stephen (IOP Publishing, 2022-06-14)
      Abstract: This paper proposes a novel method to measure each constituent of an oil–gas–water mixture in a water continuous flow, typically encountered in many processes. It deploys a dual-plane electrical resistance tomography sensor for measuring dispersed phase volume fraction and velocity; a gradiomanometer flow density meter and a drift flux model to estimate slip velocities; with absolute pressure and temperature measurements. These data are fused to estimate constituent volume flow rates. Other commonly used operational parameters can be further derived: water cut or water liquid ratio (WLR) and gas volume fraction (GVF). Trials are described for flow rates of water 5–10 m3 h−1; oil 2–10 m3 h−1 and gas 1–15 m3 h−1. The comparative results are included with published data from the Schlumberger Gould Research flow facility. The paper proposes the use of the described configuration for measurement of volume flow rates in oil–gas–water flows with an absolute error of ±10% within GVF 9%–85% and WLR > 45%.
    • Forensic Trails Obfuscation and Preservation via Hard Drive Firmware

      Underhill, Paul; Oyinloye, Toyosi; Eze, Thaddeus; Speakman, Lee; University of Chester; University of Salford (Academic Conferences International, 2022-06-08)
      The hard disk drive stores data the user is creating, modifying, and deleting while a firmware facilitates communication between the drive and the operating system. The firmware tells the device and machine how to communicate with each other and will share useful information such as, disk size and information on any bad sectors. Current research shows that exploits exist that can manipulate these outputs. As an attacker, you can change the size of the disk displayed to the operating system to hide data in, likewise by marking an area of the disk as bad. Users may not be aware of these changes as the operating system will accept the readings from the firmware. However, although the data is not reachable via the operating system this paper looks at the traceability of manipulated data using data recovery software FTK Imager, Recuva, EaseUS and FEX Imager. This report examines the use of malicious techniques to thwart digital forensic procedures by manipulating the firmware. It is shown how this is possible and current forensic techniques or software does not easily detect a change within the firmware. However, with the use of various forensic tools, obfuscated trails are detectable. This report follows a black box testing methodology to show the validation of forensic tools or software against anti-forensic techniques. The analysis of the results showed that most tools can find the firmware changes, however, it requires an analyst to spot the subtle differences between standard and manipulated devices. The use of multiple software tools can help an analyst spot the inconsistencies.
    • A numerical exercise on waste incineration

      Jones, J C; orcid: 0000-0001-6507-5861; email: john.jones@chester.ac.uk (IOP Publishing, 2022-06-07)
      Abstract: A numerical example for tutorial and possibly design exercise use is described which is concerned with the performance of household waste as a fuel in power generation.
    • 2D‐Hexagonal Boron Nitride Screen‐Printed Bulk‐Modified Electrochemical Platforms Explored towards Oxygen Reduction Reactions

      Khan, Aamar; Ferrari, Alejandro Garcia-Miranda; Hughes, Jack; Smith, Graham C; Banks, Craig E; Rowley-Neale, Samuel J; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester (MDPI, 2022-04-26)
      A low‐cost, scalable and reproducible approach for the mass production of screen‐printed electrode (SPE) platforms that have varying percentage mass incorporations of 2D hexagonal boron nitride (2D‐hBN) (2D‐hBN/SPEs) is demonstrated herein. These novel 2D‐hBN/SPEs are explored as a potential metal‐free electrocatalysts towards oxygen reduction reactions (ORRs) within acidic media where their performance is evaluated. A 5% mass incorporation of 2D‐hBN into the SPEs resulted in the most beneficial ORR catalysis, reducing the ORR onset potential by ca. 200 mV in comparison to bare/unmodified SPEs. Furthermore, an increase in the achievable current of 83% is also exhibited upon the utilisation of a 2D‐hBN/SPE in comparison to its unmodified equivalent. The screen‐printed fabrication approach replaces the less‐reproducible and time‐consuming dropcasting technique of 2D‐hBN and provides an alternative approach for the large‐scale manufacture of novel electrode platforms that can be utilised in a variety of applications
    • The Potential of Incremental Forming Techniques for Aerospace Applications

      de Sousa, Ricardo Alves; Afonso, Daniel; Rubino, Filice; Behera, Amar Kumar; University of Aveiro; King Juan Carlos University; University of Chester (Springer, 2022-04-26)
      Incremental sheet metal forming (ISF) processes are part of a set of non-classical techniques that allow producing low-batches, customized and/or specific geometries for advanced engineering applications, such as aerospace, automotive and biomedical parts. Combined or not with other joining processes and additive manufacturing techniques, ISF processes permit rapid prototyping frameworks, and can be included in the class of smart manufacturing processes. This chapter discusses the fundamentals of ISF technology, key attributes, future challenges and presents few examples related to the use of incremental forming for the development of complex parts as specifically found in aerospace applications such as aerofoils. The use of incremental forming to produce customized designs and to perform quick try-outs of ready-to-use parts contributes to decrease the time to market, decrease tooling cost and increase part design freedom.
    • Immersive Virtual Reality for the Cognitive Rehabilitation of Stroke Survivors

      Chatterjee, Kausik; Buchanan, Alastair; Cottrell, Katy; Hughes, Sara; Day, Thomas W.; John, Nigel W.; Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; Cadscan Limited; University of Chester (IEEE, 2022-03-10)
      We present the results of a double-blind phase 2b randomized control trial that used a custom built virtual reality environment for the cognitive rehabilitation of stroke survivors. A stroke causes damage to the brain and problem solving, memory and task sequencing are commonly affected. The brain can recover to some extent, however, and stroke patients have to relearn how to carry out activities of daily living. We have created an application called VIRTUE to enable such activities to be practiced using immersive virtual reality. Gamification techniques enhance the motivation of patients such as by making the level of difficulty of a task increase over time. The design and implementation of VIRTUE is described together with the results of the trial conducted within the Stroke Unit of a large hospital. We report on the safety and acceptability of VIRTUE. We have also observed particular benefits of VR treatment for stroke survivors that experienced more severe cognitive impairment, and an encouraging reduction in time spent in the hospital for all patients that received the VR treatment.
    • A survey of modern deep learning based object detection models

      Zaidi, Syed Sahil Abbas; Ansari, Mohammad Samar; Aslam, Asra; Kanwal, Nadia; Asghar, Mamoona; Lee, Brian; Technological University of the Shannon; University of Chester; National University of Ireland; Keele University; Lahore College for Women University (Elsevier, 2022-03-08)
      Object Detection is the task of classification and localization of objects in an image or video. It has gained prominence in recent years due to its widespread applications. This article surveys recent developments in deep learning based object detectors. Concise overview of benchmark datasets and evaluation metrics used in detection is also provided along with some of the prominent backbone architectures used in recognition tasks. It also covers contemporary lightweight classification models used on edge devices. Lastly, we compare the performances of these architectures on multiple metrics.
    • Application of Virtual Reality and Electrodermal Activity for the Detection of Cognitive Impairments

      Patient, Rebecca; Ghali, Fawaz; Kolivand, Hoshang; Hurst, William; John, Nigel W.; Liverpool John Moores; Wageningen University; University of Chester (IEEE, 2022-03-01)
      Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a definition of the diagnosis of early memory loss and disorientation. This study aims to identify people’s symptoms through technology. However, machine learning (ML) can classify Cognitive Normal (CN) and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and Early Mild Cognitive Impairment (EMCI) using standard assessments from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI); Montreal Cognitive (MoCA), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ). Consequently, a Multilayer Perceptron (MLP) model was assembled into tables; MCI vs CN, MCI vs EMCI, and CN vs MCI. Additionally, an MLP model was developed for CN vs MCI vs EMCI. As a result, of advanced model performance, a cascade 3-path categorisation approach was created. Similarly, the exploitation of meta-analysis indicated a combination of MLP models (MCI vs CN, MCI vs EMCI, and CN vs MCI) with an overall accuracy within an acceptable limit. In addition, better results were found when assessments were combined rather than individually. Furthermore, applying class weights and probability thresholds could improve the MLP framework by performance achieving a balanced specificity and sensitivity ratio. Altering class weights and probability thresholds when training the MLP neuro network model, the sensitivity and Accuracy could be progressed further. In conclusion, ML, VR and electrodermal activity are constrained. Introducing the possibility of activity-based applications to enhance innovative solutions for cognitive impairment diagnosis and treatment.
    • Binary self-dual and LCD codes from generator matrices constructed from two group ring elements by a heuristic search scheme

      Dougherty, Steven; Korban, Adrian; Șahinkaya, Serap; Ustun, Deniz (American Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS), 2022)
      <p style='text-indent:20px;'>We present a generator matrix of the form <inline-formula><tex-math id="M1">\begin{document}$ [ \sigma(v_1) \ | \ \sigma(v_2)] $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula>, where <inline-formula><tex-math id="M2">\begin{document}$ v_1 \in RG $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> and <inline-formula><tex-math id="M3">\begin{document}$ v_2\in RH $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula>, for finite groups <inline-formula><tex-math id="M4">\begin{document}$ G $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> and <inline-formula><tex-math id="M5">\begin{document}$ H $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> of order <inline-formula><tex-math id="M6">\begin{document}$ n $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> for constructing self-dual codes and linear complementary dual codes over the finite Frobenius ring <inline-formula><tex-math id="M7">\begin{document}$ R $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula>. In general, many of the constructions to produce self-dual codes forces the code to be an ideal in a group ring which implies that the code has a rich automorphism group. Unlike the traditional cases, codes constructed from the generator matrix presented here are not ideals in a group ring, which enables us to find self-dual and linear complementary dual codes that are not found using more traditional techniques. In addition to that, by using this construction, we improve <inline-formula><tex-math id="M8">\begin{document}$ 10 $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> of the previously known lower bounds on the largest minimum weights of binary linear complementary dual codes for some lengths and dimensions. We also obtain <inline-formula><tex-math id="M9">\begin{document}$ 82 $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> new binary linear complementary dual codes, <inline-formula><tex-math id="M10">\begin{document}$ 50 $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> of which are either optimal or near optimal of lengths <inline-formula><tex-math id="M11">\begin{document}$ 41 \leq n \leq 61 $\end{document}</tex-math></inline-formula> which are new to the literature.</p>
    • Resolving nanoscopic structuring and interfacial THz dynamics in setting cements

      Song, Fu V.; Yang, Bin; Di Tommaso, Devis; orcid: 0000-0002-4485-4468; Donnan, Robert S.; Chass, Gregory A.; orcid: 0000-0002-5265-6672; Yada, Rickey Y.; Farrar, David H.; Tian, Kun V.; orcid: 0000-0003-0102-0620 (Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), 2022)
      The setting dynamics of commercial cements were tracked non-destructively by THz spectroscopy probing interfacial dynamics and neutron scattering resolving structural evolutions over 1–30 nm, with trends made comprehensible by computational models.
    • Structural speciation in chemical reactivity profiling of binary-ternary systems of Ni(II) with iminodialcohol and aromatic chelators

      Salifoglou, Athanasios; Papadopoulos, Theodoros; Reimann, M. K.; Pöttgen, R.; Salifoglou, A.; Matsia, S.; Kaoulla, A.; Menelaou, M.; Hatzidimitriou, A.; Aristotle University of Thessaloniki; University of Chester; Universität Münster; Cyprus University of Technology (Elsevier, 2021-11-10)
      The importance of structural speciation in the control of chemical reactivity in Ni(II) binary-ternary systems, involving (O,O,N)-containing substrates (1,1’-iminodi-2-propanol), and aromatic chelators (2,2’-bipyridine, 1,10-phenanthroline), prompted the systematic synthesis of new crystalline materials characterized by elemental analysis, FT-IR, UV-Visible, Luminescence, TGA, magnetic susceptibility, and X-ray crystallography. The structures contain mononuclear octahedral assemblies, the lattice architecture of which exemplifies reaction conditions under which conformational variants and solvent-associated lattice-imposed complexes are assembled. Transformations between complex species denote their association with reactivity pathways, suggesting alternate synthetic methodologies for their isolation. Theoretical work (Hirshfeld, Electrostatic Potential, DFT) signifies the impact of crystal structure on energy profiles of the generated species. The arisen physicochemical profiles of all compounds portray a well-configured interwoven network of pathways, projecting strong connection between structural speciation and Ni(II) reactivity patterns in organic-solvent media. The collective results provide well-defined parameterized profiles, poised to influence the synthesis of new Ni(II)-iminodialcohol materials with specified structural-magneto-optical properties.
    • Aging and Cholesterol Metabolism

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; University of Chester (Springer, 2021-11-03)
      The role cholesterol metabolism has to play in health span is clear, and monitoring the parameters of cholesterol metabolism is key to aging successfully. The aim of this chapter is to provide a brief overview of the mechanisms which regulate cholesterol in the body, secondly to discuss how aging effects cholesterol metabolism, and thirdly to unveil how systems biology is leading to an improved understanding of the intersection between aging and the dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism.
    • Terahertz Characterisation of Lead-Free Dielectrics for Different Applications

      Zhang, Man; Zhang, Hangfeng; Jiang, Qinghui; Gao, Feng; Chen, Riqing; Zhang, Dou; Reece, Michael J.; Yang, Bin; Viola, Giuseppe; Yan, Haixue; et al. (American Chemical Society, 2021-11-02)
      In this Spotlight on Applications, we describe our recent progress on the terahertz (THz) characterization of linear and non-linear dielectrics for broadening their applications in different electrical devices. We begin with a discussion on the behavior of dielectrics over a broadband of frequencies and describe the main characteristics of ferroelectrics, as an important category of non-linear dielectrics. We then move on to look at the influence of point defects, porosity and interfaces, including grain boundaries and domain walls, on the dielectric properties at THz frequencies. Based on our studies on linear dielectrics, we show that THz characterization is able to probe the effect of porosities, point defects, shear planes and grain boundaries to improve dielectric properties for telecommunication applications. Further, we demonstrate that THz measurements on relaxor ferroelectrics can be successfully used to study the reversibility of the electric field-induced phase transitions, providing guidance for improving their energy storage efficiency in capacitors. Finally, we show that THz characterization can be used to characterize the effect of domain walls in ferroelectrics. In particular, our studies indicate that the dipoles located within domain walls provide a lower contribution to the permittivity at THz frequencies than the dipoles present in domains. The new findings could help develop a new memory device based on non-destructive reading operations using a THz beam.
    • A Novel Averaging Principle Provides Insights in the Impact of Intratumoral Heterogeneity on Tumor Progression

      Hatzikirou, Haralampos; orcid: 0000-0002-1270-7885; email: haralampos.hatzikirou@ku.ac.ae; Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Leocata, Marta; orcid: 0000-0002-5261-3699; email: mleocata@luiss.it (MDPI, 2021-10-09)
      Typically stochastic differential equations (SDEs) involve an additive or multiplicative noise term. Here, we are interested in stochastic differential equations for which the white noise is nonlinearly integrated into the corresponding evolution term, typically termed as random ordinary differential equations (RODEs). The classical averaging methods fail to treat such RODEs. Therefore, we introduce a novel averaging method appropriate to be applied to a specific class of RODEs. To exemplify the importance of our method, we apply it to an important biomedical problem, in particular, we implement the method to the assessment of intratumoral heterogeneity impact on tumor dynamics. Precisely, we model gliomas according to a well-known Go or Grow (GoG) model, and tumor heterogeneity is modeled as a stochastic process. It has been shown that the corresponding deterministic GoG model exhibits an emerging Allee effect (bistability). In contrast, we analytically and computationally show that the introduction of white noise, as a model of intratumoral heterogeneity, leads to monostable tumor growth. This monostability behavior is also derived even when spatial cell diffusion is taken into account.
    • Terahertz probing of low temperature degradation in zirconia bioceramics

      Ahmed, Shafique; Zhang, Man; Koval, Vladimir; Zou, Lifong; Shen, Zhijian; Chen, Riqing; Yang, Bin; Yan, Haixue; Queen Mary University of London; Mehran University of Engineering and Technology; Institute of Materials Research; Stockholm University; Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University; University of Chester (Wiley, 2021-09-19)
      ZrO2 based ceramics are widely used in biomedical applications due to its colour, biocompatibility, and excellent mechanical properties. However, low temperature degradation (LTD) introduces a potential risk for long-term reliability of these materials. The development of innovative non-destructive techniques, which can explore LTD in zirconia-derived compounds, is strongly required. Yttria stabilised zirconia, 3Y-TZP, is one of the well-developed ZrO2 based ceramics with the improved resistance to LTD for dental crown and implant applications. Here, 3Y-TZP ceramic powders were pressed and sintered to study the LTD phenomenon by phase transition behaviour. The LTD driven tetragonal-to-monoclinic phase transition was confirmed by XRD. XPS analysis demonstrated the LTD induced the reduction of oxygen vacancies to support these findings. It is proved that after the degradation the 3Y-TZP ceramics show the decreased dielectric permittivity at terahertz frequencies due to the crystallographic phase transformation. Terahertz non-destructive probe is a promising method to investigate LTD in zirconia ceramics.
    • A Comprehensive Review of the Composition, Nutritional Value, and Functional Properties of Camel Milk Fat

      Bakry, Ibrahim A; Yang, Lan; Farag, Mohamed A.; orcid: 0000-0001-5139-1863; email: mohamed.alifarag@aucegypt.edu; Korma, Sameh A; Khalifa, Ibrahim; orcid: 0000-0002-7648-2961; email: Ibrahiem.khalifa@fagr.bu.edu.eg; Cacciotti, Ilaria; orcid: 0000-0002-3478-6510; Ziedan, Noha I.; Jin, Jun; Jin, Qingzhe; Wei, Wei; et al. (MDPI, 2021-09-13)
      Recently, camel milk (CM) has been considered as a health-promoting icon due to its medicinal and nutritional benefits. CM fat globule membrane has numerous health-promoting properties, such as anti-adhesion and anti-bacterial properties, which are suitable for people who are allergic to cow’s milk. CM contains milk fat globules with a small size, which accounts for their rapid digestion. Moreover, it also comprises lower amounts of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids concurrent with higher levels of essential fatty acids than cow milk, with an improved lipid profile manifested by reducing cholesterol levels in the blood. In addition, it is rich in phospholipids, especially plasmalogens and sphingomyelin, suggesting that CM fat may meet the daily nutritional requirements of adults and infants. Thus, CM and its dairy products have become more attractive for consumers. In view of this, we performed a comprehensive review of CM fat’s composition and nutritional properties. The overall goal is to increase knowledge related to CM fat characteristics and modify its unfavorable perception. Future studies are expected to be directed toward a better understanding of CM fat, which appears to be promising in the design and formulation of new products with significant health-promoting benefits.
    • Virtual reality training in cardiopulmonary resuscitation in schools

      Rees, Nigel; John, Nigel W.; Beever, Lee; Vaughan, Neil; Powell, C; Fletcher, A; Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust; Swansea University; University of Chester; University of Exeter; British Heart Foundation; London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (Mark Allen Healthcare, 2021-09-11)
      UK average survival from Out of Hospital Cardiac Arrest (OHCA) survival is around 8.6%, which is significantly lower than other high performing countries with survival rates of over 20%. A cardiac arrest victim is 2–4 times more likely to survive OHCA with bystander CPR provision. Mandatory Teaching CPR to children in school is acknowledged to be the most effective way to reach the entire population and improving the bystander CPR rate and is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) “Kids Save Lives” statement. Despite this, Wales is yet to follow other home nations by including CPR training as a mandatory within the school’s curriculum. In this paper, we explore the role of teaching CPR to schoolchildren and report on the development by Computer scientists at the University of Chester and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) of VCPR, a virtual environment to help teach the procedure. VCPR was developed in three stages: identifying requirements and specifications; development of a prototype; and management—development of software, further funding and exploring opportunities for commercialisation. We describe the opportunities in Wales to skill up the whole population over time in CPR and present our Virtual reality (VR) technology is emerging as a powerful for teaching CPR in schools.
    • New Self-dual Codes from 2 x 2 block circulant matrices, Group Rings and Neighbours of Neighbours

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Roberts, Adam; Taylor, Rhian; Tylyshchak, Alexander; University of Chester; Harmony Public Schools; Uzhgorod National University (American Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 2021-09-01)
      In this paper, we construct new self-dual codes from a construction that involves a unique combination; $2 \times 2$ block circulant matrices, group rings and a reverse circulant matrix. There are certain conditions, specified in this paper, where this new construction yields self-dual codes. The theory is supported by the construction of self-dual codes over the rings $\FF_2$, $\FF_2+u\FF_2$ and $\FF_4+u\FF_4$. Using extensions and neighbours of codes, we construct $32$ new self-dual codes of length $68$. We construct 48 new best known singly-even self-dual codes of length 96.
    • Layer Dynamics for the one dimensional $\eps$-dependent Cahn-Hilliard / Allen-Cahn Equation

      Antonopoulou, Dimitra; Karali, Georgia; Tzirakis, Konstantinos; University of Chester; University of Crete; IACM/FORTH (Springer, 2021-08-27)
      We study the dynamics of the one-dimensional ε-dependent Cahn-Hilliard / Allen-Cahn equation within a neighborhood of an equilibrium of N transition layers, that in general does not conserve mass. Two different settings are considered which differ in that, for the second, we impose a mass-conservation constraint in place of one of the zero-mass flux boundary conditions at x = 1. Motivated by the study of Carr and Pego on the layered metastable patterns of Allen-Cahn in [10], and by this of Bates and Xun in [5] for the Cahn-Hilliard equation, we implement an N-dimensional, and a mass-conservative N−1-dimensional manifold respectively; therein, a metastable state with N transition layers is approximated. We then determine, for both cases, the essential dynamics of the layers (ode systems with the equations of motion), expressed in terms of local coordinates relative to the manifold used. In particular, we estimate the spectrum of the linearized Cahn-Hilliard / Allen-Cahn operator, and specify wide families of ε-dependent weights δ(ε), µ(ε), acting at each part of the operator, for which the dynamics are stable and rest exponentially small in ε. Our analysis enlightens the role of mass conservation in the classification of the general mixed problem into two main categories where the solution has a profile close to Allen-Cahn, or, when the mass is conserved, close to the Cahn-Hilliard solution.
    • New Extremal Binary Self-dual Codes from block circulant matrices and block quadratic residue circulant matrices

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Taylor, Rhian; Tylyshchak, Alexander; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna University; Uzhgorod National University; Northern Arizona University (Elsevier, 2021-08-20)
      In this paper, we construct self-dual codes from a construction that involves both block circulant matrices and block quadratic residue circulant matrices. We provide conditions when this construction can yield self-dual codes. We construct self-dual codes of various lengths over F2 and F2 + uF2. Using extensions, neighbours and sequences of neighbours, we construct many new self-dual codes. In particular, we construct one new self-dual code of length 66 and 51 new self-dual codes of length 68.