• Multi-metric Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Remote Learning in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Indicators and Guidance for Future Preparedness

      Behera, Amar Kumar; de Sousa, Ricardo Alves; Oleksik, Valentin; Dong, Jingyan; Fritzen, Daniel; University of Chester; University of Aveiro; Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu; North Carolina State University; SATC College (UK Data Service, 2021-07-27)
      This data set contains data collected from 5 universities in 5 countries about the effectiveness of e-learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically tailored to mechanical and industrial engineering students. A survey was administered in May, 2020 at these universities simultaneously, using Google Forms. The survey had 41 questions, including 24 questions on a 5-point Likert scale. The survey questions gathered data on their program of study, year of study, university of enrolment and mode of accessing their online learning content. The Likert scale questions on the survey gathered data on the effectiveness of digital delivery tools, student preferences for remote learning and the success of the digital delivery tools during the pandemic. All students enrolled in modules taught by the authors of this study were encouraged to fill the survey up. Additionally, remaining students in the departments associated with the authors were also encouraged to fill up the form through emails sent on mailing lists. The survey was also advertised on external websites such as survey circle and facebook. Crucial insights have been obtained after analysing this data set that link the student demographic profile (gender, program of study, year of study, university) to their preferences for remote learning and effectiveness of digital delivery tools. This data set can be used for further comparative studies and was useful to get a snapshot of student preferences and e-learning effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic, which required the use of e-learning tools on a wider scale than previously and using new modes such as video conferencing that were set up within a short timeframe of a few days or weeks.
    • Multi-order fractional differential equations and their numerical solution

      Diethelm, Kai; Ford, Neville J.; Technische Universität Braunschweig ; University College Chester (Elsevier, 2004-07-15)
      This article considers the numerical solution of (possibly nonlinear) fractional differential equations of the form y(α)(t)=f(t,y(t),y(β1)(t),y(β2)(t),…,y(βn)(t)) with α>βn>βn−1>>β1 and α−βn1, βj−βj−11, 0
    • A multi-species chemotaxis system: Lyapunov functionals, duality, critical mass

      Kavallaris, Nikos I.; Ricciardi, Tonia; Zecca, Gabriela; University of Chester; Universita` di Napoli Federico II (Cambridge University Press, 2017-10-09)
      We introduce a multi-species chemotaxis type system admitting an arbitrarily large number of population species, all of which are attracted vs.\ repelled by a single chemical substance. The production vs.\ destruction rates of the chemotactic substance by the species is described by a probability measure. For such a model we investigate the variational structures, in particular we prove the existence of Lyapunov functionals, we establish duality properties as well as a logarithmic Hardy-Littlewood-Sobolev type inequality for the associated free energy. The latter inequality provides the optimal critical value for the conserved total population mass.
    • Multimodal Shear Wave Deicing Using Fibre Piezoelectric Actuator on Composite for Aircraft Wings

      Shi, Yu; Jia, Yu; University of Chester
      The formation and accretion of ice on aircraft wings during flight can be potentially disastrous and existing in-flight deicing methods are either bulky or power consuming. This paper investigates the use of shear wave deicing driven by a macro fibre piezoelectric composite actuator on a composite plate typically used for aircraft wings. While the few existing research on this novel deicing approach focused on either theoretical studies or single frequency mode optimization that required high-excitation amplitudes, this study revealed that the use of multimodal excitation through broadband frequency sweeps has the potential to promote the chance of shear stress induced deicing at a relatively small excitation amplitude. The results reported here form the foundation for a pathway towards low power and lightweight deicing mechanism for in-flight aircraft wings.
    • Multiphysics vibration FE model of piezoelectric macro fibre composite on carbon fibre composite structures

      Jia, Yu; Wei, Xueyong; Xu, Liu; Wang, Congsi; Lian, Peiyuan; Xue, Song; Alsaadi, Ahmed; Shi, Yu; University of Chester; Xi'an Jiaotong University; Xidian University (Elsevier, 2018-12-21)
      This paper presents a finite element (FE) model developed using commercial FE software COMSOL to simulate the multiphysical process of pieozoelectric vibration energy harvesting (PVEH), involving the dynamic mechanical and electrical behaviours of piezoelectric macro fibre composite (MFC) on carbon fibre composite structures. The integration of MFC enables energy harvesting, sensing and actuation capabilities, with applications found in aerospace, automotive and renewable energy. There is an existing gap in the literature on modelling the dynamic response of PVEH in relation to real-world vibration data. Most simulations were either semi-analytical MATLAB models that are geometry unspecific, or basic FE simulations limited to sinusoidal analysis. However, the use of representative environment vibration data is crucial to predict practical behaviour for industrial development. Piezoelectric device physics involving solid mechanics and electrostatics were combined with electrical circuit defined in this FE model. The structure was dynamically excited by interpolated vibration data files, while orthotropic material properties for MFC and carbon fibre composite were individually defined for accuracy. The simulation results were validated by experiments with <10﹪ deviation, providing confidence for the proposed multiphysical FE model to design and optimise PVEH smart composite structures.
    • Multiscale Understanding of Electric Polarization in Poly(vinylidene fluoride)-Based Ferroelectric Polymers

      Yang, Bin; Meng, Nan; Xintong, Ren; Zhu, Xiaojing; Wu, Jiyue; Gao, Feng; Zhang, Han; Liao, Yaozu; Bilotti, Emiliano; Reece, Michael; et al.
      Poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) and PVDF-based copolymers with trifluoroethylene (PVDF-TrFE) have attracted considerable academic and industrial interest due to their ferroelectric properties, which are only presented in very few polymers. However, the underlying fundamentals of molecular ordering and induced polarizations are complex and not fully understood. Herein, PVDF, PVDF-TrFE and their blends, prepared using melt extrusion and hot pressing, have been selected to obtain controlled case studies with well-defined chain ordering and microstructures. Impedance analysis and terahertz time-domain spectroscopy are exploited to investigate electric polarization in PVDF-based polymers at different length scales. The extruded ferroelectric films show in-plane chain orientation and higher domain wall density compared to hot pressed films with randomly-distributed polymer chains, which favors the polarization at low frequencies (Hz to MHz), as concluded from the higher dielectric constants and more prominent high electric field polarization switching features. However, the domain walls cannot respond at high frequencies, which leads to lower dielectric constants in the extruded films at THz frequencies.
    • Nanodiamond based surface modified screen-printed electrodes for the simultaneous voltammetric determination of dopamine and uric acid.

      Baccarin, Marina; Rowley-Neale, Samuel J.; Cavalheiro, Éder T. G.; Smith, Graham C.; Banks, Craig E. (2019-02-22)
      The electroanalytical detection of the neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) in the presence of uric acid (UA) is explored for the first time using commercially procured nanodiamonds (NDs). These are electrically wired via surface modification upon screen-printed graphite macroelectrodes (SPEs). The surface coverage of the NDs on the SPEs was explored in order to optimize electroanalytical outputs to result in well-resolved signals and in low limits of detection. The (electro)analytical outputs are observed to be more sensitive than those achieved at bare (unmodified) SPEs. Such responses, previously reported in the academic literature have been reported to be electrocatalytic and have been previously attributed to the presence of surface sp2 carbon and oxygenated species on the surface of the NDs. However, XPS analysis reveals the commercial NDs to be solely composed of nonconductive sp3 carbon. The low/negligible electroconductivity of the NDs was further confirmed when ND paste electrodes were fabricated and found to exhibit no electrochemical activity. The electroanalytical enhancement, when using NDs electronically wired upon SPEs, is attributed not to the NDs themselves being electrocatalytic, as reported previously, but rather changes in mass transport where the inert NDs block the underlying electroactive SPEs and create a random array of graphite microelectrodes. The electrode was applied to simultaneous sensing of DA and UA at pH 5.5. Figures of merit include (a) low working potentials of around 0.27 and 0.35 V (vs. Ag/AgCl); and (b) detection limits of 5.7 × 10-7 and 8.9 × 10-7 M for DA and UA, respectively. Graphical abstract The electroanalytical enhancement of screen-printed electrodes modified with inert/non-conductive nanodiamonds is due to a change in mass transfer where the inert nanodiamonds facilitate the production of a random microelectrode array.
    • Neutral delay differential equations in the modelling of cell growth

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Bocharov, Gennady; Rihan, F. A. R.; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2008)
      In this contribution, we indicate (and illustrate by example) roles that may be played by neutral delay differential equations in modelling of certain cell growth phenomena that display a time lag in reacting to events. We explore, in this connection, questions involving the sensitivity analysis of models and related mathematical theory; we provide some associated numerical results.
    • New binary self-dual codes of lengths 56, 58, 64, 80 and 92 from a modification of the four circulant construction.

      Gildea, Joe; Korban, Adrian; Roberts, Adam; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2021-05-31)
      In this work, we give a new technique for constructing self-dual codes over commutative Frobenius rings using $\lambda$-circulant matrices. The new construction was derived as a modification of the well-known four circulant construction of self-dual codes. Applying this technique together with the building-up construction, we construct singly-even binary self-dual codes of lengths 56, 58, 64, 80 and 92 that were not known in the literature before. Singly-even self-dual codes of length 80 with $\beta \in \{2,4,5,6,8\}$ in their weight enumerators are constructed for the first time in the literature.
    • New binary self-dual codes via a generalization of the four circulant construction

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester ; Sampoerna University ; Northern Arizona University (Croatian Mathematical Society, 2020-05-31)
      In this work, we generalize the four circulant construction for self-dual codes. By applying the constructions over the alphabets $\mathbb{F}_2$, $\mathbb{F}_2+u\mathbb{F}_2$, $\mathbb{F}_4+u\mathbb{F}_4$, we were able to obtain extremal binary self-dual codes of lengths 40, 64 including new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68. More precisely, 43 new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68, with rare new parameters have been constructed.
    • A New Electrode Design Method in Piezoelectric Vibration Energy Harvesters to Maximize Output Power

      Du, Sijun; Jia, Yu; Chen, Shao-Tuan; Zhao, Chun; Sun, Boqian; Arroyo, Emmanuelle; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2017-07-19)
      A resonant vibration energy harvester typically comprises of a clamped anchor and a vibrating shuttle with a proof mass. Piezoelectric materials are embedded in locations of high strain in order to transduce mechanical deformation into electrical charge. Conventional design for piezoelectric vibration energy harvesters (PVEH) usually utilizes piezoelectric materials and metal electrode layers covering the entire surface area of the cantilever with no consideration provided to examine the trade-off involved with respect to maximize output power. This paper reports on the theory and experimental verification underpinning optimization of the active electrode area in order to maximize output power. The calculations show that, in order to maximize the output power of a PVEH, the electrode should cover the piezoelectric layer from the peak strain area to a position, where the strain is a half of the average strain in all the previously covered area. With the proposed electrode design, the output power can be improved by 145% and 126% for a cantilever and a clamped-clamped beam, respectively. MEMS piezoelectric harvesters are fabricated to experimentally validate the theory.
    • 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.
    • New Extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68 from generalized neighbors

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Korban, Adrian; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna University; Northern Arizona University
      In this work, we use the concept of distance between self-dual codes, which generalizes the concept of a neighbor for self-dual codes. Using the $k$-neighbors, we are able to construct extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68 with new weight enumerators. We construct 143 extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68 with new weight enumerators including 42 codes with $\gamma=8$ in their $W_{68,2}$ and 40 with $\gamma=9$ in their $W_{68,2}$. These examples are the first in the literature for these $\gamma$ values. This completes the theoretical list of possible values for $\gamma$ in $W_{68,2}$.
    • New Extremal Self-Dual Binary Codes of Length 68 via Composite Construction, F2 + uF2 Lifts, Extensions and Neighbors

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Korban, Adrian; Kaya, Abidin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy; (Inderscience, 2020-02-29)
      We describe a composite construction from group rings where the groups have orders 16 and 8. This construction is then applied to find the extremal binary self-dual codes with parameters [32, 16, 8] or [32, 16, 6]. We also extend this composite construction by expanding the search field which enables us to find more extremal binary self-dual codes with the above parameters and with different orders of automorphism groups. These codes are then lifted to F2 + uF2, to obtain extremal binary images of codes of length 64. Finally, we use the extension method and neighbor construction to obtain new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68. As a result, we obtain 28 new codes of length 68 which were not known in the literature before.
    • New Quinoline-Based Heterocycles as Anticancer Agents Targeting Bcl-2

      Hamdy, Rania; Elseginy, Samia A.; Ziedan, Noha I.; Jones, Arwyn T.; Westwell, Andrew D. (MDPI, 2019-04-02)
      The Bcl-2 protein has been studied as an anticancer drug target in recent years, due to its gatekeeper role in resisting programmed cancer cell death (apoptosis), and the design of BH3 domain mimetics has led to the clinical approval of Venetoclax (ABT-199) for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. In this work we extend our previous studies on the discovery of indole-based heterocycles as Bcl-2 inhibitors, to the identification of quinolin-4-yl based oxadiazole and triazole analogues. Target compounds were readily synthesized via a common aryl-substituted quinolin-4-carbonyl-N-arylhydrazine-1-carbothioamide (5a⁻b) intermediate, through simple variation of the basic cyclisation conditions. Some of the quinoline-based oxadiazole analogues (e.g. compound 6i) were found to exhibit sub-micromolar anti-proliferative activity in Bcl-2-expressing cancer cell lines, and sub-micromolar IC50 activity within a Bcl2-Bim peptide ELISA assay. The Bcl-2 targeted anticancer activity of 6i was further rationalised via computational molecular modelling, offering possibilities to extend this work into the design of further potent and selective Bcl-2 inhibitory heteroaromatics with therapeutic potential.
    • New Self-Dual and Formally Self-Dual Codes from Group Ring Constructions

      Dougherty, Steven; Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Scranton; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy; University of Chester; Northern Arizona University (American Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 2019-08-31)
      In this work, we study construction methods for self-dual and formally self-dual codes from group rings, arising from the cyclic group, the dihedral group, the dicyclic group and the semi-dihedral group. Using these constructions over the rings $_F2 +uF_2$ and $F_4 + uF_4$, we obtain 9 new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68 and 25 even formally self-dual codes with parameters [72,36,14].
    • 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.
    • New Self-Dual Codes of Length 68 from a 2 × 2 Block Matrix Construction and Group Rings

      Bortos, Maria; Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Korban, Adrian; Tylyshchak, Alexander; Uzhgorod National University, University of Chester, Harmony School of Technology, University of Chester, Uzhgorod National University
      Many generator matrices for constructing extremal binary self-dual codes of different lengths have the form G = (In | A); where In is the n x n identity matrix and A is the n x n matrix fully determined by the first row. In this work, we define a generator matrix in which A is a block matrix, where the blocks come from group rings and also, A is not fully determined by the elements appearing in the first row. By applying our construction over F2 +uF2 and by employing the extension method for codes, we were able to construct new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68. Additionally, by employing a generalised neighbour method to the codes obtained, we were able to con- struct many new binary self-dual [68,34,12]-codes with the rare parameters $\gamma = 7$; $8$ and $9$ in $W_{68,2}$: In particular, we find 92 new binary self-dual [68,34,12]-codes.
    • A new visualisation and measurement technology for water continuous multiphase flows

      Wang, Mi; Jia, Jiabin; Faraj, Yousef; Wang, Qiang; Xie, Cheng-gang; Oddie, Gary; Primrose, Ken; Qiu, Changhua; University of Chester; University of Leeds; University of Edinburgh; Schlumberger Gould Research, Cambridge; Industrial Tomography Systems plc, Manchester (Elsevier, 2015-07-06)
      This paper reports the performance of a research prototype of a new multiphase flow instrument to noninvasively measure the phase flow rates, with the capability to rapidly image the flow distributions of two- and three-phase (gas and/or oil in water) flows. The research prototype is based on the novel concepts of combining vector Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) sensor (for measuring dispersedphase velocity and fraction) with an electromagnetic flow metre (EMF, for measuring continuous-phase velocity with the EIT input) and a gradiomanometer flow-mixture density metre (FDM), in addition to on-line water conductivity, temperature and absolute pressure measurements. EIT–EMF–FDM data fusion embedded in the research prototype, including online calibration/compensation of conductivity change due to the change of fluids' temperature or ionic concentration, enables the determination of mean concentration, mean velocity and hence the mean flow rate of each individual phase based on the measurement of dispersed-phase distributions and velocity profiles. Results from first flow-loop experiments conducted at Schlumberger Gould Research (SGR) will be described. The performance of the research prototype in flow-rate measurements are evaluated by comparison with the flow-loop references. The results indicate that optimum performance of the research prototype for three-phase flows is confined within the measuring envelope 45–100% Water-in-Liquid Ratio (WLR) and 0–45% Gas Volume Fraction (GVF). Within the scope of this joint research project funded by the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), only vertical flows with a conductive continuous liquid phase will be addressed.
    • Next Generation Additive Manufacturing: Tailorable Graphene/Polylactic(acid) Filaments Allow the Fabrication of 3D Printable Porous Anodes for Utilisation within Lithium-Ion Batteries

      Foster, Christopher W.; Zou, Guo-Qiang; Jiang, Yunling; Down, Michael P.; Liauw, Christopher M.; Ferrari, Alejandro Garcia-Miranda; Ji, Xiaobo; Smith, Graham C.; Kelly, Peter J.; Banks, Craig E.; et al. (Wiley, 2019-04-02)
      Herein, we report the fabrication and application of Li-ion anodes for utilisation within Li-ion batteries, which are fabricated via additive manufacturing/3D printing (fused depo- sition modelling) using a bespoke graphene/polylactic acid (PLA) filament, where the graphene content can be readily tailored and controlled over the range 1–40 wt. %. We demon- strate that a graphene content of 20 wt. % exhibits sufficient conductivity and critically, effective 3D printability for the rapid manufacturing of 3D printed freestanding anodes (3DAs); simplifying the components of the Li-ion battery negating the need for a copper current collector. The 3DAs are physicochemcally and electrochemically characterised and possess sufficient conductivity for electrochemical studies. Critically, it is found that if the 3DAs are used in Li-ion batteries the specific capacity is very poor but can be significantly improved through the use of a chemical pre-treatment. Such treatment induces an increased porosity, which results in a 200-fold increase (after anode stabilisation) of the specific capacity (ca. 500 mAhg-1 at a current density of 40 mAg-1). This work significantly enhances the field of additive manufacturing/3D printed graphene based energy storage devices demonstrating that useful 3D printable batteries can be realised