• Computational benchmarking for ultrafast electron dynamics: wavefunction methods vs density functional theory

      Oliveira, Micael J. T.; Mignolet, Benoit; Kus, Tomasz; Papadopoulos, Theodoros A.; Remacle, Francoise; Verstraete, Matthieu J.; University of Chester (American Chemical Society, 2015-05-12)
      Attosecond electron dynamics in small- and medium-sized molecules, induced by an ultrashort strong optical pulse, is studied computationally for a frozen nuclear geometry. The importance of exchange and correlation effects on the nonequilibrium electron dynamics induced by the interaction of the molecule with the strong optical pulse is analyzed by comparing the solution of the time-dependent Schrodinger equation based on the correlated field-free stationary electronic states computed with the equation-of-motion coupled cluster singles and doubles and the complete active space multi-configurational self-consistent field methodologies on one hand, and various functionals in real-time time-dependent density functional theory (TD-DFT) on the other. We aim to evaluate the performance of the latter approach, which is very widely used for nonlinear absorption processes and whose computational cost has a more favorable scaling with the system size. We focus on LiH as a toy model for a nontrivial molecule and show that our conclusions carry over to larger molecules, exemplified by ABCU (C10H19N). The molecules are probed with IR and UV pulses whose intensities are not strong enough to significantly ionize the system. By comparing the evolution of the time-dependent field-free electronic dipole moment, as well as its Fourier power spectrum, we show that TD-DFT performs qualitatively well in most cases. Contrary to previous studies, we find almost no changes in the TD-DFT excitation energies when excited states are populated. Transitions between states of different symmetries are induced using pulses polarized in different directions. We observe that the performance of TD-DFT does not depend on the symmetry of the states involved in the transition.
    • Computational methods for a mathematical model of propagation of nerve impulses in myelinated axons

      Lima, Pedro M.; Ford, Neville J.; Lumb, Patricia M.; CEMAT, IST, Lisbon ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2014-06-26)
      This paper is concerned with the approximate solution of a nonlinear mixed type functional differential equation (MTFDE) arising from nerve conduction theory. The equation considered describes conduction in a myelinated nerve axon. We search for a monotone solution of the equation defined in the whole real axis, which tends to given values at ±∞. We introduce new numerical methods for the solution of the equation, analyse their performance, and present and discuss the results of the numerical simulations.
    • Computational Modelling Folate Metabolism and DNA Methylation: Implications for Understanding Health and Ageing

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; Mooney, Kathleen M.; Salcedo-Sora, J. Enrique; University of Chester; Edge Hill University; Liverpool Hope University (Oxford University Press, 2016-12-21)
      Dietary folates have a key role to play in health as deficiencies in the intake of these B vitamins have been implicated in a wide variety of clinical conditions. The reason for this is folates function as single carbon donors in the synthesis of methionine and nucleotides. Moreover, folates have a vital role to play in the epigenetics of mammalian cells by supplying methyl groups for DNA methylation reactions. Intriguingly, a growing body of experimental evidence suggests DNA methylation status could be a central modulator of the ageing process. This has important health implications because the methylation status of the human genome could be used to infer age-related disease risk. Thus, it is imperative we further our understanding of the processes which underpin DNA methylation and how these intersect with folate metabolism and ageing. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms which underpin these processes are complex. However, computational modelling offers an ideal framework for handling this complexity. A number of computational models have been assembled over the years, but to date no model has represented the full scope of the interaction between the folate cycle and the reactions which govern the DNA methylation cycle. In this review we will discuss several of the models which have been developed to represent these systems. In addition we will present a rationale for developing a combined model of folate metabolism and the DNA methylation cycle.
    • Computational modelling with functional differential equations: Identification, selection, and sensitivity

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Bocharov, Gennady; Paul, C. A. H.; Rihan, F. A. R.; University College Chester ; Institute of Numerical Mathematics, Russian Academy of Sciences ; University of Salford (Elsevier, 2005-05)
      Mathematical models based upon certain types of differential equations, functional differential equations, or systems of such equations, are often employed to represent the dynamics of natural, in particular biological, phenomena. We present some of the principles underlying the choice of a methodology (based on observational data) for the computational identification of, and discrimination between, quantitatively consistent models, using scientifically meaningful parameters. We propose that a computational approach is essential for obtaining meaningful models. For example, it permits the choice of realistic models incorporating a time-lag which is entirely natural from the scientific perspective. The time-lag is a feature that can permit a close reconciliation between models incorporating computed parameter values and observations. Exploiting the link between information theory, maximum likelihood, and weighted least squares, and with distributional assumptions on the data errors, we may construct an appropriate objective function to be minimized computationally. The minimizer is sought over a set of parameters (which may include the time-lag) that define the model. Each evaluation of the objective function requires the computational solution of the parametrized equations defining the model. To select a parametrized model, from amongst a family or hierarchy of possible best-fit models, we are able to employ certain indicators based on information-theoretic criteria. We can evaluate confidence intervals for the parameters, and a sensitivity analysis provides an expression for an information matrix, and feedback on the covariances of the parameters in relation to the best fit. This gives a firm basis for any simplification of the model (e.g., by omitting a parameter).
    • Computational simulation of the damage response for machining long fibre reinforced plastic (LFRP) composite parts: A review

      Wang, Xiaonan; Wang, Fuji; Gu, Tianyu; Jia, Zhenyuan; Shi, Yu; Dalian University of Technology; University of Chester
      Long fibre reinforced plastics (LFRPs) possess excellent mechanical properties and are widely used in the aerospace, transportation and energy sectors. However, their anisotropic and inhomogeneous characteristics as well as their low thermal conductivity and specific heat capacity make them prone to subsurface damage, delamination and thermal damage during the machining process, which seriously reduces the bearing capacity and shortens the service life of the components. To improve the processing quality of composites, finite element (FE) models were developed to investigate the material removal mechanism and to analyse the influence of the processing parameters on the damage. A review of current studies on composite processing modelling could significantly help researchers to understand failure initiation and development during machining and thus inspire scholars to develop new models with high prediction accuracy and computational efficiency as well as a wide range of applications. To this aim, this review paper summarises the development of LFRP machining simulations reported in the literature and the factors that can be considered in model improvement. Specifically, the existing numerical models that simulate the mechanical and thermal behaviours of LFRPs and LFRP-metal stacks in orthogonal cutting, drilling and milling are analysed. The material models used to characterise the constituent phases of the LFRP parts are reviewed. The mechanism of material removal and the damage responses during the machining of LFRP laminates under different tool geometries and processing parameters are discussed. In addition, novel and objective evaluations that concern the current simulation studies are conducted to summarise their advantages. Aspects that could be improved are further detailed, to provide suggestions for future research relating to the simulation of LFRP machining.
    • Computational systems biology for aging research

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; Mooney, Kathleen M.; University of Chester ; Edge Hill University (Karger, 2015)
      Computational modelling is a key component of systems biology and integrates with the other techniques discussed thus far in this book by utilizing a myriad of data that are being generated to quantitatively represent and simulate biological systems. This chapter will describe what computational modelling involves; the rationale for using it, and the appropriateness of modelling for investigating the aging process. How a model is assembled and the different theoretical frameworks that can be used to build a model are also discussed. In addition, the chapter will describe several models which demonstrate the effectiveness of each computational approach for investigating the constituents of a healthy aging trajectory. Specifically, a number of models will be showcased which focus on the complex age-related disorders associated with unhealthy aging. To conclude, we discuss the future applications of computational systems modelling to aging research.
    • Computationally modeling lipid metabolism and aging: A mini-review

      Mc Auley, Mark T.; Mooney, Kathleen M.; University of Chester; Edge Hill University (Elsevier, 2014-11-15)
      One of the greatest challenges in biology is to improve the understanding of the mechanisms which underpin aging and how these affect health. The need to better understand aging is amplified by demographic changes, which have caused a gradual increase in the global population of older people. Aging western populations have resulted in a rise in the prevalence of age-related pathologies. Of these diseases, cardiovascular disease is the most common underlying condition in older people. The dysregulation of lipid metabolism due to aging impinges significantly on cardiovascular health. However, the multifaceted nature of lipid metabolism and the complexities of its interaction with aging make it challenging to understand by conventional means. To address this challenge computational modeling, a key component of the systems biology paradigm is being used to study the dynamics of lipid metabolism. This mini-review briefly outlines the key regulators of lipid metabolism, their dysregulation, and how computational modeling is being used to gain an increased insight into this system.
    • Computer Modelling for Nutritionists

      Mc Auley, Mark Tomás; University of Chester
      This book is about computational modelling of nutrient focused biological systems. The book is aimed at students, researchers, and those with an interest in learning how to build a computational model. The book is the product of many years of teaching computational modelling to undergraduates, postgraduates, and researchers with limited, or no background in computational modelling. What I learned from these experiences is those new to modelling are invariably apprehensive about it, and approach it with a degree of trepidation, or even scepticism. However, from tentative initial steps, they quickly realize that modelling is not as challenging, or as academically intimidating as they initially perceive it; and after gaining familiarity with the essential components of model building they rapidly become cognisant, that it offers an alternative lens to view a biological system, and learn new insights about its underlying dynamic behaviour. In this book I provide a practical introduction to modelling, for those who are interested in exploring the dynamics of nutrient based systems. My rationale for undertaking this project is based on my experience of interacting with nutritionists in recent years. As a result of many fruitful discussions I identified a growing need for a book of this nature, which is specifically tailored to nutritionists. My aims are to provide the reader with a solid grounding in computational modelling, and how it dovetails within the burgeoning field of systems biology. For the reader this will involve learning how a model is assembled, what software tools are available for model building, what the different paradigms are for simulating a model, and how to analyse and interpret the output from in silico simulations. The only expectation I make of you, as a reader, is that you are enthusiastic about learning how to use new software tools. In exchange for your engagement I will provide you with ample practical exercises, which will help to consolidate your learning, and will make your computational modelling journey a rewarding and enjoyable experience.
    • Concerning periodic solutions to non-linear discrete Volterra equations with finite memory

      Baker, Christopher T. H.; Song, Yihong; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2007)
      In this paper we discuss the existence of periodic solutions of discrete (and discretized) non-linear Volterra equations with finite memory. The literature contains a number of results on periodic solutions of non linear Volterra integral equations with finite memory, of a type that arises in biomathematics. The “summation” equations studied here can arise as discrete models in their own right but are (as we demonstrate) of a type that arise from the discretization of such integral equations. Our main results are in two parts: (i) results for discrete equations and (ii) consequences for quadrature methods applied to integral equations. The first set of results are obtained using a variety of fixed point theorems. The second set of results address the preservation of properties of integral equations on discretizing them. An expository style is adopted and examples are given to illustrate the discussion.
    • Connection Configurations to Increase Operational Range and Output Power of Piezoelectric MEMS Vibration Energy Harvesters

      Du, Sijun; Chen, Shao-Tuan; Jia, Yu; Arroyo, Emmanuelle; Seshia, Ashwin A.; University of Cambridge; University of Chester (IOP Publishing, 2016-09-06)
      Among the various methods of extracting energy harvested by a piezoelectric vibration energy harvester, full-bridge rectifiers (FBR) are widely employed due to its simplicity and stability. However, its efficiency and operational range are limited due to a threshold voltage that the open-circuit voltage generated from the piezoelectric transducer (PT) must attain prior to any energy extraction. This voltage linearly depends on the output voltage of the FBR and the forward voltage drop of diodes and the nature of the interface can significantly limit the amount of extracted energy under low excitation levels. In this paper, a passive scheme is proposed to split the electrode of a micromachined PT into multiple (n) equal regions, which are electrically connected in series. The power output from such a series connected MEMS PT allows for the generated voltage to readily overcome the threshold set by the FBR. Theoretical calculations have been performed in this paper to assess the performance for different series stages (n values) and the theory has been experimentally validated. The results show that a PT with more series stages (high n values) improves the efficiency of energy extraction relative to the case with fewer series-connected stages under weak excitation levels.
    • Constructing Self-Dual Codes from Group Rings and Reverse Circulant Matrices

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Korban, Adrian; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy; Northern Arizona University (American Institute of Mathematical Sciences, 2020-01-20)
      In this work, we describe a construction for self-dual codes in which we employ group rings and reverse circulant matrices. By applying the construction directly over different alphabets, and by employing the well known extension and neighbor methods we were able to obtain extremal binary self-dual codes of different lengths of which some have parameters that were not known in the literature before. In particular, we constructed three new codes of length 64, twenty-two new codes of length 68, twelve new codes of length 80 and four new codes of length 92.
    • Constructions for Self-Dual Codes Induced from Group Rings

      Gildea, Joe; Kaya, Abidin; Taylor, Rhian; Yildiz, Bahattin; University of Chester; Sampoerna Academy, University of Chester; Northern Arizona University (Elsevier, 2018-02-03)
      In this work, we establish a strong connection between group rings and self-dual codes. We prove that a group ring element corresponds to a self-dual code if and only if it is a unitary unit. We also show that the double-circulant and four-circulant constructions come from cyclic and dihedral groups, respectively. Using groups of order 8 and 16 we find many new construction methods, in addition to the well-known methods, for self-dual codes. We establish the relevance of these new constructions by finding many extremal binary self-dual codes using them, which we list in several tables. In particular, we construct 10 new extremal binary self-dual codes of length 68.
    • Context-Aware Mixed Reality: A Learning-based Framework for Semantic-level Interaction

      Chen, Long; Tang, Wen; Zhang, Jian Jun; John, Nigel W.; Bournemouth University; University of Chester; University of Bradford (Wiley Online Library, 2019-11-14)
      Mixed Reality (MR) is a powerful interactive technology for new types of user experience. We present a semantic-based interactive MR framework that is beyond current geometry-based approaches, offering a step change in generating high-level context-aware interactions. Our key insight is that by building semantic understanding in MR, we can develop a system that not only greatly enhances user experience through object-specific behaviors, but also it paves the way for solving complex interaction design challenges. In this paper, our proposed framework generates semantic properties of the real-world environment through a dense scene reconstruction and deep image understanding scheme. We demonstrate our approach by developing a material-aware prototype system for context-aware physical interactions between the real and virtual objects. Quantitative and qualitative evaluation results show that the framework delivers accurate and consistent semantic information in an interactive MR environment, providing effective real-time semantic level interactions.
    • Contextual Network Navigation to provide Situational Awareness for Network Administrators

      Gray, Cameron C.; Ritsos, Panagiotis D.; Roberts, Jonathan C.; Bangor University; University of Chester (IEEE, 2015-10-26)
      One of the goals of network administrators is to identify and block sources of attacks from a network steam. Various tools have been developed to help the administrator identify the IP or subnet to be blocked, however these tend to be non-visual. Having a good perception of the wider network can aid the administrator identify their origin, but while network maps of the Internet can be useful for such endeavors, they are difficult to construct, comprehend and even utilize in an attack, and are often referred to as being “hairballs”. We present a visualization technique that displays pathways back to the attacker; we include all potential routing paths with a best-efforts identification of the commercial relationships involved. These two techniques can potentially highlight common pathways and/or networks to allow faster, more complete resolution to the incident, as well as fragile or incomplete routing pathways to/from a network. They can help administrators re-profile their choice of IP transit suppliers to better serve a target audience.
    • Control of the dipole layer of polar organic molecules adsorbed on metal surfaces via different charge-transfer channels

      Lin, Meng-Kai; Nakayama, Yasuo; Zhuang, Ying-Jie; Su, Kai-Jun; Wang, Chin-Yung; Pi, Tun-Wen; Metz, Sebastian; Papadopoulos, Theodoros A.; Chiang, Tai-Chang; Ishii, Hisao; et al. (American Physical Society, 2017-02-17)
      Organic molecules with a permanent electric dipole moment have been widely used as a template for further growth of molecular layers in device structures. Key properties of the resulting organic films such as energy level alignment (ELA), work function, and injection/collection barrier are linked to the magnitude and direction of the dipole moment at the interface. Using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), we have systematically investigated the coverage-dependent work function and spectral line shapes of occupied molecular energy states (MES) of chloroaluminium-phthalocyanine (ClAlPc) grown on Ag(111). We demonstrate that the dipole orientation of the first ClAlPc layer can be controlled by adjusting the deposition rate and post annealing conditions; the ELA at the interface differs by ~0.4 eV between the Cl-up and -down configurations of the adsorbed ClAlPc molecules. These observations are rationalized by density-functional-theory (DFT) calculations based on a realistic model of the ClAlPc/Ag(111) interface, which reveal that the different orientations of the ClAlPc dipole layer lead to different charge-transfer channels between the adsorbed ClAlPc and Ag(111) substrate. Our findings provide a useful framework towards method development for ELA tuning.
    • Controllability of buildings: computing and managing energy in practice

      Khalid, Yousaf; University of Chester (Journal of Computing and Management Studies (JCMS), 2018-05-25)
      Modern buildings utilise multiple systems for energy generation, supply and storage in order to maintain occupant comfort. Consequently, complex computer based energy management systems are utilised for design and operation of such buildings. Often these buildings perform poor in practice in terms of energy consumption, cost and carbon emissions due to lack of thorough analysis of their controllability during the design process. This paper highlights the deficiencies in the current building design practice and the need for appropriate framework to assess controllability of buildings during design stages so that complex building energy systems are easier to manage in practice.
    • Controller Design Methodology for Sustainable Local Energy Systems

      Counsell, John M.; Al-Khaykan, A. (University of Chester, 2018-11-15)
      Commercial Buildings and complexes are no longer just national heat and power network energy loads, but they are becoming part of a smarter grid by including their own dedicated local heat and power generation. They do this by utilising both heat and power networks/micro-grids. A building integrated approach of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) generation with photovoltaic power generation (PV) abbreviated as CHPV is emerging as a complementary energy supply solution to conventional (i.e. national grid based) gas and electricity grid supplies in the design of sustainable commercial buildings and communities. The merits for the building user/owner of this approach are: to reduce life time energy running costs; reduce carbon emissions to contribute to UK’s 2020/2030 climate change targets; and provide a more flexible and controllable local energy system to act as a dynamic supply and/or load to the central grid infrastructure. The energy efficiency and carbon dioxide (CO2) reductions achievable by CHP systems are well documented. The merits claimed by these solutions are predicated on the ability of these systems being able to satisfy: perfect matching of heat and power supply and demand; ability at all times to maintain high quality power supply; and to be able to operate with these constraints in a highly dynamic and unpredictable heat and power demand situation. Any circumstance resulting in failure to guarantee power quality or matching of supply and demand will result in a degradation of the achievable energy efficiency and CO2 reduction. CHP based local energy systems cannot rely on large scale diversity of demand to create a relatively easy approach to supply and demand matching (i.e. as in the case of large centralised power grid infrastructures). The diversity of demand in a local energy system is both much greater than the centralised system and is also specific to the local system. It is therefore essential that these systems have robust and high performance control systems to ensure supply and demand matching and high power quality can be achieved at all times. Ideally this same control system should be able to make best use of local energy system energy storage to enable it to be used as a flexible, highly responsive energy supply and/or demand for the centralised infrastructure. In this thesis, a comprehensive literature survey has identified that there is no scientific and rigorous method to assess the controllability or the design of control systems for these local energy systems. Thus, the main challenge of the work described in this thesis is that of a controller design method and modelling approach for CHP based local energy systems. Specifically, the main research challenge for the controller design and modelling methodology was to provide an accurate and stable system performance to deliver a reliable tracking of power drawn/supplied to the centralised infrastructure whilst tracking the require thermal comfort in the local energy systems buildings. In the thesis, the CHPV system has been used as a case study. A CHPV based solution provides all the benefits of CHP combined with the near zero carbon building/local network integrated PV power generation. CHPV needs to be designed to provide energy for the local buildings’ heating, dynamic ventilating system and air-conditioning (HVAC) facilities as well as all electrical power demands. The thesis also presents in addition to the controller design and modelling methodology a novel CHPV system design topology for robust, reliable and high-performance control of building temperatures and energy supply from the local energy system. The advanced control system solution aims to achieve desired building temperatures using thermostatic control whilst simultaneously tracking a specified national grid power demand profile. The theory is innovative as it provides a stability criterion as well as guarantees to track a specified dynamic grid connection demand profile. This research also presents: design a dynamic MATLAB simulation model for a 5-building zone commercial building to show the efficacy of the novel control strategy in terms of: delivering accurate thermal comfort and power supply; reducing the amount of CO2 emissions by the entire energy system; reducing running costs verses national rid/conventional approaches. The model was developed by inspecting the functional needs of 3 local energy system case studies which are also described in the thesis. The CHPV system is combined with supplementary gas boiler for additional heating to guarantee simultaneous tracking of all the zones thermal comfort requirements whilst simultaneously tracking a specified national grid power demand using a Photovoltaics array to supply the system with renewable energy to reduce amount of CO2 emission. The local energy system in this research can operate in any of three modes (Exporting, Importing, Island). The emphasise of the thesis modelling method has been verified to be applicable to a wide range of case studies described in the thesis chapter 3. This modelling framework is the platform for creating a generic controlled design methodology that can be applied to all these case studies and beyond, including Local Energy System (LES) in hotter climates that require a cooling network using absorption chillers. In the thesis in chapter 4 this controller design methodology using the modelling framework is applied to just one case study of Copperas Hill. Local energy systems face two types of challenges: technical and nontechnical (such as energy economics and legislation). This thesis concentrates solely on the main technical challenges of a local energy system that has been identified as a gap in knowledge in the literature survey. The gap identified is the need for a controller design methodology to allow high performance and safe integration of the local energy system with the national grid infrastructure and locally installed renewables. This integration requires the system to be able to operate at high performance and safely in all different modes of operation and manage effectively the multi-vector energy supply system (e.g. simultaneous supply of heat and power from a single system).
    • A Cost-Effective Virtual Environment for Simulating and Training Powered Wheelchairs Manoeuvres

      Headleand, Christopher J.; Day, Thomas W.; Pop, Serban R.; Ritsos, Panagiotis D.; John, Nigel W.; Bangor University and University of Chester (IOS Press, 2016-04-07)
      Control of a powered wheelchair is often not intuitive, making training of new users a challenging and sometimes hazardous task. Collisions, due to a lack of experience can result in injury for the user and other individuals. By conducting training activities in virtual reality (VR), we can potentially improve driving skills whilst avoiding the risks inherent to the real world. However, until recently VR technology has been expensive and limited the commercial feasibility of a general training solution.We describe Wheelchair-Rift, a cost effective prototype simulator that makes use of the Oculus Rift head mounted display and the Leap Motion hand tracking device. It has been assessed for face validity by a panel of experts from a local Posture and Mobility Service. Initial results augur well for our cost-effective training solution.
    • Crank-Nicolson finite element discretizations for a two-dimenional linear Schroedinger-type equation posed in noncylindrical domain

      Antonopoulou, Dimitra; Karali, Georgia D.; Plexousakis, Michael; Zouraris, Georgios; University of Chester (AMS, 2014-11-05)
      Motivated by the paraxial narrow–angle approximation of the Helmholtz equation in domains of variable topography, we consider an initialand boundary-value problem for a general Schr¨odinger-type equation posed on a two space-dimensional noncylindrical domain with mixed boundary conditions. The problem is transformed into an equivalent one posed on a rectangular domain, and we approximate its solution by a Crank–Nicolson finite element method. For the proposed numerical method, we derive an optimal order error estimate in the L2 norm, and to support the error analysis we prove a global elliptic regularity theorem for complex elliptic boundary value problems with mixed boundary conditions. Results from numerical experiments are presented which verify the optimal order of convergence of the method.
    • A critical evaluation of students' attitudes to electronic learning at the University of Chester

      Shaylor, Jan P.; Wheeler, Timothy J.; Rayner, Linda A. (University of Liverpool (Chester College of Higher Education)University of Chester, 2007-01)
      The research described in this thesis reports the results of a study into the adoption of e-learning strategies based on the use of the World Wide Web (WWW) and Internet. Through an extensive and critical literature review, it exemplifies how higher education uses intranets to deliver learning and support services to their student population. The overall aim of this research was to investigate how e-learning at the University of Chester might more effectively support students' learning needs, thereby improving their experience of e-learning. Students were given a mode of study, either face-to-face (64 subjects) or experimental using online intranet delivery (66 subjects). The course used for this study was a 13 week, Level Two undergraduate computer course taken by non-computing students. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected and analysed. The results reveal significant differences between the performance of the e-learning and face-to-face groups with e-learning students performing poorly when compared to their face-to-face peers. A lack of responsiveness in tutor support and student motivation were established as being major contributing factors as well as differences in the students' individual learning profiles. The research concludes that e-learning, although promoted as being anytime and anywhere is limited in its flexibility and responsiveness in the context in which it was assessed. Most e-learning activities at the University of Chester can be described as 'one size fits all'. They require students to read printed text, carry out further work, research or exercises, and post written comments to a discussion board. There is little evidence that individual student needs and preferences are being considered or supported. With the move towards blended learning in educational institutions, e-learning strategies are being used as a regular part of the curriculum to enhance the student experience. This research provides alternatives for the development and delivery of more individually tailored e-learning courses and provides strategies for supporting students in virtual environments more effectively. The thesis concludes by proposing a new model for e-learning based on these results coupled with a self-critical review and proposals for further research.