The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
Ningbo, China

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China is an overseas campus of The University of Nottingham, situated in the city of Ningbo in the coastal province of Zhejiang, near Shanghai, China. The university was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China, in 2004, with the approval of the Chinese Ministry of Education. It is run by The University of Nottingham with cooperation from Zhejiang's Wanli Education Group. Wikipedia.

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Quek A.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Balasubramanian R.,National University of Singapore
Journal of Cleaner Production | Year: 2014

The development of economic growth, population, and rapid urbanization is increasing the pace of energy consumption and waste production. These trends, if left unchecked, will lead to massive environmental degradation. Waste-to-energy (WtE) conversion is one way of alleviating the twin problems of fossil fuel use and solid waste disposal, and their related problems (climate change, pollution etc). Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a useful tool for assessing the environmental performances of WtE systems. Over fifty LCA studies on various WtE systems are reviewed, comprising different waste sources, energy products, and including countries from six continents. A variety of waste types, such as agricultural residues, used cooking oil, manure, municipal solid waste, and waste wood were studied. The review found that a large majority of WtE has lower greenhouse gas emissions when compared to fossil fuels. However, some WtE studies showed an increase in environmental impacts such as acidification and eutrophication, compared to fossil fuel extraction and use. This is due to the use of chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides) in agriculture and the allocation of these impacts to the use of the agricultural waste for energy conversion. Other problems with LCA are also highlighted, including allocation issues, definition of reference systems and functional units. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Subramanian N.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Ramanathan R.,University of Bedfordshire
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2012

The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on the applications of the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in operations management and suggest possible gaps from the point of view of researchers and practitioners. This paper systematically categorises the published literature from 1990 to 2009 in 291 peer reviewed journals articles (searched via Emerald, Ingenta, MetaPress, ProQuest, and ScienceDirect) and then reviews and analyses them methodologically. Our analysis has revealed that a significant number of AHP applications are found when problems require considerations of both quantitative and qualitative factors (e.g.; socioeconomic operations decisions). AHP has been largely applied to macro (complex and real) and people (managerial- subjective) oriented problems. The most addressed decision themes are product and process design and, managing the supply chain. A majority of AHP applications are application or case study oriented and only a few papers aimed at contributing to AHP modelling before applying to practical problems. Our review has found that significant research gap exists in the application of AHP in the areas of forecasting, layout of facilities and managing stocks. This paper presents a comprehensive listing of AHP applications in operations management and develops a framework for identifying the decision areas that have better research gaps to be studied by future researchers. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Xu Z.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Rahman M.F.,University of New South Wales
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2012

The estimation accuracy of the stator flux and speed using open-loop integrators drops as the mechanical speed reduces in direct-torque-controlled (DTC) interior-permanent-magnet (IPM) synchronous motors. At lower speed, inaccurately estimated stator flux and stator resistance mismatch have significant influence on the steady-state and transient performance of the drive system. The robustness against parameter detuning and signal noises can be improved by deploying closed-loop observers with estimated stator flux and rotor speed. This paper presents a comparison of two stator-flux and speed observers for variable-structure DTC IPM motor drives: an adaptive sliding observer and an extended Kalman filter (EKF). The experimental comparison of the adaptive sliding observer and the EKF regards steady-state and dynamic performance, robustness against parameter uncertainties, stability, and computational complexity. Recommendations for observer selection and the effectiveness of the various schemes are concluded. © 2012 IEEE.

Chong A.Y.-L.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Chan F.T.S.,Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2012

Structural equation analysis for multi-stage analysis on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) diffusion in the health care industry. Faced with an increasingly competitive business environment, organizations in the health care industry are applying Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to improve operational efficiency and to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. This research provides a multi-stage analysis on the antecedents that affects the diffusion of RFID in the health care industry. Data collected from 182 health care organizations were analyzed using structural equation modeling analysis. The result shows that variables within the Technology-Organization-Environment (TOE) framework and the Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory have different effects on the evaluation, adoption, and routinization stages of RFID diffusion. This is one of few empirical studies on the factors influencing the diffusion of RFID in the health care industry. The results of this study will help decision makers in the health care industry to better understand the diffusion process of RFID, and to formulate strategies for successful diffusion of RFID. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Abdulrahman M.D.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Gunasekaran A.,University of Massachusetts Dartmouth | Subramanian N.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
International Journal of Production Economics | Year: 2014

Reverse logistics (RL) is gaining momentum worldwide due to global awareness and as a consequence of resource depletion and environmental degradation. Firms encounter RL implementation challenges from different stakeholders, both internally and externally. On the one hand, various governmental agencies are coming out with different environmental regulations while on the other hand academics and researchers are contributing solutions and suggestions in different country contexts. In a real sense however, the benefits of RL implementation is not yet fully realized in the emerging economies. This paper proposes a theoretical RL implementation model and empirically identifies significant RL barriers with respect to management, financial, policy and infrastructure in the Chinese manufacturing industries such as automotive, electrical and electronic, plastics, steel/construction, textiles and paper and paper based products. Key barriers from our study, with respect to these four categories, are: within management category a lack of reverse logistics experts and low commitment, within financial category a lack of initial capital and funds for return monitoring systems, within policy category a lack of enforceable laws and government supportive economic policies and, finally, within infrastructure category a the lack of systems for return monitoring. Contingency effect of ownership was carried out to understand the similarities and differences in RL barriers among the multinational firms and domestic firms investigated. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Chabi S.,University of Exeter | Peng C.,University of Exeter | Peng C.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China | Hu D.,University of Nottingham | Zhu Y.,University of Exeter
Advanced Materials | Year: 2014

Three-dimensional electrodes offer great advantages, such as enhanced ion and electron transport, increased material loading per unit substrate area, and improved mechanical stability upon repeated charge-discharge. The origin of these advantages is discussed and the criteria for ideal 3D electrode structure are outlined. One of the common features of ideal 3D electrodes is the use of a 3D carbon- or metal-based porous framework as the structural backbone and current collector. The synthesis methods of these 3D frameworks and their composites with redox-active materials are summarized, including transition metal oxides and conducting polymers. The structural characteristics and electrochemical performances are also reviewed. Synthesis of composite 3D electrodes is divided into two types - template-assisted and template-free methods - depending on whether a pre-made template is required. The advantages and drawbacks of both strategies are discussed. Ideal 3D electrodes offer kinetics and mass transport advantages in electrochemical energy storage. The common features of ideal 3D electrodes are summarized and recent advances in both template-assisted and template-free synthesis, as well as the electrode performance, are reviewed. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Ballance O.J.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
Language Learning and Technology | Year: 2012

Mobile-assisted language learning (MALL) is attracting a great deal of attention at present (Stockwell & Sotillo, 2011). However, it is important that teacher and researcher exploitation of technological developments be guided by more than just enthusiasm. Language Learning & Technology's commitment to empirical studies is admirable but, for conclusions based on empirical research to be valid, it is important to be clear about exactly what any data being gathered pertains to. In many ways, Stockwell (2010) presents a solid piece of research on the effects of the mobile phone platform on vocabulary activities; however, it could be argued that efforts made to ensure the comparability of the data gathered resulted in the data gathered having little relevance to genuine MALL activities. To some extent, this can be explained as a consequence of the speed of technological innovation in this area, but in other respects, it suggests that more care needs to be taken to develop a research framework within which the platform is not artificially separated from the learning activity. If such a framework can be developed, the scope of findings would have considerably greater validity and represent a far greater contribution to an empirical account of MALL. © 2012.

Chen G.Z.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
International Materials Reviews | Year: 2016

This article reviews critically selected recent literature on electrochemical energy storage (EES) technologies, focusing on supercapacitor and also supercapattery which is a generic term for various hybrid devices combining the merits of rechargeable battery and supercapacitor. Fundamentals of EES are explained, aiming at clarification of some literature confusions such as the differences between capacitive and non-capacitive Faradaic charge storage mechanisms, and between cathode and positive electrode (positrode), and between anode and negative electrode (negatrode). In particular, the concept and origin of pseudocapacitance are qualitatively correlated with the band model for semiconductors. Strategies for design and construction of supercapattery are discussed in terms of both the materials structures and device engineering. Selection of materials, including electrolytes, is another topic reviewed selectively. Graphenes and carbon nanotubes are the favourable choice to composite with both capacitive and non-capacitive redox materials for improved kinetics of charge storage processes and charge–discharge cycling stability. Organoaqueous electrolytes show a great potential to enable EES to work at sub-zero temperatures, while solid ion conducting membranes and ionic liquids can help develop high voltage (>4.0 V) and hence high energy supercapatteries. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis.

Chong A.Y.-L.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2013

M-commerce has continued to grow at an explosive rate. This purpose of this paper is to examine the predictors of m-commerce adoption by extending the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model. The extended model incorporates additional constructs such as perceived value, trust, perceived enjoyment and personal innovativeness. A non-linear, non-compensatory model is developed to understand the predictors of m-commerce adoptions. Online survey was used to collect data from 140 Chinese users. Neural network analysis was used to predict m-commerce adoption, and the model was compared with the results from regression analysis. The neural network model outperformed the regression model in adoption prediction, and captured the non-linear relationships between predictors such as perceived value, trust, perceived enjoyment, personal innovativeness, users demographic profiles (e.g. age, gender and educational level), effort expectancy, performance expectancy, social influence and facilitating conditions with m-commerce adoption. This study applied neural network to provide further understanding of m-commerce adoption decisions based on a non-linear, non-compensatory model. The UTAUT model was also extended to examine consumer information systems such as m-commerce. The m-commerce study conducted in this research is in China, one of the fastest growing m-commerce markets in the world. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Or J.,The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China
IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine | Year: 2013

Recently, there has been a growing interest in the energy efficiency of bipedal walking robots. However, there has been no study of the effect of the spine on the overall energy consumption of robots during locomotion. This article investigates the energy efficiency of a simulated biped humanoid robot that is capable of walking with spinal motion. A systematic technique is presented to compare the energy efficiency of a robot walking with different styles of spinal movement. Simulation results show that with the additional degrees of freedom (DoF) in the torso, the humanoid robot requires 26.5% less energy than its conventional rigid-torso counterpart to complete the same walking task. Interestingly, this happens when the robot is walking with swaying hips. © 1994-2011 IEEE.

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