Welcome to Research Repository UCD

Research Repository UCD is a digital collection of open access scholarly research publications from University College Dublin. Research Repository UCD collects, preserves and makes freely available publications including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers created by UCD researchers. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. This service is maintained by UCD Library.

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  • Publication
  • Publication
    Corporate governance, accountability and mechanisms of accountability : an overview
    Purpose – This paper reviews traditional corporate governance and accountability research, to suggest opportunities for future research in this field. The first part adopts an analytical frame of reference based on theory, accountability mechanisms, methodology, business sector/context, globalisation and time horizon. The second part of the paper locates the seven papers in the special issue in a framework of analysis showing how each one contributes to the field. The paper presents a frame of reference which may be used as a 'roadmap' for researchers to navigate their way through the prior literature and to position their work on the frontiers of corporate governance research. Design/methodology/approach – The paper employs an analytical framework, and is primarily discursive and conceptual. Findings – The paper encourages broader approaches to corporate governance and accountability research beyond the traditional and primarily quantitative approaches of prior research. Broader theoretical perspectives, methodological approaches, accountability mechanism, sectors/contexts, globalisation and time horizons are identified. Research limitations/implications – Greater use of qualitative research methods are suggested, which present challenges particularly of access to the “black box” of corporate boardrooms. Originality/value – Drawing on the analytical framework, and the papers in the special issue, the paper identifies opportunities for further research of accountability and corporate governance.
      33671Scopus© Citations 303
  • Publication
    Elderly care in Ireland - provisions and providers
    (University College Dublin. School of Social Justice, 2010-04) ;
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  • Publication
    Equality in education : an equality of condition perspective
    (Sage Publications, 2005) ;
    Transforming schools into truly egalitarian institutions requires a holistic and integrated approach. Using a robust conception of 'equality of condition', we examine key dimensions of equality that are central to both the purposes and processes of education: equality in educational and related resources; equality of respect and recognition; equality of power; and equality of love, care and solidarity. We indicate in each case some of the major changes that need to occur if we are to promote equality of condition. Starting with inequalities of resources, and in particular with inequalities tied to social class, we argue for abandoning rigid grouping policies, challenging the power of parents in relation to both selection and grouping, and changing curricula and assessment systems to make them more inclusive of the wide range of human intelligences. In relation to respect and recognition, we call for much more inclusive processes for respecting differences, not only in schools' organizational cultures, but also in their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment systems. Regarding inequalities of power, we call for democratization of both teacher-student relationships and school and college organization. For promoting equality of love, care and solidarity, we argue that schools need to develop an appreciation of the intrinsic role that emotions play in the process of teaching and learning, to provide a space for students and teachers to talk about their feelings and concerns, and to devise educational experiences that will enable students to develop their emotional skills or personal intelligences as a discrete area of human capability.
      23653Scopus© Citations 145
  • Publication
    Discretionary disclosure strategies in corporate narratives : incremental information or impression management?
    (University of Florida. Fisher School of Accounting, 2007) ;
    The purpose of this paper is to review and synthesize the literature on discretionary narrative disclosures. We explore why, how, and whether preparers of corporate narrative reports use discretionary disclosures in corporate narrative documents and why, how, and whether users react thereto. To facilitate the review, we provide three taxonomies based on: the motivation for discretionary narrative disclosures (opportunistic behavior, i.e. impression management, versus provision of useful incremental information); the research perspective (preparer versus user); and seven discretionary disclosure strategies. We also examine the whole range of theoretical frameworks utilized by prior research, and we put forward some suggestions for future research.
  • Publication
    From asset based welfare to welfare housing? The changing function of social housing in Ireland
    (Routledge, 2011) ;
    This article examines a distinctive and significant aspect of social housing in Ireland – its change in function from an asset-based role in welfare support to a more standard model of welfare housing. It outlines the nationalist and agrarian drivers which expanded the initial role of social housing beyond the goal of improving housing conditions for the poor towards the goal of extending home ownership and assesses whether this focus made it more similar to the ‘asset based welfare’ approach to housing found in south-east Asia than to social housing in western Europe. From the mid-1980s, the role of Irish social housing changed as the sector contracted and evolved towards the model of welfare housing now found in many other western countries. Policy makers have struggled to address the implications of this transition and vestiges of social housing’s traditional function are still evident, consequently the boundaries between social housing, private renting and home ownership in Ireland have grown increasingly nebulous.
    Scopus© Citations 29  22272
  • Publication
    Using Twitter to recommend real-time topical news
    Recommending news stories to users, based on their preferences,has long been a favourite domain for recommender systems research. In this paper, we describe a novel approach to news recommendation that harnesses real-time micro-blogging activity, from a service such as Twitter, as the basis for promoting news stories from a user's favourite RSS feeds. A preliminary evaluation is carried out on an implementation of this technique that shows promising results.
      21403Scopus© Citations 339
  • Publication
    Constructive approaches towards water treatment works sludge management : an international review of beneficial re-uses
    (Taylor & Francis, 2007-03) ;
    Till date, virtually all known drinking water processing systems generate an enormous amount of residual sludge, and what else to do with this rapidly increasing 'waste' stream in an economic and environmentally sustainable manner remains a significant environmental issue. Perhaps, the realization of this fact has led to series of concerted efforts aimed at beneficial re-uses in an effort to close the loop between efficient water treatment and sustainable sludge management. This paper therefore presents a comprehensive review of available literature on attempts at beneficial reuses of water treatment plant sludge, in an effort to provide a compendium of recent and past developments, and update our current state of knowledge. Four broad categories of uses, which included over eleven possible ways in which waterworks sludges can be reused were identified and examined. Obvious advantages of such reuse options were highlighted and knowledge gaps identified. Future issues that will assist in the development of sustainable waterworks sludge management options with a multi-prong approach were equally discussed.
      19940Scopus© Citations 392
  • Publication
    Expansive cements and soundless chemical demolition agents : state of technology review
    Expansive cements and soundless chemical demolition agents (SCDAs) were first introduced in the early 1970s but failed to gain widespread adoption for selective removal of rock and concrete due to their proprietary nature and a lack of usage guidelines. Nearly 40 years later, the patents have expired, and a large number of competitive products have entered the market. These factors coupled with a heightened interest in their potential environmental benefits have greatly expanded their usage. Specifically, these chemicals can be introduced into a pattern of small, drilled holes in concrete and/or rock. After a specific period (usually less than 24 hours), the in-situ material will crack sufficiently that it can be removed without the use of traditional explosives or further percussive efforts. The products generate substantially less noise and vibration than usually associated with the removal of rock and concrete. This paper provides a state-of-the-technology review of five available products. The focus is on the proposed applicability of various products under specific conditions. Special attention is paid to the viability of such agents under varying temperatures and with materials of particular strengths.
  • Publication
    Inequality and crime
    (MIT Press, 2000-11)
    This paper considers the relationship between inequality and crime using data from urban counties. The behavior of property and violent crime are quite different. Inequality has no effect on property crime but a strong and robust impact on violent crime, with an elasticity above 0.5. By contrast, poverty and police activity have significant effects on property crime, but little on violent crime. Property crime is well explained by the economic theory of crime, while violent crime is better explained by strain and social disorganization theories.
      17585Scopus© Citations 435
  • Publication
    Clustering with the multivariate normal inverse Gaussian distribution
    Many model-based clustering methods are based on a finite Gaussian mixture model. The Gaussian mixture model implies that the data scatter within each group is elliptically shaped. Hence non-elliptical groups are often modeled by more than one component, resulting in model over-fitting. An alternative is to use a mean–variance mixture of multivariate normal distributions with an inverse Gaussian mixing distribution (MNIG) in place of the Gaussian distribution, to yield a more flexible family of distributions. Under this model the component distributions may be skewed and have fatter tails than the Gaussian distribution. The MNIG based approach is extended to include a broad range of eigendecomposed covariance structures. Furthermore, MNIG models where the other distributional parameters are constrained is considered. The Bayesian Information Criterion is used to identify the optimal model and number of mixture components. The method is demonstrated on three sample data sets and a novel variation on the univariate Kolmogorov–Smirnov test is used to assess goodness of fit.
      17568Scopus© Citations 62
  • Publication
    Curriculum Design in Higher Education: Theory to Practice
    (University College Dublin. Teaching and Learning, 2015-09)
    This eBook emphasises the theory to practice of curriculum design in higher education. The book focuses on programme (not module) level of design; incorporates face-to-face, blended and online curricula; attempts to link theory to practice by giving some practical resources and/or exercises; draws the author's experiences of working and researching into curriculum design in the Irish higher education sector; is aimed at all staff involved in curriculum design, including academic staff (faculty), institutional managers, educational developers and technologists, support staff, library staff and curriculum researchers; is primarily drawn from literature and experiences in the higher education sector, however those in adult and further education may also find it useful. The structure of this book is based on a curriculum design process that the author has developed as part of her experience and research on curriculum design. 
  • Publication
    Agent-based coordination for the sensor web
    The approach described advocates the use of a multi-agent system, and specifically the use of multi-agent distributed constraint optimisation algorithms. Developing software for low powered sensing devices introduces several problems to be addressed; the most obvious being the limited computational resources available. In this paper we discuss an implementation of ADOPT, a pre-existing algorithm for distributed constraint optimisation, and describe how it has been integrated with a reflective agent platform developed for resource constrained devices, namely Agent Factory Micro Edition (AFME). The usefulness of this work is illustrated through the canonical multi-agent coordination problem, namely graph colouring.
      16058Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Michael White's narrative therapy
    (Springer Verlag, 1998)
    A systematized description of a number of practices central to Michael Whites' narrative approach to therapy is given. These include collaborative positioning of the therapist, externalizing the problem, excavating unique outcomes, thickening the new plot, and linking the new plot to the past and the future. The practices of remembering and incorporation, using literary means to achieve therapeutic ends, and facilitating taking-it-back practices are also described. A number of questions are given which may be useful for those concerned with narrative therapy to address.
      15518Scopus© Citations 106
  • Publication
    Visualization in sporting contexts : the team scenario
    Wearable sensor systems require an interactive and communicative interface for the user to interpret data in a meaningful way. The development of adaptive personalization features in a visualization tool for such systems can convey a more meaningful picture to the user of the system. In this paper, a visualization tool called Visualization in Team Scenarios (VTS), which can be used by a coach to monitor an athlete’s physiological parameters, is presented. The VTS has been implemented with a wearable sensor system that can monitor players’ performance in a game in a seamless and transparent manner. Using the VTS, a coach is able to analyze the physiological data of athletes generated using select wearable sensors, and subsequently analyse the results to personalize training schedules thus improving the performance of the players.
  • Publication
    Provision of childcare services in Ireland
    (University College Dublin. School of Social Justice, 2008-03) ;
    External report commissioned by and presented to the EU Directorate-General Employment and Social Affairs, Unit G1 'Equality between women and men'
  • Publication
    Financial statement fraud : some lessons from US and European case studies
    (Wiley-Blackwell, 2007-07) ;
    This paper studies 14 companies which were subject to an official investigation arising from the publication of fraudulent financial statements. The research found senior management to be responsible for most fraud. Recording false sales was the most common method of financial statement fraud. Meeting external forecasts emerged as the primary motivation. Management discovered most fraud, although the discovery was split between incumbent and new management.
      15055Scopus© Citations 38
  • Publication
    The effectiveness of family therapy and systemic interventions for child-focused problems
    (Wiley, 2009-02)
    This review updates a similar paper published in the Journal of Family Therapy in 2001. It presents evidence from meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews and controlled trials for the effectiveness of systemic interventions for families of children and adolescents with various difficulties. In this context, systemic interventions include both family therapy and other family-based approaches such as parent training. The evidence supports the effectiveness of systemic interventions either alone or as part of multimodal programmes for sleep, feeding and attachment problems in infancy; child abuse and neglect; conduct problems (including childhood behavioural difficulties, ADHD, delinquency and drug abuse); emotional problems (including anxiety, depression, grief, bipolar disorder and suicidality); eating disorders (including anorexia, bulimia and obesity); and somatic problems (including enuresis, encopresis, recurrent abdominal pain, and poorly controlled asthma and diabetes).
      14758Scopus© Citations 159
  • Publication
    Focus groups versus individual interviews with children : A comparison of data
    (Routledge (Taylor & Francis), 2006) ;
    In recent years there has been an increase in the use of qualitative data collection techniques in research with children. Among the most common of these methods are focus groups and individual interviews. While many authors claim that focus groups have advantages over individual interviews, these claims have not been tested empirically with children. The present study reports on the use of focus groups and interviews to collect qualitative data from 116 children in three age groups, with mean ages of 8.4, 11.5 and 14.3 years. The children were randomly allocated to participate in either focus groups or individual interviews where they were presented with identical material and questions relating to their beliefs about peers with psychological disorders. In line with previous research, the interviews produced significantly more relevant and unique ideas about the causes of these disorders than the focus groups, but the latter gave rise to greater elaboration of ideas. The participating children showed no significant difference in their preference for one method over the other. Thus, whether to choose individual interviews or focus groups is likely to depend on the nature of the research question in any given study.
      14385Scopus© Citations 44
Recent Submissions
  • Publication
    Identifying Sources of Faecal Contamination in a Small Urban Stream Catchment: A Multiparametric Approach
    Small urban streams discharging in the proximity of bathing waters may significantly contribute to the deterioration of water quality, yet their impact may be overlooked. This study focuses on the Elm Park stream in the city of Dublin that is subject to faecal contamination by unidentified sources. The aim of the study was to identify a minimum number of “sentinel” sampling stations in an urban catchment that would provide the maximum amount of information regarding faecal pollution in the catchment. Thus, high-resolution sampling within the catchment was carried out over the course of 1 year at 11 stations. Faecal indicator bacteria were enumerated and microbial source tracking (MST) was employed to evaluate human pollution. In addition, ammonium, total oxidised nitrogen, and phosphorus levels were monitored to determine if these correlated with faecal indicator and the HF183 MST marker. In addition, the effect of severe weather events on water quality was assessed using automated sampling at one of the identified “sentinel” stations during baseflow and high flow conditions over a 24-h period. Our results show that this urban stream is at times highly contaminated by point source faecal pollution and that human faecal pollution is pervasive in the catchment. Correlations between ammonium concentrations and faecal indicator bacteria (FIB) as well as the human MST marker were observed during the study. Cluster analysis identified four “sentinel” stations that provide sufficient information on faecal pollution in the stream, thus reducing the geographical complexity of the catchment. Furthermore, ammonium levels strongly correlated with FIB and the human HF183 MST marker under high flow conditions at key “sentinel” stations. This work demonstrates the effectiveness of pairing MST, faecal indicators, and ammonium monitoring to identify “sentinel” stations that could be more rapidly assessed using real-time ammonium readouts to assess remediation efforts.
      4Scopus© Citations 12
  • Publication
    Adaptive approaches in metamodel-based reliability analysis: A review
    The present work reviews the implementation of adaptive metamodeling for reliability analysis with emphasis in four main types of metamodels: response surfaces, polynomial chaos expansions, support vector machines, and Kriging models. The discussion presented is motivated by the identified spread and little interaction between metamodeling techniques in reliability, which makes it challenging for practitioners to decide which one to consider in a context of implementation. The conceptual problem of reliability analysis and the theoretical description of the four models is presented, and complemented by a comparative discussion of applications with identification of new areas of interest. The different considerations that influence the efficiency of adaptive metamodeling are reviewed, with extension to applicability discussions for the four models researched. Despite all adaptive techniques contributing to achieve significant gains in the amount of effort required for reliability analysis, and with minimal trade-off in accuracy, they should not be expected to perform equally in regard to the dependence on the reliability problem being addressed. Cross application of methodologies, bridging the gap between methodology and application, and ensembles are some of new areas of research interest identified. One of the major critical considerations for adaptive metamodeling, and that has been target of limited research, is the need for comprehensive techniques that allow a blind selection of the most adequate model with relation to the problem in–hand. To conclude, the extensive and comprehensive discussion presented aims to be a first step for the unification of the field of adaptive metamodeling in reliability; so that future implementations do not exclusively follow individual lines of research that progressively become more narrow in scope, but also seek transversal developments in the field of adaptive metamodeling for reliability analysis.
      3Scopus© Citations 138
  • Publication
    Wavelet-based operating deflection shapes for locating scour-related stiffness losses in multi-span bridges
    Scour erosion poses a significant risk to bridge safety worldwide and affects the stiffness of the soil-foundation system, resulting in global changes in the dynamic behavior of the bridges. In this paper, a new approach to detect scour at multiple locations is proposed, using wavelet-based Operating Deflection Shape (ODS) amplitudes. A numerical model of a bridge with four simply supported spans resting on piers is used to test the approach. Scour is modelled as a reduction in vertical foundation stiffness under one or multiple bridge piers. A fleet of passing trucks, modelled as half-car vehicles, are used to excite the bridge to enable structural accelerations be calculated at each support. The approach is shown to be effective with acceleration measurements at each support location in a multi-span bridge. Using a fleet of passing vehicles, the temporal accelerations measured at each support are averaged and transformed into the frequency–spatial domain, in order to estimate the wavelet-based ODS for a given scour case. A damage indicator is postulated based on differences between the ODS of healthy and scoured bridge cases. The damage indicator enables visual identification of the location of scoured piers considering a range of natural frequencies of the system.
  • Publication
    Analysis of inclement weather on traffic flow – an Irish National roads case study
    Transportation networks and infrastructure are increasingly exposed to and effected by inclement weather. The rise in the frequency and intensity of these events is increasingly affecting the normal operation, performance and functionality of roads and highways, leading to costly losses. Inclement weather creates risky and hazardous situations not only on the main roads, such as motorways, but also, on the smaller roads connecting rural parts of the country that experience lower traffic volumes. The effects of weather events, such as rainfalls or snowfalls, have been primarily addressed in main roads, leaving, smaller roads on hold. This has created a lack of specific policy and poor adaptation strategies for secondary layers of transport networks, and their users. The present paper investigates the link between inclement weather and traffic flow in various locations in Ireland. The results provide an examination of the impact that weather events such as varying levels of wind and rain can have on road network performance in multiple locations in Ireland. The varying levels of wind exposure (light, medium, intense) on the sections of the Irish road network examined were found to have a greater effect on traffic volumes than comparative levels of rain exposure. This analysis ultimately contributes to a better understanding and knowledge of characteristics of Irish road network and its performance under perilous conditions, which may support the creation of specific measures to improve the resilience of the transport network.
  • Publication
    The calibration challenge when inferring longitudinal track profile from the inertial response of an in-service train
    An Irish Rail intercity train was instrumented for a period of one month with inertial sensors. In this paper, a novel calibration algorithm is proposed to determine, with reasonable accuracy, vehicle model parameters from the measured vehicle response data. Frequency domain decomposition (FDD) is used to find the dominant frequencies in the captured data. Randomly chosen 2 km data segments are chosen from a number of datasets, thereby averaging out the effects of variations in track longitudinal profile, track stiffness, signal noise and other unknowns. The remaining dominant peaks are taken to be vehicle frequencies. An optimisation technique known as Cross Entropy is used to find vehicle mass and stiffness properties that best match modal vehicle eigenfrequencies identified in the frequency analysis. Finally, the calibrated vehicle is run over a measured track profile and the resulting model output is compared to measured data to validate the results.
      3Scopus© Citations 4
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    Application of value of information theory in adaptive metamodeling for reliability assessment
    The present paper discusses the application principles of value of information theory in adaptive metamodeling for reliability analysis. Metamodeling for reliability purposes has become particularly relevant in recent years. The usage of metamodels allows surrogating the, costly to evaluate, performance functions of engineering structures. Adaptive Kriging procedures are examples of the successful application of metamodeling in reliability analysis. Efficient adaptive Kriging involves the usage of some notion of improvement in what ultimately is an unsupervised decision making scheme that selects points to enrich the model. Therefore, the decision to select a point to enrich the experimental design should consider the utility of each candidate in the expectation of improvement of the metamodeling accuracy. Within this context, a comprehensive discussion on the application of value of information for reliability metamodeling is presented. Since the candidate points and surrogate are jointly built in a virtually costless model, it is possible to know the virtual outcome of the enrichment decisions. In many circumstances, points in the experimental design may provide redundant information. Furthermore, a priori knowledge on the performance function may be applied to weight the expected outcome of exploration and exploitation. Value of information considerations adds value to reliability metamodeling that uses adaptive methods, and is of interest for efficient design and optimization of complex structures, such as bridge structures.
      4Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    A Novel Acceleration-Based Moving Force Identification Algorithm to Detect Global Bridge Damage
    This paper presents a new moving force identification (MFI) algorithm that uses measured accelerations to infer applied vehicle forces on bridges. Previous MFI algorithms use strain or deflection measurements. Statistics of the inferred forces are used in turn as indicators of global bridge damage. The new acceleration-based MFI algorithm (A-MFI) is validated through numerical simulations with a coupled vehicle-bridge dynamic interaction model programmed in MATLAB. A focussed sensitivity study suggests that results are sensitive to the accuracy of the vehicle velocity data. The inferred Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), calculated by A-MFI, is proposed as the bridge damage indicator. A real weigh-in-motion database is used with a simulation of vehicle/bridge interaction, to validate the concept. Results show that the standard deviation of inferred GVWs has a good correlation with the global bridge damage level
  • Publication
    Replicating natural topography on marine artificial structures – A novel approach to eco-engineering
    Ocean sprawl is a growing threat to marine and coastal ecosystems globally, with wide-ranging consequences for natural habitats and species. Artificial structures built in the marine environment often support less diverse communities than natural rocky marine habitats because of low topographic complexity. Some structures can be eco-engineered to increase their complexity and promote biodiversity. Tried-and-tested eco-engineering approaches include building-in habitat designs to mimic features of natural reef topography that are important for biodiversity. Most designs mimic discrete microhabitat features like crevices or holes and are geometrically-simplified. Here we propose that directly replicating the full fingerprint of natural reef topography in habitat designs makes a novel addition to the growing toolkit of eco-engineering options. We developed a five-step process for designing natural topography-based eco-engineering interventions for marine artificial structures. Given that topography is highly spatially variable in rocky reef habitats, our targeted approach seeks to identify and replicate the ‘best’ types of reef topography to satisfy specific eco-engineering objectives. We demonstrate and evaluate the process by designing three natural topography-based habitat units for intertidal structures, each targeting one of three hypothetical eco-engineering objectives. The process described can be adapted and applied according to user-specific priorities. Expanding the toolkit for eco-engineering marine structures is crucial to enable ecologically-informed designs that maximise biodiversity benefits from burgeoning ocean sprawl.
      4Scopus© Citations 34
  • Publication
    Eco-Engineering of Seawalls—An Opportunity for Enhanced Climate Resilience From Increased Topographic Complexity
    In the context of “green” approaches to coastal engineering, the term “eco-engineering” has emerged in recent years to describe the incorporation of ecological concepts (including artificially water-filled depressions and surface textured tiles on seawalls and drilled holes in sea structures) into the conventional design process for marine infrastructures. Limited studies have evaluated the potential increase in wave energy dissipation resulting from the increased hydraulic roughness of ecologically modified sea defences which could reduce wave overtopping and consequent coastal flood risks, while increasing biodiversity. This paper presents results of small-scale laboratory investigations of wave overtopping on artificially roughened seawalls. Impulsive and non-impulsive wave conditions with two deep-water wave steepness values (=0.015 and 0.06) are evaluated to simulate both swell and storm conditions in a two-dimensional wave flume with an impermeable 1:20 foreshore slope. Measurements from a plain vertical seawall are taken as the reference case. The seawall was subsequently modified to include 10 further test configurations where hydraulic effects, reflective of “eco-engineering” interventions, were simulated by progressively increasing seawall roughness with surface protrusions across three length scales and three surface densities. Measurements at the plain vertical seawall compared favorably to empirical predictions from the EurOtop II Design Manual and served as a validation of the experimental approach. Results from physical model experiments showed that increasing the length and/or density of surface protrusions reduced overtopping on seawalls. Benchmarking of test results from experiments with modified seawalls to reference conditions showed that the mean overtopping rate was reduced by up to 100% (test case where protrusion density and length were maximum) under impulsive wave conditions. Results of this study highlight the potential for eco-engineering interventions on seawalls to mitigate extreme wave overtopping hazards by dissipating additional wave energy through increased surface roughness on the structure.
      10Scopus© Citations 32
  • Publication
    An integrated dynamic analysis of a 5MW monopile-supported offshore wind turbine under environmental loads
    This paper investigates the dynamic behaviour of an offshore wind turbine (OWT) supported on medium dense sand using an integrated load assessment. An integrated modelling approach is introduced to allow for considering aerodynamic and hydrodynamic loading and also soil-structure interaction. A numerical model of the NREL 5MW monopile-supported OWT is initially developed in OpenFAST software. The foundation of the structure is modelled using SESAM software where soilstructure interaction is adopted using API curves and integrated to the OpenFAST model using the stiffness values at mudline level. The integrated model provides a better understanding of the structural behaviour of OWT under various environmental conditions.
  • Publication
    Finite element modelling of the Loopline Bridge and model validation using ground-based radar interferometry
    This research investigates the procedure of using ground-based radar interferometry to develop and validate a finite element model of the Loopline Bridge in Dublin, Ireland. A description of the bridge is outlined and a three-dimensional finite element model was developed using RFEM, a commercial software package. The modelling approach was first validated against known theoretical solutions. The bridge model was then verified with section property calculations, experimental studies in the literature and deflection tests. The dynamic deflection at midspan of the Loopline Bridge was measured for two train crossing events using ground-based radar interferometry. A single train crossing event showed the deflection of the loaded side of the span with respect to the unloaded side. Additionally, a dual train crossing event demonstrated the twist in the deck from the train loads travelling in opposite directions on separate sides of the bridge. The same loading conditions were simulated in the finite element model and the resulting deflections were extracted. A comparison between both sets of deflection data was carried out and their correlation validated that the model accurately captures the behaviour of the real Loopline Bridge structure for both train loading scenarios.
  • Publication
    Using Machine Learning to Predict the Impact of Incidents on the M50 Motorway in Ireland
    Every year thousands of incidents occur on Irish roads. These incidents can be varied in nature and severity, ranging from debris on the road to serious road-traffic-collisions. The management of incidents on motorways is of particular importance, both in terms of road-user safety and maintaining network performance. Incident management encompasses a broad range of activities, with a multi-agency response often required to ensure that an incident is managed safely and efficiently with minimal traffic disruption. When an incident occurs on the motorway network, a dynamic risk assessment must be made by response personnel to estimate the severity of the incident and the potential impact on traffic conditions. A key parameter in this assessment is the duration of the incident, which is often difficult to establish, and likely to change as the incident evolves. Making a judgement on the expected duration of an incident can be difficult, however as traffic management processes become more automated, computer algorithms and historical incident databases can be leveraged to improve real-time predictions of incident duration. This paper analyses incidents that occurred on the M50 motorway in Ireland. By comparing the predictive performance of multiple machine learning methods for different types of incidents, an integrated approach is proposed to utilise the advantages of different methods. The results show that support vector machines perform best in most cases, but in some cases a different method may need to be used. Suggestions are made for further improvements which could improve accuracy and benefit real-time motorway operations response procedures.
  • Publication
    An advanced binary slime mould algorithm for feature subset selection in structural health monitoring data
    Feature selection (FS) is an important task for data analysis, pattern classification systems, and data mining applications. In this paper, an advanced version of binary slime mould algorithm (ABSMA) is introduced for feature subset selection to enhance the capability of the original slime mould algorithm (SMA) for processing of measured data collected from monitoring sensors installed on structures. In the first step, structural response signals under ambient vibration are pre-processed according to statistical characteristics for feature extraction. In the second step, extracted features of a structure are reduced using an optimization algorithm to find a minimal subset of salient features by removing noisy, irrelevant and redundant data. Finally, the optimized feature vectors are used as inputs to the surrogate models based on radial basis function neural network (RBFNN). A benchmark dataset of a wooden bridge model is considered as a test example. The results indicate that the proposed ABSMA shows better performance and convergence rate in comparison with four well-known metaheuristic optimizations. Furthermore, it can be concluded that the proposed feature subset selection method has the capability of more than 80% data reduction.
  • Publication
    Leading Change: promoting, supporting and accelerating the adoption of inclusive teaching principles in the School of Civil Engineering
    (Access and Lifelong Learning, University College Dublin, 2023) ; ; ; ;
    This project was a school-level initiative to promote, enhance, support and accelerate the adoption of inclusive teaching principles in the School of Civil Engineering (2021-2022). It focused on enrollments to the National Forum Digital Badge in UDL and uptake in the use of ‘Ally’ software for accessible learning content. A variety of activities sought to raise the profile of inclusive teaching and to entice faculty to engage in the change process. Results show a much greater engagement with inclusive teaching practices and indicate that the project has had a transformative impact.
  • Publication
    Potential sources of sensor data anomalies for autonomous vehicles: An overview from road vehicle safety perspective
    Outstanding steps towards intelligent transportation systems with autonomous vehicles have been taken in the past few years. Nevertheless, the safety issue in autonomous vehicles is critical and remains to be fully solved. Sensor data provide information about the internal status of the system and the impact of its external environment, where the occurrence of sensor data anomalies indicates the existence of potential safety risks. Therefore, in this work, a taxonomy for potential sensor data anomaly sources from the perspective of road vehicle safety is proposed, motivated by the lack of a unified comprehensive taxonomy of sensor data anomaly identification for autonomous vehicles. In this context, sources are divided into; 1) fault or failure of the components or subsystems; 2) failure of the adaptability to the external environment; 3) cyber-attacks; and 4) faults or design deficiencies of sensors. Based on the taxonomy proposed, related works, and in particular, countermeasures for the four potential sources of sensor data anomalies in autonomous vehicles are then reviewed. In the context of providing a comprehensive discussion, other taxonomies of potential sources causing sensor data anomalies for autonomous vehicles and the issue of interpretability of sensor data anomalies are also discussed, providing insight into the strengths of the proposed taxonomy.
      4Scopus© Citations 25
  • Publication
    Analyzing Wind Effects on Long-Span Bridges: A Viable Numerical Modelling Methodology Using OpenFOAM for Industrial Applications
    Aerodynamic performance is of critical importance to the design of long-span bridges. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling offers bridge designers an opportunity to investigate aerodynamic performance for long-span bridges during the design phase as well as during operation of the bridge. It offers distinct advantages when compared with the current standard practice of wind tunnel testing, which can have several limitations. The proposed revisions to the Eurocodes offer CFD as a methodology for wind analysis of bridges. Practicing engineers have long sought a computationally affordable, viable, and robust framework for industrial applications of using CFD to examine wind effects on long-span bridges. To address this gap in the literature and guidance, this paper explicitly presents a framework and demonstrates a workflow of analyzing wind effects on long-span bridges using open-source software, namely FreeCAD, OpenFOAM, and ParaView. Example cases are presented, and detailed configurations and general guidance are discussed during each step. A summary is provided of the validation of this methodology with field data collected from the structural health monitoring (SHM) systems of two long-span bridges.
    Scopus© Citations 1
  • Publication
    Full-scale computational fluid dynamics study on wind condition of the long-span Queensferry Crossing Bridge
    To date, the majority of numerical modelling [computational fluid dynamics (CFD)] studies on long-span bridges have been carried out on scaled physical models, and without field-data for validation. For the first time, a full-scale bridge aerodynamic CFD study was conducted in this paper. A full-scale three-dimensional CFD model of the middle span and central tower of the Queensferry Crossing, United Kingdom, was created. The aim of this work was accurately simulating the wind field around the bridge. The CFD simulations were developed in OpenFOAM with the k − ω SST turbulence model. Atmospheric boundary layer inflows were configured based on wind profiles provided by a full-scale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. CFD predictions were validated with field data which were collected from an on-site Structural Health Monitoring System. The simulated fluctuating wind field closely satisfied the characteristic of field data and demonstrated that the modelling approach had good potential to be used in practical bridge aerodynamic studies. Meanwhile, comparisons and sensitivity analyses on mesh density provided a reference modelling approach for any future works on full-scale bridge aerodynamic models. Additionally, a cylindrical-like domain was applied in bridge aerodynamics for the first time and verified as being a convenient and reliable way to be used in bridge studies that involve changes in yaw angle.
    Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    Special Issue: Applications of Computational Fluid Dynamics to the Built Environment
    (MDPI, 2023-03-23)
    With ever-increasing computational power and the capability of numerical methods, it is now possible to accurately simulate flow conditions in a virtual environment. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is an advanced modeling technique that solves partial differential equations in continuum mechanics by using numerical techniques. The equations governing flThis Special Issue aimed to collect and present research on applications of CFD to the built environment. A total of six papers (five research papers and one review paper) in various fields of civil engineering, including wind effects on bridges, wind energy harvesting, parametric design, façade design, thermal loads in dwellings, and the integration of CFD with BIM, are presented in this Special Issue.uid motion are based on the fundamental physical principles of the conservation of mass, momentum, and energy.
  • Publication
    Peatland dynamics: A review of process-based models and approaches
    Despite peatlands' important feedbacks on the climate and global biogeochemical cycles, predicting their dynamics involves many uncertainties and an overwhelming variety of available models. This paper reviews the most widely used process-based models for simulating peatlands' dynamics, i.e., the exchanges of energy and mass (water, carbon, and nitrogen). ‘Peatlands’ here refers to mires, fens, bogs, and peat swamps both intact and degraded. Using a systematic search (involving 4900 articles), 45 models were selected that appeared at least twice in the literature. The models were classified into four categories: terrestrial ecosystem models (biogeochemical and global dynamic vegetation models, n = 21), hydrological models (n = 14), land surface models (n = 7), and eco-hydrological models (n = 3), 18 of which featured “peatland-specific” modules. By analysing their corresponding publications (n = 231), we identified their proven applicability domains (hydrology and carbon cycles dominated) for different peatland types and climate zones (northern bogs and fens dominated). The studies range in scale from small plots to global, and from single events to millennia. Following a FOSS (Free Open-Source Software) and FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable) assessment, the number of models was reduced to 12. Then, we conducted a technical review of the approaches and associated challenges, as well as the basic aspects of each model, e.g., spatiotemporal resolution, input/output data format and modularity. Our review streamlines the process of model selection and highlights: (i) standardization and coordination are required for both data exchange and model calibration/validation to facilitate intercomparison studies; and (ii) there are overlaps in the models' scopes and approaches, making it imperative to fully optimize the strengths of existing models rather than creating redundant ones. In this regard, we provide a futuristic outlook for a ‘peatland community modelling platform’ and suggest an international peatland modelling intercomparison project.
    Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    The university mathematics lecture: to record, or not to record, that is the question
    (Springer, 2023-03-07) ;
    While recordings of lectures proved invaluable for students’ learning during the pandemic, as our university transitioned back to in-person teaching there was a call from many lecturers to remove the requirement to provide lecture recordings due to the perceived negative impact on attendance. To examine in detail the relationship between recordings and the corresponding face-to-face lectures, we conducted a study on the formats of lectures across our undergraduate mathematics programmes pre- and post-lockdown in March 2020, and students’ perceptions of how beneficial they felt each was for their learning. In May 2020, 156 mathematics students completed a survey containing both quantitative and qualitative questions. Findings indicate that pre-pandemic almost 70% of the lecture formats classified by students were traditional in nature, with 20% classified as containing some interactions, and the remainder as including group work. While students did not perceive great differences in terms of the benefits to learning between the face-to-face and online lecture formats in the majority of modules, those who experienced interactions or group work in lectures before lockdown, reported a greater drop than those who experienced a traditional lecture. Irrespective of preferences for face-to-face or online learning, students were clear about the value of lecture recordings and interactions with peers and lecturers to their learning. Based on our findings, and those of others, we discuss implications for mathematics lecturers’ practice. Specifically, we argue for the provision of lecture recordings or short pre-recordings, especially when the lecture is traditional in nature.