• Five go to academia: narratives of becoming

      Devlin, Linda; Harris, Stephen (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-23)
      This autoethnographic inquiry aims to capture the complexity within the storied life history accounts of five academics, including my own, regarding the experiences they believe shaped the becoming of their workplace self. The individual stories are narrated, and then discussed collectively to encourage dialogue and deepen understanding. This inquiry is set against the context of previous research that focusses on the impact neoliberal policy and practice places upon the academic (Shore & Wright 2000; Morley, 2004; Harris, 2005; Billot, 2010; Floyd & Dimmock, 2011; Fanghanel, 2012). However, as a postmodern study, recognising ‘self’ as a transposable, contested and fluid entity it casts a wider lens to support this inquiry’s aim, and its two subordinate research outcomes. The first outcome is to inform my own academic and management practice by drawing on Bourdieu’s (1992; 1996) notion of capital and habitus. The second outcome is to develop and then test two multi-disciplinary conceptual frameworks that can be used, amended, or indeed discarded by self and identity researchers when meaning-making qualitative findings (Rainbow & Rose, 1994). The first of these frameworks draws mainly on the three broad categories of differing selves identified by Trede (2012), while the second returns to Bourdieu to consider his notion of ‘world hypothesis’, one that rejects dualisms (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992, p.11). The methodological strategy I use is informed primarily by both the five key features of analytic autoethnography (Anderson, 2006, pp.379-386) and Frank’s (2010, pp.105-110) six acts of dialogical narrative analysis preparation. I use four research questions to individually examine each storied transcript from different epistemic angles. The four questions, two aligned to each research outcome, seek out the socio-cultural power constructs that influence a participant’s temporal, synchronic and agentic understanding of the becoming of their academic self (Bamberg, 2011). Findings of the influences that shape academic self include, but are not limited to, parental expectations, life-history influences, immigration, race, gender, workplace experience outside of the university, as well as the impact of neoliberalism. These then inform recommendations that centre on the development of my own academic practice, as well as wider scholarly, and institutional ones.
    • Leadership for implementing knowledge management strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

      Renukappa, Suresh; Al Nabt, Saeed (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09-17)
      The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) government aims to improve the current public service delivery and to achieve the Saudi’s Vision 2030, the KSA needs to extend on knowledge management (KM) strategies and programmes. However, the key to successfully embracing these changes and guide them to transform into twenty-first century public sector organisations would require visionary, innovative, creative, and dynamic form of leadership. Although featuring strongly in the popular media, trade, professional, and academic journals, the very concept of ‘leadership’ in the context of KM is elusive for the KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, the aim of this research is to investigate the roles of leadership for implementing KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 42 semi-structured interviews were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using content analysis along with Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) for inference and conclusion. As revealed in the study, the critical success factors (CSFs) for effective implementation of KM strategies are broad, but nine key CSFs stand out. The association between the identified factors is established by employing an interpretive structural modelling (ISM) methodology that is based on multi-criteria decision making approach. The research result indicated that ‘leadership’ and ‘organisational culture’ are the most significant critical success factors having highest driving power. These factors are deemed to be most-effective for adopting KM strategies in the KSA public sector organisations. It is evident from this study that there are many misconceptions of what leadership meant to them and their organisations in a KM context. Ten key roles leadership plays in implementing KM related change initiatives. The main motivations for invest in leadership skills development programmes are to facilitate the growth of the department and retain staff. The key barriers for delivering knowledge leadership skills training programmes are time, cost, and culture. It is suggests that a more robust leadership training evaluation process would be desirable. A leadership skills awareness training tool was developed and validated. The research concludes that the leadership plays a key role in implementing KM strategies in the KSA. In order to meet the Saudi Vision 2030, KSA public sector organisations must show leadership. It is suggests that public sector wide awareness raising programmes on the concept of leadership needs to be implemented. Also, there is a need to re-assess the leadership skills required by the KSA public sector organisations. The existing education and training programmes in the KSA need some reorientation.
    • A multiple optical tracking based approach for enhancing hand-based interaction in virtual reality simulations

      Hartley, Thomas; Worrallo, Adam Grant (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Research exploring natural virtual reality interaction has seen significant success in optical tracker-based approaches, enabling users to freely interact using their hands. Optical based trackers can provide users with real-time, high-fidelity virtual hand representations for natural interaction and an immersive experience. However, work in this area has identified four issues: occlusion, field-of-view, stability and accuracy. To overcome the four key issues, researchers have investigated approaches such as using multiple sensors. Research has shown multi-sensor-based approaches to be effective in improving recognition accuracy. However, such approaches typically use statically positioned sensors, which introduce body occlusion issues that make tracking hands challenging. Machine learning approaches have also been explored to improve gesture recognition. However, such approaches typically require a pre-set gesture vocabulary limiting user actions with larger vocabularies hindering real-time performance. This thesis presents an optical hand-based interaction system that comprises two Leap Motion sensors mounted onto a VR headset at different orientations. Novel approaches to the aggregation and validation of sensor data are presented. A machine learning sub-system is developed to validate hand data received by the sensors. Occlusion detection, stability detection, inferred hands and a hand interpolation sub-system are also developed to ensure that valid hand representations are always shown to the user. In addition, a mesh conformation sub-system ensures 3D objects are appropriately held in a user’s virtual hand. The presented system addresses the four key issues of optical sessions to provide a smooth and consistent user experience. The MOT system is evaluated against traditional interaction approaches; gloves, motion controllers and a single front-facing sensor configuration. The comparative sensor evaluation analysed the validity and availability of tracking data, along with each sensors effect on the MOT system. The results show the MOT provides a more stable experience than the front-facing configuration and produces significantly more valid tracking data. The results also demonstrated the effectiveness of a 45-degree sensor configuration in comparison to a front-facing. Furthermore, the results demonstrated the effectiveness of the MOT systems solutions at handling the four key issues with optical trackers.
    • Prescriber use of Medicines Information Service advice in their decision-making and patient care: an exploratory qualitative study

      Paniagua, Hilary; Rutter, Jill (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-09)
      Pharmacy-led Medicines Information (MI) Services provide evidence-based advice to clinicians, with high levels of user satisfaction. However, satisfaction does not necessarily reflect improved patient care or patient outcome. This has led to MI research concentrating on the effect MI advice has on patients, despite a lack of agreed definitions of effectiveness and the construction of inappropriate outcome measures. Although the majority of prescribing happens in primary care, most MI research has focused on secondary care. The aim of this qualitative study was to better understand how primary care clinicians used MI advice in shaping their prescribing decision-making and subsequent patient care. Taking an interpretive, idealist perspective and using a generic qualitative, exploratory methodological approach, this study tried to understand how prescribers use MI advice in decision-making and patient care. Prescribers (general practitioners and dentists) across England who contacted MI Services with a medicine-related question, were interviewed by telephone. To expand on findings from these interviews, additional prescribers in North West England were interviewed face-to-face. All interviews (n=55) were analysed inductively using constant comparison to identify themes. Key findings of this study were clinicians describing using MI advice as a safety net to shape, support, or do their difficult research and make prescribing decisions, especially for complex or high risk cases. New knowledge was incorporated into their ‘mindlines’ and shared with their ‘community of practice’, for future decision-making. They valued advice provided by a trusted, expert ‘help desk’, which empowered them to make prescribing changes for their patients confidently and safely, and was also quicker than, and avoided, patient referrals. To conclude, this is the first study to describe the direct influence MI advice has on clinician decision-making and prescribing. In light of this work there is a need to revisit currently used definitions describing impact and outcome, with MI services working alongside health library services to achieve this goal. The role of medicines advice giving in prescribing models also needs to be recognised.
    • Factors influencing the popularity of YouTube videos and users’ decisions to watch them

      Thelwall, Michael; Foster, David (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      YouTube has substantial impact on modern society as the second most popular website in the world. Despite its sustained popularity, little is known about which types of video are most viewed and the reasons why people choose to watch them. This research critically analyses the sample of videos provided by the YouTube API, then uses the metrics associated with these videos to help assess which types of YouTube video are popular. It also harnesses a questionnaire of mainly UK teacher education graduate YouTube users to investigate which factors influence decisions to watch YouTube videos. This was a convenience sample selected to achieve a high response rate, which it achieved (81%), minimising non-response bias. The video lists provided by the YouTube API were not random samples but contained a wide range of types of video (including both popular and unpopular), except that older videos were avoided. There were substantial differences between categories in the average properties of the videos returned and the proportion of videos returned on multiple days. The most popular categories from the YouTube metadata collected based on average view counts are varied: From TV, Best of, Animation and How-to. Cause-based video categories tended to be unpopular. Video popularity did not seem to be affected by video duration, on average. Users are more likely to interact with (comment, like, dislike) videos that are useful or supporting in some way. Videos that are interacted with more are not always more popular, with subject content affecting this relationship. In addition, high view counts associated with fewer likes, dislikes and comments per view, suggesting that indicators of popularity may not attract new viewers. The most popular categories with survey respondents were slightly different, partly reflecting their educational background (e.g., Education videos), and there were some (stereotypical) gender differences in the most popular categories. Respondents rarely believed that they were influenced by a video’s popularity or evidence of other users’ reactions to it when deciding to watch the video. Instead, they were most likely to be influenced by content-related factors, such as a video’s title and thumbnail picture. Despite previous research showing that people can be influenced by the opinions and watching habits of others, respondents claimed to be little influenced by this. Nevertheless, they frequently reported watching videos posted to Facebook, possibly trusting the person that posted the video. Thus, despite extensive discussion of various forms of viral information spreading, content, rather than popularity, is king in YouTube, although online word-of-mouth sharing through trusted relationships is also important. The main limitations of this research are that the data used may not be representative of YouTube and all UK YouTube users overall, so the conclusions should be interpreted cautiously.
    • ‘One thing I’d never stand for in a relationship is violence, so when she tried to kill me, that was it’: The impact of heteronormativity and assimilation on Domestic Violence and Abuse in same sex women’s relationships

      Morgan, Angela; Paniagua, Hilary; Kelly-Teare, Vik (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      Domestic Violence and Abuse (DVA) is most commonly spoken of as a heterosexual issue and as such it remains hidden within the lesbian community both from the inside and the outside. In the era following civil partnership and same sex marriage legislation, it may be logical to assume that speaking out about abuse would be easier. However, this study suggests that the politics of assimilation has entrenched the hidden nature of domestic violence and abuse in same sex relationships between women making it more and more difficult to recognise or speak out about. Whilst recent research in the area has highlighted these issues, this study foregrounds, through the women’s lived experience, the importance of structural, social and cultural contexts for women’s identities resulting in limited recognition of abuse and consequential action on it. The study contributes to the developing and existing body of literature through the exploration of the impact of heteronormativity on domestic violence and abuse in relationships between women in a specific age cohort (of one generation) who identify as gay. The results are presented in a narrative ethnographic thematic form, providing three women’s in-depth stories of experiencing and surviving abusive relationships. From within these stories, it focuses on the use of identity in abuse, set against the backdrop of increasing political, legislative and social assimilation. Using the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel to inform the coding framework the study presents a theoretical conceptualisation of physical and emotional abuse as coercive control and focuses on the difference of experience. The results enabled a theoretical conceptualisation of identity abuse and enabled the development of a new model for understanding identity abuse in relation to intersectional identities. Four key tactics areas emerged in relation to identity abuse: the known self (personal and public identity), intimacies, threats and false allegations. These key tactical areas are weaponised in personal, social and cultural, and structural domains of life. The critical inquiry presented is methodologically grounded in analytic autoethnography (with the researcher as full member participant) and utilises standpoint theory and intersectionality as conceptual framework. The study promotes the use of a new practitioner and educator model for understanding identity abuse to be used in conjunction with the COHSAR Power and Control Wheel and the stories themselves may also be used as tools for learning. In an era of assimilation, research on the lived experience of domestic violence and abuse is key in understanding the nuances of experience based on identity; without this, practitioners and educators are limited in their ability to resource, raise awareness of, and assist those experiencing domestic violence and abuse.
    • Systems modelling and ethical decision algorithms for autonomous vehicle collisions

      Burnham, Keith; Pickering, James Edward (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-08)
      There has been an increasing interest in autonomous vehicles (AVs) in recent years. Through the use of advanced safety systems (ASS), it is expected that driverless AVs will result in a reduced number of road traffic accidents (RTAs) and fatalities on the roads. However, until the technology matures, collisions involving AVs will inevitably take place. Herein lies the hub of the problem: if AVs are to be programmed to deal with a collision scenario, which set of ethically acceptable rules should be applied? The two main philosophical doctrines are the utilitarian and deontological approaches of Bentham and Kant, with the two competing societal actions being altruistic and selfish as defined by Hamilton. It is shown in simulation, that the utilitarian approach is likely to be the most favourable candidate to succeed as a serious contender for developments in the programming and decision making for control of AV technologies in the future. At the heart of the proposed approach is the development of an ethical decision-maker (EDM), with this forming part of a model-to-decision (M2D) approach. Lumped parameter models (LPMs) are developed that capture the key features of AV collisions into an immovable rigid wall (IRW) or another AV, i.e. peak deformation and peak acceleration. The peak acceleration of the AV is then related to the accelerations experienced by the occupant(s) on-board the AV, e.g. peak head acceleration. Such information allows the M2D approach to decide on the collision target depending on the selected algorithm, e.g. utilitarian or altruistic. Alongside the EDM is an active collision system (ACS) which is able to change the AV structural stiffness properties. The ACS is able to compensate for situations when AVs are predicted to experience potentially severe and fatal injury severity levels.
    • Fostering personal resilience in the Royal Air Force: a study of Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training

      Devlin, Linda; Riley, Steve (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      Resilient airmen and women are pivotal strategic game-changers in the RAF's next generation contribution to the United Kingdom's Defence Strategy. Resilience is the ability to learn and bounce forward from adversity, thus developing an increased personal resilience baseline to cope with future challenges. Whilst providing these strategic capabilities, RAF personnel must remain physically, spiritually, socially and psychologically resilient. In addressing this force resilience tetrad, contextualised Force Development and Adventurous Personal Development Training (FD/APDT) interventions contribute towards RAF participant’s resilience development. This thesis provides participant responses of RAF FD/APDT participant’s (n=237) perceived resilience, before and immediately after, a five-day RAF FD/APDT intervention with focus groups (n=33) conducted six months later. The initial data from the sequential explanatory mixed-methods research (Connor Davidson Resilience Scale (CDRS)-25 questionnaire and focus groups) confirmed perceived resilience development for psychological, physical, social and spiritual resilience factors identified within the CDRS-25. Evidence from follow-up focus groups suggests that resilience is further enhanced over time, with greater perceived resilience growth positively affecting resilience across the four domains reported after six months. Findings from this research further outlines the requirement for a through-career resilience educational pathway for RAF personnel to reinforce longitudinal resilience behaviours and attitudes. The enhanced personal and organisational resilience combined with the improvements in primary role efficiency developed through FD/APDT, is proposed as a key enabler for the RAF’s Whole Force socio-cultural resilience enhancement, to empower RAF personnel to meet the demands of ‘next generation’ RAF resilience requirements.
    • The role of internet-based technology in customer satisfaction in the banking sector: empirical evidence from Edo State, Nigeria

      Oriade, Ade; Wang, Yong; Rahimi, Roya; Mordi, Jones Oluchukwu (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      Internet-Based Technology (I-BT) has become an important resource in driving the performance of all successful businesses. This thesis contains the findings of an investigation into the role of I-BT in the relationship between customer-focused engagement behaviour (CFEBEH) and customer satisfaction (CS) in the Nigerian commercial banking sector. Using a sample of 426 bank customers in Edo State, Nigeria, the thesis seeks to ascertain whether I-BT resources in the bank have an impact on customer service delivery and satisfaction thereof. Theoretically, the Expectancy Disconfirmation Theory (EDT) and Affect Theory have been used to underpin the study of CS, while Kahn’s theory of engagement is used in support of CFEBEH. The Job Demands- Resources (JD-R) model has been used as the overarching theory underpinning this research particularly in relationship with I-BT. The results based on the structural equation model (SEM) provide two findings. First, CFEBEH has a direct effect on CS at a margin of 0.40. Second, I-BT mediates the CFEBEH and CS relationship at a margin of 0.067. Therefore, the findings of this study recommend bank managers or policymakers in Nigeria to consider making I-BT resources available in their banks as this can enhance the relationship between CFBEH and CS. By making I-BT available, this can also lead to increased CS levels, as the above results suggest. This study, therefore, has three main contributions to offer. First, by conceptualising CFEBEH as a second-order factor, this study has contributed to the literature in the area of methodology. Second, this study is the only study, to the best knowledge of the author, to have investigated the role of I-BT in the relationship between CFEBEH and CS in the Nigerian banking sector. The study has therefore deepened the academic knowledge on the role of I-BT in this relationship. Secondly, this study also contributes to the current literature on the role of I-BT in enhancing CS, particularly in a developing country context. Nigeria being the context of this study provides a unique environment for this research looking at the several challenges in the banking sector amidst institutional and infrastructural weaknesses. Finally, the design and measurement of the proposed research model in this study regarding the impact of CFEBEH on CS through its various components including PCHB, ATI, and WS, have added to the academic knowledge in customer service delivery, particularly in the banking sector which can trigger further research in this research area.
    • Selection biases within an English football academy: implications of the Elite Player Performance Plan

      Wyon, Matthew; Patel, Rickesh (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-07)
      The Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP) was introduced in 2011 in order to enhance the youth football academy system in England. Previous literature demonstrates that relative age and biological maturation are responsible for selection biases within youth football, where both factors exert an influence on anthropometry and physical performances. However, there is limited research that has examined the aforementioned factors over a prolonged period of time, and especially within academies operating under the EPPP. Therefore, the general aim of this thesis was to investigate relative age, biological maturity, anthropometric and physical performance characteristics of male youth players from an English football club, as they progressed through the developmental pathway, under the EPPP framework. The findings from Chapter 3 revealed that selection within the investigated club was heavily overrepresented by relatively older and earlier maturing players, and this persisted since the EPPP was introduced. Subsequently, Chapter 4 identified that biological maturity, anthropometry and physical performances distinguished players that were retained across the developmental pathway, in an age group dependent manner. Chapter 5 provided estimates for when the development of anthropometric and physical performance characteristics initiate, peak and plateau, according to somatic maturity. Finally, Chapter 6 demonstrated that a bio-banding intervention may influence the decision-making process adopted by academy coaches’ regarding player selection and retention. In summary, the investigations conducted within this thesis provide novel and contemporary knowledge that can be used to enhance practice within the current club. Specifically, the findings from this thesis highlight that relative age, biological maturity, anthropometry and physical performances influence player selection and retention within this academy, suggesting that policies (e.g. the EPPP) require careful evaluation so that inappropriate selection biases can be nullified. Further studies are required to corroborate and extend these findings on a wider scale through robust methodological approaches.
    • Combat stress reaction and morale in RFC/RAF aircrew 1914-1918

      Buckley, John; Gadd, Ronald (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      There are many studies of the air campaigns of the first World War: almost all have concentrated on the strategic and tactical issues, on the technical development of aircraft or the skill and daring of the aircrew concerned. The effects of the dangers of flying and air combat, which tested aircrew to their limits both physical and mental with consequent psychological disorders have been ignored. This study examined and analysed the operations of the RFC/RAF over the Western Front from 1014-1918 with the aim of establishing the incidence of aircrew failure for nervous disorders. The factors affecting the psychological and psychiatric reactions of aircrew to combat have been examined. The significance of morale as a factor affecting the psychological responses of aircrew has been assessed and the effects of leadership, training, fatigue and aircraft performance and reliability are explored in relation to aircrew failure due to psychological disorder. The outcomes of this thesis were compared to similar studies for Second World War Aircrew. Medical and casualty records, official histories and operational reports have been used in conjunction with personal accounts and memoirs to establish the prime causal factors for psychological disorder in aircrew and its incidence in the RFC/RAF on the Western Front. The treatment and disposal of aircrew diagnosed with ‘flying sickness’ have been described and the results evaluated. The incidence of breakdown has been compared with similar studies for Second World War Aircrew. It concludes that the incidence of failure due to psychological disorder for the tears 1914-1917, was low and manageable. However, in the last year of the war, the incidence not only vastly increased but became a significant part of the total wastage rate and seriously affected RAF strength on the Western Front.
    • Effective implementation of value engineering in the housing construction programmes of the UAE

      Chinyio, Ezekiel; Alketbi, Sultan Rashid (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      Balancing time, cost and quality is one of the major challenges impacting the housing programmes of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Therefore, this study was undertaken with the main aim of determining the impacts of the tools and principles of value engineering on public sector housing in the UAE. The study also aimed to develop a framework to define the guidelines of a value engineering methodology to improve the execution of government housing projects, along with a reduction in the level of risk. The five dependent variables in the study were: achievement of needs, conflict avoidance, affordability of housing, competitive advantage and reduced cost of production. The two independent variables were value engineering in design and value engineering in the procurement process. To accomplish the aim and objectives of the research, both primary and secondary research approaches were used. The secondary research was conducted through a literature review while the primary research was conducted using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. The quantitative research involved a survey of value engineers, contractors and employees of construction companies in the UAE. The number of fully completed questionnaires was 102, and the primary data collected was analysed using descriptive statistics and regression and correlation analyses. Subsequently, qualitative data was collected through interviews in order to gain deeper insights into the subject matter. Thirty interviews were conducted with housing officers, directors and value engineers associated with housing construction projects. The interview data was analysed using content analysis. The analyses suggested that the five dependent variables were significantly correlated with the implementation of value engineering in design and procurement. On the basis of these findings, a framework was developed and validated by 40 experts. This framework can be applied in the UAE to make housing and other construction projects affordable and sustainable and to meet the full needs of clients as well as end users.
    • Developing novel therapeutic agents for Acanthamoeba infection and investigating the process of encystment

      Heaselgrave, Wayne; Hamad, Anas (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) is a vision-threatening disease which can lead to blinding corneal tissue infection. Many patients who have been infected with Acanthamoeba in their eye do not respond to the current medical treatments involving polyhexamethylene biguanide or chlorhexidine despite the in vitro sensitivity of Acanthamoeba to these drugs. There is an urgent need for new therapeutic agents to eradicate the AK infection. This study focuses on the mechanism by which Acanthamoeba may distinguish between trophozoite, cyst and the newly identified lifecycle known as protocyst. The current study has tested 56 novel and existing therapeutic agents for their activity against Acanthamoeba spp. and their toxicity against a human epithelial cell line. The results of this research have revealed several compounds of interest for further study on their potential use in the treatment of AK. These compounds included, octenidine hydrochloride, alexidine, miltefosine and quaternary ammonium (didecyldimethylammonium chloride). The anti-amoebic effect of benzalkonium chloride, povidone iodine and tetracaine are superior to the current diamidines and slightly lower to the biguanides applied in the treatment for AK. The formulation of novel amidoamine compounds including myristoleyl-amidopropyl-dimethylamine (MOPD) and palmitoleyl-amidopropyl-dimethylamine (POPD) into contact lens solutions showed complete kill at a 4.5-log reduction against trophozoites compared with myristamidopropyl dimethylamine (MAPD) as an existing compound. The combination of biguanide compounds with lipid–based carriers has improved the antimicrobial activity from 1-fold to around 7-fold against cysts of Acanthamoeba spp. compared with the use of biguanides alone. The findings of encystment investigation (the transformation of trophozoites into cysts) showed that the agonists in particular the β ultra-long against indacaterol stimulated the encystment and the antagonists β₁ metoprolol blocked the formation of cysts and protocysts. Two different herbicides including 2,6-dichlorobenzonitrile (DCB) and isoxaben were tested to target the biosynthesis of cellulose in the cyst form and also to evaluate their effects on the formation of protocyst of Acanthamoeba. The results of this study showed that the DCB at a high concentration of 500 μM, reduced encystment to 17.7% and protocyst production of Acanthamoeba at 24.6%, whereas isoxaben inhibited the transformation of trophozoites into cysts to only 45% and the percentage was decreased for protocyst formation by 37.2%. The test results for DCB and isoxaben individually at concentration of 100 uM showed 31.8% and 68.8% respectively for the conversion of trophozoites into cysts. In addition, a similar concentration of both DCB and isoxaben was evaluated for protocyst formation and the inhibition was observed at 36.9% for DCB and a much higher rate of protocysts production was recorded at 63 % for isoxaben. The combination of both isoxaben and DCB at a concentration of 100 μM caused a reduction in encystment to 49.1% and lowered the transformation of trophozoites into protocysts to 45.7%, these findings suggested that an antagonistic effect was occurred relative to the use of DCB alone. Finally, the data from LC/MS analysis for sugars suggested that the protocyst and cyst are different stages of Acanthamoeba, as the analysis of cyst walls indicated the presence of cellulose while the protocyst wall analysis showed the existing of cellulose and methylated sugar possibly corresponded to a methylated analogue of N-acetylglucosamine.
    • Modern foreign language learning: exploring the impact of parental orientations on student motivation

      Bartram, Brendan; Lewis, Lydia; Martin, Christopher (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-06)
      The decline in modern foreign language (MFL) learning in UK secondary schools is well-researched, particularly from the point of view of language attitudes and motivation (Bartram, 2006b; Coleman, Galaczi & Astruc, 2007; Lanvers, Hultgren & Gayton, 2016; Martin, 2019; Lanvers & Martin, 2020), although the role of parents in the MFL learning process is seldom explored. The rationale for the research comes from an extensive appraisal of the literature on foreign language learning education and parental engagement in learning, coupled with teaching experience. Six motivational constructs were explored: general motivation, sense of achievement, internal attribution of success/failure, external attribution of success/failure, intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. A mixed-methods research design, employing questionnaires and semi-structured interviews, was adopted to explore the impact of parental orientations towards MFL on child motivation from different perspectives. Quantitative analysis shows that there is a strong, positive correlation between parent and child data for five of the six motivation constructs. Inferential statistics show that parental independent variables such as level of general education, level of language education and ethnicity have statistically significant impacts on four student motivation constructs. Results from the interviews indicate that parents had mixed experiences of language learning and that curriculum policies which restrict the option choices for some students could be detrimental to engaging them with learning a language that they choose to learn rather than one that is imposed. Students and parents also presented positive views on the importance of languages for career progression and travel. Improving the dialogue between schools and parents on the importance of language learning through sharing important curriculum information, engaging in careers events and supporting parents for whom languages pose a particular challenge could make a small contribution to changing the current MFL learning climate.
    • Sentence Simplification for Text Processing

      Orasan, Constantin; Evans, Richard (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-05)
      Propositional density and syntactic complexity are two features of sentences which affect the ability of humans and machines to process them effectively. In this thesis, I present a new approach to automatic sentence simplification which processes sentences containing compound clauses and complex noun phrases (NPs) and converts them into sequences of simple sentences which contain fewer of these constituents and have reduced per sentence propositional density and syntactic complexity. My overall approach is iterative and relies on both machine learning and handcrafted rules. It implements a small set of sentence transformation schemes, each of which takes one sentence containing compound clauses or complex NPs and converts it one or two simplified sentences containing fewer of these constituents (Chapter 5). The iterative algorithm applies the schemes repeatedly and is able to simplify sentences which contain arbitrary numbers of compound clauses and complex NPs. The transformation schemes rely on automatic detection of these constituents, which may take a variety of forms in input sentences. In the thesis, I present two new shallow syntactic analysis methods which facilitate the detection process. The first of these identifies various explicit signs of syntactic complexity in input sentences and classifies them according to their specific syntactic linking and bounding functions. I present the annotated resources used to train and evaluate this sign tagger (Chapter 2) and the machine learning method used to implement it (Chapter 3). The second syntactic analysis method exploits the sign tagger and identifies the spans of compound clauses and complex NPs in input sentences. In Chapter 4 of the thesis, I describe the development and evaluation of a machine learning approach performing this task. This chapter also presents a new annotated dataset supporting this activity. In the thesis, I present two implementations of my approach to sentence simplification. One of these exploits handcrafted rule activation patterns to detect different parts of input sentences which are relevant to the simplification process. The other implementation uses my machine learning method to identify compound clauses and complex NPs for this purpose. Intrinsic evaluation of the two implementations is presented in Chapter 6 together with a comparison of their performance with several baseline systems. The evaluation includes comparisons of system output with human-produced simplifications, automated estimations of the readability of system output, and surveys of human opinions on the grammaticality, accessibility, and meaning of automatically produced simplifications. Chapter 7 presents extrinsic evaluation of the sentence simplification method exploiting handcrafted rule activation patterns. The extrinsic evaluation involves three NLP tasks: multidocument summarisation, semantic role labelling, and information extraction. Finally, in Chapter 8, conclusions are drawn and directions for future research considered.
    • Mental health clinicians’ motivation and awareness of key considerations as predictors of online therapy uses and applications

      Attrill-Smith, Alison; Orchard, Lisa; Agathokleous, Georgios (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-05)
      Despite their well-documented effectiveness, online psychological interventions seem to be underperforming with the latest evidence revealing high client dropout rates. The literature indicates that online client engagement tends to improve through a sound online therapeutic alliance and interventions that are credible, reliable and of high-quality. There is little research, however, as to the specific clinician-related factors that might predict the adoption of online therapy practices and interventions that map onto the above online therapy qualities. To address this gap in the literature, the current thesis assesses statistically, whether online practicing clinicians’ awareness of key considerations in online therapy (AKCOT) and motivations are linked to the adoption of associated (outcome) online therapy uses and applications (OOTUA). It was hypothesised that clinicians’ AKCOT and motivations would predict OOTUA. Two studies were employed to this effect. Study one (n= 19, UK-based participants) developed a series of purpose-built scales measuring AKCOT and OOTUA. It also evaluated pre-existing motivational scales such as intrinsic, extrinsic motivation, perceived competence (in forming an online therapeutic alliance) and attributional style towards mental health stigma, ascertaining their usefulness in the context of the current project. Study two adopted a multiple regression analysis design where a total of 174 (138 UK-based and 36 America-based) online practicing clinicians completed an online survey. The factors of AKCOT were measured by the purpose-built scales developed in study one, assessing awareness of key consideration in online disinhibition theory, online therapy ethical considerations and training requirements. The corresponding OOTUA factors were measured on self-report scales capturing associated (to the AKCOT) online therapy applications. The motivational constructs were measured using an intrinsic motivation inventory, general causality-controlled orientation and perceived competence scales. The main findings showed that the AKCOT predictors consistently accounted for approximately 30% and the motivation predictors for approximately 10-20% of the variance in OOTUA. Discussion of the findings considers theoretical and practical implications at the professional regulatory and training level. It is proposed that professional psychological bodies update their regulations around online therapy, and counselling and psychotherapy training courses ensure that trainees are familiarised with online therapy theoretical and practical key considerations as part of their core qualifying training.
    • A multi-criteria analysis of adapting the Tiv traditional hut to climate change: a case study of the Kanshio community, Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria

      Ohiaeri, Mvande Becky (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-05)
      There has been significant research on the impact of climate change and possible strategies to reduce and adapt to these impacts. However, the role of the public response remains poorly theorized and under-studied. This thesis reviews how the built environments in the rural tropical communities of Sub-Saharan Africa are adapting to climate change. The research included an extensive study on present constraints to adapting the traditional huts in the ‘Kanshio’ community of Benue State, Nigeria. The thesis aims to understand the perception and sustainable adaptation strategies of ‘kanshio’ rural households toward the adverse effects of climate change. A mixed-method approach was adopted involving questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussion and informal discussion. The study examined perceived impacts of climate change on the current method of building and the adaptation strategies of households to the events of climate change impacts. Data analysis was carried out using analytical software, such as Graph Prism and Microsoft Excel. Although the built environment in the tropical rural community is particularly vulnerable to climate change, such as extreme temperature, droughts, desertification, flooding and cyclones, they are the most poorly adapted and investigated. The study finds that economic reasons were mostly responsible for the lack of preparedness and adaptation. An additional finding was that, preserving the culture of ancient traditional architecture as an approach to improving building energy performance, room temperatures and flood impacts are worthwhile. Creating awareness can help improve building performance as part of public response.
    • Implementation of building information modelling in the Dominican Republic construction industry

      Suresh, Subashini; Silverio Rodriguez, Ana Karina (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-05)
      The Dominican Republic (D.R.) is a Caribbean nation whose construction industry is key in the economic growth and development of the country; however, the productivity of the sector is being affected by inefficient traditional practices. The increased use and proven benefits of Building Information Modelling worldwide suggest that its implementation could be of great help in decreasing current issues in the Dominican construction industry. Nonetheless, there is no empirical work that sets the scene of the implementation of BIM in the country to make suggestions for its implementation. Therefore, this research aimed to bridge this gap by investigating the status of BIM in the D.R. and developing a framework to facilitate its implementation. For this purpose, a review of literature on BIM and emerging concepts, processes and technologies was undertaken. Furthermore, the initiatives and key players of BIM implementation worldwide were studied, which allowed the identification of the critical enabling factors for country-wide BIM implementation. A qualitative approach was adopted to carry out this research. The qualitative inquiry involved semi-structured interviews and was divided into two phases: the preliminary and the main study. In the preliminary study, eleven interviews were conducted with construction organisations to appraise and document BIM awareness and BIM implementation in the Dominican construction industry. In the main study, twenty-eight interviews directed to construction organisations were conducted to attain the same objective. This phase of the study also included interviews directed to professionals involved with the diffusion of BIM knowledge to explore and document the presence of BIM Education in the country, from which eight interviews were carried out. The data was analysed with the method of content analysis. The research concluded that the Dominican Republic is a BIM infant country. Most organisations are not implementing BIM, and current BIM approaches are mainly single-disciplinary, principally in Architecture. Implementation strategies are incomplete, primarily focusing on the provision of training to selected staff. Drivers to implement BIM in the country include BIM benefits, competitive advantage and pressure from external partners. Hitherto, there is only BIM training and different modes of dissemination of BIM knowledge in the country. Nonetheless, efforts to integrate BIM into university curricula were identified. Challenges hindering the implementation of BIM in the country were explored, and initiatives to propel the implementation were proposed. A framework for implementing BIM in the Dominican construction industry was developed and validated to confirm its suitability for the Dominican construction industry. Recommendations for industry practitioners, government, and academics have been put forward. This research contributes to the body of knowledge in the area of country-wide BIM implementation, BIM education, and the implementation of BIM at an organisational level.
    • A collaborative and co-ordinated approach to success – how can the rail industry learn from the recent military campaigns (2001–2015) for the development of strategic resilience management leadership?

      Badsey, Stephen; Gracey, Aaron (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-05)
      According to business and military researchers, the world within which today’s organisations operate is more technologically advanced than a decade ago, with globalisation making businesses and supply chains more interdependent. The impacts of disruptive events are increasingly felt across operational, tactical and strategic operating levels and in some cases, they can cause national and international crises. Simultaneously, organisations are being forced to diversify and innovate to maintain their share of global or local markets, thus importing risk into the daily operating model. These organisations maintain the foundation of society by building the economy; they provide employment, wealth generation, material goods, services and a spirit of community. If a large organisation collapses, invariably the community within which it operates will also feel the impact. It is impossible for any organisation to build a framework to protect it from all disruptive events. Such capability is not possible, no matter the size or resources of the organisation and, therefore, it is also impossible to plan for every eventuality. The skill is having the ability to develop the capability to adaptively think, understand the root causes of the disruptive event and dynamically plan accordingly. This allows the utilisation of the resources, finances and time available to minimise the impact and maximise the opportunity as competitors struggle to recover. This is the concept of Organisational Resilience; delivering a holistic approach to enable an organisation to dynamically respond, recover and grow in the face of disruption. Organisations with a higher level of internal resilience are better poised to mobilise resources, allocate personnel and prioritise key functions, with leadership teams unafraid to make difficult decisions based on intelligence and evidence-based analysis. However, organisations also struggle to fully understand, appreciate and demonstrate the need for resilience until faced with the disruptive event. There is still a limited understanding of how a resilience framework can benefit the bottom line. This thesis is a study of the UK military which, by default, must demonstrate a high level of resilience and the ability to adaptively plan in a dynamically changing and hostile environment, in order to develop a framework to develop and manage organisational resilience.. Research identified that effective leadership, evidence-based decision-making and business intelligence collection and dissemination are critical to success, which informed the development of the Organisational Resilience Management Maturity Model (ORM3). Organisational Resilience in this thesis is defined as a people focussed event, with case studies, interviews and observations of military units in preparation for deployment on operations being used to support this research. These lessons are then applied to the railway industry, in a bid to improve current resilience capabilities. Future work is likely to continue to develop the ORM3 framework, supported through the development of a cross industry learning methodology to continue to build capability. This research has already contributed to the development of resilience within the UK, having been consulted in the development of the UK national standard on resilience (BS65000: Organisational Resilience) and the UK Defence Contribution to Resilience Operations doctrine for government and local councils. It has also been used in the development of tools that can be used by organisations to develop their own awareness and resilience capability.
    • Development and characterisation of biosynthetic hydrogels for wound management applications

      Radecka, Iza; Gibson, Hazel; Kowalczuk, Marek; Gupta, Abhishek (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-04)
      Wounds that remain in the inflammatory phase for a prolonged period of time are likely to be colonised and infected by a range of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms. Treatment associated with these types of wounds mainly focuses on controlling infection and providing an optimum environment capable of facilitating re-epithelialisation, thus promoting wound healing. Hydrogels have attracted vast interest as moist wound-responsive dressing materials. Hydrogels facilitate wound healing due to unique properties and 3D network structures which allows encapsulation of healing agents. In the current study, biosynthetic bacterial cellulose hydrogels synthesised by Gluconacetobacter xylinus (ATCC 23770) and subsequently loaded with antimicrobial healing agents, were characterised for their wound healing properties. Loading parameters were optimised based on experimental findings. Natural bioactive materials with wound healing properties such as curcumin are attracting interest due to the emergence of resistant bacterial strains. The hydrophobicity of curcumin has been counteracted by using solubility enhancing cyclodextrins. In this study, water soluble curcumin:hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin supramolecular inclusion complex was produced by a solvent evaporation method. The ratios of solvents to solubilise curcumin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin were tested for the production of the inclusion complex with optimum encapsulation efficacy. The results confirmed that hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin enhanced the aqueous solubility of curcumin and allowed loading into bacterial cellulose to produce antimicrobial hydrogels. Silver is a broad spectrum natural antimicrobial agent with wide applications extending to proprietary wound dressings. Based on the broad spectrum antimicrobial properties of silver, silver nitrate-loaded and silver zeolite-loaded bacterial cellulose hydrogels were produced. Recently silver nanoparticles have also attracted attention in wound management. A novel green synthesis of nanoparticles was accomplished in this study using a natural reducing agent, curcumin which is a natural polyphenolic compound, well known as a wound healing agent. In addition to physicochemical properties, these hydrogels were characterised (in vitro) for wound management applications. The results indicate that both silver nitrate and silver zeolite-loaded biosynthetic hydrogels possess antimicrobial activity against both Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Furthermore, the curcumin:hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-loaded bacterial cellulose hydrogels possess unique properties including haemocompatability, cytocompatability, anti-staphylococcal and antioxidant abilities. In addition to high cytocompatibility, curcumin reduced silver nanoparticles-loaded bacterial cellulose hydrogels dressings exhibited antimicrobial activity against representative wound infecting pathogenic microbes Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. In conclusion, the results presented support the potential use of all the investigated bacterial cellulose hydrogels for wound management applications as dressings.