• 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.
    • 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.
    • Not a proper mathematician, like those with a mathematics degree: ‘Subject switchers’ negotiating identities as beginning teachers of mathematics

      Matheson, David; Glendenning, Fay (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-04)
      In the context of a shortage of teachers of mathematics, the introduction of subject knowledge enhancement (SKE) courses has widened participation in initial teacher training (ITT) to include graduates of non-mathematical disciplines. In the absence of a term in the literature, the term ‘subject switcher’ is introduced to represent those whose degree is in a discipline that is not directly related to the subject they are training to teach. In the context of this study, a subject switcher is a participant in mathematics initial teacher training whose degree is in a non-mathematical discipline. This study explores how being a subject switcher might influence the negotiation of identities as a teacher of mathematics. Four participant stories were constructed, from a range of narrative sources, to explore individual journeys to becoming a qualified teacher of mathematics. The subject switchers participating in this study had a range of incoming identities, including existing mathematical identities as well as alternative subject identities from the discipline of their degree studies. The theoretical framework of learning and identity construction within communities of practice (Lave and Wenger, 1991; Wenger, 1998) was used to consider the identities of the participants, drawing on a framework developed from Wenger’s (1998) notion of trajectories. The incoming, transitioning and future-orientated identities of the participants are explored in the context of their trajectories and the communities of practice in which they participate. The findings reveal that the participants relied upon their incoming identities as they negotiated identities as teachers of mathematics. This negotiation of identities included their mathematical identities but, particularly, how they viewed themselves as mathematics teachers compared to those who were mathematics graduates. This study concludes that teacher educators should explore more inclusive strategies to support subject switchers to negotiate mathematical identities in becoming a teacher of mathematics.
    • Caregiver wellbeing and the role of resilience in seeking support when caring for an individual with dementia

      Darby, Richard; Taiwo, Abigail; Jew, Ellen (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-03-31)
      Background & aims: To provide appropriate and suitable support to caregivers of people with dementia, it is important to explore the risk and protective factors related to their psychological wellbeing. The aim of this thesis, is firstly, to highlight lived experiences of dementia caregiver’s; secondly, to explore the role of psychological resilience in their ability to adapt and maintain their role; and finally, to identify and examine their perspectives of current support services in meeting their needs. Method: A sequential explanatory mixed method design was used. In Phase I participants completed a postal survey (n=45), including demographic information, a healthrelated quality of life measure and a psychological resilience scale. Results were used to inform and direct Phase II, in which semi-structured interviews were conducted (n=11), transcribed and analysed using thematic analyses. Results: The quantitative findings indicated that participants with higher mental health outcomes and high psychological resilience were more likely to access support services. Physical wellbeing had a greater association with factors related to providing care. Seven main themes were identified in the qualitative analysis, the majority relating strongly to a high degree of restricted opportunities and encroaching responsibilities. The findings indicate that caregivers are required to be flexible and adapt to their individual circumstances, within an ever-evolving situation. Implications: The results of this study suggest that identifying those with low levels of psychological resilience and wellbeing may be useful in identifying those in greater need of support. Recommendations for potential service developments are discussed, as well as the implications for Counselling Psychology practice.
    • A framework for smart traffic management using heterogeneous data sources

      Georgakis, Panagiotis; Jones, Angelica Salas (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-03-31)
      Traffic congestion constitutes a social, economic and environmental issue to modern cities as it can negatively impact travel times, fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Traffic forecasting and incident detection systems are fundamental areas of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that have been widely researched in the last decade. These systems provide real time information about traffic congestion and other unexpected incidents that can support traffic management agencies to activate strategies and notify users accordingly. However, existing techniques suffer from high false alarm rate and incorrect traffic measurements. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in integrating different types of data sources to achieve higher precision in traffic forecasting and incident detection techniques. In fact, a considerable amount of literature has grown around the influence of integrating data from heterogeneous data sources into existing traffic management systems. This thesis presents a Smart Traffic Management framework for future cities. The proposed framework fusions different data sources and technologies to improve traffic prediction and incident detection systems. It is composed of two components: social media and simulator component. The social media component consists of a text classification algorithm to identify traffic related tweets. These traffic messages are then geolocated using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. Finally, with the purpose of further analysing user emotions within the tweet, stress and relaxation strength detection is performed. The proposed text classification algorithm outperformed similar studies in the literature and demonstrated to be more accurate than other machine learning algorithms in the same dataset. Results from the stress and relaxation analysis detected a significant amount of stress in 40% of the tweets, while the other portion did not show any emotions associated with them. This information can potentially be used for policy making in transportation, to understand the users’ perception of the transportation network. The simulator component proposes an optimisation procedure for determining missing roundabouts and urban roads flow distribution using constrained optimisation. Existing imputation methodologies have been developed on straight section of highways and their applicability for more complex networks have not been validated. This task presented a solution for the unavailability of roadway sensors in specific parts of the network and was able to successfully predict the missing values with very low percentage error. The proposed imputation methodology can serve as an aid for existing traffic forecasting and incident detection methodologies, as well as for the development of more realistic simulation networks.
    • Linguistic expression and perception of personality in online dating texts and their effect on attraction

      Fullwood, Chris; Kirwan, Gráinne; Connolly, Irene; Morris, Neil; Fox Hamilton, Nicola (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-02)
      Online daters report difficulties, frustration and anxiety in conveying their desired impression of themselves and from their lack of ability in perceiving another dater’s personality accurately. There is a lack of research on how expression of personality traits in profiles impacts on perception and on assessments of attractiveness. This thesis aims to fill this gap by exploring the expression and perception of personality traits in online dating profile texts, and to examine whether textually expressed personality affects attractiveness. The first two studies employed a linguistic and content analysis approach to determine how personality was expressed in dating profiles across different dating platforms and a comparison creative story text. There was considerable variation in expression indicating that language may not be a reliable indicator of personality. A lens model approach, using Funder’s Realistic Accuracy Model, was taken in the third study where accuracy of personality perception was examined in two contexts to determine whether dating profiles provided more salient trait-related cues to personality. The linguistic and content cues utilised by judges in making personality assessments were investigated. While some accuracy of perception was possible for emotional stability in online dating profiles, it was context dependent and unreliable, and few cues were utilised accurately. The effects of actual and perceived personality, and similarity of personality, on attractiveness were investigated and had not been examined previously in this context. This research shows that actual traits and similarity only affect attraction when it is perceivable, whereas perceived traits and similarity can affect attraction without accurate perception. This thesis illustrates the complexity of accuracy of interpersonal perception in text, and how context drives a considerable amount of the variation in achievement of accuracy. Additionally, the results offer some practical implications for online daters.
    • Optimised solder interconnections in crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic modules for improved performance in elevated temperature climate

      Ekere, Nduka Nnamdi; Amalu, Emeka H.; Ogbomo, Osarumen O. (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-02)
      The operations of c-Si PV modules in elevated temperature climates like Africa and the Middle East are plagued with poor thermo-mechanical reliability and short fatigue lives. There is the need to improve the performance of the system operating in such regions to solve the grave energy poverty and power shortages. Solder interconnection failure due to accelerated thermo-mechanical degradation is identified as the most dominant degradation mode and responsible for over 40% of c-Si PV module failures. Hence the optimisation of c-Si PV module solder interconnections for improved performance in elevated temperature climate is the focus of this research. The effects of relevant reliability influencing factors (RIFs) on the performance (thermo-mechanical degradation and fatigue life) of c-Si PV module solder interconnections are investigated utilising a combination of ANSYS finite element modelling (FEM), Taguchi L25 orthogonal array and analytical techniques. The investigated RIFs are operating temperature, material combination and interconnection geometry. Garofalo creep relations and temperature dependent Young’s Modulus of Elasticity are used to model solder properties, EVA layer is modelled as viscoelastic while the other component layers are modelled using appropriate constitutive material models. Results show that fatigue life decays with increases in ambient temperature loads. A power function model 𝐿=721.48𝑇−1.343, was derived to predict the fatigue life (years) of c-Si PV modules in any climatic region. Of the various ribbon-contact material combination models investigated, Silver-Silver, Aluminium-Aluminium, Silver-Aluminium and Aluminium-Silver are the top four best performing solder interconnection models with low deformation ratios, 𝛿𝑅, normalised degradation values, 𝑁𝑑𝑖<1, and normalised fatigue life 𝑁𝑓𝑖>1. Further findings indicate that only the solder layer demonstrates good miniaturisation properties while the standard dimensions for ribbon and contact layers remain the best performing geometry settings. Additionally, from the Taguchi robust optimisation, the Aluminium-Silver ribbon-contact material combination model (ribbon = 180μm, solder = 56μm, contact = 50μm) demonstrated the best performance in elevated temperature climate, reduced solder degradation by 95.1% and is the most suitable substitute to the conventional c-Si PV module solder interconnection in elevated temperature climate conditions – in terms of thermo-mechanical degradation. These findings presented provide more insight into the design and development of c-Si PV modules operating in elevated temperature climates by providing a fatigue life prediction model in various ambient conditions, identifying material combinations and geometry which demonstrate improved thermo-mechanical reliability and elongated fatigue life.
    • Temporality, authorial intentions, and truth in video game fiction

      Roberts, John; Dhanda, Meena; Ricksand, Martin (University of Wolverhampton, 2020-01)
      This thesis examines the claim that video games differ fundamentally from other media in terms of fictional truth. Fictional truth has been treated extensively in the field of philosophy of fiction, primarily in relation to literature and, to a certain extent, film, but video games have been far too neglected. Truth in game fiction has been discussed by game scholars, and one prevalent view is that fictional truth in games can be altered through the interaction of the player. Scholars support this claim with reference to the purportedly unique nature of games as a medium in terms of temporality and authorial intentions, asserting that these two factors determine truth differently in game fiction. Game scholars often argue that video game stories have other temporal properties than novels and films, that game stories take place in the present and that this makes it possible for players to alter the truth-value of fictional propositions. They also argue that games have an interactive fictional truth, and that the player is some kind of author. However, by applying theories from philosophy of fiction, and with a methodology based in analytic philosophy, the thesis refutes these claims. I show that there are fundamental issues with their conception of time in fiction and that they fail to show why the arguments used to defend this conception are applicable exclusively to games. I also show that they fail to connect their claims regarding authorship to corresponding discussions in philosophy of fiction, where there have been extensive debates surrounding the importance of authorial intentions and to what extent these can determine the fictional truth of a given work; the same issues making it problematic to ascribe too much authority to the creator of a fictional work are retained and/or exacerbated when players are seen as authors. The thesis thus refutes common claims in game studies and expands the scope of philosophy of fiction.
    • Breakthroughs and discoveries in theatre rehearsals: an ethnographic study of Close Quarters

      Prior, Ross W.; Marsden, Robert Michael James (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-12)
      This thesis contributes to the emerging field of rehearsal studies by examining the seldom-analysed (yet oft-referenced) moments of a text based theatre rehearsal where breakthroughs occur that advance the creative process. This thesis presents an original framework through which text-based rehearsal breakthroughs which concentrate primarily on the dynamic between the actor, director and text can be viewed, categorised, and ultimately analysed as ‘The Four Lenses of Breakthrough’. An ethnographic methodology is utilised to analyse data collected from a case study observation of the breakthroughs in the rehearsal period of Kate Bowen’s new play Close Quarters (2018). This thesis sharpens the language used to articulate these moments by creating a practical framework for rehearsal observation and analysis. The Four Lenses created are: (1) individual and small recognition moments that occur; (2) individual discoveries for actors and directors; (3) collective discoveries shared by actors and directors; (4) and, finally, a ‘wow’ moment shared by all, where all the variables coalesce. This thesis builds upon the work of scholars and practitioners whose objective has been to demystify the rehearsal period and to break apart the myth that the rehearsal room is a place of magic, and a mysterious place. With the expansion of rehearsal studies as a field within Western theatre, as well as performance studies since the 1970s, this thesis sits within the critical field of rehearsal studies, and argues for the importance of examining moments of breakthrough in rehearsal. The thesis attests that breakthroughs are unpredictable in a rehearsal period. Even with their ubiquitous occurrence in rehearsals, there is nevertheless a paucity in the literature of explicit analysis of breakthroughs; this thesis also draws together the extant literature as well as offering a new method of analysis.
    • A framework for developing 4D LOD on construction projects

      Heesom, David; Oloke, David; Butkovic, Bogdan (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-11)
      The increasing application of BIM processes and technologies has facilitated an increase in the use of 4D (3D+Time) simulations of construction projects. Numerous studies have acknowledged the benefit of 4D models in project planning and construction phases, enhancing communication between construction teams and avoiding unforeseen conflicts during the build process. The development of BIM has prompted a deeper understanding of the issue surrounding Level of Development (LODt), Level of Information (LOI) and Level of Detail (LOD) relating to the graphical detail and non-graphical information of the static geometric design model. However, up to now there is limited research methodically investigating the issue of LOD within 4D BIM applications. This research aims to develop a framework for specifying the LOD of 4D BIM to enhance communication and planning at various stages of the construction process. A 4D simulation needs more dynamic elements to alter the current 4D static image in order to provide more realistic simulation and more accurate results. A mixed research methods approach was developed to address the needs for successful framework development. A combination quantitative and qualitative survey was undertaken to gather data from professionals engaged in the development of 4D BIM simulations on construction projects. A framework was developed to provide professionals with an approach to develop LOD for 4D simulations (LOD4d) and following this the framework was validated through qualitative interview with experts in the field. The uniqueness of the work required the invention of new terminology. The developed framework incorporates terms for Level of Graphical Detail (LODg) the graphical information of the model. Level of Detail of object geometry “granulated” (LODgran) into segments showing how the object was constructed over the time. The framework comprises a time period required between state changes in the model during the simulation which is Temporal Level of Detail (LODti). The outcome of the work is the generation of a framework which supports the development of 4D simulations at a range of LOD. This can then be utilised as part of the BIM process to support the generation of 4D simulations at levels of detail suitable to the operations being undertaken. This could then lead to the development of an additional protocol within the BIM suite. Beside the construction industry specialists have provided suggestions to further support approach of communication during the construction process.
    • A qualitative investigation of the therapeutic relationship in the facilitation of empowerment in psychological therapy for adults with learning disabilities

      Chadwick, Darren; Wesson, Caroline; Alonso, Phoebe (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-11)
      Background Many authors in the field of adult learning disabilities have described the challenges experienced by clinicians in obtaining evidence regarding the effectiveness of psychological therapies for this particular client group (e.g. it can be a costly, lengthy, time-consuming process) (Taylor, Lindsay, Hastings & Hatton, 2013). Gaps also exist in the area of social justice and empowerment in relation to this population, which has historically experienced significant inequalities. This research intended to contribute to the current information available for researchers and psychological practitioners and to focus upon particular practical issues highlighted as important to the service-users, therapists and support workers within a single UK NHS service. The aims of this research project were: 1. To investigate what factors clients with learning disabilities find most helpful and empowering in the psychological therapy received from psychological therapists. 2. To ascertain how the therapeutic relationship affects psychological well-being within a learning disabled population, as facilitated by their therapists and support workers. 3. To explore the importance of support workers’ involvement in providing support with psychotherapeutic work for PWLD. 4. To consider how empowerment is experienced and conceptualised by the main stakeholders in the therapeutic encounter, between PWLD, their therapist and their support worker. Method Five triads were interviewed, each consisting of a person with learning disabilities, a psychological therapist and a support worker. Qualitative methodology was used to analyse the data obtained, via Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Findings The resulting research findings highlighted the importance of four super-ordinate themes: i) Values, Stigma & Social Equity; ii) Building Relationships, Collaboration & Trust; iii) Coping & Adaptations and iv) Positive Outcomes. Implications for various key groups including counselling psychologists, were considered and findings were contextualised with prior research findings. Conclusions The researcher’s original contribution to knowledge relates to the inclusion and exploration of the experiences and perspectives of three related stakeholder groups, including previously under-represented participants with learning disabilities, in order to voice what was important to them in terms of the therapeutic relationship and the facilitation of empowerment through psychological therapy.
    • ‘Standing in the shadows’?: Reframing homosexuality in musical theatre

      Whitfield, Sarah; Gowland, Gus (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-11)
      This thesis explores how the gay male is represented in musical theatre and considers how musical theatre writing practice can be utilised to create new iterations of the homosexual male character in musicals. The study has three main objectives: to explore the persistent patterns of gay representation in musicals, to investigate dominant heterosexual ideologies with musical theatre practice and to consider how I might create an intervention against the heterosexist, heterogenous norms of the form. Whilst there is existing scholarship that explores the connections between the homosexual male and the musical, both on stage and in the audience, there is little research examining the subject from the perspective of the musical theatre writer. This research addresses this gap by creating an original musical, Pieces of String, and providing an analysis of the creative process and the creative product. Whilst the investigation considers the Broadway/UK musical theatre canon, the primary focus is on contemporary musicals written and produced since 2000 which further contributes to the field and affords academic consideration to newer musicals which have not yet received such scholarly treatment. The study uses Sara Ahmed’s theory of queer fatalism, Daphne Brooks’ ‘occupation’ theory and Miller’s idea of the showtune as denial as frameworks through which to examine the existing texts and also to create an original work. The findings of this research question the cultural assumption that the musical is a gay genre, and conclude that the form actually repeatedly asserts its heterosexual hegemony. Pieces of String locates itself within that hegemony and subverts it through its inclusion of multiple leading gay characters and focus on gay-specific narratives.
    • The interplay between attachment and resilience in adolescents with sebd

      Nicholls, Wendy; Chen-Wilson, Josephine; Phull, Ranjit Kaur (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-11)
      Background: Investigations into young people with Social Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties (SEBD), shows an enormous number of these young people, growing up in adverse circumstances, some grow into competent, sociable, productive adults, whilst others do not (Atwool; 2006; Harvey & Deifabbro, 2004). What is not as clear is what individual differences account for the way in which they handle their disadvantages and risks; what makes some young people more resilient than others; and what role (if any) does their attachment have on the way in which they manage their SEBD, when they are at school and in relation to the world in which they reside? Aim: In order to explore these questions further, two studies were designed with the aim of investigating the impact of insecure attachment in relation to the resilience on young people who were experiencing SEBD. Study 1: The twenty five participants in study 1 (the comparison group) were aged 14 to 18 years old, and came from a secondary school in the West Midlands. The comparison group participants completed the Resiliency Scale for Children and Adolescents (RSCA) (Prince-Embury, 2013). Findings: Young people in the target and comparison groups scored in the low bands for the Sense of Mastery (MAS) and Sense of Relatedness (REL) categories, the differences between them were insignificant. The Emotional Reactivity (REA) category, differed somewhat in that the target group scored comparatively higher than the comparison group. Study 2: To expand on the findings of study 1, Study 2 explored the nature of young people’s SEBD in relation to how they manage their close relationships. Study 2 consisted of eight, participants with Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, from the same school as the comparison group. Participants were first asked to complete the same resiliency scale, as their peers from the comparison group. Participants then individually, took part in the Attachment Style Interview (ASI) (Biffulco 2010), which explored and captured their experiences. Findings: A detailed account of their relationships showed that the attachment style, which is derived from their ability to make and maintain relationships had an impact on how they managed their SEBD interactions with others. The presence of any insecure style co-occurred with poor support, low self-esteem and childhood adversity. Severe anxiety and anxiety and depression co-occurred with insecurity, whilst less severe anxiety although presented as insecure in attachment showed a milder level of security, when the ability to make and maintain relationships was slightly higher. Anxiety when the ability to make and maintain relationships was much higher showed a clearly secure attachment and was significantly related to positive parental relationships and positive support.
    • Evaluation of renewable energy strategies in the Dominican Republic

      Renukappa, Suresh; Suresh, Subashini; Sosa, Angelines Daihana Donastorg (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-10)
      Dominican Republic electricity sector has been in crisis for decades, because of the ageing grid system, technical and nontechnical losses and the dependency of around 85% of its electricity from fossil fuel. However, the situation in the Dominican Republic is contradicting; the country has high renewable energy potential for generation, the international support, aid and funds, the willingness of the private sector, and the 57-07 law for incentives for renewable energy projects yet out of 200 renewable projects approved only 4 have been successfully implemented and are in operation. Why did so many projects fail? Why has the country had so difficulties making the transition? Those were some of the questions that drove this research. To answer those questions an exploratory qualitative research was undertaken with a pragmatism ideology at its core, due to the lack of documentation on the subject. The research focused on the energy sector especially electricity from renewable sources. To understand the environment for renewables in the country and lack of success in the area twenty-five key stakeholders representing the renewable sector in the country were chosen and through purpose and snowball sampling were interviewed in a semi-structured manner, as to allow for the participants to express the knowledge they possess. Through the literature review and the content and interpretive structural modelling analysis of the interviews, key drivers, challenges, critical success factors, benefits, financial tools and business model were identified, and their interlinking relationship was discovered. This identification and interconnectivity of the parameters aid in the creation of a successful framework for the implementation of renewable energy projects in the country, that could be used be the private and public sector of the country, the auto producers and local and international investors, which was the aim of the research.
    • Implementation of smart devices in the construction industry

      Renukappa, Suresh; Silverio Fernández, Manuel Alexander (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-10)
      The construction industry has a fragmented nature, which accounts for the highest degree of decentralisation of information and the highest mobile content access. The exchange of information made possible by smart devices. This creates an opportunity to enhance productivity and communication among stakeholders of the construction industry. Firstly, this thesis explored the concept of smart devices. Secondly, the drivers, challenges and Critical Success Factors for implementing smart devices were investigated. This study adopted a qualitative approach using semi-structured interviews. A total of Thirty-nine interviewees which includes professionals from the construction sector of the Dominican Republic (DR) and the United Kingdom (UK) were interviewed. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the collected data. The drivers for the adoption of smart devices were grouped into internal and external drivers. The challenges found in the interviews were grouped into three categories, namely, economic, cultural and technological. The Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for implementing smart devices in the construction industry are leadership, training and development, organisational culture, technology awareness, cost, company size and usability. These findings were used to develop a strategic framework which has two sub-frameworks. This study concluded that a specific culture must be adopted on behalf of the government and construction companies to successfully adopt smart devices. Furthermore, this investigation found various similarities and differences regarding the drivers, challenges and CSFs for implementing smart devices in the UK and the DR. This study recommends integrating smart devices in data collection techniques in academia. Also, for construction companies to embrace technological innovation it is recommended to be willing to start new ventures, to be open to the participation of all members of the company, and be creative and client-oriented.
    • Defining the molecular, genetic and transcriptomic mechanisms underlying the variation in glycation gap between individuals

      Dunmore, Simon; Naseem, Fakhra (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-10)
      The discrepancy between HbA1c and fructosamine estimations in the assessment of glycaemia has frequently been observed and is referred to as the glycation gap (G-gap). This could be explained by the higher activity of the fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K) deglycating enzyme in the negative G-gap group (patients with lower than predicted HbA1c for their mean glycaemia) as compared to the positive G-gap group. This G-gap is linked with differences in complications in patients with diabetes and this potentially happens because of dissimilarities in deglycation. The difference in deglycation rate in turn leads to altered production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). These AGEs are both receptor dependent and receptor independent. It was hypothesised that variations in the level of the deglycating enzyme fructosamine-3-kinase (FN3K) might be as a result of known Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs): rs1056534, rs3848403 and rs1046896 in FN3K gene, SNP in ferroportin1/SLC40A1 gene (rs11568350 linked with FN3K activity), differentially expressed genes (DEGs), differentially expressed transcripts or alternatively spliced transcript variants. Previous studies reported accelerated telomere length shortening in patients with diabetes. In this study, 184 patients with diabetes were included as dichotomised groups with either a strongly negative or positive G-gap. This study was conducted to analyse the differences in genotype frequency of specific SNPs via real time qPCR,determine soluble receptors for AGE (sRAGE) concentration via ELISA, finding association of sRAGE concentration with SNPs genotype, and evaluate relative average telomere length ratio via real time qPCR. This study also aimed at the investigation of underlying mechanisms of G-gap via transcriptome study for the identification of the DEGs and differentially expressed transcripts and to consequently identify pathways, biological processes and diseases linked to situations in which DEGs were enriched. The relative length of the telomere was normalised to the expression of a single copy gene (S). Chi-squared test was used for estimating the expected genotype frequencies in diabetic patients with negative and positive G-gap. Genotype frequencies of FN3K SNPs (rs1056534, rs3848403 and rs1046896) and SLC40A1/ferroportin1 SNP (rs11568350) polymorphisms within the studied groups were non-significant. With respect to genotypes, the rs1046896 genotype (CT) and rs11568350 genotype (AC) were only found in heterozygous state in all the investigated cohorts. No association between sRAGE concentration and FN3K SNPs (rs3848403 and rs1056534) was observed as the sRAGE concentration was also found not to be different between the groups. Similarly, the relative average telomere length was not different in both groups. Plasma sRAGE levels were not different in the cohort studied even though the Wolverhampton Diabetes Research Group (WDRG) previously reported that AGE is higher in positive G-gap. The latter is a more likely consequence of lower FN3K activities. In this study, it was found that SNPs in the FN3K/ferroportin1 gene are not responsible for the discrepancy in average glycaemia. The transcriptomic study via RNA-Seq mapped a total of 64451 gene transcripts to the human transcriptome. The DEGs and differentially expressed transcripts were 103 and 342 respectively (p < 0.05, fold change > 1.5). Of 103 DEGs, 61 were downregulated in G-gap positive and 42 were upregulated in positive G-gap individuals while 14 genes produced alternatively spliced transcript variants. Four pathways (Viral carcinogenesis, Ribosome, Phagosome and Dorso-ventral axis) were identified in the bioinformatics analysis of samples in which DEGs were enriched. These DEGs were also found to be associated with raised blood pressure and glycated haemoglobin (conditions that coexist with diabetes). Future analysis based on these results will be necessary to elucidate the significant drivers of gene expression leading to the G-gap in these patients.
    • A feasibility study for the reporting of cervical large loop excisions of the transformation zone (LLETZ) biopsies by consultant biomedical scientists in the UK

      Dunmore, Simon; Ellis, Kay M. (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-30)
      Objective – A previous pilot study had shown that there was potential to extend the roles of advanced biomedical scientist practitioner (ABMSPs) now referred to as Consultant Biomedical Scientists (BMS) to report the histology of large loop excision biopsies of the cervical transformation zone (LLETZ) within the NHS Cervical Screening Programme (NHSCSP). Methods - 157 consecutive LLETZ specimens reported by four experienced Gynae-specialist Consultant Histopathologists at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, were also reported by six Consultant BMS, and compared against the final issued report. Neoplastic abnormalities were reported to NHSCSP standards as well as the Bethesda system. Completeness of excision and histological features associated with the presence of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection were also assessed. The reporting of HPV is part of the proforma for reporting cervical samples, it does not affect the patient management but allows for correlation with the cervical cytology report and hence was included as part of the study. Results - There was overall good inter-observer agreement for both the three tier and two tier system of grading squamous lesions plus good agreement for glandular and invasive carcinomas identified by the Consultant BMS. There was variable inter-observer agreement for the completeness of the excision of the margins and the presence of HPV. Conclusions - This report provides evidence that suitably experienced Consultant BMS can be ‘fast-tracked’ through an approved training programme of selected specimens to meet the needs of the Histopathology service that is facing a chronic shortage of Histopathologists in a timely manner and provide a cost-effective solution.
    • Knowledge management practices in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia public sector organisations

      Renukappa, Suresh; Algahtani, Khaled (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-20)
      After a decade of sustained oil-based growth, KSA is at a transition towards knowledge based economy. Today, achieving that goal has become essential. To address these change challenges, knowledge is increasingly accessed and shared across different functional departments and professionals. This knowledge interdependence creates new management challenges resulting from the risks and difficulties of knowledge transactions across boundaries. Providing access to key tacit and explicit knowledge to decision makers during potential changes seems to be critical for effective decision-making. Recent technological developments have made a significant and positive impact on the ability and desire to manage knowledge. These challenges have made the government think to adopt Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research on the key KM practices that have been implemented in the public sector organisations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – which is the core rationale for this study. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how KSA public sector organisations are managing knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage. A web based, online questionnaire survey method was employed to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyse the data obtained from the 107 completed and usable questionnaire for inference and conclusion. The survey revealed that to improve access to key knowledge is most important driver for managing knowledge in KSA public sector organisations. The extent of implementation of KM initiatives is relatively low in the KSA public sector organisations. Furthermore, study revealed that conventional, simple and cost effective KM techniques and technologies are effective and extensively used. Lack of government support for using new technologies, lack of awareness of knowledge, and lack of leadership support are key challenges for managing knowledge in the KSA public sector organisations. KM strategies have a very high positive impact on improving citizen relations. The study concluded that the challenge of managing knowledge is a daunting task for any organisation. An organisation’s knowledge resources are complex and multifaceted, ranging from tacit components to knowledge that is explicitly represented. The ultimate key to organisations successfully embracing KM initiatives into daily operation is leadership. Therefore, the KSA government should take a greater leadership role in shaping the information environment and the role of emerging technologies in society that have significant impacts. It is necessary for KSA public sector decision makers to recognise and use a blend of ICT and non-ICT based KM techniques and technologies. Before embarking on a KM journey, decision makers have to understand what it is that they would like to achieve with KM and what value it needs to add to their organisation in the context of Saudi Vision 2030. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise a huge challenge for many KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, training and education related to the management of knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents to better understand on how to craft and implement various KM strategies for competitive advantage.
    • The Myth of good character: assessing the performance of nursing and midwifery pre-registration students using a modified Delphi approach

      Hopkins, Alex; Arkell, Sharon (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09)
      The requirement for pre-registration student nurses and midwives to demonstrate good character is detailed in the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) quality assurance framework for higher education institutions (NMC, 2016a). This study used a qualitative methodology, interpreted through a post-modern lens, to examine the perspectives of decision-makers when assessing the good character of nursing and midwifery preregistration students in relation to their continued fitness to practise. Participants were purposively sampled from higher education institutions in the United Kingdom. All participants were qualified nurses or midwives and had experience of making decisions about students’ good character. Thirty-three participants agreed to take part in a qualitative three-round study based on a modified Delphi approach. Twenty-two participants completed all three rounds. Qualitative data from all rounds were analysed using thematic analysis. A final overall analysis and interpretation was undertaken to synthesise the perspectives of this group of participants. The use of vignettes in round one enabled the participants to have a professional asynchronous conversation and contributed to their professional development through the opportunity to engage in reflection. The myth of good character is presented within the discourse as the good and caring nurse or midwife who abides by the Code (NMC, 2015a). The myth hides the underlying discursive practices that exist within the discourse to control behaviour, which was witnessed in this study through the assessment of the students’ ability to operate technologies of the self, as described by Foucault (1988a). Technologies of the self were assessed by the student’s ability to demonstrate self-awareness through insight, reflection and remorse, and honesty and integrity through self-surveillance in relation to a duty of candour. The decision-makers indicated that students were assessed upon their performance and their ability to learn how to be good rather than any fixed notions of character.