Bashir, Abubakar Muhammad (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-06)
The poor safety situation in the United Kingdom (UK) construction industry and its adverse socio-economic record are well documented in the existing literature. The application of Lean Construction techniques has been proposed as an effective strategy to address accidents on construction sites, a major safety concern in the construction industry. However, examination of the relationship between Lean Construction techniques and safety issues has been marginal. This study explores this relationship with the aim of developing a framework for using Lean Construction techniques to promote safety on UK construction sites. A framework was initially devised based on a synthesis of the literature and further refined based on findings from interviews held with 10 Lean Construction practitioners on antecedents of Lean Construction techniques and safety issues. In order to develop and confirm the framework, data was collected from practicing Lean Construction organisations using a questionnaire survey and analysed using descriptive statistics, inferential statistics and inter-rater agreement statistical test to examine the pattern and extent of the relationships. The study found a total of thirty-eight (38) relationships between Lean Construction techniques and safety issues. These relationships are mainly positive in nature in that they demonstrate path to improvement in safety on construction sites. They show which techniques could be used to address the relevant safety issue. Furthermore, it was established that the application of Lean Construction techniques on construction sites can be impeded by challenges such as: lack of Lean Construction knowledge, complexity, misconception about Lean and difficulties in changing employees’ working culture. The study identified strategies that could be used to address these challenges. These include enlightenment on benefits of Lean practice, publication of improvements realised from Lean practice, training, workers’ involvement and empowerment, persistence, robust planning and gradual step-by-step implementation. The study, therefore, concludes that Lean Construction techniques have positive relationships with safety issues on construction sites in the UK and on the basis of the relationships develops an integrated framework to guide application of the techniques by contracting organisations in promoting safety. The study makes a number of recommendations including the incorporation of Lean Construction practice into government health and safety initiatives, regulations and policies, and identifies areas for further research.
Wigwe-Chizindu, Veronica (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-01)
The thesis principally examines the three categories of petroleum arrangements in Nigeria and gives examples of other developing countries. This study presents a systematic and in-depth analysis of both the structure and substance of some modern petroleum arrangements that have emerged in recent years and examines, the financial benefits of such associations.
The thesis is divided into two parts. Part 1 deals with participation agreements, joint venture and production sharing contracts, whilst Part 2 examines mutual benefit and marginalisation of the host communities. These agreements are usually long-term, without any mechanism for renegotiations and are shrouded in secrecy and confidential clauses. A good example is the NNPC and Ashland oil contract. Due to this lacuna, it is usually the practice for renegotiation to be done through the passing of a legal notice or new law, resulting in the presence of quite a few laws in the petroleum industry and the attendant mystification. This practice would have been simple if renegotiation clauses were enshrined in the agreement, enabling changing circumstances; and confidential clauses removed, aiding transparency in the transaction.
The study finds that some of the laws and the regulations are very old and clearly out of style with the times, not to mention in an industry that is forever changing and dynamic and further affected and determined by international factors. Further, the study also found that the activities of the oil and gas companies, to a great extent have not employed international best practices or remained compliant with the existing laws of the nation; resulting in oil spillages, various forms of pollution, serious health hazards, gross environmental degradations, rural agricultural destruction, distortion of social harmony and peace that exist in, and between host communities and have fuelled underdevelopment in these communities. As long as these social inequalities and injustice continue, human rights violations, gross mismanagement of natural resources, corruption in all forms and sizes exist and the activities of the participants in that sector are not addressed satisfactorily, so shall poverty, insecurity and serious threat to national existence and survival continue.
Cancer is one of the major causes of morbidity in the world. Although the overall survival of cancer has been significantly improved by chemotherapy in the last three decades, the success of cancer chemotherapy is still severely limited by the lack of selectivity of anti-cancer drugs to malignant cells leading to dose-limiting toxicity and the resistance of cancer cells to the conventional anti-cancer drugs. Gene-directed enzyme prodrug therapy (GDEPT) was designed to direct the anti-cancer drugs to specifically target the cancer cells by using cancer specific promoter to drive the expression of enzyme which can convert prodrug into anti-cancer drug specifically in cancer cells. However, this strategy is hindered by the lack of strong cancer specific promoters to specifically express drug-converting enzymes in cancer cells. In consequence, there is not enough anti-cancer drug activated inside the cancer cells. The first part of this study was to employ NF-κB binding sites as a novel enhancer system to improve the promoter activity of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) for GDEPT. In this system, the basal CEA promoter sequences were placed downstream of the 4 or 8 NF-κB DNA binding sites linked in tandem (κB4 or κB8). The system was designed to serve two particular purposes: to exploit the high levels of intratumoural NF-kB expression and keep the relative tumour specificity of the CEA and hTERT promoters. The results demonstrated that κB enhancer systems increased the transcriptional activity of CEA and hTERT promoter without compromising its cancer specificity. The fidelity of the κB4-CEA enhancer-promoter system was therefore improved by the increased transcriptional contrast between the cancer and normal cells. Moreover, in comparison with CEA promoter alone, κB-CEA enhancer-promoter system expressed human thymidine phosphorylase (TP) protein at significantly higher levels which were comparable to those expressed by CMV promoter. The κBCEA- TP system transfected cells demonstrated significantly higher sensitivity to 5'-Deoxy-5-Fluorouridine (5'-DFUR), a prodrug of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The second part of this study was involved in using NF-κB inhibitor as a chemosensitizer to sentizise the anti-cancer drug-induced chemoresistance cells to anti-cancer drugs. The results derived from this study manifested that the anti-alcoholism drug, Disulfiram (DS), and anti-inflammatory drug, triptolide (PG490), markedly enhanced the cytotoxicity of several conventional anti-cancer drugs in colon, lung and breast cancer cell lines. PG490 induced caspase-dependent cell death accompanied by a significant decrease in Bcl-2 levels. PG490 induced the expression of p53 and down-regulated p21 expression. This study indicated that some clinically used non-cancerchemotherapeutic drugs may be developed as chemosensitizers for cancer chemotherapy
Innovation is widely recognised as essential to the modern economy. The term knowledgebased innovation system has been used to refer to innovation systems which recognise the importance of an economy’s knowledge base and the efficient interactions between important actors from the different sectors of society. Such interactions are thought to enable greater innovation by the system as a whole. Whilst it may not be possible to fully understand all the complex relationships involved within knowledge-based innovation systems, within the field of informetrics bibliometric methodologies have emerged that allows us to analyse some of the relationships that contribute to the innovation process. However, due to the limitations in traditional bibliometric sources it is important to investigate new potential sources of information. The web is one such source. This thesis documents an investigation into the potential of the web to provide information about knowledge-based innovation systems in the United Kingdom. Within this thesis the link analysis methodologies that have previously been successfully applied to investigations of the academic community (Thelwall, 2004a) are applied to organisations from different sections of society to determine whether link analysis of the web can provide a new source of information about knowledge-based innovation systems in the UK. This study makes the case that data may be collected ethically to provide information about the interconnections between web sites of various different sizes and from within different sectors of society, that there are significant differences in the linking practices of web sites within different sectors, and that reciprocal links provide a better indication of collaboration than uni-directional web links. Most importantly the study shows that the web provides new information about the relationships between organisations, rather than just a repetition of the same information from an alternative source. Whilst the study has shown that there is a lot of potential for the web as a source of information on knowledge-based innovation systems, the same richness that makes it such a potentially useful source makes applications of large scale studies very labour intensive.
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