• 3D FE simulation of the welding process to optimise residual stress profiles in complex geometries

      Jiang, Wei (University of Wolverhampton, 2006)
      Welded, thick-walled, tee branch junctions are complex piping components commonly used in the nuclear power and petrochemical industries. Owing to the relatively large wall thickness, weldments are often constructed in several passes. Each successive pass alters the stresses caused by previous passes. Consequently, complex residual stresses of significant levels can develop at the welding stage. Tensile welding residual stresses can, in combination with operating stresses, lead structures to be prone to catastrophic premature failure. It is most desirable that residual stresses be predicted and optimized well in advance of welding execution. This dissertation documents the development of a full 3D FE model for multipass welding simulation. A generalized plane strain model was first developed. Modelling techniques, including standard versus contact boundary conditions, sequentially versus fully coupled models, were investigated. A 3D sequentially coupled model with standard constraint was then proposed and applied to multipass butt-welded plates and pipes for validation. Good agreements between the predictions and independent experimental measurements have been obtained. To extend the work to thick and intricate welded structures, a newly developed all-hexahedral meshing technique was employed to mesh the complex intersection area in a tee branch junction. The moving heat source and filler material deposition were simulated by assigning reactivated elements with a volumetric heat flux progressing along the weld path. Temperature dependent material properties, latent heat and large deformation were considered. Detailed temperature and residual stress distributions have been reported. The correlations between welding parameters and residual stresses have been established and issues concerning residual stress profile optimization have been addressed via extensive parametric studies. The parameters investigated included the number of passes, welding sequence, heat input, preheat and interpass temperature and cooling rate. Cooling rate and interpass temperature were found to be the most important parameters affecting residual stresses. The model can be applicable to other multipass welded complex geometries for residual stress prediction and optimization.
    • A benchmark for impact assessment of affordable housing

      Chinyio, Ezekiel A.; Okehielem, Nelson (University of Wolverhampton, 2011)
      There is a growing recognition in the built environment for the significance of benchmarking. It is recognized as a key driver for measuring success criteria in the built environment sector. In spite of the huge application of this technique to the sector and other sectors, very little is known of it in affordable housing sub-sector and where it has been used, components of housing quality were not holistically considered. This study considers this identified deficiency in developing a benchmark for assessing affordable housing quality impact factors. As part of this study, samples of 4 affordable Housing projects were examined. Two each were originally selected from under 5 categories of ‘operational quality standards’ within United Kingdom. Samples of 10 projects were extracted from a total of 80 identified UK affordable housing projects. Investigative study was conducted on these projects showing varying impact factors and constituent parameters responsible for their quality. Identified impact criteria found on these projects were mapped against a unifying set standard and weighted with ‘relative importance index’. Adopting quality function deployment (QFD) technique, a quality matrix was developed from these quality standards groupings with their impact factors. An affordable housing quality benchmark and a relative toolkit evolved from resultant quality matrix of project case studies and questionnaire served on practitioners’ performance. Whereas the toolkit was empirically tested for reliability and construct validity, the benchmark was subjected to refinement with the use of project case study.
    • A clinicopathological and molecular genetic analysis of low-grade glioma in adults

      Singh, Anushree (2014-11)
      The aim of the study was to identify molecular markers that can determine progression of low grade glioma. This was done using various approaches such as IDH1 and IDH2 mutation analysis, MGMT methylation analysis, copy number analysis using array comparative genomic hybridisation and identification of differentially expressed miRNAs using miRNA microarray analysis. IDH1 mutation was present at a frequency of 71% in low grade glioma and was identified as an independent marker for improved OS in a multivariate analysis, which confirms the previous findings in low grade glioma studies. IDH1 mutation was associated with MGMT promoter methylation when partially methylated tumours were grouped with methylated tumours. Grade II and grade III tumour comparison analysis revealed 14 novel significant miRNAs with differential expression. A miRNA signature was shown for histological subtypes, oligoastrocytoma and anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, following the miRNA expression analysis in grade II and grade III tumors based on histology. Oligoastrocytoma presented a more similar profile to oligodendroglioma, but anaplastic oligoastrocytoma was more similar to anaplastic astrocytoma. Five novel miRNAs were identified in grade III tumours, when comparing IDH1 mutant and IDH1 wild type tumours. Analysis of paired samples of primary/recurrent tumours revealed that additional genomic changes may promote tumour progression. For each of the pair, the two samples were genomically different and in each case, the reccurent tumours had more copy number aberrations than the corresponding primary tumours. Cell cultures derived from the tumour biopsies were not representative of the low grade glioma in vivo, which was evident from the differences identified in the miRNA expression and copy number changes in the paired samples. IDH1 mutation present in tumour biopsies was not maintained in their respective cell cultures. These findings give an insight into the molecular mechanisms involved in the tumourigenesis of low grade glioma and also tumour progression.
    • A coal mining community in late nineteenth-century Shropshire: frontier settlement or close-knit community?

      Ensum, Jan (University of Wolverhampton, 2000)
      The first aim of this thesis was to examine one community, Madeley, in 1891, in relation to two apparently contradictory stereotypes of late nineteenth-century mining communities, as either close-knit, or as loose-knit. The second aim was to develop a methodology to examine precisely the social characteristics of a late nineteenth-century community as a local social system. An interdisciplinary approach was adopted, adapting social network analysis to a historical context. The research attempted to place equal value upon the experience of all members of the community, including the potentially marginalised, tracing individuals' social networks. The analysis focused upon persistence and kinship as key variables, before turning to both 'formal' and 'informal' social networks. A model was developed within which the composition, structure and content of networks could be analysed precisely, and the intensity of social activity assessed. The thesis has shown that there was a high level of persistence within the area, but also a high level of mobility internally, with significant variations by occupation and age. There was a high level of potential support from kin, and evidence of strong support from older kin, but also of marginalisation, often of women. Associational life was not central to most individuals' networks, but they had the greatest social impact through the events that were the most inclusive. It has been shown that friendly societies may have been socially much more significant in late nineteenthcentury mining communities that has hitherto been recognised, and that places of worship were a potential source of social division. Whilst there is some evidence of lack of porosity of social boundaries, there is also evidence of overlap of social networks, of co-operation and mutual help, with little antisocial behaviour. Whilst Madeley had characteristics of both a close- and loose-knit community, the thesis has shown that it could more accurately be described as the former in 1891.
    • A comparative analysis of corporate fraud

      Ramage, Sally (University of Wolverhampton, 2007-10)
      The law is stated as at July 2006, before the enactment of the United Kingdom Fraud Act 2006. This thesis covers ‘serious’ corporate fraud and not commonplace petty fraud. I examined corporate fraud, concentrating on a comparison of the United Kingdom’s fraud with that of two civil law neighbouring countries, France and Germany, both with high financial activity, and also with a few American states, common law systems like the English legal system. The objective of this study is to identify ways of combating fraud in the UK by enquiry and discovery as to how fraud occurs and how the two different legal systems- civil and common law- treat fraud. The study reveals factors contributing to corporate fraud and recommendations for combating corporate fraud. Exploring the concept of fraud, my findings are that corporate fraud is facing exponential increase, with the UK government beginning to acknowledge this. I examined the agencies that combat fraud in the states mentioned above including the UK. Although the UK is party to an impressive number of Treaties, which help to combat fraud, treaties dealing with terrorism, drug dealing, money laundering, and other organised crime, corporate fraud is still a serious problem. The conclusions can be summarised as follows. The UK could learn much from the French legal system and the way France prosecutes corporations as per Articles 132, 222, 432, 433 and 435 of the French Penal Code. Germany’s Criminal Code is equally comprehensive in its prescriptive definitions of frauds including corporate frauds as in chapters 8, 19, 2, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 30 of the German Criminal Code. The new UK’s non-codified general, core, offence of fraud, with fraud offences maintained in other statutes such as the Companies Act, likens the UK fraud regulation closer to the US’s with its Criminal Code and other statutes that deal with fraud. The UK has not yet caught up with the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002 as regards electronic business systems’ rules. The USA’s federal prescriptive code for fraud offences is akin to the French and German criminal codes and these are found in US Federal Penal Code Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 47, sections 1020 to 1084. Legal privilege is fraud exempt in the United but not in France and Germany. Legal privilege in the UK is partly exempt for SFO investigations and mandatory money laundering reporting.
    • A comparative sociological analysis of the redevelopment of two urban localities in the West Midlands (Merry Hill complex, Dudley and Broad Street development, Birmingham)

      Iafrati, Stephen (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
      During the 1980s and 1990s, there were dramatic and significant changes in local economies of regions that had previously relied heavily on manufacturing and industry. Most notable in these changes were two distinct processes, firstly the decline of traditional economies and, secondly, the subsequent expansion of service sector economies in response. Such changes heavily affected the West Midlands, with the steel industry, car manufacturing and associated trades experiencing significant contraction. In terms of service sector expansion, the two most important ventures were the redevelopment of Birmingham's Broad Street area and the construction of the Merry Hill shopping centre in Dudley Borough. Analysed in terms of stability and crisis, the thesis examines how localities experienced economic decline and how service sector projects were formulated as a method of regeneration. Ostensibly, the thesis challenges arguments that the redevelopments have been a source of regeneration, arguing instead that their aim was to create stability within business and politics rather than benefit local communities. The research uses a mixed methodology, featuring a theoretical overview as well as case studies to identify locally specific factors. The case studies utilise a diverse range of sources, though the primary data from interviews demonstrates how local actors retained a degree of autonomy; as well as illustrating the nature of local relations. Analysing the case studies in light of theoretical issues concerning regimes of accumulation and modes of regulation, the redevelopments initially featured similarities in terms of declining traditional economies and service sector expansion. Subsequent political differences marked distinctions between the two sites, with similarities eventually returning as local political actors in Dudley Borough accepted the service sector's local importance. The research makes an original contribution to knowledge by providing a detailed account of local events, analysis of local redevelopment strategies, and developing the temporal and spatial aspects of regulation theory and regime theory.
    • A comparative study of contractor performance based on Japanese, UK and US construction practice

      Hong, Xiao (University of Wolverhampton, 2002)
      Globalisation of world economy requires that any robust benchmarking of contractor performance be conducted on an international level. The Japanese and US construction industries are internationally renowned as world leaders. Notwithstanding this, when at its best, UK construction has been shown to be excellent, and capable of matching any other construction industry in the world. A comparison of contractor performance and practices between the three countries can distinguish their respective strengths and weaknesses and provide an opportunity for contractors to learn from each other and improve their performance. However, comparing international construction is onerous because of the uniqueness of construction products and the complexity of the production process. Each of the existing methods developed for this purpose has its own limitations in terms of comparability and/or representativeness of data. Having undertaken an international review of contractor performance, the research has: e defined 'best practice' for contractors and established criteria to evaluate contractor performance and practice in terms of construction cost, construction time, construction quality and sustainable development; * developed a new research approach towards comparing international contractor performance based on a hypothetical construction project which maintains the comparability and representativeness of data; 9 conducted a questionnaire survey arnong contractors in the three countries to collect information in regards to their performance and practices; * identified the significant differences in contractor performance and practices between the three countries and revealed the possible causes for the disparities; e developed six best practice performance models by means of multiple regression analysis. The thesis concluded that there exist significant differences in contractor performance and practice between Japan, the UK and the US. Based on the practices of contractors in the three countries, factors significantly influencing contractor performance are identified and measures for performance improvement are recommended for contractors.
    • A comparative study of Corynephorus canescens (L.) P.Beauv. communities of inland sand dunes in England and Poland

      Trueman, Ian C.; Harding, D.; Jurasz, W.; Blunt, Arthur Godfrey (University of Wolverhampton, 2008)
      Inland sand dunes supporting Grey Hair-grass Corynephorus canescens are a declining European habitat designated for conservation under the EU’s Habitats Directive. In Britain they are confined to a handful of sites in East Anglia and the West Midlands. This study investigated the relationships of the British populations to each other and to populations on five sites in Poland, where C. canescens is still widespread. It also conducted exploratory investigations into factors relevant to the conservation of this ecosystem, particularly in the West Midlands. Data were collected chiefly from 1m2 quadrat samples and direct sampling, which recorded the plants and animals present together with parameters such as vigour and fecundity in C. canescens, amounts of bare sand and litter, and measures of erosion and grazing. These data were variously analysed including by CANOCO multivariate analysis and, for the vegetation, TWINSPAN analysis. 153 taxa of plants and 251 of invertebrates were identified. Though strongly distributed on a regional basis, both flora and invertebrate fauna showed relationships particularly between Polish and West Midlands sites. Analysis of the vegetation suggested that West Midlands vegetation had some associations with C. canescens habitats in Europe and that East Anglian vegetation had links with British coastal C. canescens habitats. The invertebrate fauna showed some complex community relationships in Poland and the West Midlands but less so in East Anglia, while assemblages of invertebrates were associated with various vegetational and abiotic factors. Rabbits and hares were the only vertebrates regularly exploiting C. canescens habitats, which they grazed and, in the former case, produced sand disturbances for colonisation by C. canescens. Ants and to a lesser degree some other invertebrates also produced sand disturbances. Observations made in a preliminary cultivation study in the West Midlands suggested that C. canescens may have a biennial phenology, high fecundity, low germination rates and limited dispersal powers in that region. A trampling investigation suggested that C. canescens may be very sensitive to heavy uncontrolled trampling and to vegetational succession under protection. Stages in succession of the C. canescens community were identified, and suggestions for further study and the conservation of C. canescens were drawn up.
    • A Contemporary Approach to Expressiveness in the Design of Digital Musical Instruments

      Marshall, Lindsey, Grimshaw, Mark; Amiri, Faramarz; Cornford, Matthew; Dalgleish, Mat (University of Wolverhampton, 2013)
      Digital musical instruments pose a number of unique challenges for designers and performers. These issues stem primarily from the lack of innate physical connection between the performance interface and means of sound generation, for the latter is usually dematerialised. Thus, this relationship must instead be explicitly determined by the designer, and can be essentially any desired. However, many design issues and constraints remain poorly understood, from the nature of control to the provision of performer-instrument feedback. This practice-based research contends that while the digital and acoustic domains are so different as to be fundamentally incompatible, useful antecedents for digital musical instruments can be found in the histories of electronic music. Specifically, it argues that the live electronics of David Tudor are of particular prescience. His home-made circuits offer an electronic music paradigm quite antithetical to both the familiar keyboard interface and the electronic music studios that grew up in the years after World War II, and are seen to embody a number of aspirational qualities. These include performer-instrument interaction more akin to steering rather than fine control, the potential for musical outcomes that are unknown and unknowable in advance, and distinct instrumental character. This leads to the central contribution of this research; the development of a Tudor-inspired conceptual framework that can inform how digital musical instruments are designed, played, and evaluated. To enable more detailed and nuanced discussion, the framework is broken down into a series of sub-themes. These include both design issues such as nuance, plasticity and emergence, and human issues such as experience, expressiveness, skill, learning, and mastery. The notion of sketching in hardware and software is also developed in relation to the rapid iteration of multiple designs. Informed by this framework, seven new digital musical instruments are presented. These instruments are tested from two different perspectives, with the personal experiences of the author supplemented with data from a series of smallscale user studies. Particular emphasis is placed on how the instruments are played, the music they can produce, and their capacity to convey the musical intentions of the performer (i.e. their expressiveness). After the evaluation of the instruments, the Tudorian framework is revisited to form the basis of the conclusions. A number of modifications to the original framework are proposed, from the addition of a dialogical model of performerinstrument interaction, to the situation of digital musical instruments within a wider musical ecology. The thesis then closes with a suggestion of possibilities for future research.
    • A contextual AR model based system on-site construction planning

      Heesom, David; Moore, Nigel Jonathan (University of Wolverhampton, 2013)
      The creation of an effective construction schedule is fundamental to the successful completion of a construction project. Effectively communicating the temporal and spatial details of this schedule are vital, however current planning approaches often lead to multiple or misinterpretations of the schedule throughout the planning team. Four Dimensional Computer Aided Design (4D CAD) has emerged over the last twenty years as an effective tool during construction project planning. In recent years Building Information Modelling (BIM) has emerged as a valuable approach to construction informatics throughout the whole lifecycle of a building. Additionally, emerging trends in location-aware and wearable computing provide a future potential for untethered, contextual visualisation and data delivery away from the office. The purpose of this study was to develop a novel computer-based approach, to facilitate on-site 4D construction planning through interaction with a 3D construction model and corresponding building information data in outdoor Augmented Reality (AR). Based on a wide ranging literature review, a conceptual framework was put forward to represent software development requirements to support the sequencing of construction tasks in AR. Based on this framework, an approach was developed that represented the main processes required to plan a construction sequence using an onsite model based 4D methodology. Using this proposed approach, a prototype software tool was developed, 4DAR. The implemented tool facilitated the mapping of elements within an interactive 3D model with corresponding BIM data objects to provide an interface for two way communication with the underlying Industry Foundation Class (IFC) data model. Positioning data from RTK-GPS and an electronic compass enabled the geo-located 3D model to be registered in world coordinates and visualised using a head mounted display fitted with a ii forward facing video camera. The scheduling of construction tasks was achieved using a novel interactive technique that negated the need for a previous construction schedule to be input into the system. The resulting 4D simulation can be viewed at any time during the scheduling process, facilitating an iterative approach to project planning to be adopted. Furthermore, employing the IFC file as a central read/write repository for schedule data reduces the amount of disparate documentation and centralises the storage of schedule information, while improving communication and facilitating collaborative working practices within a project planning team. Post graduate students and construction professionals evaluated the implemented prototype tool to test its usefulness for construction planning requirements. It emerged from the evaluation sessions that the implemented tool had achieved the essential requirements highlighted in the conceptual framework and proposed approach. Furthermore, the evaluators expressed that the implemented software and proposed novel approach to construction planning had potential to assist with the planning process for both experienced and inexperienced construction planners. The following contributions to knowledge have been made by this study in the areas of 4D CAD, construction applications of augmented reality and Building Information Modelling;  4D Construction Planning in Outdoor Augmented Reality (AR)  The development of a novel 4D planning approach through decomposition  The deployment of Industry Foundation Classes (IFC) in AR  Leveraging IFC files for centralised data management within real time planning and visualisation environment.
    • A critical analysis of the Royal Air Force air superiority campaign in India, Burma and Malaya, 1941-1945

      Buckley, John; Preston-Hough, Peter Norman (University of Wolverhampton, 2013-04)
      The conflict in the Far East between 1941 and 1945 is occasionally referred to as the “Forgotten War” in Britain and this description extends to the way the campaign’s air war has been analysed. However, the role of air power in Burma was vitally important to the campaign, in particular the attainment of air superiority in order to facilitate supply and close support operations. The foundation of these operations was dependent on the Allies achieving and maintaining air superiority and latterly air supremacy over the Japanese. This thesis will analyse how the Allies lost air superiority during the initial exchanges, and then how technical and material difficulties were overcome before air superiority was won in 1944 and air supremacy was gained in 1945. It will analyse the importance of the RAF’s tactics, early warning systems, equipment, training and counter-air offensive in the theatre between 1941 and 1945. Furthermore, the thesis will demonstrate how Japanese industry, their war in the Pacific, and their use of air power in Burma ultimately affected the air war’s eventual outcome. The study will examine current historiography to question and corroborate existing views, as well as to reveal new information not previously published.
    • A critical evaluation of corporate employee communication in the light of recent changes in workplace relations

      Harrison, Alan Thomas (University of Wolverhampton, 1998)
      While substantial literatures exist in the areas of modem management practice in general, corporate communication in particular, and the labour process, these bodies of literature hardly seem to overlap. Detailed analysis of the language used in corporate communication, and of its interpretation by its target audience of employees seems not to exist. This thesis is a modest attempt to remedy this defect, bringing to bear the methodology of critical linguistics to analyse the language used in samples of corporate communication, and using focus groups to investigate its interpretation by employees. Based on case studies in three companies, the thesis examines the forms of corporate communication which are present in each company, finding some evidence that "management fads" exist, and that quality circles in particular seem to have gone out of fashion. The linguistic content of specific examples of written communication is examined in some detail. Linguistic forms are identified which appear to be intended to disguise underlying conflict. In the course of this part of the work, I propose a modest extension to linguistic understanding of the use of the first person plural. In focus groups of employees, I investigate employee understanding of their employers' communication, and specifically their decoding of the items of written communication which I had analysed. I examine in particular detail the question of whether employees have an understanding of the linguistic forms used in corporate communication. I find evidence for a fairly sophisticated "folk linguistics" enabling oppositional decoding of the messages contained in corporate communication.
    • A critical investigation and evaluation of access: the experiences and subsequent employment of black students in higher education

      Allen, Paul (University of Wolverhampton, 1993)
      The thesis has aimed to evaluate the effect of access policies on recruitment and experience of black students in higher education. As part of a broadening and reconceptualisation of institutional access programmes and of black students responses to them, I have examined black student admission and progression with a specific focus on student experience of particular course provision. The thesis has identified the existence of three models of access: the market oriented access model; the social justice access model; and the social engineering access model. Such models are not mutually exclusive, but overlap at given points. Furthermore, my research has demonstrated that dominant aspects of each model can be found in the structure of particular courses, i.e. HNC into construction, the Dip HE and BEd. These courses have in particular ways tried to promote wider black participation, and it is for this reason why they have been the object of investigation primarily through qualitative and ethnographic methods, exercised through individual interviews and group discussions with black students. The thesis has made a contribution to knowledge by attempting to show the correlation between specific course philosophy and forms of student response, including 'Black Scepticality' which appears in black student culture. It appears that certain kinds of courses help create the conditions for 'Black Scepticality' to thrive. Furthermore my research suggests that the internal contradictions and tensions of the courses produce specific effects in student consciousness and culture. Black students 'live' and to some degree 'unmask' these tensions as personal dilemmas, ambiguities and uncertainties. The thesis is an attempt to locate and reconceptualise institutional access programmes as experienced by black students, within a larger framework of state intervention into the social management of 'race' tensions. From these bases I hope to contribute to a more adequate sociology of black experience in state apparatuses.
    • A discriminant model for classifying contractor performance on public works projects

      Wong, Chee Hong (University of Wolverhampton, 2001)
      Contractor selection practices in the UK construction industry have long been criticised and presently a divergent range of methods and preferences exists. Albeit, many of the practices adopted comply with good guidance practices and recommendations from construction reports and commentators. This research focused on UK construction clients' contractor selection preferences i.e. prequalification criteria (PC) and project-specific criteria (PSC). The main aim was to develop a contractor classification framework to assist construction clients' decisionmaking during tender evaluation. Investigating client selection preferences and behaviours are the main focus of this research. However, attention was also given to the contractors' views upon selection, from prequalification to invitation-to-tender. Factors affecting clients' non-use of standard prequalification practices were found to be a perceived: lack of flexibility and tolerance to clients' specific needs; and a long term confidence with 'in-house' selection practices. With regard to the use of PC and PSC, there appears to be much concordance among clients and contractors, but levels of importance assigned by public clients and clients' representatives were found to be significantly different to some extent in building and civil engineering works. Based on data from 68 small to medium size UK minor works (below £50 million), a contractor classification model (i.e. Z2 model) was developed. Multivariate discriminant analysis is used to classify contractors' past performance into good and poor groups. The classification model is made up of 5 variables: (i) contractors' plant and equipment resources; (ii) past performance in time on similar projects; (iii) past performance in cost of similar projects; (iv) reputation and image; and (v) relationship with local authority. The developed model has a 90% accuracy in classifying contractors into 'good' and 'poor' groups and a 70% accuracy when tested against independent data.
    • A Distributed data extraction and visualisation service for wireless sensor networks

      Newman, Robert; Hammoudeh, Mohammad (University of Wolverhampton, 2009)
      With the increase in applications of wireless sensor networks, data extraction and visualisation have become a key issue to develop and operate these networks. Wireless sensor networks typically gather data at a discrete number of locations. By bestowing the ability to predict inter-node values upon the network, it is proposed that it will become possible to build applications that are unaware of the concrete reality of sparse data. The aim of this thesis is to develop a service for maximising information return from large scale wireless sensor networks. This aim will be achieved through the development of a distributed information extraction and visualisation service called the mapping service. In the distributed mapping service, groups of network nodes cooperate to produce local maps which are cached and merged at a sink node, producing a map of the global network. Such a service would greatly simplify the production of higher-level information-rich representations suitable for informing other network services and the delivery of field information visualisations. The proposed distributed mapping service utilises a blend of both inductive and deductive models to successfully map sense data and the universal physical principles. It utilises the special characteristics of the application domain to render visualisations in a map format that are a precise reflection of the concrete reality. This service is suitable for visualising an arbitrary number of sense modalities. It is capable of visualising from multiple independent types of the sense data to overcome the limitations of generating visualisations from a single type of a sense modality. Furthermore, the proposed mapping service responds to changes in the environmental conditions that may impact the visualisation performance by continuously updating the application domain model in a distributed manner. Finally, a newdistributed self-adaptation algorithm, Virtual Congress Algorithm,which is based on the concept of virtual congress is proposed, with the goal of saving more power and generating more accurate data visualisation.
    • A Framework for Enhancing Project Quality and Customer Satisfaction In Government Road Construction Projects In Rivers State, Nigeria

      Suresh, Subashini; Obunwo, Chimene U. C. (2016-02)
      Satisfaction has consistently been a source of concern to clients, stakeholders and customers in the construction industry globally. In Nigeria, despite the huge financial investments in construction and its associated economic benefits, construction projects are characterized by poor quality in aesthetics, high costs in maintenance and failure to meet or exceed the customers’ quality expectations. An even greater challenge is faced when considering government construction projects as re- occurring issues like on time delivery, operational and aesthetic excellence and even project abandonment continue to resurface. Although previous studies have developed models and frameworks to improve customer satisfaction in product and service organisations, researchers have not treated in detail issues involving customer satisfaction within projects which do not have profits and financial gains as the driving force such as government construction projects. The aim of this research was to develop a framework that would identify particular areas associated with project quality where adequate resources could be channelled in order to enhance customer satisfaction in government road construction projects in Rivers State, Nigeria. Sequel to an extensive literature review, a conceptual framework was developed to establish the relationship between three attributes of project quality namely performance, reliability and aesthetics and two attributes of customer satisfaction measured through contractor re-patronage and referral. 503 road construction practitioners within the Port Harcourt metropolis of Rivers State, Nigeria participated in a quantitative survey and data obtained was subjected to stepwise multiple regression analysis. The results showed that a strong, positive and significant relationship existed between the attributes of project quality and customer satisfaction with project quality explaining 54.8% of the variance in contractor re-patronage and 61.8% of the variance in contractor referral. Performance was however found to have the greatest effect on contractor re-patronage (R2=.550, adjusted R2=.548) while aesthetics had the highest effect on contractor referral (R2=.572, adjusted R2= .571). Reliability was found to have the weakest effect on customer satisfaction and could be attributed to its civil and structural Engineering links which are either unknown or invisible to the customer. 10 structured interviews with construction professionals were used to validate the developed framework and justify the research design. The findings support the framework and suggest that the knowledge and analysis of the construction costs, the use of competent professional experts, the provision of a revised legal framework for road construction, delegation of responsibility for road maintenance, avoidance of project abandonment, identifying and mitigating construction risks, adopting a strategy for project monitoring, enforcing health and safety considerations, provision of innovative excitement factors as well as post project evaluations were essential for enhancing project quality and customer satisfaction from government road construction projects. The study advocates for an adoption of the framework and concludes by making recommendations including the incorporation of government and private construction practitioners and further identifies areas for future study.

      The aim of the research was to evaluate the operational effectiveness and impact of joint leadership in construction projects in Abu Dhabi (AD). The research started with a thorough and critical review of literature on leadership and culture. The research took a quantitative approach and used a questionnaire to collect data. 145 questionnaires were sent to project managers in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 90 responses (62%) were obtained. The data was analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics and used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results of the research indicated that the majority of participants were leaders, and had different styles. Irrespective of leadership style, most expressed satisfaction with joint leadership of projects and stated that it does improve project success. The study also showed that culture has a significant impact on the types of leaders in UAE construction as well as the operations, durations, costs, and quality of construction projects. Moreover, participants stated that culture has an influence on the design of construction buildings and other facilities. It was however opined that the use of joint leadership in construction projects requires clear clauses in project contracts in respect of roles and responsibilities, as well as providing training for cultural awareness which can improve project efficiency. Most participants agreed that project success in UAE construction is a direct function of the leadership style used. The outcome of the research was used to improve the construction project process framework of Abu Dhabi Police taking into the consideration the findings from the questionnaire. The next step was to test the framework through a focus group. 12 professionals were involved from the original questionnaire survey. The focus group discussion generated additional qualitative descriptions concerning the reasons behind the study participants‘ perceptions on (a) the likelihood of joint leadership of projects in UAE, (b) the impact of the concept of the project managers in UAE construction, and (c) the influences of UAE culture on construction projects. The improved framework developed was validated by a survey which had 12 questions. This was distributed to 10 project managers and leaders. The results showed that the improved framework will: reduce communication time; improve the choice of joint leaders (two project managers) for the same project; help UAE culture to be communicated better in project designs; help project managers with no engineering background through training; increase internal stakeholders‘ understanding of joint leadership in AD police projects; increase the understanding of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract in AD police projects; assist AD police project managers‘ training to address effective and efficient leadership.
    • A Framework for Land Information Management in Ghana

      Suresh, Subashini; Adiaba, Stanislaus Yaw (University of Wolverhampton, 2014-07)
      Land information management in Ghana, as in many developing countries, remains a practice monopolised by public sector land administration agencies, which are known for being inefficient in delivering services that satisfy the needs of citizens. Under this monopolised regime, landed property related data gathering, processing through land registration, storage and dissemination of the information as final product for public use is entirely based on expert knowledge. Meanwhile, reliance on this kind of knowledge for land information management has continuously failed to promote smooth flow and a broad based access to reliable information for decision making by citizens. This failure has created a huge land information gap between market participants’ especially genuine and fraudulent landed property owners on one hand and potential buyers, lenders, and investors on the other hand. Thus, there is information asymmetry, which this study identifies as a major contributory factor to the challenges of uncertainties and high transaction costs that characterise dealings in urban real estate markets in Ghana. In order to verify how the information gap can be closed, this research adopts quantitative research methodology. The research mainly explores multinomial logistic regression model to test Economic Theory of Knowledge propounded by Hayek (1945) using Ghana as the context of study. Primary data was collected from potential land information suppliers within the private sector and existing users of land information as likely beneficiaries of an efficient land information management regime. Interrater agreement index and Pearson’s bivariate correlation analysis were used to analyse primary data gathered from users of land information in relation to land information needs and competition in land information harnessing. Following verification of the relationship between competition and economic knowledge, the key research finding is that there are two kinds of land information management knowledge and these are expert and entrepreneurial land information management knowledge. Thus, the research presents empirical evidence that out of four types of entrepreneurial knowledge verified, two types namely adaptive and cost-efficient knowledge are most likely to influence competition in land information supply. Also, competition is likely to deliver land information services that satisfy the needs of users of land information. Altogether, the research findings converge with the theory verified. The research outcome suggests that deregulation of state monopoly of land information harnessing for competition among private economic actors in Ghana is due. Removing this barrier is likely to promote dynamic competition in which licensed land information suppliers can use adaptive and cost efficient knowledge in gathering and disseminating land information at competitive prices. The study also provides evidence that all-in-one land information, which is broadly accessible at competitive prices is likely to be required to help address the problem of information asymmetry in the context of Ghana. For purposes of practice in the context of urban real estate markets in Ghana, a framework based on the research findings is developed and validated. The framework is proposed to inform policy decision on deregulation for competition in land information harnessing to enable the real estate sector function well. To kick start the process, deregulation in land data gathering and dissemination of land information is suggested.

      Al Junaibi, Musallem (2016-05)
      There has been a good effort made in Abu Dhabi for the last couple of years between government stakeholders to develop a road safety strategy, define rules and responsibilities, and gain a fully coordinated and integrated framework to deal with road safety. According to my point of view, the challenges that might be seen as a problem for the future development of Abu Dhabi can be the management and the usage of traffic safety technologies to reduce serious road traffic accidents. This study focused on the relationship between the use of traffic safety technologies and serious road traffic accidents on Abu Dhabi Highways. The motivation for this research is to implement correctly the traffic safety technologies in Abu Dhabi highways as a part of the need to adopt plans, programmes, and preventive measures to reduce or prevent the occurrence of traffic accidents in order to ensure the safety of individuals and property, in addition to preserving the security of the state and its human and economic components. The overall approach to this study is a mixed methodology, which combines quantitative and qualitative methods. A questionnaire is one method used in this regard, and is designed to be quantitative. In the quantitative method, comparing statistics of fatalities and injuries before and after installation of the speed cameras is used. As a result of this study and by making the connectivity between reviewing the results and findings of the literature review, identifying the questionnaire results, and exploring the before and after statistics led to findings which were used to develop a decision support framework that can be used to advise the regional safety strategy to be sustainable. The design framework was also validated through Abu Dhabi highways by a panel of experts, which was carried out using the focus group method, which was qualitative in nature. It is recommended from this research to invest much in traffic safety technologies, focus more on driver support systems and rapid response systems, improve driver behaviour as a priority in Abu Dhabi highways using traffic safety technologies, and integrate the compatibility of all of the above through an integrated system and specific performance indicators that are measured and followed up on an ongoing basis, and supported by geographic information systems (GIS).