Now showing items 1-20 of 409

    • The Military Service Tribunals of Derbyshire and Staffordshire: An assessment of their ‘Remarkable Achievements’ in Managing the Effects of Conscription and Safeguarding Britain’s Social and Economic Stability during the Great War

      Whitehead, Ian; Feely, Cath; Pyne-Edwards Banks, Rebecca (University of Derby, 2021)
      First established in Britain during the latter months of 1915, Military Service Tribunals worked diligently throughout the last three years of the Great War coexisting alongside conscription. For a generation unaccustomed to compulsion, the Government envisioned an egalitarian system of tribunals across the country, providing appeasement for any individual who opposed their conscription. Gaining legal status in March 1916, tribunals worked diligently to evaluate Britain’s manpower needs; either allowing conscription to take its course, alternatively, permitting the possibility of a claimants’ exemption. While the Government sought to protect the country’s major industries and extensively exempting large groups of men based on their occupation, it became the responsibility of the tribunals to evaluate cases within their localities by considering the suitability of an individual for exemption. During the subsequent decades following the war, historical research into the work of the tribunals was thought to be seriously hindered. Ostensibly, a notion resulting from an edict issued from the Ministry of Health in early 1922, announcing to all local councils the opportunity for them to dispose of the accumulated and vast amount of tribunal paperwork. However, some fifty years after the war and following the discovery of a small number of surviving tribunal documents, scholars began to question their original assumption. Today, aware of the potential for more surviving tribunal documents, surveys have been conducted around the country discovering an abundance of paperwork scattered in local archives. Protected from destruction by prudent individuals, it is these tribunal documents which are currently being studied for the first time, papers which improve the academic understanding of conscription and the exemption process. Explored in this thesis are these tribunal documents, new discoveries which record the applications of claimants living in the Derbyshire and Staffordshire area. These case papers are used in conjunction with the officially saved directives contained in the MH47/MH10 files which allow for a unique and extensive understanding of the tribunals working in the north midlands region. Claimant case files have been compiled into a database, supplemented by information acquired from newspapers, directories and online repositories. Combining these sources has assisted in producing a detailed and focused analysis of statistics regarding the north midland tribunals, evidencing their competencies, highlighting their altruism and demonstrating their successes in accurately following their assigned responsibilities. Of particular focus are the constitution, function and procedures of the tribunals, considering both their directives and the measures taken to accurately and effectively follow closely their mutable instructions. Often disparaged for their war work, tribunal members are reconsidered and reassessed, creating a uniquely detailed analysis of their individuality, motivations and the nature of their professional working relationship with others. Furthermore, this work considers claimant statistics, utilising these figures to contemplate tribunal successes and impartiality of work. Lastly, a consideration is explored regarding the efforts of tribunals in sustaining enough workers for vital regional industries. This thesis is a distinctive inspection of the Local and Appeal Tribunals working in Derbyshire and Staffordshire, examining their accomplishments in pacifying the people and impeding what could have been the overwhelming loss of manpower through conscription upon industry in their locality.
    • Energy Efficiency Framework: An approach to develop best practice in the corrugated sector of the print and paper industry

      Anosike, Tony; Dupernex, Simon; Parr, Steven (University of Derby, 2021)
      The subject of energy efficiency plays a significant role in protecting future generations from the impact of carbon emissions in the environment. Morally and ethically everyone has a responsibility for improving efficiency and reducing energy use. It has been established that a key issue in doing this is one of addressing where to start. Therefore the research focuses on developing a framework to deliver energy efficiency best practice within the operational footprint of corrugated manufacturing operations. The adoption of a framework approach was inspired by other researchers in the field of energy management. Whilst simple in its delivery the energy framework developed has been the subject of a significant research study. The approach has included action research with interviews and questionnaire research and its development can be considered emergent as knowledge and understanding is gained from experience. The research has identified a gap in the knowledge within the corrugated sector of the pulp and paper industry. In defining this gap the research has actively developed an approach which has been trialled, tested and proven. In doing this the findings have played a significant role in contributing to new knowledge and establishing an approach to adopting energy efficiency in the industry and developing best practice. This research has identified the need for a co-ordinated approach. Future opportunities exist in aligning standards, equipment and cultural aspects of delivering on energy efficiency. In terms of the research implications there are opportunities to establish credible literature and published materials from the study. It is believed that this research has a moral and professional responsibility to facilitate and enable best practice development throughout the corrugated industry. The proposed framework was developed through action research and provides a structured way of implementing energy efficiency technologies within corrugated manufacturing operations.
    • Developing and measuring compassion-based interventions for cancer patients and survivors

      Sheffield, David; Maratos, Frances; Archer, Stephanie; Wahl, Julia (University of Derby, 2020-01)
      Previous research on mindfulness and compassion has indicated that training programmes based on these modalities (contemplative practices) have been effective with various clinical populations, including somatic patients (Carlson, 2012) to differentiate between them and psychological patients. The current PhD research programme aimed to develop and evaluate an evidence-based psychological management programme for cancer patients and survivors in stages 0-IIIC. The programme primarily incorporates the main conceptualisations and practices of Compassionate Mind Training (CMT), which itself is based on Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT), or is considered to be the tools used in CFT (Gilbert, 2010a). Overall specific aims included: i. The investigation of a new cancer intervention based on contemplative approaches – mainly compassion-based approaches; ii. Development of a comprehensive psychological training programme for cancer patients and survivors; With specific objectives to: i. Test and implement compassion-based interventions (CBIs) as a means to greater (dispositional) mindfulness, meaning of life, satisfaction with life, emotion regulation, attachment styles, and post-traumatic growth (PTG) improvement (by facilitating coping with a range of stressors associated with cancer and developing capacities for self-regulation and self-soothing); ii. Determine whether there were differences between the level of mindfulness, PTG, meaning of life, satisfaction with life, emotion regulation, attachment styles – before 15 taking part in a compassion-based programme, after the last session, and two months later (follow-up). To meet these aims and objectives, the PhD comprised these studies: • Study 1 (pilot) with a non-clinical population (one group), included using qualitative measures; • Study 2 (initial study) with a clinical population (one group), included using qualitative and quantitative measures (mixed methods); • Study 3 (main study) with a clinical population, (two groups), included using qualitative and quantitative measures (mixed methods). The findings were divided into quantitative and qualitative results (in appropriate chapters). Based on the described benefits and recommendations it can be concluded that there was a value of CforC being delivered to cancer patients and survivors similar to the experiences of the non-clinical group. Additionally, both cancer patients and survivors reported changes in the way of approaching oneself (e.g. being able to relax and be more self-compassionate) and various aspects one’s experience (e.g. having more understanding), including differences in relating to one’s body, pain, and other people. Quantitative analyses revealed improvements in satisfaction in life, mindfulness, perceived stress, meaning of life, emotion regulation, attachment, and partially in post-traumatic growth. These results show promising avenues for compassion-based interventions being used with cancer patients and survivors. The results show an important potential of the CforC in its ability not to only to increase a compassionate attitude and behaviour but also instances of mindfulness. Thus, another important benefit of mindfulness is the fact that mindfulness can lead to meaning and positive reappraisal. CforC training and CBIs can also trigger processes 16 associated with safeness, including feeling safer in relationships and being able to feel a bond with more fellow beings. CforC may serve as a vehicle to evaluate current relationships, their patterns and dynamics in a way that ultimately allows individuals to feel more connected to others. CforC can therefore serve as a catalyst for allostasis and provide patients and survivors with cognitive, emotional and relational benefits. Furthermore, practical recommendations have been given as to how to teach and supervise CforC. Another area that still needs to be investigated further is how CforC can help with managing pain as self-compassion may be important in pain adjustment. Further studies should be employed, including running confirmatory studies with larger samples, in order to replicate all of the results mentioned and explain the processes behind them and closely look at all the practices employed in CforC as it is not yet clear what specific factors influence all of the aforementioned changes.
    • Towards optimal strength design of cold roll formed steel structural members considering manufacturing process effects

      Qadir, Sangar (University of Derby, 2022-02-10)
      Cold-formed steel (CFS) materials are increasingly used in a wide range of applications in building construction. CFS structural members possess many advantages, most notably high load capacity-to-weight ratio and high speed of construction. To design CFS members accurately and gain optimal structural performance, the two factors, namely ‘geometry effect’ and ‘manufacturing effect’, must be included in design procedures. However, whilst the first has been widely investigated and implemented in design, the latter has not been much studied and considered in the current design practices. This research aims to develop and validate an optimal strength design approach that takes into consideration key ‘geometry’ and ‘manufacturing process’ effects on the material and structural properties into the design of CFS structural members. The cross-sectional shapes considered in this research were channel and zed sections as they are widely used in building construction applications. Numerical modelling and physical testing of the material during the manufacturing process were carried out and implemented to examine the behaviour and design of CFS structural members subjected to load in building applications. Different Finite Element (FE) model arrangements and methods to predict the buckling and nonlinear buckling analyses were tested. The FE models were assessed and validated against experimental data from literature studies, with an excellent degree of comparability. The models were then utilised to perform comprehensive parametric studies and optimise CFS sections. A comprehensive parametric study for longitudinally stiffened channel and zed beam sections under distortional bending was conducted to investigate the effects of a stiffener’s properties on the section strength including its position, shape, size and material properties by the cold work at bends. Limits for optimal design of the sections were suggested. The suitability of a design method, the Direct Strength Method (DSM), in predicting the ultimate moment capacity for CFS beam sections was assessed using the FE analyses results. The DSM predictions were found significantly cross-sectional dependent, especially in the sections where the tip of web stiffeners shifted away from the web in horizontal direction failed by distortional-global buckling (D-G), providing more accurate predictions for certain cross-sections than for others. Shortcomings were confirmed and suggestions for improvements were given, especially the inclusion of the D-G in the DSM design guideline. This may confirm that the design methods previously used for optimisation are somewhat simplistic and the reported optimisation results not correct in their predictions. A new, more sophisticated practical design approach has been developed by combining detailed nonlinear FE modelling and optimisation. It accounted for all possible buckling failures considering the effects of key ‘geometry’ and ‘manufacturing process’ factors, such as initial geometric imperfections and work-hardening introduced by the cold-rolling process. The validated FE model innovatively combined with the optimisation algorithms using integrated Design Of Experiment, response surface methodology and multi-objective genetic algorithm. The optimisation approach was devised to achieve the optimal design shape of the channel and zed sections under distortional bending. Some significant improvements have been obtained in distortional buckling and ultimate bending strength of the optimal cross-section shapes, compared to the original sections, without increasing the amount of the material used. Experimental measurements and testing of the materials were carried out to investigate the change of material properties during the manufacturing process, and their results were used for the validation of numerical simulations. The experimental programme has been fully described within this research, including techniques implemented, data generated, and analysis methods adopted. The results of the current test programme were used to investigate the cold work effects on the corner and stiffener bend regions of CFS sections and the accuracy of existing predictive models was evaluated. The results were then used to accurately quantify the cold work effects on the bending strength of the CFS sections. It has been revealed that the optimised sections achieved were less prone to distortional buckling failure and have gained significant section strength benefit from the cold work effects. It was also shown that the effects of geometry and the manufacturing process had to be carefully considered to design CFS members accurately and gain optimal structural performance. Recommendations for further research are also proposed.
    • Effects of quadriceps strength asymmetry, ageing and external loading on stair negotiation

      Osler, Callum; Outram, Tom; Page, Abigail (University of Derby, 2021-11)
      Ageing is associated with reduced stability and increased risk of falls. One risk factor for falls is sarcopenia: age-related muscle loss. Exaggeration of age-related muscle loss in one limb over the other results in strength asymmetry. This asymmetry typically increases with age and previous research has identified negative impact on gait and stability. This thesis develops to, firstly, identify a reliable method to assess strength asymmetry levels (chapter 5), then investigate the effects of quadriceps strength asymmetry on the biomechanics of stair negotiation in a young population (chapter 6) and “symmetrical” and “asymmetrical” older adults (chapter 7), before, finally, studying the effects of external loading (chapter 8). In the first study, within- and between-day testing of isometric maximal voluntary contractions of the quadriceps identified this method as a reliable method to assess strength levels in both legs, and the percentage asymmetry between legs. Consequent studies used this method to analyse the effect of age (young adults versus older adults), asymmetry (<15% versus >15%) and load carriage (unloaded versus 5% body weight bilaterally versus 10% body weight unilaterally) on a range of kinetic and kinematics variables during stair ascent and descent. The young healthy population (8.8±8.5% asymmetry) demonstrated only two significant differences in biomechanical variables between the stronger and weaker leg out of 60 variables measured. This was possibly as a result of type I error as absolute differences in mean values were negligible. Older adults (16.6±14.2% asymmetry) demonstrated detrimental effects of ageing regardless of asymmetry level, suggesting the overall loss of quadriceps strength due to age seems to play a key role. Results demonstrated greater effects on centre of mass and centre of pressure inclination angles and knees angles, rather than contact time and ground reaction force, suggesting the loss of strength can be controlled for to a greater extent in contact time and force. Under additional demands of external loading, effects of group (i.e., age and asymmetry) were typically not found and significant effects were instead a result of loading, primarily during unilateral load carriage. Greater ground reaction force and lateral inclination towards the load was demonstrated when stepping on the leg ipsilateral to the load. Overall, while the impact of strength asymmetry was minimal, this thesis highlights the important impact of age-related loss of muscle strength on stability during stair negotiation. Furthermore, the findings suggest splitting loads bilaterally when under the additional demands of loading.
    • Transition to a Health Visitor Role: A Constructivist Grounded Theory

      Whitehead, Bill; Strickland-Hodge, Barry; Henshaw, Lorraine (University of Derby, 2021-12-22)
      There has been a scarcity of studies which explore transition to the health visitor (HV) role. This is in stark contrast to research into the transition from student nurse to a newly qualified nurse (NQN) role, which is known to be a difficult and challenging time, impacting upon overall retention in the nursing role. As a nurse lecturer, I have witnessed very similar difficulties and challenges as aspirant HVs undergo the transition to the HV role. However, this transition differs fundamentally to that of a student nurse to NQN, due to the prerequisite for a registered nurse/midwife status before entry into training for the HV role. The student HV is therefore moving from a role in which they are already established, often highly skilled and autonomous practitioners, into to a new professional role. Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, this longitudinal study has explored this transition to the HV role, providing in-depth understanding of the experiences of the participants. It incorporated focus group and interview methods over a series of data collection points, throughout the transition. The aim to develop a substantive theory of the transition to the HV role. The transition is multifaceted and is influenced by a range of factors including changes to role identity and community of practice, alongside individual resilience, and the support provided by the wider HV team. The three core categories of Role Identity, Way of Working and Living the Journey are encompassed within the developed conceptual model, which also provides a framework to support this complex transition process. The transition from qualified nurse/midwife to HV is a multidirectional process and is fraught with challenges. Hence, the greater understanding of the transition provided by this study, will help both inform and support future HV students, the wider HV team, practice assessors/supervisors, employers and education providers. Recommendations include wide dissemination of the findings and conceptual model to allow exploration of the complexities of the transition with student and aspirant HVs, practice colleagues, educators and other stakeholders. Thus, enhancing the support for those undergoing this transition. There should also be greater recognition and valuing of individuals and diversity in the workforce and a focus on building resilient tendencies and wellbeing. Future research should include further exploration of managing multiple role identities, heightened definition of the HV role and the impact of difficult areas of practice (e.g., safeguarding). Other methods of entry into the HV role, rather than from a pre-existing registered nurse or midwife status, are recommended as this could alleviate some of the specific challenges faced within this important transition. There should also be further research to test this substantive theory in other role transitions, where there is a move from one professional role to another.
    • Data Collection and Analysis in Urban Scenarios

      Bagdasar, Ovidiu; Liotta, Antonio; Barnby, Lee; Ferrara, Enrico (University of DerbyCollege of Science and Engineering, 2021-12-03)
      The United Nations estimates that the world population will continue to grow, with a projection indicating a world population of up to approximately 8.5 billion people in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050 and 10.9 billion in 2100. In addition to the phenomenon of population growth, the United Nations also estimates that in 2050 about 70% of the total world population will live in cities. These conditions increase the complexity of the services that public administrations and private companies must provide to citizens with the aim of optimising resources and increasing the level of quality of life. For an adequate design, implementation and management of these services, an extensive effort is required towards the design of effective solutions for data collection and analysis, applying Data Science and Artificial Intelligence techniques. Several approaches were addressed during the development of this research thesis. Furthermore, different real-world use cases are introduced where the presented work was tested and validated. The first thesis part focuses on data analysis on data collected using crowdsourcing. A real case study used for the analyses was a study conducted in Sheffield in which the goal was to understand people’s interaction with green areas and their wellbeing. In this study, an app with a chatbot was used to ask questions targeted to the study and collected not only the subjective answers but also objective data like users’ location. Through the analysis of this data, it was possible to extract insights that otherwise would not be easily reachable in other ways. Some limitations have arisen for less frequented areas, in fact, not enough information has been collected to have a statistical significance of the insights found. Conversely, more information than necessary was collected in the most frequented areas. For this reason, a framework that analyses the amount of information and its statistical significance in real-time has been developed. It increases the efficiency of the study and reduces intrusiveness towards the study participants. The limit that this approach presents is certainly the low sample of data that can be acquired. In the second part of this thesis, a move on to passive data collection is done, where the user does not have to interact in any way. Any data acquired is pseudonymised upon capture so that the dictates of the privacy legislation are respected. A system is then presented that collects probe requests generated by Wi-Fi devices while scanning radio channels to detect Access Points. The system processes the collected data to extract key information on people’s mobility, such as crowd density by area of interest, people flow, permanence time, return time, heat maps, origin-destination matrix and estimate of the locations of the people. The main novelty with respect to the state of the art is related to new powerful indicators necessary for some key services of the city, such as safety management and passenger transport services, and to experimental activities carried out in real scenarios. Furthermore, a de-randomisation algorithm to solve the problem of MAC address randomisation is presented.
    • An Exploration of an Out-of-School Therapeutic Education Programme through the Perspectives of its Students, Parents, and Carers

      Poultney, Val; Esmond, Bill; Parker, David (University of Derby, 2022-01)
      This study is an exploration of the perspectives of students on an Out-of-School Therapeutic Education Programme (hereinafter referred to as ‘OOSTEP’) and is supported by their parents and carers. These bespoke programmes are innovative and student-centred; they cater for individual interests and use out-of-school alternative education provisions including vocational settings. The students are 14–16-year-old boys and the programme prepares them for post-16 transition. The researcher is a practitioner who manages OOSTEP in a therapeutic school. Through a reflective insider-researcher position, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with seven students with social, emotional, and mental health (SEMH) needs and their parents and carers. This exploration identified that student voices can recognise the worth of their education in schools and on OOSTEP. The parent and carer voices provided validation, clarity, and depth to the student perspectives. The findings confirm previous literature that identify negative elements of the school experience of students with SEMH issues. A key finding is the respite issue that identifies the out-of-school programme as a welcome break from previous schooling, transition, and exclusion processes. The research states that OOSTEP incorporates choice, provides opportunities, builds positive relationships, and assists in the growth of personal development. The research contribution explores the insights of students, parents, and carers; their stories offer clarification and understanding of the school experience of students with SEMH issues. The voice research reveals the barriers faced by these students and identifies the support that families need. It gives guidance for policy and describes how bespoke educational practice can provide positive outcomes for students who are at risk of exclusion.
    • Network Features in Complex Applications

      Bagdasar, Ovidiu; Kurugollu, Fatih; Liotta, Antonio; Cavallaro, Lucia (University of Derby, 2021-12-20)
      The aim of this thesis is to show the potential of Graph Theory and Network Science applied in real-case scenarios. Indeed, there is a gap in the state-of-art in combining mathematical theory with more practical applications such as helping the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to conduct their investigations, or in Deep Learning techniques which enable Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) to work more efficiently. In particular, three main case studies on which evaluate the goodness of Social Network Analysis (SNA) tools were considered: (i) Criminal Networks Analysis, (ii) Networks Resilience, and (iii) ANN topology. We have addressed two typical problems in dealing with criminal networks: (i) how to efficiently slow down the information spreading within the criminal organisation by prompt and targeted investigative operations from LEAs and (ii) what is the impact of missing data during LEAs investigation. In the first case, we identified the appropriate centrality metric to effectively identify the criminals to be arrested, showing how, by neutralising only 5% of the top-ranking affiliates, the network connectivity dropped by 70%. In the second case, we simulated the missing data problem by pruning some criminal networks by removing nodes or links and compared these networks against the originals considering four metrics to compute graph similarities. We discovered that a negligible error (i.e., 30% difference from the real network) was detected when, for example, some wiretaps are missing. On the other hand, it is crucial to investigate the suspects in a timely fashion, since any exclusion of suspects from an investigation may lead to significant errors (i.e., 80% difference). Next, we defined a new approach for simulating network resilience by a probabilistic failure model. Indeed, while the classical approach for removing nodes was always successful, such an assumption was not realistic. Thus, we defined some models simulating the scenario in which nodes oppose resistance against removal. Once identified the centrality metric that on average, generates the biggest damage in the connectivity of the networks under scrutiny, we have compared our outcomes against the classical node removal approach, by ranking the nodes according to the same centrality metric, which confirmed our intuition. Lastly, we adopted SNA techniques to analyse ANNs. In particular, we moved a step forward from earlier works because not only did our experiments confirm the efficiency arising from training sparse ANNs, but they also managed to further exploit sparsity through a better tuned algorithm, featuring increased speed at a negligible accuracy loss. We focused on the role of the parameter used to fine-tune the training phase of Sparse ANNs. Our intuition has been that this step can be avoided as the accuracy loss is negligible and, as a consequence, the execution time is significantly reduced. Yet, it is evident that Network Science algorithms, by keeping sparsity in ANNs, are a promising direction for accelerating their training processes. All these studies pave the way for a range of unexplored possibilities for an effective use of Network Science at the service of society.
    • THE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCES OF COUNSELLORS AND PSYCHOTHERAPISTS WHO EMPLOY THE PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICES OF COMPASSION FOCUSED THERAPY: AN INTERPRETATIVE PHENOMENOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

      Townend, Michael; Montague, Jane; Stoneley, Helen; Gilbert, Paul; Wood, Wendy (University of DerbyCollege Of Health and Social Care University of Derby, 2021)
      This research examined the personal and professional experiences of counsellors and psychotherapists who employ the principles and practices of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT). The research was developed due to anecdotal accounts from counsellors and psychotherapists (and personal experience) that suggested that working with CFT significantly influenced their personal and professional lives. This research focused on a holistic understanding, examining how therapists made sense of CFT in their personal and professional life. The holistic focus is based on systemic theories. However, in this case, rather than looking at systems from a family therapy perspective, the focus here is on what happens in the therapy room is an interweaving of both the client/patient and therapists' experiences, including physiological, cognitive, emotional, organisational, and socio-political influences. Current research in counselling and psychotherapy is focused on patient/client outcomes; it is argued that understanding therapists is just as important as understanding the clients/patients since therapists are a significant part of the therapeutic intervention. Since CFT is a relatively recent psychotherapeutic intervention, the aim is for the research into therapists can develop at the same time as research into clients/patients. The research used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The sample was 10 counsellors/psychotherapists who use the principles and practice of CFT in their personal and professional lives. The method of data collection was the diary/interview method. Thematic analysis was also used to analyse specific questions at the end of the diary and interview. Seven themes were discussed: Experience of using the principles and practices of CFT in professional life; Using CFT to engage with disempowerment, injustice, and abuse; blocks to compassion in clinical work; CBT CFT and other approaches; Experience of using the principles and practices of CFT in personal life; personal blocks to compassion and the importance of time as a block or support to compassion. This research found that psychotherapists' personal and professional experiences are complex and multi-dimensional. They include complex interactions and awareness that are internal to the therapist involving physiological, cognitive, and emotional responses that are ever-changing in response to environmental factors. Experiences also involve external interactions with patients/clients, supervisors, colleagues, other professionals, and the socio-political influences that shape personal and professional life. This research identifies several implications for practice, policy, education, and research. Time was a significant theme. The importance of sufficient time to reflect on practice, personal and professional development impacts the quality of service development and delivery. The importance of developing organisational and practice cultures of equity diversity and inclusion to facilitate the development of compassion was another significant implication. Concerning therapists’ education, explicit focus on the debates around integration and writing to enhance reflective practice. The implications for future research reflect the need to move away from methodological tribalism.
    • The efficiency of bacterial self-healing concrete inculcated in ground condition

      Esaker, Mohamed (University of DerbyCollege of Science and EngineeringDirect Science, Springer, 2021-12-20)
      The innovative bacterial self-healing concrete is a promising solution to improve the sustainability of concrete structures by sealing the cracks in an autonomous way. Regardless of the types of bacterial-based approach, the provision of a suitable incubation environment is essential for the activation of bacteria and thus for a successful self-healing application. However, the research to date has mainly focused on the self-healing process within humid air or water environment. This research aims to investigate the performance of bacterial self-healing concrete within ground conditions which can potentially benefit the development of more sustainable underground concrete structures such as deep foundations, retaining walls and tunnels. The research method is comprised of a laboratory experimental program with several stages/ phases. In the first stage, control tests were conducted to examine the influence of different delivery techniques of healing agents such as the material of capsules on the healing performance in water. The outputs from this stage were used as a control test to inform the next stages where the fine-grained concrete/mortar specimens were incubated inside the soil. In this stage, three different delivery techniques of the healing agent were examined namely Direct add, Calcium alginate beads and Perlite. The results showed that the crack-healing capacity was significantly improved with using of bacterial agent for all delivery techniques and the maximum healed crack width was about 0.57 mm after 60 days of incubation for specimens incorporated with perlite (set ID: M4). The volume stability of the perlite capsules has made them more compatible with the cement mortar matrix in comparison with the calcium alginate capsule. The results from Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) indicated that the mineral precipitations on crack surfaces were calcium carbonate. The second stage investigates the effect of different ground conditions on the efficiency of bio self-healing concrete. This stage presents a major part of the experimental programme and contains three experimental parts based on the types of soils and their conditions where bio self-healing of cement mortar specimens was examined. The first part investigates the effect of the presence of microbial and organic materials within the soil on the performance of self-healing by incubating cracked mortar specimens into sterilized and non-sterilized soil. This part aims to investigate if the existing bacteria in the soil can produce any self-healing. In the second part, the investigation focused on the bio self-healing in specimens incubated in coarse-grained soil (sand). The soil was subjected to fully and partially saturated cycles and conditioned with different pH and sulphate levels representing industrially recognised classes of exposure (namely, X0, XA1, and XA3). These classes were selected according to BS EN 206:2013+A1:2016 - based on the risk of corrosion and chemical attack from an aggressive ground environment. In the third part, cement mortar specimens were incubated into fully and partially saturated fine-grained soil (clay) with similar aggressive environments as in part 2. The results showed that the indigenous bacteria naturally present within the soil can enhance the mortar self-healing process. For specimens incubated within coarse-grained soil (sand), the reduction in pH of the incubation environment affected the bio self-healing performance. However, for fine-grained soil (clay) the healing ratios of specimens incubated in the same identical exposure conditions were almost similar, with better results observed in the pH neutral condition. The results showed also that the self-healing efficiencies in both the control and bio-mortar specimens were significantly affected by the soil's moisture content. This indicates that the mineral precipitation of calcium carbonate caused by the metabolic conversion of nutrients by bacteria is heavily reliant on the moisture content of the soil. The hydration of un-hydrated cement particles representing the primary source of autogenous healing is also influenced by soil moisture content. The third stage investigated the use of a non-destructive technique utilising the concrete electrical resistivity to monitor the crack healing performance of specimens incubated within the soil. The results showed that the improvement in electrical resistivity of bio-mortar specimens was remarkably higher in comparison with control specimens. This improvement can be used as an indication of the healing performance of bio-mortar specimens in comparison with autogenous healing in control specimens. In general, the study suggests that the bio self-healing process can protect underground concrete structures such as foundations, bridge piers, and tunnels in a range of standard exposure conditions and that this is facilitated by the commonly applied bacterial agent Bacillus subtilis or similar strains. However, as the experimental findings indicated the exposure conditions could affect the healing efficiency. Therefore, future work should consider how formulations, application methods, and ground preparation can be optimised to achieve the best possible incubation environment and thus improved protection for underground concrete structures.
    • Advancing Health Professionals’ Knowledge of Liver Disease

      Mitchell, Kathryn; Forman, Dawn; Brannigan, Chris; Mortimore, Gerri (University of Derby, 2021-03)
      Over the last 50 years, mortality and morbidity from liver disease has increased and is a global health concern (Global Burden of Disease, 2020). In the United Kingdom, within this time frame, liver mortality has risen by 500% in the under 65-year age group (British Liver Trust, 2019). Treating and caring for patients with liver disease is complex, therefore it is imperative to educate health care professionals regarding the different types of liver conditions, the treatments and care required to support patients. The critical appraisal spans over 14 years of research and will examine 19 publications which details the impact of the author’s research on their academic journey, from a student nurse to the present day; underpinned by Benner’s (1984) five stage theoretical framework. This appraisal demonstrates how the impact of the author’s research, nursing practice and published papers is advancing health professionals’ knowledge of liver disease within national and international arenas. It additionally evidences how the research has improved standards of medical and nursing care for patients receiving treatment for liver disease and establish how, by listening and responding to patient experiences, guided the research and assisted in the development of educational resources. The research chronologically encompassed positivist, interpretivist, and latterly pragmatic paradigms and utilised both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. The research generated new knowledge regarding patients’ lived experiences of haemochromatosis, generated data submitted to Parliament and highlighted the requirement for venesection guidelines. The principal findings of the research demonstrated that there was a disparity of care across the British Isles, for people undergoing therapeutic venesection for haemochromatosis. This prompted the development of the venesection guidelines to standardise practice. A further finding demonstrated that less than 27,000 people were being treated for genetic haemochromatosis when the numbers should be nearer to 400,000 indicating that the condition is underdiagnosed. A further qualitative study highlighted that many General Practitioners take years to diagnose the condition, and some were unaware of its existence. The author’s expertise and research reputation, as evidenced by the collection of published research, has been sought by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) for the development of national guidelines and quality standards. The contribution from the author was recognised by NICE by the conferment of the title, NICE Expert. Research findings were presented to Parliament via an All-Party Parliamentary Group in 2020, to highlight the condition, genetic haemochromatosis and to lobby for increased awareness. The Venesection Best Practice Guide received Royal College of Nursing endorsement and was published as and eBook which has been downloaded by many countries, evidencing worldwide dissemination. This project won the National Patient Safety Learning Award in 2018 and in addition, the co-authors have been awarded winners of Nurse of the Year, 2021 by the British Journal of Nursing. This clearly demonstrates how the author has advanced health professionals’ knowledge of liver disease by informing and influencing local, national, and international policy to improve or even transform lives for the better.
    • An Investigation into Parental Understanding of Autism and the Development of an Individualised Autism Profiling Tool

      Bignell, Simon; Barnes, Chris; Lipka, Sigrid; Karousi, Alexandra (University of Derby, 2021-12)
      Raising a child with autism can be extremely challenging for parents and families due to the complex nature of autism and the wide variation in the type and severity of symptoms children experience. Several factors may influence parent perceptions about autism and their understanding of the child’s unique traits related to autism. To date, there is no research to identify the particular pattern of parental understanding of autism as related to their child’s individual strengths and challenges. Research into specific parent factors is critical to help inform intervention strategies that can meet the needs of children with autism and their families. The main aim of this research is to provide an investigation of the basic elements comprising parental understanding of their child’s presentation of autism and their pre-existing knowledge about the condition. In exploring this, an evidence-based tool, the ‘Individualised Autism Profiling’ (IAP) tool was developed in conjunction with key stakeholders and specialists in the field of autism. The first research objective was to determine whether there are differences between parents’ understanding of the general nature and characteristics of autism and the characteristics of their child with autism. The second research objective was to identify distinct parent profiles based on their child’s individual characteristics and unique needs. Findings from this research support the notion that parental understanding of autism in general and in relation to their child with autism might not be theoretically distinct constructs, and that parents of children with autism may recognize as common the characteristics of their child as related to all children with autism. Moreover, the present research provides novel evidence for the proposal of three distinct profiles of parental understanding of autism: a high, a moderate, and a poor level of autism understanding. These findings could lead to a better understanding of how parents understand their child’s potential and unique needs in the context of autism and would be important for informing decisions for intervention strategies to optimize child, parent, and family outcomes.
    • What can we do for nature? A systematic research approach to pro-nature conservation behaviours

      Richardson, Miles; Stupple, Edward J.N.; Sweet, Michael; Barbett, Lea (University of Derby, 2021-12)
      Nature is in trouble. The current levels of anthropogenic biodiversity loss have been classed by experts as a mass extinction. This is likely to have grave consequences for humanity. However, with humanity causing the biodiversity loss, it can also be fought by humanity, presuming action is taken. Research is needed on which actions can be taken by the wider public and how people can be encouraged to do so. There is a multitude of literature on general pro-environmental behaviours, however, conservation practitioners lament the lack of research on nature specific actions. This thesis set out to create a systematic research approach to those nature specific actions which were named pro-nature conservation behaviours. Based on research in pro-environmental behaviours, four steps to this research were set: (1) Defining and measuring the behaviour; (2) Understanding the antecedents of the behaviour; (3) Developing targeted interventions; (4) Evaluating the interventions. This thesis completed the first step and provided some first insights into the second step. Pro-nature conservation behaviours were defined based on both their ecological impact on nature and their goal orientation, meaning they need to objectively support nature conservation and subjectively be done by people with the aim to support nature conservation. An expert ranked list of possible behaviours was created, including small actions that one can take in their own garden as well as more politically driven actions, such as contacting local government about nature conservation issues. Then, using psychometric methods, a questionnaire scale measuring tool, the Pro-Nature Conservation Behaviour Scale (ProCoBS), was developed and validated. This resulted in a long and short form for adults, as well as a child version including only behaviours accessible to people under the ages of 16-18. The scale was found to have two subscales, one concerning behaviours in the garden and the other one civil actions. An overview of the adoption of pro-nature conservation behaviours in the public and influences of some demographic factors showed that while there is engagement, this could be improved and demographic variables impact behaviour. For example, women acted more often than men and people living rurally acted more often than people living in urban areas. Age also had an impact, interestingly showing different directions depending on the subscale. Finally, the influences of variables known from general behavioural research as well as research on pro-environmental behaviours on pro-nature conservation behaviours were examined. Based on the findings the efficiency of focusing on the so-called Value-Action gap was questioned, suggesting the Intention-Behaviour Gap to be more easily bridged. Further, it was shown that both an approach building on the Theory of Planned Behaviour, as well as an approach centring nature connectedness, could provide worthwhile insights into pro-nature conservation behaviours. Here, again, slight differences between the subscales were found. Connecting people to nature could be a key step in the efforts to protect biodiversity. Future research may profit from focusing not only on how to use nature connectedness to encourage pro-nature conservation behaviours but also how pro-nature conservation behaviours can improve nature connectedness.
    • The Benefits of Loneliness

      McCrory, Moy; Thompson, Luke Matthew (University of Derby, 2021-11-17)
      Homo sapiens are a social species. Loneliness, which derives from the perceived disconnection of oneself from a valued social collective, is a core facet of the social aspect of human existence. In research, loneliness is often oversimplified, represented as a purely negative emotion that is harmful to one's health and well-being. This thesis undoes this common perception by drawing attention to the multifaceted nature of loneliness, both its negatives and its positives. It demonstrates that loneliness, while harmful if unaddressed, can also be a source of artistic expression, that it can provide an increased awareness of natural beauty and an appreciation for the world, and can facilitate greater, more meaningful connection between individuals. To achieve this aim, the thesis consists of two parts: an academic investigation, and a creative investigation in the form of a novel.
    • Behavioural additionality of network membership for individual members

      Lynch, Nicola; Powell, Melanie; Rambukwella, Sumedha (University of Derby, 2021-10-29)
    • THE RELEVANCE OF IDENTITY MANAGEMENT AND ITS EFFECT ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF SELECTED SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRIES

      Boakye, Charles Kwabena (University of Derby, 2021-10-29)
      The territorial formations of African modern nation-states, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Zambia, discussed in this study are unique in their development since the levers for rationalizing the obligations of duty and concern between the nation’s administrative structures and the indigenous nation-community were imposed by ‘colonial settlers’ with neither ethnic nor native allegiance to the indigenous inhabitants. The motivation for the ‘colonial settlers’ ranges from the formation of a nation-state superimposed on existing ethnic nations for an imported community of black people unable to find accommodation as legitimate identities elsewhere, to the financial prospecting for wealth. Regardless of the motivation for colonial settlements, in all three instances of territorial conversion into modern nation states, the colonial identity structures clashed with the ethnic nation’s identity structures. The imported identity traditions used to establish legitimate and functional identities of the nation-state subverted and replaced the pre-colonial ethnic nation’s customs and mechanisms used for identifying the people of the ethnic nation. This subversion disrupted the relationship between the inhabitants of the nation-community, their inherited allegiance to the nation-state and the associations between the indigenous inhabitants and the settlers. Consequently, this thesis seeks to examine the fractures in the evolution of national-identity within nation-states that have used unfamiliar European and colonial identity management structures and mechanisms. While the Liberia and Sierra Leone systems of identity administration that have resulted in nation-state collapse contrast with the endurance and integrity of Zambia’s national-identity ecosystem, all three countries based their systems on the unfamiliar European national identity structures and mechanisms. Using qualitative analysis, and inductive logic, the thesis rejects Davis and Huttenback’s theory that views the national identities of post-colonial communities as a result of the transformation of the component identities of the indigenous inhabitants and ‘colonial settlers’. Further, it challenges Basil Davidson, and Walter Rodney’s wholesale renunciation of modernity in the identity-management ecosystems of these nation-states. The findings of the study revealed that as much as primordial ethnic identity anchors remain strong, purposely designed national identity instruments and tools that promote recognition, equity and parity such as Zambian Humanism, will sustain multiple ethnic identities within a structured nation-state. Building on the research, the study recommends a blended approach to identity management in sub-Saharan nation-states conceived to promote sustained national identity ecosystems for development and patria potestas in contrast to imported and completely alien national identity solutions in the nation formation process.
    • The Role of L-type Voltage Gated Calcium Channels in Ovarian Cancer

      Shiva, Subramanam; Luderman, William (University of DerbyUniversity of Derby, 2021-03)
      Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological malignancy. Of the four ovarian cancer subtypes - serous, mucinous, endometroid and clear cell - serous ovarian cancer is the most common, comprising around 70% of cases. The median stage of diagnosis of ovarian cancer is stage III and patients present with widespread metastasis, usually facilitated by peritoneal fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites). Live single cancer cells and aggregates from the ascites represent a population with the potential to become metastatic and are thought to be the main contributors to disease recurrence, displaying increased chemoresistance after traditional first line therapy, which consists of extensive tumour debulking followed by combination platinum and taxane chemotherapy. For this reason, research into potential therapeutic targets in this important cell population is critical for development of more efficacious treatments for ovarian cancer. The opportunity to re-purpose existing pharmaceuticals for use as chemotherapeutics is an idea that has gained traction recently in the medical research field. This method circumvents the requirement for lengthy target identification and validation and extensive toxicity testing. One class of drugs that are a possible candidate for use against ovarian cancer are the dihydropyridines, which are antagonists of voltage-gated calcium channels (CaV). In ovarian cancer, CaV have already been shown to play a role in malignant behaviours such as migration and proliferation, although most expression and functional data in the literature are from ovarian cancer cell lines. There has been very little research on the role of CaV in primary ovarian cancer cells. This work addresses the question of whether CaV are expressed in primary ovarian cancer cells and whether channels in ovarian cancer cells are functional, particularly in cells derived from malignant ascitic fluid. Here, the results from immunohistochemical staining of ovarian tumour sections and RT-qPCR using normal ovaries, tumours and cells derived from malignant ascitic fluid suggest that in the majority of cases, CaV1.2 and CaV1.3 become expressed in ovarian cancer cells only after cells have been shed from the primary tumour. CaV1.2 and CaV1.3 mRNA is expressed in ascites derived cells, although the highest expression of these mRNAs was seen in a sample from a patient with mucinous ovarian cancer. In serous ovarian cancer cells from ascites, CaV1.2 protein was shown with flow cytometry to be highly expressed and immunofluorescent staining confirmed that this expression is localised to the nucleus. Functionally, dihydropyridine antagonism with nifedipine was found to prevent cell migration only in a 2-dimensional wound-healing model, whereas invasion of cell lines and ascites derived primary cells into basement membrane extract was unchanged. Cell lines display differing apoptotic responses to nifedipine, which triggers apoptosis in SKOV-3 but no response in OVCAR-8 at the same concentration. To assess channel functionality, fluorescent measurement of cytosolic Ca2+ flux using Fluo4-AM was performed on cell lines in the presence of the CaV agonist Bay K8644 and patch clamp electrophysiology was performed on cell lines and malignant ascites derived cells. Both of these techniques confirmed that no detectable L-type CaV current is present in the ovarian cancer cell lines. CaV current was observed in cells derived from malignant ascites, from the mucinous sample. Transient receptor potential (TRP) currents were also detected in OVCAR-8 cells, as well as single cells and spheroids from the ascites derived mucinous sample and were most likely carried by the Ca2+-selective TRPV5 or TRV6. These results suggest that functional L-type CaV are present in cancer cells from malignant ascites of patients with mucinous ovarian cancer. Although CaV1.2 was nuclear expressed in serous samples, similar research from other cancers has shown that these channels may still function in migration, even when expression is restricted to the nucleus, although nuclear channels would not be amenable to therapeutic targeting. These results fit into a wider context of contemporary research which is placing a greater role for CaV and ion channels in cancer, although more research needs to be performed in ovarian cancer ascites derived cells to determine the possible function of these nuclear ion channels.
    • Transcending Racial Divisions: Anti-racism and Identity Politics

      Hayes, Dennis; Mieschbuehler, Ruth; Louis Dit Sully, Christine Aristide (University of DerbyCollege of Arts, Humanities and Education, 2021-09-15)
      The issue of race is one of the most important concerns of Western society today. This concern takes many forms and has entered all aspects of our lives. The social, economic and political worlds are all affected by discussions, contestations and conflicts involving racial thinking and the notion of race. In the political realm, the question of racial identities is one of the forms in which this contemporary concern for race takes place. The use of our racial identities in political discussions is understood today as ‘identity politics’. This research examines the notions of race, racism, identity, politics and identity politics in the past and in the present and explores the contemporary relationships between politics, identity politics, the concern for racial identities and the notion of race. With such a comprehensive approach, it provides insights as to why the question of racial identity has taken such an important space in public discourse and in politics. It shows that the notion of race, a product of history, has anti-human, anti-rational and anti-political foundations which have been kept in the modern notion of culture. The use of racial identities in politics, a particular form of identity politics, is not a new phenomenon. Identity politics using politicised racial identities has existed throughout the historical development of race. The research compares the classical and contemporary meaning of politics and argues that identity politics, understood as identity-based politics or as the use of social identities within the political realm, is not politics in the classical meaning of politics. What has changed since the first use of politicised racial identities is the various understandings of humanity as individuals and the consequent degradation of political thinking. The philosophical concern for the Self, personhood, subject or identity has been a very particular interest in the Western world since the seventeenth century. However, the focus on psychology and personal identity has given rise to the psychological self. Under certain social and political circumstances such as the widespread atomisation of society, the development of the therapeutic culture, the common support for anti-Enlightenment ideas and the psychological approaches to understanding the world has led to contemporary identity politics being organised within a culture of competitive victimhood. This research shows that the focus on racial identities in public discourse is creating problems for an effective opposition to racism but is also producing an expansion of anti-political and anti-human thinking.
    • A Systematic Review Approach Using the Behaviour Change Wheel, COM-B Behaviour Model and Theoretical Domains Framework to Evaluate Physical Activity Engagement in a University Setting

      Bussell, Chris; Faghy, Mark; Staples, Vicki; Lipka, Sigrid; Ndupu, Lawrence (University of DerbyEngineering and Technology, University of Derby, 2021-09-09)
      Introduction: Physical activity has been recognised to offer health benefits and reduce the risks of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, cancer, depression, and atherosclerosis. However, even with the known health benefits of physical activity, over a quarter of adults globally are physically inactive, which is a serious public health concern and thus calls for concerted efforts to increase physical activity levels in diverse settings. A university is a unique setting in which to promote health enhancing behaviours, such as physical activity, because it offers opportunity to be active (e.g., in-built sports facilities), provides flexible working conditions to enable staff and students a reasonable level of autonomy in managing their individual time and endowed with highly educated and well-informed staff base, which has been previously shown to influence individuals’ engagement in physical activity. Therefore, the overall aim of the PhD research project was to understand the barriers and enablers to physical activity among university staff and students, design an intervention informed by this understanding and implement intervention to address these barriers, in order to create behaviours that lead to better engagement in physical activity. Methods: A mixed-methods experimental design was utilised throughout the research, incorporating both qualitative (group interviews) and quantitative (surveys) data collection. The four experimental studies that make up this programme of work were designed using established behaviour change models, i.e., the Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW), the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation-Behaviour (COM-B) model and/or the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). The qualitative data were analysed in Nvivo12 using deductive content analysis, while the qualitative data were analysed using SPSS Statistical software 26.0, with significance level set at 0.05. Results: Six prominent domains were identified as enablers and barriers to physical activity among university staff and students, i.e., knowledge; social influences; social/professional role and identity; environmental context and resources; beliefs about capabilities; and intentions (study 1). About 78.0% of the administrative staff and 67.0% of the PhD students were physically inactive, i.e., achieving less than 600 MET-minutes/week of moderate intensity physical activity. A multiple regression analysis showed that of the 14 domains of the TDF, the ‘physical skills’ domain (t 106 = 2.198, p=0.030) was the only significant predictor of physical inactivity among the administrative staff, while the ‘knowledge’ (t 99 = 2.018, p= 0.046) and ‘intentions’ (t 99 = 4.240, p=0.001) were the only predictors of physical inactivity amongst the PhD students (study 2). The administrative staff that were assigned to engage in supervised exercise sessions (experimental group) reported higher physical skills scores and overall physical activity levels compared to the control (study 3). The PhD students that were allocated to the education and intentions group, who received educational materials and asked to form implementation intentions of times, days and places they intend to carry out physical activity, reported higher overall physical activity levels compared to other treatment groups, i.e., intentions only, education only and control groups (study 4). Conclusion: This thesis contributes to the knowledge on adult’s physical activity by detailing the development, implementation, and assessment of a bespoke brief 4-week behaviour change intervention that effectively increased university administrative staff and PhD students’ total physical activity levels, as well as time spent in physical activity weekly. The university was established as a unique setting to promote health-enhancing behaviour such as promotion of physical activity. Therefore, theory-based interventions underpinned by the BCW, COM-B model and TDF may provide an effective strategy to improve university staff and students’ engagement in physical activity, as well as their overall wellbeing.