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  • Watery bodies, natures mortes, lost backgrounds and decapitated heads: contemporary painting practice in the Anthropocene

    Webb, Jane; Harris, Simon; Mieves, Christian; Magdeburg, Rachel; Wolverhampton School of Art, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
    This research project uses the concept of the Anthropocene as a catalyst for contemporary painting practice and motors a theoretical enquiry apportioned into written chapters and visual essays. The implication of this approach is that painting practice springboards theoretical research in turn stimulating art practice. Using a practice-based methodology and a semio-materialist perspective, I expand the still life genre and depart from artistic practices that default to landscape, site, environment and place when responding to the concept of the Anthropocene. To sidestep the Anthropocene's scalar vastness, abstraction and representational obstacles, I locate practice within an 'everyday' enquiry, where the objects painted and the artistic artefacts created, are manifestations of the Anthropocene. The research develops what I call the Painting-Anthropocene Nexus, where painting and the Anthropocene intersect. This framework conscripts the themes of agency, materiality, subjects and objects, foregrounds and backgrounds and the representation of nature to identify how early modern European painting has contributed to the concept and condition of the Anthropocene: its anthropocenics. The anthropocenics investigated are the human enticed into narcissism through still and reflective water; subjects and objects severed in visual representations of decapitation; and the backgrounding of nature through linear perspective. In each case my painting practice offers alternatives through a range of media, techniques and motifs.
  • An empirical study of establishing guidelines for evaluation and adoption of secure and cost effective cloud computing

    Buckley, Kevan; Garvey, Mary; Li, Jun; Ullah, Raja Muhammad Ubaid; School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-04)
    This research investigates the factors influencing large enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) behavioural intention toward adopting cloud computing (CC) services. The increasing adoption of CC services is changing how businesses maintain, select, update, and manage information and communication technology. In particular, CC services have the potential to improve IT systems reliability and scalability, allowing large enterprises and SMEs to use their limited resources on their core business and strategy. Many factors and variables influence technology adoption and usage decisions in the large enterprises and SMEs context. Despite the extensive literature, there still needs to be more research on the factors influencing large enterprises and SMEs uptakes CC services adoption. Therefore, examining large enterprises and SMEs adoption of CC is essential for successfully implementing this system. This thesis uses environmental, human, organisational, and technological factors to model the relationship between the variables considered and CC services adoption to increase the probability that large enterprises, and SMEs adopt CC services successfully. The study considers the influence of eleven variables: external support, competitive pressure, senior management support, employee's cloud knowledge, adequate resources, information intensity, relative advantage, complexity, compatibility, security/privacy, and cost-effectiveness. A quantitative research approach was applied using an online questionnaire. A conceptual model of CC services adoption by large enterprises and SMEs has been developed. Research factors and variables identified to influence the likelihood that large enterprises and SMEs would adopt CC services successfully. In particular, we found nine research variables to be statistically significant, and two adequate support and complexity non-significant. It was found that CC services adoption variances among the size of organisations to differ and be statistically significant towards adopting CC services. Hence, this result is important to owners and decision makers of large enterprises, and SMEs enterprises, service providers, service consultants, and governments to assist them in facilitating the adoption of CC services by large enterprises, and SMEs. Further, this may help to establish strategies for large enterprises, and SMEs to confirm a better adoption of CC services.
  • Hypertextuality in the diegesis of the megamusical: the aesthetic and cognitive relationship between silent era film and contemporary musical theatre

    Lovelock, James; Whitfield, Sarah; Pheasant-Kelly, Frances; Meers, Brandon; School of Performing Arts, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-03)
    This research regards the West End/Broadway musical as a hypertextual performance form through which early cinema aesthetics can be seen and felt by spectators. The ‘closed fictional worlds’ (Slugan, 2021: 142) presented by silent fiction films made between 1895 and 1930 echo those of stage megamusicals by virtue of their joint musicality and metatheatricality. From this understanding, the thesis offers a unique perspective on musical theatre by examining its conventions through the lens of silent era cinema. Accordingly, visual tropes, performance techniques and sound phenomena that are shared between European and North American silent films and contemporary musical theatre practices are uncovered throughout its chapters. Additionally, the study aims to confirm its interpretation of contemporary musicals as a ‘transmodalization’ (Genette, 1997: 395) of silent era cinema by grounding the mediums’ theatrical spaces in the corresponding bodily spaces of the hypothetical spectator. It achieves this with reference to Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development (Piaget, 1962; Piaget and Inhelder, 1969). Specific songs, scenes, and theatrical moments are extracted from an eclectic variety of musical theatre and silent film texts and are subjected to close readings across three theory chapters. Two case studies then illustrate the importance of musical theatre’s transtextuality in determining its unspoken link to cinema’s silent era. The first case study concerns a single narrative that is depicted in both The Sealed Room (Griffith, 1909) and the ‘Il Muto’ scene from Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera (1989). Through comparison, it argues that the stage musical’s apparatus is analogous to that of silent film making. The other case study elucidates the metatextual process of revision that characterises Joe Brooks and Dusty Hughes’ score for the short-lived British stage musical Metropolis (1989). It approaches the musical’s sound stimuli as a critical conflation of two contrasting silent film accompaniments, as opposed to a straightforward adaptation of Fritz Lang’s 1927 science-fiction classic. The collective findings of the thesis conclude that vestiges of silent film’s audio-visual aesthetic can be experienced through performances of many popular West End and Broadway productions in varying degrees of visibility. They indicate that megamusicals and silent films both present a distinctive type of diegesis that is palimpsestic, topographic, reflexive and postdramatic. Musical theatre’s hypertextuality is the key to accessing the elusive relationship and understanding that silent film felt much like the megamusical for its early twentieth century audiences.
  • Exploring clients’ and therapists’ experiences of compassion focused therapy in fostering post-traumatic growth

    Cockshott, Christopher; Ward, Chloe; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-11)
    Introduction: Within the trauma-based literature, research has started to highlight how some individuals may experience positive, life-changing responses following traumatic life events which have been described as post-traumatic growth (PTG). Research has started to focus on the role of trauma-based psychotherapy approaches in the facilitation of PTG for individuals who have experienced trauma, with limited research focusing specifically on sexual abuse. Aim: This research aims to capture two different perspectives through two separate studies. The first study sets out to explore clients’ experiences of compassion-focused therapy in facilitating post-traumatic growth following experiencing sexual abuse. The second study sets to explore Compassion-focused therapists’ experience of compassion-focused therapy facilitating post-traumatic growth for clients who have experienced sexual abuse. Methodology: Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was employed as an approach to understand lived experiences and the meanings/understandings which my participants have ascribed to those experiences. IPA was employed due to the limited amount of qualitative research which has focused on this phenomenon. Method: Semi-structured interviews were carried out with participants to examine their phenomenological experiences online. Participants: Three client participants were interviewed for the client study and eight therapist participants were interviewed for the therapist study. Findings: For the client study, four superordinate themes were found: Life before therapy, the therapeutic process, changes within oneself and regaining aspects of their life back. For the therapist study, four superordinate themes were also found: Working through the therapeutic process, the witnessing of changes, maintenance of PTG post-therapy and knowing CFT works at a personal level. Conclusions: Within both studies, the important role of de-shaming and taming the inner critic was discussed. The facilitation of PTG was experienced and witnessed by both sets of participants and the maintenance of PTG post-therapy was explored. Implications: The findings highlight the importance of further research into this phenomenon, exploring different types of trauma with CFT and different study designs. Implications for practice are discussed, which include the use of CFT-based work within Improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT).
  • “Anything I do now feels like an act of resilience”: adversity, resilience, and wellbeing in female survivors of domestic abuse

    Uther, Maria; Taiwo, Abigail; Gould, Lloyd Winchester; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-01)
    Background: The study sought to explore the under-researched areas of adversity, resilience, and wellbeing in female survivors of Domestic Abuse (DA). We employed a multi-phase mixed-methods research design comprising a cross-sectional online quantitative survey in phase one and qualitative remote interviews in phase two. Method: In phase one, a convenience sample of 119 adult female participants, 63 who had experienced DA and 56 in a control group, completed the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Questionnaire, the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale, and the Connor-Davidson Resilience scale. In phase two, 8 of the participants from phase one who had experienced DA were recruited for semi-structured interviews to explore their experiences in depth and these were analysed using thematic analysis. Results: In phase one, survivors of DA were found to have experienced significantly more ACEs and to have higher levels of anxiety and stress than the control group. Survivors of DA were more likely to have experienced emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and emotional neglect and be exposed to substance abuse or alcoholism and mental illness within their household in childhood than the control group. Resilience was found to moderate the relationship between ACEs and mental wellbeing, such that resilience is less protective against poor wellbeing in those with high ACEs. Resilience was also found to be a stronger predictor of mental wellbeing than ACEs. In phase two, the thematic framework included five major themes: Early life challenges and adversity, Coping strategies, Support and judgement, Resilience and development, and Psychological distress, health, and wellbeing. Conclusion: Results indicate that early life adversity is an additional concern for adult female survivors of DA. They also highlight the importance of resilience, coping, and support and indicate areas of psychological distress and need where services and helping professionals can support survivors.
  • Teaching programming in the computer science strand of the 2014 National Curriculum for computing at key stage 4: challenges, difficulties and prospects

    Buckley, Kevan; Almdahem, Almabrok; School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-03)
    A national curriculum for the study of computing became compulsory in English secondary schools in September 2014, replacing the study of information and communications technology with computer science (CS). This posed difficulties for teachers and students who did not have knowledge or experience of programming. Teachers faced a variety of challenges, including lack of subject knowledge and confidence. For many students, programming is among the most demanding aspects of CS. This study was designed to investigate and gain a critical understanding of the teaching of computer programming (CP) at Key Stage 4 (KS4; year 10 - 11) of the CS curriculum, including assessing the impact of learning CP and students' perceptions of CS and their overall performance in the subject. The study also explored how teachers managed the teaching of CP and the challenges they faced in implementing the national curriculum for computing. Furthermore, the study investigated the measures to improve the teaching of CP and the factors that have an impact on the effective teaching of the CP curriculum. The study sample comprised 400 teachers and students. The findings indicate that the main challenges for teachers in implementing the programming curriculum include time, financial and moral support, and being able to keep up to date with emerging developments in the field. In addition, the study found that the issues faced by students learning programming include a lack of time, the perceptions that it is a ‘difficult’ subject and students’ insufficient understanding of programming. The findings also suggest that schools have made efforts to overcome these challenges and are willing to adopt programming as a subject and to help, encourage, develop and improve students’ ability to learn programming; however, the results indicate that it is essential that schools address the shortage of teaching staff with specialised knowledge of CP. This study revealed that six factors can help to overcome the challenges and difficulties where three factors are for students (perceptions towards learning and teaching programming, benefits, and support) and the other three factors are for teachers (effect of supportive attributes on the teaching of programming, benefits of teaching programming in school and Implementation of the programming curriculum). The findings of this study will be useful for both teachers who are teaching programming and students who are learning programming in secondary schools.
  • Plasma membrane calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4) and inflammation of the aortic endothelium

    Armesilla, Angel; Khan, Kinza; Research Institute in Healthcare Science, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022)
    Background: The inflammatory response relies on the well-coordinated trafficking of leukocytes from the circulation to sites of tissue injury. The endothelial expression of cell adhesion molecules, namely the selectin family, mediates the initial adhesive interactions between leukocytes and the endothelium. Immune cell infiltration is often involved in the initiation and progression of several vascular diseases, including atherosclerosis. Plasma Membrane Calcium ATPase 4 (PMCA4) belongs to a family of transmembrane ion transporters that extrude calcium from the cytosol to the extracellular environment (Strehler, 2015). They are the only high-affinity Ca2+ extrusion system in mammalian cells encoded by the ATP2B1-4 genes (PMCA1–4) (Strehler, 2015). PMCA4 acts as a structural protein providing a scaffold to interacting proteins at the plasma membrane of endothelial cells. Several of these interactions demonstrate functional significance, accounting for its emerging role in signal transduction. This work contributes to the delineation of PMCA4 in the physiology of the vascular endothelium and characterises a role in leukocyte adhesion and trafficking. Methods and Results: The effect of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β on the expression of PMCA4 was examined. A time and dose-dependent downregulation of PMCA4 mRNA and protein expression in human Aortic Endothelial Cells (AoEC) was observed. Differential gene expression was determined in PMCA4 silenced AoEC using an ECM-CAM array and RNA-sequencing. The siRNA-mediated knockdown of PMCA4 induced the expression of cell adhesion molecules, Selectin P (SELP) and SELL. The knockdown enhanced the IL-1β-induced expression of the metalloproteinases ADAMTS1 and -4. Ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA) revealed a role in immune cell trafficking with a propensity to develop aneurysms (activation z-score,-1.177). Similarly, silencing PMCA4 enhanced the VEGF-induced expression of ADAMTS1, VCAM-1 and SELE. Cyclosporin A partially ablated this enhancement through VEGF, implicating CN/NFAT transcriptional activity. Consistent with the IPA, a significant decrease in PMCA4 mRNA expression was observed in abdominal aortic lesions from hypercholesterolaemic ApoE-deficient mice infused with angiotensin II. Conclusion: The downregulation of PMCA4 is associated with a state of endothelial activation, indicated by the induction of cell adhesion molecules. Our results demonstrate that PMCA4 regulates intracellular signalling in the endothelium in response to leukocyte-derived inputs. Reinforced by bioinformatic analysis, our findings suggest that PMCA4 may influence leukocyte adhesion and trafficking on the endothelium.
  • The experience of navigating mental health difficulties in the workplace, with a focus on disclosure

    Hinton, Danny; Morris, Sarah; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-03)
    Mental health difficulties are a prevalent source of distress and disability in the UK. To gain support to maintain employment, disclosure of mental health difficulties is often required. Research indicates that fears of discrimination can inhibit disclosure, but that when disclosure does occur this can be a positive experience. Nevertheless, the literature review presents a gap in current understanding of experiencing, navigating, and disclosing mental health difficulties in the workplace. The aim of this research is to present a detailed and illustrative narrative of employees’ experiences of mental health difficulties and how they have navigated these experiences, often through disclosure, at work. Seven one-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with employees from different professions. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) was used to facilitate an in-depth exploration of participants’ experiences and provide insight into how participants made sense of their mental health difficulties and the revelation of their distress. This produced four superordinate themes and 12 subordinate themes. The superordinate theme of Power consisted of three subthemes: Being Heard, Stigma and Financial Culture. Convergence of Work and Home Life comprised of an Accumulation of Adverse Life Events, Spillover and Adapting to the Restrictions during the Pandemic. The third superordinate theme of Connection to Others related to Nurturing Colleagues, Feeling Valued and Relationship to Management. The Recovery Journey pertained to subthemes of Accessing Mental Health Care, Barriers to Coping and Resilience. The insights gathered by this study are reviewed in comparison with existing literature to facilitate better understanding of employees with mental health difficulties’ unique and specific needs. Implications for counselling psychology and occupational mental health are discussed, in order that professionals can offer better-tailored forms of psychological support for employees experiencing mental health difficulties. Avenues for further research are also explored.
  • Novel antimicrobial combinations for treatment against pathogens associated with infected diabetic foot ulcers

    Heaselgrave, Wayne; Onuoha, Ogechi Akudo; Department of Biomedical Science and Physiology, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2021-11)
    Many promising conventional antimicrobial agents have low permeability and restricted biodistribution, their encapsulation into efficient drug delivery carriers is crucial to increasing their bioavailability and retention time. Lipodisq® (LQ) nanoparticles consist of a circular phospholipid bilayer that is stabilized by an annulus of polystyrene-co-maleic anhydride (PSMA). PSMA is used extensively in structural biology to extract lipids and stabilize integral membrane proteins for biophysical studies. Also, the use of enzymes has been shown to degrade extracellular polymeric matrices which can improve the penetration and efficacy of antimicrobials to eradicate biofilm. Biofilm extracellular polymeric matrix components (eDNA, protein and polysaccharides) play a key role in the impermeability of conventional antimicrobial agents in the biofilm. Treatment of biofilm-related infections with conventional antimicrobial agents usually results in prolonged treatment or failure due to their impermeability and restricted biodistribution within the biofilm extracellular polymeric matrices. Therefore, there is an urgent and crucial need for alternative therapeutic approaches that can enhance the penetration, and biodistribution (availability and retention) for easy inactivation of the biofilm viable cells. In this study, the enhanced susceptibility effect of the novel LQ-loaded antimicrobial nanoparticles was investigated against planktonic cells and further determine the potentiality for the eradication of biofilm viable cells using the ISO 14729 stand-alone test procedure. The susceptibility and time-kill assays of the novel LQ-loaded antimicrobial formulations (chlorhexidine-LQ (CHLX-LQ), polymyxin B-LQ, polymyxin E-LQ, linezolid-LQ and poly-ε-lysine-LQ) showed improved antimicrobial activity against test organisms. On the other hand, the free LQ nanoparticle without antimicrobial had no effect on viable cells. Novel polymyxin B and E-loaded LQ have a significant antimicrobial effect against S. aureus and C. albicans planktonic cells with low MIC/MBC values. The novel CHLX-LQ showed enhanced inactivation of S. aureus and C. albicans biofilm viable cells. Incorporation of DNase 1, lysozyme and proteinase K to octenidine, alexidine, and chlorhexidine-LQ against C. albicans and S. aureus biofilm significantly enhanced the inactivation of biofilm viable cells. This study, therefore, suggests that octenidine and alexidine have the potential as dispersal agents in S. aureus biofilm. Additionally, suggest that LQ have the potential to act as a delivery vehicle for antimicrobials to enhance penetration and effect in biofilms. And the combination of LQ-loaded antimicrobials and enzymes can further improve the therapeutic approach to treating biofilm-related infections.
  • Identity and motivation: Why do teachers stay, particularly in disadvantaged primary schools in the Birmingham area?

    Devlin, Linda; Morgan-Guthrie, Rachel; Wiseman, Sandra; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-06)
    Record numbers of teachers in England are leaving the classroom, with many citing overwhelming workloads as a major factor in this decision (Hazell, 2017). However, much less is known about why teachers choose to stay, particularly in disadvantaged schools. The purpose of this study is twofold: To explore the reasons why long serving primary school teachers (‘veterans’), who teach in disadvantaged Birmingham schools, decide to remain in these types of school. Then to explore in more detail the veterans’ ‘teacher identity’ and ascertain to what extent, if at all, identity factors influence remaining in a school or not. My study was prompted by an ‘initial curiosity’ (Agee, 2009, p.433) to uncover the reasons why teachers choose to remain in their school. To gain a richer insight into why teachers remain, I needed to explore teachers’ motivations through the lens of identity. The study adopts a qualitative approach to explore the professional lives and career decisions of 10 Birmingham primary school veterans using in-depth semi-structured interviews. While the concept of a ‘veteran’ is contested, this study interprets the veteran as a teacher who has taught in the same school for seven or more years. The findings indicate that remaining is a multi-layered process dependent on several personal, professional, and situational factors related to identity and motivation. The study concludes that closer attention should be paid to the reasons why teachers stay in disadvantaged Birmingham primary schools to counterbalance the focus on teacher turnover. This is so that, at the very least, supportive structures can be put in place to encourage more teachers to stay and contribute to the success and wellbeing of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Multiphoton correlations and emitters

    Laussy, Fabrice; Zubizarreta Casalengua, Eduardo; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-11)
    The characterisation of the quantum states of light and their subsequent realisation is thought to be an indispensable step to bring in quantum technologies to the real world. The emergence of quantum cryptography, quantum security protocols or quantum computers, among others, demand implicitly or explicitly trustworthy tools and components to carry through the research in its first stages. A deterministic or on-demand single-photon source and, more recently, an N-photon emitter, seem to play a crucial role. Nevertheless, even the correct characterisation of the former is still a source of discussion and there exist several criteria to do so. The identification of the latter is, as expected, a challenging task. With the emergence of multiphoton physics, the horizon of quantum light sources is wider. The tools to identify and classify multiphoton emission are still in development. We present the methods to study the dynamics and correlations of some candidate systems that have been proposed, focusing on the analytical solutions through perturbative methods, valid, for instance, for weakly driven or weakly coupled systems. In particular, the frequency-resolved correlations can be exactly obtained in this way. We also consider the effect of detection on the correlations. The noisy apparatus and their finite time resolution can modify the photon statistics. Some photons may be left undetected or misplaced (in time), additional counts may be recorded as well. We revisit the photon counting formula, that was popular in the birth of Quantum Optics, to obtain the counting probabilities in continuously driven (CW) systems and we focus then on the spontaneous emission of N photons. We observe, for probability distributions of CW systems, a clear deviation from Poissonian statistics in both the short and long time regimes. We find how such a behaviour is inherited from the photon correlations. A good starting point to study the bundler—the N-photon emitter—is the spontaneous emission of N photons. The counting probabilities are computed without and with spectral filtering, making emphasis on how the kind of filter affects the detection. Then, the full structure of the bundle is completely captured by the probability functions of the emission time of the individual photons. The results are ultimately compared with the actual bundler, showing qualitative and quantitative agreement. A brief introduction is given to spatial correlation induced by the ensemble statistics. Some clarifying examples reveal how the statistics are manifested depending on the kind of states. On the other hand, a dynamical model introducing a space dependent sensor method is provided for the scattering and how the spatial distribution is modified by the time resolution limitation. Interestingly, the wave packet before and after the scattering get effectively admixed and interfere with itself displaying characteristic fringes. The main objective of this Thesis is to make an exhaustive characterisation of multiphoton emission, starting with the usual treatment in terms of the luminescence spectrum and the second-order photon correlation function g(2), considering mechanisms that can take place in the detection process such as spectral filtering or contamination of the signal due to time jitter and noise. We develop tools to facilitate and speed up the computation of these quantities, either analytically or numerically, within the range of validity of the Born–Markov approximation and highlighting situations in which perturbation theory is applicable. Finally, we go beyond and take into account other statistical quantities such as the waiting time distribution or higher order correlators and eventually compute counting statistics, which results in a good and promising procedure to characterise and subsequently classify multiphoton emission.
  • Anomalous behaviour detection for cyber defence in modern industrial control systems

    Al-Khateeb, Haider; Ahmadi-Assalemi, Gabriela; School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-10)
    The fusion of pervasive internet connectivity and emerging technologies in smart cities creates fragile cyber-physical-natural ecosystems. Industrial Control Systems (ICS) are intrinsic parts of smart cities and critical to modern societies. Not designed for interconnectivity or security, disruptor technologies enable ubiquitous computing in modern ICS. Aided by artificial intelligence and the industrial internet of things they transform the ICS environment towards better automation, process control and monitoring. However, investigations reveal that leveraging disruptive technologies in ICS creates security challenges exposing critical infrastructure to sophisticated threat actors including increasingly hostile, well-organised cybercrimes and Advanced Persistent Threats. Besides external factors, the prevalence of insider threats includes malicious intent, accidental hazards and professional errors. The sensing capabilities create opportunities to capture various data types. Apart from operational use, this data combined with artificial intelligence can be innovatively utilised to model anomalous behaviour as part of defence-in-depth strategies. As such, this research aims to investigate and develop a security mechanism to improve cyber defence in ICS. Firstly, this thesis contributes a Systematic Literature Review (SLR), which helps analyse frameworks and systems that address CPS’ cyber resilience and digital forensic incident response in smart cities. The SLR uncovers emerging themes and concludes several key findings. For example, the chronological analysis reveals key influencing factors, whereas the data source analysis points to a lack of real CPS datasets with prevalent utilisation of software and infrastructure-based simulations. Further in-depth analysis shows that cross-sector proposals or applications to improve digital forensics focusing on cyber resilience are addressed by a small number of research studies in some smart sectors. Next, this research introduces a novel super learner ensemble anomaly detection and cyber risk quantification framework to profile anomalous behaviour in ICS and derive a cyber risk score. The proposed framework and associated learning models are experimentally validated. The produced results are promising and achieve an overall F1-score of 99.13%, and an anomalous recall score of 99% detecting anomalies lasting only 17 seconds ranging from 0.5% to 89% of the dataset. Further, a one-class classification model is developed, leveraging stream rebalancing followed by adaptive machine learning algorithms and drift detection methods. The model is experimentally validated producing promising results including an overall Matthews Correlation Coefficient (MCC) score of 0.999 and the Cohen’s Kappa (K) score of 0.9986 on limited variable single-type anomalous behaviour per data stream. Wide data streams achieve an MCC score of 0.981 and a K score of 0.9808 in the prevalence of multiple types of anomalous instances. Additionally, the thesis scrutinises the applicability of the learning models to support digital forensic readiness. The research study presents the concept of digital witness and digital chain of custody in ICS. Following that, a use case integrating blockchain technologies into the design of ICS to support digital forensic readiness is discussed. In conclusion, the contributions of this research thesis help towards developing the next generation of state-of-the-art methods for anomalous behaviour detection in ICS defence-in-depth.
  • Liposome-loaded biosynthetic bacterial cellulose hydrogels for wound management applications

    Radecka, Iza; Rai, Parmjit; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-04)
    Chronic wounds and their management continue to present a huge financial burden to healthcare systems worldwide. With the population affected, expected to rise to 60 million people by 2026, there is a growing demand to produce novel wound dressing materials to facilitate effective wound healing. The invasion of pathogenic microorganisms at the site of the wound bed, can further stall the wound healing process. Infected, chronic wounds are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality rates across the globe, thus emphasis is placed on controlling infection and promoting an optimal wound environment, to enable rapid wound healing. Natural biosynthetic hydrogel wound dressings have revolutionised the field of wound management. Their unique properties and 3D fibrous network structure allow for the encapsulation of wound healing agents to enhance the wound healing process. In the present study, biosynthetic bacterial cellulose hydrogels were synthesised by Gluconacetobacter xylinus (ATCC 23770) and loaded with antimicrobial agents. Characterisation studies were carried out on these biosynthetic hydrogels for their wound healing properties. Due to the rise of antibiotic resistant bacterial strains, scientists are seeking other bioactive materials with wound healing properties. Silver has long been used as a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent in creams and dressings for the purpose of wound healing over many years, however its tendency to cause skin irritation has limited its use. In comparison with traditional drug delivery systems, liposomes have the advantage of controlling drug release thus reducing toxic side effects, in addition to protecting drugs from degradation and clearance. In this study, liposomes were produced via the reverse-phase evaporation (REV) method. The antimicrobial activity of liposomal silver nitrate embedded in a biosynthetic bacterial cellulose hydrogel for wound management applications was investigated. Liposomal silver nitrate in a bacterial cellulose hydrogel exhibited antimicrobial activity against two representative wound infecting pathogens, specifically Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus over a period of 48 hours. Silver exerted a stronger antimicrobial effect against P. aeruginosa compared with S. aureus due to differences in the structure of the bacterial cell walls. Nevertheless, liposomal silver nitrate in a bacterial cellulose hydrogel revealed broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity against both Gram-negative and drug resistant Gram-positive pathogenic bacterial strains. Furthermore, the drug release profile of liposomal silver nitrate embedded in bacterial cellulose displayed controlled silver release over 48 hours, indicating a potential decrease in toxic effects experienced compared with immediate release of silver nitrate when loaded directly into bacterial cellulose. The novelty aspect of my work lies in varying the surface charge of liposomes. A gap in the research suggested that antimicrobial efficacy of agents had not been tested when varying the surface charge of liposomes. Thus, liposomes with varied surface charge were formulated and investigated to optimise the antimicrobial delivery of agents to the wound site. Liposomal silver nitrate with an anionic surface charge embedded in a bacterial cellulose hydrogel exerted a stronger antimicrobial effect against the tested microbial strains compared with neutrally and cationic charged liposomal silver nitrate embedded in bacterial cellulose. This study confirmed that varying the charge density of the liposome structure can influence the liposomal characteristics, therefore enhance the formulation to provide optimal conditions for wound healing. The biosynthetic hydrogels exhibited antimicrobial activity against representative wound infecting pathogens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. To conclude, the results indicate the potential of the investigated biosynthetic bacterial cellulose hydrogels for application in wound management. Further research aims to optimise the formulation by use of in vivo animal studies to represent a true wound microenvironment.
  • Counselling within a hospice setting. A mixed-methods exploration of pre-loss and post-loss counselling in a palliative setting

    Chadwick, Darren; Jones, Claire; Payne, Darnley; School of Psychology, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-08)
    This research aimed to further knowledge of grief and bereavement by investigating whether pre-loss counselling could improve outcomes for individuals who have recently lost a close family member. The research examined how pre-loss counselling could help individuals cope with a loss and why this approach may reduce the client's time in post-loss counselling. Furthermore, to help inform current practice, the research explored the client's experiences of pre and post-loss counselling. The researcher utilised a mixed-methods approach utilising both interviews and surveys. Outcomes and accounts for two groups of 16 clients who underwent counselling at a Hospice in England were compared. The first group undertook pre-and post-loss counselling, whereas the second group undertook only post-loss counselling. A qualitative study, in which four clients from each group were interviewed, found that pre-loss counselling helped the participants relieve and process their negative emotions before and around their loved one's death. Moreover, the study highlighted that the pre and post-loss group was more concerned with finding a new purpose - and ultimately accepting their loss. The study also found that the pre and post-loss group was more advanced in coping strategies, possibly indicating why they required less post-loss counselling. In addition, the study found that participants who undertook pre-loss counselling benefited from their counselling in several ways, including helping them with their levels of emotional control, acceptance of their loss, helping with end-of-life care and their last moments with their loved ones. Some participants also felt their Counselling helped prepare them for life after the loss. A survey analysis of the 32 clients in the quantitative study showed that the pre and post-loss counselling group had a significantly lower overall vulnerability score. This second study further showed that the pre and post-loss group spent significantly fewer sessions in Counselling overall and significantly less time in post-loss counselling. A correlation analysis between the number of post-loss counselling sessions and the vulnerability scores was undertaken for each group. There was a stronger relationship between the number of post-loss sessions and a lower overall vulnerability score for the pre and post-loss counselling group. This stronger relationship may indicate that their post-loss counselling was more effective in reducing their vulnerability scores when combined with pre-loss counselling. Combining the two studies showed that pre-loss counselling improved clients' emotional stability and resilience, reduced their vulnerability, helped them accept their loss quicker, and built new meaning in their lives. In addition, both studies indicated that pre-loss counselling appeared to have reduced the participant's time in post-loss counselling. The research found substantial evidence demonstrating that participants had found their Counselling beneficial. However, the gains obtained from their Counselling differed depending on whether the participants had received pre and post-loss counselling or post-loss counselling only. This research provided new insights into pre-loss counselling, addressing a research gap in knowledge and producing a set of recommended aims and objectives for pre-loss counselling practice. Future directions for research are also provided.
  • Women’s occupational mobility in the Nigerian service sector through a radical feminist perspective

    Firth, Janet; Anosike, Paschal; Eke, Priscilla; University of Wolverhampton Business School, Faculty of Arts, Business and Social Sciences (University of Wolverhampton, 2023-01)
    The impact of women’s contribution and participation in society and its economies has been theorised to contribute trillion dollars to global GDP. There is extensive research and literature that has contextualised and developed our understanding of the marginalisation of women in our societies to advocate for gender equality as the United Nations’ 5th Sustainable Development Goal of Gender Equality is also essential in achieving other sustainable development goals. To contribute to the growing empirical study within the context of Sub-Sahara Africa with a particular focus on Nigeria, this study investigates the impact of institutionalisation of organisational practices in the leadership experience and participation of women in the service sector. Through a radical feminist perspective, a deconstructive analysis of the Nigerian context was conducted on the culture of Nigeria and its influence on organisational culture and the adoption of leadership styles. Focus groups and semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 women in the service sector in entry-level, middle-management and leadership positions across three industries: financial institutions, Information, Communication and Technology (ICT), and Higher Education. The findings revealed the relationship between the dimensions of institutional theory and women's experience. They shed light on the institutional void and the barriers to women’s occupational mobility and full economic participation. Most importantly, the outcome of this investigation documents critical recommendations for organisations, women, and NGOs to consider how to change cultural mindsets within the service sector. The call for organisations is to be deliberate in identifying barriers and initiating a strategy to tackle those barriers with a ten-part monitoring and evaluation toolkit.
  • Exploring factors influencing the expression of sexuality in UK-born South Asian women: A phenomenological approach

    Lloyd, Joanne; Samra, Rajvir; Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-05)
    Belonging to a South Asian family in Britain does not come without struggles. One theme that has dominated the literature on South Asian families is the amalgamation of two cultural value systems between the East and the West: Two cultural scripts, prescribing contradictory lifestyles - particularly in the context of dating and intimacy. In an individualistic country like Britain, dating and the expression of sexuality are acceptable behaviours. However, in collectivistic South Asian cultures, where family needs dominate, these behaviours can be considered as being culturally deviant and posing a direct threat to the family honour. Using semi-structured interviews with six participants, this research aimed to explore the sexual experiences of British South Asian women and to illuminate how choices around sexual activity impact cultural belonging. The study used interpretive phenomenological analysis revealing six themes. The first theme, ‘keeping up appearances’ highlights pressures that participants experience in relation to upholding an image of modesty, and factors which may contribute to leading a double life. The second theme, ‘upbringing and expectations’ considers rules that the participants had been brought up with and how these have changed over time, also considering implications and challenges participants described experiencing as a result of these. ‘Gender inequality’ is the third theme, which highlights differences in treatment and expectations for males and females that participants have experienced. The fourth theme: ‘empowerment’, focuses on how the participants’ engagement and communication with their partner became an empowering factor within sexual relationships, which supported the participants to feel equal. Theme five, ‘self-discovery’, identifies the participants taking control of their own sexual pleasure and exploration, and factors which contributed to their decision- making. The final theme: ‘sisterhood of trust’, focuses on who the participants trust to share their experiences of intimacy with, and the reasons behind feeling comfortable with these relationships. Findings support and advance existing research which highlight that British South Asian women in the UK experience the pressure to be perceived as a ‘good girl’ by the family and wider community, often leading to living a double life. Although experiences are changing over time, there is still a sense of gender inequality in the form of sexual double standards. However, in private areas of their lives, participants were able to explore and feel empowered by their sexuality, and even found ways to express it, whether this was with a partner or close trusted friends. This study provides recommendations for counselling psychologists, by raising awareness of factors impacting difficulties in discourse around sexuality. Counselling psychologists can encourage others to speak more openly and to normalise such conversations, and in the long term, this has the potential to inform more appropriate interventions within therapy, tailored to specific ethnic minorities.
  • Electroplating process plant automation and management using emerging automation and communications technologies

    Zakeri, Ahmad; Venkateshaiah, Navya; Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-07)
    The Electroplating (EP) process industry is currently facing some challenging process control problems in their production plant due to an insufficient level of automation being applied in the industry; the control is largely manual, and the monitoring of both plant and processes is ad hoc. The requirement for higher production volumes, tighter product tolerances, and the eagerness for better quality with lower cost are forcing the electroplating Companies to automate their processes and develop more responsive process and plant monitoring and control systems. Emerging Automation and communications technologies have now made it possible to effectively implement distributed control system (DCS) based control architecture with hybrid (wired/wireless) communication networks in the industry for achieving both process automation and plant management, offering various advantages such as for real-time process plant monitoring and control, plant visualization and provision of management information for control of production throughout the plant. Electroplating process industries comprising plants with numerous process stages and production operations will particularly benefit from implementing DCS where individual process stages and functions are distributed into computing nodes (i.e., control computers and smart devices) that are physically separated; and all the computing nodes are interconnected by advanced hybrid (wired/wireless) communications networks. The introduction of less expensive and more functional microprocessors has advanced the state of the art in distributed control system technology. This research aims to develop an integrated advanced process monitoring and plant management system for an electroplating industry using emerging automation and communications technologies.
  • Design of autonomous sustainable unmanned aerial vehicle - A novel approach to its dynamic wireless power transfer

    Zakeri, Ahmad; Naing, Kyaw Min; School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Engineering (University of Wolverhampton, 2022)
    Electric UAVs are presently being used widely in civilian duties such as security, surveillance, and disaster relief. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has increased dramatically over the past years in different areas/fields such as marines, mountains, wild environments. Nowadays, there are many electric UAVs development with fast computational speed and autonomous flying has been a reality by fusing many sensors such as camera tracking sensor, obstacle avoiding sensor, radar sensor, etc. But there is one main problem still not able to overcome which is power requirement for continuous autonomous operation. When the operation needs more power, but batteries can only give for 20 to 30 mins of flight time. These types of system are not reliable for long term civilian operation because we need to recharge or replace batteries by landing the craft every time when we want to continue the operation. The large batteries also take more loads on the UAV which is also not a reliable system. To eliminate these obstacles, there should a recharging wireless power station in ground which can transmit power to these small UAVs wirelessly for long term operation. There will be camera attached in the drone to detect and hover above the Wireless Power Transfer device which got receiving and transmitting station can be use with deep learning and sensor fusion techniques for more reliable flight operations. This thesis explores the use of dynamic wireless power to transfer energy using novel rotating WPT charging technique to the UAV with improved range, endurance, and average speed by giving extra hours in the air. The hypothesis that was created has a broad application beyond UAVs. The drone autonomous charging was mostly done by detecting a rotating WPT receiver connected to main power outlet that served as a recharging platform using deep neural vision capabilities. It was the purpose of the thesis to provide an alternative to traditional self-charging systems that relies purely on static WPT method and requires little distance between the vehicle and receiver. When the UAV camera detect the WPT receiving station, it will try to align and hover using onboard sensors for best power transfer efficiency. Since this strategy relied on traditional automatic drone landing technique, but the target is rotating all the time which needs smart approaches like deep learning and sensor fusion. The simulation environment was created and tested using robot operating system on a Linux operating system using a model of the custom-made drone. Experiments on the charging of the drone confirmed that the intelligent dynamic wireless power transfer (DWPT) method worked successfully while flying on air.
  • A hermeneutic phenomenological investigation of adult nurses’ concept of agency in clinical nursing care within hospital settings

    Matheson, David; Moyo, Nkosilathi; School of Nursing, Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing (University of Wolverhampton, 2022-10)
    A hermeneutic phenomenological investigation was undertaken to understand nurses’ concept of agency, or power to act, in clinical nursing care within hospital settings. It examined how free or constrained nurses felt in nursing care within their scope of practice. There were questions of what constituted freedom in nursing care. Data was gathered using stories from nurses’ experiences in clinical practice. A purposive homogeneous sample of twelve nurses was used in this study; all of whom were insiders as they were involved in clinical nursing care. This made it easier for them to understand the questions asked during their stories. The main themes which emerged were experiences and responsibilities in nursing care, the ability to provide nursing care, constraints in nursing care and collaborative nursing care. The findings revealed that nursing care has changed over time, and nurses are now doing more clinical skills, but at a closer look, freedom appeared limited. Nurses were able to initiate and deliver basic nursing care; however, in some aspects of care, including extended roles, nurses needed approval from doctors first. When the findings were subjected to poiesis, the concept of agency was further compounded by the characteristics of power and authority, structuration, the cognitive empire, and colonialism. Findings were discussed against the backdrop of the existing literature and theories. What made freedom an interesting concept in nursing care was that nurses could discuss their roles, responsibilities, and clinical nursing skills they had or did, but they were unable to define nursing as it had various meanings to them. It was then difficult for them to say what was freedom. Freedom, however, was whatever the nurse saw as such. It was indicative that nurses should be allowed to develop their epistemic knowledges, deliver nursing care the way they saw appropriate and utilise clinical skills they were competent to perform.

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