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  • ItemOpen Access
    Through Vial Impedance Spectroscopy (TVIS): A novel process analytical technology for investigating the thawing of frozen cell suspensions.
    (De Montfort University, 2023-11) Kaasi, Vaithianathan
    Background: Cryopreservation is often used to maintain cell functionality in a state of suspended animation by freezing the cells and holding at low temperatures (–40 °C to –196 °C) for long periods of time. However, many cell types die when they freeze because of intracellular ice formation causing cell disruption from within (Inc. gene and protein expression, etc.) and extracellular ice formation causing concentration of solutes, and osmotic shrinkage, with the potential to damage cell membranes (which then don’t recover on thawing). An effective cryopreservation protocol therefore often relies on the use of chemical agents (cryoprotectants) which impact the (a) the rate of water transport through the cell membrane; (b) ice nucleation temperatures, and (c) the formation of both extracellular and intracellular ice. Despite the recognition of the importance of ice formation (and in particular its suppression) in the role of cryoprotectants there has been no work to date that has attempted to explore the application of dielectric spectroscopy to an understanding of cryopreservation mechanisms; which is surprising given that the dielectric relaxation of ice may be measured in relatively simply experimental studies of bulk suspensions of cells. Such studies have been undertaken recently using a technique known as through-vial impedance spectroscopy, with a view to understanding the lyophilization of simple solutions. From these studies, a number of useful relaxation parameters have been identified, such as the relaxation frequency and increment in dielectric permittivity, that results from the contribution of the polarization of ice to overall measured permittivity. However, an application to the more challenging format of a cell suspension has yet to be approached. Scope, Aim and Methods: In this first ever attempt to explore the use of through vial impedance spectroscopy (TVIS) as a non-invasive PAT for characterizing the freeze-thawing living cells, two cell suspensions were chosen: An example prokaryotic cell (E. coli) and example eukaryotic cell (S. cerevisiae cell). These two cell types were suspended in two diverse types of cryoprotectant solutions: (i) 20 % sucrose with 0.15 M NaCl and (ii) peptone water. Yeast and bacterial strains were cultivated, harvested, and then re-suspended in the cryoprotectant solutions. The cell suspension was then centrifuged and resuspended in the cryoprotectant solution another 2 times (in order to wash away the culture medium and replace it with the cryoprotectant solution). Cell suspension concentrations were defined in terms of the dilution of the centrifuged cell pellet. To this end, the term % RPCS is taken to mean a % dilution by weight relative to the weight of the pelleted cell suspension. For example, 100 % RPCS means that the pellet was used without any dilution, 50 % RPCS was a cell pellet that was diluted using a weight of cryoprotectant solution equal to the weight of the pellet. After an assessment of the viability of the cells, following a freeze-thaw cycle, using a high sensitivity microplate fluorescence assay to measure cytochrome P450 activities before and after the freeze-thawing process, the primary aim of this project is to establish the methods of analysis of the impedance spectra of these systems, and what parameters might be extracted, with a future view to deploy this technique in the evaluation of cryopreservation mechanisms. 2.5 g of each cell suspension were then transferred to a set of TVIS vials, which are 10 mL glass tubing vials that have been modified with a pair of copper foil electrodes attached to the outside. The vials were then frozen to −40 °C, held for 120 min and then reheated to + 20 °C at a rate of 0.5 °C min−1. TVIS has only been applied to the study of relatively easy systems, such as pure water and solutions containing a single solute, such as sucrose, mannitol, and maltodextrin. As a result, a large portion of this thesis is devoted to the development of the techniques for analysing and presenting data from the TVIS spectra. It was anticipated that the spectra acquired for cell suspensions in more complex media would present a more challenging environment for analysis and interpretation. The final goal of the TVIS spectrum analysis was to determine whether it was possible to distinguish between intercellular processes and critical events like (i) the melting of NaCl eutectic, (ii) the glass transition temperature during the thermal cycling stage, and whether it is possible to differentiate between intercellular and extracellular glass transitions. Results: First, by using TVIS, this project looked at how low concentrations of bacteria affected electrical impedance. 50 % E. coli RPCS with 50 % w/w peptone demonstrated three main processes: the high-frequency process indicates the dielectric relaxation of ice that occurs in this process; the intermediate frequency process indicates the Maxwell-Wagner mechanism, where the polarisation of the glass wall through the conductivity of the unfrozen fraction occurs; and the low-frequency process suggests that the Maxwell-Wagner mechanism may also be present but on a smaller scale, i.e., the ice may as opposed to 50 % E. coli RPCS with 50 % sucrose-NaCl solution and 50 % S. cerevisiae RPCS with 50% peptone water and sucrose-NaCl solution, which both demonstrated two processes, high-frequency and low-frequency. Secondly, with the application of TVIS, investigation of changes in the electrical impedance of high concentration of 100 % S. cerevisiae RPCS with peptone and sucrose with NaCl showed two processes including the high-frequency process suggesting that the frozen fraction refers to dielectric relaxation of ice (MW process for the extracellular phase) and the low-frequency process suggesting that unfrozen fraction refers to MW polarization mechanism, the polarization of the interstitial spaces between ice crystals. This process mainly depends on cell type, not on the suspending media. Thirdly, the investigation of low-frequency processes revealed that sucrose-NaCl eutectic crystallisation of frozen yeast S. cerevisiae RPCS occurred between the frequencies of 10 Hz and 12 Hz at −23 °C. The concentration of NaCl inside and outside of the cell was measured as a result of temperature dependence shifting towards the low frequency. Fourthly, S. cerevisiae cell pellets treated with buffer solution before the freeze-thawing process produce high cell functionality, according to research on the effects of suspending media on E. coli and S. cerevisiae cell viability using a microplate fluorescence assay to measure cytochrome P450 activities. The outcomes of this experiment indicated that for yeast S. cerevisiae suspended in peptone water/sucrose-NaCl/buffer solution after freeze-thawing process, all cells were not viable due to osmotic stress. Interestingly, a β-dispersion in the high-frequency range was then observed through the merging of two processes identified in a 50 % S. cerevisiae RPCS with 50 % peptone water study. The critical temperature was found to be −33.3˚C, as indicated by the temperature dependency of the dielectric properties. By using the line-fit method, the extrapolated approach data at −25˚C produced 1.6066 pF (high frequency) and 1.0328 pF (low frequency), respectively. On a log frequency scale, the distance between the two peak frequencies is one unit. The CC model thus confirmed the establishment of the two peaks and their beginning to compensate one another due to a high probability of compensation between the increments in the capacitances of the two processes. Furthermore, TVIS is able to use the LOD method to determine the intracellular and extracellular glass transitions (T_g^') of yeast S. cerevisiae RPCS with sucrose-NaCl and peptone events of the freeze-thaw process inside a glass vial was demonstrated. Conclusions: This research project demonstrated the TVIS technology proved the ability to measure the intracellular and extracellular glass transitions (T_g^') of yeast S. cerevisiae RPCS with sucrose-NaCl and peptone system and failure to determine intracellular and extracellular ice formation. Those results were marginally satisfying. Furthermore, a eutectic behaviour of NaCl of a frozen solution of yeast S. cerevisiae was observed at low-frequency process. This study has exposed the mechanism of two peaks (dielectric relaxation of ice and the Maxwell-Wagner mechanism) in 50 % yeast S. cerevisiae RPCS with 50 % peptone water to determine the glass transitions (T_g^') of peptone water by using the take-off linear approach and LOD method. As such, the development of a methodology for a complex system was demonstrated.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An Analysis of the Impact of Big Data Analytics on Strategic Management in Business
    (De Montfort University, 2022-09) Wang, Yin
    Big data analytics is one of those business fields which has emerged from the increased role of information, technology, and digital communications within the business. The competitive nature of global trade is highly turbulent such that it demands companies to be more rapid, risk-taking, and faster in making decisions. Such driving forces also enable businesses to seek and identify ways to mitigate constraints in advancing business processes, which is often the change-oriented and business ability to be rapidly responsive. Hence the need for businesses to focus on business agility is high as never before. The role of big data analytics becomes a means to enable firms to attain sustainable competitiveness by allowing them to make better strategic choices. In contrast, there are many studies concerning big data. However, more attention should be paid to the study area where the ability of big data to enable firms in the manufacturing sector has been addressed. The research conducts a case study analysis on a large-scale manufacturing firm from Guangzhou, China. The research adopts a deductive qualitative and case study approach. It conducted focus group interviews with five-panel members from the top-level, senior-level, and first-line employees. There were five samples with substantial experience in the manufacturing sector and a significant tenure with the current firm. A purposive sampling technique was adopted to ensure that primary data was collected from the most relevant people with maximum knowledge, experience, and perception of the field of study. The research findings correlate with existing literature, where it is found that big data analytics, despite demanding complex infrastructure, data management knowledge and expertise, and careful planning and preparation, are potential sources of sustaining competitive advantages. They enable the firm to make enhanced and effective decisions, remain flexible, improve quality, understand consumers, time management, automate processing, and have a more comprehensive range of knowledge management within an organisation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Discipline and Morale: The British Non-Commissioned Officer on the Western Front 1914-1918
    (De Montfort University, 2003-07) Penny, Stephen
    The purpose of this study is, in part, to examine the vital part played by the British NCO in the maintenance of discipline on the Western Front in World War One. But its chief aim is to shed light on the largely neglected, but equally vital, contribution made by the British NCO to the upkeep of morale; not just the morale of the private soldier, but also that of the officer. In recognising that the British NCO had a more complex role to perform than has been hitherto acknowledged, it is hoped that this will in some small way serve to challenge the stereotype of the NCO which has endured for so long.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: Support in a Community Rehabilitation Company
    (De Montfort University, 2022) Wood, Jane
    Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is now recognised as having a lifelong impact involving challenges of high impulsivity, low hyperactivity, low attention, poor organisational and poor communicational skills. The social constructivism paradigm from which the research was undertaken encompasses the philosophical gap between medical and social models, the two perspectives can complement each other. Not only is there a gap in the literature in probation practice and disability specifically ADHD, but also the assimilation of the social and medical models into an holistic model creates a structure from which to look at the inclusion of disability in probation practice and beyond. The coproduction of data generated from both the CRC staff and the service users considered in the light of a non-reductive holistic model, opens up the prospect of a new contribution to probation practice. The Transforming Rehabilitation Programme saw the creation of Community Rehabilitation Companies (CRC), who work with low to medium risk service users. This offered a novel backdrop from which to explore how young adults with ADHD are supported whilst carrying out their court orders. A small-scale qualitative research study was conducted in a CRC, to understand what support and perceptions of ADHD was held by CRC staff and service users with ADHD. One-to-one semi- structured interviews were carried out with thirteen CRC staff and six service users aged 18 to 25years. Understanding of ADHD by the CRC staff was generally poor with little insight to how ADHD might impact on probation work, but there was some good practice highlighted. The probation services have been undergoing a reunification process which creates a timely opportunity to proffer recommendations for improved policy to standardised training for probation staff. Early identification of ADHD service users allows for adaption of probation work on a one-to-one basis promoting a positive rehabilitative relationship and adhering to statutory responsibilities for the adjustment of working practices.
  • ItemOpen Access
    (De Montfort University, 2021-03) Richardson, Jack
    This research was a pedagogical initiative that sought to find ways to better support the implementation of sound-based music education (SbME) for students in Key Stage 2 (aged seven-to-eleven). It did this by developing two prototypes to support teaching and learning in the sound-based classroom. These were developed as a result of coding and content analysis conducted with five case studies, within which fifteen lessons were conducted and thirty students participated. These resources identified and supported the skills and areas of knowledge required for students to be able to meaningfully access and engage with sound-based music (SbM) within a short timeframe of three lessons. SbM is defined by Landy (2007) as music where sound, rather than the musical note, is the main unit. An action research methodology was combined with a case study approach in order to develop teaching resources iteratively, following an ‘action research spiral’ (Zuber-Skerritt, 2001). Qualitative data was collected via naturalistic observations and group interviewing embedded within the lessons that were delivered by the researcher. From this, coding and content analysis was used systematically to identify a series of competencies that were developed into the prototype Sound-based Music Educational Competencies Toolkit (SbM ECT). The analysis of student creative work then led to the formation of the Composer Profile Framework (CPF), another prototype aimed at educators in understanding students’ compositional approaches when relating to SbM.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Solving XOR and Pole-balancing problems using a multi-population NEAT
    (De Montfort University, 2020-12) Lawrence, William
    This work looks at the use of multi-population utilisation for Neuroevolution in evolving controllers for the XOR and pole balancing problems. The single population is split into a number of smaller populations with a lower fitness thresholds the fittest individuals from each sub-population are then seeded into the final population with a higher fitness threshold. The results so far are inconclusive that a number of smaller populations are more efficient than a single large population. Different results were compared by using the total number of generations multiplied by the population to give an approximate metric of resources required to solve the problems using different methods. Small populations of around 5–10 individuals showed comparable results in resources required to reach desired level of fitness. There are a large number of parameters to consider when designing with Neuroevolution, multi-populations increase these factors by a considerable magnitude. It may be that further changing of parameters may yield better results. Future work using novelty search may suit multi-population applications better allowing a greater coverage of the search space.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Serious Games for Cyber Security - A New General Design Framework
    (De Montfort University, 2021-01) Le Compte, Alexis
    In a context where cyber strategies developed by nations across the world are looking for more innovative ways of raising the awareness of the general population, serious games appear to be a promising solution to the task. However, only a small portion of serious games in this field are designed with this goal in mind and several studies on the pedagogical effectiveness of serious games highlight a large proportion of simulation based games. Considering the potential virtues of serious games and games in general, the aforementioned observations raise questions about the design process of serious games and over representation of simulation based serious games. To this end, this thesis explores the design of serious games and proposes a framework to help building serious games of all types of genres, not specifically simulation based games. This proposed framework specifically emphasises the relationship between learning objectives and game mechanics, providing a way to combine them in a suitable manner depending on the overall pedagogic goal, or game being created. An experimental protocol is described, discussed and refinements for new experiments are presented. Nevertheless, the proposed framework represent a foundation piece for future work; in particular it constitutes an important part of a larger solution to evaluate the effectiveness and perceived quality of serious games.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Representative Relationship of Local Government Councillors’ to the European Union
    (De Montfort University, 2020-10) Saltis, Catherine
    The creation of a policy-making body, with legal powers to override the decisions of the member states, has profound implications for local politics. The thesis explores how a group of councillors in England have responded to and relate to the impact of the European Union on local government in order to enhance their and their councils influence in European wide policy development towards local government. The importance and power of the EU and the implications of its influence on local government and the councillor is a significant issue for local democracy. Regions and local authorities and the councillors within them have an important role to play in the European policy-making system. The thesis explores how and to what effect councillors are creating or utilising opportunities to engage with EU activity. The thesis addresses the question of how councillors view their role in relation to the EU and contributes towards the current knowledge of councillor role theory. The thesis provides an examination of those councillors who actively engage in EU affairs and of what that small elite group of local actors that engage in European affairs seek to achieve. Those councillors that are actively engaged with the EU are reshaping their roles and are outward facing, looking for opportunities to enhance their and their councils influence with policy decision makers at EU level. The study explores the implications, for their representative role, for those councillors who do not engage with EU activity and considers how they might if possible and to what extent, be involved. The thesis provides deep and rich research material illustrating for the first time how the various influences on councillors with regard to their level of involvement with the EU determines their role and behaviour and subsequently their decision to engage or not at differing levels with EU activity. The findings show that councillors adopt one of four approaches towards the EU each of which, in different ways, have implications for their role as the elected representative of their communities.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Exploring the Concept of Clinical Instructors’ Credibility from the “Triad of Perceptions” of Nurse Lecturers, Clinical Instructors and Students at Hawler Medical University
    (De Montfort University, 2020-01) Rasul, Srwa Rostam
    Lately, there has been increasing attention in the research studies about clinical instructors’ role, such as clinical instructors’ effectiveness, but not competence and credibility. Source Credibility Theory (Hovland, Janis, and Kelley, 1953) suggests that teachers’ power of persuasion, and consequently, effectiveness is amplified when students view them as credible. The literature on clinical instructors’ effectiveness is bereft of studies on clinical instructors’ credibility. This is particularly surprising considering that clinical instructors play an important role for professional nursing education (Tanda and Denham, 2009). Through a social constructivist lens, this thesis seeks to address the gap in current knowledge, providing a detailed understanding of the concept of clinical credibility by exploring the "perception between students, clinical instructors and lecturers. This is referred to as the triad of perception. Thirty-one participants (10 lecturers, 11 clinical instructors and 10 students) were selected from Hawler Medical University to take part in this qualitative study that apply phenomenological constructivist principles. Data were analysed inductively using template analysis (King, 2004) to identify commonalities and themes. The findings revealed that clinical instructors should possess specific “personal qualities”, “clinical teaching qualities” and “nursing competence” to make them credible clinical instructors. More importantly, findings indicated that there was a meaningful difference in priority and emphasis on sun-themes; therefore, these results provide strong evidence that certain readily identified dimensions are most important for all the triad groups. The adoption of a social constructivist approach allowed this thesis to achieve evidence via examining multiple realities among social actors that provide a more holistic picture for the concept. Exploring the ‘clinical credibility’ concept in this way not only provided opportunities for future research and practice but also contributed to the development of overall knowledge. triad’s valuable insight about clinical instructors’ credibility have implications for both in-service clinical instructors and programs leaders concerned with teacher effectiveness, and subsequently, student learning. Finally, this thesis contributes to the development of social constructivist research in the fields of nurse education, by providing an example of how a triad of perceptions can be integrated to investigate a research question.
  • ItemOpen Access
    How a structured exercise programme involving cardio and resistance exercise affects type 2 diabetes mellitus volunteers
    (De Montfort University, 2019-07) Hill, Ashley
    Background T2DM is a metabolic disorder that is rapidly increasing in prevalence, it has become a 21st century epidemic and addressing this is one of the greatest global health challenges of our time. In the UK £10.3 billion or 10% of the NHS budget was spent on diabetes mellitus. It is essential that a prevention approach to T2DM is utilised within the NHS. Aims The aims of this study are to compare physiological, metabolic parameters and inflammatory markers from type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and non-diabetic (ND) volunteers over a 6-week exercise period. Methods This was a very interesting study where T2DM and ND volunteers completed one of three structured exercise programmes involving either a combination of cardio and resistance exercise, cardio exercise or resistance exercise twice a week for 6-weeks. Various parameters were recorded at baseline to compare with results after 1 exercise session and again after 12 exercise sessions. Key findings Oral glucose tolerance test area under the curve results showed noticeable reductions from 1612.40 to 1354.10 mmol/L*min. Weight reduced by 2.58 kg in the T2 combination group after intervention which showed a statistically significant reduction from before to after intervention with a p-value of 0.049. Time to peak reduced in the T2 resistance group from 80 to 47 minutes. Total cholesterol reduced in the T2 resistance group after intervention from 5.34 to 4.68 mmol/L. Inflammatory marker results are also presented at the end of the results chapter.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Unearthing the Self: Performative and Theological Explorations Towards a Discovered Identity
    (De Montfort University, 2019-10) Howitt, Christopher
    How does one begin to understand the self? Approaching identity as a fragmented and complex form, this thesis argues that true self-knowledge is a thing to be discovered rather than created. As a route in, it offers three separate starting points: faith, the mind and the other. In the first instance, the journey begins with the divine. Approaching theology in light of contemporary theatre practice, God is presented as the origin of creation. From there structural and poststructural linguistic theory is applied to areas of the Bible that tackle identity. Shifting from the celestial realm, Chapter Two pays attention to the unconscious. Postulating that dreams may hold the key to our definitive self, practitioner-theorists Hélène Cixous, Susan Gannon and Richard Russo present the starting point for self-discovery as belonging in the mind. The final chapter offers as its starting point, our place in the collective. Examining the internal/external binary, it postulates that a greater understanding of who we are is gained by understanding our role in contemporary society. After examining audience participation in relation to (self) sacrifice, the Church’s contemporary view towards gender theory is presented, exploring the freedom (and incarceration) of choice. The thesis closes by offering three starting points for the journey of self discovery: the divine, the mind and by examining our relationship with the other. It concludes that true identity should not merely be seen as a final destination, but rather something that is formed along the journey of discovery itself.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Functions of Code-switching in EFL Classrooms with Native and Non-native Speaker Teachers: A Qualitative Study in A Turkish University
    (De Montfort University, 2019) Bilgin, Guller
    This study aimed to find out how code switching functions in EFL classes with native (NS) and non-native speaker (NNS) teachers by using classroom observation and interview methods. To reach this aim 162 B-level students and 8 teachers were observed for 16 audio- recorded classroom hours in the School of Foreign Languages Department of a private university. In addition, semi-structured interviews were carried out with all of the 8 teachers who participated in the research and 37 students in groups of 4 to 7 from each of the observed classes. NVivo technique was employed to categorise and store the data. The seven functions (themes) which emerged from the utterances made during the interviews and the classroom talks were; ‘motivating, activating and drawing attention’, ‘comprehending’, ‘feeling free while expressing meaning’, ‘cultural orientation’, ‘naturality’, ‘negotiation’, and ‘feeling secure and relaxed’. Results indicated that there were not many noteworthy differences between the functions of code switching used by NS and NNS teachers. Both the NS and NNS teachers switched to the students’ first language for purposes such as helping them comprehend, feel secure and relaxed, motivating and activating them, drawing their attention, and for orienting to their culture. On the other hand, the students’ switching to L1 served comprehending, feeling free while expressing meaning, getting motivated and activated, feeling secure and relaxed, cultural orientation, naturality and negotiating with the teacher. Both NS and NNS teachers let the students switch to L1 but their second turns following the students’ first turns in L1 were observed to be always in L2. It was concluded that students’ switching to L1 for functions such as naturality and negotiating which occurred both in the NNS and NS teachers’ classes might involve some kind of resistance to using a foreign language, thereby hindering target language learning, whereas other functions of code switching might promote it.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Optimization of mechanical mixing of anaerobic digesters using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
    (De Montfort University, 2018-09) Wiedemann, Leonhard
    To keep biogas production competitive against alternatives in the energy sector, reducing the operating costs is a major challenge for biogas applications. Up to 50 % of the energy consumption in biogas plants is contributed by the digester mixing. Therefore, the optimization of the digester mixing system is a promising approach to increase the overall efficiency of biogas plants. The main objective of the presented thesis is to optimize digester mixing to achieve the highest benefit at the lowest cost. Investigating the mixing process in digesters is a necessary precursor for successful design, operation, and increased efficiency in biogas plants. However, observation of mixing in digesters under real conditions is complex and cost intensive. With an adapted mixing system, a reduction of the operating costs of up to 30 % is possible. Process disturbance and maintenance costs can be minimized and the biogas production within a given digester volume can be maximized. The work shows the process and results of a simplified approach to simulate the mixing dynamic in a common cylindrical digester with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The CFD simulation is verified by laboratory experiments. Based on the theory of similarity, at the Institute of new Energy Systems of the Technische Hochschule Ingolstadt, a 1:12 scale digester model was set up and an artificial chemical substrate was selected to mimic the rheology of real biomass. Different mixing regimes were configured using propellers and paddle stirrers located in varying positions. Optical and acoustic techniques were employed to observe the fluid dynamics in the laboratory experiment. In this thesis, the laboratory setup and the results on the flow velocity and torque on stirrer shaft developed during mixing are presented and discussed. The experimental are used to validate the similar numeric computational fluid dynamic study.
  • ItemOpen Access
    An Investigation into Factors Affecting the Chilled Food Industry
    (De Montfort University, 2017-01) Quinn, Peter
  • ItemOpen Access
    A Theoretical and Experimental Study of Controllable Electricity Production via Biogas Plants
    (De Montfort University, 2017) Haring, Karl
    With the expansion of renewable but fluctuating power generation from wind and solar energy, the demand placed on the security and reliability of supply is increasing. To en-sure grid stability in the future, controllable power production via biogas plants has great technical and economic potential. The main aim of this thesis is a new system design for controlled, demand oriented elec-tricity production via biogas plants, based on system analyses and parameter studies. Derived aims are the analysis of new control strategies and required hardware modifica-tions, e.g. storage capacities and CHP units. Therefore the role of biogas in a future renewable based electricity system is discussed and different overall concepts for a controlled flexible electricity production via biogas are compared. Within a system analysis the current state of technology of biogas plant components, which are affected by a controllable electricity production is described. Building on this, technical requirements are characterised and technical recommenda-tions are given. Since for the realisation of plant concepts for a controlled electricity pro-duction monetary incentive systems are needed. As a potential market the Day-Ahead Auction of the EPEX Spot Se were identified. The concept development takes place via a parameter study, thereby various plant con-cepts are defined by varying the plant sizes, the additional electricity production capaci-ties and the gas storage capacities. Before the actual economic analysis is carried out, different feasible control strategies and the associated earnings, based on different gas storage and electricity production capacities, are presented. Within the economic analysis the necessary additional investment and operating costs for the controllable electricity are discussed and the costs are compared with possible higher revenues. Based on the results of the concept development an existing biogas plant was modified in order to demonstrate the operation of the controllable electricity production via biogas plants. Within the monitoring, the ability of biogas plants to act as a controllable electrici-ty producer were demonstrated. Also practical experiences with respect to the plant and component operation were made.
  • ItemOpen Access
    The Evolution of Mashup Literature: Identifying the Genre through Jane Austen’s Novels
    (De Montfort University, 2017-01) Riter, Amanda
    The aim of this thesis is to define, categorise, and justify the genre of mashup literature by providing a framework for understanding what mashup literature is, and analysing what it has to offer. The project seeks to examine the development of mashup literature, both from its influences in music and film mashups, as well as from fan fiction and the supernatural and romance genres that are mashed into the new work. The purpose is to show that the bounds of mashup literature as a genre extend beyond the few works that bear the name ‘mashup literature’, and that these works have the capability to comment and critique the source material in the same way as any other adaptation. This thesis analyses the development of mashup literature as part of the larger mashup movement and specifically discusses the influence of music and film mashups on the construction and objectives of mashup literature. This thesis acknowledges that the conception of mashup literature is often quite narrow, but by categorising the genre as part of the mashup movement rather than as independently occurring, this thesis shows the greater breadth and depth that mashup literature has reached and that has thus far gone unacknowledged. This thesis also examines one specific subcategory of mashup literature, tracing its development and discussing specific case studies of its application. By stepping away from the Zombies¬-centric definition of mashup literature and instead viewing it according to the parameters of the mashup movement as a whole, this thesis seeks to provide a more complete understanding of what a mashup novel is, and the value and analysis these works can add to their source texts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Discrete-Event Simulation Data Transformation: A Model-Driven Data Integration Approach
    (De Montfort University, 2016-06) Yusuf, Jamiu Mohammed
    Achieving a smooth production system is a complex process that requires the use of commercial discrete event simulation (DES) tools to provide a high flexibility production process, for instance the use of simulation modelling to model a production system. These tools require high levels of cooperation to work together because they are not designed to be integrated and hardly share their data. This research aims to integrate DES tools applied by different manufacturing systems in order to enable them to share their data. This thesis presents data integration from a simulation model point of view because it views data integration between different DES tools models as key steps towards system integration. A new approach has been developed which is called a Model-Driven Data Integration Approach (MDDI), so named because the integration involves the combination of data from different DES tools model sources. The effectiveness of this data integration approach has been demonstrated in a case study undertaken for DES design of a phone production line in the manufacturing industry. However, the application of the MDDI is not limited to this case study: it can also be used for other system and applications. The MDDI approach was tested and evaluated on the basis of this case study. These test cases simulated how the data integration based on different DES tools’ models react to the process of data sharing as they occur in the manufacturing production line. The result is that the MDDI approach best maintains data consistency and integrity and can be adopted by different industries.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Student Disability and Employability: Empowering Self-Discovery
    (De Montfort University, 2016-11) Clarkson, Mary
    University students with disabilities are supported in a variety of ways designed to help all students realise their academic potential. Students are supported whether they have physical disabilities or cognitive learning difficulties. When these students leave higher education and enter the workplace, what support can they expect? How do they understand and articulate their practical support needs to a prospective employer? Will employers be able to help? Literature suggests that relevant support for disability does exist in the workplace although perhaps not evenly. Fieldwork demonstrates that communication is the main hurdle. A model of student employability is developed that includes all students, with or without disability. The model is augmented and built into an inclusive transition framework designed to support discussion between students and support practitioners, exploring employment-related issues and concerns, and enabling a student to explore and develop their own employability and career. A prototype framework has been successfully piloted with support practitioners and with students, potentially filling the communication gap.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Development of a Knowledge-Based Framework for Demand Management for Refrigerated and Shelf-life Constrained Food Supply Chains
    (De Montfort University, 2016-06) García-Taylor, Marilú Coromoto
    Fresh produce like fruits and vegetables and food products requiring refrigeration like milk, are characterised by aspects such as perishability, short shelf-life, and high demand fluctuation, which make demand forecasting a vital process affecting not only business profits, but also the amount of waste and the level of customer satisfaction. The research aim is to investigate the feasibility of the knowledge engineering approach (KEA) as an alternative to statistical data analysis to improve demand forecasting, specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the fresh food supply chains (FSCs). The methodology comprised statistical data analysis techniques ranging from simple (correlation analysis) to more advanced (support vector machines) implemented using demand data for specific products provided by a fruit and vegetables wholesaler, to find the most influential internal and external factors affecting demand. After evaluating the results from these techniques, KEA was explored as a possible option to improve demand forecasting. For knowledge acquisition, a questionnaire about demand management was developed, which was used during structured interviews as a tool to externalise the tacit knowledge that the experts use to support decision making for daily demand forecasting. Further sources of information used were on-site interviews and a knowledge engineering tool (KET), updated regularly by the demand planner to aid identifying reasons behind differences between demand prediction and actual orders. The results from the statistical data analysis and support vector machines experiments showed no significant improvement in the accuracy of prediction. The outcomes from the knowledge acquisition process showed the high level of difficulty involved in externalising tacit knowledge from experts. However, the KEA provided direct insight from the experts about the issues affecting demand forecasting in the FSCs. Moreover, the knowledge gathered through the on-site interviews and the KET was used to define rules that could be used to further develop a knowledge-based framework to support demand forecasting. The proposed framework suggests using the KEA alongside other prediction methods to improve prediction accuracy and highlights the importance of targeting the right experts, in order to aid generalising expert knowledge when defining useful rules to support decision making.
  • ItemOpen Access
    User Intention Modelling and Intention Recognition in Games using World State Indicators
    (De Montfort University, 2016-07) Brandsetter, Matthias F.
    The work presented in this thesis focuses on two main areas. First we develop a model of user intentions in games. That model defines various concepts related to player behaviour in (computer) games and interactive environments, such as actions, goals, plans and intentions. Additionally our model shows the relationship between those concepts and explains how they affect each other. The purpose of the model presented here is twofold. One the one hand it provides common definitions for research in the area of user behaviour modelling in games. On the other hand this model also forms the underlying basis for the remainder of our work presented here. The second main area of focus is intention recognition in games. We propose a novel approach which is solely based on monitoring the changes in the game world state, instead of observing player actions. We evaluate current approaches to plan and intention recognition, their strengths and weaknesses. We further compare existing research on intention recognition to our approach and evaluate the performance of our prototype system iRecognise in the context of a case study using the board game RISK. A range of experiments that were carried out demonstrates that our proposed approach to intention recognition is valid and therefore verifies its intention recognition capabilities in the context of games.