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  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Deborah Davys; Vivienne Jones;
    Publisher: Mark Allen Group
    Country: United Kingdom

    Peer observation has been advocated as a means of monitoring and improving the quality of teaching within Higher Education, whilst peer support and review have been used to provide feedback and monitoring within the clinical context. The process of peer observation of practice within educational, managerial and clinical settings could facilitate improvements in all aspects of practice, have relevance as a tool for continuing professional development (CPD) and help improve the quality of care for service users. This article presents the background and relevance of peer observation to health care professionals, suggests a process that can be implemented and considers relevant contextual issues. Finally it suggests that peer observation has potential benefits for all areas and levels of health care practice.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Chunbao Liu; Wang Yingjie; Zhihui Qian; Kunyang Wang; Fangzhou Zhao; Peng Ding; Xu Daojie; Guowu Wei; Luquan Ren; Lei Ren;
    Publisher: Elsevier BV
    Country: United Kingdom

    Summary Humans and animals can achieve agile and efficient movements because the muscle can operate in different modes depending on its intrinsic mechanical properties. For bioinspired robotics and prosthetics, it is highly desirable to have artificial actuators with muscle-like properties. However, it still remains a challenge to realize both intrinsic muscle-like force-velocity and force-length properties in one single actuator simultaneously. This study presents a bioinspired soft actuator, named HimiSK (highly imitating skeletal muscle), designed by spatially arranging a set of synergistically contractile units in a flexible matrix similar to skeletal musculature. We have demonstrated that the actuator presents both intrinsic force-velocity and force-length characteristics that are very close to biological muscle with inherent self-stability and robustness in response to external perturbations. These outstanding properties result from the bioinspired architecture and the adaptive morphing of the flexible matrix material, which adapts automatically to mechanically diverse tasks without reliance on sensors and controllers. Highlights • The actuators present intrinsic force-length and force-velocity properties • The actuators provide a variable gearing mechanism to regulate load and velocity • The actuators enable a robotic system in response to external perturbations stably Biotechnology; Biomechanical engineering; Mechanical systems; Materials mechanics Graphical abstract

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mark Durkin; Elaine Beaumont; Caroline J. Hollins Martin; Jerome Carson;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: United Kingdom

    Background: Compassion fatigue and burnout can impact on performance of nurses. This paper explores the relationship between self-compassion, self-judgement, self-kindness, compassion, professional quality of life, and wellbeing among community nurses.\ud Aim: To measure associations between self-compassion, compassion fatigue, wellbeing, and burnout in community nurses.\ud Method: Quantitative data were collected using standardised psychometric questionnaires: (1) Professional Quality of Life Scale; (2) Self-Compassion Scale; (3) short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale; (4) Compassion For Others Scale, used to measure relationships between self-compassion, compassion fatigue, wellbeing, and burnout. \ud Participants: A cross sectional sample of registered community nurses (n=37) studying for a postgraduate diploma at a University in the North of England took part in this study.\ud Results: Results show that community nurses who score high on measures of self-compassion and wellbeing, also report less burnout. Greater compassion satisfaction was also positively associated with compassion for others, and wellbeing, whilst also being negatively correlated with burnout. \ud Conclusion: High levels of self-compassion were linked with lower levels of burnout. Furthermore when community nurses have greater compassion satisfaction they also report more compassion for others, increased wellbeing, and less burnout. The implications of this are discussed alongside suggestions for the promotion of greater compassion. \ud \ud Key words: burnout, compassion fatigue, district nurses, compassion, self-compassion, wellbeing

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Al-Obaedi, JTS; Yousif, S;
    Country: United Kingdom

    Occupancy is the percent of time a traffic loop detector embedded in the road pavement is occupied by vehicles. This term is usually used as a substitution for the traffic density which is not feasible to obtain from detectors. One of the recent applications for the traffic occupancy is in calculating the timing for traffic signals on motorway entrances (Ramp Metering, RM). Most of the existing algorithms for RM assume that these devices will not operate until the traffic occupancy upstream or downstream from the merge area exceeds a specific value called “critical occupancy”. This paper focuses on estimating the critical occupancy using Motorway Incident Detection and Automatic Signalling (MIDAS) data. The data is taken from loop detectors located on three motorway sites in the UK. The results are compared with corresponding values as adopted by the Highways Agency for these sites to operate the ramp metering. The results show that the values which are currently used to operate the ramp metering devices in these sites are higher than those obtained from analysing the data. This will cause delays in the operation of the RM until the starting of traffic congestion which ultimately causes reduction in motorway capacity.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ure, CM;
    Country: United Kingdom

    Background:Despite the extensive use of social media, its role in supporting women living with and beyond breast cancer (LwBBC), across the survivorship trajectory, remains underexplored. Existing research has tended to focus on single or dual platform use and utilised secondary data, principally from Facebook and Twitter. In contrast, this study sought to ensure women’s experiences of use took centre stage by adopting a qualitative approach to explore social media use across the survivorship trajectory.\ud Aims:\ud The aims of this thesis were to: a) explore how women LwBBC use social media; b) examine how women use social media as communicative resources in relation to LwBBC; and c) make sense of how women use social media to support their psychosocial health.\ud \ud Methods:\ud Twenty-one women (age range 27-64) participated in semi-structured interviews. Twelve participated in a photo-elicitation study using pre-existing photographs to explore social support. Nine participated in a photo-production study in which they took photographs (n=157) to represent how they communicate their experiences of LwBBC to others. A bricolaged approach to data analysis using thematic, polytextual and voice centred methodological approaches ensured women’s voices were brought to the fore within the analysis process. \ud \ud Findings:\ud Social media use is integral to many, but not all, women’s daily lives and considered by women an appropriate space to explore their own experiences. Women describe using multiple social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia and WhatsApp concurrently. The use of multiple platforms simultaneously to satisfy psychosocial needs demonstrates use to be more fluid and dynamic than the current literature suggests. Through listening to women’s voices, and using photographs to visualise voices, three key themes came to the fore: (i) finding relevant, timely and appropriate support; (ii) navigating disrupted identities; and (iii) (re)gaining a sense of control. Analysis shows these themes to be entangled, interconnected, and dynamic with women’s use shifting across time. Women describe social media use as both empowering but also as dislocating. \ud \ud Conclusions:\ud This is the first in depth qualitative study that takes an overview of women’s engagement across social media platforms to support their experiences of LwBBC. It demonstrates significant digital labour by women through use of social media to support their physical, emotional, and (anti) social experiences of LwBBC. It indicates naturally occurring networked communities as important contributors to the ongoing psychosocial support women need at different stages of LwBBC. Social media enables women to (re) gain a sense of control and can reduce need to draw on health service provision. Knowledge of women’s use can provide insight and guidance for healthcare professionals (HCPs), producers of online content, moderators of social media communities and other women LwBBC.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Various,;
    Country: United Kingdom

    A collection of poster abstracts from the Faculty of Science, Engineering & Environment 'Celebration of Research' event held on 30 June 2010 in the Lady Hale Building, University of Salford.

  • Publication . Conference object . 2009
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Ballard, G.; Lauri Koskela;
    Publisher: University of Stanford
    Country: United Kingdom

    The mainstream stand in textbooks on design and design and management is that design is a problem solving process, starting from the perceived problem and ending with a detailed solution. We contend that these accounts overlook one necessary and important conceptualization of design, namely design as a physical flow process. This view holds design as a spatio-temporal process, where information (on whatever media) is traversing through a network of designers and other stakeholders. Among the characteristics of a design process, its duration, cost and often output quality can only be explained through this view. Accordingly, it is important to manage design as a physical process, based on the unique features of this view. However, due to a relative neglect of this view of design we have the situation that practical prescriptions and approaches to design management contain, at most, partial or fragmentary methods and tools towards management of the physical process side. Fortunately, the theoretical and practical development of this concept carried out in the framework of production management can be advantageously used also for the design context. However, because of the fundamental differences between material production in design, the concepts emanating from production have to be adapted for being valid design. Thus, for example, while in material production time reduction is the primary goal for management, in design, besides design time reduction, the elimination of making-do in design tasks must be taken as equally significant goal. A framework for conceptualizing management of design as a physical process has been presented, and practical development and trailing of a number of related methods in the context of building design accounted. Future work is needed for developing a seamless set of methods for design management, incorporating the concept of design as a physical process, besides other requisite concepts.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Mohammad Taleghani; Martin Tenpierik; Andy van den Dobbelsteen;
    Publisher: Elsevier
    Country: United Kingdom

    With increased global concerns on climate change, the need for innovative spaces which can provide thermal comfort and energy efficiency is also increasing. This paper analyses the effects of transitional spaces on energy performance and indoor thermal comfort of low-rise dwellings in the Netherlands, at present and projected in 2050. For this analysis the four climate scenarios for 2050 from the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) were used. Including a courtyard within a Dutch terraced dwelling on the one hand showed an increase in annual heating energy demand but on the other hand a decrease in the number of summer discomfort hours. An atrium integrated into a Dutch terraced dwelling reduced the heating demand but increased the number of discomfort hours in summer. Analysing the monthly energy performance, comfort hours and the climate scenarios indicated that using an open courtyard May through October and an atrium, i.e. a covered courtyard, in the rest of the year establishes an optimum balance between energy use and summer comfort for the severest climate scenario.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    McDonald, GS; Christian, JM; Hodgkinson, TF; Cowey, R; Lancaster, G;
    Publisher: University of Salford
    Country: United Kingdom

    We propose a more complete model for describing the evolution of scalar optical pulses in nonlinear waveguides. The electromagnetic wave envelope u satisfies a dimensionless spatiotemporal governing equation that is of a fully-second-order form. With few exceptions [1,2] throughout nearly 50 years of literature, the spatial disperion contribution has been routinely neglected. By retaining this otherwise-omitted term, we have found that pulse propagation problems are most transparently described with a frame-of-reference formulation. We have developed the mathematical and computational tools necessary for the full analysis of the spatiotemporal dispersion equation and its solutions. Intriguing parallels with Einstein’s special theory of relativity also emerge naturally (e.g., the velocity combination rule for pulses is akin to that for particles in relativistic kinematics) [3]. Exact bright and dark solitons have been derived for a range of classic nonlinearities, and their robustness has been tested through exhaustive numerical simulations.\ud References:\ud [1] Kh. I. Pushkarov, D. I. Pushkarov, and I. V. Tomov, Opt. Quantum Electron. 11, 471 (1979).\ud [2] F. Biancalana and C. Creatore, Opt. Exp. 16, 14882 (2008).\ud [3] J. M. Christian et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 108, art. no. 034101 (2012); Phys. Rev. A (accepted for publication, 2012).

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Karthikeyan, S;
    Country: United Kingdom

    The Pulsed D.C. Magnetron Sputtering (PDMS) process has been investigated for the\ud deposition of the component layers that are used in the production of copper indium\ud diselenide, CuInSe 2 (CIS), thin film solar cells. PDMS can use high plasma densities with\ud long term arc free operation for the reactive sputtering of dielectric materials and can produce\ud films with good crystalline properties, even at low substrate temperatures. However, the\ud technique has not previously been applied to photovoltaic cell fabrication.\ud Customised powder target PDMS systems have been designed and constructed for\ud this work. Various operating parameters which affect the film characteristics have been\ud studied to allow optimisation of the sputtering process. This low temperature deposition\ud technique allows the use of flexible, low melting point substrates and can also reduce the\ud temperature induced damage to the layers associated with conventional D.C. and R.F.\ud sputtering processes. A typical CIS based cell consists of a molybdenum back contact layer, a\ud CIS absorber layer, a cadmium sulphide buffer layer and a zinc oxide top layer. In this study,\ud toxic cadmium sulphide was replaced by indium sulphide and the top layer employed indium\ud oxide which could be changed from intrinsic to highly conducting by adjustment of the\ud oxygen flow during sputtering. The deposited layers were characterised using various\ud analytical tools such as x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, scanning electron\ud microscopy, UV-Vis-NIR spectrophotometry, four point probe etc. Material characterisation\ud results indicated the suitability of using PDMS to deposit the component layers required in\ud CIS solar cell fabrication.

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