• An exploration of the role of visual arts projects for refugee well-being

      Hogan, Susan; Sheffield, David; Phillips, Katherine (University of Derby, 2020-03-14)
      Art therapy and other art-for-health initiatives are part of UK health and social care policy, as well as international humanitarian services for people fleeing persecution. There are currently unprecedented numbers of refugees and high levels of mental distress have been identified in this population. The non-verbal and symbolic potential for expression within art-making may provide a unique form of beneficial initiative. Through a critical realist perspective this thesis adds to the body of knowledge about art-based projects for refugee well-being. A mixed-methods systematic review was conducted in 2018. The quantitative data (k=2) showed that group art therapy is an effective intervention for reducing symptoms of mental distress in refugee children. The qualitative synthesis (k=24) presents a way to conceptualise the kinds of outcomes people experience from different modes of art-based engagement. Themes were developed through the qualitative data synthesis, including Beautifully handmade, Seeing with fresh eyes, Honour the past: forget the past, Telling the story and Being part of the world and Learning and working together. Accordingly, an interplay of creative, personal and social elements is proposed to occur is such activities. While different art-based approaches are identified: art therapy, facilitated art-making and independent art practice, these are shown to engender similar human experiences. This thesis builds on previous research on the use of colouring books for well-being. A mixed-methods randomised controlled study demonstrates their efficacy as a selfsustained well-being activity over one week. This study compared the effect of colouring pre-drawn mandala patterns with free-form drawing and a control group. The study included 69 university students and staff. The Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) and the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS) were used. A large and significant effect size was found for WEMWBS and a dose response was demonstrated in the colouring condition. A feasibility project was then run at a refugee drop-in centre, where colouring books and colouring pages were provided on a weekly basis for seven weeks. While colouring books have been provided to refugees previously, this thesis demonstrates the potential well-being value of such provision, and the likely uptake of colouring books by this population. Data are presented from four refugees and four staff members. Accordingly, this thesis shows that colouring books are acceptable to refugees. Thematic analysis and qualitative content analysis were used to explore the qualitative data from both primary research studies. Colouring was found to be a relaxing activity by participants in both studies. Participants valued both the process of colouring and the final product. Both reflection and distraction are presented as potential mechanisms involved in improving well-being through colouring. Some participants found the colouring evoked memories, some used the process to express emotions and others found the colouring gave them a welcome diversion from other thoughts. Colouring at the refugee centres also provided an impetus for inter-personal relationships, such as colouring with friends. Art-based approaches are explored as a range of useful and acceptable interventions to improve the well-being of refugees. Consideration is given to the variety of contextual factors that influence the creative and relational elements that are considered central to these interventions. Art-based projects operate within complex social and political systems. Identifying cultural norms and exploring power dynamics can contribute to the understanding and development of initiatives seeking to improve individual well-being, and effect wider collective social and political change.
    • An evaluation of a specialist service model for treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD): application of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines for BDD (NICE, 2006).

      Stalmeisters, Dzintra; Townend, Michael; Govender, ANUSHA (University of Derby, 2020-02)
      Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is still poorly recognised with a dearth of research into treatment. This is the only known study to date to evaluate the implementation of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommended treatment for BDD in clinical practice as well as providing qualitative data of both patients and clinicians (NICE, 2006). The study aims to evaluate current recommended treatments for Body Dysmorphic Disorder utilised in a specialist service for BDD. In addition the study elicits the experiences of patients receiving treatment and the clinicians providing the treatment. This provides a basis to assess if refinements are to be made to treatment protocols for BDD in this specialist service. A mixed methods approach was employed with quantitative data from patients treated for BDD collated from the Trust’s database and examined with intention to treat analysis. Thematic Analysis (TA) was used to analyse data from semi-structured interviews conducted with clinical staff and patients to elicit their experiences of respectively providing and receiving treatment. The clinical data indicated impairment in patients’ functioning plus high risks and substance misuse. Treatment outcomes of NICE recommended CBT and medication (Selective Serotonergic Reuptake Inhibitors and augmentation) produced significant improvements in BDD symptoms in patients with severe symptoms at baseline. Patients also showed significant improvements in depression and overall functioning. However despite improvements symptoms were not completely eliminated and one group treated by the service (Level 6 outpatients) showed minimal to no improvement on all symptom measures. Both clinician and patient participants expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of sufficient knowledge and expertise for treating BDD. Both groups also placed high value on the therapeutic relationship. However clinicians interviewed indicated a higher dissatisfaction with current treatment options for BDD than patients. The experiences of patients provided a different perspective to the findings in the quantitative phase. Their view of improvements was based on their functioning and overall quality of life. Clinicians’ perspectives provided insight into other options for treatment which are lacking and could provide substantial support for current recommendations. Given the evidence base for recommended treatments is still limited, it is essential to include qualitative data in evaluating effectiveness of treatment and in developing services that respond to patient needs and choice.
    • Accountancy graduates' employability: narrowing the gap between employers' expectations and students' perceptions - the role of H.E.

      Lawson, Alison; Neary, Siobhan; Anastasiou, Efimia Filothei (University of DerbyThe American College of Greece - Deree College, 2020-01-31)
      The purpose of this research was to examine the necessary employability skills accountancy graduates are required to possess by exploring employers’ and students’ perceptions, against the backdrop of the prolonged financial crisis in Greece since 2009, and record-high graduate unemployment rates. From this, the study sought to understand how the two groups saw graduate student employability being developed as part of an accountancy and finance degree programme, and their transferability to the workplace. A focal point of concern in the study, was that of the value of an accounting and finance degree in relation to employability, which has never been fully investigated. The research adopted an interpretive qualitative approach. Thematic analysis was used to interpret data obtained from interviewing 30 students with an accounting and finance background from four different universities situated in Athens and Piraeus, and a sample of 12 employers across a wide range of industries (including the Big-4). The findings of this study provide support that employability, more for employers and less for students, was influenced by a variety of personal attributes and situational contextual factors, and was not simply about possessing certain generic skills which has so vastly dominated literature over the past years. To that end, a reframing of the factors that enhance accountancy graduate employability has been proposed, drawing from on a number of conceptual models in the existing literature and by the findings of the study. The study also contributes to the growing discussions regarding the general role of higher education in developing the necessary skills and attributes accounting graduates will require for the profession. Twenty percent of the student cohort were working in a relevant accountancy position at the time of the interview, and the analysis of the results shows that there were marked differences in the cohort’s perceptions, between students and those that had graduated and were in a working position. This suggests that a longitudinal qualitative research study could be a sound basis for future research in order to explore whether the working environment influences the perceptions of students as they transition into their job roles resulting in their opinions changing.
    • Transforming a Research Concept into Commercial Practice: Addressing the ‘Hurdles’ of Single-Species eDNA-based Detection

      Sweet, Michael; Robinson, Louise; Burian, Alfred; Troth, Christopher (University of Derby, 2020-01-15)
      The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for measuring and monitoring biodiversity has been identified as a novel molecular based method to complement more commonly utilised traditional ecological sampling techniques. It is a time and cost-efficient technique, which is rapidly advancing due to the capabilities of low eDNA detection levels. As the efficiency of the technique has increased, commercial organisations and end-users have gained a greater interest in its application. Despite this, the technique is currently only commercially available from a select few service providers. In the UK, the main target species for commercial scale eDNA-based detection is the great crested newt (Triturus cristatus). Interest has now been sparked for the development of eDNA assays to detect various other species, both for use as a regulated informative tool and a conservation aid. However, many recent studies have highlighted various limitations associated with the use of eDNA-based detection and this appears to be hampering commercialisation of this tool. eDNA-based detection methods remain relatively underdeveloped and un-validated for use as reliable and accurate widespread monitoring programs and other such applications. Here, the so called ‘hurdles’ associated with the development and validation of eDNA-based methods and its use as a fully available commercial service are reviewed and addressed, in order to develop and validate a commercially applicable eDNA assay for the endangered white-clawed crayfish, Austropotamobius pallipes, as a target organism. When designing novel species-specific assays, detailed validation steps need to be undertaken, ensuring they perform under various conditions, habitats, and which sampling methods should be utilised. Currently, more traditional methods used to asses populations of white-clawed crayfish (such as trapping and hand searching) are becoming increasingly more difficult to undertake as the species become rarer and populations more fragmented. Such techniques are therefore expensive (with regard to time spent surveying) and often result in low probability of detection. A new species-specific qPCR assay to detect white-clawed crayfish was developed and tested under various conditions both ex-situ (laboratory and mesocosms) and in-situ (ponds and rivers) to explore the optimum sampling strategy giving the most reliable results. Experiments were also conducted on a wider scale to determine the impact of DNA degradation and seasonal influence on eDNA persistence. Interestingly, this thesis illustrates that sample collection choice is not simple, and the ‘best’ methodology was shown to vary between habitat type. This indicates that great care should be taken when designing any such assays and implementing them in the field. Furthermore, this study highlights that a ‘standard operating procedure’ for eDNA-based detection in the commercial sector may not be possible and this will have to be explored on an assay by assay basis. Alongside case studies from real-world application of the technique, recommendations are made on how this novel eDNA assay can be used for the commercial practice of white-clawed crayfish assessment.
    • Shape grammar based adaptive building envelopes: Towards a novel climate responsive facade systems for sustainable architectural design in Vietnam.

      Ceranic, Boris; Tracada, Eleni; Nguyen, Ngoc Son Tung (University of Derby, 2020-01-14)
      The concept of a dynamic building enclosure is a relatively novel and unexplored area in sustainable architectural design and engineering and as such, could be considered a new paradigm. These façade systems, kinetic and adaptive in their nature, can provide opportunities for significant reductions in building energy use and CO2 emissions, whilst at the same time having a positive impact on the quality of the indoor environment. Current research in this area reports on a growing increase in the application of new generative design approaches and computational techniques to assist the design of adaptable kinetic systems and to help quantify their relationships between the building envelope and the environment. In this research, a novel application of shape grammar for the design of kinetic façade shading systems has been developed, based upon a generative design approach that controls the creation of complex shape composites, starting from a set of initial shapes and pre-defined rules of their composition. Shape grammars provide an interesting generative design archetype in which a set of shape rules can be recursively applied to create a language of designs, with the rules themselves becoming descriptors of such generated designs. The research is inspired by traditional patterns and ornaments in Vietnam, seen as an important symbol of its cultural heritage, especially in the era of globalisation where many developing countries, including Vietnam, are experiencing substantial modernist transformations in their cities. Those are often perceived as a cause of the loss of both visual and historical connections with indigenous architectural origins and traditions. This research hence investigates how these aspects of spatial culture could be interpreted and used in designing of novel façade shading systems that draw their inspiration from Vietnamese vernacular styles and cultural identity. At the same time, they also have to satisfy modern building performance demands, such as a reduction in energy consumption and enhanced indoor comfort. This led to the exploration of a creative form-finding for different building façade shading configurations, the performance of which was tested via simulation and evaluation of indoor daylight levels and corresponding heating and cooling loads. The developed façade structures are intended to adapt real-time, via responding to both results of an undertaken simulation and data-regulation protocols responsible for sensing and processing building performance data. To this extent, a strategy for BIM integrated sustainable design analysis (SDA) has also been deliberated, as a framework for exploring the integration of building management systems (BMS) into smart building environments (SBEs). Finally, the research reports on the findings of a prototype system development and its testing, allowing continuous evaluation of multiple solutions and presenting an opportunity for further improvement via multi-objective optimisation, which would be very difficult to do, if not impossible, with conventional design methods.
    • Creative ageing: participation, connection & flourishing. A mixed-methods research study exploring experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a systematic review of literature and focus groups with older people

      Bradfield, E. (University of Derby, 2020)
      Background: A rapidly increasing ageing population has significant consequences for the demography, health and wellbeing of our society. Participatory arts programmes and activities can contribute to health promotion in later life, by providing community-based, non-clinical opportunities for meaningful engagement and interaction. To date, academic research studies have mainly focused on people living with dementia and have investigated the benefits of therapeutic and / or musical interventions. However, little research has been conducted with healthy older people participating in other arts’ domains such as the visual arts or been approached through a creative ageing lens. Creative ageing is an inherently interdisciplinary field of enquiry, which sits at the intersection of arts and health and social gerontology and places emphasis on the role of creative engagement in enhancing personal growth, creativity and building social connections in later life. Aims: This thesis uses a mixed-methods approach to explore experiences of participatory arts engagement in later life through a study of literature and focus-group conversations. The study considers existing theory within social gerontology, arts and health and the creative ageing movement in a conceptual review, providing the context that underpins the thesis. A mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to examine the published evidence on the effect of participatory arts on wellbeing, quality of life and cognitive function and to explore distinctions between engagement in different arts domains and levels of participation. A two stage focus group study aims to investigate whether themes developed from the review resonate with older people’s own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation in the arts in later life. Methods: The study employs a multi-stance approach to data collection and analysis, through a mixed-methods methodology which draws on the traditions of pragmatism and phenomenography. First, a conceptual review explores key concepts in social gerontology, definitions of arts and health and approaches to ageing, including the burgeoning field of creative ageing, providing the theoretical context for the thesis. Next, a mixed-methods systematic review is conducted to identify relevant qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods studies of the effect of participatory arts engagement in later life and older people’s subjective experiences of engagement. Quantitative results from studies in the review are analysed through an exploratory meta-analysis of the topic of subjective wellbeing and through narrative analysis, categorised by wellbeing and cognitive function domains for clarity. To employ creative methods in the analysis, as this is a study about arts engagement, qualitative findings are analysed using thematic and I-poem analysis, which places emphasis on the older people’s voice. The qualitative and quantitative analyses are then integrated to provide a combined evidence synthesis of experiences and effects of participatory arts engagement in later life. A two-stage focus group study is then carried out to explore whether the themes developed from the review resonated with participants’ own subjective experiences of participatory arts engagement and to explore barriers to participation. The first stage of the study involves three focus group sessions with groups of older people, which took place at three locations in Cambridge. Themes from the review were used as the stimulus for conversation and provide the structure for analysis. The findings are further scrutinised using Seligman’s (2011) PERMA model of wellbeing (Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning and Achievement) as a framework, focusing on the elements of wellbeing which contribute to a meaningful life. Stage two of the study examines barriers to participation with a more socioeconomically diverse sample of older people. This stage involves two additional focus groups which were held in Peterborough and Wisbech. Findings are re-analysed in light of the second study and identifies both barriers and facilitators to participation in the arts. Systematic reviews play an integral role in the production of research knowledge. However, review reports often remain in academia, without the findings being shared with relevant stakeholders. By further examining the systematic review findings through focus group interviews with older people, this thesis may help to close the gap between research and practice. Additionally, enabling groups of older people to discuss the findings meant that the study could be contextualised in contemporary group settings, increasing the quality and relevance of the review and reflecting participants’ voice. Concepts developed during the analysis are discussed in the final chapter and presented in a conceptual framework of creative ageing. Findings: The mixed-methods systematic review identified 33 relevant studies which investigated the effects of participation in dance, visual arts, creative writing and theatre on wellbeing, quality of life and / or cognitive function for healthy older people. Quantitative analysis produced as part of the systematic review process showed statistically significant improvements to some aspects of wellbeing following engagement in dance and visual arts activities, and enhanced cognitive function in the domains of general intellectual ability and attention after participation in different art forms. The exploratory meta-analysis showed an overall combined effect size of g=0.18 indicating the effect of dance on enhanced subjective wellbeing. Qualitative findings were developed into five themes: making and creating; connections and communities; identity; the ‘feel good’ factor; and body, mind & soul. Additionally, I-poem analysis revealed an association between positive emotion and participation in dance and a poem titled ‘I feel happy when I’m dancing’ was produced as a creative output. Findings from the review were shared in a two-stage focus group study. In the first stage of the focus group study, three supplementary themes were developed to those identified above: engagement as ritual; emotion and engagement; and ikigai. In stage two, an iteration of the theme of engagement as ritual was developed into spiritual resonance: engagement as ritual, along with a further theme around transitions of ageing. These themes elucidate the role of the arts and cultural engagement in supporting people to remain active and involved in their communities in later life and which may provide a ‘reason for being’. The study also allowed a connection to be made between the ritual of engagement in the arts and the sense of belonging felt by bringing people together creatively, in addition to the potentially detrimental effect of non-participation on subjective wellbeing. Transitions of ageing provides evidence for the role of creative engagement in challenging perceptions of ageing and enabling opportunities to explore a new sense of self in later life. In the second stage of the focus study, barriers to participation were categorised as: infrastructure, situational and dispositional barriers, as well as factors which might facilitate participation, classified as: intra-personal, inter-personal and external factors. Infrastructure barriers emphasised the need for accessible transport links which enable older people to access arts and cultural activities, particularly in more rural areas. Personal circumstances including finance and relationship status were highlighted as situational barriers preventing participation, while dispositional factors including low levels of selfefficacy and literacy may inhibit engagement. Findings also explicated factors which may provide solutions that improve access and inclusivity for older people wishing to participate in the arts, including offering taster sessions, befriending schemes and reducing financial and access restrictions. Finally, a conceptual model was developed which highlighted three key interwoven concepts of creative ageing: participation, connection and flourishing. Conclusions: This thesis substantiates existing evidence on the potential role of creative engagement in enhancing quality of life, promoting social connectedness and thus reducing loneliness in later life. It also contributes to the mixed-methods’ paradigm discourse through its innovative use of a creative method within the systematic review and the multiple-stance approach to the thesis. The study contributes new knowledge by establishing a meaningful association between creative ageing and human flourishing and provides evidence for the need for more accessible community-based arts activities which encourage older people to participate and develop positive connections. Factors which might inhibit or encourage participation should be considered in the design of creative programmes to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive to a diverse range of older people. In conclusion, creative engagement may contribute to developing more resilient, creative and healthier communities within which our ageing population are enabled to flourish. With an established evidence base on the benefits of participating in the performing arts, including dance for promoting subjective wellbeing, there is now an opportunity for us to expand our perceptions and understanding of creativity in later life through further research which embraces a broader definition of creative ageing.
    • Reimagining the blues: A new narrative for 21st century blues music

      Martin, Nigel James (University of Derby, 2019-12-11)
      This project explores the extent to which blues music in the 21st century is linked to its cultural past through identification and examination of the key concepts and relationships that may contribute to a contemporary understanding of the blues and cultural artefacts, as circulated and consumed in popular music practices. Despite the vast amount of scholarship on blues music, including revisionist literature that emerged in the late 20th century and in the first decade of this century, there has been no singular study of popular music or the blues that has specifically addressed the sociocultural and musicological links between the traditions of the past in the context of 21st century popular music in sufficient depth and so research into contemporary interpretations of blues music as it exists in the 21st century remains relatively scarce. This project provides an account of the cultural resonances and development of the blues genre in popular music culture to establish what the blues means, how it means, and to who it is meaningful through the formulation of a conceptual framework offered as a unique methodological tool for identifying and exploring blues music in the 21st century. Within this interdisciplinary framework, concepts including those concerned with technological mediation, intertextuality, cultural identity, memory, and meaning, are mobilised, refined, and combined in order to reveal and explore problematic relationships that exist in and between concepts of race, place, and technology as connected to blues music in the 21st century. Through an ethnomusicological strategy of enquiry and largely inductive approach to the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, the results of analyses conducted using a broad range of methods including music theoretic analysis, semiotics, intertextuality, survey, and interview are presented in order to both address how and why a contemporary blues music revival may be perceived to be taking place and to offer a fresh historical review of the context in which the blues has developed from a 21st century platform. This study finds that popular music performers and consumers are continually reimagining the blues through engagement with the traditions of the past and accordingly argues for an extension to the boundaries of blues music in its stylistic and cultural categorisation in 21st-century discourse. It is also argued that the results of research presented here also go some way in illustrating both how such engagement with the traditions of the past may directly reflect tensions in contemporary society, and how blues-marketed artefacts are demarcated and declassified within the music industry.
    • Celebrity science culture: Young people's inspiration or entertainment?

      Radford, Neil; Forman, Dawn; Dent, Maria Fay (University of Derby, 2019-11-07)
      This thesis explores the influence of celebrity scientists on the uptake of science by young people, post-GCSE; the phenomenon is based upon media assertions that young people were continuing with science as a result of the increased media presence of scientists: the ‘Brian Cox effect’. Research design is set within a constructivist-interpretivist paradigm and case study framework, employing a narrative, story-telling approach to data collection and presentation. Narratives require ‘actors’, and as such the ‘lead actors’ in this research are: the conceptual framework; a narrative approach to data presentation; and the sociological perspectives of science capital and habitus. Together they guide development of the ‘bricolaged’ methodology, underpin the innovative script-writing approach to data presentation, which are used to illuminate the phenomenon of celebrity science culture. Data collection includes two participant groups: eighteen science students (‘A’ Level, undergraduate, and postgraduate), and five celebrity scientists (Sir David Attenborough, Baroness Susan Greenfield, Professor Steve Jones, Professor Mark Miodownik MBE, and Roma Agrawal MBE). Interviews explore science memories and influences, as well as perceptions of the role of celebrity science and scientists. The rationale and significance of this research lies within two strands: knowledge-based and methodological. It offers new knowledge to the field of celebrity science influence, with the potential to inform science education policy makers, and the methodological bricolage of conceptual framework development and creative narrative practices offer new dimensions to narrative research. An intrinsic, long-standing ‘passion’ for science was found to be the most influential factor. Advanced subject knowledge of teachers and lecturers, alongside opportunities to work within authentic and meaningful contexts, were highlighted as important in raising aspirations, and building science capital. Celebrity scientists were perceived as having the potential to influence young people, with authentic, inspiring contexts, presented in an entertaining format potentially optimising this influence. Science per se, rather than the ‘scientist’ him/herself, was more influential, contrasting with the traditional view of celebrity influence. The perceptions of science students are reflected in the findings from celebrity scientists. Engagement with children and young people was considered part of their role, not only to raise aspirations, but also to increasingly embed science culturally; their own passion for science the impetus for involvement. Partnership with other stakeholders was recognised as key, especially teachers and parents. ‘Personification’ was also recognised as important, acknowledging the responsibility that brings for their work to be truthful and credible. The thesis concludes with recommendations for future policy and practice, offering a theoretical framework and bespoke checklist, derived from the data, to support dialogue between stakeholders. This includes exploring use of the narratives as a tool to engage pupils with their own science journeys, with the intention of enhancing their science capital. The concept of “message to a name” is introduced, in contrast to the “name to a message” phenomenon of celebrity influence.
    • Effects of the graphene on the mechanical properties of fibre reinforced polymer - a numerical and experimental study

      Lu, Yiling; Dean, Angela; Pawlik, Marzena (University of Derby, 2019-11)
      Mechanical properties of carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) are greatly affected by interphase between fibre and matrix. Coating fibre with nanofillers, i.e. graphene nanoplatelets (GNPs) or carbon nanotubes (CNTs) has suggested improving the interphase properties. Although the interphase is of small thickness, it plays an important role. Quantitative characterisation of the interphase region using an experimental technique such as nanoindentation, dynamic mechanical mapping remains challenging. More recently, computational modelling has become an alternative way to study the effects of interphase on CFRP properties. Simulation work of CFRP reinforced with nanofillers mainly focuses on CNTs grown on the fibre surface called fuzzy fibre reinforced polymers. Modelling work on the effects of GNPs on CFRP properties is rather limited. This project aims to study numerically and experimentally the effects of the nano-reinforced interphase on mechanical properties of CFRP. A multiscale model was developed to study the effects of the GNPs reinforced interphase on the elastic properties of CFRP laminate. The effective material properties of the reinforced interphase were determined by considering transversely isotropic features of GNPs and various orientation. The presence of GNPs in the interphase enhances the elastic properties of CFRP lamina, and the enhancement depends on its volume fraction. The incorporation of randomly orientated GNPs in the interphase increased longitudinal and transverse lamina moduli by 5 and 12 % respectively. While aligned GNPs in the interphase yielded less improvement. The present multiscale modelling was able to reproduce experimental measurements for GNPs reinforced CFRP laminates well. The multiscale model was also proven successful in predicting fuzzy fibre reinforced polymer. Moreover, the interphase properties were inversely quantified by combining with the multiscale model with some standard material testing. A two-step optimisation process was proposed, which involved the microscale and macroscale modelling. Based on the experimental data on flexural modulus, the lamina properties were derived at macroscale modelling, which were later used to determine the interphase properties from the optimisation at the microscale. The GNPs reinforced interphase modulus was 129.1 GPa which is significantly higher than epoxy coated carbon fibre of 60.51 GPa. In the experiment, a simple spraying technique was proposed to introduce GNPs and CNTs into the CFRP. Carbon fibre prepreg was sprayed with a nanofillers-ethanol solution using an airbrush. The extremely low volume fraction of nanofillers introduced between prepreg plies caused a noticeable improvement in mechanical properties, i.e. 7% increase in strain energy release. For the first time, the GNPs-ethanol-epoxy solution was sprayed directly on the carbon fibre fabric. Resultant nano-reinforced interphase created on fibre surface showed moderate improvement in samples flexural properties. In conclusion, a multiscale modelling framework was developed and tested. The GNPs reinforced interphase improved the mechanical properties of CFRP. This enhancement depended on the orientation and volume fraction of GNPs in the interphase. Spraying was a cost-effective method to introduce nanofillers in CFRP and showed huge potential for the scale-up manufacturing process. In a combination of multiscale framework and optimisation process, the nanofillers reinforced interphase was for the first time determined. This framework could be used to optimise the development process of new fibre-reinforced composites.
    • Determining the factors which positively affect the intra-family chief executive officer succession of UK small and medium-sized companies

      Jones, Christine; Poultney, Val; Jones, Richard (University of Derby, 2019-10-02)
      A change in Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is a critical event in the life of any business. For family businesses the stakes can be higher, as failure may lead to the dual issues of business collapse and significant family harm. Intra-family business CEO succession is the transfer of leadership to a different member of the family and is a strategic direction family businesses take, even if sacrificing performance across generations to secure long-term control benefits. The research aims to determine the factors which positively affect the intra-family CEO succession of UK Small and Medium companies as gaps were identified in the research of businesses that had been through a succession across a range of areas. This research uses a deductive research design to test the existing theory and combines theoretical conceptualisations developed within the literature review with the aim of providing new theory and insight into the issues. Quantitative data was collected from primary and secondary sources from 230 UK Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) which identified as family businesses and had been through a succession. The questionnaires were completed by company directors and the questions consisted of measures relating to the succession event, processes and outcomes. The data collected was tested empirically using process tracing and regression analysis. Findings show that disagreements relating to the initial planning made an intra-family CEO more likely as did a discussion of passing control to a professional manager. It was found that a family business with higher proportions of senior management, higher levels of generational involvement and higher levels of experience led to an increasingly likely succession to an intra-family CEO. This finding took an additional step in the understanding of elements of the Family Influence on Power, Experience and Culture model. The thesis also found, empirically, that satisfaction with the succession process increased with the presence of advisors and that there was a positive relationship between director stability and profit and a negative relationship with management stability and profit. The findings indicated that a degree of externality in the succession contributes to a positive intra-family CEO succession outcome.
    • From key account management to strategic partnerships: critical success factors for co-creation of value

      Lawson, Alison; Longbottom, David; Veasey, Christian Michael (University of Derby, 2019-09-27)
      Background and rationale for this study: This study investigates Key Account Management (KAM) from a Marketing and Business to Business perspective. A review of literature finds that in recent years marketing scholars have proposed that KAM is developing from its traditional roots in sales management to a greater focus on relational aspects; for example, including elements of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Service Dominant Logic (SDL). However, whilst the principles of CRM and SDL are well grounded within the marketing literature there is little empirical evidence to show practical application within KAM, which this study will seek to address. Aim: To establish the Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for KAM and the personal characteristics of Key Account Managers (KAMs) in order to develop a new model to inform and guide practitioners and academics. Methodology: The study aligns with a pragmatic research philosophy, where mixed methods are applied. The primary research includes a survey (n=71) and semi-structured interviews (n=15). Respondents were primarily KAMs from a variety of business sectors. The decision to follow pragmatism supported the use of mixed methods as well as modes of analysis and a continuous cycle of abductive reasoning while being guided by the research aim and objectives and the desire to produce socially meaningful knowledge. Pragmatism offers a strong emphasis on research questions, communication, and shared meaning making and seeks to achieve a balance between subjectivity and objectivity in research findings. Findings: This research captured a shifting contemporary KAM approach where KAM is seen as a facilitator of on-going processes of voluntary exchange through collaborative, value creating relationships, leading to the development of strategic partnerships. The study finds that amongst KAMs whilst there is strong recognition of CSFs in KAM, CRM, and SDL, there are inconsistent and weak applications in practice. The study explores the reasons for this and proposes that more work is needed to better interpret and translate the language and rhetoric and theoretical principles. Contribution: A new model for KAM is proposed showing the CSFs for implementation and a shift of emphasis from KAM to Key Account Relationships (KAR). The model covers the CSFs in CRM, and SDL, and provides guidance for issues in business processes, leadership roles, role clarity, remuneration and performance measurement, knowledge management, and skills, competencies and experience.
    • Parallaxical identities: Architectural semantics of contemporary arts institutions and the curation of cultural identity

      Tracada, Eleni; D'Arcy-Reed, Louis (University of Derby, 2019-09-19)
      The research project interrogates the identity forming principles beneath contemporary arts museum architecture across physical and psychoanalytical dimensions. In identifying a metaphysical distance, or barrier, between the unconscious of the cultural architectural intervention and the identity within the cities’ fabric, the state of a parallaxical identity manifests itself. The parallaxical identity, developed from Slavoj Žižek’s parallax gap in psychoanalysis, elicits the presentation of ego-ideal, ideal-ego, and superego of architectural interventions seen as regenerative for culture, the city and its communities. Developing the parallax within architecture allows the thesis to include a rigorous interrogation of theory across disciplines of psychoanalysis, architecture, contemporary art and museology, whilst also remediating the position of architectural practice beyond its conventional boundaries and rhetoric. Adopting a mixed methodology across theoretical and practical disciplines, the thesis reveals unconscious interpretations and embodied analyses through a weaving of para-architectural methods including, photography, questionnaires, exploratory installations, written prose, and imagined cultural visualisations. Three major arts institutions act as case study analysands for psychoanalytical observation and diagnosis to take place, informing the resulting framework for observing parallaxical identities, whilst also producing recommendations for the future of the cultural institution of the museum/gallery. Alongside the thesis’ position as a critical commentary, a supplementary PhD exhibition proposal centered on Parallaxical Identities questions the role of architecture as a discipline that necessitates para-architectural and psychoanalytic methodologies, whilst also presenting new artistic works in response to the thesis to reveal to audiences’ the haptic and hidden structures within architecture and the ‘expected or unexpected’ parallaxical interventions of place.
    • Dynamic collaboration and secure access of services in multi-cloud environments

      Liu, Lu; Zhu, Shao Ying; Kazim, Muhammad (University of DerbyCollege of Engineering and Technology, 2019-08-19)
      The cloud computing services have gained popularity in both public and enterprise domains and they process a large amount of user data with varying privacy levels. The increasing demand for cloud services including storage and computation requires new functional elements and provisioning schemes to meet user requirements. Multi-clouds can optimise the user requirements by allowing them to choose best services from a large number of services offered by various cloud providers as they are massively scalable, can be dynamically configured, and delivered on demand with large-scale infrastructure resources. A major concern related to multi-cloud adoption is the lack of models for them and their associated security issues which become more unpredictable in a multi-cloud environment. Moreover, in order to trust the services in a foreign cloud users depend on their assurances given by the cloud provider but cloud providers give very limited evidence or accountability to users which offers them the ability to hide some behaviour of the service. In this thesis, we propose a model for multi-cloud collaboration that can securely establish dynamic collaboration between heterogeneous clouds using the cloud on-demand model in a secure way. Initially, threat modelling for cloud services has been done that leads to the identification of various threats to service interfaces along with the possible attackers and the mechanisms to exploit those threats. Based on these threats the cloud provider can apply suitable mechanisms to protect services and user data from these threats. In the next phase, we present a lightweight and novel authentication mechanism which provides a single sign-on (SSO) to users for authentication at runtime between multi-clouds before granting them service access and it is formally verified. Next, we provide a service scheduling mechanism to select the best services from multiple cloud providers that closely match user quality of service requirements (QoS). The scheduling mechanism achieves high accuracy by providing distance correlation weighting mechanism among a large number of services QoS parameters. In the next stage, novel service level agreement (SLA) management mechanisms are proposed to ensure secure service execution in the foreign cloud. The usage of SLA mechanisms ensures that user QoS parameters including the functional (CPU, RAM, memory etc.) and non-functional requirements (bandwidth, latency, availability, reliability etc.) of users for a particular service are negotiated before secure collaboration between multi-clouds is setup. The multi-cloud handling user requests will be responsible to enforce mechanisms that fulfil the QoS requirements agreed in the SLA. While the monitoring phase in SLA involves monitoring the service execution in the foreign cloud to check its compliance with the SLA and report it back to the user. Finally, we present the use cases of applying the proposed model in scenarios such as Internet of Things (IoT) and E-Healthcare in multi-clouds. Moreover, the designed protocols are empirically implemented on two different clouds including OpenStack and Amazon AWS. Experiments indicate that the proposed model is scalable, authentication protocols result only in a limited overhead compared to standard authentication protocols, service scheduling achieves high efficiency and any SLA violations by a cloud provider can be recorded and reported back to the user.
    • Epistemology, theory and Jung: Towards an analytical sport psychology

      Sheffield, David; Cowen, Andrew; University of Derby (University of Derby, 2019-07-22)
      Sport psychology has historically adopted a positivist and post-positivist conceptualization of science at the expense of systematic engagement with epistemology itself (Whaley & Krane, 2011). In this thesis it will be argued that positivist orthodoxy does not hold a monopoly over the idea of science, and that future theoretical developments within sport psychology will require more systematic engagement with epistemology. In order to explore this proposition, the thesis examines the epistemology developed in C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology, an approach which has been generally overlooked within the sport psychology literature. In addition, more recent epistemological developments within psychology are considered with respect to current and future theorising within sport psychology. The thesis is a “desktop study” comprising of 8 chapters. The introduction (chapter 1) outlines how the current crisis within psychological science is epistemological, not methodological, in nature. Chapter 2 identifies key foundational challenges to sport psychology based on positivism; and introduces C. G. Jung’s analytical psychology which developed out of the rejection of a positivist conceptualization of science. Chapter 3 introduces aspects of a new epistemological framework (i.e., unconsciousness~consciousness; the psyche as a process) based on the work of Jung and identifies points of convergence between these contributions and more recent theorising. Chapter 4 considers the implications of analytical psychology with respect to momentum in sports. An original theoretical account of psychological momentum is outlined, based on libido theory (Jung, 1960), and the implications are considered with respect to current literature within sport psychology. Chapter 5 considers more recent developments in psychology (i.e., cybernetic systems paradigm, idiographic science) which have important parallels with analytical psychology, and which have important implications for the future of sport psychology as a science. Chapter 6 outlines an original theoretical perspective with respect to our understanding of performance variation in sport (Cowen, Nesti, & Cheetham, 2014), based on epistemological and theoretical developments outlined in the preceding chapters. Chapter 7 considers the implications of the epistemology outlined in the thesis with respect to current and future theorising in sport psychology. The central theme of this chapter is temporality, which, it is argued is necessarily an axiomatic component of future theoretical work, in order to overcome the foundational problems associated with a positivist conceptualisation of science. In the final concluding chapter (Chapter 8) it is proposed that the provisional epistemological criteria outlined in the thesis (i.e., subject~object, conceptual integration, being~becoming, teleology, temporality) offers a basis on which an analytical sport psychology could be developed. With respect to sport psychology, these criteria suggest that future developments should focus more on understanding performance variation itself rather than prioritising the study of psychological constructs, or objectivist representations, associated with performance. It is concluded that the “personal equation” – the creativity, judgement, intuition and/or insight of the researcher - represents an important component of the process of knowledge construction; which in turn necessitates collaboration as a necessary counterpoint to individual subjectivity. Taken together, this thesis suggests that analytical psychology, despite historically sitting outside of psychological science, can make an important contribution to the future of sport psychology as a scientific discipline.
    • Identification of tourism developmental success factors: Benchmarking the Malawi tourism industry

      Heap, Tim; Kandaya, Hastings (University of Derby, 2019-07-05)
      This thesis explores the potential development of, and model for, tourism on Lake Malawi. It builds upon the historic associations attached to colonisation and how this led to the acceptance, for 30 years, of Western based models in formulating strategic plans for tourism development in Malawi. The study confirms that Lake Malawi has development potential to compete with existing successful destinations; both in the African region and the global tourism market. The thesis concentrates upon the power relationships between the current stakeholders involved in the development process and the potential mechanisms available to involve local people more in the heritage tourism dynamic. The study explores the concepts of historic tourism development within Malawi and assess the success or failure of those strategies within the context of sustainability. The primary research involved the local population within two areas on Lake Malawi, and the government employees responsible for the planning process. The literature pointed to there being a gap between theory and practice within Malawi. The study confirms the potential in the region by analysis of similar locations and their stages within the development process. The primary research confirmed the need to identify a successful model that could be adapted for the Lake Malawi. These are then adapted to country branding suggested for Malawi, as a basis for development models influenced by the branding imperative, which then concludes the circular argument built from the destination analysis.
    • Proposing a framework for organisational sustainable development: integrating quality management, supply chain management and sustainability

      Liyanage, Kapila; Bastas, Ali (University of DerbyCollege of Engineering and Technology, 2019-07-04)
      Increasing worldwide demand for products and services is applying a significant pressure on firms and supply chains operationally and financially, along with negative implications on our planet and the public. New approaches are highly required to be adopted by all members of the society, including the businesses for sustainable development. On the other hand, enabling such integration from an organisational management perspective is not straightforward, due to complexities and conflicts associated with balanced integration of economic, environmental and social agendas. Aimed towards addressing this important research requirement, a tailored conceptual framework is presented, constructed upon the synergistic principles of quality management (QM) and supply chain management (SCM) to facilitate integration of triple bottom line sustainability into business management. As the first step of the research, a systematic literature review was conducted, evidencing research gaps, and opportunities. A conceptual framework was established, and an implementation procedure to facilitate operationalisation of the framework was developed including a business diagnostic tool contribution, aiding current state maturity assessment as one of the key implementation steps. These developments were verified, validated and improved through the Delphi method, and applied at an organisation in Cyprus as the final validation step, using the action research method. Positive relationships were established and verified conceptually between the ISO 9001 principles of QM, supply chain integration principle of SCM, and organisational triple bottom line sustainability integration. The relative importance of these principles adopted in the framework were determined based on expert Delphi panel feedback. The action research demonstrated the application of the framework, outlined its contextual implementation factors, and concluded positive effects on the sustainable development of the participating organisation. Several contributions to knowledge were made, including the refinement of existing QM and SCM concepts for organisational sustainability improvement, and formulation of a practical framework including a novel diagnostic tool to facilitate integration of triple bottom line sustainability through QM and SCM. Particularly, a new management perspective was introduced with implications to many organisational managers that adopt ISO 9001 and supply chain integration principles, setting the way for extending these principles beyond their original QM and SCM agendas towards organisational sustainable development.
    • The economic, social & cultural impact of the social network site Facebook on the Irish radio industry 2011-2016

      Davies, Huw; McMahon, Daithí (University of DerbySchool of Arts: College of Arts, Humanities & Education, 2019-07-04)
      This thesis explores the relationship between radio and Facebook in Ireland during the period 2011-2016 and the ways in which radio production practices, audience participation and radio as a medium has changed over that time. From 2008, the Irish Radio Industry experienced a steep decline in advertising revenue which would continue for the next 8 years. Initially seen as a possible threat to the still largely analogue medium of radio, social media platforms such as Facebook were quickly adopted by radio stations and turned into tactical instruments to attract and engage audiences. Again, radio proved its resilience and adaptability to change. Although producers for the most part used Facebook creatively and skilfully to gather their audience in online communities, Facebook has unfortunately been found to be presenting some significant issues for the Irish Radio Industry. This thesis employed a multimethod approach to explore the research problem from the perspective of the audience, the producer, and the media texts. This triangulation approach allowed for a comprehensive examination and analysis of the research question and an objective set of findings. The research included interviews with Irish Radio Industry professionals (N=11) as well as direct observation of the presenters’/producers’ daily production routines. An extensive audience questionnaire was disseminated via Facebook and yielded a high response (N=416). Textual analysis of radio station Facebook pages offered insight into the bespoke nature of each station’s output including audience tastes and staff production strategies. A longitudinal content analysis allowed the researcher to measure the growth of radio station Facebook and Twitter followers over a two-and-a-half year period. This research highlights the importance of Facebook for radio stations in Ireland as an audio-visual tool to reach new young audiences who have grown up in the digital age, although it does expand the producers’ remit. I argue that radio stations can accumulate social, cultural and symbolic capital through Facebook, and in some instances, economic capital. This thesis highlights the changes that are representative of convergence culture where the audience play a much more active role in media production and dissemination, but their ‘play labour’ is simultaneously being commodified and profited from by Facebook and Google. This research offers case studies which include some best practice in terms of social media management and will therefore inform radio production teaching in higher education. Based on the research I propose that Irish radio needs to act fast while the industry is still afloat and engage in collaboration between commercial and public service radio, regulation of online advertisers and social network sites (SNSs) and innovation to engage further with digital media and find new revenue streams. Should action not be taken I predict the conglomeration of the commercial sector of the Irish Radio Industry and with it the loss of valuable and trusted public services from local communities.
    • C-Lean, an Integrated Approach to Achieve Circularity in Manufacturing Operations of SMEs

      Garza-Reyes, Jose Arturo; Anosike, Anthony I.; Nadeem, Simon Peter (University of DerbyCentre for Supply Chain Improvement, College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, 2019-06-21)
      Purpose – The concept of Circular Economy has gained momentum both because its emergence is timely and that it proposes the solution that makes businesses more responsible, considerate and ethical. While the concept is straightforward to understand, its practical implementation is challenging, especially for manufacturing SMEs. Its popularity and adoption, mainly at the macro level is at rise, however, that is not the case at the micro and meso level (SMEs). Without the participation of SMEs in adopting Circular Economy, its full spectrum cannot be realised, since SMEs contribution to national GDP is nearly 50% globally. Therefore this research focuses on developing an integrated framework to achieve circularity in manufacturing operations of SMEs by combining the principles of Circular Economy and Lean, as they both focus on waste elimination and value creation/ preservation. The proposed framework (C-LEAN) utilises Lean tools and methods mingled with Circular Economy principles to achieve circularity as well as efficiency and effectiveness in manufacturing operations, especially at SMEs level. Design/ Methodology/ Approach – The framework’s design/ development is inspired by existing frameworks proposed by scholars. While the framework might seem a reflection of DMAIC, it, however, differ in its core nature/ purpose as the former focuses on problem-solving existing in operations, while for the proposed framework an operation might be functioning fine but would require a change to deal with bigger picture issues, such as resource scarcity and environmental damage. The conceptual framework is verified through Delphi study, where experts (both the academic and the practitioners) have been engaged to analyse the construct and practicality of the conceptual development. The framework has been modified/ updated in light of Delphi study’s results. Furthermore, the framework has been validated through a case study method with partial implementation, where its initial phases have been applied in two medium size manufacturing companies, to test its practical relevance. Findings – It was realised that there is both a massive lack of awareness/ understanding about Circular Economy as well as skills/ knowledge to identify the potential and adopt Circular Economy in the manufacturing operations among SMEs. However, at the same time, the existence of a Circular Economy practice was observed in a company where the purpose was solely for economic benefit, without any knowledge or intent of participating in Circular Economy goals. The analysis of companies pointed to potential improvements, that will lead towards achieving circularity in those respective companies. At the same time, the framework serves as a tool for the companies to continuously monitor and explore potential to improve their operations and achieve efficiency with effectiveness in a circular manner. Research implication/ Limitation – This research’s novelty lies in the fact that the convergence of Circular Economy and Lean has not been explored by scholars to its full extent and that no such framework has been developed earlier by combining the strengths of two concepts to benefit the management of manufacturing operations, especially at SMEs level. A major limitation is the partial implementation of the framework with the projected scenario of the potential outputs. The full implementation of the framework was not realistic, as it requires time to see the observable outcomes as well as changes in processes and capital to acquire resources. Practical implications – The proposed framework is of greater practical relevance as it is grounded in two concepts of Circular Economy and Lean, and benefits from the approach/ design of earlier developed frameworks. Moreover, an amalgamation of Circular Economy with Lean further affirms its relevance as Lean has been widely appraised and adopted among the manufacturing sector.
    • The cryptic and transboundary nature of ghost gear in the Maldivian Archipelago

      Sweet, Michael; Huck, Maren; Beaumont, Nel; Stelfox, Martin (University of Derby, 2019-06-11)
      Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), more commonly referred to as ghost gear, is a global issue that impacts many marine organisms worldwide. In the Maldivian archipelago a large number of olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea) are found entangled in these nets (more commonly referred to as ghost nets) each year. However, the origin of these nets or turtles are unknown considering fishing with the use of nets is restricted to the bait fisheries within the exclusive economic zone of the Maldives. Therefore, ghost gear has a transboundary and cryptic nature, making it difficult to assess the environmental impact and origin of the gear. This thesis aimed to develop new tools and techniques which could be utilised to examine these unknowns. I revealed in a literature review (Chapter 1) that research in ghost gear entanglements amongst marine megafauna are predominantly focussed in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. However, Indian, Arctic and southern Oceans are far less studied. Additionally, the majority of strategies to tackle ghost gear were centred around curative measures, such as ghost gear retrieval. I advise that future solutions, best practices and research should favour preventative rather than curative methods in ghost gear management and research. Statistical classifies (Chapter 2) were built in R to predict the probability of a net entangling a turtle. It was highlighted that nets with larger mesh sizes and the absence of floats were major gear characteristics that increased the likelihood of turtle entanglement. In addition, the time of year was an important variable with a higher chance of turtle entanglements in nets found during the northeast monsoon (November – April). Unfortunately, grouping of the nets by fisheries was not possible, beyond a broad classification. This was likely a result of the wide variety of nets used in the region. However, gill and trawl nets were recognised as high-risk fisheries. Regardless of the difficulties of assigning an origin of the nets, I was able to estimate the scale of the problem. Between 3,400 and 12,200 turtles could have become entangled in ghost nets over the 51-month study period, meaning this region has the highest turtle entanglement rate in ghost nets worldwide (0.17). Nesting and sightings of free-swimming individuals are rare and therefore the majority of entangled turtles do not originate from the Maldives. To discover the source population of these entangled olive ridleys we utilised a mixed stock analyses of mtDNA from samples of turtles entangled in nets in the Maldives (n = 38) and compared them to nesting stocks from published literature (Sri Lanka, east India and northern Australia). We were able to fill in data gaps in phylogenetics by including samples from previously undescribed nesting populations, such as those in Oman and improved resolution by including longer sequences from east India in our analyses (Chapter 3). Results suggest that the majority of entangled olive ridleys originate from east Indian (73%) and Sri Lankan (23%) genetic stocks when no population estimates were included in model design. This meant we could estimate the impact of ghost nets on these populations. Recorded ghost net entanglements may impact yearly recruitment of east Indian populations by 0.48% however a staggering 41% of the Sri Lankan population are thought to be negatively affected by the drifting nets. I then attempted to age ghost gear found drifting in the Maldives, and provided additional evidence to locate possible sites of origin. Percentage cover of biofouling communities and capitulum length of the goose barnacle (Lepas anatifera) provided the most robust metrics to estimate minimum drift times (Chapter 4). Lagrangian simulations (forced by Ocean Surface Current Analyses Realtime OSCAR) could then be utilised to backtrack drifting ghost gear to a putative origin. This analysis highlighted that the origin of these nets overlapped with purse seine (predominantly from Spain and France) and gill net fisheries operating in the area. Moreover, the models show that some of the nets originate close to the Indian and Sri Lanka shorelines, suggesting that small scale artisanal fisheries may provide additional high risk, contributing to ghost nets drifting into the Maldives and entangling turtles. In summary it is hoped that this thesis advances our knowledge on ghost gear significantly. Moreover, this thesis provides the information and tools necessary for the Olive Ridley Project (a British registered charity, tackling this issue face on), along with other stakeholders (government and non-government) in order to better manage resources and combat the ghost gear issue within the Indian Ocean.
    • Smart City: A Traffic Signal Control System for Reducing the Effects of Traffic Congestion in Urban Environments

      Hardy, James (University of Derby, 2019-06-10)
      This thesis addresses the detrimental effects of road traffic congestion in the Smart City environment. Urban congestion is a recognisable problem that affects much of the world’s population through delays and pollution although the delays are not an entirely modern phenomena. The progressive increase in urbanisation and the numbers of powered road vehicles have led to an increasing need to control traffic in order to maintain flows and avoid gridlock situations. Signalised methods typically control flows through reduction, frequently increasing delays, holding traffic within the urban area and increasing local pollution. The current levels of vehicular congestion may relate to an increase in traffic volumes of 300% over 50 years while traffic control methods based on delaying moving traffic have changed very little. Mobility and Socio-economics indicate that the number of active road vehicles will increase or at least remain at the same levels in the foreseeable future and as a result congestion will continue to be a problem. The Smart City concept is intended to improve the urban environment through the application of advanced technology. Within the context of road transportation, the urban area consists of a wide variety of low to moderate speed transportation systems ranging from pedestrians to heavy goods vehicles. Urban roadways have a large number of junctions where the transport systems and flows interact presenting additional and more complex challenges as compared to high speed dual carriageways and motorways. Congestion is a function of population density while car ownership is an indicator of affluence; road congestion can therefore be seen as an indicator of local economic and social prosperity. Congestion cannot be resolved while there is a social benefit to urbanisation, high density living and a materialistic population. Recognising that congestion cannot be resolved, this research proposes a method to reduce the undesirable consequences and side effects of traffic congestion such as transit delays, inefficient fuel use and chemical pollution without adversely affecting the social and economic benefits. Existing traffic signal systems manage traffic flows based on traffic arrivals, prediction and traffic census models. Flow modification is accomplished by introducing delays through signal transition in order to prioritise a conflicting direction. It is incorrectly assumed that traffic will always be able to move and therefore signal changes will always have an effect. Signal transitions result in lost time at the junction. Existing Urban Traffic Control systems have limited capability as they are unable to adapt immediately to unexpected conditions, have a finite response, cannot modify stationary flow and may introduce needless losses through inefficient transition. This research proposes and develops Available Forward Road Capacity (AFRC), an algorithm with the ability to detect the onset of congestion, actively promote clearance, prevent unnecessary losses due to ineffective transitions and can influence other AFRC equipped junctions to ensure the most efficient use of unoccupied road capacity. AFRC is an additional function that can be applied to existing traffic controllers, becoming active only during congestion conditions; as a result it cannot increase congestion above current levels. By reducing the duration of congestion periods, AFRC reduces delays, improves the efficiency of fuel use and reduces pollution. AFRC is a scalable, multi-junction generalised solution which is able to manage traffic from multiple directions without prior tuning; it can detect and actively resolve problems with stationary traffic. AFRC is evaluated using a commercial traffic simulation system and is shown to resolve inbound and outbound congestion in less time than Vehicle Actuated and Fully Timed systems when simulating both morning and evening rush-hours.