Category Archives: Winter 2015 Issue

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New publications from the University of Huddersfield Press

The University of Huddersfield Press was established in 2007 to provide an outlet for publication for University authors and to encourage new and aspiring authors to publish in their areas of subject expertise. Producing print books, open access eBooks and academic journals, the Press covers a wide range of subject areas providing a platform for innovative and interdisciplinary research at Huddersfield.

Recent publications

Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies

Identity Papers aims for a wide and cross-disciplinary audience from inside and outside the university sector and draws on robust research to communicate ideas connected with identities in Britain and Ireland, today and in the past, in a readable way. It brings together the work of academics and non-academics whose research focuses on any aspect of contemporary and historical British and Irish Studies. It is a collection of thought that crosses and shifts disciplinary boundaries through dialogue and juxtaposition. Its themes include: histories, politics, culture(s), literature, identities, racism, communities, citizenship, nationalities, regions, the post/colonial and diaspora.

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Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research

Fields: journal of Huddersfield student research is a peer reviewed, interdisciplinary and fully open access journal. The journal features primarily work by undergraduates. The journal is a showcase for student work that demonstrates significance, rigour and high standards of research. Fields is designed to inspire our students to work to the very highest standards and to see the work they do, even as undergraduates, as having the potential for further impact in the wider world.

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The Journal of Performance Magic

The Journal of Performance Magic is an online peer-reviewed open access journal publishing articles that focus on a multidisciplinary and contemporary approach to the field. It covers the influence, legacy and future of performance magic on wider performing arts practice and other diverse academic disciplines. In recent years the academic study of performance magic has made exciting creative links within emerging disciplines; including the cognitive sciences, architectural design and emerging technologies. The Journal of Performance Magic seeks to strengthen these links as well as encourage reflection on areas of performance magic not already covered in publication and develop new perspectives on areas already heavily researched.

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British Journal of Pharmacy

British Journal of Pharmacy is an online peer-reviewed open access journal publishing original research papers, critical reviews and rapid communications on the latest developments in pharmacy. The journal accepts manuscripts highlighting novel research and development in pharmacy. Subject focuses include the practice of pharmacy, novel therapeutic targets and molecular pharmacy, contemporary formulation strategies to improve drug delivery and targeting, pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics and therapeutics, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacovigilance and innovations in teaching pharmacy.

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A full list of titles is available on the University of Huddersfield Press website – unipress.hud.ac.uk

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New smart database aids industry

A huge expansion in the quantity and complexity of international standards is an increasingly serious issue in fields such as advanced engineering. A research project headed by the University of Huddersfield is developing software that will lead to increased efficiency by ensuring that designers and manufacturers can easily comply with the voluminous guidelines laid down by the International Standards Organisation (ISO).

A major international company has been supplied with a version of the package, which is in the form of a smart database that can be harnessed by designers as they work on technical specifications and measurements. The product is claimed to be three times faster than conventional relational databases and takes up a third of the storage space.

Professor Paul Scott – a mathematician and metrologist at the University of Huddersfield – holds a prestigious Fellowship in Manufacturing from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). One of the projects that he is undertaking during the Fellowship is the development of the smart database, which owes its efficiency to the fact that Professor Scott chose to use category theory as its foundation. This, he says, makes it more efficient than relational databases – such as Microsoft’s Access – that are based on set theory. Category theory is a toolset for describing the general abstract structures in mathematics and focuses not on objects, but on the relations between the objects.

Flexibility to embrace different types of data

Increased flexibility is also a key feature, because the smart database under development at the University of Huddersfield is capable of embracing many different types of data. For example, Dr Qunfen Qi – a researcher working with Professor Scott – has populated it with data relating to ISO standards for surface texture. The resultant product is named CATSurf and includes a module that was developed specifically for Rolls Royce.

Qunfen Qi and Paul Scott

(L-R: Dr Qunfen Qi and Professor Paul Scott)

Dr Qi, who has given several conference presentations on the science behind the database, said that ISO standards were becoming more and more complex. For example, designers working on the surface texture of a product – a single item in its GPS (Geometrical Product Specifications) – must comply with over 30 ISO standards, the equivalent of thousands of pages of documents.

Designers who use CATSurf – and subsequent smart databases that will be populated with the other GPS categories – can easily conform to ISO standards as they work, ensuring for example that there are no ambiguities or omissions in their design and subsequent measurements. This leads to major efficiency gains and cost savings.

Best methodology to employ

It was realised as long as 15 years ago, Professor Scott said, that ISO standards in this field would eventually reach such levels of complexity that no single person could assimilate them all.  That point has now arrived.

He responded to the issue by supervising a sequence of doctoral research projects, which began with an investigation of the best methodology to employ. It was decided that a smart database using category theory was the way to go.

Subsequent research projects have improved the efficiency of the database and began to populate it with GPS standards. A working system has therefore been produced and various commercial options for its future are under consideration.

To find out more about the research in this article, please contact Professor Paul Scott: p.j.scott@hud.ac.uk or Dr Qunfen Qi: Q.Qi@hud.ac.uk

 

 

Avita Medical Ltd's ReCell® device.

Developing a greater understanding of the treatment of wounds and skin defects

The University of Huddersfield has developed a partnership with Avita Medical Ltd, a regenerative medicine company specializing in the treatment of wounds and skin defects.

By working together they will explore the mechanism of Regenerative Epithelial Suspension (RES™) – from Avita’s ReCell® device – to better understand its ability to effectively treat burns, hard-to-heal wounds and skin trauma.

Enabling clinicians to make informed choices

The key aim of this research is to provide greater understanding of the cellular interactions present in RES™ and the roles these play in regenerating natural, healthy skin. It is anticipated that the results of this research will help enable clinicians to make more informed patient selection leading to superior clinical outcomes.

Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences Dr Nikolaos Georgopoulos, Reader in Advancing Clinical Practice Dr Karen Ousey and Professor of Pharmaceutics Barbara Conway – from the University of Huddersfield’s Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention – will assess the ReCell® device using donated human skin. The investigators will examine the behaviour of the skin cells in RES™ using sophisticated analysis techniques to reveal ongoing cellular interactions.  The resulting new information regarding the mechanism within RES™ will be used to advance clinical practice, education and product development.

“Our patients are at the centre of everything…”

“Our goal with this study is to further unlock understanding of the mechanism within the active suspension, so that we will be able to further discern the intricacies behind why ReCell® is so effective for wound treatment,” said Adam Kelliher, Chief Executive Officer of Avita Medical. “Our patients are at the centre of everything Avita Medical does and they will benefit from the deeper knowledge we will achieve through this collaboration with the University of Huddersfield.”

Dr Nikolaos Georgopoulos of the University of Huddersfield added: “Researchers at our University are deeply committed to working with innovative, world-class companies on the development of products that promise to make a real difference in people’s lives and contribute to their well-being. Avita Medical and RESTM are a perfect example of this.”

Dr Georgopoulos continued, “The collaboration is also an ideal opportunity for the Institute of Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention.  We are an inter-disciplinary group whose members can pool an enormous range of expertise. This will serve us well as we investigate the full potential of Regenerative Epithelial Suspension. It is an exciting project that promises to produce real benefits.”

Following this initial collaborative evaluation, Avita Medical and the University of Huddersfield intend to finalise a longer-term strategy to explore the RES™ mechanism.

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Paul Ward and the retro sound system

Imagine – connecting communities through research

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From reggae beats and Bhangra drums to modern day interpretations of historical art and urban regeneration, the Imagine programme brings together academics and community groups from across the UK and Europe to influence positive change in communities through research. It includes four work packages which explore social, historical, democratic and cultural contexts.

A collaborative approach

Imagine is a collaborative five-year project running from 2013 to 2017. With around 30 academics and 30 community groups working together, it includes a diverse range of community-based research projects.

Funded under the Connected Communities programme it has received £1.8 million from the ESRC (European and Social Research Council). Imagine is led by principal investigator Professor Kate Pahl from the University of Sheffield who also leads on the cultural context. Paul Ward, Professor of Modern British History at the University of Huddersfield, is one of Imagine’s four key leaders heading up the democratic context.  Professor Sarah Banks from Durham University and Professor Angie Hart from the University of Brighton lead on the historical and social contexts respectively.

Does a sense of history encourage civic engagement?

As well as leading on the democratic context, Professor Ward provides historical and historiographical knowledge for the Imagine project. He considers whether a ‘sense of history’ encourages civic engagement and community participation and his work includes the following Imagine projects:

Sound System Culture

This community project that Professor Ward is working with is an arts and heritage project. In the 1970s and 1980s it was possible to see international reggae stars performing live in Huddersfield. The influence of sound systems on British music is well documented, however, Huddersfield’s role in this culture had been largely overlooked. As part of Professor Ward’s research, a book ‘Sound System Culture: Celebrating Huddersfield’s Sound Systems’ has been published which captures the influential role of Huddersfield on musical culture during this time.

Celebrating our past – preserving our future

Bhangra Renaissance celebrates the origins of Bhangra as a historical dance form and its contribution to a more diverse view of British culture. The University of Huddersfield co-produced the book ‘Bhangra: mystics, music and migration’ authored by former Master’s student Hardeep Singh Sahota, who studied Drama and History. Rather than the traditional text-based research outputs, this project produced ethnographic research, oral history interviews, performances, photography, story-telling and community activity.

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(Image: Hardip Singh-Sahota)

Connecting people in Wakefield

The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery attracts visitors from far and wide, however, those visitors do not necessarily come from the local community. Imagine has been exploring ways in which the people of Wakefield can become connected to the gallery and feel a sense of civic identity. One aspect of this research involved working with a group of young homeless women who interpreted the collections at the gallery. As a direct outcome of this work there are now two PhD students studying at the University of Huddersfield researching community interpretations of historical art and urban regeneration. Their research will continue to explore these areas as part of the Imagine project.

A radical approach

By taking a radical approach and co-researching with communities, Imagine aims to break down potential barriers between academia and society with community-based academics. The potential impact of co-producing research doesn’t just impact on people’s lives but also on policy, developing new knowledge to deliver services and improve community cohesion.

 

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Getting ready for Rio

In 2016 the Olympic Games take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and millions of spectators from around the world will be watching.

Long before the world’s elite athletes take to their sporting stage, there is a huge amount of work involved in planning such an event. The London 2012 Olympic Games have been widely recognised as being a successful and well organised event. The International Paralympic Committee wanted to find out more about what went well and how it worked.

Research team granted access all areas

As a result of his work with the World Academy of Sport, which included teaching business statistics to the Union Cycliste Internationale and the directors of the Tour de France cycling teams, Professor David Bamford from the University of Huddersfield was invited to lead a research team at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. The team, which included his colleague Dr Benjamin Dehe, also from the University of Huddersfield, explored the event from the athletes’ perspectives.

They were tasked with finding out about the vast range of operational activities which take place behind the scenes of such a prestigious event. By being granted access to all areas they were able to interview the athletes and gain a valuable insight into their perceptions of the operational structure. The main focus of any athlete is to win and to help them to achieve their goals it is vital to make the rest of their experience as stress-free as possible.

Athletes share their experience

The research explored every step of the athletes’ journey, including how they were contacted to register for the Games in their home countries and how welcoming their greeting was when they arrived in London. They were asked about their transportation from the airport to their accommodation.

Once they arrived at the Olympic village further areas were explored including their accommodation and how suitable it was for people with a range of disabilities. Everything from the catering and the transport within the Olympic village to the standard of the training facilities and the competition venues was investigated.

How was the athletes’ experience of the opening ceremony? How did the athletes deal with being interviewed by the press? How well organised were the awards ceremonies and the closing ceremony?  Was the transport back to the airport well organised when the athletes were returning home and leaving their London 2012 experience behind them?

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Sharing the legacy

The research report was submitted to the International Paralympic Committee and was used in the London 2012 project debrief and the briefing for Rio de Janeiro 2016. It identified everything that worked well, why it worked and also generated specific areas for improvement – all of which have helped to inform the Brazil Organising Committee. This was the first time such a research project had been carried out and it was considered so successful that the model was repeated at the Winter Olympics in Russia in 2014.

The findings have formed part of the London 2012 legacy as the knowledge gained has been shared with Rio de Janeiro for its 2016 Games. One area which was influenced by this research was the recognition of how well designed the Athletes Village in London was. This has been flat-packed and shipped out to Rio and now the same Olympic village used in London is ready and waiting to be used once again by the world’s top athletes at the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Brazil.