University of South Wales
  • Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom
Recent publications
In Thinking like a Mall Steven Vogel argues that there is no authoritative nature independent of human standards to which one can appeal to correct damaging environmental practices. Human practices are the only basis for interpreting the environment and our ecologically destructive practices have made our environment into the degraded thing that it is. Revising these flawed practices requires becoming alienated from them; only then can we be responsible for them. Alienation is overcome by a democratic community who chooses the practices that correct deficient ones and that we can recognise as expressions of ourselves and be at home in. This paper argues that there is a key step missing in this process, which is how we become alienated from our practices. It is only by appreciating the broader social and institutional horizon, ‘Ethical Life’, by which norms receive their authority and lose it, that we can understand alienation and the normative change necessary to correct it.
The drying oven functions to reduce the moisture content of raw materials until it reaches a certain moisture content to slow the rate of product damage due to biological and chemical activity. This research aims to design an automatic shoe-drying oven equipped with an LCD screen, exhaust fan, 8-level shelf, and electric heating temperature controller to provide maximum and even heating of leather shoes when gluing and drying leather shoes. Raspberry PI aims to combine and collect production process data in cloud storage in the form of a database, which will then be sent and displayed directly to the operator. The research methodology includes design, manufacturing, assembly, operational testing, performance testing, and evaluation stages. It can be concluded that the research results and progress reports include: (1) The design of the work system and mechanical system for the shoe drying oven can work well. (2) The Raspberry PI Cloud system can collect and display actual drying time data, (3) glue drying temperature of 60°C with a drying time of ±5 minutes, (4) skin heating temperature (texture creation) of 50°C-55°C requires warm-up time ±40 minutes, (5) This machine requires 850 watts of power.
This innovative effort focused on advancements in the shoe-making process by introducing a state-of-the-art pneumatic shoe press integrated with a real-time cloud database system tailored to the needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This research aims to design and engineer a state-of-the-art pneumatic shoe press capable of printing complex designs on leather footwear. This machine can collect, send, and store production data in a cloud-based database, so as to monitor and analyze their manufacturing operations in real-time. The research methodology utilizes a structured approach from the design, manufacturing, assembly, operational testing, performance evaluation, and data analysis stages. The application of a pneumatic shoe press integrated with a real-time cloud database system provides various benefits for SMEs in the footwear industry. The system’s advantage lies in the use of a real-time cloud database that allows SMEs to gain immediate access to production data. The machine is capable of printing complex designs with high precision in one minute per pair of shoes. The product quality is good, so it can meet the standards of the shoe industry. This research successfully developed a pneumatic shoe press integrated with a real-time cloud database system, which can improve the productivity and quality of SMEs in the shoe industry. This technological innovation simplifies the manufacturing process, ensures the best product quality, and provides real-time production data.
Background Local humanitarian workers in low and middle-income countries must often contend with potentially morally injurious situations, often with limited resources. This creates barriers to providing sustainable mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) to displaced individuals. Clinical supervision is an often neglected part of ensuring high-quality, sustainable care. The Caring for Carers (C4C) project aims to test the effectiveness and acceptability of online group-based supportive supervision on the well-being of MHPSS practitioners, as well as service-user-reported service satisfaction and quality when working with displaced communities in Türkiye, Syria, and Bangladesh. This protocol paper describes the aim, design, and methodology of the C4C project. Method A quasi-experimental, mixed-method, community-based participatory research study will be conducted to test the effectiveness of online group-based supportive clinical supervision provided to 50 Syrian and 50 Bangladeshi MHPSS practitioners working with Syrian and Rohingya displaced communities. Monthly data will be collected from the practitioners and their beneficiaries during the active control (six months) and supervision period (16 months over two terms). Outcomes are psychological distress (Kessler-6), burnout (the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory), compassion fatigue, compassion satisfaction, and secondary traumatic stress (Professional Quality of Life Scale), perceived injustice, clinical self-efficacy (Counseling Activity Self-Efficacy Scale), service satisfaction, and quality (Client Satisfaction Questionnaire and an 18-item measure developed in this project). A realist evaluation framework will be used to elucidate the contextual factors, mechanisms, and outcomes of the supervision intervention. Discussion There is a scarcity of evidence on the role of clinical supervision in improving the well-being of MHPSS practitioners and the quality of service they provide to displaced people. By combining qualitative and quantitative data collection, the C4C project will address the long-standing question of the effectiveness and acceptability of clinical supervision in humanitarian settings.
4D printing combines 3D printing with nanomaterials to create shape-morphing materials that exhibit stimuli-responsive functionalities. In this study, reversible addition-fragmentation chain transfer polymerization agents grafted onto liquid metal nanoparticles are successfully employed in ultraviolet light-mediated stereolithographic 3D printing and near-infrared light-responsive 4D printing. Spherical liquid metal nanoparticles are directly prepared in 3D-printed resins via a one-pot approach, providing a simple and efficient strategy for fabricating liquid metal-polymer composites. Unlike rigid nanoparticles, the soft and liquid nature of nanoparticles reduces glass transition temperature, tensile stress, and modulus of 3D-printed materials. This approach enables the photothermal-induced 4D printing of composites, as demonstrated by the programmed shape memory of 3D-printed composites rapidly recovering to their original shape in 60 s under light irradiation. This work provides a perspective on the use of liquid metal-polymer composites in 4D printing, showcasing their potential for application in the field of soft robots.
Vitrification‐based cryopreservation is a promising approach to achieving long‐term storage of biological systems for maintaining biodiversity, healthcare, and sustainable food production. Using the “cryomesh” system achieves rapid cooling and rewarming of biomaterials, but further improvement in cooling rates is needed to increase biosystem viability and the ability to cryopreserve new biosystems. Improved cooling rates and viability are possible by enabling conductive cooling through cryomesh. Conduction‐dominated cryomesh improves cooling rates from twofold to tenfold (i.e., 0.24 to 1.2 × 10⁵ °C min⁻¹) in a variety of biosystems. Higher thermal conductivity, smaller mesh wire diameter and pore size, and minimizing the nitrogen vapor barrier (e.g., vertical plunging in liquid nitrogen) are key parameters to achieving improved vitrification. Conduction‐dominated cryomesh successfully vitrifies coral larvae, Drosophila embryos, and zebrafish embryos with improved outcomes. Not only a theoretical foundation for improved vitrification in µm to mm biosystems but also the capability to scale up for biorepositories and/or agricultural, aquaculture, or scientific use are demonstrated.
Aim To identify the social prescribing-related terminology within the peer-reviewed literature of the UK and the grey literature from Wales. Background Social prescribing has seen a period of development that has been accompanied by a proliferation of related terminology and a lack of standardisation in the manner in which it is employed. This creates barriers to engagement and impairs communication, both between professionals and members of the public. The Wales School for Social Prescribing Research and Public Health Wales committed to the development of a glossary of terms for social prescribing, to facilitate the clarification and standardisation of the associated terminology. Here, we describe the first step in that process. Method A scoping review of the peer-reviewed UK literature and Welsh grey literature was conducted. The titles and abstracts of 46,242 documents and the full text of 738 documents were screened. Data were charted from 205 documents. Data capture included terminology, the location within the UK of the research or intervention described in the article, and the perspective from which the article was authored. A general inductive approach was used to categorise the terms by theme. Findings This research serves to highlight the breadth and diversity of the terminology associated with social prescribing. Results demonstrate aspects of shared commonality and clear distinction between the terminology from the two literature sources. The greatest contributions of terms were from articles that examined research and/or interventions in England and that were authored from the perspective of health or health and social care. The research indicates that nation- and sector-specific terms may not be adequately represented in the literature at large. Looking forward, it will be important to ensure that social prescribing terminology within the UK literature is culturally relevant and accurately reflects the terminology used by the workforce who encounter and deliver social prescribing.
The pervasive smart manufacturing is bringing increasing attention to digital twin. As a core part of virtual modeling, 3D virtual modeling is crucial to improve the intuitiveness of state monitoring, enhance human-cyber interactions, visualize conditions and simulations, and provide visual guides in digital twin. However, although 3D virtual modeling in digital twin has many benefits for different applications, its complex characteristics become obstacles for novice engineers to develop and utilize. Besides, research information about 3D virtual modeling in digital twin is too scattered, while there has been no literature review that specially and comprehensively summarizes and analyzes it. To help novice engineers understand and scheme 3D virtual modeling in digital twin for future research and applications, this paper reviews 106 digital twin 3D modeling cases with their characteristics, including deployment targets, purposes & roles, collaborative models, data flows, the autonomy of 3D modeling, fidelity, twinning rates, enabling technologies, and enabling tools. This paper then discusses and analyzes the review outcomes via statistics. Finally, this paper also proposes a thinking map for scheming the 3D virtual modeling in digital twin. In general, 3D virtual modeling is oriented by the motivation behind different digital twins, engineers hence should reflect on the purposes, scenarios, resources, and long-term visions of their projects. When designing characteristics of 3D virtual modeling, engineers must consider functions, capabilities of data processing and transmission, timeliness of data, applicability, and specialty of each characteristic. For future work, this paper highlights three important research issues to realize the prospect of 3D virtual modeling, including the versatility of autonomous 3D modeling, incremental updates of 3D models, and optimal planning of data collections for 3D modeling. Besides, future work will also investigate the enhancement of 3D virtual modeling via relevant information technologies, such as IoT-based data collections, machine vision-based data processing, and adaptive machine learning-based dynamic modeling.
This paper describes the construction, working equations and operation of a semi-automated high-pressure falling body viscometer used in the pressure range 0.1 to 400 MPa and at temperatures between 255 and 368 K. The viscometer employs self-centering sinkers, each a hollow cylinder with a solid hemispherical face. This results in a viscosity-independent sinker calibration constant. With sinkers of different diameters, a broad range of Reynolds numbers is accessible. The dependence of the calibration constants (A) on sinker clearance (c), A  c-3, conforms with theory. It has been used for both high and low viscosity molecular liquids and viscous ionic liquids. It is hoped that a complete description may be of use to others wishing to build and operate such an instrument.
Background Youth Advisory Groups (YAGs) represent a promising method to engage adolescents in research of relevance to them and their peers. However, YAGs are rarely implemented or evaluated in chronic disease prevention research. The aims of this study were firstly, to evaluate the effect of participation in a 12-month YAG on adolescents’ leadership skills and perceptions related to chronic disease prevention research and secondly, to evaluate the process of establishing and facilitating a 12-month YAG and identify barriers and enablers to establishment and facilitation. Methods This study was a 12-month pre-post study. Eligible participants were adolescents (13-18-years) and current members of an established YAG. Data collection involved online surveys and semi-structured interviews at baseline, six-months and 12-months follow-up. Participatory outcomes such as self-efficacy, leadership skills, and collective participation were derived from Youth Participatory Action Research Principles (YPAR), and the Lansdown-UNICEF conceptual framework for measuring outcomes of adolescent participation. Process evaluation data were captured via meeting minutes, Slack metrics and researcher logs. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was thematically analysed using a reflexive thematic analysis approach. Results Thirteen (13/16) YAG youth advisors consented to participate in the evaluation study (mean age 16.0 years, SD 1.3; 62% (8/13) identified as female). Survey data assessing participatory outcomes found an increase in leadership and life skills scores over 12-months (+ 8.90 points). Semi-structured interview data collected over the 12-month term revealed three key themes namely: influence, empowerment, and contribution. Comparison of pre-post themes determined a positive trend at follow-ups, demonstrating improved participatory outcomes. Process indicators revealed that at 12-month follow-up the YAG was implemented as planned. Semi-structured interview data determined barriers to YAG facilitation included time and limited face-to-face components, while enablers to YAG facilitation included flexibility, accessible delivery methods, and a supportive adult facilitator. Conclusion This study found that a YAG fostered positive participatory outcomes and unique opportunities for youth participants. A successful YAG based on YPAR principles requires researchers to ensure YAG establishment and facilitation is an iterative process. Taking into consideration important barriers and enablers to YAG facilitation ensures adolescent engagement in a YAG is both meaningful and impactful.
Theory predicts that rising CO2 increases global photosynthesis, a process known as CO2 fertilization, and that this is responsible for much of the current terrestrial carbon sink. The estimated magnitude of the historic CO2 fertilization, however, differs by an order of magnitude between long-term proxies, remote sensing-based estimates and terrestrial biosphere models. Here we constrain the likely historic effect of CO2 on global photosynthesis by combining terrestrial biosphere models, ecological optimality theory, remote sensing approaches and an emergent constraint based on global carbon budget estimates. Our analysis suggests that CO2 fertilization increased global annual terrestrial photosynthesis by 13.5 ± 3.5% or 15.9 ± 2.9 PgC (mean ± s.d.) between 1981 and 2020. Our results help resolve conflicting estimates of the historic sensitivity of global terrestrial photosynthesis to CO2 and highlight the large impact anthropogenic emissions have had on ecosystems worldwide.
The extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms consists of diverse components including polysaccharides, proteins and DNA. Extracellular RNA (eRNA) can also be present, contributing to the structural integrity of biofilms. However, technical difficulties related to the low stability of RNA make it difficult to understand the precise roles of eRNA in biofilms. Here, we show that eRNA associates with extracellular DNA (eDNA) to form matrix fibres in Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms, and the eRNA is enriched in certain bacterial RNA transcripts. Degradation of eRNA associated with eDNA led to a loss of eDNA fibres and biofilm viscoelasticity. Compared with planktonic and biofilm cells, the biofilm matrix was enriched in specific mRNA transcripts, including lasB (encoding elastase). The mRNA transcripts colocalised with eDNA fibres in the biofilm matrix, as shown by single molecule inexpensive FISH microscopy (smiFISH). The lasB mRNA was also observed in eDNA fibres in a clinical sputum sample positive for P. aeruginosa. Thus, our results indicate that the interaction of specific mRNAs with eDNA facilitates the formation of viscoelastic networks in the matrix of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms.
Mid‐infrared (mid‐IR) ultrafast lasers are widely employed in biomedicine, molecular spectroscopy, material processing, and nonlinear optics. With the improvement of fiber gain media and other fiber optical elements, low‐cost, compact, and high‐efficiency fiber lasers open up new opportunities for 2–4 µm pulse generations, which calls for a comprehensive review of their mode‐locking mechanisms, gain media, and fiber laser system performance. This paper, beginning with an overview of pulse‐generation technologies, reviews recent progress on 2–4 µm mid‐IR ultrafast fiber lasers, including Tm ³⁺ ‐, Ho ³⁺ ‐doped, Tm ³⁺ /Ho ³⁺ codoped silicate fiber 2 µm lasers, and Er ³⁺ ‐, Dy ³⁺ ‐doped, and Ho ³⁺ /Pr ³⁺ codoped ZBLAN fiber 2.5–4 µm lasers. Among them, the status of 2–4 µm ultrafast fiber lasers based on 2D material passive mode‐locking is emphatically discussed. Meanwhile, the novel advances on mode‐locking and gain fibers of mid‐IR ultrafast fiber lasers are explored. Furthermore, current and prospective applications of such laser systems are also introduced in detail. This review finally summarizes challenges associated with future development of mid‐IR ultrafast fiber lasers, which provides an outlook on how to achieve more desirable laser performance (e.g., higher average power, higher pulse energy, and longer emission wavelength) that can lead to more practical uses of such lasers.
Let Q and P be the position and momentum operators of a particle in one dimension. It is shown that all compact operators can be approximated in norm by linear combinations of the basic resolvents (aQ+bP-ir)-1\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$(aQ + bP - i r)^{-1}$$\end{document} for real constants a,b,r≠0\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$a,b,r \ne 0$$\end{document}. This implies that the basic resolvents form a total set (norm dense span) in the C*-algebra R\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathfrak {R}$$\end{document} generated by the resolvents, termed resolvent algebra. So the basic resolvents share this property with the unitary Weyl operators, which span the Weyl algebra. These results are obtained for finite systems of particles in any number of dimensions. The resolvent algebra of infinite systems (quantum fields), being the inductive limit of its finitely generated subalgebras, is likewise spanned by its basic resolvents.
This paper considers a distributed convex optimization problem with a linearly coupled equality constraint and non-smooth objective function, in which heterogeneous time delays exist over the communication network. Based on the passivity of primal–dual dynamics, a distributed asynchronous algorithm that is robust to heterogeneous time delays over the network is proposed. By transforming the output information using the scattering variables and transmitting the scattering variables across the network, convergence to the optimal solution can be guaranteed with a distributed asynchronous method. Moreover, the convergence condition, which is irrelative to the heterogeneous delay parameters, is obtained through Lyapunov analysis. This means the proposed algorithm can achieve convergence to the optimal solution without the heterogeneous delay information.
Background Although social housing provides access to safe and affordable housing, recent studies have found that social housing tenants consistently have lower levels of health and well-being compared to other people. Given this, there is a need to examine multimorbidity for social housing tenants. Methods Secondary data analysis of the 2017-18 Australian National Health Survey (n = 14,327) compared the health of adults residing in social housing compared to people in other housing types (private rentals, homeowners, and homeowners/mortgagees). Results Most health factors examined were more prevalent in social housing tenants compared to those living in other housing types. Individual health problems identified as more highly prevalent in social housing tenants compared to all other housing types included mental health issues (43%), arthritis (36%), back problems (32%), hypertension (25%), asthma (22%) and COPD (11%). 24% of social housing tenants reported five or more health factors compared to 3–6% of people in other housing types. Conclusions Although these findings are not unexpected, they provide more detailed evidence that social housing providers and policy makers should consider when planning future initiatives.
Background The impact of wildfire smoke is a growing public health issue, especially for those living with preexisting respiratory conditions. Understanding perceptions and behaviors relevant to the use of individual protective strategies, and how these affect the adoption of these strategies, is critical for the development of future communication and support interventions. This study focused on the use of masks by people living in the Australian community with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Methods Semi-structured phone interviews were undertaken with people living in the community aged 18 years and over. Participants lived in a bushfire-prone area and reported having been diagnosed with asthma or COPD. Results Twenty interviews were undertaken between July and September 2021. We found that, during wildfire episodes, there was an overwhelming reliance on closing windows and staying inside as a means of mitigating exposure to smoke. There was limited use of masks for this purpose. Even among those who had worn a mask, there was little consideration given to the type of mask or respirator used. Reliance on sensory experiences with smoke was a common prompt to adopting an avoidance behavior. Participants lacked confidence in the information available from air-quality apps and websites, however they were receptive to the idea of using masks in the future. Conclusions Whilst COVID-19 has changed the nature of community mask use over the last couple of years, there is no guarantee that this event will influence an individual’s mask behavior during other events like bushfires. Instead, we must create social support processes for early and appropriate mask use, including the use of air quality monitoring.
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10,781 members
Krastimir Borisov Popov
  • School of Engineering and Technology
Allyson Lipp
  • Faculty of Life Sciences and Education
Mehedi Hassan
  • School of Computing
Richard Williams
  • Welsh Institute for Health and Social Care (WIHSC)
Denis J Murphy
  • Faculty of Computing, Engineering and Science
CF37 1DL, Pontypridd, Wales, United Kingdom