TOIL for OIL: A critical analysis of work and employment in the British Oil & Gas sector – Jennifer O’neil and Vaughan Ellis, The Business School
Whilst oil prices fluctuate and oil companies perceive the North Sea to be too expensive to drill (Shepherd, 2016) decommissioning plans have been formulated by Government and employer taskforces. These groups have tended to focus on technical and fiscal challenges facing the industry and the need for state financial support to cover the costs of decommissioning.
Workers voices have largely been missing from these debates on the future of the industry. Press and union reports suggest that job security, terms and conditions and career prospects have all been adversely affected (OCG, 2016). Estimates are that roughly a third of the workforce (120,000 – 185,000) have suffered job losses between 2014-2017 (The Guardian 2017; BBC 2016) However to date there has been little scholarly consideration of the impact of these changes and any others which may be occurring from the perspective of workers. Furthermore there has been little explicit consideration of the support needs of workers for finding new and/or alternative employment.
This research seeks to address that gap by exploring firstly, how the declining employment opportunities within the Scottish oil industry has affected the lives of workers and secondly, how workers have responded to declining opportunities within the sector. Utilising in-depth interviews with 10 off shore workers we explore the impact on up-skilling and argue that the absence of workers’ voice in policy discussions about how best to safeguard the strategically important oil and gas industry and utilise their skills has meant that other stakeholders’ interests have been privileged.
A vitamin D-eficient Scotland – Hannah Lithgow, Melanie Leggate and Geraint Florida-James, School of Applied Sciences
Scotland is one of the most vitamin D deficient countries in the world, and with vitamin D linked to numerous health conditions and chronic disease, there is a need to find and present strategies to address our deficiency status. Due to the prevalent cloud cover and lack of sunlight exposure, Scottish people have reduced dermatological synthesis of active vitamin D, and the key metabolic receptor, vitamin D receptor (VDR). However, exercise can be used as an intervention to alter vitamin D metabolism, specifically levels of the receptor. In addition, as age advances, the capacity to metabolise vitamin D decreases. Therefore, engageing in exercise and maintaining ‘healthy ageing’ could be the answer to a vitamin D-eficient Scotland.
Visual information seeking behaviour during face matching and recognition for application to video surveillance – Dr Laura Muir and Gabriele Maffoni, School of Computing
This research project aimed to identify patterns of human visual behaviour that may be exploited to improve face recognition in identity checks and surveillance monitoring. The eye movements of 44 participants were tracked during their completion of a face-matching test. Data was also collected from the same individuals in a pre-task questionnaire, a post-task reflective interview and in a follow-up face recognition test conducted 4 weeks after the face-matching test. The results revealed that there was no correlation between face matching and face recognition ability scores and that there were three distinct patterns of visual behaviour in the sample group. The findings also raised questions for a larger study for which additional external grant funding is to be sought.
Investigating pedestrian crossing behaviour to improve pedestrian accident rates and severities in the State of Qatar – Wafaa Saleh and Lucy Downey, School of Built Environment and Engineering
The project was a collaboration between Qatar University (Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Studies Centre) and Napier University (Transport Research Institute) funded by Qatar National Research Fund. The study aim was to investigate pedestrian crossing behaviour at high accident rate locations in urban areas in Doha by developing an in-depth understanding of pedestrians interaction with each other and with motorised traffic. The investigation modelled pedestrian crossing behaviour at junctions and mid-block locations with different characteristics (e.g. road speeds, pedestrian volumes and traffic control measures). The study design included a literature review, site assessments, video recording, data extraction and statistical analysis. The research makes recommendations towards policies to improve pedestrian safety and reduce accidents as well as improving the crossing environment for pedestrians.
Thinking Population – Mana Nasori, Dr. Iain Atherton, Nahida Hanif, Jane Sime, School of Health and Social Care
Background: Nursing students and educators have arguably tended put more emphasis on acute care. Population health is not perceived as being directly relevant to their practice. However, this mind set is in conflict with the need for all nursing students to understand and recognize population health issues given the implications of wider trends to individuals. An online geographical tool that gives access to census data might encourage nursing students to think beyond the immediate and to recognise the implications of health’s wider determinants for individual health.
Objective: To evaluate if using mapped census data relating to geographical areas with which students have familiarity can enable population thinking in nursing care.
Methods: Focus groups with first/second year undergraduate nursing students from the Edinburgh Napier University.
Study implications: Using visual and factual data about the population with which nursing students will be dealing with in the future through an interactive tool such as Census Data might challenge students’ perceptions of population issues. Census data includes information on a wide range of issues including health and, importantly, social circumstances. An engaging tool may therefore encourage students to see beyond their current understandings and challenge them to see wider health issues in social and geographical context. The study has potential to inform nurse education internationally given the imperatives of addressing large scale population issues and the opportunities open to practitioners who are facilitated and enabled imaginative thinking to the benefit of patient care on the long term.
Evaluation of algorithms for amplifying motion and colour in video to detect vital signs – Alistair Lawson, Paul Lapok and Christoph Zmarzlik (School of Computing), Lis Neubeck and Coral Hanson, (School of Health and Social Care)
This presentation describes software developed as part of a collaborative project between School of Computing and School of Health & Social Care, Edinburgh Napier University for use in in the evaluation of algorithms that are capable of amplifying video to enhance accuracy of vital sign measurements to measure heart rate variability through the detection of skin colour change on the forehead, which has the capability to identify atrial fibrillation in clinical settings. Future work will include measuring jugular venous pressure through the detection of skin colour change and motion in the neck, which has the potential to aid the diagnosis of heart failure.
Storage of Carbon by Scottish Seagrass – Dani Whitlock, School of Applied Sciences
Seagrass meadows are natural carbon sinks, which could contribute significantly to global carbon sequestration. With increasing concerns over effectively mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, the profile of this habitat has attracted attention worldwide. In Scotland, research has shown seagrass meadows enhance carbon storage significantly compared with areas where seagrass is absent, but there are still large differences in carbon storage across sites that warrant the exploration of physical, chemical and biological factors.
This poster will explore the process of plant litter decomposition in Scottish seagrass meadows. Plant litter decomposition plays an important role in the movement of carbon within a seagrass bed.To understand if decomposition is playing a role in the variation of carbon storage within seagrass meadows a common substrate – tea – has been buried and will be used as a measure to estimate rates of decomposition across multiple seagrass beds and adjacent bare mudflats. Further to this microbial communities will be analysed to understand their association with the decomposition process.
Digital Ethnography – John Morrison, School of Computing
The research explores the affordances of lens-based digital media for approaching questions of agency, authorship and representation in ethnographic practice with vulnerable groups. The vignette represented in the poster explores how Virtual Reality can create new layers of meaning by reshaping the ways in which information on cultures is encoded, visualised and shared.
Life cycle assessment of integrated collector-storage solar water heaters – Ruth Saint, School of Built Environment and Engineering
The environmental life cycle impacts, in terms of embodied carbon and energy, will be presented for two types of integrated solar water heaters.
Sexualities, Health and Gender research network – Sally Brown and Members of the Sexualities, Health and Gender research network, Schools of Health and Social Care and Applied Sciences
Colleagues from the School of Applied Sciences and the School of Health and Social Care with a shared interest in researching different aspects of sexual health, sexualities, and gender formed a research network in early 2018. The aims of the network are to foster collaborations between academics in order to develop research projects and generate grant income, to support ECRs and postgraduate students with an interest in this area, and to grow a community of researchers with shared interests at ENU.
Azathioprine protects against poor bone health in mice with inflammatory bowel disease – Stephanie Morgan, Kirsty Hooper, Katherine Halewood, Elspeth Milne, Colin Farquharson, Craig Stevens, Katherine Staines, School of Applied Sciences
Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) often present with poor bone health. The development of targeted therapies for this bone loss requires a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Azathioprine is a commonly used drug for IBD management, however its mechanisms of action, in particular its effects on the skeleton, are not yet fully understood. Here, we have used a mouse model of IBD and found that Azathiorpine protected against IBD-related bone loss. Ongoing studies will determine the mechanism of action and this will impact on our understanding of bone protective agents given to patients with IBD.
Secure Quantum-to-the-Home (QTTH) All-Optical Networks – Rameez Asif and Bill Buchanan, School of Computing
For imparting data security to the end-users in a archetypal fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, quantum cryptography (QC) is getting much attention now-a-days. QC or more specifically quantum key distribution (QKD) promises unconditionally secure protocol, the Holy Grail of communication and information security, that is based on the fundamental laws of quantum physics. In this presentation, we will discuss our latest experiments on a four-state (Quadrature Phase Shift Keying `QPSK’) RF sub-carrier assisted continuous-variable quantum key distribution (CV-QKD) multi-user network based on ultra low loss quantum channel (pure silica core fiber `PSCF’) and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based add/drop switch. It is expected that the proposed cost-effective and energy efficient QKD network can facilitate the practical application of the CV-QKD protocol on commercial scale in near future for smart access networks.
A Delusion of Innovations? Developing a theoretical model for assessing actual macrolevel BIM diffusion using microlevel metrics – Melanie Robinson, School of Built Environment and Engineering
Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being hailed as the solution to a rapid digitisation of the traditionally stagnant construction industry, with the UK leading much of the global drive to strategize the macrolevel adoption of BIM. However, in an inherently competitive environment borne from the heterogenous, project-based nature of the industry, there is a risk that a disjoint may exist between rhetoric and reality. Furthermore, figures from commercial studies suggest that barriers to effective macrolevel adoption may instead lie at the microlevel (i.e. individuals) rather than at the mesolevel (i.e. organisations) which has formed much of the focus to date.
Student nurses’ attitudes to social justice and poverty: an international evaluation – Mariska Scheffer, Richard G Kyle and Kathie Lasater, School of Health and Social Care
Background: Given the link between poverty and health, nurses deal with health consequences of social inequality across the United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) every day. In both the UK and US, nurses are placed in the position which enables them to impact population health. Hence, the attitude of nurses could have profound effects on health inequalities, which is a matter of social justice. However, very little is known about the attitude of student nurses to social justice and poverty. Objective: To assess and compare the attitude of Scottish and American nursing students to social justice and poverty. Methods: Online survey of UK (n=143) and US (n=78) students including validated scales evaluating attitudes to social justice and poverty and gathers socio-demographic information. Descriptive statistics were used to present student nurses’ attitudes to social justice and poverty. Additional statistical analysis was performed to identify differences in attitudes between UK and US cohorts and to identify factors that might explain the dissimilarities. Results: Statistically significant differences in attitudes for both social justice scale (P=0.001) and poverty scale (P<0.001) were found between UK and US cohorts. Implications: Findings of this international study could have important implications for nursing education.
Evolution of a Functionally Diverse Swarm via a Novel Decentralised Quality-Diversity Algorithm – Andreas Steyven, Emma Hart and Ben Paechter, School of Computing
The presence of functional diversity within a group has been demonstrated to lead to greater robustness, higher performance and increased problem-solving ability in a broad range of studies that includes insect groups, human groups and swarm robotics. Evolving group diversity however has proved challenging within Evolutionary Robotics, requiring reproductive isolation and careful attention to population size and selection mechanisms. To tackle this issue, we introduce a novel, decentralised, variant of the MAP-Elites illumination algorithm which is hybridised with a well-known distributed evolutionary algorithm (mEDEA). The algorithm simultaneously evolves multiple diverse behaviours for multiple robots, with respect to a simple token-gathering task. Each robot in the swarm maintains a local archive defined by two pre-specified functional traits which is shared with robots it come into contact with. We investigate four different strategies for sharing, exploiting and combining local archives. Experimental results show that in contrast to previous claims, it is possible to evolve a functionally diverse swarm without geographical isolation
Nurses’ health and patient safety: student nurses simulated cardiopulmonary resuscitation performance (HAPS-CPR) – Richard Kyle, Catherine Mahoney, Louise Hoyle, Iain Atherton, Yina Garcia-Lopez, Alistair Lawson, Paul Lapok, Christoph Zmarzlik, School of Health and Social Care
Nurses’ health is a global concern as it is known that nurses’ health can impact negatively on patient care. Recent research from the Nurses’ Lives Research Programme has shown that Scottish nurses’ health-related behaviours, such as smoking, diet and alcohol consumption, are poor and that levels of obesity are high. However, it is not known how nurses’ health influences their ability to carry out their job and the resultant impact this may have on the quality and safety of care. Previous collaborative research between the School of Health & Social Care and School of Computing established that collecting heart rate data using wearable activity tracking devices worn by student nurses while conducting a series of simulated nursing tasks was both feasible and acceptable. Our current research builds on this cross-School collaboration to develop software that integrates real-time student heart rate data with data from patient manikins and video recordings during simulated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The study examines the relationship between aspects of student nurses’ health (including Body Mass Index and dehydration) and CPR performance and, through focus groups with students and educators, explores the utility of the software developed as a teaching tool to enhance students’ learning.
Why do crowdfunding campaigns succeed? The role of trust and emotion – Mhairi McNeill, Robert Raeside, Tom Peisl and Alistair Lawson, School of Computing
Creating a good crowdfunding campaign is difficult. By understanding why people contribute to crowdfunding campaigns we can make campaigns better and raise more money. Crowdfunding websites allow entrepreneurs to make a pitch, which is watched by potential funders. This poster describes a study based in the Sensorium Lab at Edinburgh Napier University School of Computing that measures how people react to both successful and unsuccessful pitches. In particular we are interested in emotional reactions and trust reactions. Unexpectedly, failed campaigns were watched more and were judged to have higher integrity. Perceived ability seemed to be the best predictor of a campaign’s success.