The University of Hertfordshire is a public research university in Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom. The university is based largely in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Its antecedent institution, Hatfield Technical College, was founded in 1952 and was identified as one of 25 Colleges of Technology in the United Kingdom in 1959. In 1992, Hatfield Polytechnic was granted university status by the British government and subsequently renamed University of Hertfordshire. From the time it was awarded university status, Hertfordshire's enrolment has steadily increased. As of 2013, it has 25,130 students and 2,358 staff, 812 of which are academic members of staff. It has more than 5,200 international students and a global network of more than 160,000 alumni. Hertfordshire is a member of Association of Commonwealth Universities and University Alliance. The university has an annual turnover of £234m.The university's academic activities are organised into 11 schools, within which there are around 50 academic departments and 24 research centres. The university has a unique history in training aerospace engineers. The university offers courses in architecture, astronomy, business, computing, education, engineering, humanities, natural science, pharmacy and social science. Wikipedia.
Kvavilashvili L.,University of Hertfordshire
Psychological Bulletin | Year: 2014
In the light of current controversy about the nature of intrusions in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the review by Brewin (2014) is timely and important. It will undoubtedly stimulate further research and guide researchers' quests for understanding the nature of flashbacks in PTSD. In this commentary, I briefly summarize and discuss key points made by Brewin and elaborate on some of the reasons behind the controversy. For example, the terms involuntary autobiographical memories, intrusive memories, and flashbacks are often used interchangeably. I propose a taxonomy revealing the key differences across these forms of memory. If flashbacks are characteristic of patients with PTSD only, it is essential that more research targeting this population is conducted with a variety of methods. Finally, some new avenues for research to study intrusive memories and flashbacks in PTSD, using a diary method and modified trauma film paradigm, are described. © 2014 American Psychological Association.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 120.68K | Year: 2017
The feasibility study looks at how to exploit cutting edge ICT, Internet of Things (IoT), Cryptography and Fintech enabling technologies to transform energy access with affordable rooftop solar energy and behind the meter energy storage. Solar PV provides excellent low carbon alternative to back up diesel generators for cheap, non-stolen electricity and will improve the supply of clean, affordable and resilient energy to South Asian countries. We will build a system test-bed at University of Hertfordshire (UH) Smart Lab to show how we can improve energy security and reduce cost though decentralised database systems based on blockchains and distributed ledger technology linked to our patented smart solar panels. We have a potential Indian partner standing by. Problem statement: Many communities in developing countries suffer from poor grid infrastructure which can be mitigated with rooftop solar energy located close to the point of consumption. Ongoing fraud and theft costs must be reduced for schemes to be financially viable; strong asset management and improved security against cyber-attacks can help. Distributed rooftop solar PV also mitigates local energy distribution problems and grid stability bottlenecks. Smart solar panels increase resistance to cyber-attacks and provide strong asset management to reduce cost of theft and fraud. This will benefit aid agencies, investors, operators and owners. Project outputs: (i) System test-bed with demonstration hardware and software applications linked to the cloud. (ii) We will demonstrate how new kinds of cryptocurrency such as SolarCoins can complement income from selling electricity to reward investors or repay loans. This may offset the disappearance of feed-in-tariffs. (iii) Our demonstrator will help financiers, businesses and government departments further understand investment opportunities arising from these fast moving technologies. (iv) During the project we will explore opportunities and cultural barriers for in-country deployment to replicate our test-bed with local partners.
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 625.40K | Year: 2016
Title: Process analysis, observations and modelling - Integrated solutions for cleaner air for Delhi (PROMOTE) Air pollution has been widely recognized as a major global health risk. Given that 1 in every 10 total deaths can be attributed to air pollution (World Bank 2016), there are major implications for the cities of the world. As part of the Indo-Gangetic Plain (IGP), Delhi is subject to air pollution from a complex mixture of sources. As a consequence of the complex emissions and meteorology of the region, particulate matter (PM as PM10 and PM2.5), nitrogen oxides (NOx, NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) and black carbon (BC) all peak during post-monsoon periods and remain elevated during winter making the National Capital Region (NCR) one of the most polluted areas. Open questions remain regarding the inability of models to accurately predict air pollution during winter time fog events and quantifying incoming air pollution from large distances into Delhi. Over 4 years, PROMOTE aims to reduce uncertainties in air quality prediction and forecasting for Delhi by undertaking process orientated observational and modelling analyses and to derive the most effective mitigation solutions for reducing air pollution over the urban and surrounding region. PROMOTE brings together a cross-disciplinary team of leading researchers from India and the UK to deliver the project aims. Its investigations will address three key questions: Q1 What contribution is made by aerosols to the air pollution burden in Delhi? Q2 How does the lower atmospheric boundary layer affect the long range transport of air pollution incoming into Delhi? Q3 What are the most effective emission controls for mitigation interventions that will lead to significant reductions in air pollution and exposure levels over Delhi and the wider National Capital Region? To address the three key questions we will: 1 Examine the contribution of secondary aerosols to the air pollution burden in Delhi during distinct meteorological seasons by developing a new representative model scheme for subtropical urban environments; 2 Investigate how boundary layer interactions lead to high air pollution events during pre-monsoon and stable winter fog periods affecting Delhi; 3 Quantify local, urban and regional contributions to Delhis air quality through an improved understanding of aerosols, long-range transport and boundary layer processes; 4 Test the Delhis air quality forecasting system incorporating improved understanding of aerosol pollution and atmospheric boundary layer processs; 5 Develop the first multiscale modelling system for predicting high resolution concentrations of PM2.5, PM10, NO2 and other pollutants and then provide the analysis for developing effective mitigation strategies for Delhi; 6 Synthesise and translate the outcomes of PROMOTE with other APHH projects to provide datasets for exposure and health studies and contribute to a roadmap for implementing effective local and regional mitigation strategies to meet current and future compliance and health requirements in Delhi and NCR. Through our analysis, we will deliver new knowledge on how local, urban and regional (LRT) sources of air pollution affect Delhis air quality. With an improved understanding of aerosols and lower atmosphere dynamics, sensitivities between air pollutant concentrations and changes in local (e.g. traffic, industrial) and regional contributions will be quantified with a new multiscale modelling system for recommending interventions and mitigation options for Delhi.
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 462.17K | Year: 2017
Everyday Lives in War aims to build productive community engagement and research partnerships with the capacity to stretch and even surprise all involved. It connects university and community researchers to explore histories and legacies of the First World War through collaborative histories, creative performance, source exploration, practical experiment and digital sharing. The Centre has a physical base three geographical regions: eastern and central England; South West England; and the North West, and supports collaborative partnerships across the U.K. In developing objectives and a programme of activities for a second phase of work (2017-19), the Centre has reflected on experience since 2014. Phase 1 for ELIW can be summed up as a process of making communities of interest. This was particularly significant because our research themes of food, theatre, childhood, farming, supernatural beliefs, cartoons, military tribunals and conscientious objection, ran counter to the dominant trajectory of national UK commemoration. Phase 2 consolidates our topics under the heading of everyday life and builds on our commitment to listening to diverse voices. The Centre will continue innovative dialogues between university and community researchers. In 2017 the Centre will embark on connecting communities of interest. It will draw on the expertise and enthusiasm evident in the collaborative projects funded by the Centre, in HLF-funded and other grassroots community groups, and in the work of independent researchers. Our aim here is to foster sustainable and creative research networks, reach under-represented groups, inspire new FWW projects (and applications to HLF) and to explore best practice in realising this ambition. In 2018, we will highlight international contexts to deepen the research networks and understanding of the everyday life theme. The programme for 2019 will draw together the work of the previous 5 years in a final intensive phase of reflection on legacy: historical legacies of the FWW in the UK and the wider world; the significance of the centenary as a device for thinking forward through the past; and lessons for working as an engaged university. Everyday life offers a powerful tool in exploring stories hidden even to ourselves, and in reflecting on memory, scale and the relevance of present-day issues in constructing different national pasts. The impact of the FWW on those born since 1919 allows the Centre to address inter-generational relationships and re-think the meanings of legacy. Geographical communities are significant to the Centre, but so is the inclusion of communities of interest, belief, practice, circumstance or experience. Through co-produced research, the Centre is developing intellectual and cultural contexts to enrich historical understanding of the FWW. Phase 2 will expand these insights by considering the significance of hands-on history when communities of makers engage creatively with FWW histories of their crafts. The centenary of the FWW is an opportunity to probe in innovative ways the historical significance of a period which resonates strongly in contemporary Britain. In 2013, the precise form of centenary activities, the relationship between academic and public histories, and the influence of the state and other bodies in shaping memorialisation, were still uncertain. A conjunction of meticulous research, living tradition and multiple end users, is creating a situation that is itself a fascinating subject for analysis and an occasion for profound dialogue about the nature of scholarship and heritage in 21st-century Britain.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 1.93M | Year: 2016
Lung diseases are a major global health burden. 300 million people live with asthma worldwide and it is predicted that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will become the third-leading cause of death by 2020. The inhalation of therapeutic aerosols is a familiar medical strategy to treat lung diseases. Aerosol therapy can also achieve high antibiotic concentrations in the lung to treat infections. When aerosols are targeted into the deep lung, inhaled therapy also provides a means to achieve systemic concentrations of active pharmaceutical ingredients and avoid the need for injections of drugs that are destroyed in the gastrointestinal tract, such as insulin. Despite its potential, many patients fail to gain the full benefits of inhaled therapies in treating lung disease, and systemic drug delivery has failed to achieve the market break-through it deserves. Some of the ineffectiveness arises from the inability of patients to use their therapy correctly. However, achieving aerosol deposition in the lungs is a major challenge even for those patients with good inhaler technique. The challenge is to produce a portable dosage form containing components that can be redispersed by a patient. Redispersion must be achieved with uniformity of a dose in the form of an aerosol with the properties required for lung penetration. Turning potentially inhalable particles into formulated products that can be manufactured reproducibly, and that achieve consistent aerosolization performance between different patients poses many challenges that are poorly-solved. Consensus meetings of industrial, academic and regulatory experts in the field of inhaled medicine have identified the need to improve control and consistency of drug deposition performance. Additionally there is a need to improve our understanding of how and why the characteristics of starting materials interact with the manufacturing conditions to lead to inter-batch and inter-patient variability in aerosol characteristics. At the heart of the challenge is the fact that the very property of the particles that makes them suitable for inhalation (their small size which, at less than 5 microns, is less than the diameter of a human hair) also causes them to clump together as agglomerates. Theme 1 of the project will employ synthonic engineering (a computer modelling technique based on the molecular structures of pharmaceutical ingredients) to achieve new abilities to predict agglomeration behaviour early in development, and the interactions of agglomerate materials with inactive ingredients in the formulation. Theme 2 will use new measurement techniques that image how agglomerates interact with each other in powders to develop an understanding and characterize how the agglomerate phase in a formulation leads to inter-patient or inter-batch variability of product performance. Theme 3 will underpin the knowledge gained from powder imaging to assess the underlying causes of agglomeration. Better, integrated experimental measurement techniques will be developed to characterize the material properties that regulate the extent and strength of interactions between particles. Theme 4 focuses on developing new computational models to characterize the behaviour of agglomerated powders during the mechanical processes occurring when a patient breathes through an inhaler, and when powders are processed during manufacturing. The final component of the project is to integrate the knowledge gained in Themes 1-4 to engineer quality into a range of test products selected by an advisory panel. This will be achieved by using the prediction and measurement techniques to inform formulation scientists, device designers and process engineers of the steps that are appropriate to mitigate the effects of agglomeration on product performance. The ultimate goal is to use the techniques developed to translate the therapeutic benefits for patients using inhaled medicines from molecules to manufactured products.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-ADG | Phase: ERC-ADG-2015 | Award Amount: 2.50M | Year: 2016
The project aims to establish an authoritative scientific framework for understanding the relationship between group ritual, social cohesion, and pro-group behaviour. Rituals have shaped human societies for millennia, but the exact social consequences of rituals are poorly understood. The proposed research will identify the fundamental components of rituals worldwide and chart their effects on patterns of group alignment and action. Doing so will have a lasting impact on basic understandings of the nature, causes, and consequences of ritual dynamics as well as open up exciting new avenues of inquiry that bridge the humanities and social sciences. It is proposed that within numerous cultures and group types, collective rituals come in two main forms with distinct consequences: 1) affectively-intense, rarely-enacted rituals bond group members tightly and motivate extreme self-sacrifice; 2) frequently repeated rituals create allegiance to broad collectives and motivate ingroup bias. Using this model as a starting point, the proposed research programme will seek to achieve three tightly linked objectives. Objective 1 will examine psychological mechanisms underlying rituals effects on group cohesion and behaviour in ten nations. Objective 2 will focus on the ritual dynamics of special populations exposed to group-related violence (e.g., war veterans, ex-convicts, war-torn communities). Objective 3 will examine the functions of ritual and cohesion in cultural group selection. Using new techniques, we will quantitatively code and analyse qualitative data on ritual and cohesion in large historical databases from hundreds of groups over the past 12,000 years. Overall, these research objectives aim to provide insights into key questions (e.g., what are the fundamental building blocks of group rituals?), understudied groups (e.g., revolutionary combatants), and unresolved debates in many fields (e.g., what motivates self-sacrifice?).
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DS-02-2014 | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2015
Industry needs alternatives to textual passwords for access control. While tokens can still be stolen or transferred to other persons, biometrics technology can provide reliable, cost-effective and user-friendly solutions. The proliferation of smart services calls for unsupervised authentication at a distance. Being natural, non-intrusive and readily compatible with smart and mobile devices, automatic speaker verification (ASV) is an appealing solution. Even so, todays state-of-the-art ASV systems lack robustness to environmental variability and are vulnerable to spoofing. Concerns regarding interoperability, scalability and privacy also form barriers to exploitation. While embracing standards, in addition to a privacy and interoperability-by-design ethos, OCTAVE will integrate commercial-grade and new, hybrid ASV systems with the latest environmental robustness and anti-spoofing technologies to deliver a scalable, trusted biometric authentication service (TBAS). While simultaneously relieving end-users from the inconvenience of dealing with textual passwords, the OCTAVE platform will reduce the economic and practical burdens related to password loss and recovery. The TBAS will support single (text-dependent, text-prompted and text-independent) in addition to hybrid operating modes. The delegation of authentication to a single, yet distributed TBAS, will increase trust and privacy, avoid single points of failure and allow for rapid breach notification and remediation. Solutions will be installed in data-sensitive and mission-critical services and validated in two real commercial trials: banking services and physical access within a critical airport infrastructure. Flexibility will support wider exploitation in future applications in, for example, customer care, telephone banking, e-commerce, logical and physical access control. OCTAVE will thus fuel new opportunities for commercial services making use of electronic identification and authentication.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-23-2014 | Award Amount: 3.97M | Year: 2015
The WiMUST (Widely scalable Mobile Underwater Sonar Technology) project aims at expanding and improving the functionalities of current cooperative marine robotic systems, effectively enabling distributed acoustic array technologies for geophysical surveying with a view to exploration and geotechnical applications. Recent developments have shown that there is vast potential for groups of marine robots acting in cooperation to drastically improve the methods available for ocean exploration and exploitation. Traditionally, seismic reflection surveying is performed by vessel towed streamers of hydrophones acquiring reflected acoustic signals generated by acoustic sources (either towed or onboard a vessel). In this context, geotechnical surveying for civil and commercial applications (e.g., underwater construction, infrastructure monitoring, mapping for natural hazard assessment, environmental mapping, etc.) aims at seafloor and sub-bottom characterization using towed streamers of fixed length that are extremely cumbersome to operate. The vision underlying the WiMUST proposal is that of developing advanced cooperative and networked control / navigation systems to enable a large number (tens) of marine robots (both on the surface and submerged) to interact by sharing information as a coordinated team (not only in pairs). The WiMUST system may be envisioned as an adaptive variable geometry acoustic array. By allowing the group of surface and submerged vehicles to change their geometrical configuration, an end-user can seamlessly change the geometry of the virtual streamer trailing the emitter, something that has not been achieved in practice and holds potential to drastically improve ocean surveying. The project brings together a group of research institutions, geophysical surveying companies and SMEs with a proven track record in autonomous adaptive and robust systems, communications, networked cooperative control and navigation, and marine robot design and fabrication.
Agency: GTR | Branch: EPSRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 578.05K | Year: 2017
The goal of this proposal is to seek funding to extend the functionalities of the robotics hardware in the University of Hertfordshires (UH) Robot House (RH), creating the Robot House 2.0 - and, importantly, to make it accessible to other research groups. The new robots to be purchased include the multipurpose and modular care-o-bot 4 which can be tailored to individual user needs and assistance scenarios. This will be complemented by less expensive, smaller platforms with more specialised functionalities: the mobile Pepper robot, Turtlebot 2 and Fetch, Sawyer robot, and the Pioneer LX and Kinova arm/manipulator. Those systems are complemented by already existing robotic hardware in the Robot House, including the telepresence Giraff robot. Having a variety of different robotic systems with differing and complementary functionalities will allow a wide range of innovative smart home and robotics research, opening up completely new scenarios and applications areas ranging from smart home and robotics technology to co-worker scenarios, that require either advanced mobility, telepresence, manipulation or communication abilities. Purchasing these new systems will allow other research groups and industry to use the RH2.0 smart home environment for development, testing and evaluation purposes. Our vision is for RH2.0 to become an easily accessible hub for UK universities and industry conducting research into smart home and robotics technology.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-24-2015 | Award Amount: 4.00M | Year: 2016
The crowning achievement of human communication is our unique ability to share intentionality, create and execute on joint plans. Using this paradigm we model human-robot communication as a three step process: sharing attention, establishing common ground and forming shared goals. Prerequisites for successful communication are being able to decode the cognitive state of people around us (mindreading) and building trust. Our main goal is to create robots that analyze and track human behavior over time in the context of their surroundings (situational) using audio-visual monitoring in order to establish common ground and mind-reading capabilities. On BabyRobot we focus on the typically developing and autistic spectrum children user population. Children have unique communication skills, are quick and adaptive learners, eager to embrace new robotic technologies. This is especially relevant for special eduation where the development of social skills is delayed or never fully develops without intervention or therapy. Thus our second goal is to define, implement and evaluate child-robot interaction application scenarios for developing specific socio-affective, communication and collaboration skills in typically developing and autistic spectrum children. We will support not supplant the therapist or educator, working hand-in-hand to create a low risk environment for learning and cognitive development. Breakthroughs in core robotic technologies are needed to support this research mainly in the areas of motion planning and control in constrained spaces, gestural kinematics, sensorimotor learning and adaptation. Our third goal is to push beyond the state-of-the-art in core robotic technologies to support natural human-robot interaction and collaboration for edutainment and healthcare applications. Creating robots that can establish communication protocols and form collaboration plans on the fly will have impact beyond the application scenarios investigated here.