Wolverhampton, United Kingdom
Wolverhampton, United Kingdom

The University of Wolverhampton is a British university located on four campuses across the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire. The city campus is located in Wolverhampton city centre, with a second campus at Walsall and a third in Telford. There is an additional fourth campus in Wolverhampton at the University of Wolverhampton Science Park. The university also operates a Health Education Centre in Burton-upon-Trent for nursing students.The institution was known as Wolverhampton Polytechnic before gaining university status in 1992. Its roots lie in the 19th-century growth of the Wolverhampton Mechanics’ Institute ; the Wolverhampton Free Library ; and the School of Art, established in 1851, which came together as the Wolverhampton and Staffordshire Technical College in 1931.The university has seven academic schools/faculties and several cross-disciplinary research centres and institutes.It has approximately 23,000 students and currently offers over 380 undergraduate and postgraduate courses.The university is noted for its success in encouraging wider participation in higher education. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-04-2015 | Award Amount: 6.83M | Year: 2016

Environmental heating is a growing challenge for our community and problems are already experienced by millions of Europeans during the summertime and aggravated during heat waves or occupational settings. In addition to the well-known health risks related to severe heat stress, a number of studies have confirmed significant loss of productivity due to hyperthermia. Even if countries adopt the EU proposal for limiting global CO2 emissions, climate change and its associated threat to public health will continue for many decades. Thus, it is crucial to develop strategies to mitigate the detrimental health and societal effects of these environmental changes. Stakeholders such as policy makers and the private sector usually lack the technical capabilities or facilities to conduct R&D activities at the level of excellence required for such development. European research institutes have the capacity to conduct the R&D necessary to develop solutions. However, they often lack the capacity to transform these solutions into policies and assess their health, economic and social benefits. The HEAT-SHIELD project will create a sustainable inter-sector framework that will promote health as well as productivity for European citizens in the context of global warming. The project will produce a series of state-of-the-art innovative outcomes including: (i) appropriate technical and biophysical research-based solutions to be implemented when the ambient temperature poses a health threat or impairs productivity (ii) a weather-based warning system with online open access service that anticipates the events that may pose a threat to workers health; (iii) scenario-specific policies and solutions aimed at health promotion and preventing loss of productivity (iv) implementation of the formulated policies and evaluation of their health, economic and social benefits. Consequently, the HEAT-SHIELD project provides a multi-sector approach to address the serious environmental challenge.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-7.1-2014 | Award Amount: 5.97M | Year: 2015

Transportation sector undergoes a considerable transformation as it enters a new landscape where connectivity is seamless and mobility options and related business models are constantly increasing. Modern transportation systems and services have to mitigate problems emerging from complex mobility environments and intensive use of transport networks including excessive CO2 emissions, high congestion levels and reduced quality of life. Due to the saturation of most urban networks, innovative solutions to the above problems need to be underpinned by collecting, processing and broadcasting an abundance of data from various sensors, systems and service providers. Furthermore, such novel transport systems have to foresee situations in near real time and provide the means for proactive decisions, which in turn will deter problems before they even emerge. Our vision is to provide the required interoperability, adaptability and dynamicity in modern transport systems for a proactive and problem-free transportation system. OPTIMUM will establish a largely scalable, distributed architecture for the management and processing of multisource big-data, enabling continuous monitoring of transportation systems needs and proposing proactive decisions and actions in an (semi-) automatic way. OPTIMUM follows a cognitive approach based on the Observe, Orient, Decide, Act loop of the big data supply chain for continuous situational awareness. OPTIMUMs goals will be achieved by incorporating and advancing state of the art in transport and traffic modeling, travel behavior analysis, sentiment analysis, big data processing, predictive analysis and real-time event-based processing, persuasive technologies and proactive recommenders. The proposed solution will be deployed in real-life pilots in order to realise challenging use cases in the domains of proactive improvement of transport systems quality and efficiency, proactive charging for freight transport and Car2X communication integration.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2013.8.2 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2014

Public administrations (PA) need to cope with various challenges: new regulations, an aging workforce and the need for adopting their ICT. Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) represents thus a sensible option notably for rural local governments (RLG) that need to keep up with such changing environments, but do have limited ac-cess to training courses.From interviews of a pre-study with RLG in 5 European countries we know that obstacles are to include learning in the work process and a lack of training plans. There are deficiencies in communication and collaboration skills despite regular use of computer and mobile devices.EAGLEs main objective is to equip employees in RLG with a holistic training solution based on Open Educa-tional Resources (OER) and Open Source (OS) tools, supporting learning of critical transversal skills such as ICT literacy and professional management of change situations. EAGLE outcomes include an innovative change management model for a learning-enhanced work process, a proficiency-based cross-device OER curriculum, and contextualization tools for multilingual collaboration. These will be integrated in the novel EAGLE OER Open Learning platform that includes a new OER ontology for public administration and combines open data and learning platforms feeding into user services, argumentation technology tool and semantic search.Our solution will thus support OS business models for the benefit of technology and e-learning providers. It will be built on existing OS tools and frameworks, IEEE OER standards and the CKAN open data standards. The EAGLE consortium includes leaders in European OER, TEL, online assessment, mobile learning and e-government research as well as experts in organisational and pedagogical development, semantic web systems and services for PA.EAGLE will significantly advance the state-of-the-art in PA learning and introduce the tech-nology through our validation and associated partners in real-life RLG environments.


Do cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) translocate into spermatozoa and, if so, could they be utilized to deliver a much larger protein cargo? Chemically diverse polycationic CPPs rapidly and efficiently translocate into spermatozoa. They exhibit differential accumulation within intracellular compartments without detrimental influences upon cellular viability or motility but they are relatively ineffective in transporting larger proteins. Endocytosis, the prevalent route of protein internalization into eukaryotic cells, is severely compromised in mature spermatozoa. Thus, the translocation of many bioactive agents into sperm is relatively inefficient. However, the delivery of bioactive moieties into mature spermatozoa could be significantly improved by the identification and utility of an efficient and inert vectorial delivery technology. CPP translocation efficacies, their subsequent differential intracellular distribution and the influence of peptides upon viability were determined in bovine spermatozoa. Temporal analyses of sperm motility in the presence of exogenously CPPs utilized normozoospermic human donor samples. CPPs were prepared by manual, automated and microwave-enhanced solid phase synthesis. Confocal fluorescence microscopy determined the intracellular distribution of rhodamine-conjugated CPPs in spermatozoa. Quantitative uptake and kinetic analyses compared the translocation efficacies of chemically diverse CPPs and conjugates of biotinylated CPPs and avidin. 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt (MTS) conversion assays were employed to analyse the influence of CPPs upon sperm cell viability and sperm class assays determined the impact of CPPs on motility in capacitated and non-capacitated human samples. Chemically heterogeneous CPPs readily translocated into sperm to accumulate within discrete intracellular compartments. Mitoparan (INLKKLAKL(Aib)KKIL), for example, specifically accumulated within the mitochondria located in the sperm midpiece. The unique plasma membrane composition of sperm is a critical factor that directly influences the uptake efficacy of structurally diverse CPPs. No correlations in efficacies were observed when comparing CPP uptake into sperm with either uptake into fibroblasts or direct translocation across a phosphatidylcholine membrane. These comparative investigations identified C105Y (CSIPPEVKFNKPFVYLI) as a most efficient pharmacokinetic modifier for general applications in sperm biology. Significantly, CPP uptake induced no detrimental influence upon either bovine sperm viability or the motility of human sperm. As a consequence of the lack of endocytotic machinery, the CPP-mediated delivery of much larger protein complexes into sperm is relatively inefficient when compared with the similar process in fibroblasts. It is possible that some CPPs could directly influence aspects of sperm biology and physiology that were not analysed in this study. CPP technologies have significant potential to deliver selected bioactive moieties and so could modulate the biology and physiology of human sperm biology both prior- and post-fertilization.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Knowledge Transfer Partnership | Award Amount: 108.90K | Year: 2015

To develop new boom and arm design on MVC liquid waste tankers. To improve the ergonomics, usage, operations, functionality, styling and cost.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 79.43K | Year: 2017

In an MIT White Paper the architect and urban planner Susan Silberberg (2012) argued for the value of making in place-making as a means to drive community engagement in the future design of public space. Momentum is growing for a making-centric world, she declared, emphasising the deep engagement and deeply inclusive approach that comes when an enterprise or activity is undertaken in community settings over a period of time. Maker-centric takes this material placed-based approach to engaging communities in speculative co-design. It argues that making in place, with all the historical, geographical, cultural, political and economic specificities which that entails, and critically re-imaging place through creative place-making, is vital to connecting communities and developing, engagement, assets and agency (Hackney & Figueiredo 2017). As such it builds on findings from a raft of Connected Communities projects and events, most recently the teams contribution to the Utopias Festival at Somerset House July 2016. This was led by Community Partner Craftspace, Birmingham in collaboration with Wolverhampton University, and piloted a proposal for how co-created, creative making might provide a platform for community co-speculation as a form of living heritage (https://cocreatingcare.wordpress.com/maker-centric-2016/). The project is timely given regional dissatisfactions post-Brexit. Focusing on Midlands heritage builds on, and provides opportunities to connect with the regions long history of industrial innovation and radical thinking from a contemporary perspective (see Made in the Middle and The Matter of the North BBCR4). Locating the project within such contemporary initiatives as the Midlands Engine of which Wolverhampton University is a part and that aims to capitalise on the Midlands natural strengths and assets (Sajid Javid 2016), and Craftspaces Made in the Middle that is currently is in its eight year (http://craftspace.co.uk/), strengthens currency and relevance. The Midlands is a highly diverse multi-cultural region and place-based making includes making in the private spaces of the home just as much as the public spaces of the town or city. As such we work with minority ethnic and excluded groups to reimagine their locality, including women who, although often isolated have shared interests and skills in domestic making (sewing, embroidery, textiles); assets that if supported can increase agency and opportunity through creative practice and knowledge exchange (Hackney 2013). Partnership working has been at the heart of all our community engagement research to date. It is essential in embedding the research in communities, gaining trust, minimalizing risk and building legacy. This project takes that learning to a new level, not only working with current partner Craftspace as a Community Co-Investigator but also by extending the learning to the organisations like-minded partner network within the region: Legacy West Midlands http://legacy-wm.org/ and Creative Black Country http://www.creativeblackcountry.co.uk/, for instance, and beyond. The latter involves knowledge exchange through co-making with Terra Vera, an association in Slovenia that supports community resilience through sustainable development in praxis, including a programme of networks supporting women handcrafters as local entrepreneurs. The organisations remit to work with low-income communities, encourage intergenerational dialogue, provide new opportunities for vulnerable social groups, and promote creative re-use of material and clothes, parallels our research with place-making, making exchanges and maker spaces to promote sustainable thinking, build assets and agency (Hackney 2017). Maker-centric builds capacity and impact through co-making communities that are simultaneously locally embedded in a critical engagement with place, and internationally connected through a shared commitment to making.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 531.00K | Year: 2016

This project aims to help people with dementia engage in social contexts to improve psychosocial wellbeing. People who are affected by Alzheimers disease or other dementias often face cognitive, behavioural and psychosocial difficulties, including impairment and degeneration of memory and of perceptions of identity. In a social context, this can cause difficulties of recognizing, relating to and empathising with other people. These difficulties often pose a challenge for engaging socially, reinforcing their effects and reducing personal well-being. Design can offer novel ways of complementing existing care approaches to empower people with dementia in everyday social situations. Utilising the concept of mindful design, we will investigate innovative design solutions to enable self-empowerment and confidence building of people living with dementia. We will specifically focus on two areas: personal difficulties with social interaction and environmental influences on social engagement. In these two contexts, we will study how personal, wearable designs can help mediate perceptions of identity and emotion management; and how environmental aspects can reduce feelings of information overload and instill feelings of self-empowerment and control. The outcomes and benefits of the project will include: the development of new uses of design for helping people with dementia to engage socially and improve subjective well-being; the presentation of a robust methodological co-design framework for the development and evaluation of the designs in dementia care settings; the development of a holistic mindful model of designing and of a model for mindful care for social engagement for people with dementia; policy recommendations for the inclusion of design within dementia care. This groundbreaking project will be enabled through an innovative consortium of academic and non-academic partners that combines research in product and environmental design, ICT, and dementia care.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 146.59K | Year: 2017

Transnational criminal networks utilise Information Communication Technology (ICT) to commit old and new types of crime. ICT assists in transnational crime (i.e., hacking) and also as a way to exchange information or plan new crimes. Empirical research has provided ample evidence that social and familial networks play a crucial role in the formation and growth (recruitment) of criminal networks. However, ICT now makes it possible for organised crime to form networks without the restrictions of geographic proximity and with the growth in the online gambling sector estimated at 13 billion Euros per annum in the EU worth approximately 15 percent of EU gambling market such sums of revenue attracts unwanted attention from organised cybercriminals. This proposal will therefore examine online gambling and extortion networks. The reason(s) for this is that gambling illegal and legal has often attracted organised crime, and empirical evidence regarding online gambling and extortion in EU is limited. The objectives of this research are: -establish tools and technique that facilitate management of internal/external cyber-threats to online gambling sector -validate tools and techniques that will facilitate the management of internal/external cyber-threats to online gambling sector -set standards of information management -set standards of dissemination and flows of information to cybersecurity centres from online gambling sector in EU This is to be achieved by: -interviews with key individuals (systems managers at online sites and law enforcement) -analyse data for information flows and breaking down volume of information into accessible data for internal and external use. -analyse current decision making processes/systems and processing information -analyse exchange of data to improve and implement best practice available in cybersecurity across EU online gambling sites


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-IF-EF-ST | Phase: MSCA-IF-2015-EF | Award Amount: 195.45K | Year: 2017

Work-related stress is costing the UK economy about 10 million man-hours and 16 billion. An intervention to curb the advent of stress is proposed: Stress-Blocker (Streblo). Cognitive psychology identifies five main personalities (Big-5): extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness. How these Big-5 differ in the dynamics of stress are unexplored, particularly in the field of construction where stress is also prevalent. Behavioural science explains differences in the coping abilities of people. Thus Part A of the study is an empirical investigation of the impacts of stressors on the Big-5 and their different coping behaviours. Data from at least 1500 UK construction personnel will be collected using a questionnaire, and analysed using multiple inferential statistical techniques: hierarchical regression, factor analysis and sequential equation modelling. The findings will then inform Part B: the development of Streblo, a cloud-based IT tool for the effective recognition and deterrence of stress. Streblo will operate on artificial intelligence and its initial simulation will be carried out using of the WEKA software. Data from 1200 respondents will be used to train Streblo while the remaining 300 pseudo responses will be used to pilot (validate) the performance of the product. Streblo will also be validated with the partner organisations and project managers, through focus group meetings which will be recorded, transcribed and analysed using the Nvivo software. Streblo will then be launched as a simple, quick-to-use and free IT app which will be accessible on mobile devices, PCs and laptops. Streblo will exploit advanced technologies to prevent stress in different construction job profiles as well as other sectors of the economy. It will be the first worldwide integrated system that is based on personality profiling and associated coping skills to empower individuals to manage event-related stress in the context of their job roles.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: AHRC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 66.02K | Year: 2016

Theme: The Digital World: Opportunities and Challenges. Iconic heritage is globally threatened by terror, climate change, rampant commercialisation, and overexploitation by tourism; and in the case of Egypt, significant disinvestment. Lack of responsible planning, maintenance and preservation strategies have equally caused unmitigated dereliction and irreversible damage to many heritage sites and cultural traditions in the medieval city in Cairo. Instability across the MENA region has prompted calls for the protection of culture and archaeological heritage as a political, economic and global challenge. With the increasing rate of destruction of heritage sites, digital preservation of historic artefacts and cultural heritage has arisen as an international priority. With tourism industry contributing 11% to Egypts GDP and Non-governmental organisations, charity foundations and private sector enterprises are dramatically growing, technical and community support to this industry has become at the forefront of sustainable economy and social welfare of local populations. Yet, there are strategies, practices, skills and technologies that can protect, develop and sustain these places, in other forms of reproduction; such as digital modelling, immersive virtual and augmented reality, and cinematography and Audio-visual archives. Digitisation of heritage through customs, photo archives, film footage, oral history documentaries has become central for the preservation of national identity and effective tool in strategies of undermining radical ideologies in marginalised communities. The use of online platforms, virtual exhibitions and digitization of heritage is ever increasing and the virtual reality models of historic sites are becoming a main tool to engage with distant and remote heritage locations, yet stretch audience outreach and contribute to online income generating activities. Virtual environments which embed cultural heritage through digital media are often categorized as virtual heritage. Such new media and technology platforms offer the possibility to experience virtually reconstructed historic sites or heritage sites as visitors, travellers or even as a resident. The proposed Cultural-feed Virtual Heritage CfVH collaborative network will develop projects, forums of exchange and activities that focus on undertaking creative and practice-led research on Imaging Cultural heritage in virtual environments. It will support young researchers, entrepreneurs to engage with innovative technological industry and inform policy makers and online tourism on the advantages and reward of engaging with digital platforms of virtual heritage. This project aims to help participants, academic and none-academic, to take part in the development, design and planning of virtual heritage platforms using latest technology (CAVE & Virtual HoloDeck) and develop practice-led workshops. Young professionals and graduates will acquire creative and technical skills that support self-development as entrepreneurs and offer venues for networking with UK-based experts and researchers. The collaboration is designed to train a catalyst group of 30-40 Egyptians to acquire, learn, practice and promote the digital production of Virtual heritage and support their future research projects of cultural and archaeological heritage, both in Egypt and in the UK. Participants will be trained for an average of 60-80 hours on research, production and business planning to help develop private enterprises and engage with local communities and school children. The collaborative network anticipates supporting 4-6 start-ups and research projects in the two years following its conclusion and will initiate graduate courses in Heritage Digitisation at Egyptian Universities and at the University of Wolverhampton with prospected 60-80 graduates over 5 years.

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