Entanglements in the computer club: learning as non-compliant and ‘in the making’ Lucy Caton Participatory research for children within school enrichment activities is often located in utilitarian approaches where children’s participation is intertwined with the ideas and practices of knowing and representing children’s experiences and thought processes (Elwick and Sumsion 2013). However, concerns that such approaches may obscure and perpetuate the ever-present realities of power within the researcher ‘gaze’ for children and their learning. This has led to calls for the need to broaden and deepen theoretical understanding of child participation within visual research. The purpose of this research is to contribute to ongoing discussions about children, and their entanglements with the material world. I offer a new methodological approach in capturing events in a school based computer club, filmed from two different camera perspectives (a body harness and a static camera). The research uses Deleuze and Guatarri’s (1987) concept of ‘haptic thinking’ and ‘smooth and striated’ space to think differently and move beyond fixed narratives of children and their learning. I move away from the boarders and boundaries of traditional representational explanations of images and towards an approach that changes and affects how viewers experience seeing, going beyond conventional meaning. I look to the perceptual-sensory experience created as digital images and viewers come into being with one another (Otterstad & Waterhouse, 2016) in an attempt to change the way researchers situate themselves within an ontology of becoming. I present several images that allow us to explore elements such as vitality, reverberation and movement that challenge what constitutes data but also changes how we think about the data analysis process. A new approach to understanding the factors affecting myoelectric prosthesis user functionality and everyday usage. Alix Chadwell The absence of a hand either from birth or through amputation can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Not only are daily tasks more difficult, but overuse injuries in the remaining muscles and joints are common. The provision of a myoelectric prosthesis can help to restore some functionality to the user. These devices use electrical impulses generated within the muscles of the residual arm to control motors which allow the prosthetic hand to be opened and closed. Unfortunately, there have not been any significant advances in clinically available prostheses since their introduction in the 1960’s. It is therefore unsurprising that rejection of myoelectric prostheses is reasonably high leading us to question whether technology driven approaches are not the way forward. Instead we suggest looking at the existing control chain in order to understand where it would benefit from improvement. Research has identified a number of factors which can make myoelectric prostheses difficult for users to control; these factors include the skill of the user in generating the correct muscle signals, the reliability with which the socket mounted electrodes detect the signals, and the speed the hand responds. This will be the first study to bring these factors together into one experiment. To understand how each of these factors impacts on the user, I am assessing their performance using their prosthesis on a series of structured tasks in the laboratory and also, for the first time, recording data on their use of their device in everyday life.
Management of residual waste in a circular economy Carly Fletcher Consumption of products and services are increasing globally in light of growing affluence. Although this may improve the quality of life for present generations, these consumption patterns have been shown to be unsustainable; contributing to environmental degradation as well as complex challenges such as climate change, resource depletion and geopolitical tension. The circular economy model aims to reduce the impact of unsustainable consumption, by promoting effective design, optimised production systems, maximised product utility and resource efficiency. In an ideal world, the adoption of the circular economy would see resources recycled an infinite number of times, products designed for functionality rather than attractiveness, and energy derived completely from renewable sources. Unfortunately, this ideal world does not exist; indeed a limitation of the circular economy is how to deal with residual waste materials within current productions system that do not fit into the circular economy ethos. This research focuses on such residual wastes. Improvements in waste management that capitalise on easy gains (e.g. recycling materials rather than landfilling), although successful, have begun to plateau. Therefore, to increase resource efficiency further, schemes must be developed in light of diminishing returns at the margin, for example the increased use of Mechanical-Biological Treatment (MBT). This research aims to understand how the management and utilisation of outputs from MBT can be optimised to contribute further to resource efficiency. It will discuss the appropriateness of relevant regulatory measures, and assess how policy inefficiencies can act as barriers to achieving increased resource efficiency. The creation of a novel predictive model for compounded poly (vinyl chloride) (PVC) formulations through various characterisation techniques and vibrational spectroscopic mapping. Kate Irvin Currently within the PVC industry, countless hours are spent creating formulations with specific properties due to the long test periods required with mechanical and physical testing. This research aims to change this with the use of a predictive model. In order to create this model vibrational spectroscopic technique will be used alongside the tests currently used within the PVC industry in order to determine what relationships can be drawn. In addition to looking at the relationships looked between current test methods and vibrational spectroscopies, the study will also look at the influence of the raw materials used and how different levels of raw materials influence these results. The initial tests completed within this research have shown, as expected, that the greater the plasticiser level, the greater the softness of the material. The observed relationship is not however linear as might be expected. With basic spot tests on ATR-FTIR, it can be observed that these changes in plasticiser level can be monitored. The next step within these preliminary investigations will be to look at these samples in more detail using both FT-IR and Raman spectroscopy. As well as seeing how this change in plasticiser level influences other mechanical and physical properties, such as the stress/strain properties and the heat stability. As the plasticiser itself can be altered within the industry this will also be changed to determine whether a change in the plasticiser gives the same relationship and if these plasticisers can be differentiated once within a PVC formulation.