1,546 results for Thesis, 2012

  • Water wharf : rediscovering the natural processes that support urban life

    Geary, Whitney (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    There is an urgency to find intelligent solutions for supplanting and diversifying water treatment to stop polluted water reaching our oceans. In New Zealand, soil run-off is the largest threat to our marine ecosystem and urban landscapes contribute litter, sediment, harmful chemicals, heavy metals and nutrients to the mix. Auckland City has very little infrastructure in place to treat its urban run-off, thus it was suggested as a pilot location for this project. This project envisions an environmentally friendly and aesthetically compelling urban run-off treatment facility that will enhance the development of urban communities. A proportion of the city’s stormwater pipes are intercepted and redirected to a treatment facility in the Viaduct Harbour; a location chosen for its conspicuity, its predisposition for receiving gravitational water flow, and for its established pedestrian accessibility. The process of water purification acts as a connective tissue through an environment that provokes a renewed relationship to water. As the water reaches its final stages of treatment, it becomes an interactive element in the form of fresh water streams, remediation wetlands, recreational estuarine pools and habitats for marine life. The water treatment facility supplies clean water to a freshwater habitat, with the aim of recovering whitebait populations; as well as returning purified water to the harbour. The mechanistic infrastructure of waterworks is transformed into an interactive and sensory series of purification strategies. Combined with platforms, piers, water tanks, restaurants, recreational pools and channels; water-based landscapes become organisational moments for community awareness. The proposed site is the area of Auckland City’s Viaduct Harbour intended for the extension of Halsey Wharf. It lies between the original Freemans Bay and Commercial Bay.

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  • HIV prevention, treatment, and care in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Crump, Andrew John (2012)

    Post-doctoral thesis
    University of Otago

    Description: xi, 296 pages : illustrations, map ; 30 cm. Notes: Thesis (M. D.)--University of Otago. Includes bibliographical references.

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  • Studies of Bore Water Oxidation Using a Multi Electrode-Perforated Electrode flow Through Cell

    Kurian, Ronnie (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Anoxic groundwaters in the Waikato region are naturally contaminated with iron and manganese at levels of 25.0 mg/L and 0.9 mg/L respectively and above. Often these contaminants can be removed by simple aeration and clarification and/or filtration. However when present with elevated levels of silica and/or organic matter, these waters, upon oxidation, can form highly stable brownish colloidal suspensions that are difficult to filter. Typical treatment methods for these waters usually involve expensive ion exchange to remove the metal ions in their reduced forms or chemical oxidation, using strong oxidising agents such as calcium hypochlorite, to precipitate the metals as their respective hydrous oxides. An improved multiple electrode perforated electrode flow through (ME-PEFT) cell has been developed for in-line electrochemical oxidation of these problem waters. In initial work, using low cost graphite anodes and with added sodium chloride (250 mg/L), 40% instant oxidation at 16 V was achieved. When dimensionally stabilised anodes (DSA) consisting of titanium metal coated with TiO₂/RuO₂/IrO₂ were used in a dual electrode pair ME-PEFT cell, 100% oxidation of the iron was obtained after a single pass through the cell using only the naturally available chloride (10 to 12 mg/L). Power consumption was 3.80 kWh/m³. The oxidised iron clarified readily yielding a clear solution containing less than 0.2 mg/L of iron and having a turbidity of 1.5 NTU after 5 hours settling time. Preliminary tests for an inline flotation clarifier have yielded promising results.

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  • Strata Movement Study Using a 250 m Deep Inclinometer Borehole, Huntly East Coalmine, New Zealand

    Du, Zhaodong (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Strata movement has adverse impacts on structures located on the surface and in the subsurface within a subsidence basin or affected area. Damages to a mine shaft may result from lateral movement and/ or vertical subsidence of the strata at a depth when the resultant stress is larger than the strength of the lining. My study was developed in collaboration with Solid Energy NZ Limited. My research concentrated on monitoring a 250 m deep borehole to assess changes of strata movement that occurred as underground mining approached the inclinometer borehole. The borehole was a simulation of a proposed shaft. The objectives of my research were to study strata movement characteristics above and adjacent to the North 5 coal mining area by monitoring the inclinometer and interpreting the reading data collected from the inclinometer borehole as the underground mining advanced; develop a model of subsidence using Phase2 software; then compare the modelling subsidence with what we have measured to identify any correlation or difference. The inclinometer borehole was located west of Te Ohaki Road, 300 m from the location of a proposed shaft in the adjacent panel in the Huntly East Mine. A total of 13 sets of inclinometer measurements were undertaken over two years from March 2009. Measurement stopped on 11 March 2011 because the probe could not be lowered through a depth of approximately 38 m in the borehole. My study uses ‘extraction vector’, and ‘movement trajectory of the borehole’ for analysing and interpreting the deep borehole movement in underground mining, and addresses the far field subsidence movement as to its potential impact on structures on the surface or in the subsurface. This thesis also introduces the concept of negative vertical additional friction, developed in China, which is a potentially helpful concept for this study, and the proposed shaft project. Three major movement zones were identified, two ‘shear zones’ from 135.0 to 135.5 m and from 166 to 170 m, and one ‘creeping zone’ from the surface to 115 m. The borehole movement was presented by the trajectory of the intersection of the borehole at depths of surface (1 m), 135 m, and 166 m. The two shear zones occurred on the bedding planes in Te Kuiti Group, the creeping zone occurred in the weak strata of the Tauranga Group and upper Te Kuiti Group. The borehole movements were non-linear, and the borehole lateral movement trajectories varied with depth. Three polynomial equations were developed from regression and modelling for indicating the relationship and predication between the nearest extraction distance and the induced lateral movement. The installation of an inclinometer borehole deeper than 120 m was not found in around 100 literature articles reviewed. No reports of use of inclinometer monitoring of ground movement induced by underground extraction were found in the literature reviewed. According to ASTM (2005), no standards are available yet for evaluation against precision and bias issues arising from use of borehole inclinometer. Therefore, the inclinometer borehole in this study may be one of the most complicated cases for monitoring and measurement of strata movement induced by the underground extraction in New Zealand.

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  • A Survey of Dihydroxyacetone in Nectar of Leptospermum Scoparium in Several Regions of New Zealand

    Williams, Simon Douglas (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    Mānuka honey has been identified as having non-peroxide antimicrobial activity (NPA). This medical benefit has led to mānuka honey becoming a major export for New Zealand. Hives are currently located in preserved or regenerating mānuka bush. With the growth in the mānuka honey industry, interest has arisen to determine why mānuka trees produce the non-peroxide active honey. Identification of this reason will allow mānuka plantations to be planted that are expected to provide honey with a high level of non-peroxide activity. These plantations will also allow marginal land to become more productive due to mānuka being a resilient plant able to grow under harsh conditions. It has been shown that the majority of the non-peroxide activity arises from the presence of methylglyoxal (MGO). In fresh honey a minimal amount of MGO was present, but a large amount of dihydroxyacetone (DHA) was found. Previous work has shown that DHA can undergo chemical conversion into MGO under the correct conditions. A similar conversion is postulated to take place in honey, testing suggests that this conversion is a non-enzymatic reaction. Preliminary surveys have been carried out which have identified DHA in the nectar of mānuka owers. This thesis describes a wider survey of mānuka trees around New Zealand.The trees were sampled in the flowering seasons of 2009 and 2010 between October and January. Flowers were picked and frozen for processing and an aqueous soaking method was developed to extract the DHA and sugar from a pooling of 20 owers. Analyses of the samples were carried out by gas chromatography with flame ionisation detection. This method was further improved to include the nectar extraction and measurement of DHA levels within a single flower. To allow the DHA to be related back to honey, it was measured in ratio to the total sugar (Tsugar) in the nectar to give the ratio DHA/Tsugar. It was confirmed that DHA/Tsugar measured in the nectar of the mānuka flower does vary within and between the regions surveyed. Suggested causes of within region variation are the age of the tree, micro-environments and possibly genetics. Variation between regions is strongly suggested to be genetically linked. Using the work by Adam set al.(2008, 2009), it was possible to predict honey NPA values based upon the DHA/Tsugar found in the nectar and these values were comparable with the measured NPA of the honey as supplied by beekeepers. Only a poor correlation of DHA/Tsugar was found with the soil components measured by Kiefer(2010); with the leaf oil components measured by Janusch(2010) some correlation was found, when these were correlated across all the sampled regions. When each region was correlated individually, the correlation proved much stronger, suggesting a link, though most likely indirect, to the mānuka oil chemotype. Using these survey results, mānuka trees have been identified for the purpose of breeding and on-going study.

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  • An investigation of the stability of yacon storage roots under commercial conditions and the feasibility of preparing blackcurrant-yacon juice mixtures for the retail market

    Revell, Maria Teresa (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    The stability of fructooligosaccharides (FOS) was investigated in yacon (Smallanthus sonchifolius Poepp. & Endl., Asteraceae) storage roots and blackcurrant-yacon juice mixtures. The roots and syrup are from yacon plants grown for NZ Biotechnologies, the only company in New Zealand licensed to grow yacon commercially for export. The hydrolysis of FOS in storage roots packaged in a semi-permable polymer was significantly reduced compared to unpackaged roots from the same plant, stored in the same conditions (5 °C for up to 72 days). The effectiveness of the packaging was dependent upon a complete seal around the root, indicating the need for selection of relatively straight and smooth roots for successful packaging. Blackcurrant-yacon juice mixtures offer the prebiotic effect of FOS combined with the antioxidant activity of blackcurrant juice. This study was designed to assess the effect of pasteurisation conditions on carbohydrate and polyphenol concentrations and antioxidant activity. The reduction in active ingredients per mL can then be compensated for by the initial formulation before pasteurisation. The rates of hydrolysis and release of FOS, 1-kestose, sucrose, D-glucose and D-fructose were calculated and agreed with previous studies with the exception of 1-kestose. The initial concentrations of polyphenols (330.67-524.4 gallic acid equivalent mg L⁻¹) and anthocyanins (1013.11-1362.25 cyanidin-3-glucoside equivalent mg L⁻¹) were also similar to other studies. The concentration of both polyphenols and anthocyanins decreased with heating time, but this difference was statistically significant at a 99.95 % confidence level only for anthocyanins. The decrease of anthocyanin concentration with time in blackcurrant-yacon juice without pH stabilisation was correlated with the rate of FOS hydrolysis. This indicates that the presence of FOS stabilizes the anthocyanins possibly by formation of a complex or compound. This is supported by evidence from elsewhere that dietary fibre-type molecules can transport antioxidants to the large bowel, with associated health effects.

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  • Never Talk to Dragons / Finding Fantasy in Fiction

    McConnachie, Juanita Maria (2012-05-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Never Talk to Dragons, a 35,000 word fairytale fantasy for children, and its companion 5,000 word exegesis, Finding Fantasy in Fiction, are duel components of a Masters of Creative Writing thesis. When a dragon lands on thirteen-year-old Princess Annamaria's balcony, all she wants to do is say hello. Being kidnapped and whisked away to fantastical lands with carnivorous unicorns and talking trees is not on her agenda. But when Annamaria's prince is transformed into a mouse while trying to save her from a fiery death, she must find a way to break the spell, rescue her prince, and find her very own happily ever after. Finding Fantasy in Fiction frames the novel within the fantasy genre by considering what makes up the genre. It reflects on a novel’s ability to be a unique text while still sitting firmly within the genre, using multiple fantasy novels, and Never Talk to Dragons, as examples.

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  • Perceptions and attitudes of New Zealand Plunket nurses toward the use of complementary and alternative medicine in children

    Lo, Stephanie Lai Ha (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    BACKGROUND: Studies suggest that the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is high in New Zealand children. Plunket nurses are primary child health care providers who play a significant role in assisting parents in making informed decisions. Their perceptions and attitudes toward CAM are important as they can influence their clinical approach to health issues. This study examines New Zealand Plunket nurses’ perceptions and attitudes toward CAM use in child health and explores factors that might affect the nurses’ clinical practice related to CAM issues. METHOD: This is a qualitative study using focus group method to collect data. A total of five Plunket nurses participated in the study. Data were analyzed using an interpretative description framework. FINDINGS: Four key themes emerged from the data. They were “organisational policy constraints”, “ambivalence about being an organisation employee and independent health professional”, “fear of liability” and “desire for knowledge and resources”. The findings aid understanding of New Zealand Plunket nurses’ perceptions and clinical responses toward CAM practices. CONCLUSIONS: Participants have ambiguous feelings toward the organisational policy of not endorsing or recommending any type of CAM in response to CAM enquiries. While feeling restricted by the policy, participants were concerned about the confusion among staff and the possible liability in engaging with CAM issues if the existing policy was not in place. All participants reported a desire to have more updated knowledge and in-service education about CAM to assist parents and caregivers in their choices of CAM care. This study highlights the need for further research to explore the current status of CAM use in New Zealand children and the strategies needed for the health care policy makers to respond appropriately.

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  • A production trial of the omnibus ratings of perceived exertion scale in treadmill exercise

    Quinton, Cheri (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Purpose: To establish variability for measures of absolute and relative intensity during treadmill exercise produced for each of three prescribed ratings of perceived exertion (RPEP), and differences among RPEP conditions. Secondarily, to evaluate how age, sex, fitness level and exercise mode affect produced intensities and reported ratings of perceived exertion (RPER). Methods: Healthy adults (n = 40; 18 – 58 years) exercised for three bouts of 5-min bouts at RPEP 5, 7 and 8 (OMNI RPE walk/run scale), in randomised, counterbalanced sequence. A submaximal graded exercise test followed 24 h to one week later to estimate maximal oxygen uptake. Results: A wide range of relative heart-rates were reported, where the +1 SD range spanned from 66 – 89% maximum heart-rate (HRmax) for RPEP of 5, 76 – 97% for PEP 7, and 80 – 100% for RPEP 8. An effect of intensity was demonstrated for all outcome measures, %HRmax, treadmill speed and RPER, (P < 0.001), with differences between each RPEP level (P < 0.05). At RPEP 5 males reported higher RPER values than females (P < 0.05), and age was inversely related to %HRmax and RPER (r = -0.5, P < 0.01). Participants’ choices to walk or run (mode) for each RPEP demonstrated association with %HRmax at all RPEP values (P < 0.05 – 0.001). Regression analysis determined that mode accounted for the majority of variance demonstrated for %HRmax, explaining 29 to 37% of its variability at different RPEP levels. Conclusion: Participants demonstrated the ability to produce relative and absolute workloads that increased with each RPEP increment, however there was large variability of HRmax with the current sample. This indicates that perceptual based prescription has limitations and may produce variable results.

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  • The effectiveness of a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program in a mixed chronic pain population

    Townsend, Leigh (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of a mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR) program on self reported pain, acceptance, resilience and quality of life in a mixed chronic pain population. Design: A single cohort observational study with pre-post measures. Setting: Community based program located in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Participants: Fifteen volunteers (1 male, 14 female; mean age=52.9y) with a history of chronic musculoskeletal pain referred from local healthcare providers. Methods: People who experienced chronic pain of a musculoskeletal origin and/or mild to moderate rheumatoid arthritis and who were interested in exploring the potential health benefits of mindfulness meditation were enrolled in the study. Participants were enrolled in an 8-week program of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR). Participants were required to attend a 2-hour group session once a week led by a qualified MBSR teacher and complete home practice in addition to daily mindfulness. Participants completed electronic questionnaires for each of the outcome measures at baseline, post intervention and 1, 2, and 3 months post intervention. Results: Perceived pain intensity: Clinically significant changes (>5 points) in the median MPQ score was observed at pre – post, 1 and 3 month contrasts. A 60% reduction in pain intensity scores was observed in pre and post measures. SF-36: The physical health subcategories improved in 4 out of 5 subcategories. Similarly the mental health subcategories demonstrated change in the anticipated direction on 3 out of 5 subcategories, with 2 significant changes being observed in 2 out of the 3 subcategories. The SF-36 total component scores (combined physical and mental health sub-scales) increased between the pre intervention median (Mdn=45) to the immediate 8-week post-intervention follow-up (Mdn=67.5) (difference in Mdn 22.5-points; z=-1.99, p=.046, r=-.63). Improvement in pre and post intervention medians was maintained at 1-month (Mdn=60, z=1.57, p=.116, r=-.52) and 2- months (Mdn=53, z=1.60, p=.109, r=-.66). A significant difference was observed between the pre and 3-month comparison (Mdn=68.5, z=-2.19, p=.028, r=-.70). There was no substantial change in the chronic pain acceptance or resilience scores between pre-intervention and all post-intervention time points. Conclusion: The findings of this study indicate that the mindfulness based stress reduction program has potential health benefits on a mixed chronic pain population. Moderate to large effect sizes were observed on the health related quality of life, and large effect sizes were observed on the perceived pain levels in this mixed cohort of people experiencing chronic pain. The beneficial effects were maintained at 3-month follow up for the majority of participants in both quality of life and pain. No change in acceptance and resilience was detected. Further research in a specific New Zealand health care environment should be undertaken, due to the unique differences in the prevalence and management of chronic pain in different cultures and health care models.

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  • Imaging informatics professionals in New Zealand healthcare

    Hughes, Kevin (2012)

    Thesis
    Unitec

    This study investigated the Imaging Informatics Professionals in New Zealand Healthcare. It is a qualitative study which examined who is currently performing this role while analysing their experience, background and educational qualifications to do so. In addition it also examined the continuing professional development of these individuals and what are the current and projected functions of this role both internationally and in New Zealand. This emerging/evolving role originated from the expansion of Diagnostic Imaging into the world of digital imaging and its further progression into the realm of medical informatics. It has grown from that of a Picture Archiving Communication System (PACS) and or Radiology Information System (RIS) support person to its current position with the greater integration of electronic patient records for all forms of digital imaging and reports. New Zealand Healthcare has a goal of an easily accessible electronic patient record by the end of 2014 and is progressing to this end. With the boom in the amount of data generated by current information and imaging systems, it follows, therefore, that the role of the Imaging Informatics Professional (IIP) has to grow to support these systems and assist in attaining that goal. Additionally they must provide enhanced, efficient, secure and functional care for the patients and end user clinicians while maintaining these features in the respective departments that contribute the data. This research has demonstrated there is a diverse group of individuals undertaking this role to varying levels across the District Health Boards of New Zealand. The lack of availability of formal training and post graduate courses has been overwhelmingly demonstrated and may well be a contributing factor to the lack of published New Zealand literature. Most of the individuals surveyed have learned what they know from their vendor(s) and on the job. Many feel that the biggest issues are in not knowing what they don’t know and therefore not having a full understanding of the Imaging Informatics field. Whilst there are some on-line courses offered predominantly from the United States and Canada, training programs are almost non-existent in Australasia. As most respondents indicated their desire to do some form of additional training if it was provided, lack of accessibility to local training only serves to compound the issue. Of those surveyed and interviewed, only one (1) has obtained any formal certification in PACS administration. Today the two (2) available certifications are provided by professional organisations located outside of Australasia and not from recognised educational institutions. Both of these certifications are by examination only. Only one of the two organisations that offer these examinations is currently available on-line in New Zealand at the participant’s leisure. The other can only currently be sat in an approved supervised location (the closest is in Australia) in pre-defined semi-annual sittings. The numbers of IIP’s in New Zealand healthcare is very small and may well not justify a formal education or regulatory body. However, most feel there is a need for some education, regulation and recognition of what they overwhelmingly agree is a unique advanced practice role, and one which they and the literature, recognise as a very critical component of the patient care chain. It is clear that the field of Imaging Informatics will only grow in the foreseeable future in order to provide the support services that are required to maintain a best practice environment for New Zealand. It follows, therefore, that there is a need for both education and regulation of the IIP’s in New Zealand. In addition, the global nature of today’s health care industry may well demand that the education, standards and regulations, conforms not only to that of our Asia-Pacific neighbours, but also those of the international leaders in the field.

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  • Beyond Sorted: Developing Critical Adult Financial Education

    Fearnley, Ruth (2012)

    Masters thesis
    University of Waikato

    This research sought to reimagine financial education from a critical theory perspective. This study proposes how a community of learners operating a critical pedagogy could be used to deliver adult financial education, and to provide a curriculum for use by such a community of learners. To achieve that aim, the objectives of this research were to complete an investigation into financial education discourses within New Zealand, to identify elements that compose financial education within each of these discourses and to combine those elements to create a comprehensive curriculum that when combined with the pedagogical approach form a critical adult financial education programme. These objectives were achieved by conducting an investigation into the financial literacy and capability discourses in New Zealand to determine how these may be synthesised into an inclusive discourse. Four major discourses were identified following the collection and sorting of a wide selection of stakeholders within the financial education domain. The groupings were labelled governmental, community, commercial and academic to determine where there were overlaps and voids in the themes contained within these discourses. The key themes were then incorporated into the learning areas of a new curriculum matrix that became the research platform for this study. The curriculum matrix included key competencies drawn both from the financial education discourses and from critical pedagogy influenced strongly by the theories and practises of Paulo Freire and Eduard Lindeman. The financial competencies identified were: financial decision making, financial goal setting, personal financial management and financial communication. The competencies evolving from the pedagogy were: critical thinking, self-reflection and agency. Also included were broad learning areas that would help identify topics for inquiry. These were: financial language, financial calculations, financial administration, financial products, financial services, consumerism and citizenship, seeking advice or remedy, and financial identity. The learning areas also included ‘institutions’ and ‘structures’ that support the neoliberal ideology dominant in New Zealand and much of the rest of the western world at this time in history. The inclusion of these indicated that a critical adult financial education must intend to identify and challenge injustices in local and global political and economic spheres to aim for emancipation from such injustices. The final element in the matrix was a selection of general and educational values used to support the effective operation of the community of learners. These values were suggestions only and the research platform recognised that each community of learners would create their own set of values to reflect the community’s ethos. Rather than include specific learning intentions or achievement criteria in the matrix, it was intended that the communities of learners would determine their own intentions and criteria. The curriculum matrix and pedagogical approach were presented as a programme for critical adult financial education. In order to evaluate the programme, a qualitative Delphi inquiry was conducted over two rounds. The first round asked for two sets of feedback from experts within education and financial education domains. The first was to comment on the matrix and identify what they perceived as its strengths and weaknesses. The second question asked for feedback on the feasibility of the community of learners approach, operating a critical pedagogy, and applied to financial education. The results from the first round were synthesised, summarised and presented back to the participants via the web-based research platform, and further questions about specific issues common to many of the responses were posed in order to seek clarification of areas of high interest. The data from the Delphi provided varying responses and levels of support or critique for the programme. Respondents asked many questions, often seeking context for the programme or querying the choices of language use in the matrix or the overall operation of the community of learners. No concrete conclusions about the potential effectiveness of a critical adult financial education delivered via the proposed programme were obtained from the Delphi inquiry. Instead, the results showed that further clarification and contextualisation of the programme was sought by the majority of respondents. Respondents sought the inclusion of achievement criteria within the matrix even though this was antithetical to the intentions of the design. Regarding the community of learners approach, the respondents were sceptical about whether an effective learning dynamic could be created considering the usually personal nature of financial learning. The purpose of adult education and adult financial education was examined as a part of the inquiry, which revealed that expectations of financial education are often so deeply entrenched in mainstream discourses that the notion of a critical approach is rejected even in theory. Overall the data showed that this programme, or possibly any critically located financial education programme, would be unlikely to find widespread support from those operating in mainstream financial education.

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  • Artificial neonatal airway model

    Mussa, Jibril Siraj (2012-03-26)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    The main aim of this project is to establish the effectiveness of Bubble CPAP in transmitting pressure oscillations through the neonatal tracheobronchial tree. As it is very difficult to establish how much of the pressure oscillation delivered to the mouth can reach the various branches during in-vivo measurements, this research focuses in developing an in-vitro experiment on the lung model. Hollow lung models for 128 and 142 day gestation lambs were created from existing silicon lung casts. An experimental setup using a lung simulator and pressure sensors was developed. Different combinations of respiratory rate and frequencies with different amplitudes were used to perform experimental tests. The current ovine respiratory system which was available at IBTec was modified to reflect the current experimental setup. Computer simulations were performed and compared with the experimental results. The study indicates that pressure waves with different frequencies can be delivered to different locations of the lung by controlling the pressure oscillation source to the lung.

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  • System on Chip (SoC): a real time touch screen system on programmable chip

    Xu, Stephen Sheng (2012-06-13)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis is involved with the investigation, implementation, verification, validation and optimization of a purpose built on-chip solution customized for a real world touch screen application. A Field Programmable Gate Array based application specific controller has been designed and built in this research as a substitute for a general purpose controller to explore the feasibility and capability of meeting the required system performance while maintaining the minimum consumption of system resources. A variety of new mechanisms, approaches and techniques have been evaluated, developed and applied to different design stages at multiple levels to achieve an overall optimized system outcome. A dedicated optical imaging acquisition system has been developed with a concurrent control mechanism, faster operational speed and lower signal noise; a customized touch information processing unit has been designed to perform edge detection, object positioning, and touch motion indication with low system latency and highly parallelism; and a computer interface has been built to demonstrate the coherent real-time system performance with visualized validation of results. In the optical based touch screen area, this research presents an original and compact on-chip solution with a significant number of algorithm and method improvements in terms of the touch object detection and localization efficiency as well as touch motion analyzing capability. The system design has been optimized after establishing the desired functionality to minimize logic resource and memory storage consumption, based on a wide range of techniques with a certain amount of architectural restructuring. The overall economic on-chip resource consumption has been achieved in this research with further consideration for migrating the design into a more application specific high integration density chip in the future for large volume manufacture.

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  • Design and development of an optimised telemetry control system

    Salig, Avinash (2012-05-30)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Designing an optimised telemetry control system will improve the quality of service for Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems implemented by CSE-W. Arthur Fisher and enable system expansion thus minimising revenue for their future system designs. The telemetry control system ensures a high degree of data reliability and integrity to meet SCADA operational requirements. This thesis presents the design and development of an optimised telemetry control system using Kingfisher Remote Terminal Units (RTU’s) with Kingfisher Series 2 protocol. To determine the system response for data transmission over the bandwidth, quantitative research methods were undertaken to evaluate communication blocks within the Kingfisher protocol. There are usually different techniques used to collect data from remote stations. The Kingfisher S2 protocol implements two techniques namely “Exception Reporting” and the “Polling” technique for data acquisition. The polling technique was the most efficient in terms of bandwidth utilization for transferring data therefore the system was designed using a pure polling system approach. It also enabled the communication links for remote stations to be monitored and enabled a deterministic system design approach to be implemented. Research focused on polling system optimization whereby efficient polling frequencies were calculated based on theory presented by (O. J. Boxma, Levy, & Weststrate, 1991). The aim was to efficiently allocate the limited bandwidth resource to a number of remote stations thus optimising the system performance. The proposed theory was implemented for system optimisation. It enables efficient polling frequencies to be calculated for a polling cycle hence optimising the bandwidth utilisation and eliminating fairness problems for the medium access control. Bandwidth optimisation enables system expansion thus reducing the networks need for additional resources. A pure polling telemetry communication system was implemented in this design using point to multipoint network topology over half duplex radio channel. Empirical data modelling enabled the design of the service duration period to allow for time sharing between the remote stations to share the bandwidth. The bandwidth was designed to share real time data and event log for SCADA systems monitoring and control. Queuing analysis was performed to establish system parameters and enable system optimisation. From the literature review the implemented design methodology uses the “mean delay approximation” method which was used to calculate efficient visit frequencies and enabled the optimisation of the bandwidth to the remote stations based on the workload of each remote site. The software for the telemetry control system was developed and tested using ladder logic. The results prove that the bandwidth utilisation can be efficiently controlled thus optimising the telemetry control system. The implemented design improves the quality of service for the SCADA system by providing regular real time system status poll requests for control purposes and was given the highest priority for medium access. It also performs a polling of individual sites according to the “mean delay approximation method” to efficiently allocate bandwidth amongst the remote stations depending on their workload thus optimising the system. The system was designed to be responsive to high priority event log data thus enabling system flexibility.

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  • An investigation into the development of a miniature Piezoelectric pump

    Meng, Lei (2012-06-18)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    This thesis is aimed at improving the understanding and effectiveness in operating of the micropump in CPAP system. The principle objectives were to understand the air flow rate and air pressure of a micropump designs for the CPAP System. The feasibility of developing a micropump using piezoelectric fans was investigated. Input frequencies and voltages were quantified for different chambers of micropump, discharge air flow rates and air pressure. The effect of these parameters on flow rate and air pressure was determined. To test the effect of air flow and air pressure produced by the micropump, a mathematical model of piezoelectric fan is developed. The experimental results with dynamic characteristics of air flow resulted in the following conclusions. 1. The vibration frequency is influential in determining the attainable pressure compared to the vibration amplitude. 2. The parallel configuration of two piezoelectric fans excited with the same phase yields more flow rate than excited with opposite phase. The parallel configuration yields more flow rate than series configuration, but the series configuration yields higher air pressure. 3. The shapes of the flow channel, inlet and outlet have significant influence on the air flow rate and pressure.

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  • Ameliorating Systematic Errors in Full-Field AMCW Lidar

    Godbaz, John Peter (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    This thesis presents an analysis of systematic error in full-field amplitude modulated continuous wave range-imaging systems. The primary focus is on the mixed pixel/multipath interference problem, with digressions into defocus restoration, irregular phase sampling and the systematic phase perturbations introduced by random noise. As an integral part of the thesis, a detailed model of signal formation is developed, that models noise statistics not included in previously reported models. Prior work on the mixed pixel/multipath interference problem has been limited to detection and removal of perturbed measurements or partial amelioration using spatial information, such as knowledge of the spatially variant scattering point spread function, or raytracing using an assumption of Lambertian reflection. Furthermore, prior art has only used AMCW range measurements at a single modulation frequency. In contrast, in this thesis, by taking multiple measurements at different modulation frequencies with known ratio-of-integers frequency relationships, a range of new closed-form and lookup table based inversion and bounding methods are explored. These methods include: sparse spike train deconvolution based multiple return separation, a closed-form inverse using attenuation ratios and a normalisation based lookup table method that uses a new property we term the characteristic measurement. Other approaches include a Cauchy distribution based model for backscattering sources which are range-diffuse, like fog or hair. Novel bounding methods are developed using the characteristic measurement and attenuation ratios on relative intensity, relative phase and phase perturbutation. A detailed noise and performance analysis is performed of the characteristic measurement lookup table method and the bounding methods using simulated data. Experiments are performed using the University of Waikato Heterodyne range-imager, the Canesta XZ-422 and the Mesa Imaging Swissranger 4000 in order to demonstrate the performance of the lookup table method. The lookup table method is found to provide an order of magnitude improvement in ranging accuracy, albeit at the expense of ranging precision.

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  • An investigation into ambulatory blood pressure measurement

    Hai, Lan (2012-05-23)

    Doctoral thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    Hypertension is one of the most common cardiovascular diseases threatening people's health worldwide. Although, hypertension itself is rarely an acute problem, it increases the risk of cardiovascular events and kidney diseases. Recent studies have shown that the end-organ damage associated with hypertension is more strongly correlated with ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (ABPM) than with traditional clinic BP measurements. Currently, the ambulatory, cuff-based devices are predominantly based on automatic techniques which are inherently motion-sensitive. The other devices which claim to compensate for motion artefacts measure the arterial pressure at the wrist and are less accurate than cuff-based measurement. This research aims to develop a cuff-based ABPM technique which can measure BP accurately during their daily lives. The primary objective of this research is to investigate two major issues related to ABPM technique: (1) the theory of oscillometric BP measurement method used in most of ABPM device; (2) the method to compensate for the noises during the measurement. This thesis introduces for the first time a 3D finite element (FE) model which simulates the entire oscillometric BP measurement process. The model is validated by both arm simulator and clinical results. The brachial artery closure process and the factors of arm material properties in BP measurement are discussed. The model indicates that the nonlinearity of brachial artery plays the key role in oscillometric BP measurement. It also offers a new explanation of the common phenomenon: overestimation in the elderly and underestimation in the younger. Since BP pulse, arm motion and environmental tremors all lead to the upper arm skin stretches, it is anticipated that the strain distribution due to these causes is unique for different arm motion. This thesis also describes the design of a piezoelectric strain sensor array and the relevant method for eliminating the noises and determining the subject’s BP. A FE model, whose geometry is obtained from Visible Human Body dataset, is established to study surface strain distribution during different arm motions. Referring to its results, the piezoelectric sensor array is designed and used in the clinical experiments. Using the obtained signals, a generalized input-output configuration of the designed measurement system is developed. The transfer functions of the system are determined through empirical equations. Using the developed method, the device is able to detect the arm motions, compensate for the noises and determine patients’ BP. The results can be used as a guide for developing a new type of ABPM device insensitive to artefacts.

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  • Hidden Terminal Detection in Wide-Area 802.11 Wireless Networks

    Raynel, Scott McKenzie (2012)

    Doctoral thesis
    University of Waikato

    The hidden terminal problem is an important issue in wireless networks based on the CSMA medium access control scheme. Hidden terminals pose a complex challenge to network operators trying to identify the underlying cause of performance issues. This thesis describes new methods for the detection and measurement of the hidden terminal problem in wireless networks based on commodity hardware and software platforms. These new methods allow network operators to identify areas of a network where hidden terminals are likely to exist; detect instances of the hidden terminal problem occurring; and estimate the total impact hidden terminals are having on the performance of the network. A new framework for measurement of wireless networks is described which provides a new approach to wireless measurement on Linux based wireless routers. The new framework is used to implement the methods and they are deployed across an operational commercial wireless network and are shown to be useful.

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  • The angler's catch

    Martyn, Geoff (2012-05-29)

    Masters thesis
    Auckland University of Technology

    For detectives, historians, crossword fanatics, quest-seekers and many many more, finding the solution to a puzzle or mystery is a thing most satisfying. Demystifying the mysterious, solving problems and meeting challenges are perhaps the most obvious driving forces behind the novel The Angler’s Catch, the thesis component of this submission. Beyond that, the creative work endeavours to portray social issues and cultural-historical features of small town New Zealand in the early-mid 1970s. A further aim was to explore the personalities of the central characters and to tell a Kiwi story of ordinary people trying their best and persevering and achieving extraordinary results. It is a tale of surmounting obstacles through collaboration and, in the case of the protagonist Amos, of facing up to and overcoming personal flaws along the way. The Angler’s Catch then, is a story of seeking, of solving and of growth. The exegesis, entitled Seeking, Solving and Growth, attempts to place The Angler’s Catch in context, by exploring the detective novel genre and by identifying the author’s motivations, intentions, and methodologies. It is suggested that the exegesis be read before the creative work, but this of course is left to the preference of the reader.

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