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Vision and Voice 2013

the next generation of researchers

“I am delighted to showcase here a representation of the work of our Research Degree students. We currently house over 650 students across our three Research Institutes spanning Science and Technology, Health and Human Sciences and Arts, Humanities and the Social Sciences. We have one of the most distinctive and varied portfolios of Masters and Doctoral study in the UK including ten professional doctorate programmes. As part of the University’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012, the Doctoral College ran a photography competition for our research degree students with a view to engaging the public with their research – here you will see a selection of the entrants giving a flavour of the diverse research activity at the University of Hertfordshire.” Dr Susan Grey Director of the Doctoral College and Research Degrees


Contents Dana Ficut-Vicas: Dwarfs in Lavender


Hassan Khalil: ‘the journey of recovery through physical activity’


Colleen Addicott: People at their best


Nuriye Kupeli: A lifelong battle: Scales and I


Praveen Kumar Bingi: Atherosclerosis


Matt Furber: Metabolism: how fast?


Jade Owen: ‘Elemental profiling of St John’s Wort’


Ella Cullen: Operation Affirmation


Clare Shakespeare: Balancing the highs and the lows


Peter Thain: The hidden side


Friedrich (Rudi) Newman: Fireman’s View, Locomotive ‘Metropolitan No. 1’ At Speed.


Rafia Faiz: ‘Working Women in Pakistan’


Rachel Brown: A different story


Radhika Chemuturi: GENTLE/A: Adaptive Robotic-assistance in stroke rehabilitation


Joanna Austin: Icara, Icara


Lisa Bowers: Tactile perception


Ozan Osman: Diamond Brazing Technology


Alessandro Faimali: The G305 Star-Forming Complex


Joanna Denyer: Can differences in the structure of the foot contribute to sporting injuries?


Joanna S. Gillies: A non-representational account of pretence


Andrew Laughland: Smartphone revolution in psychology research


Darren Andrew Whitehead: Behavioural changes in whale sharks


Research 26 Research Institutes 27 Research Degrees 28 Doctoral College 30


A metaphor for starlight in dwarf galaxies

Dwarfs in Lavender If you looked through a pair of binoculars and spotted a lavender field could you tell how many butterflies live off it? Could you tell whether there are as many butterflies as there is nectar in this field or whether there is a more fragile and mysterious balance that relates them? Through the eyes of a radiotelescope, I have observed the neutral gas in some dwarf galaxies, combined it with observations of their starlight, in search for the law that dictates at what rate new stars form from the available resources. This concept image is a fusion between a photo I took of one of the 27 antennas of the Very Large Array radiotelescope and two images derived from the astronomical data itself showing the gas distribution (the lavender field) and the young stars in a V band filter optical image (inside the butterfly wings) in the dwarf galaxy DDO133.


Dana Ficut-Vicas

Science and Technology Research Institute “My name is Dana Ficut-Vicas and I am a PhD student in the Astrophysics department at the University of Hertfordshire. Studying at the University, gave me the opportunity to take my first steps as a young scientist. It allowed me to grow as a person, but mostly as a professional, it opened up opportunities for acquiring knowledge, joining projects, teams and big collaborations and offered the most adequate scene for asking and answering my astronomy related questions. I might not have found all the answers and I might have ended up with even more questions, however I learnt a professional standard which I hope I will be able to use for the rest of my career as a researcher.�

Hassan Khalil

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “Currently, I am in the final phase of my PhD, which I have been studying part-time for five years. The research, for me, has been an epic journey filled with adventure, surprise, discovery, and occasional pitfalls. My supervisory team have been very supportive throughout the journey, guiding my pathway, facilitating my autonomy and encouraging my personal growth and development. I feel confident to be equipped with the appropriate skills and tools to take with me on future pathways.”

‘The journey of recovery through physical activity’ Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people: cutting across all generations. This research is about the journey of recovery and the potential physical activity has to enrich a person’s life. My findings have suggested that the therapeutic benefits of physical activity reside within the processes participation. The photo presents four people in the process of being active. Togetherness, acceptance and normalisation resounds the four people, as they share the experience and discourses associated with the activity. These processes afforded serviceusers a positive identity that also ignited their perseverance to face and overcome challenges. People conquered stigma, coped and controlled their symptoms, mediated the sideeffects of medication, and they felt a sense of worthiness, satisfaction and achievement. This “snowballed”, “increased confidence” and built “armour just to cushion some of the things that happen in life”. Subsequently, this motivated people to engage in other activities vital for recovery and to achieve life-satisfaction.

The therapeutic benefits of physical activity on mental illness for people of all ages


People at their best Jersey Farm hill on a cloudy afternoon, I lay down and with my camera on sportsmode took pictures of people jumping. As the pictures were taken into the light, it made the images more of a silhouette. Lying down with the camera gave the illusion of height. Each person carried a different prop to represent their profession – a journalist with a pen and pad, a cook with a hat and spatula, a builder with a hammer and pliers, a wind turbine engineer with a mini turbine and a business consultant with a laptop. The pictures were joined together and the faces blurred so the viewer could place themselves in anyone of the positions. This represents individuals jumping for joy, in whatever profession they find themselves. My research is looking at identifying when people are at their best at work and therefore likely to feel they can jump for joy!

Colleen Addicott (Winner)

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “My research is looking at when people are at their best at work. I am a part-time research student. I find the research completely engaging from a personal perspective and I believe it makes me better as an Occupational Psychologist (my day job!). So far I have done a literature review under the watchful eyes of my supervisors and I have completed my first case study looking at the consistent characteristics of successful retail teams. I am excited by the findings so far and also by the personal learning – gaining a greater understanding of the richness of the academic arena and the rigour it forces the research to go down. Understanding when people are at their best in work has so many valuable implications – from choosing the right job, selecting the right people, engaging and promoting staff…. The future is bright!”

When people are at their best professionally they feel like they can jump for joy


Whether a person needs to lose weight or to gain weight getting on the scales can be a psychological ordeal

A lifelong battle: Scales and I The grey shiny metal is taunting me. My stomach fills with dread as I stare at the piece of machinery which will either depress me or fill me with joy within seconds. The metal feels cold beneath my feet. Control I previously felt begins to seep away as the numbers on the display start to change… Weighing themselves can be an ordeal for a recovering Anorexic and an obese person who is trying to maintain successful weight loss. Despite being at opposite ends of the problematic weight regulation continuum, both individuals battle similar issues. What important psychological ingredients are needed to maintain weight loss and weight gain? This photograph was taken with the permission of a study volunteer who has battled with weight related problems since adolescence. “Some ladies smoke too much, Some ladies drink too much, Some ladies pray too much, But all ladies think that they weigh too much.” Ogden Nash

Nuriye Kupeli

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “Studying at the University of Hertfordshire opened my eyes to the possibilities that psychological research entails. From clinical placements during my undergraduate degree to my own research during an MSc in Research Methods and PhD in Health Psychology, I now understand and appreciate the importance and impact that research can have. The University of Hertfordshire allowed me to be part of a research community and encouraged and motivated me to use my skills and knowledge to add to a dynamic field.”



Investigating the potential effects of nitrous oxide synthase on atherosclerosis

I have taken the image by treating rat aortic smooth muscle cells with diethyl maleate for 24hrs. The green fluorescence indicates the generation of oxidative stress. Atherosclerosis is one of the most common cardiovascular diseases that lead to morbidity and mortality. The pathogenesis of this disease is complex and may involve mechanisms and pathways including those associated with the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) enzyme. The role of iNOS in atherosclerosis is however controversial. Initially it is thought to have pro-atherogenic effects and contribute to the pathogenesis of the disease. Recent studies have however shown that iNOS induced nitric oxide (NO) has cardio-protective properties which could be beneficial in retarding the progression of atherosclerotic lesions (Behr et al., 1999). Previous studies in our research group have proven that iNOS is down regulated by oxidative stress (OS) inducers such as antimycin A and diethyl maleate (DEM), suggesting that part of the detrimental consequences to OS in the disease state may be associated with the obliteration of the iNOS, and thus abolition of its cardio-protective effects. This is an attractive hypothesis that needs to be investigated but interestingly we also demonstrated that hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), another common pro-oxidant, was without effects, indicating that the observations we made earlier may not simply be due to OS alone. Furthermore, the earlier studies also demonstrated that statins regulate iNOS expression directly and were able to modify changes to the latter induced by antimycin A and DEM. The effects were however not consistent with the initial statins used which were atorvastatin, simvasatatin and pravastatin. Of these three, atorvastatin was the most effective while pravastatin showed little or no effect. Thus it is obvious that the beneficial effects of statins in atherosclerosis under conditions of OS may be selective to the statin used and this also warrants further investigation. This will be another focus of this PhD thesis.

Praveen Kumar Bingi Health and Human Sciences Research Institute


“I am privileged to be a part of this fast-growing vibrant community of the University of Hertfordshire. I am getting to learn many things. The staff members in the University are very helpful and kind. The University has given me opportunities to grow and strengthen my profile. I would like to continue my association with the University in the future as well.�

Metabolism: how fast?

Athletic performance is enhanced by choosing the right fuel

PhD Title: Assessment of metabolic typing and dietary manipulation on athletic performance. The photo was taken at 6:46pm with a 55mm lens (1/80, f5.6, iso400). The crux of my research is that variety is inherent in humans, coining the phrase ‘one man’s food is another man’s poison’. Two individual diets underpin the theory of metabolic typing, specifying that the subject would be metabolically more efficient following one diet than the other. The photo depicts this highlighting the choice of fuel for the cyclists. The subject is half way through a ride, empty drink bottle in hand, in mid decision about refueling, the diesel and petrol stand for choice, the wrong decision could be devastating for performance, as with motor vehicles. A further subtext highlights the common practice within athletes of consuming a ‘fast food diet’ not understanding the implication this has on metabolism. The phrase on the back of the tee-shirt is what every athlete strives for, that moment.

Matt Furber Health and Human Sciences Research Institute

“I have gained the experience from the University of Hertfordshire to progress my career. I completed my undergraduate degree here which set me up nicely and I got a very competitive job working for as an applied sport scientist for Lucozade Sport; 4 years later I returned to the University of Hertfordshire to start my PhD. The flexibility of the University of Hertfordshire has allowed me to enjoy my professional career alongside studying. It has also opened up further opportunities for me, I now manage the Human Performance Centre at the University of Hertfordshire alongside working as a visiting lecturer. Overall my progression and experience at the University of Hertfordshire has been second to none, and has set me up nicely for a career in my discipline.”


Elemental profiling of St John’s Wort This photograph was taken in the laboratory (chemistry block) with a combination of artificial and natural lighting, using a Nikon D50. The photograph illustrates research on a potential new method for the quality control of herbal remedies using the plants elemental profile. This technique quantifies a number of essential and non-essential elements and metals within the plant and then uses statistical analysis to determine if underlying patterns are present. These patterns could then aid with the challenging aspect of quality control in such complex samples. The elements utilised are represented by the periodic table. The herbal medicine used in this study called Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St John’s Wort, is used as a natural alternative for the treatment of mild to moderate depression. The flowering raw plant displayed in the photograph was grown on the University’s campus and a commercial tea preparation is also pictured.

A potential new method for the quality control of herbal remedies

Jade Owen

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “The University of Hertfordshire has enabled me to study towards a PhD within Analytical Chemistry. I have learnt and expanded my experience with various instruments to explore the potential of using elemental profiling as a tool for the quality control of herbal medicines. Through the University I have attended many conferences and was able to give an oral presentation at the ACS meeting in Philadelphia (2012). I was also fortunate enough to take part in the London 2012 Olympics by working within the Olympics Anti-Doping Laboratory. Thank you University of Hertfordshire.”


Operation Affirmation The composition is intended to take the audience on a journey similar to that of the participants in my research. The innovative brief psychological intervention concerned involves the development and practice of individualised positive values based self affirmations. As you move through the images from top to bottom the affirmations are having positive cognitive, emotional, physical and behavioural effects. There is a transition from avoiding to confronting, rejecting to accepting and closed hands to open ones. The focus upon one young woman reflects the personal, private and secretive nature of bulimia as well as the single case studies design of the research. The actions of the hands are central to the disorder, the intervention and the resolution. The images never show a whole face. Like the research, this aims to protect the individual’s anonymity. Photographs were taken with a Canon E05 camera which were then edited and cropped using ‘photoshop’.

A photo-story about the secret nature of bulimia

Ella Cullen

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “Undertaking research as part of my training as a Clinical Psychologist has enabled me to combine some of my greatest interests; reading, psychological therapy and writing. The process of carrying out research is a long one, with many challenges to overcome, problems to solve and opportunities to utilise at every stage. It is a marathon, not a sprint, and through it ‘I am building stamina and developing strength!’.”


Balancing the highs and the lows Foreign language interpreters are frequently ‘used’ by psychologists as tools to facilitate communication with limitedEnglish speaking patients. My research sought to understand interpreters’ lived experience of working in mental health settings alongside psychologists and patients. This photograph depicts the challenge for interpreters to remain impartial in the therapeutic encounter between patient and psychologist, not siding with either party but ‘see-sawing’ between them. Paradoxically, this means that the role can be isolating and requires a degree of detachment. This is portrayed in the photograph as a cold, empty bench one step removed from the therapeutic interaction playing out in the foreground. The photograph can also be seen to represent the delicate balance of interpreters’ own emotional wellbeing. Traumatic stories are spoken by patients and translated by interpreters who must resist being emotionally drawn in and traumatised themselves. For interpreters, life really is a balancing act.

Clare Shakespeare

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “I have just completed a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. Whilst the course has been challenging at times, overall I have gained a great deal knowledge and experience to begin a job working as a Psychologist within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the NHS. I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to conduct some indepth research in an area of particular interest to me; the improvement in access to and provision of mental health services to ethnic minority and limited Englishspeaking populations. I became fascinated by the experiences of foreign language interpreters in mental health services, individuals whose voices have not been heard within the field of psychology research. I feel my research is a valuable contribution to the field and has the potential to shape clinical practice not only in the field of psychology but more broadly in mental health services in the UK. I would like to thank the DClinPsy Research Team at the University of Hertfordshire for offering me their expertise and support to complete my studies.”

Facilitating communication between patients who speak little English and their psychologists


The hidden side to research

The hidden side This research is in the field of Clinical Biomechanics, specifically looking at the reaction time of the lower limb musculature to a simulated ankle sprain mechanism. Upon completion of the PhD, over 8200 ankle perturbations would have been performed, therefore requiring over 8200 electromyography traces to be visually inspected and manually exported for further calculation. The research also investigates a new methodological approach to the data analysis of electromyography. Whilst a PhD with journal publications and conference proceedings may look impressive once finished, the journey to completion is rarely smooth. In the current research, the arduous electromyography data analysis often left the researcher in a depressive state of mind. The photograph depicts the hidden side to the PhD, outlining it is not always glamorous, but rather there are times of isolation, caffeine fuelled long nights, and starvation!

Peter Thain

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “Studying for a doctorate degree at the University of Hertfordshire has allowed me the freedom to conduct research in a subject area I feel passionate about. Moreover, when I decided to embark on the PhD I was fortunate enough to gain a Visiting Lecturer role, and for the past three years I have been lecturing on a variety of topics across the Sports Therapy and Sport and Exercise Science undergraduate courses. I have thoroughly enjoyed this role as it has not only allowed me to disseminate my research, but has made me realise I would like to be involved within higher education at some point in the future.�


A fireman’s view of the only surviving operational nineteenth steam train at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton

Fireman’s View, Locomotive ‘Metropolitan No. 1’ At Speed I am researching the socio-economic impacts of the coming of the railways to Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire, 1838-1900, and believe background knowledge of period railway technology is necessary. This photograph was taken at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton, on a research trip; the Society granted me a footplate permit to ride the only surviving operational underground steam locomotive. Hauling a passenger train at around 30mph, the minimal suspension(!) meant to take this image I had to wedge myself between the bunker and firebox, to remain standing and steady the camera. Afterwards I was briefly permitted to take over the Fireman’s duties. This image represents much of my work: the 1898 locomotive is from my time period, built for one of my region’s companies, ultimately operated across my region and now is preserved at one of my case study locations, Quainton Road Station.

Friedrich (Rudi) Newman

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “Having completed a BA and MA at the University of Hertfordshire before progressing onto the history PhD I am currently researching, I have gained much in both academic education and in wider skills and abilities. Aside from the career benefits of further education, the opportunity to undertake this research and all I have learnt from it, is priceless and will greatly aid my future.”


Working Women in Pakistan My research focuses on the influence of gender, culture and religion on the experiences of work-family conflict among females in banks in Pakistan. My inability to capture the ‘family’ side of my research is in accordance with social norms of keeping personal, personal. Although not intentional, the blurred effect of the image is an opportunist association with my critical realist research philosophy. The paintings showing Islamic verses (top) and Pakistani currency notes (bottom) identify my research setting as an Islamic Bank in Pakistan. Despite their Islamic dress codes (her head-scarf and black gown; his headcap and beard), the female banker is interacting with the male customer which may be considered un-Islamic. My research participant’s raised eyebrows, stressed (and scared?) posture, and the male customer’s wagging finger interestingly symbolise the complex interplay of gender, culture and religion that is oppressing the female bankers in Pakistan. Please Note: The female participant as well as the bank’s manager gave their verbal informed consent for the photograph. The anonymity of the participants and bank is considered preserved in this image. This photograph is my own independent piece of work.

Rafia Faiz

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “As a small-town Pakistani student at the University of Hertfordshire, conducting research on professional women in Pakistan, ` I have learnt to challenge the established cultural practices in Pakistan. Also, I have experienced the power of motivation and encouragement (thanks to my supervisors). It is also because of my life in the UK that I have had the chance to live and explore on my own, and actually meet the researchers whose work I read about in books, which is not less than a dream come true!” The complex interplay of gender, culture and religion for female bankers in Pakistan


A different story This image was taken whilst collecting data in Sierra Leone. My research investigates how people have processed their experiences since the end of the Civil War. I framed the image so that the following aspects were captured: the ‘rubbish’ on the beach, the movement of the sea, the words ‘hope to God’ and the vibrant colour of the boat in context. For me this picture provides a visual representation of my work because it encapsulates how two stories can exist in parallel to, or within, each other; a story of ‘washed up rubbish’, of suffering and adversity, alongside a story of ‘vibrant hope’, of growth and courage. However, you are only able to hear both stories if you ask the right questions. These are some of the themes which are discussed within my research.

Rachel Brown

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “I am currently in my third year of a DClinPsy training course and look forward to handing in my dissertation on ‘Hearing Stories of Survival and Resistance in Sierra Leone’ in June.”

Does this photo depict ‘washed up rubbish’ or instead portray suffering and adversity alongside a story of vibrant hope?


Rehabilitation games offered through robotic assistance can help with upper-limb rehabilitation for stroke victims

GENTLE/A: Adaptive Robotic-assistance in stroke rehabilitation Stroke is one of the leading causes of serious long term disabilities in many countries and it leaves a considerably large number of people to live with its consequences. Rehabilitation is the process to regain and relearn lost motor skills. Inpatient rehabilitation usually lasts for six weeks in many EU countries within which recovery to full potential is often not reached. Lack of trained personnel and low patient motivation levels are major hurdles for rehabilitation. Robotic-assistance in Rehabilitation can offer potential solutions for many problems of rehabilitation. It can lower the therapist supervision time and pump up the motivation levels of patients through rehabilitation games. GENTLE/A rehabilitation system with its HapticMaster robot, can offer upper-limb rehabilitation for stroke patients. The adaptive interface being designed for the GENTLE/A system, during my PhD, can assess the inputs recorded while the stroke patient is exercising with the system and can dynamically adapt the resistance/ assistance offered by the HapticMaster. The picture shows a subject keenly concentrating on the game while training independently.

Radhika Chemuturi

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “Being in the final year of my PhD, I always enjoyed studying/working at University of Hertfordshire. All my previous education being in India, I had mixed feelings about studying abroad, but my entire experience at the University of Hertfordshire is very pleasant, informative and enjoyable. The facilities provided for students at the University are of very high standards. The generic trainings (GTRs) and the taught programmes that I attended as part of my PhD were very useful and knowledgeadding. I am excited about getting closer to finishing my PhD, as I started writing-up my thesis but at the same time feeling sad about leaving the University.�


Creating movement of the mind through actual and stimulated physical movement of the body

Icara, Icara This image is a publicity photograph for the video installation Icara, Icara which was shown with University of Hertfordshire Galleries at the Museum of St Albans from January – March 2012. Icara Icara is the culmination of my practice-based research into active audience experience in a video installation. This research intends to create movement of the mind through actual and simulated physical movement of the body; in particular camera movement, movement of the performer in the moving image and the movement of the viewer are explored.

Joanna Austin

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “Researching practice-based fine art at the University of Hertfordshire has given me the opportunity to expand my practice by working collaboratively with other researchers in different disciplines. These creative partnerships have allowed me to progress my practice and show it in a wide variety of exhibitions and festivals. Having supervision from practicing fine artists, who have a research focus, has given me the necessary skills to critique, evaluate and develop my methodologies and articulate my arguments.”


Lisa Bowers

Tactile perception Haptic thinking; ‘the seeing hands’; a digital tactile interface for vision impaired ‘art-makers’. Personal and professional practice has shown that access to digital visual data for able bodied persons within the art and design discipline is a natural, iterative process. However for persons with impaired vision it is a difficult process to facilitate. This research aims to force issues of accessibility to creative computer aided design for people with vision impairments, via the use of a digital haptic tooling system. This image was taken in-situ in the gallery space at Henshaws College - Knaresborough. The participant, in shot, is completely blind, and a key member of the art/crafts team. The participant was requested to sit and relax in the space whilst digital slides of the college’s own art works were light projected across her face and body. The image is broken into transparent and coloured layers offering conceptual representation of digital layering and conceptual explorations of vision.

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “There are many reasons why students choose a PhD study option, my own reasons were to push my research boundaries and extend my knowledge of my specialist field, and convey my creative practice in new terms. Working with supervisors and peers at the University of Hertfordshire has allowed me to pursue my own goals, renew my own reflective autonomous practice, opened new avenues of cross discipline study and allowed me to explore various new layers of pedagogic practice to a higher level.”

Exploring ideas of vision – how do you make digital visual data accessible to the visually impaired?


A diamond grit at a micron level

Diamond Brazing Technology Many people often hear the word ‘micron’ as a gauge of measurement, with little idea as to the scale in comparison to what we see everyday; a single micron being a small fraction of the width of a human hair. My research requires I use this scale often, where it is used to detect fundamental reactions occurring, impossible to be distinguished by the naked eye. Images taken can be in the order of thousands, where changes that occur at this level dictate whether it is beneficial or detrimental to final outcome. Here, we see a single diamond grit, where reactions are taking place at its interface, following exposure to certain elements, and at very high temperatures, in excess of 1000oC. Much attention has been paid to diamond abrasive tools in recent years, especially with brazing, and the challenge is to uphold the diamond’s characteristics and bond strength during high temperature processing.

Ozan Osman

Science and Technology Research Institute “I am currently a KTP associate with the University of Hertfordshire and a company called C4 Carbides Ltd, who specialise in diamond brazed tools. I am completing a part-time PhD related to diamond brazing technology, in particular for linear edged diamond cutting applications, used for many high value markets, including potential use in construction, aerospace, electronics and renewable energy industries. The KTP opportunity presented itself on completion of an undergraduate engineering degree (BEng) and a final year project which focused on carbide formation, also at the University of Hertfordshire. The KTP is due to be completed in March 2014.”


The G305 Star-Forming Complex This is the G305 star-forming complex; one of the most massive and luminous star-forming regions in the Milky Way. We produced this three colour image using the European Space Agency’s Herschel Space Observatory, the largest single mirror space telescope ever built. Our aim is to study both the structure of the Galactic plane, and the sites of high-mass star formation within. G305 is a rich stellar nursery some 13,000 light years away and 100 light years across, with an estimated age of 3 - 5 million years. The blue regions correspond to hot dust emission; the birthplaces of high-mass stars, while the red regions correspond to far colder dust. High-mass stars play a crucial role; having a profound effect on stellar and planetary formation processes while also on the physical, and morphological structure of galaxies. It is within the furnaces of these stars that the heavy elements which make up our Universe are formed.

Alessandro Faimali

Science and Technology Research Institute “I have appreciated the opportunity to be involved in cutting-edge astronomy research, and the chance to contribute my own novel piece of research to the body of scientific knowledge. I’ve also been very lucky in having the chance to travel abroad and use some fantastic telescopes! Be it controlling the Mopra radio telescope in Coonabarabran, Australia, or the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at the peak of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. Finally, being able to study some truly beautiful sites in our Galaxy, and being lucky enough to call it my research.”

The G305 star-forming complex is a rich stellar nursery 13,000 light years away and 100 light years across


Can differences in the structure of the foot contribute to sporting injuries? My PhD research is entitled ‘The Effects of Foot Structure on Lower Limb Biomechanics’. Each year in the UK over 300,000 people attend A&E with ankle sprains, most of which occur during sport. In an attempt to help reduce this vast figure, I am exploring how variances in the structure of the foot contribute to injury during sport. My testing requires athletes with different foot structures to run across a force platform in order to measure centre of pressure distribution; this photograph is a visual representation of how the arch of the foot plays a vital role in maintaining stability during running. This photograph was taken by having an athlete run across a Perspex platform, an effect was then applied using Photoshop to emphasise the sole of the foot and highlight its key role in stabilisation. This angle was chosen to represent the perspective of the force plate during testing.

Foot structure and sporting injuries

Joanna Denyer

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “I’ve recently finished a PhD entitled “The Effects of Foot Structure and Athletic Taping on Lower Limb Biomechanics” within the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University. My PhD studies at the University of Hertfordshire provided me with strong research skills which I am now directly applying in the outside world as an editor for a leading medical journal.”


Pretend that Frodo the schnauzer is a toddler

The classic example of pretence in an 18-month-old is when the child picks up a banana and pretends it is a phone, however, since I didn’t have an 18-month-old child I had to pretend Frodo was a toddler – and so do you

A non-representational account of pretence I am exploring the possibility of a non-representational account of pretence. The classic example of pretence in an 18-month-old is when a child picks up a banana, holds it to his ear and speaks into it ‘as if’ it were a telephone. This is represented here by Frodo, sitting in a high chair, with a banana being held between his mouth and ear. This image took a great deal of patience, energy and bits of sausage to capture. Attempting to get a spirited, strong, and agile young schnauzer to sit in a child’s high chair and keep still long enough so that a banana could be held up to his ear and a photograph taken was far more difficult than I anticipated. However, since I didn’t have a real 18-month-old child available, I had to pretend that Frodo was a real toddler and so do you!

Joanna S. Gillies

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “I’m a second year PhD student working on my dissertation titled “Exploring a Non-Representational Account of Pretence” in the Philosophy Department at the University of Hertfordshire. I completed my undergraduate and masters degrees at the University and have chosen to stay, rather than ‘broaden my horizons’ by opting to study elsewhere, primarily because of the fantastic support and encouragement I received from my supervisors and colleagues and the first-class research environment provided.”


Smartphone revolution in psychology research Marcel Proust coined the phrase “involuntary memory” in his novel “In Search of Lost Things”. When eating a tea-soaked cake he spontaneously recalled a time in his childhood eating cake with his aunt. My research explores such involuntary memories. These memories are very transient and I am developing software so that people can use their smartphones as electronic diaries to capture details of their memories as soon as they occur. Involuntary memories are usually triggered by something in the environment. My photograph illustrates how a cue of seashells triggers memories of building sandcastles as a child, with an iPhone ready to capture details. The photograph was taken in Swanage using a large aperture to create the soft focus of the memory aspect of the picture. Unfortunately Marcel Proust did not have an iPhone so we will never know how many other involuntary memories he had but was unable to record.

Smartphones and memory

Andrew Laughland

Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute “After a number of years working in industry, I have returned to academic research, into a new subject area. I am finding the cross-disciplinary research opportunities highly productive and very stimulating. I am enjoying the academic rigour of research but also looking forward to making a real difference to people’s diagnoses and therapy in mental health.”


Examining behavioural changes in whale sharks at a trial field site This photograph was taken during a field test approximately 50 metres from shore in the planktonrich waters off Djibouti, East Africa. The image depicts a juvenile 6 metre female whale shark gorging herself on the plentiful Zooplankton whilst being observed by myself free-diving. In awe of this spectacle, the group of researchers and tourists with me resisted the temptation to approach the amazing creature to gain a more intimate view of her charismatic features. By respecting her personal space, they were rewarded with a significant encounter and memories, which will last forever. My research on avoidance behaviours of whale sharks aims to assess the effects of human impact on encounters with this vulnerable species. Through my work I plan to establish an appropriate set of recommendations for the management of tourist interactions with whale sharks to ensure that similar experiences with these remarkable creatures can continue and remain sustainable.

Darren Andrew Whitehead

Health and Human Sciences Research Institute “Hello my name is Darren Whitehead, I am enrolled in an MRes at the University of Hertfordshire. My study aims to be the first comprehensive report on the effect of human impacts on whale sharks´ natural behaviours. Throughout my work avoidance responses of the animal to a number of external human variables will be assessed. The overall aim of the project is to establish a quantifiable model of their individual behaviours and provide recommendations for future management. The University of Hertfordshire offers me a strong academic foundation where I can gain valuable knowledge and guidance on a number of fundamental areas of my project. Specialists offer improvements to my statistical analysis and the overall structure of my paper, which helps to provide me with a more robust report. Being such a field-based person the university’s availability of a distance study option makes my research possible from wherever I am in the world.”

Examining behavioural changes in whale sharks at a trial field site


Research To find out more about research degrees visit or email

“ To remain at the cutting-edge of important new knowledge, a vibrant, productive research community must nurture new research talent, continually growing in strength and challenging ideas with fresh new perspectives. At the University of Hertfordshire, the next generation of researchers is central to our research strategy and we are committed to supporting their developing work.” “ The last national Postgraduate Research Experience Survey rated our supervisors well above the national average.” Professor John Senior, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research)

“A research degree is simply the beginning of a career with a research

viewpoint and with new thinking and analytical skills. Future opportunities will require people not only with high-level research skills but also good managers, decision makers, thinkers and communicators. Our training sessions are designed to bring together researchers from many disciplines to foster discussion, to develop both research and transferable skills and an appreciation of the wider impact of their research.” Dr Yasmin Imani, Manager of Generic Training Programme for Researchers

“Our research degree forum group has student representatives from across the University and we run a range of social activities each year. Through its social provision for students we bring junior and senior researchers together promoting a stimulating research environment and cooperation across discipines.” Phil Mason, Research Degree Forum Group student representative


Research Institutes Research is based in three Institutes the Social Sciences Arts and Humanities Research Institute; the Science and Technology Research Institute, and the Health and Human Sciences Research Institute.

“ Innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship are the cornerstones of the University of Hertfordshire’s Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute. Our research centres have built an international reputation for excellence and currently there are over 190 research students registered with us. We have expertise in a wide range of disciplines in the art and humanities, including philosophy, English literature, history, education and business studies, and art, design, music and media. Our innovative professional doctorates in education, heritage, business administration, management, and art and design celebrate the Institute’s commitment to public facing research and its engagement with the community, business and the professions. ” Dr Steven Adams, Head of Research Degrees in the Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities Research Institute

“In the Science and Technology Research Institute much of our research is

judged as being world leading or internationally excellent. For example our studies into the formation and evolution of galaxies and stars; our research into the impact climate change and air pollution have on human health and our research into novel materials for the aerospace sector. We are organised around four centres: astrophysics; computer science; engineering and atmospheric science and as an Institute we support more than 170 postdoctoral researchers and research students engaged in basic, strategic and applied research projects. ” Dr Rodney Day, Head of Research Degrees in the Science and Technology Research Institute

“ The Health and Human Sciences Research Institute offers a strong research

ethos and an excellent environment for research students. There are currently over 230 research students. Our interdisciplinary approach brings innovative thinking to both theory and user driven research problems. Collaboration with public, private and voluntary sector partners ensures both a national and international reputation for applying research to solve business problems, inform Government policy, and change service delivery in the NHS, and other public sector services. Across all disciplines, the 50+ research collaborations with overseas universities reflects the international status of research through Schools and Centres that make up the Research Institute.” Professor Anwar Baydoun, Head of Research Degrees in the Health and Human Sciences Research Institute


Research Degrees DFA The Doctorate in Fine Art (DFA) is aimed at academic staff in architecture and design broadly understood, in universities and institutes of higher education. It is a structured doctorate that can be undertaken part-time using a virtual research environment to deliver study materials and supervision. It is therefore ideal for candidates based overseas. DMAN Studying for the Doctor of Management will involve you in drawing on your own experience of change at work and trying to think and write about it using concepts you will learn on the programme and from your reading and research elsewhere. You will then be encouraged to reflect further on what you have written, and you will elaborate your ideas iteratively in discussion with others on the programme, bringing together action, reflection, thinking and writing. DClinPsy The DClinPsy is a three-year Doctorate of Clinical Psychology Training Programme which has been accredited by the British Psychological Society and Health Professions Council. It prepares clinical psychology trainees to function effectively as clinical psychologists within the National Health Service (NHS) and in related settings. The course has a particular remit to train clinical psychologists to take up NHS posts in Essex, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. DHRes The DHRes is the first professional doctorate programme in the UK to focus on the science of health research and to explore the interaction of theory and practice in research best practice within the health professions.


DBA The DBA will enable you to learn about the latest management techniques and research methods, drawing on the work of international experts in our Business School and with the support of your peers. The Doctorate in Design (DDes) is a structured doctorate that can be undertaken part-time using a virtual research environment to deliver study materials and supervision. It is therefore ideal for candidates based overseas. EngD The EngD is designed to integrate easily with your work and host organisation. It aims to provide a rigorous Doctorate level environment within which important current and future engineering issues are investigated; develop your critical thinking skills and awareness of the application of technology into organizations develop your research and management skills, such as leadership and change management, necessary to deal with the complex issues in today’s and future engineering business activities enable the effective management of innovation. EdD The EdD is a research-based programme focused on the improvement of professional practice. You will work at doctorate level on issues or problems that are of direct relevance to your professional interests and institutional concerns, bringing significant benefit to the organisation in which you work. MD The MD has been designed for clinicians working in practice who wish to undertake a substantial programme of individual research, whilst under the principal supervision of a clinical specialist. It offers maximum flexibility and is further enhanced by the opportunity for candidates to contribute to the final award using previous research.


Doctoral College Join our Doctoral College which houses over 650 research degree students ranging from Masters by Research through to Doctorate level. The College is run centrally and we help you with all key milestones of the research degree from admissions to receiving your award. We have an extensive training programme designed around the Researcher Development Framework.

Researcher Development Framework


Andrew Bamber

Tim Edwards

Elizabeth Scholefield

Neil Gallagher

Frank Foerster

Xu Zhang

Alexis Pericli

Hazel Messenger


Vas Psilopoulos

Fiona Essig

Roberto Raddi

Aris Georgiou

Satyajit Shetage


University of Hertfordshire Hatfield AL10 9AB +44 (0)1707 284800


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Vision and Voice 2013  

Vision and Voice 2013, the next generation of researchers

Vision and Voice 2013  

Vision and Voice 2013, the next generation of researchers