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  • 1.
    Nordmark, Susanna
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    A Multimodal Seamless Learning Approach Supported by Mobile Digital Storytelling (mDS)2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The use of digital tools such as smartphones, tablets and laptops have shown potential to enhance teaching and learning in a wide variety of contexts. 21st century skills such as creativity, problem-solving and innovation as means for supporting learning and knowledge creation, are considered fundamental proficiencies in today's technology- driven society, and they are therefore considered essential to promote, already from the earliest of school years. Hence, there are a number of challenges related to how to design and implement innovative and varied strategies

    for teaching and learning supported by mobile technologies in educational settings. Moreover, it is also crucial to think about how to actively involve teachers into the processes mentioned above, inspiring and inviting them to implement new methods and technologies into their everyday educational practices.

    The work presented in this thesis embodies a series of co-design and design-based research efforts aiming at exploring the interplay between design, information and communication technologies and learning through mobile digital storytelling, guided by the theoretical frameworks of constructivism, multimodality, new media literacies, mobile seamless learning, and technology enhanced learning. Two main research questions have been identified as formulated below, and have served as

    the basis that guided my efforts:

    What design features are necessary to scaffold mobile seamless learning approaches with the support of mobile digital storytelling?

    Considering the role of mobile digital storytelling for educational settings: which design factors and learning requirements could guide and support similar initiatives?

    Over the years of my doctoral studies, a progression of research interventions involving teachers, pupils, and museum staff have been co-designed, developed, tested and validated. These efforts have resulted in a method, a mobile application, and a web service for mobile digital storytelling in educational contexts, named the mobile digital storytelling (mDS) system.

    The mDS system introduces learning technology approaches aiming to support teacher and pupil digital inclusion, mobile seamless learning and multimodal aspects, and serves as a reflective instrument for both collaborative and individual work. The validation of mDS in different educational settings indicates that it can be independent of subject matter, user age, locality and previous knowledge of technology enhanced learning, and is easy to access and manage for teachers as well as pupils. Hence, it proposes several innovative means on multiple levels for meeting the 21st century skills required for supporting contemporary learning and knowledge creation.

  • 2.
    Perez, Miguel
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Mathematics.
    A teacher-centred design system to integrate digital technologies in secondary mathematics classrooms2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Despite efforts made by teachers and researchers, studies show that digital technologies have not improved conditions for teaching and learning mathematics to the degree expected by stakeholders inside as well as outside the school system.

    In this research, the problem of the integration of digital technologies is addressed through the perspective of design. It sets out to explore the conditions where educational design researchers may succeed in producing valuable and sustainable contributions to teacher change. The design approach developed and used for this purpose is Agile Educational Design (AED). It shares many of the common features of other design methodologies within the field; however, the AED approach is an explicit systems approach to design based on the Singerian philosophy of design. Rather than focus on ready-made products or other resources such as curriculum material, professional development or design principles, the focus is on processes and supporting teachers’ operationalisation of theoretical principles to achieve change. It is argued that all phases of the design process need to be considered from a research perspective. The developmental phases cannot be treated as uncomplicated inputs that only serve as a ‘design base’ for research activities. The Anthropological Theory of the Didactic is used as an overall theoretical framework to describe all aspects of the design process and to analyse the empirical data which consists of three design cycles related to three different ways of interacting with teachers. The design cycles were carried out in various settings, including different schools (secondary level) and with different teachers and different learning objectives. The dynamic geometry software GeoGebra was used in all three cycles.

    The results highlight some of the internal and external constraints that hinder teachers from integrating digital technologies in an effective way to support students learning mathematics. Digital technologies introduce important epistemological changes in the mathematical content that may explain some of the teachers’ difficulties in exploiting the full potential of digital technologies. However, giving teachers the responsibility for orchestrating lessons in accordance with theoretical principles provided by a researcher showed promising results regarding achieving sustainable changes in teachers’ practices. 

  • 3.
    Morgalla, Mario
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Benzene-char conversion and particle-vapor characterization in biomass gasification2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Biomass is increasingly attracting attention as an alternative to fossil fuels. Gasification permits the thermochemical conversion of biomass into a product gas rich in carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The product gas can be further processed to generate heat, electricity, synthesis gas, chemicals, and biofuels. Particulate matter (PM), inorganic and organic (tars) impurities are formed as contaminants in the gasification process. In this thesis PM and tars formed during atmospheric fluidized bed biomass gasification are characterized and the conversion of a model tar compound (benzene) using a biomass based char aerosol in high temperature (HT) applications is investigated.

    PM in the product gas of a steam-blown atmospheric bubbling fluidized bed gasifier was characterized for mass size distribution and concentration, morphology, and elemental composition. The hot product gas was extracted using a HT- dilution probe combined with a primary and a secondary thermodenuder to adsorb tars and investigate the volatility/thermal stability of the remaining aerosol, respectively. Size distributions with three distinct modes were established. The fine and intermediate modes were mainly formed by tar and alkali vapors that had condensed in the sampling and conditioning systems. The coarse mode mainly consisted of the original particles, which are char, fly ash, and fragmented bed material. The presented PM sampling and conditioning system also showed the potential for online monitoring of heavy tars.

    The tar conversion performance of finely dispersed char particles within a HT-filter and an Al2O3 bed were tested experimentally using benzene as the model-tar. Benzene plus steam (or CO2) were simultaneously supplied to a tubular ceramic reactor that was heated electrically. Fragmented char particles were suspended and continuously supplied via a separate supply line. A HT-filter or a packed bed of crushed Al2O3 balls was positioned in the reactor to retain the char particles. The benzene conversion in the so formed hot char bed was investigated by varying the temperature of the filter or bed, gas flow rates, benzene concentrations, gasification media, char type, char mass and char concentration.

    Increasing the ratio of the char mass and gas flow rate (also referred to as char weight time) enhanced the benzene conversion. This was accomplished by increasing the supplied char concentrations, reducing the gas flow rates or slowing the char gasification reactions. The latter was achieved by lowering the steam concentrations or changing the gasification medium from steam to CO2. Increasing the temperature of the Al2O3 bed did not only raise the char gasification rate and thus reduce the char weight time but also showed to enhance the specific benzene conversion activity of the woody char samples. However, in the 900−1100 °C temperature range, the combined effect was to lower benzene conversions at higher temperatures. The apparent rate constant of the benzene conversion was slightly higher when CO2 rather than steam was used as the gasification medium. Increasing the benzene concentration slightly reduced the benzene conversion. Activated carbon pellets showed higher benzene conversions compared to a pine wood char which was related to the higher specific surface area of the activated carbon pellets. In contrast to a commercially available barbeque charcoal made from broadleaf wood, steam-activated woody charcoal converted benzene even in the absence of steam. This was probably due to the earlier steam activation of the woody charcoal and thus higher microporous surface area compared with that of the barbeque charcoal. Doping the woody barbeque charcoal with approximately 0.7 wt. % iron or 2 wt. % potassium did not improve the specific benzene conversion of the char. For a certain char concentration, however, the doping increased the char gasification rate, leaving less char in the packed alumina bed, thus leading to overall lower benzene conversions.

  • 4.
    Siméus, Jenny
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages.
    Black Lives, White Quotation Marks: Textual Constructions of Selfhood in South African Multivoiced Life Writing2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis focuses on South African multivoiced and collaborative life writing. The analysed primary texts are The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena (1980) by Elsa Joubert, The Calling of Katie Makanya: A Memoir of South Africa (1995) by Margaret McCord, Finding Mr Madini (1999) by Jonathan Morgan and the Great African Spiderwriters, David’s Story (2000) by Zoë Wicomb, and There Was This Goat: Investigating the Truth Commission Testimony of Notrose Nobomvu Konile (2009), co-written by Antjie Krog, Nosisi Mpolweni and Kopano Ratele. All of these primary texts are either collaborative autobiographies about black lives, multivoiced life writing texts about black lives, or a text that problematises this kind of life writing where predominantly disadvantaged, black life writing subjects either have had their lives narrated or have had their narration steered by well educated, advantaged, Westernised and usually white writers.

    The analyses of the primary texts are carried out by problematising them in the light of the South African historical and cultural context within which they were produced. The focus of the analyses is on the effects on and the consequences for textual constructions of selfhood when the writers tell or include the life writing subjects’ lives in the life writing texts. The involvement of the writers in the life writing projects is argued to greatly have impacted the textually represented selves that were created in the resulting multivoiced life writing texts.

    Drawing on theory rooted in postcolonial studies, life writing in general, and self-narration in particular, this thesis concludes that the examined black South African life narratives to various extents are told on white, Western terms and thus inserted in white quotation marks. White quotation marks are defined in this thesis as a certain Western perception of self-narration and selfhood, consisting of components rooted in language, racial tropes, narrative form, and Western autobiographical traditions. Both writers and life writing subjects have been involved in creating or employing these white quotation marks. In some cases this has been an unintentional result and in other cases it has been a conscious effort.

  • 5.
    Razmjoo, Narges
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Characterization of conversion zones in a reciprocating grate furnace firing wet woody biomass2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Grate-firing systems are a common and popular combustion technology for burning biomass. However, combustion of biomass in these furnaces may emit a large amount of pollutants in the form of CO, CH4, PAH, NOx, and particles. These furnaces need to be further developed to increase their efficiency and improve the overall system performance while ensuring environmental compatibility. To improve the combustion of biomass in grate furnaces, it is vital to understand the processes occurring inside both the fuel bed and the gas phase above the bed (freeboard).

    The aim of this study was to characterize the conversion zones in two reciprocating-grate furnaces, with 4 and 12 MW maximum thermal outputs, firing wet woody biomass, mainly by measuring the temperature and gas concentration distributions. Measurements in the freeboard were conducted in both of the furnaces. However, measurements in the fuel bed were carried out only in the 4-MW furnace, in which the influence of two parameters, i.e., the fuel moisture and the primary airflow rate, on the bed conversion was investigated. Furthermore, a simplified model of the drying of wet biomass on a grate was developed and used to estimate the drying rate and to simulate the extent of the drying zone along the grate. The model was then validated against measurements of the fuel moisture and flue gas water vapor concentration made by NIR and FTIR, respectively.

    Measurements of temperature and gas concentration (i.e., CO, CO2, O2, CH4, and NO) profiles in the fuel bed were carried out through ports located in the wall of the furnace, by means of a stainless steel probe incorporating a K-type thermocouple. The temperature distribution along the height of the fuel bed was measured through a view-glass port, using a bent probe. High temperatures within a layer of about 0.1 m from the grate surface indicated the existence of a combustion layer at the bottom of the fuel bed (co-current combustion pattern). The drying rate of the moist fuel was calculated by the model to be about 0.0211–0.0235 kg water/m2s, under a certain condition. Therefore, the drying layer of the moist fuel was estimated to occupy almost two-thirds of the total grate length.

    Measurements of temperature and gas concentration profiles in the freeboard of the two furnaces were carried out by means of a water-cooled stainless-steel suction pyrometer. The pyrometer was introduced into the furnaces through the measuring ports, located along the pathways of the hot gas flow, and positioned at several locations between the wall and the furnace width center. For both of the furnaces, the temperature varied mainly in the 600–1000°C range in the primary combustion chamber, and reached about 1100–1200°C in the secondary chamber. A significant rise in NO concentration was observed in the transition sections between the primary and secondary combustion chambers of the furnaces. There was a positive correlation between NO and O2 at the ports in the secondary combustion chambers, which implied that in this high temperature region, the O2 concentration was the limiting factor for oxidation of N-volatiles to NO.

  • 6.
    Pernebo, Karin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Children in group interventions after exposure to violence toward a caregiver: Experiences, needs, and outcomes2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of three empirical studies, all part of the same research project, with a general aim to explore interventions for children exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). Because witnessing violence toward a caregiver is associated with negative impact on children’s health and development, effective interventions for children exposed to IPV are necessary.

    The aim of Study I was to elucidate young children’s experiences of participating in group interventions for children exposed to IPV. Nine children, aged 4 to 6 years, were interviewed after participating in group programs designed for children exposed to IPV. The interviews were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Five master themes embracing the children’s experiences were identified: joy; security; relatedness; talking; and competence.

    The aim of Study II was to investigate young children’s accounts of their abused parent. Interviews were conducted with 17 children between 4 and 13 years old who had witnessed IPV. Thematic analysis identified three main themes: coherent accounts of the parent; deficient accounts of the parent; and parent as a trauma trigger.

    Study III was an effectiveness study investigating the outcomes of two group interventions for children exposed to IPV and their non-offending parent: one psycho-educative community-based intervention (CBI) and one psychotherapeutic treatment intervention. The study included 50 children between 4 and 13 years old and their mothers. Child and maternal mental health problems and trauma symptoms were assessed before and after treatment. The results indicate that although children benefited from both interventions, symptom reduction was larger in the psychotherapeutic intervention. Despite these improvements, most of the children’s mothers still reported child trauma symptoms at clinical levels post treatment. Both interventions, however, significantly reduced maternal post-traumatic stress.

    The results showed that children generally appreciated and benefited from both interventions studied, but most still showed symptoms at clinical levels post treatment and a possible need for additional and/or different support and interventions. These results indicate not only the need for continuous and post-treatment assessment of children’s symptoms in routine clinical practice, but also the value of including children as informants in research.

  • 7.
    Haus, Sylvia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in energy and material system: a life cycle perspective2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Human society releases greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere while providing housing, heat, mobility and industrial production. Man-made greenhouse gas emissions are the main causes of climate change, coming mainly from burning fossil fuels and land-use changes. Sustainably managed forests play an important role in climate change mitigation with the prospect of sustainably providing essential materials and services as part of a low-carbon economy, both through the substitution of fossil-intensive fuels and material and through their potential to capture and store carbon in the long-term perspective.

    The overall aim of this thesis was to develop a methodology under a life cycle perspective to assess the climate impact of the sustainable use of forest biomass in bioenergy and material systems. To perform this kind of analysis a methodological framework is needed to accurately compare the different biological and technological systems with the aim to minimize the net carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere and hence the climate impact. In such a comparison, the complete energy supply chains from natural resources to energy end-use services has to be considered and are defined as the system boundaries.

    The results show that increasing biomass production through more intensive forest management or the usage of more productive tree species combined with substitution of non-wood products and fuels can significantly reduce global warming. The biggest single factor causing radiative forcing reduction was using timber to produce wood material to replace energy-intensive construction materials such as concrete and steel. Another very significant factor was replacing fossil fuels with forest residues from forest thinning, harvest, wood processing, and post-use wood products. The fossil fuel that was replaced by forest biomass affected the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon-intensive coal being most beneficial to replace. Over the long term, an active and sustainable management of forests, including their use as a source for wood products and bioenergy allows the greatest potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 8.
    Bonakdar, Farshid
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology.
    Cost-optimality approach for prioritisation of buildings envelope energy renovation: A techno-economic perspective2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The existing residential buildings in the European countries are rather old and often fail to meet the current energy performance criteria. In Sweden, about 45% of the existing residential buildings have been constructed before 1960. Considering the significant contribution of existing buildings to Greenhouse Gas emissions, improving buildings energy performance could considerably help to achieve the national targets. Sweden’s fourth national action plan calls for 45% reduction in final energy use for heating of buildings by 2050, compared to 1995. Deep energy renovation of buildings envelope would significantly contribute to heat demand reduction. However, it is often subject to complex challenges from economic perspectives.

    In this thesis, the cost-effectiveness and cost-optimality of building energy renovation have been studied in order to provide knowledge on where to start building renovation, in which order and to what extent. It aims at suggesting cost-effective approaches for prioritising the implementation of energy renovation measures in residential buildings, considering different techno- economic scenarios. An extensive building energy simulation work and analytical analysis were performed on a multi-family building and single- family houses.

    The findings suggest how to prioritise the energy renovation of different envelope components in buildings located in different outdoor climates from energy saving and cost-effective perspectives. The findings indicate that the energy renovation of older buildings in northern climate zones are more cost- effective, compared to less old buildings in southern zones, when renovated to a cost-optimal level. The older buildings offer more energy saving when renovated to a cost-optimal level, compared to less old buildings or those in southern zones. The contribution of climate zones to the cost-effectiveness of energy renovation varies significantly in different components, depending on their level of exposure to outdoor climate.

    An optimisation exercise was done in order to maximise energy saving by renovation of building envelope components under budget constraint condition. The enumerative algorithm of Brute-force was employed for this optimisation problem. The results suggest optimum renovation packages which could offer as much energy saving as a limited budget allows. It helps to develop a forward-thinking perspective that would guide individuals and financial institutions in their investment plans and incentives allocation policy.

  • 9.
    Abbas, Nadeem
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of computer science and media technology (CM).
    Designing Self-Adaptive Software Systems with Reuse2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern software systems are increasingly more connected, pervasive, and dynamic, as such, they are subject to more runtime variations than legacy systems. Runtime variations affect system properties, such as performance and availability. The variations are difficult to anticipate and thus mitigate in the system design.

    Self-adaptive software systems were proposed as a solution to monitor and adapt systems in response to runtime variations. Research has established a vast body of knowledge on engineering self-adaptive systems. However, there is a lack of systematic process support that leverages such engineering knowledge and provides for systematic reuse for self-adaptive systems development. 

    This thesis proposes the Autonomic Software Product Lines (ASPL), which is a strategy for developing self-adaptive software systems with systematic reuse. The strategy exploits the separation of a managed and a managing subsystem and describes three steps that transform and integrate a domain-independent managing system platform into a domain-specific software product line for self-adaptive software systems.

    Applying the ASPL strategy is however not straightforward as it involves challenges related to variability and uncertainty. We analyzed variability and uncertainty to understand their causes and effects. Based on the results, we developed the Autonomic Software Product Lines engineering (ASPLe) methodology, which provides process support for the ASPL strategy. The ASPLe has three processes, 1) ASPL Domain Engineering, 2) Specialization and 3) Integration. Each process maps to one of the steps in the ASPL strategy and defines roles, work-products, activities, and workflows for requirements, design, implementation, and testing. The focus of this thesis is on requirements and design.

    We validate the ASPLe through demonstration and evaluation. We developed three demonstrator product lines using the ASPLe. We also conducted an extensive case study to evaluate key design activities in the ASPLe with experiments, questionnaires, and interviews. The results show a statistically significant increase in quality and reuse levels for self-adaptive software systems designed using the ASPLe compared to current engineering practices.

  • 10.
    Ahlbäck, Tor
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Pedagogy and Learning.
    Digitala skrivtavlor - till vad, hur och varför?: En studie om den digitala skrivtavlans betydelse för grundskolans digitalisering utifrån ett lärarperspektiv2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to examine in what aspects the interactive whiteboard (IWB) has contributed to the digitalization of our schools, and how it may have changed the actual teaching in the classroom. This research explores this question from a didactic perspective, as well as from the perspective of the teachers’ reflections. The main research questions are: What do teachers use the IWB for? How do teachers use the IWB? Why do teachers use the IWB? These questions have been analyzed within a didactic framework, which is based on the expanded didactic triangle (Hudson & Meyer 2011) and the logic of events (von Wright 1983). Data was collected by interviews and surveys. The analysis was done abductively, based on a mixed methods approach. The results show that the IWB has the function of a digital hub in whole-class teaching, being mainly used as a computer projector, film projector and digital whiteboard. The main value of the IWB according to the study is that it provides the teacher access to digital information during a class. In their response, teachers express a wish to vary and adapt the teaching to include the IWB, in order to increase student motivation and participation. The study shows major differences with regards to the extent and the ways that the IWB is used in relation to teacher and school, leading to differences in pupils’ learning. Moreover, the complexity of teaching increases with the introduction of the IWB, as it requires the development of the teacher’s knowledge and skills. The study indicates that the use of the IWB implies a shift of the norm in school’s whole-class teaching to become more digital. The results are further discussed through four aspects of education: classroom practice, teachers, the school as an organization and society as a whole. The results imply that in order to develop teachers’ didactic repertoire, teachers need to be given clear assignments as well as opportunities for investigating the possibilities and limitations of digital tools, including developing and describing different methods and their advantages and disadvantages. This is proposed to be an area for further research in general and subject didactics, through action and participatory research.

  • 11.
    Broman, Elias
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Ecology and evolution of coastal Baltic Sea 'dead zone' sediments2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since industrialization and the release of agricultural fertilizers began, coastal and open waters of the Baltic Sea have been loaded with nutrients. This has increased the growth of algal blooms and because a portion of the algal organic matter sinks to the sea floor, hypoxia has increased. In conjunction to this, natural stratification of the water column makes the bottom zones especially prone to oxygen depletion due to microbes using oxygen and organic matter to grow. Hypoxia (<2 mg/L O2) and anoxia (no oxygen) are deadly for many organisms and only specialists (typically some microorganisms) are able to survive. Due to the harsh conditions these bottom zones are commonly referred to as 'dead zones'. The focus of this thesis was to look closer at the microbial community changes upon degradation of algal organic matter and the effect of oxygenating coastal Baltic Sea 'dead zone' sediments on chemistry fluxes, phyto- and zooplankton, the microbial community structure, and microbial metabolic responses. Results from field sampling and incubation experiments showed that degradation of algal biomass in nutrient rich oxic sediment was partly related to the growth of archaea; that oxygenation of anoxic sediments decreased stored organic matter plus triggered hatching of zooplankton eggs increasing the benthic-pelagic coupling; and resting diatoms buried in hypoxic/anoxic sediment were alive and triggered to germinate by light rather than oxygen. Changes in the microbial community structures to oxygen shifts were dependent on the historical exposure to oxygen and that microbial generalists adapted to episodic oxygenation were favored during oxygen shifts. Facultative anaerobic sulfur/sulfide oxidizing bacterial genera were favored upon oxygenation of hypoxic/anoxic sediment plus sulfur cycling and nitrogen fixation genes were abundant. Finally, it was discovered that oxygenation regulates metabolic processes involved in the sulfur and methane cycles, especially by metabolic processes that results in a decrease of toxic hydrogen sulfide as well as the potent greenhouse gas methane. This thesis has explored how 'dead zones' change and develop during oxygen shifts and that re-oxygenation of ‘dead zones’ could bring favorable conditions in the sediment surface for reestablishment of new micro- and macroorganism communities.

  • 12.
    Mattsson, Pontus
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.
    Essays on Efficiency, Productivity, and Impact of Policy2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of five self-contained empirical essays centering on total factor productivity (TFP), efficiency, and impacts of policy.

    Essay I: “TFP Change and Its Components for Swedish Manufacturing Firms During the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis” (co-authored with Jonas Månsson and William H. Greene). A driving force of economic development is growth in total factor productivity (TFP). Manufactured goods are, to a large extent, exports, and represent an important part of the economy for many developed countries. Additionally, a slowdown in labour productivity has been observed in many OECD countries after the financial crisis 2008-2009. This study investigates TFP change and its components for the Swedish manufacturing industry, compared with the private service sector, during the years 1997-2013, centering on the financial crisis. Stochastic frontier analysis (SFA) is used to disentangle persistent and transient efficiency from firm heterogeneity and random noise, respectively. In addition, technical change (TC), returns to scale (RTS) and a scale change (SC) component are also identified. Along with the empirical analysis, an elaborative discussion regarding TC in SFA is provided. The persistent part for manufacturing (service) is 0.796 (0.754) and the transient part is 0.787 (0.762), indicating improvement potentials. Furthermore, TFP change is substantially lower between the years 2007-2013, compared to 1997-2007, driven by lower technological progress. Policy should, therefore, target interventions that enhance technology. However, care needs to be taken so that policies do not sustain low-productive firms that otherwise would exit the market. 

    Essay II: “A bootstrapped Malmquist index applied to Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Jonas Månsson, Christian Andersson and Fredrik Bonander). This study measures the total factor productivity (TFP) of the Swedish district courts by applying data envelopment analysis (DEA) to calculate the Malmquist productivity index (MPI) of 48 Swedish district courts from 2012 to 2015. In contrast to the limited international literature on court productivity, this study uses a fully decomposed MPI. A bootstrapping approach is further applied to compute confidence intervals for each decomposed factor of TFP. The findings show a 1.7% average decline of TFP, annually. However, a substantial variation between years can be observed in the number of statistically significant courts below and above unity. The averages of the components show that the negative impact is mainly driven by negative technical change (TC). Large variations are also observed over time where the small courts have the largest volatility. Two recommendations are: (1) that district courts with negative TFP growth could learn from those with positive TFP growth; and (2) that the back-up labour force could be developed to enhance flexibility.

     

    Essay III: “Potential efficiency effects of merging the Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Claes Tidanå). The Swedish district courts have undergone a substantial restructuring process in which the main reform has been to merge. As a result, the number of district courts has declined from 95 in 2000 to only 48 in 2009. All main arguments that support merging concern enhancements of efficiency. However, it has not yet been explicitly examined whether the mergers have the potential to increase efficiency ex ante. Thus, the expectation concerning higher efficiency was built on a subjective view. This paper investigates whether the mergers can be rationalized from a production economic point of view. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) is used to compute a production frontier where the conducted mergers are incorporated to identify the potential ex ante gains. Furthermore, the overall potential is decomposed into learning, scale, and harmony to investigate the source of the potential gain, e.g., an effect of adjusting to best practice or a pure merging effect such as scale. The results show diverse potentials, i.e., a number of mergers did not have the potential to gain in efficiency while others could gain substantially. A conclusion based on the analysis is that the potential production economic effects should be investigated before merger decisions are made in the future. This is also likely to be true beyond the Swedish district courts.

    Essay IV: “Impacts on efficiency of merging the Swedish district courts” (co-authored with Per J. Agrell and Jonas Månsson). Judicial courts form a stringent example of public services using partially sticky inputs and outputs with heterogeneous quality. Notwithstanding, governments internationally are striving to improve the efficiency of and diminish the budget spent on court systems. Frontier methods such as data envelopment analysis (DEA) are sometimes used in investigations of structural changes in the form of mergers. We review the methods used to evaluate the ex post efficiency of horizontal mergers. Identification of impacts is difficult. Therefore, we apply three analytical frameworks: 1) a technical efficiency comparison over time, 2) a metafrontier approach among mergers and non-mergers and 3) a conditional difference-in-differences (cDiD) approach where non-merged twins of the actual mergers are identified by matching. In addition, both time heterogeneity and sources of efficiency change are examined ex post. We apply our method to evaluate the impact on efficiency of merging the Swedish district courts from 95 to 48 between 2000 and 2009. Whereas the stated ambition for the mergers was to improve efficiency, no structured ex post analysis has been done. Swedish courts are shown to improve efficiency from merging. In addition to the particular application, our work may inform a more general discussion on public service efficiency measurement under structural changes, and their limits and potential.

    Essay V: “The impact of labour subsidies on total factor productivity and profits per employee.” Subsidizing targeted labour groups is a common intervention to prevent long-term unemployment. Lower expected productivity is the motivation for subsidizing labour, but all research, with one exception, focuses on other effects while some investigates the TFP effects of capital subsidies. This study combines methods that, to the best of my knowledge, have not previously been used together to determine the impacts of labour subsidies on total factor productivity (TFP). Further, the profit per employee is included as a second outcome. Coarsened exact matching (CEM) is performed on the key variables; difference-in-differences (DiD) is then applied to the matched data. It is found that firms employing workers with wage subsidies experience negative and significant effects on both TFP and profit per employee. Heterogeneity is, however, observed; the only sector to show a deficit in both TFP and profit per employee is wholesale. During the second year with a subsidy, a negative impact can be observed on the profit per employee but not on TFP. The policy conclusion from the analysis is that subsidizing individuals from particular groups is necessary to induce firms to hire workers from these groups. However, the time period for which a single firm is subsidized should be considered.

  • 13.
    Holgersson, Martin
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Management Accounting and Logistics.
    Finans och Existens: Tolkning av vardagslivets finansialisering2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this book is to inquire into the relationship between human beings and financial markets. In this inquiry the author wishes to emphasize two aspects. Firstly, the act of creation of scientific knowledge, and secondly, the ubiquitous relationship that seems to interweave our everyday lives with financial markets. These two aspects highlight the main conversations to which this book wants to contribute. These are interpretative and hermeneutic research within social science in general and business administration in particular, as well as the growing literature on financialization. The more precise problem discussed concerns the insecurity and uncertainty that seem to surround our relationship with financial markets, or, as put in the literature: “the uncertain subjects of financialization”. Inspired by the ethnographic tradition, the author observed a gathering of thousands of people under the topic of making money from money in a spectacular building. The experience of this event worked as a catalyst for an interpretation of not only the specific meeting but also of our relationship to financial markets more generally. With the help of an elaborated analogy, it is suggested that we live (within) a spirit of finance capitalism, a spirit that has an ever-increasing presence in our lives. The author argues that our relationship to financial markets – and the financialization of daily life – is an existential dilemma as much as a financial one. Differently put, we can read the widespread uncertainty surrounding financial markets as doubt about the existence that we – more or less, for better or worse – appear unable to escape in a capitalistic society where finance is omnipresent. The interpretation contributes to the literature on financialization in two distinct ways. First, it integrates several themes recognized in the literature – such as opportunity, power, education and community – under one umbrella. Second, it accomplishes this by drawing on the tradition of sociology of religion and thereby highlighting the existential aspect of finance as an essential part of the human condition in a capitalist society.

  • 14.
    Rahmqvist Linnarsson, Josefin
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Forensic care for victims of violence and their family members in the emergency department2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: To explore forensic care in EDs for victims of violence and their family members from the perspectives of ED department heads, ED nurses, and a family member of a victim of violence.

    Methods: Study I consisted of a questionnaire to all heads of EDs in Sweden, data were analyzed with descriptive statistics. Study II consisted of a similar questionnaire which also included the instrument Families’ Importance in Nursing Care-Nurses’ Attitudes. It was sent to all nurses at 28 EDs and data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, multiple linear and ordinal regression analysis. Study III comprised of individual interviews with twelve nurses from seven EDs and data were analyzed with content analysis. Study IV was a single case study with two interviews with a family member of a victim of violence. Data were analyzed with a Gadamer-inspired hermeneutic approach.

    Results: ED preparedness for forensic care varied and was often limited to women and children. Nurses played a key role, but most of them had no training for this task and felt uncertain (I, II, III). Creating a caring encounter was the main challenge for providing forensic care and nurses perceived hindering factors to overcome this challenge (III). Family members were rarely included in forensic care and nurses perceived that family members were offered little help (I-III). Having ED documents that included family members, was associated with a more positive attitude to family members, which in turn was associated with involving them in care (II). For the family member, perfunctory encounters and caring alliances had a major impact and the experience reframed life (IV).

    Conclusion: Lack of preparedness in EDs to care for all types of victims of violence and differences between individual nurses may prohibit the provision of equal care. Hindering factors for a caring encounter can result in forensic care being unaddressed, which may limit possibilities for alleviated suffering and legal justice. Family members were rarely included in forensic care, but caring encounters can be crucial for the family member in the aftermath of violence.

  • 15.
    Holmgren, Carina A.
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
    Formandet av den entreprenöriella läraren: Entreprenöriellt lärande som styrningsteknologi2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this thesis is to, from a governing perspective, describe and enhance the understanding of the form entrepreneurial learning takes in lower and upper secondary schools’ practice, and its effects in terms of which approaches and practices are strengthened and marginalized. The context of this thesis is the industrial policy work to implement entrepreneurship in the Swedish educational system in 1996–2009. Industrial policy with its objectives concerning more companies and an entrepreneurial citizen is pervaded by expectations of the impacts of entrepreneurship. Discussing entrepreneurial learning as a governing tech­nology, based on Rose's development of Foucault's concept govern­mentality, provides a distance from these expectations and put productive power and complexity into focus. The governing perspective allows for the visualization of how an educational concept in entrepreneurial learning contributes to hierarchies of what is considered valuable but also how the fostering of the entrepreneurial citizen is made possible.

    I have followed three regional projects aimed at supporting teachers to implement entrepreneurship in their teaching practice. The analysed material includes observations of teacher training in entrepreneurial learning, inter­views with participating teachers and principals, as well as project documents, policy documents and entrepreneurship research.

    This thesis contributes to 'governing research' which use governmentality to understand entrepreneurship related to education. I show how entrepreneurial learning affects teachers’ subjectivities, how they should be and act, through the production of the entrepreneurial teacher, and what ways to be as a teacher this governing technology marginalizes. I also show how an educational concept in entrepreneurial learning enables governing at a distance by creating links between policy, entrepreneurship research, and teachers. These links contribute to teachers embracing entrepreneurial learning, and thus engaging in the fostering of the entrepreneurial citizen. By making visible the complexity of the entrepreneurial teacher and show the three subjectivities this ‘teacher’ offers: the collaborating, the flexible and the individual forming teacher, and the teachers marginalized: the supporting teacher and the autonomous subject teacher, this thesis contributes to a language to talk about how teachers are governed through entrepreneurial learning and its effects.    

  • 16.
    Christel, Stephan
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Function and Adaptation of Acidophiles in Natural and Applied Communities2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Acidophiles are organisms that have evolved to grow optimally at high concentrations of protons. Members of this group are found in all three domains of life, although most of them belong to the Archaea and Bacteria. As their energy demand is often met chemolithotrophically by the oxidation of basic ions and molecules such as Fe2+, H2, and sulfur compounds, they are often found in environments marked by the natural or anthropogenic exposure of sulfide minerals. Nonetheless, organoheterotrophic growth is also common, especially at higher temperatures. Beside their remarkable resistance to proton attack, acidophiles are resistant to a multitude of other environmental factors, including toxic heavy metals, high temperatures, and oxidative stress. This allows them to thrive in environments with high metal concentrations and makes them ideal for application in so-called biomining technologies.

    The first study of this thesis investigated the iron-oxidizer Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans that is highly relevant for boreal biomining. Several unresolved nodes of its sulfur metabolism were elucidated with the help of RNA transcript sequencing analysis. A model was proposed for the oxidation of the inorganic sulfur compound tetrathionate. In a second paper, this species’ transcriptional response to growth at low temperature was explored and revealed that At. ferrivorans increases expression of only very few known cold-stress genes, underlining its strong adaptation to cold environments.

    Another set of studies focused on the environmentally friendly metal winning technology of bioleaching. One of the most important iron-oxidizers in many biomining operations is Leptospirillum ferriphilum. Despite its significance, only a draft genome sequence was available for its type strain.Therefore, in the third paper of this thesis we published a high quality, closed genome sequence of this strain for future use as a reference, revealing a previously unidentified nitrogen fixation system and improving annotation of genes relevant in biomining environments. In addition, RNA transcript and protein patterns during L. ferriphilum’s growth on ferrous iron and in bioleaching culture were used to identify key traits that aid its survival in extremely acidic, metal-rich environments. The biomining of copper from chalcopyrite is plagued by a slow dissolution rate, which can reportedly be circumvented by low redox potentials. As conventional redox control is impossible in heap leaching, paper four explored the possibility of using differentially efficient iron oxidizers to influence this parameter. The facultative heterotrophic Sulfobacillus thermosulfidooxidans was identified as maintaining a redox potential of ~550 mV vs Ag/AgCl, favorable for chalcopyrite dissolution,while L. ferriphilum caused the potential to raise far above this critical value. RNA transcript analysis was used to identify genomic features that may contribute to this behavior.

    Lastly, six fields in Northern Sweden were examined for the presence of acid sulfate soils in the fifth paper. The study revealed three acid sulfate soils. The presence of acidophiles that likely catalyze the production of acid in the soil was confirmed by community 16S gene amplicon analysis. One site that was flooded in a remediation attempt and is therefore anoxic still exhibited similar bacteria, however, these now likely grow via ferric iron reduction. This process consumes protons and could explain the observed rise in pH at this site.

    This thesis examines acidophiles in pure culture, as well as natural and designed communities. Key metabolic traits involved in the adaptation to their habitats were elucidated, and their application in mining operations was discussed. Special attention was paid to acidophiles in chalcopyrite bioleaching and in cold environments, including environmental acid sulfate soils in Northern Sweden.

  • 17.
    Strand, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Health and Caring Sciences.
    Hjälp mig att hjälpa dig!: upplevelser och uppfattningar av undersökning med MRT för personer med metastaser i ryggen2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Aim: The overall aim was to explore how patients with spinal metastasesexperience a magnetic resonance imaging examination (MRI). Furthermore,the purpose was to investigate the radiographers’ perceptions of the patients’care needs and what measures can be taken to relieve the suffering associatedwith an MRI examination.

    Methods: The design for all four studies was qualitative with content analysisused in Studies I, III and IV and a phenomenographic approach in Study II.

    Main Findings: The results showed that the patients could experience worry,anxiety, insecurity and pain during an MRI examination. These adverse feelingscan be reduced by adjustments to the examination’s routines as well as byadjustments to the examination’s settings. A short break in the middle of theexamination can be beneficial if the patient is involved in the decision regardingthe break or other adjustments made in conjunction with the examination.Radiographers’ perceptions of the caring for patients were influenced by theircaring perspective and their approach towards what they consider to be essentialin the care of patients with spinal metastasis. The radiographers used theirintuition as a moral compass when they decided what, when and how to adjustthe different aspects of the MRI examination. A shortage of time can affect theextent of the adjustments that can be made as well as the establishment of acaring relationship with the patient.

    Conclusions: The patients may feel a sense of security when they receive correctinformation prior to and during the examination. Patients want to influencetheir own care. The personalization and adjustments of the examinationroutines need to be performed in agreement with the patient. The radiographersshould not use intuition as the foundation for their care and assumptions aboutthe care needs of the patients should be avoided. The

  • 18.
    Karlsson, Mathias
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
    Infinitely Demanding Entrepreneurship2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In both the study and the practice of entrepreneurship, the phenomenon of entrepreneurship is recurrently put forward as a key, or even the key, to resolving many of today’s social, ecological, and economic challenges. However, research shows that entrepreneurs who pursue social change risk overlooking or excluding certain worldviews, values, and ways of living. This thesis examines how entrepreneurial practices can create responsible social change. The study draws on ethnographic work and explores a new initiative launched by the Swedish furniture company IKEA – IKEA’s Partnership with Social Entrepreneurs. The aim of the initiative is to start collaborations with social entrepreneurs around the world, and to support their social change work, particularly when it comes to empowering women. The thesis further sheds new light on ethical and political aspects of entrepreneurship by using the insights and concepts of philosopher Simon Critchley.       

    The thesis comes to four main conclusions. First, the study shows that the pursuit of social change requires that a variety of, sometimes contradictory, practices be performed. Second, the study shows that this particular change work and initiative have the positive and responsible outcome of generating a multiplicity of new autonomous spaces that enable the women involved to live more worthwhile lives. Third, the study shows that creating responsible social change is ‘infinitely demanding’ because responding responsibly to another person’s desires and strivings is tremendously challenging, and the number of people to which one can respond is similarly overwhelming. Fourth, the study shows that the complexity of creating responsible social change can be handled through the practices of a faithless faith (i.e., fidelity to a lived subjective commitment) and humour (i.e., the humorous acknowledgment and acceptance of one’s limits as a human being). 

    The major contribution of this thesis is that it enriches our understanding of how entrepreneurial practices can accomplish responsible social change. The main theoretical contribution and thrust of the thesis is then the concept of infinitely demanding entrepreneurship, a notion centred on the suggestion that this form of entrepreneurial practice is driven by committed, responsible, and ethically and politically attentive actors and thus might lead to the creation of responsible social change. Infinitely demanding entrepreneurship has at least five facets: (1) its main aim is to be for the other person and to acknowledge and respect her otherness; (2) there is an attentiveness to the limitations of the specific situation, which encourages people to keep pushing to do more; (3) a plurality of competing ethical and political demands are acknowledged and handled; (4) there is an awareness that a variety of practices have to be carried out and a multiplicity of objectives met, including economic, social, and environmental ones; and (5) the practices of a faithless faith and humour enable these actors to cope with the infinitely demanding situation of trying to create responsible social change.  

    Infinitely demanding entrepreneurship is an argument that breaks with research suggesting that practicing entrepreneurship is a rather easy means of solving societal issues. However, infinitely demanding entrepreneurship is also an argument that contradicts research that views entrepreneurship as the actual villain of today’s problems. Instead pointing out that entrepreneurial practices can create responsible social change, but that succeeding in this endeavour is ‘infinitely demanding’ for the involved and committed people who engage in such practices. 

  • 19.
    Nordahl, Oscar
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Intraspecific diversity of pike (Esox lucius) in the Baltic Sea and new insights on thermoregulation in fish2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fish display a fascinating variation in behavior, morphology and physiology among species, among individuals within species, and within individuals over time. A central quest in ecology and evolution is to understand causes and consequences of such variation. This thesis aims to contribute to this knowledge by: (1) investigating the evolutionary processes that shape intraspecific variation among sympatric subpopulations of pike in coastal areas of the Baltic Sea; and (2) exploring whether fish can utilize sun-basking to regulate body temperature and whether this has any consequences for fitness.

    Identifying barriers that delineate populations is a first step towards evaluating the evolutionary origin of intraspecific variation. This thesis reports on genetic population structures among co-existing pike in the coastal Baltic Sea separated by homing behavior, different spawning strategies and geographic barriers. Field studies revealed that these subpopulations also show phenotypic divergence in reproductive and meristic traits. Experimental studies suggested that differentiation among subpopulations likely was a result of divergent selection and local adaptations to spawning grounds. These adaptations that may further reinforce barriers among subpopulations due to a reduced success of immigrant genotypes.

    For the second aim of the thesis, we first studied seasonal and diel patterns of activity and vertical migration among the Baltic Sea pike. The results suggested that pike exposed themselves to sunlight during spring and summer, and that body temperatures were positively correlated with sun exposure during these basking events. This was followed by experimental studies on inanimate physical models and a field study on carp which demonstrated that fish can become warmer than ambient water when exposed to sun light, a previously overlooked mechanism for fish thermoregulation, and that the heat gain was positively correlated with growth.

    This thesis contributes to our understanding of the origin and maintenance of intraspecific variation among coexisting populations with direct implications for management of pike. It also establishes sun-basking as a novel mechanism for fish to obtain body temperatures in excess of ambient water which could motivate adaptations, both evolutionary and plastic, that optimize heat gain, affect spatiotemporal distributions and biotic interaction within and among species.

  • 20.
    Jani, Yahya
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    Landfills and glass dumpsites as future bank accounts of resources – waste characterization and trace elements extraction2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Environmental pollution and health threats as well as scarcity of raw materials, water, food and energy are among the main challenges our world are now facing. Simultaneously, landfills and open dumpsites still are the dominant global waste disposal option even with their long term environmental impacts in case of greenhouse gases and contaminated leachates. In this thesis, landfill mining is suggested as a tool that should be included in an enhanced circular economy model (repair, reuse and recycle + extract and recovery) by considering the extraction/recovery of the lost materials in landfills and dumpsites as secondary resources.

    Characterization data (composition and physicochemical properties) is considered as a vital source for information for: i. the valorization of excavated wastes, ii. to explore potential hazards and iii. as an important tool for theassessment of the waste management systems and policies. In this thesis,excavated wastes from a classic landfill (Högbytorp in Sweden), a landfill buildup according to the European Directive requirements (Torma in Estonia) andhazardous glass dumpsite (Pukeberg in Sweden) was characterized as a centralstep in exploring the potential of recovering of valuables. In addition, the extraction of trace elements from waste glass and different finefractions were also investigated. The reduction-melting method was developedto extract hazardous concentrations of trace elements from old art and crystalglasses with more than (99%) of recovery of Pb, Cd and As. While threechelating agents (EDTA, DTPA and NTA) were used to extract Pb, Cd, Asand Zn from fine fraction (<2 mm) sampled from Pukeberg glasswork with anextraction efficiency of (40%). Besides, the fractionations of the metals Cu, Znand Cr in the fine fractions (<10 mm) excavated from Högbytorp and Tormalandfills were studied by using a modified sequential extraction procedure.

    The findings of this thesis highlighted the need to consider the dumped wastesas secondary resources and landfills and dumpsites as future bank accounts offuture raw materials instead of being burden to the human health and theenvironment.

  • 21.
    Johansson, Annelie
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Lärares bedömningsspråk: Språkhandlingar, bedömning och språklig utformning i grundskolans skriftliga omdömen2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis studies elementary school teachers’ language use in written assessments of students, and problematises the relation between teachers’ experiences of written assessment and the institutional and social expectations of professional language use.

    The study is based on three types of material: questionnaires answered by 39 teachers, interviews with 3 school principals and approximately 2,200 assessments of students, written according to three different templates. The assessments are analysed using methods derived from stylistics and textanalysis. The analyses of the texts focuses on speech acts, the content of the assessment and linguistic choices. The teachers’ testimonials in the questionnaires and the principals’ perspectives provide contextual information necessary for the understanding of the various forms of language used in the assessments.

    The theories applied are critical discourse analysis (Fairclough, e.g., 1992), Roberts & Sarangi’s model of language usage in professional practices (1999,2003), Bernstein’s theory of discourses in pedagogical practices (1990, 1996) and Gerrevall’s (2008) theory of assessment practices.

    The results indicate that the teachers’ language use positions them on a scale from formal to informal, and reflect different conditions for writing assessments. The templates for assessments, the statements of teachers and principals illustrate a wide range of institutional, collegial and personal language use. Teachers use six macro speech acts in their assessments: they inform, evaluate, summarise, guide, express feelings and attitudes, and seek dialogue. The content of the assessments focuses on the students’ achievements, processes, personal qualities and behaviour, but also on psychosocial evaluation, which promotes self-esteem and enhances selfregulation ability. In the assessments, teachers often reproduce parts of previously used texts, switch between formal, institutional, and bureaucratic language and context-bound, informal, and dialogical language use. The results show four typical roles that a teacher can assume: the reporter, the processor, the educator, and the coach. Teachers embrace these roles, and switch between them when navigating between institutional and social expectations of form, function and focus of the assessments, which can partly be explained by the influence of New Public Management on teachers’ documentation practices.

  • 22.
    Nordström, Thomas
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Measures that matter: Facilitating literacy through targeted instruction and assistive technology2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The acquisition of reading skills is one of the most important academic outcomes, as reading enables the individual to acquire knowledge and to actively take part in society. Despite research and educational progress, not all students develop their reading skills to a level that meet academic or societal demands. Study I in the dissertation aimed to demonstrate the relative importance of students developing adequate reading skills in order to succeed academically, and,thus to motivate interventions in order to counteract the negative impact of reduced reading performance. The overall aim of this dissertation was to explore two subsequent approaches for improving students’ possibilities to achieve a functioning literacy. The first approach focused on teachers’ use of reading assessment data and teaching recommendations in order to target instruction in classroom education involving all students (study II). The second approach focusedon the use of assistive reading and writing technology (primarily with text-to-speech, TTS, and speech-to-text, STT functions) for students with severe difficulties with reading (study III and IV). Study I was conducted as a follow-up study of an earlier project, in which grade 2 screening data of word decoding (N=1784) were run through a series of multiple regression analyses, in order to predict grade 9 grade marks and subject choices. Study II was conducted as a teacher intervention project within a larger reading educational project, in which participating grade 1-3 teachers (N=8) used the program features to strengthen reading instruction in classroom teaching. The teachers were interviewed in focus group meetings and their statements were analyzed using qualitative method. Study III and IV consisted of a six week assistive technology intervention (M=21 sessions) aimed to students with severe difficulties in reading from grade 4, grade 8 and from high school (N=146 participants before pretests). The intervention had a randomized control trial design with additional experimental elements, including pretests, posttests and one year follow up measurements, in addition to students, parents and teachers perceptions. The intervention was evaluated using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Study I demonstrated that students’ early reading skills predicted long-termacademic performance, meaning that low reading performers received lower grades and academic opportunities than students with higher assessed readingl evels. Study II showed that teachers could use assessment data and recommendationsin order for increasing their awareness of student learning, which influenced how they organized teaching. The impact of using the program for targeting needs in individual students, were, however, rather limited, and required further implementation of the program. Study III and IV showed that assistive technology can be used for assimilating(i.e., to read) and communicating (i.e., to write) text for students with severe difficulties in reading, which affected students’ motivation to engage with text, and their schoolwork in general. However, the extent students’ managed to use the technology varied and pointed to the need of teacher support to be able use the technology efficiently, as well as for further use in classroom education. Approximately 70 % of the students continued to use the technology after theintervention. Additional findings demonstrated the relative advantage of assistive technology in terms of increased reading speed and that students who used assistive technology did not fall behind equally impaired control students onreading measures, as assessed immediately after the intervention and after one year. In summary, this dissertation demonstrated how adjusted teaching, based on assessment data and recommendations, can be used to target individual needs in students, and how the use of assistive technology can be beneficial for students with severe difficulties in reading.

  • 23.
    Ndizeye, Natacha
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences.
    New Strategies for Preparing Polymers with Hierarchical Architectures2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this thesis was to explore novel approaches for controlling morphologies and molecular recognition behaviour of polymers and to use these strategies in conjunction with the molecular imprinting technique in order to either enhance polymer performance in quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) sensor applications, or as an alternative to conventional solvents of polymerization. In Papers I and II, the use of liquid crystalline media in the synthesis of molecularly imprinted polymers was demonstrated. When used in conjunction with the molecular imprinting technique the LC media induced hierarchical material architectures, which provided an enhancement of QCM-sensor sensitivity. The use of a class of novel solvents, so-called “non-ionic deep eutectic solvents (ni-DESs)”, was explored in polymer synthesis, Paper III, and for molecularly imprinted polymer synthesis, Paper IV. The use of these solvents produced polymers with morphological features comparable to those prepared in conventional solvents, and sensitivities towards bupivacaine template were observed. Collectively these results present a new strategy for generating new hierarchical polymer architectures and a new class of solvent for polymer synthesis, which can also be used for molecular imprinting, that can be used as an alternative to conventional and sometimes flammable or toxic polymerization solvents.

  • 24.
    Schweigler, Michael
    Vienna University of Technology.
    Nonlinear modeling of reinforced dowel joints in timber structures: a combined experimental-numerical study2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Steel dowels are indispensable elements for the design of joints in modern timber structures. Dowels are broadly used because of their flexibility in design and easy assembling on-site, as well as due to their advantageous mechanical behavior. Recent developments in reinforcement techniques allow for designing ductile dowel joints, which exhibit nonlinear slip behavior. However, currently applied limit state approaches for calculation of connection strength are not able to fully exploit the potential of dowel joints. This calls for development of more advanced calculation methods, which was aimed for in this thesis.

    For thorough understanding of the complex mechanical behavior of dowel connections, application of a so-called multiscale approach is advantageous. Thereby, nonlinear loaddeformation behavior of dowel connections is studied on different length scales, from the scale of connection components, up to the joint level. The aim of this thesis was to exploit knowledge from lower scales in models that finally allow for nonlinear analysis of timber structures. In the work at hand, this was achieved by a combined experimental-numerical analysis.

    Experimental studies on the nonlinear embedment slip of ductile dowel connections, and its relation to the orthotropic material behavior of wood, was one of the objectives of this work. Breaking new ground by testing up to large dowel displacements, at various angles to the grain, for unconstrained and constrained lateral displacement conditions, required development of new testing procedures and test setups. Test results gave access to nonlinear embedment slip curves and showed their dependence on loading direction and lateral displacement conditions.

    In the next step, embedment slip data were exploited in modeling of single-dowel connections. Beam-on-nonlinear foundation modeling was applied for this purpose. Validation of connection tests and a parameter study not only highlighted suitability of the calculation method, but allowed for gaining insight into limit states. Thus, beam-on-foundation modeling was found to be an attractive alternative to advanced 3D FEM models for engineering design.

    Parameterized equations for regression analysis of nonlinear slip curves, and interaction curves describing the grain angle dependence of mechanical parameters, were summarized in a literature review. With these equations at hand, a multi-dimensional parameterization method for the nonlinear slip as a function of the load-to-grain angle was developed. This method was applied to experimental data derived in embedment and single-dowel connection tests as well as in simulations. Analytical equations for connection slip are expected to facilitate engineering modeling at the single-dowel connection and joint level, respectively.

    Joint modeling aimed at establishing a calculation method suitable for engineering design with an attractive trade-off between modeling effort, calculation time and accuracy. This was tackled by a semi-analytical model based on nonlinear elastic springs for the dowel slip and rigid connection members. Thereby, global joint slip, and thus stiffness and strength of joints, as well as local load distribution within joints can be predicted. This model proved to be suitable for single-dowel-based and joint-based design concepts. Calculation examples showed pronounced influence of loading direction dependence and nonlinearity of dowel slip on local load distribution, as well as on global joint slip. Influence of interaction between internal forces on the joint stiffness became obvious from structural analysis with nonlinear joint slip.

    This work covers a combined experimental-numerical analysis of the slip behavior of ductile dowel joints, from the wood embedment and steel dowel bending behavior, the single-dowel slip, to the joint behavior, with final application in nonlinear structural analysis. Presented models predicted nonlinear slip with suitable accuracy and efficiency. Application of nonlinear joint slip in structural analysis showed the potential of ductile dowel joints, which could be exploited in engineering design by the herein presented multiscale modeling strategy.

  • 25.
    Babajan, Tigran
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Oligarchs, State Power and Mass Opinion: A Study of the Role of Oligarchs in Post-Soviet Pseudo-democracies2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis attempts to understand the role of oligarchs in post-Soviet pseudo-democratic regime trajectories. The two dominant, competing streams of prior work have emphasized either the importance of state power or that of mass opinion in these processes in order to explain why some regimes successfully maintain their grip on power, while others make gradual steps towards democratization. However, the role of oligarchs has been largely overlooked; a gap filled by this study. It employs both widely accepted, as well as unique data to approach the research problem. The work presented in this thesis involves large-N surveys, analyses of media reports and an in-depth case study. There are three key findings:

    First, for an overwhelming majority of citizens in post-Soviet pseudo-democracies, oligarchs’ actual, negative influence on the political system as well as popular perceptions of unfair wealth concentration are conducive to beliefs that a non-democratic regime is what is needed in order to set things right in their country.

    Second, the findings from Armenia, Georgia, Russia and Ukraine demonstrate that four politically motivated, rival oligarchs focused on enhancing their reputation and organizational capacity in their struggles for power. In all four countries, regimes used their state power to counter the rival oligarchs. Evidence from Armenia and Russia provides a nuanced understanding of these interactions. In particular, incumbents in these countries used their state power to manipulate public opinion in order to damage the reputation and credibility of the rival oligarchs. This thesis suggests that the main regime leaders do so in order to portray themselves as more trustworthy than their oligarch rivals.

    Third, a survey analysis of Kyiv university students shows that they view most oligarchs as corrupt and harmful to their political system. According to the survey results, oligarchs’ concentration of wealth appears to disqualify them from being legitimate political players. Yet, further evidence from this thesis suggests that people differentiate between oligarchs as a group and as individuals, which allows at least some oligarchs to enhance their reputation by using their vast material wealth. I conclude this thesis by discussing possible policy and societal implication of the results and by setting out some new venues of future research.

  • 26.
    Ali, Abdul Aziz
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics and Statistics.
    On the use of wavelets in unit root and cointegration tests2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis consists of four essays linked with the use of wavelet methodologies in unit root testing and in the estimation of the cointegrating parameters of bivariate models.

    In papers I and II, we examine the performance of some existing unit root tests in the presence of error distortions. We suggest wavelet-based unit root tests that have better size fidelity and size-adjusted power in the presence of conditional heteroscedasticity and additive measurement errors. We obtain the limiting distribution of the proposed test statistic in each case and examine the small sample performance of the tests using Monte Carlo simulations.

    In paper III, we suggest a wavelet-based filtering method to improve the small sample estimation of the cointegrating parameters of bivariate models. We show, using Monte Carlo simulations, that wavelet filtering reduces the small sample estimation bias.

    In paper IV, we propose a wavelet variance ratio unit root test for a system of equations. We obtain the limiting distributions of the test statistics under different specifications of the deterministic components of the estimating equations. We also investigate the small sample properties of the test by conducting Monte Carlo simulations. Results from the Monte Carlo simulations show that the test has good size fidelity for small sample sizes (of up to 100 observations per equation, and up to 10 equations), and has better size-adjusted power for these sample sizes, compared the Cross-sectionally Augmented Dickey-Fuller test.

  • 27.
    Ahlgren, Fredrik
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Kalmar Maritime Academy.
    Reducing ships' fuel consumption and emissions by learning from data2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the context of reducing both greenhouse gases and hazardous emissions, the shipping sector faces a major challenge as it is currently responsible for 11% of the transport sector’s anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Even as emissions reductions are needed, the demand for the transport sector rises exponentially every year. This thesis aims to investigate the potential to use ships’ existing internal energy systems more efficiently. The thesis focusses on making existing ships in real operating conditions more efficient based logged machinery data. This dissertation presents results that can make ship more energy efficient by utilising waste heat recovery and machine learning tools. A significant part of this thesis is based on data from a cruise ship in the Baltic Sea, and an extensive analysis of the ship’s internal energy system was made from over a year’s worth of data. The analysis included an exergy analysis, which also considers the usability of each energy flow. In three studies, the feasibility of using the waste heat from the engines was investigated, and the results indicate that significant measures can be undertaken with organic Rankine cycle devices. The organic Rankine cycle was simulated with data from the ship operations and optimised for off-design conditions, both regarding system design and organic fluid selection. The analysis demonstrates that there are considerable differences between the real operation of a ship and what it was initially designed for. In addition, a large two-stroke marine diesel was integrated into a simulation with an organic Rankine cycle, resulting in an energy efficiency improvement of 5%. This thesis also presents new methods of employing machine learning to predict energy consumption. Machine learning algorithms are readily available and free to use, and by using only a small subset of data points from the engines and existing fuel flow meters, the fuel consumption could be predicted with good accuracy. These results demonstrate a potential to improve operational efficiency without installing additional fuel meters. The thesis presents results concerning how data from ships can be used to further analyse and improve their efficiency, by using both add-on technologies for waste heat recovery and machine learning applications.

  • 28.
    Hennessey, John
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences.
    Rule by Association: Japan in the Global Trans-Imperial Culture, 1868-19122018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Criticizing one-empire approaches, calls to apply much-needed transnational perspectives and methodologies to colonial history have recently emerged. This groundbreaking scholarship has already revealed that the competition between different European empires after 1850 has typically been overemphasized; in fact, a transnational perspective reveals extensive cooperation between the “great powers” of the age, along with myriad examples of exchanges and transfers of colonial knowledge. In this dissertation, I argue that during the height of the New Imperialism during the latter half of the long nineteenth century, one can go even further and describe the co-production of a “global trans-imperial culture” by all of the colonial powers of the age, facilitated by a common “knowledge infrastructure,” including international congresses, trans-imperial scholarly exchange and expositions. I contend that Japan was an important member of this “colonial club” that was deeply engaged with evolving global colonial discourse and practice throughout this period. Emerging trans-imperial historiography has largely neglected Japan, while historians of Japan have tended to exaggerate its uniqueness in global imperial history and often missed important global trends in colonial policy that explain many characteristics of Japanese expansionism. Furthermore, an oversimplified description of Meiji expansionism as “mimetic imperialism” shared by some Japan scholars and global imperial historians ignores the degree to which all imperial powers imitated each other during this period and the great extent to which Japan was involved in multidirectional inter-imperial exchanges.

    The dissertation has three interrelated aims. First, it applies cutting-edge theories of inter-imperial exchanges and cooperation to the Japanese Empire, arguing that Japan took part in a developing global trans-imperial culture throughout the Meiji period. Focusing on connections rather than comparison, it traces how and when different examples of Western colonial knowledge came to Japan and ways in which Japan influenced other empires, investigating trans-imperial conduits like foreign consultants, scholarly texts and international expositions. Secondly, it works to dismantle persistent notions of Japan as a marginal latecomer to this community of imperial powers by demonstrating that Japan engaged with inter-imperially circulating discourses and practices from as early as 1868 and contributed to the development of the culture as a whole. The dissertation joins a growing body of critical work that argues that Meiji-era Hokkaidō is best understood as a colony in which modern technologies of settler colonialism were systematically employed starting directly after the Meiji Restoration.

    Finally, it employs theories of colonial association as a kind of overarching case-study to illustrate how ideas and practices of colonial governance circulated over imperial boundaries and concurrently influenced all empires of the time. During the second half of the nineteenth century, the strategy of assimilating colonized peoples became increasingly discredited among the colonial policy elite worldwide. New notions of how best to rule a colonial territory based on Social Darwinism and British and Dutch experiments in indirect rule, later collectively referred to as the “association” of colonizer and colonized with minimal cultural interchange, became correspondingly influential. Although assimilation and association are frequently treated as unchanging traits of specific empires (with France and Japan typically identified as assimilationist and Britain and the Netherlands as associationist), this dissertation contends that shifts between assimilation and association happened concurrently in different empires around the world, providing important evidence of a common trans-imperial culture. I will demonstrate that Japanese colonial elites engaged with these ideas at the same time as their counterparts in Western empires, with Japan’s famous radical assimilation campaign coming only in the final years of its empire. Revealing the strong influence of associationist thought among Meiji leaders helps to illuminate the consistency and “timeliness” of Japanese colonial discourse and practice and challenges anachronistic notions of the Japanese Empire always being characterized by a unique form of colonial assimilationism.

    The empirical “body” of the dissertation is divided into three large, thematic sections. Part I investigates the trans-imperial linkages between Japan and the United States during Japan’s colonization of Hokkaidō around the 1870s. Chapters 1 - 3 consider the role of three American professors, William Smith Clark, William Wheeler and David Pearce Penhallow, who were hired to establish an agricultural college as part of the colonial development of Hokkaidō. I argue that these American professors contributed to Japan’s colonial expansionism in at least three ways: by helping the Kaitakushi physically transform Hokkaidō into a Japanese settler colony, by spreading a colonial worldview according to which the Ainu were portrayed as a primitive, dying race similar to Native Americans, and finally by acting as propagandists for Japanese expansionism after their return. Chapter 4 considers continuing links to American technologies of settler colonialism in the next generation through the writings of Satō Shōsuke on Hokkaidō’s colonial status. Satō graduated in Sapporo Agricultural College’s first class and later studied land policy in America before returning and becoming president of his alma mater.

    Part II investigates Japan’s early colonization of Taiwan and the debates over its colonial status, which remained highly ambiguous for more than a decade after its acquisition by Japan in 1895. Chapter 5 considers the opinions of three Western colonial consultants from France, Britain and the United States who were engaged by the Japanese government in 1895 from the perspective of assimilation and association. I contend that contrary to previous assertions, all three individuals should be understood as proponents of globally fashionable theories of colonial association rather than as advocates of different national colonial cultures. Chapter 6 is devoted to the writings of Takekoshi Yosaburō, a prominent Japanese proponent of association. I argue that the position of his 1905 book Japanese Rule in Formosa in the domestic political debate over Taiwan’s status has not been fully appreciated and that its 1907 English translation played a crucial role in linking Japan into the trans-imperial academic field of colonial policy studies. Thanks to the efforts of Takekoshi and other propagandists, Taiwan came to be seen as a model colony in the West, especially in the United States where it was widely considered to be a good example for the Philippines, raising Japan’s status among world colonial powers.

    Part III shifts focus from colonial territories to expositions, which Japan used to present its empire to a mass public in Japan, its colonies and the West. I argue that expositions were one of the most important sites at which the global trans-imperial culture was created and maintained. Chapter 7 investigates how the Japanese Empire was presented to a Western public at the 1910 Japan-British Exhibition in London, where it displayed its various colonial territories in detail for the first time outside of Japan. Chapter 8 analyzes presentations of the constituent parts of the Japanese Empire at the Takushoku hakurankai or Colonization Exposition that was held in Tokyo two years later.

    Based on the above case studies, this dissertation concludes that contrary to common assertions, colonial assimilation was not a salient characteristic of Meiji imperialism, and that Japanese leaders did not emulate specific French assimilationist models as is commonly asserted. Instead, leading colonialists in both France and Japan, as well as other empires, were concurrently influenced by new, anti-assimilationist ideas of colonial association, including conserving resources by allowing indigenous laws and customs to be maintained as much as possible, making colonies financially self-sufficient and endowing a separate colonial administration with vast discretionary power. This is not to say that assimilation did not have proponents in Japan and that it did not sometimes inform Japanese colonial policy, but rather that it did not form the dominant mode of Japanese colonialism at this time. While examples of assimilationism can be found in Meiji Japan, I contend that these have been anachronistically exaggerated by later historians as a result of their greater familiarity of Japan’s later radical assimilation drive. The ideas that would later be collectively known as association so dominated the global trans-imperial discourse of colonial administration at this time that countries like Japan that aspired to influence and respect by the world’s “great powers” could hardly afford to ignore them. Assimilation was widely censured as a failed policy by inept “Latin” colonizers like Spain and could therefore only be advocated by Japanese politicians in a domestic context. Even then, opponents of assimilation had a powerful tool at their disposal in the ostensibly scientific arguments of numerous well-known Western theorists. Though not always completely successful, Japanese overseas propaganda still managed to use presentations of Taiwan’s efficient management along associationist lines to convince many Westerners of Japan’s aptitude for colonization, allowing it to participate in many of the key institutions of the global trans-imperial culture and even, at times, to serve as an inspiration to other empires.

  • 29.
    Svensson, Sofia
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
    Språkhandlingar i flerspråkiga elevers gruppsamtal: en studie av identitetskonstruktion2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this thesis is to investigate how multilingual fifth-grade pupils in Sweden construct their own and each other’s identities through verbal and non-verbal discourse acts, in group discussions of diary texts without a teacher present. The group discussions were audio and video recorded by the pupils themselves and transcribed by me as a researcher.

    The theoretical foundation of this study is the social constructionist view of identities as multiple, negotiable and flexible processes which are constructed in and through interaction. This is investigated through the participants’ use of discourse acts in the form of initiatives, responses and follow-ups, drawing on the Exchange Structure Model combined with interactional tools from Conversation Analysis. The use of ESM has been expanded in the study for the investigation of non-verbal discourse acts as well. Zimmerman’s framework of the three identity dimensions discourse, situated, and transportable identities has been applied to the analysis of discourse acts, to study the pupils’ identity constructions. Their use of code-switching has been studied in connection with the third identity dimension, here the transportable identity as multilinguals.

    The results show that the pupils as a group cannot be said to make their transportable identities as multilinguals relevant to a high degree in the group discussions. However, some of the pupils make their multilingualism relevant locally, using code-switching as a resource to express feelings, to wield power, and for face-saving effects etc.

    Furthermore, reciprocal contingency between the three dimensions of identity is shown by the pupils’ identity constructions and co-constructions in the group discussions. Discourse identities like initiating diary reporter, confirmation seeker, questioner, responder and endorser are constructed at the micro level of interaction by the participants using verbal and non-verbal discourse acts. These identities build up situated identities together with existing participation frames, such as leader, ‘disser’, ‘group clown’ or reluctant. Both these identity dimensions build up transportable identities as multilinguals together with tacit background information of the participants’ language proficiency. Moreover, the results show how an expanded ESM can be used for analysing both verbal and non-verbal discourse acts and the construction of all three identity dimensions.

  • 30.
    Hu, Min
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Building Technology.
    Studies of the fibre direction and local bending stiffness of Norway spruce timber: for application on machine strength grading2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Machine strength grading is a production process in the sawmill industry used to grade sawn timber boards into different strength classes with specific characteristic values of the bending strength, modulus of elasticity (MOE) and density. These properties are called grade determining properties. Each of these is predicted on the basis of a statistical relationship between the property and a so-called indicating property (IP), which is based on non-destructively assessed board properties. In most cases, the prediction of strength is crucial for the grading. The majority of commercial grading machines rely on a statistical relationship of strength to an IP, which is either a global dynamic MOE or an averaged flatwise bending MOE measured over a board length of about one meter. The problem of today’s machine strength grading is that the accuracy of the strength prediction is rather poor with a coefficient of determination of about R2 ≈ 0.5 − 0.6. One consequence of this is that much of the strength potential of timber is unused.

    The intention of this research is to contribute to a long-term goal, which is development of a method for prediction of bending strength that is more accurate than the methods available today. The research relies on three hypotheses. First, accurate prediction of bending strength can be achieved using an IP that is a localized MOE value (determined over a short length) that represents the lowest local bending stiffness of a board. Second, knowledge of the local bending stiffness with high resolution along a board’s longitudinal direction can be established on the basis of fibre direction within the board in combination with dynamic MOE. Third, fibre directions in the interior of a board can be determined by application of fibre angle models utilizing data of fibre directions on the board’s surfaces obtained from tracheid effect scanning. Following these hypotheses, this work has included laboratory investigations of local material directions, and development of models for fibre directions of the interior of boards. The work also included application of one-dimensional (1D) analytical models and three-dimensional (3D) finite element models of individual boards for the mechanical behaviour, analysis of mechanical response of boards based on experiments and based on the suggested models. Lastly, the suggested models were evaluated by comparisons of calculated and experimentally determined local bending stiffness along boards, and of predicted and experimentally determined bending strength.

    The research contributes with in-depth knowledge on local fibre directions close to knots, and detailed information on variation of the local bending stiffness in boards. Moreover, fibre angle models for fibre directions in the interior of boards are presented. By application of the fibre angle models in the 3D model of the whole board, the local bending stiffness along timber boards can be determined over a very short length (l < 50 mm). A comparison with results determined on an experimental basis show a very close similarity implying that the applied models are sufficient to capture the variation of local bending stiffness, caused by knots and fibre distortions, with very high accuracy. Furthermore, it is found that by means of IPs derived using the suggested models, bending strength can be predicted with high accuracy. For a timber sample comprising 402 boards, such IPs results in coefficient of determination as high as R2 = 0.73. However, using IPs based on the 3D finite element model did not improve the R2 value achieved when using the IPs based on the 1D model.

  • 31.
    Glaés-Coutts, Lena
    University of Toronto, Canada.
    Teacher to learner and back again: a narrative inquiry into teacher voice in professional learning2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    My research investigates how four experienced Ontario elementary teachers use their personal and professional knowledge to define what they consider to be personal, purposeful and relevant professional learning, or authentic professional learning (Mockler, 2013; Webster-Wright, 2009). Authentic learning is here understood to represent what the teachers themselves described as their lived experiences of ongoing professional learning, and what they identified as relevant and purposeful for their continued professional, as well as personal learning. I used a narrative approach, which takes a situated, holistic perspective in examining teachers’ lived experience and motivation for engaging in professional learning (Webster-Wright, 2009). The primary rationale for using narrative inquiry is to construct narratives of how experienced teachers describe authentic learning in the test-driven environment that dominates the Ontario educational climate today. It is important to cultivate a trust in what the teachers express. In honouring their voices, we may develop a deeper understanding of their perspective, as teachers’ professional learning is an important element of how teachers merge new knowledge with their professional practice for the purpose of improving student learning. I found that these experienced teachers seek out learning opportunities that honour their professional knowledge, integrity, and identity. While looking for a sense of autonomy in their learning they also expressed a desire to work with other experienced teachers in order to collaborate, communicate and construct new learning. As experienced teachers are a rich resource, capable of building up the educational profession in Ontario, it is vital for the educational system to capitalize on the professional capital, wisdom, and knowledge of experienced teachers. This method of understanding professional learning through the lens of experienced teachers proffers an alternative approach to gaining a deeper understanding that constitutes authentic professional learning for them.

  • 32.
    Gunnarsson, Helena E. M.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The influence of different pain states on pain perception and cognitive functions2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The general aim of this thesis was to investigate the effect of different pain stateson pain perception and cognition.In the first study, the effect of different pain qualities (duration, persistence, andintensity) on deep pressure pain thresholds in a pain-free body part among patientswith acute pain, long-lasting regularly recurrent pain, and long-lasting persistentpain, and pain-free controls was investigated. Such general deep pressure painthresholds were only significantly lower in the group with long-lasting persistentpain when compared to the healthy controls, suggesting that deep tissuehypersensitivity primarily occurs in patients with long-lasting, persistent pain.In the second study, the relationship between the same pain qualities and cognitiveperformance in the form of sustained attention, cognitive control, and psychomotorability was investigated. Overall, patients with long-lasting, persistent pain showedcognitive impairment on a wider range of cognitive tasks compared to patients withacute or long-lasting, regularly recurrent pain, using pain free controls asbenchmark. The results further suggest that persistence and duration, rather thanpain intensity, contribute to impaired cognitive function in clinical musculoskeletalpain states.In the third study, the effect of acute, experimental pain on abstraction wasexamined in a laboratory experiment where pain was induced with a cold pressorapparatus. The results were consistent with the null hypothesis, suggesting thatabstraction is immune to acute, experimental pain.In the fourth study, the correlation between clinical pain, abstraction and selfcontrolwas examined in patients suffering from musculoskeletal pain of differentduration, persistence and intensity. The results suggest that abstract thinking isreduced with increasing pain intensity and pain persistence. This was also the casefor self-control, although depression seems to mediate this relationship.In conclusion, compared to other pain states, patients who experience long-term,persistent pain, seem to suffer from a broader range of impaired cognitive abilities.Further, deep tissue hypersensitivity seems to develop in patients with long-termpersistent pain, but not in other pain states, which may contribute to the impairedcognitive performance observed in this patient group. The results have importantpractical implications for patients in the clinic and their everyday lives.

  • 33.
    Franck, Alina
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The junior-to-senior transition in Swedish athletes: A longitudinal study2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This dissertation project was an exploration of junior-to-senior transition (JST) processes in Swedish sport club athletes based on holistic, developmental, and ecological perspectives. It consists of two multi-level studies covered by four separate articles. The first study is a quantitative longitudinal investigation of athletes’ transitional and personal variables during a two-and-a-half-year period including five measurements times (N = 101). The second study is a qualitative exploration of the JST pathways of four athletes who were also participants of the first study; the athletes’ transition narratives could be related to the previously discovered dynamics of their JSTs.

         The first article (1a), presenting study 1, is focused on identifying profiles of athletes in the JST based on some of their personal characteristics (athletic identity, self-esteem, and goal orientation) followed by a description of the JST pathways relevant to their profiles. The latent profile analysis resulted in three athlete profiles. Athletic identity appeared to be a key personal characteristic that influenced the dynamics of the JST adjustment. Different styles of coping strategies were also associated with different JST pathways.

         The second article (1b), presenting study 1, is aimed at identifying adjustment patterns in the JST based on athletes’ dynamics of adjustment during a two-and-a-half-year period, and describes the athletes’ demographics, personal and transitional characteristics at the beginning of the JSTs that were related to the different adjustment patterns. The latent profile analysis on athletes’ perceived degree of adjustment provided three profiles with different adjustment patterns (i.e., progressive, regressive, sustainable). Further analyses (descriptive statistics and Cohen’s d) showed that keeping a primary focus on sport (without ignoring other spheres of life), having a strong athletic identity, and a high motivation to reach the senior level were (to different degrees) relevant for both progressive and sustainable adjustment patterns.

         The first article (2a), presenting study 2, qualitatively explores two individual sport athletes’ (a male swimmer and a female tennis player) JST transition pathways, emphasising psychosocial factors that were perceived as facilitating and debilitating for the transition process. Narrative type interviews were used, and the holistic-form structural analysis provided a central storyline – a performance narrative – that was common for both athletes and two individual side storylines that were the swimmer’s effort and relationship narrative and the tennis player’s injury and reorientation narrative. Both athletes experienced various crossroads and shared perceptions of the factors facilitating coping (e.g., family, some coaches, elite sport club environment), but their reflections on the debilitating psychosocial factors of their JSTs were more individualistic than their views on the facilitating factors..

         The second article (2b), presenting study 2, has the same objectives and the same methodology as article 2a, but focuses on two team sport athletes’ (a male football player and a female basketball player) JST pathways. The football player’s JST path developed into a performance and family narrative, and the basketball player’s reflections on the transition process formed an enjoyment and relationship narrative. The players’ JST paths were lined with different crossroads, and throughout the transitions they perceived the key facilitating persons to be their families (e.g., parents, grandparents, siblings) and teammates, but some of the coaches’ behaviors were perceived as debilitating factors.

    Major contributions to knowledge in this dissertation project include: (a) considering the JST (longitudinally) as a process involving dynamics and interactions of the transition demands, coping strategies, personal and environmental resources, and barriers influencing the JST outcome; (b) supporting the athletic career transition model in combination with the holistic, developmental, and ecological perspectives as adequate frameworks to study the JST; (c) suggesting that the integrated JST framework supported by the empirical findings can be used in the future research; (d) demonstrating significant variations in the JST pathways and adjustment patterns on the sub-group level (study 1) and also on the individual level (study 2); and (e) providing context-specific recommendations for different levels of the Swedish sport system for optimizing Swedish sport club athletes’ JSTs and supporting their continued sport participation on either the senior elite or the recreational level.

  • 34.
    Skillmark, Mikael
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Uppdrag standardisering: införande och användning av manualbaserade utrednings- och bedömningsverktyg i socialtjänsten2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This thesis addresses the issue of standardization in social work. Standardization is a necessary and fascinating, though underestimated, phenomenon, which governs, regulates and calibrates social life. In Swedish social services, we have witnessed an increased use of top-down imposed manual-based tools for investigative and assessment work. In human service organisations, such as social services, this raises questions about social workers’ control in terms of how work should be executed as well as the implications of standardization for professional discretion. The aim of this thesis is to investigate and understand standardization as a phenomenon, focusing on its consequences for social work as a profession and a field of practice.The thesis consists of four papers investigating the implementation and execution of manual-based assessment tools (BBIC, FREDA and SARA) in social services. The empirical material is based on interviews with a total of 68 social workers, managers, politicians and officials as well as documents and observations of risk assessment events. Each paper results from the analysis of an exclusive data set, with the concepts used in the analysis coming from theories of professions and organisations.The results show that increased standardization is a way for social workers to seek legitimacy as well as to claim jurisdiction and increase professionalism. The execution of the tools in social work is conditioned by significant key implementation factors in organisational contexts as well as the compatibility between the construction of tools and users’ needs and expectations. Along with previous research and theory, the results from the four papers are used to develop a tentative taxonomy of different discretionary positions that social workers can take with regards to standards in their practice. Those positions illustrate that it is not straightforward how the increased standardization of investigative and assessment work will impact professional discretion. It is argued that a balance between standardization and professional discretion is possible.

  • 35.
    Fransson, Sara
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Vinna eller försvinna?: De politiska nätverkens betydelse i kampen om en plats i riksdagen2018Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Focusing on national election campaigns in Sweden, this study examines how candidates’ political networks may influence who becomes member of Parliament in a flexible list system. Flexible list systems enable candidates placed on a non-eligible seat during the nomination process within the party organization, to still get elected via the voters’ optional preferential votes.

    The data used is derived from a unique survey including a total sample of candidates elected to the Swedish Parliament 1998–2014 via preferential votes after being placed on a non-eligible seat during the nomination process. The data also includes acquaintances to these candidates defined as their political networks. The method used to track down the network members, was to ask the candidates for acquaintances who helped them during the nomination process and the election campaign. The motivation, resources and recruiting networks amongst these respondents are compared to those of candidates, and their political networks, who, despite being placed on an eligible seat during the nomination process ended up losing a seat in Parliament as a consequence of the flexible list system.

    The analysis shows how dissatisfaction with the nomination process creates a motivation to use the preferential voting system in order to overrule the decisions made by the party. The result also indicates that the elected candidates and their political networks are more active within voluntary associations than their opponents. Furthermore, important differences in temporal resources are shown. Elected candidates can participate in the election campaign full-time and are able to take leave of absence from their ordinary jobs, while the opposite applies for the political networks. The political networks supporting elected candidates do not work full-time within the party to the same extent as networks supporting non-elected candidates. A suggestion for future research is to examine the importance of voluntary associations in relation to the use of preferential votes in flexible list systems.

  • 36.
    Ni, Gaofeng
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Biology and Environmental Science.
    When bioelectrochemical systems meet extremophiles, possibilities and challenges2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Extremophiles are microorganisms live and thrive in extreme environments that are harsh and hostile to most forms of life on earth (e.g. low pH, low temperature, high pH and high salinity). They have developed strategies to obtain nutrients and conserve energy to sustain life under these adverse conditions. Such metabolic capabilities are valuable to be exploit for industrial applications such as the remediation of environmental pollutions, which typically bring about extreme physicochemical conditions. The advancing technology bioelectrochemical systems can utilize the microbial metabolism to oxidize a substrate while simultaneously recover electrical energy or produce a useful product in an electrochemical set-up. It enables the remediation of pollutions, and its integration with extremophiles has opened up a wide range of possibilities to tackle various industrial waste streams with extreme conditions in an environmentally friendly manner. Inorganic sulfur compounds such as tetrathionate, thiocyanate and sulfide that originate from mining, metal refinery and petroleum industries are toxic and hazardous to the recipient water body and human health if discharged untreated. The remediation of these three compounds with bioelectrochemical systems that incorporates extremophiles was investigated in three separate studies of this thesis. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics are utilized to profile the microbial communities, and to understand their metabolic potential and states.

     

    Tetrathionate degradation with acidophilic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells at pH 2 was demonstrated in the first study of this thesis. Electricity was produced from the oxidation of tetrathionate, facilitated by the anodic microbiome. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing showed that this community was dominated by members of the genera Thermoplasma, Ferroplasma, Leptospirillum, Sulfobacillus and Acidithiobacillus. Metagenomic analysis reconstructed genomes that were most similar to the genera Ferroplasma, Acidithiobacillus, Sulfobacillus and Cuniculiplasma. Together with metatranscriptomic analysis, it was indicated that this microbial community was metabolizing tetrathionate and other intermediate sulfur compounds via multiple pathways, the electrons released from oxidation were suggested to be transferred to the electrode via soluble electron shuttles. In addition, the Ferroplasma-like population in this study was suggested to be active in metabolising inorganic sulfur compounds and synthesizing soluble electron shuttles. Since characterized Ferroplasma species do not utilize inorganic sulfur compounds, the anodic compartment might have selected a novel Ferroplasma population.

     

    Next, thiocyanate degradation with psychrophilic microorganisms in microbial fuel cells at 8 °C was demonstrated for the first time. Electricity generation alongside with thiocyanate degradation facilitated by the anodic microbiome was observed. 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and metatranscriptomics suggested that Thiobacillus was the predominant and most active population. mRNA analysis revealed that thiocyanate was metabolized primarily via the ‘cyanate’ degradation pathway; the resultant sulfide was oxidized; ammonium was assimilated; carbon dioxide was fixed as carbon source. It was also suggested by mRNA analysis that the consortium used multiple mechanisms to acclimate low temperature such as the synthesis of cold shock proteins, cold inducible proteins and molecular chaperones.

     

    Finally, sulfide removal with haloalkaliphilic microorganisms in microbial electrolysis cells operated at pH 8.8 to 9.5 and with 1.0 M sodium ion was investigated. The anodic microbiome was hypothesized to facilitate current generation by the oxidation of sulfide and of intermediate sulfur compounds to sulfate, which was supported by chemical analysis and microbial profiling. Dominant populations from the anode had 16S rRNA gene sequences that aligned within the genera Thioalkalivibrio, Thioalkalimicrobium, and Desulfurivibrio, which are known for sulfide oxidation. Intriguingly, Desulfurivibrio dominated the electrode-attached community, possibly enriched by the electrode as a selecting pressure. This finding suggested a novel role of this organism to carry out sulfide oxidation coupled to electron transfer to the electrode.

     

    These three studies demonstrated the possibilities of utilizing extremophilic bioelectrochemical systems to remediate various inorganic sulfur pollution streams. The advancing molecular microbiological tools facilitated the investigation towards the composition and metabolic state of the microbial community. Challenges remain in a more thorough understanding regarding the metabolism of extremophiles (e.g. sulfur metabolism and extracellular electron transfer) and better energy recovery in bioelectrochemical systems.

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