Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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This collection contains digitized SFU theses except for those theses submitted within the last 12 months. If you cannot find the thesis you are looking for please search Recently Submitted Theses as it may be a recently submitted thesis and thus not yet available in Summit.

Supporting young oil and gas workers in Alberta: Lessons from just transition

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-15
Abstract: 

Young oil and gas workers in Alberta were significantly affected by the 2014 crash in the price of oil and the ensuing downturn. With oil and gas employment unlikely to return to former levels, continued job losses, and high unemployment rates among young male workers in Alberta, this group faces significant labour market challenges. This study examines potential improvements to Alberta’s employment services system and its active labour market policies to better support young oil and gas workers in their adjustment. It employs a literature review and multiple case study analysis to identify and evaluate policy options, taking lessons from research on Just Transition. This study recommends a skills matching tool and training grant, to be implemented alongside economic diversification initiatives.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nancy Olewiler
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Journey from Rousseau to Sibelius: The development of nationalism through interaction of music and folklore from French Revolution to Finnish Independence

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-15
Abstract: 

The French Revolution was one of the most significant and influential events in world history and had an undeniable impact around the world, including Finland. I will argue that the French Revolution had a profound influence on Finland’s independence movement primarily through Herder’s principles of cultural nationalism focusing on the importance of common history, culture, and language. I will also argue that the interaction of music and folklore, particularly in the form of Kalevala, the Finnish national epic and the music of Sibelius, played an integral role in that movement. I will present an interdisciplinary study of the emergence and development of Nationalism based on Romantic ideals sparked by the French Revolution, and I will discuss the literary, musical and philosophical ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the influence of the Age of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Nationalism that had migrated to Finland resulting in independence.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Stephen Duguid
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Liberal Studies Program
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.A.L.S.

Making the most of mandatory case reviews: An examination of serious injury and death reviews for youth receiving intervention services in Alberta

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-26
Abstract: 

Case Reviews for injuries and deaths of youth receiving protection services are supposed to increase accountability and improve circumstances for children and youth. However, the form that reviews take and the associated recommendations can contribute to a blame culture that undermines public trust and negatively impacts decisions made by protection workers. Balancing accountability with a focus on learning can increase the positive gains from case reviews and allow reviews to highlight effective case work that can provide context to perceived failures of child protection services. This paper examines the impact of increased case review requirements in Alberta, Canada and considers policy options for future development. Mandatory reviews in Alberta can increase opportunities to learn from tragedies. A searchable database of findings gained from case reviews could increase the value of Alberta’s existing focus on industry learning, by making information more accessible to case workers and clinicians.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Doug McArthur
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Suite dreams: Tools to expand the supply of affordable housing in northern Canada

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-24
Abstract: 

There is a severe shortage of affordable housing, as well as a demonstrated demand for such options. Unique cultural, regional and resource-based concerns specific to the North increase the complexity of building new housing in the regions. This study examined housing supply expansion challenges in the North. A proforma analysis of a sample affordable housing project was presented to show where the bulk of construction and development costs are concentrated. Three case studies were conducted to present successful and innovative financing, partnership and design housing expansion tools. The purpose of this case study is to gain insight into other tools that might be applicable to a rural context in northern regions. Following this, three policy options are analyzed for their applicability to the North. Based on this analysis, offsite construction, including both modular and prefabricated housing, coupled with a pilot program are recommended to address the lag in supply side housing expansion in the North.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Dominique Gross
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Scaling up: Assessing the CleanBC 15% renewable gas target

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-03-25
Abstract: 

As conventional natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes heavily towards carbon emissions, the government of British Columbia is targeting this issue by instituting a 15% requirement of renewable gases to be blended in with conventional natural gas by 2030 to reduce carbon emissions. One such renewable gas, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG), is currently available and being produced in BC and so would be the major contributor in achieving the 15% target. Current production of RNG is insufficient to meet the target. This paper assesses the challenges of scaling up RNG by conducting a comparative case study of Germany, the United Kingdom and California, and a mixed methods approach involving interviews, a literature review and a study of utility rate design. Four policy options are evaluated to address the barriers for RNG in achieving the 15% target. Based on this analysis, a policy shotgun approach is recommended.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Nancy Olewiler
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

Self-tuning electromagnetic vibration systems

Date created: 
2019-05-06
Abstract: 

This thesis presents the efforts made toward making industrial mechanical vibration systems smarter. This objective is accomplished in two steps. The first step is realization of mechanical vibration actuators that can mimic the behavior of mechanical dampers and springs with variable and controllable damping and stiffness. The second step includes the design and implementation of algorithms that can find the optimum damping and stiffness in different operating conditions. First, electromagnetic actuators are selected for force generation. It is shown that creating a parallel RL circuit with variable parameters in the shunt of an electromagnetic actuator results in variable damping and stiffness behavior by the actuator. It is shown that this circuit configuration can be realized using a power electronics converter connected to a power source. Next, automatic control methods are developed for adding a self-tuning loop to the system including an electromagnetic actuator. To this end, the sliding mode extremum seeking controller was utilized to make the system self-tuning in a model-free control architecture. The concept is applied to two major problems in vibration systems: vibration energy harvesting and vibration absorption, which is also known as tuned mass damping. In the former application, single variable and multi-variable sliding mode extremum seeking controllers are used for controlling the damping and stiffness of the actuator to maximize the harvested power. In the latter case, the same controller is used with the objective of minimizing the unwanted oscillations in a host structure. Analytical methods, computer simulations, and experimental results are provided to support the proposed concept and verify the theoretical findings. The results show that it is possible to achieve efficient, variable, and controllable damping and stiffness with an electromagnetic actuator comprised of a brushless DC motor and a mechanical motion conversion mechanism. It was also shown that the proposed extremum seeking controllers successfully tune the variables toward the optimum points.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Mehrdad Moallem
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Mechatronic Systems Engineering
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Encoding anatomical tree priors for tubular structure extraction for medical images analysis

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-02
Abstract: 

Vasculatures and airways in the human body contain anatomical trees, which are tree structures with anatomical properties and geometrical attributes. Since anatomical trees are highly involved in clinical procedures such as disease diagnosis and treatment planning, accurate and automatic annotation and analysis of these structures is extremely important. In this thesis, after an extensive study of existing literature on 3D tubular tree analysis, we introduce novel techniques encoding anatomical tree priors into vasculature and airway extraction. We present novel features, e.g., features based on multi-modal von Mises-Fisher distribution, for 3D vasculature bifurcation classification using Random Forest classifier. Then we introduce the first work fitting a parametric 3D geometric model to 3D medical image data of pulmonary vasculature for bifurcation localization. To solve the corresponding optimization problem, we present the modified genetic algorithm with tribes niching technique. For encoding the geometrical variability of anatomical trees and their natural sequential root-to-leaf representation, we propose two deep learning models, the TreeNet and LSTM-Tree for predicting branch direction and bifurcation classification during centerline tree tracking. To overcome the myopic visual search involved in most tree tracking processes, we introduce two novel ways to leverage global prior information, by using tree-level statistics within a Bayesian framework and reframing the tree shape into a pictorial structure. Then we encode anatomical tree priors in the clinical task of age-related macular degeneration classification and retinopathy grading by masking a sequential attention within deep network layers.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Ghassan Hamarneh
Department: 
Applied Sciences: School of Computing Science
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) Ph.D.

Perspectives on the competency-driven reform in British Columbia: A case study of the science teacher education program at SFU

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-01
Abstract: 

This case study is situated in the context of the new concept-based competency-driven curriculum implemented by the province of British Columbia. Implicitly embedded in the resurging movement of competency-based education (CBE), the educational reform emphasizes not only the curricular content but also core and curricular competencies. Many studies relate that education stakeholders’ theoretical and practical understanding of the reform itself is crucial for a successful implementation. Therefore, interviews were conducted to obtain pre-service teachers’, school associates’ and teacher educators’ theoretical and practical understanding of the reform in the context of the teacher education program at Simon Fraser University. By doing so, this research informs the discussion on BC’s redesigned curriculum, and consequently facilitates a successful implementation.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Allan MacKinnon
Department: 
Education: Faculty of Education
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.

The blunt truth: Industrial safety in cannabis growing facilities

Author: 
Date created: 
2020-04-02
Abstract: 

Since the legalization of cannabis in Canada, there has been a steady increase in the number of licences issued by Health Canada. As the cannabis industry is in its infancy and at the start of a larger expansion, there are safety concerns that need to be addressed. Regulatory gaps that could lead to incidents of unsafe operating practices at cannabis growing facilities need to be addressed. This paper attempts to fill these gaps by evaluating policies to mitigating and reduce the risk of unsafe operating practices in Metro Vancouver, either by proactive or reactive measures. It evaluates three policy options intended to create a safer, more comprehensive regulatory system to prevent unsafe operating practices: increased inspections, continuing professional education, and the status quo.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
John Richards
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.

A stolen life: Ameliorating the impact of database breaches on Canadians

Date created: 
2020-03-30
Abstract: 

Database breaches on companies put at risk a large amount of personal information that can be accessed by third parties. Canadians, in general, will feel the impact of these database breaches through their identities being used in fraudulent activity. The literature suggests that database breaches are a large and growing issue, identity theft is rising, and the current victims are not given enough options to protect themselves from the identity theft that uses information obtained in database breaches. This paper attempts to fill the gaps in the Canadian regulatory environment by evaluating policies for either reducing the impact of database breaches or reducing the impact on victims of identity theft. Four policy options are presented with a focus on creating a strong regulator, enacting baseline standards, comprehensive reporting and data collection, or protection services.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Maureen Maloney
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: School of Public Policy
Thesis type: 
(Project) M.P.P.