Copy of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering



UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering


Welcome to the UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Alumni Newsletter, and happy 2019!


We are very proud of our former students and their achievements, and we know how important our alumni can be in shaping the programmes we offer, supporting current students via mentoring, advice, speaking engagements, and providing graduate recruitment opportunities.


The second half of 2018 was a busy time for us: we’ve welcomed a record number of new students; two of our academics have taken part in British Science Association Media Fellowships (with the Financial Times and the Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2); our first cohort of MEng Biomedical Engineering students have graduated; and the groundbreaking work of our researchers – whether they’ve been mapping the nuclei in the human thalamus, or improving detection rates for prostate cancer – has been reported in major scientific journals.

In the year ahead, we are hosting EIT2019, an international conference on electrical impedance tomography, and our Metabolight team will be participating in the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition (watch out for updates on the website and @UCLMedPhys). We also held our first alumni-student mixer event back in October, which was a great success, with some wonderfully entertaining and informative speakers, and a really enjoyable networking session afterwards.


So please read on to discover the latest news from the Department, to register for forthcoming events, and find out how you can get involved.


With best wishes


Professor Jem Hebden

Head of Department

UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

Watch our latest video and find out about life in the department:



The UCL Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering



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Alumni student mixer, 11 October

A big thank you to everyone who came along to our first alumni-student mixer on 11 October. Former Head of Department Professor David Delpy delivered a fascinating keynote speech, and was followed by UCLH proton therapy physicist Callum Gillies, Peter Bruton, a surgical technical consultant at Medtronic and Marina Melero Bernal, a final year MEng Biomedical Engineering student who recently won a prestigious $10,000 scholarship after undertaking a summer internship at Adobe Research in Silicon Valley.

First cohort of MEng Biomedical Engineering students graduate!

The first cohort of seven MEng Biomedical Engineering students to graduate received their degrees at the Royal Festival Hall, the Southbank Centre in September. Here they are enjoying a well-earned class of Prosecco on the terrace, congratulated by course leaders Clare Elwell, Terence Leung, Rebecca Yerworth and Ben Cox.

Fantastically well done to all our amazing students, and best of luck in their future careers!

More news from the department

Smart Target pinpoints biopsies to detect prostate cancer

Smart Target, a piece of medical software developed within the department that overlays tumour information from MRI scans onto ultrasound images has been found to help surgeons conducting biopsies and to improve prostate cancer detection. The technology enables surgeons to pick up clinically relevant cancers that were missed when using current visual detection methods and a paper in European Urology reports that the best approach would be to use both techniques in tandem.

Read more »

Scientists build statistical map of nuclei in the human thalamus

A major international research collaboration led by UCL was reported in the journal NeuroImage. The team has produced a probabilistic atlas to map the individual nuclei within the human thalamus, which has major implications for understanding typical and atypical brain function, and improving our understanding of the interactions between the thalamus and the rest of the brain, in healthy individuals as well as those affected by Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia and dyslexia.

Read more »

Financial Times: brain scanners for bike helmets

Professor Clare Elwell, in her first week of a British Science Association Media Fellowship at the Financial Times, co-authored a report on a new wearable brain scanner, developed by UCL and the University of Nottingham, which incorporates sensors the size and weight of Lego bricks into bicycle helmets, and has potential applications in both babies, and Parkinson’s patients.

Read the full article on the Financial Times website »

Student prizewinners

This year’s student prize winning ceremony took place on 5 December, in the Joseph Rotblat room. The winners were:


Vivian Barli (John Clifton Prize for Best performance by a non-final-year undergraduate), Adam Doherty (Sidney Russ Prize for Best performance by a final-year undergraduate), Jeffrey Lui (Joseph Rotblat Prize for Best performance by an MSc student), Jeffrey Lui and Ainkaran Santhirasekaram (joint winners of the IPEM Prize for Best MSc project), Esther Baer (Robert Speller Prize for Best Paper by a PhD student), Stecia-Marie Fletcher (2016), Marina Melero Bernal (2017), and Lorenzo Molinari (2018) (all winners of the London Myeloma Support Group Prize for outstanding extra-curricular contributions to Medical Physics & Biomedical Engineering). In addition, three further prizes were awarded by Instron to undergraduates Aure Enkaoua (BME), Aryana Avaei (BME) and Valentina Martinoli Issler (BASc).

Meet our alumni

Maria Boutros

Physicist, UCLH
UCL BSc Physics with Medical Physics (2001)

We spoke with Maria, who shared her experiences since graduating: "being part of the Medical Physics department was like being in a well-connected family where nearly everyone knew each other. The dynamics of UCL’s collaborations and the network a person acquires by being part of that department is key to a student’s successful future."


Read Maria's full profile here »

The Alumni Online Community

All UCL alumni and students are invited to register for the UCL Alumni Online Community. It provides an exclusive networking area where you can search the directory for potential mentors, search for jobs fromThe Alumni Online Communityyour alumni community and build your personal network with experienced alumni professionals all over the world. You can also join one of our active alumni groups to connect with your international community and special interest groups in the UK.


Join now at

Coming soon: upcoming events



Lunch Hour Lecture: Spotlight on Research in the Department

Eight principle investigators from each Research Group within the department will give a snapshot introduction to their research, covering topics from multimodal imaging and near infrared spectroscopy to proton therapy and photoacoustic ultrasound. There will also be an introduction to research degrees by our graduate tutor Dr Adrien Desjardins.

No need to book, just come along to the Malet Place Engineering Building Lecture Theatre (Room 1.02) between 1.00 and 2.00 pm on 28 January.



Lunch Hour Lecture: Brain Imaging for Global Health

Speaker: Clare Elwell, Professor of Medical Physics at UCL


The Brain Imaging for Global Health (BRIGHT) project is using a novel optical brain imaging technique to chart brain development of African infants from birth to their second birthday to inform interventions to protect the brains of some of the world’s poorest children.

Read more »




The 20th International Conference on Biomedical Applications of Electrical Impedance Tomography.

Read more »


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