Thomas Anthony Whittingham, ARCS BSc MSc PhD FInstP FIPEM, graduated in Physics and Maths from Imperial College, London in 1965, before working on the dielectric properties of tissues in the Medical Physics Department at Aberdeen University. He became a Lecturer in Ultrasonics there in 1970, giving him the opportunity to become well acquainted with the NE 4101 Diasonograph.
From 1972 until retirement, he was Head of the Ultrasound Section of the NHS Regional Medical Physics Department in Newcastle upon Tyne, making pioneering contributions to linear array scanner design, developing CT and other ultrasound imaging systems, and dettoing instruments for measuring beam shapes, acoustic pressure, power and intensity. What was conceived and christened as the BMUS Bulletin in the 1980s was under the creative editorship of Tony Whittingham. The bulletin went on to experience its childhood growth spurt and acquired a volume and an issue number in early 1993.
In the early 1970s, the Tony Whittingham group at Newcastle-upon-tyne in England was notable for investigating crystal stepping techniques which were the precursor of "beam-forming" technology in real-time scanners and beam-sharpening.
"...... I tried various ideas, but the one that worked was to make an array of very narrow rectangular elements and to use a group of these to form a square aperture. This group of elements defining a composite transducer would scan the line in front of itself. Then you drop one element off from one end, put another element on at the other end, infront of the group, and advance the active group along the array in this way. When I was doing this I was totally unaware that it would work. I hope it would work, but I was worried that there would be cross-coupling from the end elements of the group into what should have been passive elements, so that you might not be able to get a well-defined active aperture. But it did work, and that proved to be the way forward, because you could make finer and finer elements and get more lines into the array ........" -- Tony Whittingham, describing his work in real-time imaging in the mid 1970s. ^
Whittingham has written and lectured extensively on beam-forming, ultrasound safety and modern developments in ultrasonic imaging technology. He has chaired the safety committees of BMUS and EFSUMB, co-authored Standards for the IEC and is a Past-President and an Honorary Member of the British Medical Ultrasound Society.
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