Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

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Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, IPEM, logo.jpg
Formation 1997 (1943)
Type Learned society
Headquarters York
  • United Kingdom
Official language
Professor Stephen Keevil
Key people
Rosemary Cook CBE (CEO)
Professor David Brettle (President elect)

The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) is the United Kingdom's professional body and learned society for physicists and engineers within the field of medicine, founded in 1995, changing its name from the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and Biology (IPEMB) in 1997.[1] The Institute is governed by an elected Board of Trustees reporting to which is a substructure of committees, groups and panels of members, which undertake the professional work of the Institute. IPEM is a member of the Science Council. [2]

The Institute is licensed by the Engineering Council to register Chartered Engineers and by the Science Council to register Chartered Scientists,[3] Registered Scientists and Registered Science Technicians.[4]

The claimed aim of the Institute and its members is to promote for the public benefit the advancement of physics and engineering applied to medicine and biology, and to advance public education in the field.[5]


The organization can trace its origin to three societies:[1][6][7]

  • the Hospital Physicists Association (HPA) founded in 1943,
  • the Hospital Physics Technicians Association (HPTA) founded in 1952, and
  • the Biological Engineering Society (BES) founded in 1960.

The HPA created its scientific arm in 1984, the Institute of Physical Sciences in Medicine (IPSM). The trade union and scientific activities split in 1989: the scientific arm merged with the BES to form IPEMB while the trade union (HPA) joined the Manufacturing, Science and Finance Trades Union (MSF).[1][7] The Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) formerly (HPTA) merged with IPEM in 2001.[1]

IPEM timeline


The Institute issues an IPEM Diploma on successful completion of Part I training (the initial training grade, which for medical physicists and clinical engineers it involves two years in-service training, incorporating an accredited MSc).


There are 11 categories of membership:

  • Fellowship (FIPEM): This is the most senior category of membership. It is only awarded to Corporate members (MIPEM) who have made an outstanding contribution to Medical Physics or Engineering.
  • Full Membership (MIPEM): This category is for people seeking recognition as professional Scientists, Engineers or Technologist in the field of Medical Physics or Engineering. It includes the old Incorporated Membership.
  • Medical Fellowship (MedFIPEM): This membership is for Medical Practitioners who have made outstanding contributions to Physics and Engineering applied to medicine.
  • Medical Membership (MedMIPEM): For Medical Practitioners working in fields associated with Medical Physics and Engineering.
  • Associate Membership: For people working in the field of Medical Physics, Engineering and Technology but who do not yet meet the requirements of MIPEM.
  • Student Membership: For students in the field of Medical Physics and Engineering who do not meet the requirement of Associate Membership (e.g. a Post-graduate students).
  • Affiliate Membership: For anyone with an interest in Medical Physics and Engineering.
  • International Membership: For Medical Physicists, Engineers and technologists working outside the United-Kingdom and members of a national organisation equivalent to IPEM.
  • Honorary Fellowship is awarded for outstanding contributions in the field of physics or engineering applied to medicine or related biological science. Up to and including September 2010, 53 Honorary fellows or equivalent have been appointed to IPEM and its forerunner organisations.
  • Affiliated Companies and Affiliated Societies.

Women are under-represented within IPEM with over a third of the membership. The Institute is a signatory [8] of the Engineering Diversity Concordat of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Dual Membership with the Institute of Physics[edit]

On 1 March 2006 an agreement was signed by the IPEM and the Institute of Physics to allow a 25% discount on membership subscriptions payable to each organisation for those who are or become individual members of both organisations.

Annual Conference and Woolmer Lecture[edit]

The Institute holds an annual conference on Medical Physics and Engineering. During this conference the flagship lecture of the Institute, the Woolmer Lecture, is presented. The lecture is dedicated to Professor Ronald Woolmer who was the first Director of the Research Department of Anaesthetics at the Royal College of Surgeons.[9] Woolmer convened a meeting at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, to discuss the evolving field of engineering applied to medicine.[10] It was agreed that the group should hold regular meetings and as a result the Biological Engineering Society (BES) was formed with Ronald Woolmer as the first President. Woolmer died two years after the formation of the BES and it was agreed that a memorial lecture would be sponsored in recognition of his achievements.
The following table includes a list of the lectures since 2002:

Year Lecturer Subject
2002 Anthony Unsworth Hip Joint Replacement
2003 Arun Holden Computational Modelling in Medicine and Biology
2004 Professor Kevin Warwick Implant Technology
2005 H Gollee Assistive technologies for function restoration
2006 Professor Denis Noble Cardiac Modelling
2007 Professor Sir Michael Brady Digital Imaging
2008 Professor Clive Hahn Bioengineering Aspects of the Lung: Models and Measurements
2009 Professor Martin Birchall Regenerative Medicine: New challenges, new hopes
2010 Professor Mark Tooley Imitating the Patient
2011 Prof Dr Willi Kalender Developments in Computed Tomography: Is sub-mSv a realistic option?
2012 Professor Lionel Tarassenko Physiology-Driven Signal Analysis and Data
2013 Professor Molly Stevens Designing Biomaterials for Ultrasensitive Biosensing and Regenerative Medicine
2014 Professor David Keating Medical Physics: A Gateway to Innovation


Physics in Medicine and Biology.gif

IPEM owns three international peer-reviewed journals:[11]

PMB and Physiological measurements are published in association with IOP Publishing while Medical Engineering and Physics is published by Elsevier.
The Institute also publishes:[12]

  • SCOPE - The Institute's quarterly magazine which is free to members and available for a small fee for non members.
  • a report series
  • educational and teaching material

President of IPEM[edit]

The IPEM president serves for two years and takes office at the Annual Conference. The following table includes a list of all past presidents of IPEMB/IPEM.[13][14][15][16]

Date President Date President
1995-97 Prof P.N.T. Wells 2005-07 Dr P.C. Jackson
1997-99 Prof P.F. Sharp 2007-09 Dr K.T. Ison
1999-2001 Prof R.H. Smallwood 2009-11 Dr C.J. Gibson
2001-03 Dr S.W. Smye 2011-13 Prof P.H. Jarritt
2003-05 Prof P.C. Williams 2013- Prof S.F. Keevil


Fairmount House in York

Fairmount House
230 Tadcaster Road
YO24 1ES
United Kingdom


  1. ^ a b c d Jennings, Allan (December 2006). "Introduction". Scope 15 (Heritage Supplement): 2–5. 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ IPEM (2013). "2012 A Review of the Year" (PDF). Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  6. ^ K. Reynard (2003). Aslib Directory of Information Sources in the United Kingdom. Aslib. p. 646. ISBN 978-0-85142-472-9. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Zoi Kolitsi et al. (2001). "Introduction". In Zoi Kolitsi. Towards a European Framework for Education and Training in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. IOS Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-58603-151-0. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ G.S.W.O (February 1963). "In Memoriam: Professor R. F. Woolmer, V.R.D.". Annals of Royal College of Surgeons of England 332 (1): 129–131. 
  10. ^ "Prof. R. F. Woolmer, 1908–1962". Medical electronics and biological engineering 2 (1): 161–162. April–June 1963. 
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Appendix 3: Honorary Officers of the IPEM Diversity within the Institute". Scope 15 (Heritage Supplement): 56. December 2006. 
  14. ^ Ison, Keith (December 2007). "President’s Letter: Diversity within the Institute". Scope 16 (4). ISSN 0964-9565. 
  15. ^ Gibson, Chris (December 2009). "President’s Letter: Welcome to all readers". Scope 20 (4): 3. ISSN 0964-9565. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 
  16. ^ Jarritt, Peter (December 2011). "President’s Letter: In the Spotlight". Scope 20 (4): 3. ISSN 0964-9565. Retrieved 23 January 2013. 

External links[edit]