Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine

Coordinates: 53°56′54″N 1°06′03″W / 53.9483429°N 1.1008885°W / 53.9483429; -1.1008885
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Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
Formation1997 (1943)
TypeLearned society
HeadquartersFairmount House, 230 Tadcaster Road, York, YO24 1ES, England
  • United Kingdom
Coordinates53°56′54″N 1°06′03″W / 53.9483429°N 1.1008885°W / 53.9483429; -1.1008885
Official language
Dr Robert Farley
Key people
Philip Morgan

The Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM) is the United Kingdom's professional body and learned society for physicists, engineers and technologists within the field of medicine, founded in 1995, changing its name from the Institution 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 are the Science, Research and Innovation Council and the Professional and Standards Council. The councils have operational responsibility for scientific and professional aspects of the Institute's work, respectively. Beneath the councils is a substructure of committees, groups and panels of members, which undertake the work of the Institute.

The Institute is licensed by the Engineering Council to register Chartered Engineers, Incorporated Engineers and Engineering Technologists and by the Science Council to register Chartered Scientists,[2] Registered Scientists and Registered Science Technicians.[2]

The aim of the Institute and its members, set out in its charitable objects and articles of association, 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.[3]


The organization can trace its origin to three societies:[1][4][5]

  • 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][5] The Association of Medical Technologists (AMT), formerly HPTA, merged with IPEM in 2001.[1]

IPEM timeline
IPEM timeline


There are several categories of membership:

  • Fellowship (FIPEM): This is the most senior category of membership. It is only awarded to Full 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.
  • Associate Membership: For people working in the relevant area including STP trainees. Postgraduate students and apprentices in an appropriate field are eligible for free Associate Membership
  • Professional Affiliate Membership: For professionals who are working with applications of physics and engineering applied to medicine but who are working as professionals other than clinical scientists or clinical/biomedical engineers e.g. doctors, radiographers, nurses, vets and dentists.
  • Affiliate Membership: For anyone with an interest in Medical Physics and Engineering. Full-time undergraduate students are eligible for free Affiliate Membership
  • Honorary Fellowship is awarded for outstanding contributions in the field of physics or engineering applied to medicine or related biological science.
  • Company Membership
  • Dual Membership with the Institute of Physics allows a 25% discount on membership subscriptions payable to each organisation for those who are or become individual members of both organisations.

Equality, diversity and inclusion[edit]

The Institute is a signatory[6] of the Engineering Diversity Concordat of the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council Diversity Declaration and has its own Equality Policy.[7]

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.[8] Woolmer convened a meeting at the Royal College of Surgeons, London, to discuss the evolving field of engineering applied to medicine.[9] 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 Professor Anthony Unsworth Hip Joint Replacement
2003 Dr Arun Holden Computational Modelling in Medicine and Biology
2004 Professor Kevin Warwick Implant Technology
2005 Dr Henrik 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 Professor 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
2015 Professor Tony Barker Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation – the First Thirty Years
2016 Professor Andrew Taylor Can engineering and imaging help us design cardiovascular devices?
2017 Professor Josef Käs Why do rigid tumours contain soft cancer cells?
2018 Professor Alison Noble Human Image Recognition, Artificial Intelligence and Shifting Perceptions of Medical Ultrasound


IPEM owns three international peer-reviewed journals:[10]

PMB and Physiological Measurement are published in association with IOP Publishing while Medical Engineering and Physics is published by Elsevier.
The Institute also publishes:[11]

  • SCOPE – The Institute's quarterly magazine which is free to members and non-members.
  • a report series
  • educational and teaching material
  • a comprehensive e-book programme jointly with IOP Publishing

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.[12][13][14][15]

Dates President
1995–97 Prof Peter N.T. Wells CBE
1997–99 Prof P. F. Sharp OBE
1999–2001 Prof R.H. Smallwood
2001–03 Dr S.W. Smye OBE
2003–05 Prof P.C. Williams
2005–07 Dr P.C. Jackson
2007–09 Dr K.T. Ison OBE
2009-11 Dr C.J. Gibson
2011–13 Prof P.H. Jarritt
2013–15 Prof S.F. Keevil
2015–17 Prof D. Brettle
2017–19 Prof M. Tooley
2019–21 Prof. Stephen O'Connor
2021–23 Dr Robert Farley
2023–25 Dr Anna Barnes


  1. ^ a b c d Jennings, Allan (December 2006). "Introduction". Scope. 15 (Heritage Supplement): 2–5.
  2. ^ a b "Search the Professional Registers". The Science Council.
  3. ^ IPEM (2013). "2012 A Review of the Year" (PDF). Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b Zoi Kolitsi; et al. (2001). "Introduction". In Zoi Kolitsi (ed.). Towards a European Framework for Education and Training in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering. IOS Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-58603-151-0.
  6. ^ "Engineering Diversity Concordat Signatories". 2013. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  7. ^ "IPEM EQUALITY POLICY STATEMENT" (PDF). 2015. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  8. ^ G.S.W.O (February 1963). "In Memoriam: Professor R. F. Woolmer, V.R.D.". Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. 332 (1): 129–131.
  9. ^ "Prof. R. F. Woolmer, 1908–1962". Medical Electronics and Biological Engineering. 2 (1): 161–162. April–June 1963.
  10. ^ "IPEM > Publications > Journals". Archived from the original on 22 February 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  11. ^ "IPEM > Publications". Archived from the original on 9 September 2013. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Appendix 3: Honorary Officers of the IPEM Diversity within the Institute". Scope. 15 (Heritage Supplement): 56. December 2006.
  13. ^ Ison, Keith (December 2007). "President's Letter: Diversity within the Institute". Scope. 16 (4). ISSN 0964-9565.
  14. ^ Gibson, Chris (December 2009). "President's Letter: Welcome to all readers". Scope. 20 (4): 3. ISSN 0964-9565. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  15. ^ Jarritt, Peter (December 2011). "President's Letter: In the Spotlight". Scope. 20 (4): 3. ISSN 0964-9565. Archived from the original on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 23 January 2013.

External links[edit]

  • – The Official site of the IPEM
  • E-SCOPE – The online archive of the IPEM magazine (