2019 IEEE UFFC International Ultrasonics Symposium, Glasgow, Scotland

February 6, 2020 | Contributed By - Erdal Oruklu, Ultrasonics News Editor

The 2019 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS) was held in Glasgow, Scotland between October 6-9, 2019 at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) on the bank of the historic River Clyde. This is the first time this expanding symposium has been held in the United Kingdom, bringing together academic and industrial researchers from a host of countries around the world for scientific exchange, to inspire new ideas, to highlight products, and to launch new projects.

Glasgow has a very long history of ultrasound. As a place where ships have been built for many years, this brought interest in SONAR and in non-destructive evaluation. It was through use of equipment used in the ship-building industry and borrowed from Kelvin and Hughes Ltd that the Regius Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Glasgow, Ian Donald, originated and led the development of obstetric ultrasound – now the most widely used ultrasound application in the world. Professor Donald’s work paved the way for more than 60 years of innovation in ultrasound, with a continuing thread ever-renewing through existing activity, startup companies, and creativity in research.

Symposium Opening Ceremony, Awards and Plenary Talks:

The 2019 IEEE UFFC International Ultrasonics Symposium began on October 7th in the Clyde-Auditorium with a Welcome Speech by General Co-Chairs Margaret Lucas and Sandy Cochran, followed with Opening Remarks by the UFFC-S President Nazanin Bassiri-Gharb and Technical Program Overview by TPC Co-Chairs Lori Bridal and John Hossack.

Welcome Speech by General Co-Chair Margaret Lucas

Morning Plenary talk by Professor Lihong Wang

Morning Plenary speaker was Lihong Wang from California Institute of Technology. Professor Wang’s talk was titled “World’s Deepest-Penetration and Fastest Optical Cameras: Photoacoustic Tomography and Compressed Ultrafast Photography”.

During the opening ceremony, 2019 IEEE UFFC Society Awards winners were announced. The awards recipients are Peter A. Lewin, UFFC Achievement award; Ken-ya Hashimoto, UFFC Distinguished Service award; and Paul D. Wilcox, the UFFC Outstanding Paper award.

Afternoon Plenary talk by Professor Jon Cooper

At the end of Day 1, a second plenary talk concluded the technical program. Professor Jon Cooper from University of Glasgow presented his talk, titled “Microstructures to shape Acoustic Fields and Produce Complex Fluidic Flows. Interactions between Fluids, Ultrasound & Phononic Structures”.

The Closing Plenary talk was followed by the Ultrasonics Awards. The 2019 IEEE Ultrasonics awards recipients are Jørgen Arendt Jensen, Rayleigh award; Jan D’hooge, Carl Hellmuth Hertz award; and Songbin Gong, Early Career Investigator award.

Student paper competition winners were also announced on Day 1. Winners are Christopher Pacia and Stephen Alexander Lee in Medical Ultrasound; Boyang Wang in Sensors, NDE&Industrial Applications; Ye Yang in Physical Acoustics; Yansong Yang in Microacoustics-SAW, BAW, MEMS; and Christopher Cheng in Transducers & Transducer Materials.

After the conclusion of the plenary talk and awards ceremony, General Co-Chair Sandy Cochran welcomed the conference attendees to the reception at the Glasgow Science Centre. Delegates were led across Bell’s Bridge over the River Clyde by a bagpiper to the Welcome Reception.

General Co-Chair Sandy Cochran and a bagpiper welcoming the delegates to the Civic Welcome Reception

Technical Program Highlights and Outreach Events:

Technical Program Committee (TPC) Co-Chairs Lori Bridal & John Hossack worked diligently with 180 TPC members and prepared a memorable program with several new initiatives. There were 21 invited talks, 3 clinical speakers and 16 short courses. Two spotlight sessions highlighted Flow and Piezo topics with 3 invited speakers on each session. Industry speakers (from Fujifilm-Dimatix, Qualcomm Technologies, and ALS Shanghai) gave industry-perspective lunch-time talks – one on each day of the symposium. A panel discussion session was animated by experts to discuss innovations in Photoacoustic imaging.

During the symposium, more than 500 oral presentations were scheduled across 11 parallel tracks in Day 1 and 8 parallel tracks on Days 2 and 3. Over 600 Poster presentations were on display through three days. Among the 1300 delegates, 40 countries were represented.

This year also marked the first-time IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium hosted several outreach events. In the first outreach event, high school students learned about ultrasound and its applications through a showcase of interactive displays throughout the main Glasgow Science Center exhibits. The second outreach event was a Public Lecture “Now You’re talking” by Trevor Cox. Trevor explored the workings of the voice looking at accents and different singing styles. Both events took place on the last day of the Congress at the Glasgow Science Centre.

Exhibitors and Sponsors:

28 exhibitors from industry-leading companies were hosted during the symposium. Running parallel to the technical program, this exhibition provided an excellent opportunity for attendees and exhibitors to network and conduct business. Gold sponsor for the symposium was Verasonics and silver sponsors were Fraunhofer IBMT and OnScale. Bronze sponsors included AMS systems, Cephasonics Ultrasound, Focused Ultrasound Foundation, Imasonic, Meggit, PI, Polytec, Sonic Concepts, us4us, Vermon and Probe Hunter.

Student Events:

IEEE-UFFC strongly encourages students’ attendance and involvement in the Ultrasonics Symposium. Many students received travel support and four events were exclusively dedicated to the students. These events were:

  • Student Paper Competition – 18 students competed on the first day of symposium for best paper.
  • Student-Professor Breakfast – This event was designed for student members to have the opportunity to network with the UFFC Society’s academic leaders and researchers over breakfast.
  • Industry Networking Event – Objective of this networking event was to encourage and facilitate contact between graduate students finishing their PhD programs and industry members looking for PhD graduate positions.
  • Lunch with administrative committee members of the UFFC society – This was a great opportunity for students to network with future colleagues and meet senior members of the UFFC Society.
Social Events:

Social events included a Civic Welcome Reception on October 7th, courtesy of the Rt Hon The Lord Provost of Glasgow at the Science Centre. This was a great interactive evening reception amongst the science and technology exhibits.

Civic Welcome Reception at the Glasgow Science Centre

The Gala Dinner was held at Merchant Square on October 8th. Merchant square is located in the heart of the Merchant City, Glasgow’s cultural, fashion and food quarter. Delegates were able to make a selection of cuisine from any of the restaurants around the square. The Gala dinner also featured whisky tasting and a ceilidh with dancers wearing traditional Scottish clothing.

Gala Dinner at the Merchant Square

Women in Engineering (WiE) Event:

Over 100 delegates attended the Women in Engineering event at the IEEE IUS, which showcased the work of the University of Glasgow women’s student group FemEng through their “FemEng in Rwanda” project. The event was organised locally by the IUS General Co-Chair Prof Margaret Lucas, Director of the Centre for Medical & Industrial Ultrasonics at the University of Glasgow, with the presentation of the project and the subsequent workshop run by two of the project team, Hannah Gibson and Penny Morton.

Symposium Closing Session:

2019 IEEE IUS concluded with a Highlights session. Since the technical program had many parallel tracks, it was not feasible for attendees to see all the interesting talks and emerging topics. In order to compensate for this, a special session was held in the final day. Experts in each technical group picked papers found to be of particularly high interest and briefly presented them. Free drinks were served to those participating in the session.