In October, the IEEE UFFC-S Special-Topic School on Waves and Transducers took place. We had thirty participants who all shared a common interest in ultrasound technology. The group was a nice mixture of people coming from Canada and South America with backgrounds varying from astrophysics to biomedical ultrasound, from theoreticians to experimentalists, from academia to industry.
The school was considered a great success; both by the participants and by us! To overcome COVID-related travel restrictions, we developed a fully online course. Oral lectures with a theoretical focus were interchanged with practical assignments where students had to build their own transducer. For these practical assignments, students received a package at home before the start of the course. This package contained all materials needed to build their own ultrasound transducer as well as a PicoScope and an in-house developed electronic pulser. To guide the students through the fabrication process, we shared with them several pre-recorded tutorials.
The combination of oral lectures with offline practical assignments worked out really well. Although it was a pity we could not meet in person, we all shared the feeling that the selected online format worked above expectations. In particular, we noticed that we succeeded in teaching and interacting with the students at an advanced level as well as that we were able to contribute to community building. Moreover, several students exchanged contact details with each other and are still meeting each other on various social platforms! An additional advantage of the selected online format is that we successfully reached out to regions and communities that otherwise would not have been able to participate in the course due to a lack of financial means.
Finally, we would like to thank the IEEE UFFC society for their generous support of this successful event.
For more information on the course, please feel free to contact us!
Weibao Qiu (Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technologies)
Sandy Cochran and Bartas Abaravicius (University of Glasgow)
Holly Lay (FUJIFILM VisualSonics, Inc.)
Christine Démoré, Carlos-Felipe Roa and Yi Lin (University of Toronto)
Koen W.A. van Dongen (Delft University of Technology)