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Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Acoustics Professor Listed in Who’s Who

Published: 9 December 2013Origin: Engineering

Tim Leighton, Professor of Ultrasonics and Underwater Acoustics at the University of Southampton is among a thousand people added to the 2014 edition of the respected reference book Who’s Who. Since 1849, its editors have chosen the UK’s most influential and inspirational people in fields as varied as business, politics, science and entertainment for listing in its pages.

"I am honoured, but I am sure there are at least a dozen other people in Engineering and the Environment at Southampton who are equally deserving," says Tim. "Our submission of 20 research impact case studies to the latest national assessment process, downselected from a long list of over 40, shows how much our colleagues have done to improve the world outside of academia."

The Associate Dean for Research at the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment is well-known for his work across a wide spectrum of research areas. He co-authored the current guidelines for foetal ultrasonic scanning, used to date to assist around 2 billion births, and his research led to a needle-free injector to treat migraines that has sold over 1 million devices. Investigating how dolphins communicate helped him and Professor Paul White develop a new sonar system that BAE Systems described as ‘a top priority for BAE Systems Maritime Services'. His research with Dr Peter Birkin and Dr Doug Offin into bubbles resulted in an innovative ultrasonic cleaning technology that will be on sale in 2014 and was described by the Managing Director of Ultrawave Ltd as being "the only true technological leap forward in ultrasonic cleaning that we have seen for decades".  Working with Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust and Precision Acoustics Ltd, Tim came up with a kidney stone sensor which has now been used on hundreds of patients at the hospital. He is also interested in sound elsewhere in the solar system and the sound simulation and voice-changing software of this research are used under licence by planetarium presenters.

Among his recent awards are the Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal from the Acoustical Society of America in 2013 for contributions to Biomedical Acoustics, Physical Acoustics, and Acoustical Oceanography, the 2012 Institute of Chemical Engineering Award for Water Management and Supply (joint with Birkin and Offin), the election to a Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2012 and the Brian Mercer Award for Innovation from the Royal Society in 2011 (joint with Birkin). He has five other international medals from a range of organisations for science and engineering.

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