Skip to content
Fellows Directory

Peter Wells

Peter Wells

Credit: Cardiff University

Professor Peter Wells CBE FMedSci FREng FRS


Elected: 2003


Peter Wells made a number of notable contributions to the application of engineering and physics in medicine. He was the originator and developer of instruments for ultrasonic surgery and ultrasonic power measurement, as well as the two-dimensional, articulated-arm ultrasonic general purpose scanner and the water-immersion ultrasonic breast scanner.

He demonstrated ultrasonic-pulsed Doppler range gating, and was the discoverer of the ultrasonic Doppler signal characteristic of malignant tumour neovascularisation. He investigated ultrasonic bioeffects and formulated ultrasonic safety guidelines and conditions for prudent use of ultrasonic diagnosis.

Peter led multidisciplinary studies of ultrasonic diagnosis and made major contributions to the advancement of light transmission, electrical impedance and nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, as well as to interventional telepresence. He also proposed a novel philosophy of medical imaging. He had been developing ultrasonic Doppler and phase-insensitive tomography. In 2013, he received the Royal Medal of the Royal Society.

Professor Peter Well CBE FMedSci FREng FRS died on 22 April 2017.

Biographical Memoir

Professional positions

Distinguished Research Professor , School of Engineering, Cardiff University
Emeritus Professor of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, University of Bristol, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute

Interest and expertise

Subject groups

  • Health and human sciences
    • Medical instrumentation
  • Other
    • History of science
  • Engineering
    • Engineering, medical


Medical ultrasonics ,  Medical imaging, Biomedical engineering


  • Royal Medals

    For pioneering the application of the physical and engineering sciences to the development of ultrasonics as a diagnostic and surgical tool which has revolutionised clinical practice.

  • Royal Medals

    No citation available for this award.

Was this page useful?
Thank you for your feedback
Thank you for your feedback. Please help us improve this page by taking our short survey.