Imperial College Professor Receives Silver Medal Award

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Imperial College London, announces that Professor Chris Toumazou – Director and Chief Scientist of the Institute – has been honoured with the prestigious Silver Medal by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The award, which was presented by Academy President Lord Browne of Madingley in the presence of Senior Fellow, HRH The Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh KG KT, was made at the Academy Awards Dinner held in London on 5th June 2007.

The Royal Academy Silver Medal was established in 1994 to recognise an outstanding personal contribution to British engineering and commercial development by a recipient under the age of 50 and working in the UK. Previous medal winners include Lionel Tarassenko, Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Oxford, and Andy Hopper FREng, Professor of Communication Engineering at Cambridge University.

Professor Toumazou, who holds the Winston Wong Chair in Biomedical Circuits at Imperial, has made outstanding contributions to the fields of low power analogue circuit design, current mode circuits and systems for radio frequency and biomedical applications. Toumazou was made a Professor at Imperial College at the age of 33 – one of the youngest ever – in recognition of his outstanding research. He has published over 320 research papers in the field of RF and low power electronics, and holds 23 patents, many of which are now fully granted in key territories throughout the world.

Through his extensive record, Professor Toumazou has invented innovative electronic devices ranging from dual-mode cellular phones to ultra-low power devices for medical diagnosis and therapy. His pioneering research has demonstrated how the natural analogue physics of silicon semiconductor technology can be used to replace and monitor biological functions, resulting in – among other achievements – the development of one of the world’s first totally implantable cochlear prosthetics. Current breakthrough research includes the development of an artificial retina and pancreas in silicon using nanowatts of power. The patented core technology, Advanced Mixed Signal Processing (AMxT), is the basis for the SensiumT, a ground-breaking ultra-low power wireless platform that enables chip-scale body monitoring for healthcare and lifestyle applications, now being brought to market by Imperial spin-out company, Toumaz Technology. The technology is also being commercialised by another spin-out company founded by Professor Toumazou, Taiwan-based Future Waves, which specialises in semiconductor components for next-generation digital communications and broadcast technologies.

Professor Toumazou led a major campaign to raise £22 million to fund the creation of the new Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBE) at Imperial College London, which opened its state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities in 2006. By combining the strengths of Imperial’s world class research schools in engineering and medicine, the IBE is drawing together scientists, medical researchers, clinicians and engineers to drive major advances in key areas of medical diagnosis and treatment, including personalised healthcare, regenerative medicine and biomedical imaging. As founding Director and head of research in Bionics, Professor Toumazou’s goal at the Institute is to create an international centre of excellence in biomedical engineering research – generating high quality intellectual property, and accelerating the commercial realisation of technologies to improve the lives of people around the world.

“I am enormously pleased at this recognition given to Professor Toumazou,” commented nominating Fellow Sir Eric Ash CBE FRS FREng FIET. “There are people who are good at science and there are others who are good at creating companies. Chris Toumazou is one of that very rare breed who are bilingual – excellent in both spheres.”

Professor Toumazou added, “I am delighted to receive the Royal Academy’s Silver Medal. Interdisciplinary and translational research is all about mixing the ingredients to create novel and disruptive platform technologies. It is so exciting to see this mixture of ingredients gel in the Institute of Biomedical Engineering.”

About the Institute of Biomedical Engineering
The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBE) was founded to create an international centre of excellence in biomedical engineering research. Its state-of-the-art, purpose-built facilities opened in 2006.

Combining the strengths of two world class research schools in engineering and medicine, the IBE draws together scientists, medics and engineers to apply their extensive expertise to create revolutionary progress in medical diagnosis and treatment. Through this interdisciplinary approach, the IBE is delivering a world-leading combined research capability to tackle the major challenges in modern healthcare — applying advances in technology to enable people to lead independent and productive lives despite illness, ageing and disability.

The research programme is focused at the intersections between the platform technologies in science and engineering, including systems biology, materials, imaging and nanotechnology, and medical applications, such as bionics, biomechanics and tissue engineering.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering
Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.