Professor Peter Wells 1936-2017

Peter WellsWe regret to announce the sad news that Professor Peter Wells, who was President of the BIR from 1984 to 1985, passed away in April. Professor Wells was an active member of the BIR for many years and a prolific writer. He was British Journal of Radiology (BJR) Associate Editor between 1980-85 as well as being a referee for the journal.


Peter Neil Temple Wells was born in Bristol, England, on 19 May 1936 and attained his first degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Aston in 1958, followed by an MSc in Physics in 1963 and a PhD in Zoology in 1966, both from Bristol University. 

He was appointed as a Physicist in 1960 at the United Bristol Hospitals where he worked on the development of equipment for the ultrasonic treatment of Meniere’s disease. After progressing to senior grades in the same hospital Professor Wells attained consultant status in 1971. He worked in various posts in the UK and held some overseas appointments as well, such as Expert on Ultrasonic Devices at the Ministry of Overseas Development in India.  Heheld various teaching positions, including  Honorary Professor of Clinical Radiology at the University of Bristol.     

Professor Wells was awarded several distinctions and honours. These included the Pioneer Award in 1993 from the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and an Achievement Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Science, Education and Technology from the Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Professor Wells was involved in much ground-breaking  research, in ultrasound.  Between 1963-68 he was involved in the design and construction of the first ultrasonic two-dimensional scanner using articulated arms, and between 1973-80 the discovery of the ultrasonic Doppler signals produced by malignant tumours. 

You can read Professor Wells’s presidential address in the BJR, ‘The prudent use of diagnostic ultrasound. British Institute of Radiology Presidential Address 1986’, BJR, 59 (708) pp: 1143-1151 (1986)



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