Morgan Roberts

Morgan Roberts

Position: Research Fellow
Room: Malet Place Engineering Building, 3.23
Address: Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering
University College London
Malet Place Engineering Building
Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT


I am a PhD student, developing medical ultrasound devices for breast imaging and brain therapy.

I studied Acoustic Engineering for my undergraduate degree, and then trained and worked as a secondary science teacher for two years before joining the Biomedical Ultrasound Group in September 2018, as part of the Centre for Doctoral Training in Medical Imaging.

My main interests are medical device engineering to EN 60601 / ISO 14971, transducer characterisation. and image reconstruction.

Low-Cost Open-Source Ultrasound Tomography Transducers

Ultrasound Tomography and Breast Cancer

  • Breast cancer screening with mammograms reduces mortality, but false negatives can occur for people with high breast density, and over-diagnosis causes harm in healthy people.
  • Ultrasound Tomography (UST) is an emerging but promising modality that produces images of the sound-speed and acoustic-absorption distributions in breast tissue. These properties are useful biomarkers for classifying healthy and abnormal tissue types.
  • UST could perform better than mammography, since it generates 3D images instead of 2D images.
  • UST is also non-ionising, requires no painful breast compression, and is cheaper than MRI.

Challenges in UST

  • Widespread clinical adoption requires shorter data acquisition and image reconstruction times, while maintaining accuracy.
  • Work towards this goal means that new methods must be tested experimentally.
  • There is a high barrier to entry for researchers starting UST experiments: UST hardware is not available off the shelf, and custom systems are expensive.

open-UST: An Open-Source Ultrasound Tomography Transducer Array System


Github Repository:

Image Reconstruction (SART) code:

The goal of the open-UST project is to lower the barrier to entry for experimental UST researchers. This research project is guided by three objectives:

  1. High accessibility for end users.
  2. Design parameters and nominal acoustic behaviour that supports UST imaging research.
  3. Low inter-element variation (IEV) in acoustic behaviour.


  • Simple equipment requirements: No specialist equipment required, only a 3D-printer, vacuum chamber and standard workshop tooling.
  • Low material cost: ~£2k (excluding DAQ hardware) for a 256-element system.
  • Modular: Both 2D and 3D imaging setups can be configured.
  • Other:
    • Fully waterproof
    • Electromagnetically shielded
    • Transducer modules feature threaded mounting points for repeatable positioning
    • Includes option for a modular interface with the ITT Cannon DL5-260P connector (compatible with Verasonics)

Multielement Array for Ultrasound Neuromodulation

I’m part of a multidisciplinary team developing a device that will be used to modulate the neural activity in the deep brain of Parkinson’s patients, non-invasively. A multielement array is used to focus ultrasound energy towards a very small target region, which can be tightly controlled using electronic steering.

I work on the electrical subsystem for the device, which must drive the ultrasound elements according to a treatment plan, requiring high signal integrity. The main challenges here are cross talk, MRI compatibility/EMC, and electrical safety to EN 60601.

Employment and Education

2018 – 2019 University College London – Medical Imaging MRes

2016 – 2018 Sandown Bay Academy (Physics Teacher)

2016 – 2017 University of Exeter – PCGE Secondary Science (Teach First)

2013 – 2016 University of Southampton – Acoustical Engineering BEng




2019 Best MRes Student Award, University College London

2013 Dean’s Award for best performance in cohort, University of Southampton

Journal Publications


M. Roberts; E. Martin; M. D. Brown; B. T. Cox; B. E. Treeby

open-UST: An Open-Source Ultrasound Tomography Transducer Array System Journal Article

In: IEEE Transactions of Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, 70 (7), pp. 782-791, 2023.

Links | BibTeX


E. Martin; M. Roberts; B. E. Treeby

Measurement and simulation of steered acoustic fields generated by a multielement array for therapeutic ultrasound Journal Article

In: JASA Express Lett., 2021.

Links | BibTeX


P. Patel; M. Roberts; B. T. Cox

Ultrasound Tomography (UST): a potential new breast screening modality? Journal Article

In: Acoustics Bulletin, 45 (2), pp. 51-55, 2020.

Links | BibTeX

Conference Publications


M. Roberts; E. Martin; M. D. Brown; B. T. Cox; B. E. Treeby

Matching Layer Deposition for an Open-Source Ultrasound Tomography System: Inter-Element Variation in Frequency Response Conference

2022 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), 2022.

Links | BibTeX


M. Roberts; E. Martin; M. D. Brown; B. T. Cox; B. E. Treeby

Transducer Module Development for an Open-Source Ultrasound Tomography System Conference

2021 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium (IUS), 2021.

Links | BibTeX


M. Roberts; E. Martin; B. T. Cox; B. E. Treeby

Progress towards an open-source, low-cost ultrasound computed tomography research system Conference

The 2nd International Workshop on Medical Ultrasound Tomography (MUST 2019), KIT Press, 2019.

Links | BibTeX