Sir Godfrey Hounsfield

BIR celebrates the life and work of Sir Godfrey Hounsfield 

SirGodfreyHounsfield** Centenary anniversary **

28 August 2019 is the anniversary of the birth of Sir Godfrey Hounsfield and to mark the occasion the BIR will be raising awareness of the skills and achievements of this great scientist. We are giving away three special prizes to include his biography, and commemorative mug. To enter the prize draw please send an email to by midnight on 28 August 2019. 

Sir Godfrey Hounsfield

 Sir Godfrey Hounsfield, CBE, FRS  (28 August 1919 – 12 August 2004) was an English electrical engineer who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Allan McLeod Cormack for his part in developing the diagnostic technique of X-ray computed tomography (CT).

Every year the BIR commemorate the life and work of this computed tomography (CT) pioneer with a memorial lecture named after him ‘The Sir Godfrey Hounsfield Lecture’ which is held during the BIR Annual Congress.  

In 2012 BIR published a book ‘Godfrey Hounsfield: Intuitive Genius of CT’  which describes the life and work of this amazing scientist.

BJR has a number of articles describing the work of Hounsfield including two by Hounsfield himself:

Hounsfield GN. Computerized transverse axial scanning (tomography): Part 1. Description of system. Br J Radiol 1973; 46:552, 1016-1022

The first description of CT by Hounsfield.


Ommaya AK, Murray G, Ambrose J, Richardson A, and Hounsfield GN. Computerized Axial Tomography: Estimation of Spatial and Density Resolution Capability. Br J Radiol 1976; 49:583, 604-611


Higson GR. Seeing things more clearly. Br J Radiol 1987; 60:719, 1049-1057

Higson describes the development of CT and the Department of Health’s first interest in CT scanning in 1968 when Hounsfield while working at EMI introduced his idea of obtaining sectional pictures of the body by the use of narrow beam of X rays.


Husband J and Dombrowe G. X-ray computed tomography – a truly remarkable medical development. Br J Radiol 2005; 78:926, 97-98

Husband, and Dombrowe pay tribute to Hounsfield for the extraordinary impact X-ray CT had on the diagnosis, treatment and management of disease. 


Beckmann EC. CT scanning the early days. Br J Radiol 2006; 79:937, 5-8

Beckmann describes some of the history of the early days of CT scanning in this paper which discusses the Hounsfield project proposal, lathe bed model, prototype, the first clinical patient including the CT1010 scanner.





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