Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering

Dr Richard Colchester

Dr Richard Colchester

Senior Research Fellow

Dept of Med Phys & Biomedical Eng

Faculty of Engineering Science

Joined UCL
1st Dec 2016

Research summary

My main field of research is developing novel imaging and sensing devices for minimally invasive surgical procedures, with a particular focus on 'All-Optical Ultrasound'. This modality uses light to both generate and receive ultrasound and possesses several advantages which make it ideally suited to miniaturisation. I am working on several avenues with this technology, including:

  • Miniaturised single optical fibre ultrasound imaging: I am designing novel methods for carrying out ultrasound imaging using a single optical fibre. These will allow unprecedented miniaturisation of devices, reaching new clinical needs.
  • Multi-modality all-optical ultrasound imaging, with sensing and therapy: I am developing novel wavelength-selective ultrasound materials along with key collaborators which are being applied to different clinical needs. These materials have enabled the fabrication of devices which can provide ultrasound imaging with concurrent complementary imaging and therapeutic modalities.
  • Applied all-optical ultrasound: I am applying all-optical ultrasound technology to different clinical scenarios. Developing novel devices that meet the specific needs of the medical application and bringing them to preclinical studies.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2016
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Research | 2013
University College London/Imperial College
Other higher degree, Master of Natural Science | 2012


I was born in Ipswich, U.K., in 1990 and grew up in the Suffolk countryside. I moved to London to study Physics at Imperial College London in 2008 and received the MSci degree in physics in 2012. Following this, in 2012 I joined the Photonic Systems Development CDT joint between University College London and the University of Cambridge. Completing the MRes in 2013, I continued at University College London for my Ph.D. in medical physics and biomedical engineering, which I completed in 2016. On completion of my Ph.D. I was award an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow at University College London to develop an all-optical ultrasound imaging system for cardiovascular procedures. In 2019 I received a Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship to continue my work in this field and establish my group at UCL. My research interests include developing interventional medical imaging systems based on laser-generated ultrasound and photoacoustics. In addition to academic research I have an interesting in engagement activities, having lead on public engagement events and worked with the media.