Ian Butterworth progressed from an undergraduate degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Warwick, to a Masters in Audio Acoustics at the University of Salford where his thesis focused on psychoacoustics and cognitive listening states, before in 2008 joining the Acoustics department at the UK’s National Measurement Institute, the National Physical Laboratory (NPL).
Ian’s work in innovative metrology at NPL spanned a wide range of acoustic applications including: the development of quality assurance methods for ultrasonic imaging and therapeutic modalities, the control and monitoring of acoustic cavitation in both medical and industrial applications, and the development of a novel laser based acousto-optic method for the mapping of sound fields around complex objects such as loudspeakers and High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) therapy transducers.
Ian is also a keen creative programmer working with modern technologies and taking part in various ‘hackathon’ events in collaboration with emergent tech startups. As an experienced hacker, Ian appreciated the “fun – and risky” fast-pace of the Hacking Medicine Madrid Hackathon in July.
“It was an interesting juxtaposition,” he said, to the “long-sighted idea of developing a robust project” in the Fellowship’s IDEA³ Madrid idea development and professional mentorship process.
Ian describes IDEA³ Madrid as an exercise in taking an idea “back to its fundamental need.” “The idea is that you find a specific need that needs addressing, make it robust, and then start thinking of a way to solve it.” He noted the importance multidisciplinary collaboration to this approach, saying, “when you come up with a need that needs addressing with no technical idea, at least initially, you might need multiple ways to explore that.”
What drew Ian to the M+Visión Fellowship was the desire to “do some research that has some impact.” M+Visión seems, to Ian, a good place to do “something very scientific, or something that’s just taking a simple concept and solving a big problem.”
Of his experience with M+Visión so far, Ian said, “there’s lots of opportunities to realize ideas or to network to try and make those ideas happen.”