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The Sir Peter Mansfield Building

peter mansfield

Sir Peter Mansfield

What's in a name?

The series about the people behind the names of our University campus buildings:


Sir Peter Mansfield, FRS

The Science and Engineering Building was recently re-named The Sir Peter Mansfield Building in honour of the Nobel Laureate and University of Nottingham professor. Among his many other achievements, Sir Peter is internationally renowned for his ground breaking research into early MRI body scanning techniques that have so transformed modern patient injury and illness analysis.

The youngest son of a gas fitter, Peter Mansfield was born in London in 1933. Although he displayed an early aptitude for science, Mansfield left school at 15 to start work as a printer’s assistant. He later joined the UK Ministry of Supply’s Rocket Propulsion Department before serving his military service.

After two years in the army, Mansfield went to night-school to study A-levels, which were required for entry to UK universities. In 1959 he graduated with a BSc in Physics from Queen Mary’s College, London. Three years later, he received his PhD with a thesis titled Proton magnetic relaxation in solids by transient methods.

Following postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois, Mansfield returned to the UK in 1964 to take up the position of lecturer at the University of Nottingham. It was during this period that Mansfield’s research became instrumental in the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), a technique that uses radio waves to image the anatomy and physiological processes of the body.

Sir Peter was knighted in 1993 and retired as Professor of University of Nottingham’s Department of Physics the following year. Together with the American chemist Paul Lauterer, he was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his valuable contribution to MRI development.

Sir Peter married Jean Margaret Kibble in 1962. They have two children.

Posted on 27 April 2016