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Ronald Roy Head of Department Professor of Mechanical Engineering


Ronald A Roy BS, MS, MA, MPhil, PhD

Head of Department

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Professorial Fellow, Harris Manchester College


Professor Ron Roy received a BS in engineering physics from the University of Maine, an MS in physics from the University of Mississippi, and the MPhil and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering from Yale University.

He formerly served as Professor and Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department at Boston University, as a Senior Physicist at the Applied Physics Laboratory and Associate Research Professor of Bioengineering, both at the University of Washington, and on the research staff at the National Center for Physical Acoustics.

Ron also served as the 65th George Eastman Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Oxford. He has served on numerous society committees, review panels, editorial boards, and is a past EiC of Acoustics Research Letters Online (now called JASA Express Letters).

He is a Fellow and former Vice President of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) and a recipient of the ASA Helmholtz-Rayleigh Interdisciplinary Silver Medal.

Contact Details

Ron is Principal Investigator at the Physical Acoustics Laboratory. More details can be found at the Laboratory's website, and they can be contacted on 01865 273140.

He can also be found on LinkedIn.

Research Interests

Trained as a physicist and an engineer, Professor Roy specializes in the application of physical acoustics principles to problems in biomedical acoustics, industrial ultrasonics, and acoustical oceanography -- however, his true passion is the acoustics of bubbles and bubbly media. Sonoluminescence (light from sound), acoustic cavitation dynamics, shock-driven cavity collapse physics, and bubble-mediated therapeutic ultrasonics are topics of past and current interest.

Recently, he joined colleagues in developing new techniques for imaging the optical properties of soft tissues through the nonlinear interaction of light and sound (acousto-optic imaging) and is currently exploring novel ways in which nanoparticles can be used in conjunction with laser illumination and ultrasound to facilitate deep tissue optical imaging, focused ultrasound surgery, and more efficient bioprocessing of bacteria in suspension.

His research activities in Oxford focus mainly on helping to establish the Oxford Suzhou Centre for Advanced Research (OSCAR) in Suzhou China as well as the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI), for which he serves as the theme lead for “Imaging with Sound and Light (INSIGHT)”.

Professor Roy collaborates extensively with colleagues in the US, Europe and Asia and he has held over 35 industry consultancies, the latest of which is with a new energy startup (First Light Fusion) that is developing exciting new technology for promoting and controlling inertially confined thermonuclear fusion.

Research Projects

Professor Roy's current research projects include:

  • Project on the use of acousto-optic sensing to monitor and guide high-intensity focused ultrasound therapy.
  • Project on the use of nanoparticles, drops and bubbles to enable biomedical optical and acoustical imaging and therapy (proposed in conjunction with Nanjing University).
  • Study of the changes in the optical properties of tissue exposed to high-intensity focused ultrasound.
  • Project to establish the INSIGHT laboratory, which will include world class capability in photo-acoustic imaging and very high speed (100Mfps) video microscopy.
  • Project to establish the physical acoustics lab at OSCAR, with an initial focus on biomedical ultrasonics and ultrasound enhanced bioprocessing.

DPhil Opportunities

Professor Roy isn't currently taking on any new students.