First EFOMP president to become Officer of the Order of the British Empire

One of the consequences of having a monarchy is that it comes with a system of recognising the contribution that people have made, in a variety of different ways, to the country. In the UK this takes the form of the award of honours, or the membership of orders of chivalry, obviously looking back to the time when disputes were settled by men dressed in suits of armour with lances. In the UK these honours are announced twice a year; in June to coincide with the Queen’s official birthday (for those of you who are keen monarchists, this is also celebrated with the ceremony of the Trooping of the Colour) and at the New Year.

While one may be cynical about the value of such honours they do have the advantage of drawing the public’s attention to the area for which the recipient has been awarded the honour. So when I received a letter informing me that the Prime Minister wished to recommend to the Queen that I be made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire there was a conflict of emotions. Firstly was it proper for the President of EFOMP to have an association with a concept such as the British Empire? Secondly a number of organisations must have thought sufficiently highly of what we have been doing in medical physics to nominate me for it. Thirdly, it would be good publicity for Medical Physics and for EFOMP. So I took about 3 seconds to decide that I would accept it and then 3 days to think up my excuses for doing so!

So those of you who have received emails from me recently will have noticed the letters OBE after my name. In the next few months I will be summoned to the Palace to receive the medal from the Queen. But, and I know everyone says this, the honour is not for me but for the profession of medical physics for which it has been my privilege to work for over 40 years. And no, I don’t have a suit of armour, just a thick skin.


Radiation Shielding for Diagnostic Radiology

Written by DG Sutton, CJ Martin, JR Williams and DJ Peet

The first report of the BIR working party on Radiation Shielding for Diagnostic Radiology was published in 2000 and has become the standard for shielding design in the UK. The second edition, like the first, is designed to be a compendium of information for radiation protection physicists involved in specification of shielding requirements for X-ray facilities. Fully revised and updated, this new edition builds on the work of the previous report and central to the book are descriptions of possible methodologies for shielding different types of diagnostic X-ray rooms.

The book is priced at just £30 (plus £3.50 for UK postage and £6.50 for overseas postage) and can be ordered online at or by e-mail -


Presentationshown during the EFOMP-SFPM Congress in Strasbourg to illustrate to European Members of Parliament, the range of work undertaken by Medical Physicists.

Photographs supplied by numerous medical physicists and institutions as acknowledged on the last slide.