Milestone-Proposal:The Birth of the First CT Scanner

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Docket #:2020-02

This proposal has been submitted for review.

To the proposer’s knowledge, is this achievement subject to litigation? No

Is the achievement you are proposing more than 25 years old? Yes

Is the achievement you are proposing within IEEE’s designated fields as defined by IEEE Bylaw I-104.11, namely: Engineering, Computer Sciences and Information Technology, Physical Sciences, Biological and Medical Sciences, Mathematics, Technical Communications, Education, Management, and Law and Policy. Yes

Did the achievement provide a meaningful benefit for humanity? Yes

Was it of at least regional importance? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to pay for the milestone plaque(s)? Yes

Has an IEEE Organizational Unit agreed to arrange the dedication ceremony? Yes

Has the IEEE Section in which the milestone is located agreed to take responsibility for the plaque after it is dedicated? Yes

Has the owner of the site agreed to have it designated as an IEEE Milestone? Yes

Year or range of years in which the achievement occurred:


Title of the proposed milestone:

First Computerized Tomography (CT) X-ray Scanner, 1967-1975

Plaque citation summarizing the achievement and its significance:

On 1 October 1971, Godfrey Hounsfield produced a Computerized Tomographic (CT) X-ray scan of a patient's brain that allowed a radiologist to locate a cancer and hence guide a surgeon in its removal. The CT scanner used in this clinical demonstration had been invented and constructed by Hounsfield at the EMI Laboratories located on their campus at this site. It was the world's first imaging system capable of producing high resolution images of internal body structures, and marked the beginning of a new era in clinical medicine.

In what IEEE section(s) does it reside?

United Kingdom and Ireland

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) which have agreed to sponsor the Milestone:

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) paying for milestone plaque(s):

Unit: United Kingdom and Ireland
Senior Officer Name: Dr Mona Ghassemian

IEEE Organizational Unit(s) arranging the dedication ceremony:

Unit: United Kingdom and Ireland Section
Senior Officer Name: Dr Mona Ghassemian

IEEE section(s) monitoring the plaque(s):

IEEE Section: United Kingdom and Ireland
IEEE Section Chair name: Dr Mona Ghassemian

Milestone proposer(s):

Proposer name: Charles W Turner
Proposer email: Proposer's email masked to public

Please note: your email address and contact information will be masked on the website for privacy reasons. Only IEEE History Center Staff will be able to view the email address.

Street address(es) and GPS coordinates of the intended milestone plaque site(s):

150 Clayton Road Hayes Middlesex England GPS: 51.50556, -0.42659

Describe briefly the intended site(s) of the milestone plaque(s). The intended site(s) must have a direct connection with the achievement (e.g. where developed, invented, tested, demonstrated, installed, or operated, etc.). A museum where a device or example of the technology is displayed, or the university where the inventor studied, are not, in themselves, sufficient connection for a milestone plaque.

Please give the address(es) of the plaque site(s) (GPS coordinates if you have them). Also please give the details of the mounting, i.e. on the outside of the building, in the ground floor entrance hall, on a plinth on the grounds, etc. If visitors to the plaque site will need to go through security, or make an appointment, please give the contact information visitors will need. Jupiter House, former EMI Head Office

Are the original buildings extant?


Details of the plaque mounting:

Exterior wall of Jupiter House

How is the site protected/secured, and in what ways is it accessible to the public?

Plaque will be permanently fixed to the wall.

Who is the present owner of the site(s)?

The Home Group, 2 Gosforth Park Way, Newcastle-on-Tyne, England

What is the historical significance of the work (its technological, scientific, or social importance)?

The EMI CT Scanner was the first machine that used computerized tomography to produce X-Ray images of the internal organs of the human body, for example the brain.

What obstacles (technical, political, geographic) needed to be overcome?

The scanning procedure required the acquisition of very large sets of data obtained by precision rotation of the X-Ray source and detector combination. The complete scan had to be accomplished within a practicable time frame. The incident X-Ray intensity had to be limited to safe levels for clinical applications.

What features set this work apart from similar achievements?

The EMI CT Scanner was the first clinical machine capable of producing high resolution images of X-ray attenuation, allowing depiction of the internal structures and organs of the human body.

Supporting texts and citations to establish the dates, location, and importance of the achievement: Minimum of five (5), but as many as needed to support the milestone, such as patents, contemporary newspaper articles, journal articles, or chapters in scholarly books. 'Scholarly' is defined as peer-reviewed, with references, and published. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. At least one of the references must be from a scholarly book or journal article. All supporting materials must be in English, or accompanied by an English translation.

Details of the supporting texts and other reference materials are provided separately via a number of attached files. Also attached are the permissions from the site owner and the UK & Ireland Section Chair

Supporting materials (supported formats: GIF, JPEG, PNG, PDF, DOC): All supporting materials must be in English, or if not in English, accompanied by an English translation. You must supply the texts or excerpts themselves, not just the references. For documents that are copyright-encumbered, or which you do not have rights to post, email the documents themselves to Please see the Milestone Program Guidelines for more information.

All 9 attachments are being sent separately

Please email a jpeg or PDF a letter in English, or with English translation, from the site owner(s) giving permission to place IEEE milestone plaque on the property, and a letter (or forwarded email) from the appropriate Section Chair supporting the Milestone application to with the subject line "Attention: Milestone Administrator." Note that there are multiple texts of the letter depending on whether an IEEE organizational unit other than the section will be paying for the plaque(s).