Skip to main content


 February 1, 2015

Remembering Ultrasound Pioneer Floyd Dunn

floydThe biomedical ultrasound community sadly lost one of its important pioneers. Floyd Dunn passed away on January 24, 2015 at the age of 90. Floyd was a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign for over 50 years. Following the death of Bill Fry in 1968, Floyd became director of the Department’s Bioacoustics Research Laboratory and made it a world leader in the field of biomedical ultrasound. Founding RCBU Director Ed Carstensen writes, “It is hard to believe today, but in the mid-1960s, research in this field had dwindled to the point that progress could be reported in biannual sessions at meetings of the Acoustical Society. Floyd and Wesley Nyborg organized those special sessions and we are uniquely indebted to them for keeping the field alive.” Floyd’s body of scientific work provides foundation for our understanding of the propagation of ultrasound in tissues and the biological effects of ultrasound. He was a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, and served as President of the Acoustical Society America. He was recognized with the highest awards from numerous scientific societies, including the IEEE Edison Award, the ASA Gold and Silver Medal Awards, and the AIUM Joseph P. Holmes Basic Science Pioneer Award. He served on many FDA, NIH, AIUM, and ASA committees, and was a member of Committee 66 of the National Council on Radiation Protection. Floyd was a Charter Honorary Member of the RCBU and was a long-time friend and colleague for many of us. The RCBU and the wider biomedical ultrasound community will miss Floyd dearly.