Professor Sandy Cochran

  • Professor of Ultrasound Materials and Systems (Systems Power and Energy)

telephone: 01413303317

Research interests

Prof. Cochran’s research focuses on materials and systems to apply ultrasound principally in medicine and life sciences. His lab is the only one in the UK dedicated to medical ultrasound materials and systems, and one of only a handful like it in the world. Topics of particular interest are:

- New piezoelectric materials and better utilisation of existing materials

- Miniature devices for clinical applications of high resolution ultrasound imaging

- Focused ultrasound surgery and ultrasound-targeted drug delivery

- Ultrasound for transmission beamforming and manipulation of cells and particles

- Miniature and microscale ultrasound systems for biomedical applications

- Ultrasound and other techniques for sensing in the body

Prof. Cochran has led more than 20 research projects with a value of more than £12m and been a co-investigator on around 20 more, worth a further £8m. He has been a director of two startup companies and is an inventor on 10 patents. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and a member of several others learned societies. He has led the supervision of sixteen successful PhD / EngD students and jointly supervised five more. He is presently lead or joint supervisor for eight PhD / EngD students.


2015 – 19

S.Cochran, I.Nathke and M.Thanou, “Assessing the effects of ultrasound on intestinal epithelial permeability” BBSRC Case Studentship with Diagnostic Sonar Ltd, Livingston, UK


2014 - 19

S.Cochran “Medical Micro-ultrasound: Minimally Invasive High Resolution Imaging and Therapy”, Royal Society / Wolfson Merit Award


2014 – 17

A.Melzer, S.Cochran, G.Nabi and Z.Huang “Focused ultrasound therapy using robotic approaches” EU STREP 611963 (total value £2,353,141) £604,518


2014 - 17

I.Nathke and S.Cochran “Photonic tools for quantitative imagingin cells and tissues”, EU FP7 People / Marie Curie ITN / IDP studentship


2013 - 18

P.Prentice and S.Cochran “TheraCav: Harnessing cavitation for therapy” EU FP7 / European Research Council


2013 – 18

S.Cochran, D.Cumming, A.Cuschieri, M.Desmulliez and R.J.C.Steele “Sonopill:  minimally invasive gastrointestinal diagnosis and therapy” EP/K034537/1


2013 – 16

M.Lucas, S.Cochran, Z.Huang and H.Simpson “Ultrasonic Needles based on Mn-doped Ternary Piezocrystals” EPSRC EP/K020013/1 (total value £1,208,000) £454,552


2013 - 16

A.Evans, G.Nabi and S.Cochran “Evaluation of tissue elasticity characteristics”, Supersonic Imagine


2013 - 15

S.Cochran, T.W.Button, M.Desmulliez and S.Eljamel “Ultrasound in a Needle: Minimally-invasive High Resolution Imaging for Neurosurgery” EPSRC EP/K020250/1, £924,872


2012 - 14

S.Cochran, “Piezoelectric Single Crystal Property Assessment for Cost-Effective Naval SONAR Transducers” SBIR #N111-076-1371, led by Weidlinger Associates Inc, CA, USA, Phase II


2012 - 14

S.Cochran, “Towards viable ultrasound imaging and actuation with integrated silicon devices” Royal Society Travel Award with Materials Research Lab, Penn State Univ.


2010 - 14

S.Cochran, S.Diegoli, C.MacPhee and A.Manners “INSPIRE: INdustry SUPA People Innovative Research Exchange” SFC SPIRIT Knowledge Exchange Project


2009 - 13

S.Cochran, M.P.MacDonald and C.Weijer, “Electronic Sonotweezers: Particle Manipulation with Ultrasonic Arrays” EPSRC EP/G01213X/1

Collaboration with the Universities of Bristol, Glasgow and Southampton; I am overall deputy project leader, total project grants £3,714,000


2009 - 13

A.Melzer, S.Cochran and others, “Ultrasound activiated nanoencapsulated targetted drug delivery and tumour cell poration”, EU FP7 Industry – Academia Pathways and Partnerships project 230674 (€2.07M)


2011 - 12

S.Cochran “Piezoelectric Single Crystal Property Assessment for Cost Effective Optimized Naval SONAR Transducers” SBIR #N111-076-1371, led by Weidlinger Associates Inc, CA, USA, Phase I/option


2011 - 12

S.Cochran “Thales research programme” Thales Underwater Systems


2010 - 12

S.Cochran, G.A.McLeod and G.A.Corner “Ultrasound guided regional anaesthesia with an optimised ultrasound transducer” MRC DPFS Project Code 801532


2011 - 12

S.Cochran “Electronics for Sonotweezers” Agilent Technologies Foundation (value is $36,500)


2009 - 12

A.Melzer, S.Cochran and others, “Photonic and ultrasonic pre-clinical imaging and intervention centre”, EU ERDF project PUPIIC (£777,000 grant, £953,000 matching)


2009 - 12

M.Desmulliez and S.Cochran, “Assembly and packaging of an integrated Silicon–Piezocomposite Ultrasound Device (iSPUD)”, EPSRC/Heriot-Watt SMI Project (£163,000 grant, £326,000 industry matching)


2009 - 12

S.Cochran, “New transducer design procedures and exploitation” KTP with PCT Ltd, Aberdeen



S.Cochran “Testing of single crystal materials”, ATLAS Elektronik for UK MoD



G.MacLeod, G.A.Corner and S.Cochran, “Development of software and needle technology to visualise deep lying peripheral nerves with ultrasound”, Anaesthetic Research Society Small Project Grant



S.Cochran, “Medical devices”, Technology Feasibility Study with PCT Ltd, Aberdeen  (£5,000 grant, £5,000 industry matching)



S.Cochran, “Medical devices”, Technology Feasibility Study with Envision Design Ltd, Brechin  (£5,000 grant, £5,000 industry matching)



S.Cochran, “Piezoelectric Single Crystal Transducer Underpinning Research: Dundee Material Characterisation” for QinetiQ


2006 – 9

S.Cochran and K.J.Kirk “Ultrasonic arrays for ultrahigh resolution real time biomedical imaging” EP/D058961/1 (Reissued, £194,000 at University of Dundee)

Collaboration with Birmingham University and Institute for Cancer Research, overall programme led by S.Cochran, total programme value £750,000


2005 – 8

K.J.Kirk and S.Cochran “Piezo device modelling network”, EPSRC GR/T 19322


2004 – 7

D.R.S.Cumming and S.Cochran, “A scalable mosaic array for ultrasonic imaging”,  EPSRC GR/T 19803


2005 – 7

M.Watson, G.Corner, K.J.Kirk and S.Cochran, “Imaging of the lumbar spine- guiding doctors, protecting patients” Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Grant


2005 – 7

K.J.Kirk and S.Cochran, “The development of broadband high power ultrasonic transducer devices” KTP0629, with PCT Ltd, Aberdeen.


2004 – 7

S.Cochran, “Broadband ultrasonic transducers and systems”, EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship 04303641


2003 – 6

S.Cochran and K.J.Kirk, “A study of multi-layer structures containing piezoelectric composites” ANRT/CIFRE (French Government/Industry) PhD Studentship 837/2002



S.Cochran and K.J.Kirk, “A dicing saw for microscale sensor fabrication”, Scottish Enterprise Discretionary Funding


2003 – 5

S.Cochran and K.J.Kirk, “Ultrawideband ultrasonic transducers” Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept Grant 4/OET-21


2002 – 5

K.J.Kirk, S.Cochran, G.McRobbie and D.F.Clark, “Microscale sensors fabrication laboratory” SHEFC Strategic Research Infrastructure Funding


2000 – 5

A.Cochran, “Ultrasonic transducers with multiple active layers: concepts, design, manufacture and testing”, EPSRC Advanced Fellowship AF/99/1173


2002 – 4

S.Cochran and K.J.Kirk, “A new computer model for ultrasonic transducers for industry”, TCS3952, with PCT Ltd, Aberdeen.


1995 – 7

G.B.Donaldson, S.Cochran and C.M.Pegrum “Novel SQUID circuits in a portable system for high performance eddy current non-destructive evaluation”, EPSRC  GR/K32739/01


1994 – 7

C.M.Pegrum, S.Cochran and N.A.Lockerbie, “Advanced computing facilities for the design and application of superconducting devices”, EPSRC GR/J73179/01


1994 – 7

G.B.Donaldson, S.Cochran and A.McNab, “New approaches to electromagnetic NDE, including material characterisation using advanced SQUID technology”, EPSRC  GR/J07037/01


1993 – 6

G.B.Donaldson, S.Cochran, J.C.Macfarlane and C.M.Pegrum, “High temperature semiconductor sensors applied to magnetic field mapping” EPSRC GR/J27196/01



Present Director of Studies for three PhD students:

 Ben Cox

 Fraser Stewart

 Romans Poltarjonoks


Present active joint supervisor for six PhD students:

 Miriam Jimenez Garcia, with Dr Paul Prentice, University of Dundee

 Keith Johnston, with Dr Paul Prentice, University of Dundee

 Rachael McPhillips, with Dr Christine Demore, University of Dundee

 Katrin Skerl, with Prof. Andy Evans, University of Dundee

 Stuart Coleman, with Prof. Sir Alfred Cuschieri, University of Dundee


Previously Director of Studies for 16 PhD/EngD students

 Joyce Joy

 Han Wang

 Srikanta Sharma

 Yongqiang Qiu

 Zhen Qiu

 Dana Gourevich

 Anne Lyse Bernassau

 Duncan MacLennan

 Helen Mulvana

 Michelle Parker

 Jean-Francouis Saillant

 Zhengbin Wu

 Aneela Abrar

 Morag Clark

 Chris Carr

 Luke Morgan


Previously active joint supervisor for five PhD / EngD students:

 Kuang Yang, with Prof. Zhihong Huang, University of Dundee

 Robert  Ssekitoleko, with Dr Christine Demore, University of Dundee

 David Hughes, with Prof. John Girkin, Durham University

 Gao Jing, with Prof. Zhihong Huang, University of Dundee

 Muhammad Sadiq, with Prof. Zhihong Huang, University of Dundee