Sam Pitman

"I have always been fascinated by how things work, how things are made, and why. I am creative and I love to build things and get my hands dirty! I am doing engineering for these reasons, but also because I believe engineers have the greatest ability to change the world.

“Engineers have the ability to create sustainable power for the future, explore new planets, cure diseases and end world hunger – I wanted to enter a career I could be proud of. My next career step will be a Post Doctoral research position, and in the long run, I would like to work on cutting-edge medical technologies.”

The project

Proton Therapy is a cancer treatment that has significant advantages over traditional radiotherapy, especially with children's cancers, brain tumours, and radio-resistant tumours. The main advantage is its accuracy; it gives a large dose of radiation to cancerous cells, but a very low dose to healthy tissue. However, this is only as accurate as the image guiding it. The images are usually collected using X-rays but this leaves a margin of error.

The aim of this project is to design a compact proton accelerator, allowing proton therapy facilities to image using the same particle that they treat with, thus reducing the error margin.