From being involved with designing weapon technology to medical physics in Hul, the path that has led Professor Andy Beavis to being listed as one of the top 100 UK practicing scientists recently has been long and varied.
The Science Council last week challenged the UK’s traditional view of science and revealed its list of the country’s top scientists.
Professor Andy Beavis, Consultant Medical Physicist at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust made it onto the list for combining his leadership and management skills in service delivery, resulting in the development of an entirely new way of using virtual simulation technology to enable trainee radiographers to learn and practice their skills safely.
The former chairman of the National Radiotherapy Advisory Group (NRAG) Service Delivery Sub-committee has been ever present in the world of Radiotherapy, both locally and nationally, over the last 20 years. He is a Chartered Scientist and Chartered Physicist, a member of the Institute of Physics and a fellow of the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine and the British Institute of Radiology. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors.
The Professor’s invention of the VERT system (Virtual Environments for Radiotherapy Training), which is now used worldwide from Vancouver in Canada to Wellington in New Zealand, took off back in 2007. Alongside computer scientists, Roger Phillips and James Ward of Hull University, the trio invented the virtual simulation system to ensure training was developed safely with a longer term plan to influence the safety of patients.
VERT is now in use in over 100 institutions, including every training school in the UK. Alongside the invention of VERT, Andy and his team at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust has also worked with the Department of Health to train other radiotherapy departments in state of the art techniques including IMRT (Intensity Modulated Radiotherapy Treatment), and so really leading the way in the UK for Radiotherapy. The national standard set by the Department of Health for patients to be treated through IMRT is 24%, but locally it is used for every appropriate patient, well above the national average.
Professor Andy Beavis, Consultant Medical Physicist says:
“Receiving this news was a huge surprise and I am truly humbled at being listed alongside some of the world’s leading scientists. I have received messages of congratulations from all over the world and this is a very proud moment for me and my family.
“When I started my journey here back in 1992, I was given a lot of freedom to develop my skills and the department, and I am grateful for the support of my then manager, Viv Whitton, who has a lot to be thanked for.
“Through this Trust, and the support I have been given, I have been free to develop and become the person I am in Radiotherapy, and I’ve been able to invent and showcase new ways of learning how to treat people with radiotherapy safely, not just locally but nationally and internationally.”