Andreas Pfrommer, PhD Student

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Andreas Pfrommer, PhD Student

Hometown: Tuebingen, Germany

Affiliation: MPI for Biological Cybernetics, Magnetic Resonance Center

What are you working on?
I am working on novel concepts for radiofrequency antennas that are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at ultra-high magnetic field strength. The antenna transmits and receives electromagnetic waves that interact with the protons of the human body. This allows us to acquire a highly resolved image of the human anatomy without any hazardous ionizing radiation. With the help of electromagnetic simulations I try to optimize the geometry of the antenna to exploit all the benefits of the ultra-high field strength.

How are you going to find out?
To build an optimized antenna for MRI I need to know the pattern of the electromagnetic field that is radiated by the antenna in the presence of the human body. For this purpose I work with electromagnetic simulations that solve the underlying physical equations and visualize the field pattern. This is a complex computationally intensive task and can take up to several days even on a powerful computer.

Why is it interesting?
The magnet in our scanner is one of the five strongest whole-body magnets in the entire world. It creates a magnetic field that is about 200,000 times higher than the earth’s magnetic field in Stuttgart and three to six times higher than on clinical scanners. I find it fascinating to work with new technology and to enter unknown territory.

Your favorite thing outside of science?
To keep the balance between between body and mind I enjoy cycling a lot. Being outside on the bike gives me the opportunity to relax and look at different landscapes. President Kennedy already experienced: ”Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike.”

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