UKAN+ Webinar: OptimUS: an open-source Python library for 3D acoustic wave propagation

25 April 2024

10:00 am

Online Webinar


Pierre Gélat1, Reza Haqshena2, Elwin van ‘t Wout3, Danilo Ignacio Aballay Fernández3 and Nader Saffari2


The Helmholtz equation for harmonic wave propagation is a widely used model for many acoustic phenomena, such as room acoustics, sonar, and biomedical ultrasound. The boundary element method (BEM) is one of the most efficient numerical methods to solve Helmholtz transmission problems and is based on boundary integral formulations that rewrite the volumetric partial differential equations into a representation of the acoustic fields in terms of surface potentials at the material interfaces.

OptimUS is a Python library developed at University College London and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. Centred around the BEM, it offers a user-friendly interface via Jupyter Notebooks, enabling the prediction of acoustic waves in piecewise homogeneous media in the frequency domain, with minimal numerical pollution and dispersion effects. OptimUS can significantly reduce run times relative to traditionally used volumetric solvers.

This webinar will provide an overview of the OptimUS interface, with a focus on case studies where objects are large relative to the wavelengths involved. This will include biomedical ultrasound, which has a growing number of therapeutic applications such as the treatment of cancers of the liver, kidney, and of osteoid osteoma. The modelling of transcranial ultrasound neurostimulation, an emerging modality which may one day treat mental health conditions such as depression, will also be reviewed. Acoustic wave propagation into the uterus at audio range frequencies will be presented to provide awareness of the impact of everyday noise exposure on the developing fetus.

Finally, prospective solutions to address nonlinear wave propagation using volume integral methods will be reviewed, as well as methods to treat piecewise heterogeneous media, such as bone, within the propagating medium.

Pierre Gélat is Associate Professor at the UCL Division of Surgery and Interventional Science (Faculty of Medical Sciences). He is a Chartered Engineer with a background in physical sciences whose expertise lies in biomedical ultrasound numerical modelling and metrology. He is working towards the clinical translation of emerging ultrasound-based cancer therapies based, using in vitro 3D models of cancer. He has contributed to the development of a novel mathematical framework for solving 3D acoustic wave propagation, which has led to the open-source Python library OptimUS. Pierre has extensive experience of working in multidisciplinary environments both in industry and academia to help identify and address unmet clinical needs.

Register in advance for this webinar: https://us06web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_PleBFqdPTRe3dZzaZvP1Tg .  After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.


(1)Division of Surgery & Interventional Science, University College London, UK

(2)Department of Mechanical Engineering, University College London, UK

(3)School of Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

Posted on 22nd December 2023 in Events