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     on matters related to measurement science and measurement standards.
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BIPM staff members

Dr David T. BURNS

Contact details

    Dept./Section:      Ionizing Radiation
     E-mail (@bipm.org):       dburns
     Tel.:       +33 1 45 07 70 80
     Fax:       +33 1 45 34 20 21


David is a principal research physicist in the Ionizing Radiation Department at the BIPM. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, he worked at the NPL in the UK from 1983 before joining the BIPM in 1996. His expertise is in the dosimetry of photon and electron beams, notably the development of ionometric and calorimetric primary measurement standards and the application of Monte Carlo calculations in this domain.

Having been the BIPM representative to the ICRU since the late 1990s, he was elected as a Commissioner of the ICRU in 2012 and was subsequently appointed Chairman of their Fundamental Quantities and Units Committee. He has worked on dosimetry protocols for the UK and for the IAEA and was coauthor of the widely used IAEA TRS-398 code of practice for the determination of absorbed dose to water in radiotherapy. More recently he joined the Scientific Committee that steers the work of the dosimetry section at the IAEA.

Author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications, he is an elected Fellow of the Institute of Physics in the UK and is currently working on a reference textbook on the fundamentals of ionizing radiation dosimetry.

Selected publications

  1. Use of the BIPM calorimetric and ionometric standards in megavoltage photon beams to determine Wair and Ic

  2. An analysis of existing data for Wair, Ic and the product Wair sc,air

  3. ICRU Report 85: Fundamental Quantities and Units for Ionizing Radiation

  4. Diaphragm correction factors for free-air chamber standards for air kerma in x-rays

  5. Free-air ionization chambers

  6. Air-kerma determination using a variable-volume cavity ionization chamber standard

  7. A new approach to the determination of air kerma using primary-standard cavity ionization chambers

  8. Absorbed dose determination in external beam radiotherapy: An international code of practice for dosimetry based on standards of absorbed dose to water

  9. The IPEMB Code of Practice for electron dosimetry for radiotherapy beams of initial energy from 2 to 50 MeV based on an air-kerma calibration

  10. R50 as a beam quality specifier for selecting stopping power ratios and reference depths for electron dosimetry
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