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Inventors of the Year 2017

Lifetime Achievement

The pioneering days of the first MRI systems were exciting times for Markus Vester of Siemens Healthineers, and he has retained his passion for invention throughout his career. Most of his patents are connected with transmitting/receiving units in MRI scanners.

A prototyp is still in his desk drawer

A prototyp is still in his desk drawer

The advent of the Symphony system, to which Vester contributed a high-frequency power amplifier as transmitter, marked the breakthrough for Siemens on the world market. Vester developed a transmitter suitable for both field strengths – one equipped with low-cost, mass-produced transistors to replace the previous tube amplifiers. "With the technology of the time, it was only possible to generate a maximum of five MHz, but we needed 63 MHz." Using an array of tricks, Vester finally managed to solve the problem, also improving several other components at the same time. His work set new standards, and patents were filed for all the inventions. Up to this day, Vester still keeps one of the prototypes in his desk drawer.

Milestones of the Magnetic resonance imaging success story

Milestones of the Magnetic resonance imaging success story

Other milestones were parallel imaging, matrix technology – in which several local coils on the patient's body receive signals simultaneously – and larger magnet openings, with a diameter of 70 cm instead of 60.

The research process has changed

The research process has changed

As well as experiencing and shaping the story of MRI, the inventor has also witnessed how the research process itself has undergone radical change. "There used to be a lot of trial and error. Nowadays, there's far more simulation."

I was part of a group of young people at the start of their careers, and setting out on an exciting pioneering journey. Despite all the intervening years, my enthusiasm hasn't waned in the slightest.

Markus Vester, Principal Key Expert
Inventor Markus Vester