Faculty Advisor

Reinhold Ludwig

Faculty Advisor

John M. Sullivan Jr.

Faculty Advisor

William R. Michalson

Faculty Advisor

Donald R. Brown


"This research concentrates on two major engineering areas associated with biomedical instrumentation that have recently gained significant academic and industrial interest: the gradient coil design for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the high frequency full-wave field simulations with the Method of Moments (MoM). A new computational approach to the design of gradient coils for magnetic resonance imaging is introduced. The theoretical formulation involves a constrained cost function between the desired field in a particular region of interest in space and the current-carrying coil plane. Based on Biot-Savart’s integral equation, an appropriate weight function is introduced in conjunction with linear approximation functions. This permits the transformation of the problem formulation into a linear matrix equation whose solution yields discrete current elements in terms of magnitude and direction within a specified coil plane. These current elements can be synthesized into practical wire configuration by suitably combining the individual wire loops. Numerical predictions and measurements underscore the success of this approach in terms of achieving a highly linear field while maintaining low parasitic fields, low inductance and a sufficient degree of shielding. Experimental results confirm the field predictions of the computational approach. Extending the numerical modeling efforts to dynamic phenomena, a novel MoM formulation permits the computation of electromagnetic fields in conductive surfaces and in three-dimensional biological bodies. The excitation can be provided with current loops, voltage sources, or an incident electromagnetic wave. This method enables us to solve a broad spectrum of problems arising in MRI: full-wave RF coil simulations, eddy currents predictions in the magnet bore, and induced currents in the biological body. Surfaces are represented as triangles and the three-dimensional bodies are subdivided into tetrahedra. This numerical discretization methodology makes the approach very flexible to handle a wide range of practical coil geometries. Specifically, in this thesis the MoM is employed to study the effect of switching gradient coils in the presence of a biological load. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Electrical & Computer Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





gradient coil, MRI, Magnetic resonance imaging, Moments method (Statistics)