Timothy Bigelow

  • Associate Professor
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering (Primary Department)
  • Mechanical Engineering (Secondary Department)

Main Office

255D ASC2
Ames, IA
Phone: 515-294-4177


Ph.D., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2004)

M.S., Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2001)

B.S., Electrical Engineering, Colorado State University (1998)

Interest Areas


Core Research Area: Bioengineering, electromagnetics, microwave, nondestructive evaluation

Strategic Areas: Bioengineering; materials, devices & circuits

Brief Biography

Timothy A. Bigelow is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in Electrical/Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. His research interests focus on improving the diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness of medical ultrasound as well as utilizing ultrasound for nondestructive evaluation. Specifically, he focuses on quantifying the physical properties of tissue for diagnostic purposes using backscattered ultrasound signals, applying ultrasound induced cavitation to destroy unwanted cells, exploring new ultrasound induced biological effects for both ultrasound safety and ultrasound therapy applications, and using laser-based ultrasound to evaluate additive manufactured parts during manufacturing. Dr. Bigelow graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana in May 2004 with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering. After completing his education, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for a year. Dr. Bigelow was then an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of North Dakota for three years prior to coming to Iowa State University in August 2008. He was promoted to Associate Professor with Tenure in July 2014 and is currently a Fellow of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. He currently serves as an Associate Editor for IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control and is on the Editorial Board of Ultrasonic Imaging.

Selected Publications

Google Scholar Profile:
  • T.A. Bigelow, M. Oelze, and W.D. O’Brien Jr., “Estimation of total attenuation and scatterer size from backscattered ultrasound waveforms”, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 117, 1431-1439 (2005)
  • T.A. Bigelow, R.J. Miller, J.P. Blue, and W.D. O’Brien Jr., “Hemorrhage near fetal rat bone exposed to pulsed ultrasound”, Ultrasound Med. & Biol., 33, 311-317 (2007)
  • T.A. Bigelow, B.L. McFarlin, W.D. O’Brien Jr., and M. Oelze, “In Vivo ultrasonic attenuation slope estimates for detecting cervical ripening in rats: Preliminary results”, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 123, 1794-1800 (2008)
  • T.A. Bigelow, T. Northagen, T.M. Hill, and F.C. Sailer, “The destruction of Escherichia coli biofilms using high-intensity focused ultrasound”, Ultrasound Med. & Biol., 35, 1026-1031 (2009)
  • B.L. McFarlin, T.A. Bigelow, Y. Labyed, W.D. O’Brien Jr., M.L. Oelze, and J.S. Abramowicz, “Ultrasonic attenuation estimation of the pregnant cervix: a preliminary report”, Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology, 36, 218-225 (2010).
  • T.A. Bigelow, “Estimating the total ultrasound attenuation along the propagation path by applying multiple filters to backscattered echoes from a single spherically focused source”, IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control., 57, 900-907 (2010)
  • Y. Labyed and T.A. Bigelow, “Estimating the total ultrasound attenuation along the propagation path by using a reference phantom”, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 128, 3232-3238 (2010)
  • J. Xu and T.A. Bigelow, “Experimental investigation of the effect of stiffness, exposure time, and scan direction on the dimension of ultrasound histotripsy lesions”, Ultrasound Med. & Biol., 37, 1865–1873 (2011)
  • T.A. Bigelow, C.C. Church, K. Sandstrom, J.G. Abbott, M.C. Ziskin, P.D. Edmonds, B. Herman, K.E. Thomenius, and T.J. Teo, “The Thermal Index: Its strengths, weaknesses, and proposed improvements”, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 30, 714-734 (2011)
  • Y. Labyed and T.A. Bigelow, “A theoretical comparison of attenuation measurement techniques from backscattered ultrasound echoes”, J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 129, 2316-2324 (2011)
  • J. Xu, T.A. Bigelow, and G.M. Riesberg, “Impact of Preconditioning Pulse on Lesion Formation During High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Histotripsy”, Ultrasound Med. & Biol., 38, 1918-1929 (2012)
  • J. Xu, T.A. Bigelow, L.J. Halverson, J.M. Middendorf, and B. Rusk, “Minimization of treatment time for in vitro 1.1 MHz destruction of Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilms by high-intensity focused ultrasound”, Ultrasonics, 52, 668-675 (2012)
  • Y. Labyed and T.A. Bigelow, “Optimization of the algorithms for estimating the ultrasonic attenuation along the propagation path”, Ultrasonics, 52, 720-729 (2012)
  • J. Xu, T.A. Bigelow, and E.M. Whitley, “Assessment of ultrasound histotripsy-induced damage to ex vivo porcine muscle”, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 32, 69-82 (2013)
  • J. Xu, T.A. Bigelow, and R. Nagaraju, “Precision control of lesions by high-intensity focused ultrasound cavitation-based histotripsy through varying pulse duration,” IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelectr. Freq. Control., 60, 1401-1411 (2013)
  • G. Riesberg, T.A. Bigelow, D.J. Stessman, M.H. Spalding,  L. Yao, T. Wang, and J. Xu, “Flow rate and duty cycle effects in lysis of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using high-energy pulsed focused ultrasound,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 135, 3632-3638 (2014)
  • T.A. Bigelow, J. Xu, D.J. Stessman, L. Yao, M.H. Spalding, and T. Wang, “Lysis of Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii by high-intensity focused ultrasound as a function of exposure time,” Ultrasonics Sonochemistry, 21, 1258-1264 (2014)
  • V. Kumar, T.A. Bigelow, K. Mullin, D.S. Sakaguchi, “Correlation of hemorrhage near developing opossum skull to pulsed ultrasound exposure parameters”, Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine, 34, 1351-1361 (2015)
  • B.L. McFarlin , V. Kumar, T.A. Bigelow, D.G. Simpson, R.C. White-Traut, J.S. Abramowicz, and W.D. O’Brien Jr, “Beyond Cervical Length: A Pilot Study of Ultrasonic Attenuation for Early Detection of Preterm Birth Risk”, Ultrasound Med. & Biol., (2015)