The Hidden Half

About us - The Hounsfield Facility

The Hounsfield Facility at the University of Nottingham Sutton Bonington campus houses three state-of-the-art X-ray computed tomography (CT) systems. This enables scientists to explore the internal architecture of biomaterials and support research into environmental sustainability and global food security. A particular focus of the facility is rhizosphere research into microscopic root-soil interactions. The scanners collect a series of X-ray images at a known number of points over a 360° rotation. The various materials in the sample absorb X-rays to different degrees according to their election density which are recorded in the images as differences in greyscale level. These greyscale images are reconstructed to create a 3-D volume where the root architecture can be segmented out of the soil. We also have a little help from some robots to speed up the process of sample moving and loading. The robot moves around the glasshouse to pick up and transfer the larger plant pots to our largest system.

Our building is named after the inventor of medical X-ray CT, Sir Godfrey Hounsfield who once said: “Each new discovery brings with it the seeds of other, future inventions. There are many discoveries, probably just around the corner, waiting for someone to bring them to life. Could this possibly be you?” That message resonates in our building.

To learn more about X-ray CT scanning at Nottingham please visit

Visit the Hounsfield Facility

Craig Sturrock setting up X-ray CT scan of a Lichen


Hounsfield LEGO Movie

See the Hounsfield Facility in action in our very own Lego movie:


The Hounsfield facility would like to acknowledge the funding received from the European Research Council, The Wolfson Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. This has enabled us to set up the facility and conduct the science and research output we achieve today.

We would also like to acknowledge the Leverhulme trust in their funding of research staff at the University who have given their time in the involvement to this project.Leverhulme Trust Logo

Hounsfield Funding was provided by the European Research Council, The Wolfson Foundation and BBSRC.
Hounsfield Facility Laboratory


The Hidden Half

Hounsfield Facility (A03)
Sutton Bonington Campus
University of Nottingham
Loughborough, Leics, U.K.
LE12 5RD

Telephone: +44(0)115 951 6786