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Bjørn was born in Vestvågøy, Norway, in 1946. He received the MSc and dr.techn. (PhD) degrees from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim,  in 1971 and 1977, respectively.  He has been a professor in  Biomedical Engineering at the Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging since 1983 . He has spent most of his professional life in the field of medical ultrasound imaging, pioneering cardiac applications of ultrasound  Doppler measurements in the 70'ies. Since the mid 90'ies he has been working on ultrasound wave propagation in nonlinear,  heterogeneous tissue, especially with aspects of corrections of phase aberrations and pulse reverberations and detection of ultrasound contrast agents.

Bjørn was chief scientist during the development of Vingmed Ultrasound in the 80's. Vingmed Ultrasound was acquired by GE in 1998. Later Bjørn became responsible for the development of a 40MHz ultrasound scanner for intra-artery catheter imaging in the company CVIS (Cardiovascular Imaging Systems). CVIS was sold to Boston Scientific in 1995. Bjørn founded the company Eagle Ultrasound in 2001, specializing in early fetal imaging. The investor of the company was aquired by a large multinational, and the rights from the company sold to Terarecon Inc.

In 2007, Bjørn Angelsen was awarded the Ian Donald Medal for Technical Achivement within Ultrasound Technology, and was in 2008 awarded with The Heart Award from The Norwegian National Society for Peoples Health together with clinician Liv Hatle for their contribution to cardiology.

Bjørn has supervised/co-supervised 40 PhD's, holds 26 U.S. patents and several international patents, has written 2 books and published numerous papers on technical and clinical ultrasound.