This paper presents the design, optimisation and physical implementation of a compact ultra-wideband (UWB) printed circular monopole antenna (PCMA) for microwave imaging applications, specifically for breast cancer detection. The profile of the proposed antenna features T- Slots etching over a driven circular patch. To achieve the desired impedance bandwidth both in free-space and in proximity to human tissues, the geo- metrical profiles of the T - slot monopole antenna are optimised using the surrogate model assisted differential evolution for antenna synthesis (SADEA) optimiser. The bandwidth, gain, radiation pattern and efficiency of the optimised antenna are then evaluated. The simulation and measurement results of the antenna’s responses are deduced to be in reasonable agreement for the input impedance, gain, radiation pattern and efficiency, respectively, in the operating band of 3.1 GHz to 10.6 GHz. The proposed antenna also gives an adequate radiation in the broad side direction, which contributes significantly to clutter level reduction, and makes the proposed antenna applicable for effective and efficient microwave imaging applications.