Professor Angus Wallace, a leading figure in British orthopaedic surgery
and academic research is retiring from his NHS role in Nottingham after a
surgical career spanning more than four decades.
For the past 35 years, Professor Wallace has also pioneered cutting edge
research and orthopaedic inventions at The University of Nottingham, gaining
international recognition during his very eventful career.
He came to widespread public notice for a life-saving surgery he
performed using improvised surgical equipment on a British Airways flight in
1995, and for treating Wayne Rooney before the 2006 FIFA World
Following his mid-air heroics, Professor Wallace was one of the first
recipients of the Weigelt-Wallace Award that acknowledges exceptional examples
of patient care. Margaret Thatcher who presented the award praised his
"courage, capacity for split-second decision-making and his can-do
approach". Professor Wallace donated his £33,000 prize towards medical
research at The University of Nottingham.
Earlier in his career he treated a number of victims of the
1989 Kegworth air disaster, in which a British Midland flight
crashed onto the embankment of the M1 motorway, and conducted further
investigations into injuries sustained in the crash.
Following half-a-decade of research he concluded that passengers who
failed to adopt the brace position correctly sustained more injuries.
His research team's suggestion of a different brace position was adopted by all
UK airlines by 1999.
Reflecting on his career, Professor Wallace said: “It has been a huge
honour for me to have served The University of Nottingham for the last 30 years
as the Professor of Orthopaedic & Accident Surgery. The university has
given me huge support in developing an international name as an Academic
Professor of Orthopaedics, an Expert Shoulder & Elbow Surgeon and as an
inventor, publishing over 300 research papers and raising the profile of the university
and Nottingham University Hospitals world-wide for high quality surgery. My
academic orthopaedic colleagues, Professor Brigitte Scammell and Professor
Roger Bayston will continue to provide high quality teaching and research after
“I am proud to have trained over 30 expert shoulder surgeons who are now
working both in the UK and across the world in over 12 other countries
(Australia, South Korea, Netherlands, Brazil, South Africa, Sweden, Hungary,
Israel, Ireland, France, Greece and the Middle East).
“Sports Medicine is now a more developed area compared with when I set
up the first UK Masters degree (MSc) in Sports Medicine with Professor Idris
Williams (General Practice) in 1991, supported by Professor Peter Fentem (then
Dean of the Medical School) with our first MSc students graduating in 1993. I
established the Centre for Sports Medicine in 1995 with Dr Mark Batt who was UK
trained in General Practice but also trained in Sports Medicine at the
University of California.
“On the Engineering front, I set up the Institute of Bioengineering in
2000 with Dr Donal McNally, now Associate Professor who continues to carry out
very successful bioengineering collaboration with doctors and surgeons.
“As an Emeritus Professor I have decided to continue with my research
profile with further research papers on Shoulder Surgery and Innovation as well
as continuing to work as a Consultant on my medical devices – the ‘Vaios
Shoulder Replacement’ with JRI Orthopaedics Ltd and the ‘Infinity Lock’ device
for the reinforcement of joint ligaments with Xiros Ltd. I will be ‘hanging up
my scalpel’ but will be happy to support Nottingham University Hospitals as a
Mentor and an Appraiser.”
The Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Professor Sir David
Greenaway, said: “Angus’ contribution to the world of orthopaedic surgery and
research has been and will no doubt continue to be significant. He has been a
popular and inspirational leader of research and teaching whose visionary
ambitions and achievements have enthused the team around him. He has pioneered
revolutionary surgical techniques which have made a dramatic difference to
patients, and his passenger safety research has had a wide impact in preventing
and minimising injury in accidents. We are delighted he will be continuing his
research here as Emeritus Professor.”
Professor John Atherton, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health
Sciences said: “Thanks to Angus, the
University has one of the best respected academic divisions of Orthopaedics and
Accident Surgery in the UK. His leadership and charisma have driven this
achievement, and we are really glad that we will benefit from his continuing
association with us as an Emeritus Professor. His students and trainees have
been inspired to become top orthopaedic surgeons and his research has had real
influence on patients. Increasingly universities are getting involved with
innovation and invention in partnership with industry, and Angus has pioneered
this field. I particularly like the screwdriver which is fixed to the screw
during surgery so it cannot slip off! The whole Faculty would like to thanks
Angus, and we wish him all the best in his retirement.”
Professor Wallace has received the following commendations and awards:
Letter of Commendation from the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (1995)
Scot - Science and Medicine Award (1995)
of the Year Award – RADAR (1995)
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Research Project of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2014. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for three years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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