Professor Rami Abboud to receive prestigious award

Professor Rami Abboud, Head of the Department of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery, is to receive the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching by the University of Dundee at the forthcoming graduation ceremony on Friday 23 June at 2:00pm.

The Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Contributions to Teaching 2017 will also be awarded to:

  • Professor Mary Modeen, School of Art & Design (Contemporary Art Practice)
  • Professor Colin Reid, School of Law

These awards are presented to individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to teaching and are the University of Dundee’s most prestigious awards.

Professor Abboud’s dedication towards teaching, research and training was recognised in 2011 by the award of a rare accolade, Honorary Fellow, of the Royal College of Surgeons of England which was formally recognised at the College’s Awards Ceremony on 18th January 2012. The number of living non-medically qualified Honorary Fellows shall not exceed 30 at any one time; a rare accolade that is usually awarded to internationally recognised figures in their particular speciality.

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Left: Professor Abboud in 2000 with Professor David Levison at the opening of the Masters Teaching & Research Suite (TORT Centre) on 2 October 2000; Right: Professor Abboud in the then newly constructed Sports Lab at IMAR in 2006

Professor Abboud’s continuing commitment to teaching can be reflected on the Master of Orthopaedic Surgery (MCh Orth) degree which was fully accredited by the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2013 and subsequently reaccredited in 2016. Having a course accredited by the RCS(Eng) demonstrates that the course meets the standards as defined by College and that it offers a high-quality learning experience.

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Left: Professor Abboud giving a keynote lecture at MCh (Orth) Alumni conference, Pune 2013; Right: with staff at the TORT Centre in 2013

Professor Abboud has supervised 252 students over the last 21 years and in 2003 he instigated the amazing research facilities at the Institute of motion Analysis & Research (IMAR). IMAR has evolved to become one of the leading facilities in the world for motion analysis and biomechanical research. IMAR’s facilities have allowed him and his team the opportunity to expand their activities into a multidisciplinary portfolio of teaching and research, collaborating with a diverse range of disciplines from medicine and allied health professionals to science and engineering as well as art and choreography.

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Left: Dr Tim Drew and Professor Abboud after being nominated for Teaching Awards in 2015; Right: What makes all the effort and long hours of teaching worthwhile - students graduating

Speaking about his achievement, Professor Abboud said,

I am extremely proud to be one of the recipients of this prestigious award on the 50th Anniversary of the University. Going back in time to 1988 when I arrived at the university as an overseas postgraduate master’s student, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would still be in Dundee in 2017 to receive the highest accolade the University can award to a member of its staff!

Having progressed from being a student to becoming the head of the same department, is a fairy tale that could only have happened by being surrounded by equally excellent staff and a supportive family. I would not have been able to achieve this level of success without the excellent support from past and current most trusted and loyal staff at TORT/IMAR and that of my wife Dorin and our son Rami.

The interaction with our students, through lectures or supervision of projects, and ultimately when they become our graduates and ambassadors, and in many instances friends, is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job. I am touched by the many emails that I have received so far from staff and students to congratulate me on this award; one email however stands out from a 1999 graduate stating ‘I have always been indebted to you for the experience and for your patience in coaching me in the necessary academic standards required. For despite my early incompetence I went on to complete a PhD and MBA and as you can see from my PhD acknowledgements above in 2007 you featured back then. So once again many thanks for your input, help and encouragement. Lesser mortals would have given up on me... It is indeed great recognition for helping and supporting students like myself who will be forever grateful for helping them develop their career and life…I would like to thank you for your enthusiasm and assistance in redirecting my academic career…’. This email left me speechless!

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Left: Staff have always looked up to Professor Abboud!; Centre: Teaching them young; Right: Fun is a vital element in any success

Professor Gary Mires, Dean of the School of Medicine, who was also presented with the Chancellor’s Award for the academic year 2014-15, said, “We only have our reputation for excellence in medical education because of the effort colleagues within the Medical School put into ensuring the quality of our teaching and learning and the student experience. Professor Abboud is one of those colleagues and this award is appropriate recognition for the major contribution that he has made over many years. I understand that he was not only judged excellent but deemed to be outstanding across all of the five criteria for the award: impact, sustainable change, enhancement to practice, support for transformational learning, and the establishment of a legacy for practice. I offer my sincere congratulations to him”.

Professor Sir Pete Downes, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, said, “In my plans for the future development of the University I place high value on excellence in learning and teaching and I am proud of our high standing in the National Student Survey and International Student Barometer. It is therefore important that high quality teaching is being recognised and celebrated. Dundee is a University which develops many students for professional practice in the field of Medicine. The work that has been undertaken by Professor Abboud in establishing the TORT Centre as an internationally recognised centre of expertise ensures that we can continue to attract the very best students and support the development of excellent graduates”.