Professor David I. Rowley

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Professor David I. Rowley on Friday 22 February, aged 67.

Professor Rowley is quite rightly regarded as a teacher, a scholar, a pioneer, a friend and a hero, all in equal measure. He looked upon everybody, no matter what colour, creed or education, as equals and always had time for all his staff and students. We will miss his guidance, his reassurance, his infectious enthusiasm and his cheeky laughter.

Professor David Rowley began his medical studies at Aberdeen University in 1969 and was a lecturer at the University of Sheffield and a senior lecturer at the University of Manchester before taking up a post at Ninewells Hospital and Medical School in 1988 as Professor of the University Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, sustaining the department’s international reputation and innovation in the area of joint replacement complemented by a worldwide service in Clinical Audit Outcomes with over £20 million in grant income. In 1996, he led by example and worked tirelessly with Alan Davidson, QA, to secure an excellent outcome for the MBChB curriculum review. He served the school with loyalty and was the Deputy Dean during Professor Brian Burchell tenure as Dean (2003-2006). Professor Rowley was the instigator of the MCh (Orth) Degree at Dundee and served as Director of Education for the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and was also visiting professor of surgical education at the University of Edinburgh from 2004 until 2009. He relinquished his chair and his post at the university in 2008. He gained many distinctions during his illustrious career, including the Gold College Medal and Syme’s Medal, both awarded by the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh. He also served abroad as a war surgeon for the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Sudan and Afghanistan. After 40 years Professor Rowley retired from offering clinical advice in 2014.

Photographic Elements

Left: Professors Abboud and Rowley, current and previous Heads of the University Department of Orthopaedic & Trauma Surgery; Right: Professor Rowley doing what he loved, sharing his vast orthopaedic knowledge with others.

Professor Rami Abboud stated:

"TORT and the MCh (Orth) Community is mourning its founder; the world of orthopaedics is mourning one of the 20th/21st century’s greatest surgeons, scholars and visionaries; I am mourning my MSc and PhD supervisor, mentor, colleague, predecessor and great personal friend; my family is mourning a great family friend – Professor David Rowley, may your soul rest in eternal peace.

David was a great man in the true sense of the word in that he touched the lives of 1000s of patients, improving their quality of life, and 1000s of individuals helping them shape their careers. I am privileged to have been one of them and to be associated with such a legend whose legacy will remain for generations to come. For now, our thoughts are with his wife Ingrid, his daughter Kristina and his son Andrew and their immediate family, who are trying to come to terms with his unexpected demise. Good bye my friend"


Funeral Service is taking place at Parkgrove Crematorium, Friockheim, Angus DD11 4UN, Thursday 7th of March 2019 at 1.30pm, all welcome. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, for the International Red Cross. Once donations are made, please email stating your name, donation date and amount and indicate that it was made in the Memory of Professor David I. Rowley.

The family wish to invite Professor Rowley's friends and colleagues to celebrate his life on Thursday 7th of March 2019 at 4pm at the Invercarse Hotel. RSVP