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Professor Kevin Seng Khoon Cheah

Kevin is wearing a blue shirt and tie underneath a suit jacket. He stands against a white background and smiles.

Areas of Interest

Health Care, Charity

Honorary Award

Honorary Doctor of Health Sciences, 2023 Honorary Master of Science, 2002


In 2002, Kevin Cheah was awarded the honorary degree of Master of Science and in 2023, the honorary degree of Doctor of Health Sciences.



Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to read the citation for Professor Kevin Cheah for the award of Honorary Doctor of Health Science. 

Kevin Cheah is a surgeon, educator, researcher, philanthropist, and long-time partner of Anglia Ruskin University. 

Born in Penang, Malaysia, Kevin came to the UK in 1976 and attended Oswestry School. A diligent and talented student, he won a place at Sheffield University Medical School, graduating in 1984.  Following a variety of House Officer posts, Kevin undertook surgical training at hospitals in Sheffield and Derby, and he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1989. 

He began training for his orthopaedic career at the internationally renowned Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry. Kevin’s abilities and his commitment to his patients were soon recognised, and during his two years at North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary, he was awarded the Lloyd Griffiths Medal for the Best Orthopaedic Resident.

It was during his time as an orthopaedic trainee that Kevin set up the Clwyd and Oswestry Research Tissue Bank – a pioneering organisation which worked to establish a reliable supply of suitable tissue for processing into the bone and tendon allografts necessary for successful hip and knee surgeries. This innovative response to a critical problem was to become a core characteristic of Kevin’s career. 

In subsequent years, Kevin’s work has extended the boundaries in medical engineering. As Medical Director of Clwyd and Oswestry Research Tissue Bank he was invited by the International Atomic Energy Agency to review the practice on the use of irradiation for the purpose of sterilisation of allografts for surgical implantation. And working with Johnson and Johnson orthopaedic company, he developed a patented cement delivery system that has had worldwide impact.

Over the next few years, Kevin’s reputation as a skilled surgeon grew. In 1996 he was appointed Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust, Broomfield Hospital. And fortunately for ARU, this was the start of a long relationship and partnership with our university. 

Together with Professor Paul Ingle, Kevin helped set up the Medical Engineering Research Group, acquiring funding for PhD students, post-doctoral research fellows, and for the design and build of the Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory.   

With a major clinical interest in the stem cell treatment of articular cartilage defects, Kevin was a cofounder of the UK Biological Knee Society. 

In collaboration with Professor Michael Thorne - former Vice Chancellor of our University - Kevin was instrumental in establishing the Post Graduate Medical Institute, and subsequently the ARU School of Medicine. 

Kevin continues to support the School of Medicine in his capacity as an OSCE examiner and interviewer of prospective students, generously carrying out all such activities on a voluntary basis and donating any stipend offered to ARU research funds. 

Kevin’s philanthropic efforts extend far beyond his work with ARU. Working with the SALAMAT Charity - which provides medical training to healthcare professionals in Sudan - Kevin has undertaken seven missions into potentially dangerous environments to train orthopaedic surgeons on arthroscopic knee surgery.   

Kevin’s passion and determination to enhance patient outcomes and improve people’s lives is inspirational. As is his support for the Salamat charity, and his courage to lead medical teams into hostile territories. 

A surgeon of international repute, a philanthropist, and a long-standing and dearly valued partner of our university, he will be a powerful role model for our students. We are delighted to welcome back Professor Kevin Cheah to our Anglia Ruskin community.   

Vice Chancellor, it is my pleasure to present Professor Kevin Cheah for the award of Doctor of Health Science, honoris causa


"The Senate of Anglia Polytechnic University has great pleasure in recommending the award of an Honorary Master of Science degree to Mr Kevin Cheah, MB, ChB, FRCS, independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Senior Visiting Research Fellow in Bioengineering, External Supervisor of research students at this University and expert badminton player up to county level. 

This award is made in recognition of his infectious dedication and dynamism among research students in Bioengineering within Design and Communications Systems, where his surgical skill and knowledge have been such an inspiration and his encouragement for students to publish and present their research findings, which has had a most beneficial effect on the developing reputation of the Bioengineering Research team, both within the region and internationally. 

Kevin Cheah was born in Penang, Malaysia and came to England in 1976. Following his secondary education at Oswestry School, he went on to Sheffield University Medical School where he qualified in medicine in 1984. After various pre-registration House Officer posts he carried out surgical training in Sheffield and Derby and was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1989.

Next, he began training for his orthopaedic career at the internationally-renowned Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry, including spending two years at the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary in Stoke-on-Trent. During this time, he was awarded the Lloyd Griffiths Medal for the Best Orthopaedic Resident in 1993.

He was responsible for setting up the Clwyd and Oswestry Research Tissue Bank, where he held the post of Medical Director for two years from 1994. This tissue bank provides bone allografts for implantation in patients requiring bone grafts during orthopaedic surgery. At this time, he was also co-opted as an Advisor to the UN International Atomic Energy Agency in the area of the use of human tissues for transplantation. 

He was later appointed as a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon to the Mid-Essex Hospital Trust at the Broomfield Hospital, where he worked for five years, until 2001. His speciality is in hip and knee surgery and he began to become involved in establishing a link between Broomfield Hospital and the Bioengineering Research Unit at APU, during which time he procured funding to enable the establishment of a post-doctoral Research Fellowship at the University.

Presently he supervises the second incumbent of this post as well as three PhD students. Already an international patent has been filed in respect of a cement delivery system used in total hip replacement. 

He left the National Health Service in 2001, after seventeen years service and works currently as an independent Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, based at Springfield Hospital in Chelmsford. His current clinical interest is in the treatment of articular cartilage defects in the knee joint, a procedure called autologous cartilage transplantation. This work is carried out in collaboration with colleagues at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore, Middlesex.

Kevin is one of a very small minority qualified to perform this special surgery, and was recently invited to give a presentation of his work to Young Engineers of the Year at National Science Week held in the House of Commons.

Mr Kevin Cheah is an orthopaedic surgeon of great skill and experience, who continues to be a most supportive external supervisor of research students in Bioengineering and has been instrumental in attracting research funding to the Unit wherein the research team and research students have greatly benefitted from his knowledge and enthusiasm.

It is for these reasons, therefore, that I invite you, Mr Chairman, to confer on Mr Kevin Cheah, MB, ChB, FRCS an Honorary Master of Science degree of this University."