World leading orthopaedic-neuro veterinary surgeon and “The Supervet”, Professor Fitzpatrick received his degree from the University’s Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex, on Wednesday 11 July at The Theatre Royal Bath as part of the University’s summer graduation ceremonies.

Fitzpatrick is founder and managing director of one of the largest veterinary referral centres in the UK, Fitzpatrick Referrals.

He has developed more than forty new techniques including several world-firsts in veterinary orthopaedics and neurosurgery that have provided quality of life for his patients.

Over the past two years, he has supported two Group Business Design Projects at the University of Bath and a PhD student in the University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering through his company Fitzpatrick Referrals.

The PhD project involves designing a new computational tool that models bones and ligaments for using with MRI scans of his animal patients. This tool will allow him to better plan and perform surgical procedures, with the aim of providing better outcomes.

The Group Business Design Projects are based around Prof Fitzpatrick’s vision for the design of surgical theatres in the future.

Dr Pejman Iravani, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering said: “Noel believes existing surgical environments are outdated and should be tech-driven environments incorporating innovations such as gesture and voice recognition and high-tech 21st century robotics.

“Although there is much research taking place in this area, it is unique for Bath to have such a close relationship with a veterinary surgeon. Noel is a real pioneer in the area and is ambitious that any innovations made in this veterinary sphere will one day translate to the human sphere.”

For the past two years, Noel has invited six University of Bath engineering students to his practice in Surrey to see his hospital and surgical set up first-hand.

Dr Iravani said: “He spends all day with them and they watch several surgical procedures whilst Noel talks the students through the problems he faces in a real world setting. The students then go away and design a solution and proposition.

“Noel is incredibly passionate about what he does and transmits his vision well.”

Dr Fitzpatrick said: “It is a great honour to be receiving a doctorate in science from the University of Bath.

“When I set out to become a veterinary surgeon, what drove me was the will to serve the animal kingdom and find solutions when no others were available, hopefully moving medicine forward along the way.

“I hope I can inspire those around me that despite the challenges one faces while trying to fulfil ones ambitions, it really is possible to make a difference when you work very hard and believe whole-heartedly in your dream.”