Professor Mennen
ULRICH MENNEN was born in Barberton on 1 July 1947, and matriculated in Nelspruit(1964),  (now Mbombela, Mpumalanga), South Africa, and graduated as a Medical Doctor (MB.ChB) in 1970 from the University of Pretoria. He worked and studied in Germany, the UK and Canada for a number of years, qualified as a General Surgeon (FRCS Glasgow and FRCS Edinburgh)(1978) before completing his degree as an Orthopaedic Surgeon (MMed Orthopeadics) in 1980 at the University of Pretoria, as well as at the College of Medicine of South Africa (FCS (SA)Ortho).

In 1983 Mennen did a Fellowship in Hand and Microvascular Surgery at the Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, North Carolina, USA, with James Urbaniak.

He completed his first doctoral degree (MD Orthopaedics) on bone healing and internal fixation of fractured bones (the 'Parasketetal Clamp-on Plate')( "MCOP") in 1983. He was promoted to Professor in the same year in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery of the University of Pretoria.

The Medical University of Southern Africa (MEDUNSA) near Pretoria, requested Prof. Mennen to establish and head the Department of Hand- and Microsurgery in 1985. This active department has hosted numerous international Hand Surgeons and has trained surgeons from all disciplines in the art of microsurgery, taught many registrars and hand fellows (local and international) and has been involved in the teaching of thousands of medical students.

In 1992 he also started a private hand surgery practice at the Jacaranda hospital in Pretoria until his retirement from clinical practice in 2018.

Prof. Mennen has over 230 publications, book chapters and books to his credit, has lectured in 39 countries and visited numerous hand surgery units internationally, some as visiting professor.

He obtained his second doctoral degree (DSc. Med) on the 'End-to-Side Nerve Suture technique' in 2007.

He has been on the Executive Council of the South African Society for Surgery of the Hand (SASSH) for 30 years and has been the President of this Society(1995-1997),as well as the Historian for 27 years.

In 1998 he was elected by the Delegates Council of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand (IFSSH) to its Executive Committee, serving on and chairing a number of technical committees. In 2004 he became Secretary-General of this international hand surgery fraternity. In  October 2010 he was elected President of the IFSSH and served until 2013.  He served as Chairman of the Nominating Committee of the IFSSH from 2013 until 2016.

 As the first editor, Prof. Mennen launched the "IFSSH Ezine", the official electronic magazine of the International Federation of Societies for Surgery of the Hand in February 2011. It is sent every three months to many thousands of Hand Surgeons and Hand Therapists as well as other interested doctors throughout the world. All previous issues can be sourced on

On 17 June 2019, the IFSSH bestowed the honour "Pioneer of Hand Surgery" on Prof. Mennen at the 14th International IFSSH Congress in Berlin, Germany.

Ulrich Mennen is married to Johanna Margaretha Mennen (née Louw), and the couple have three children ( Albert Menno, a corporate solicitor,   Mathilda Christina, a medical doctor and researcher, and Abraham Faure, a professional musician and lecturer)