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Engineer revives career after accident

An ICE member who was severely injured in a kite surfing accident has told how he worked tirelessly for seven years to regain the use of his body, despite being told by doctors he would not walk again.

He now takes part in triathlons and has recommenced a disaster recovery research project using an ICE QUEST (Queen’s Jubilee Scholarship Trust) scholarship.

With help from the ICE Benevolent Fund’s Back to Work scheme, he has also established his own geotechnical engineering consultancy.

Jason Le Masurier is a former lecturer in construction management at Canterbury University in New Zealand. While he was kite surfing in 2007, a powerful gust lifted 6m into the air and then dropped him on sand, causing near-fatal brain and skull injuries and leaving him wheelchair-bound.

“My first memory is of waking up and thinking that for some reason the doctors had put a corpse in bed with me. I could feel an arm and a leg next to me and I didn’t know whose they were,” said Le Masurier.

Despite being in hospital for a year and a half, Le Masurier refused to believe the doctors’ predictions that he would never walk again and was determined to get back on his feet.

Following a miraculous recovery, he ran down the aisle at his own wedding to make a point, and participated in a triathlon raising £1,000 for the North West Air Ambulance service, which had saved his life after the accident.

Unwilling to retire at the age of 45 Le Masurier decided to re-enter academia to work on disaster recovery procurement. He returned to Christchurch, New Zealand, making use of an ICE QUEST scholarship to analyse how his previous research compared to the procurement decisions taken by New Zealand officials in the wake of the 2011 earthquake.

Now back in the UK, he will continue his research with his New Zealand colleague Rod Cameron - co-authoring a paper on collaborative competition in disaster recovery procurement for inclusion in ICE Proceedings.

With support from the ICE’s Benevolent Fund’s Back to Work scheme, Le Masurier has also established his own consultancy to explore the application of the observational method in geotechnical
engineering to the management of uncertainty and risk in general.He will present his findings
to a conference in Holland later this year.

  • Find out more about at www.jasonlemasurier.com.
  • Find out more about the ICE Benevolent Fund at www.icebenfund.com

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