Adventurer’s advice on overcoming adversity
Adventurer and alumnus Martin Hewitt was welcomed back to the University of Salford this week to inspire students and staff with his take on 'leading through adversity'.
Martin served as a commissioned officer in HM Parachute Regiment, and was injured whilst leading his team in combat, receiving gunshot wounds to the chest and foot. He then turned to elite sport and represented Great Britain in the Paralympic World Championships competing in downhill ski racing.
He also founded the Adaptive Grand Slam project, leading disabled teams climbing the highest peak on the each of the seven continents and walking unsupported to the North and South poles.
In an event celebrating the launch of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Prosthetics and Orthotics, Martin explained to students and staff at the university how he has overcome his injuries to achieve his ambitions in life.
Worldwide demand for artificial limbs, braces, footwear and other devices which help people recover from injury is accelerating, but manufacturers and practitioners require a rare combination of clinical, medical and engineering skills. The CDT was set up by the University of Salford, together with Imperial College London, and the Universities of Strathclyde and Southampton. It will train over sixty students to doctoral level, helping address the skills gap both at home and abroad.
Joanne Caldwell, CDT Manager, said: “It was absolutely inspirational to hear Martin’s story today. Our aim at the CDT is to create the next generation of highly skilled researchers who will be able to deliver the technologies and service innovations to make sure more people are able to follow in his footsteps.
“We are working with 27 global industry and clinical collaborators, including two of the largest manufacturers of prosthetic and orthotic devices, Blatchford and Össur, to ensure we can deliver the technologies and service innovations needed to meet the aspirations of prosthetic and orthotic users.”
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