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Consulting Engineers

Will It Stand Up?

A Professional Engineer’s View of the Creation of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium
Derek Mason is the author of this book written for architects, structural engineers, developers and contractors and anyone interested in construction projects, particularly sports stadia, other major leisure facilities and smaller projects, such as residential or commercial projects.

Will It Stand Up? provides you with a blueprint to assist in building your personal and business reputation. In this book, I introduce the Seven Principles for Running a Successful Project. They are demonstrated and discussed by using the London 2012 Olympic Stadium as an excellent example of how they were applied successfully. Also included are examples of other construction projects where I have implemented these principles.

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Author profile

Derek Mason

Derek Mason


Director of Super Structures Associates Limited, Derek Mason is a Chartered Structural Engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the field of structural engineering. He is also a registered Professional Engineer in South Africa and has worked on projects of various sizes and complexity in various parts of Africa and has worked in the UK since 1998.

Derek has worked for a broad range of engineering consultants in South Africa and the UK, with consultants in the UK such as Watermans, Capita Symonds as well as smaller niche consultants such as Jan Bobrowski & Partners and NRM Consultants. It was while at Jan Bobrowski & Partners and NRM Bobrowski that Derek worked on a broad range of sports and leisure projects including football stands and racecourse stands. NRM Bobrowski was sold to Capita Symonds in 2008, and it is while working at these firms where Derek was involved with the London 2012 Olympic Stadium.

Feedback about the book

Derek Mason is a highly respected and successful engineer and businessman who writes with experience and authority about the Olympic stadium project in which he was intimately involved. The stadium was a business as well as an aesthetic success and this book helpfully draws out the broader lessons which others can learn from.

Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable

Will It Stand Up? is a unique insight into the technical prowess and in-depth technical intelligence that goes on behind the scenes of large construction projects such as the Olympic Stadium. Many of the processes Derek discusses are transferable to smaller projects and business and will be useful for switched-on managers to help guide them.

Jez Rose
behaviourist, broadcaster and award-winning author

Derek is a structural engineer who thinks like a marketer. This book is so darned useful because the seven principles that Derek describes so eloquently will make the execution and implementation of any project more successful. It’s a great story, well told and with some bloody useful take-aways.

Nigel Botterill
Founder of the Entrepreneur’s Circle and award-winning author

In Will It Stand Up?, Derek describes the seven principles to running a successful project that I have seen him apply throughout his career in projects of various sizes and complexities with great success. At the heart of all seven principles, and the key to achieving them, is good communication. Without good communication you probably won’t even get to agree the first principle. However, focus on the communication and, as this book shows, the seven principles work when applied to projects from small domestic ones to projects in excess of £50 million. This book will help the reader understand these seven principles and how to apply them to their projects to achieve the success they desire.

Ritchie Clapson CEngMIStructE
former Managing Director, Capita Bobrowski

Thank you for the copy of your book, excellent read. This what engineers do and our voice is not often heard. It is always heart-warming to see how well UCT Civil Alumni are doing all over the world.  I am particularly delighted that you continue to engage with other UCT graduates.  As a Department, we are encouraged by your continued interest in the Department and extend an invitation for continued support as we endeavour to produce well rounded engineers.

Head of Department of Civil Engineering, University of Cape Town

Simon Pitchers enjoys this account of the creation of the London Olympic Stadium, both for its lessons on running successful projects and the fascinating facts that will enrich a dinner-party conversation. We must step outside of the island that is our comfort zone, learn more about the wider world of building and claim new territory, otherwise machines will erode and reduce the sphere of our expertise. We need to become top of everyone’s list of interesting people to invite to their dinner party. That is why all grades of membership of our Institution should read this book.

Simon Pitcher BSc (Hons), CEng, MIStructE
Simon is a member of Council, a Trustee of the Institution, a media commentator and director of Craddys, a 50-person civil and structural consultancy.