A university engineering student from Saudi Arabia has been awarded the career opportunity of a lifetime in Formula One, as Infiniti announces them as one of the winners of the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy 2015.
Beating seven other finalists from around the country in an intense shootout event, 20 year-old Muhammad Usman Zafar from Alfaisal University will move to England, UK in September to begin a 12-month placement working with the four-time Formula One World Championship-winning team Infiniti Red Bull Racing, as well as for Infiniti itself.
Zafar will spend eight months working as an Infiniti Placement Design Engineer (Vehicle Design), at the team’s headquarters in Milton Keynes, UK, and four months working at Infiniti’s European Technical Center in Cranfield on road car development projects. With F1™ technology more relevant to the automotive industry than ever, they will play a key role in the ongoing transfer of technical knowledge and expertise between the race team and Infiniti.
The academy, now in its second year, is a one-of-a-kind global search for the world’s best up-and-coming engineers. For 2015, five placements were made available with one winner chosen each from Russia, Western Europe, China, Saudi Arabia and the United States to work in roles spanning vehicle dynamics, vehicle design, aerodynamics and electronics.
Thousands of students registered their interest in this year’s program, and after a series of interviews, ten finalists in each region were selected to attend a regional final event where they were put through their paces in a structured assessment day by a panel of judges from Infiniti and Infiniti Red Bull Racing.
Commenting on his win, Zafar said: “I was delighted on hearing that I was selected and am hugely excited for this opportunity! I have always been passionate about Automotive and Motorsports engineering and I look forward to joining the academy and making the most of my time in the UK.”
Tommaso Volpe, Global Director, Infiniti Formula One added: “The calibre of entrants this year was very high which made for a tough selection process, but if last year’s winners are anything to go by, it will not be long before all of them are making a significant contribution both to us and to the race team. With F1 becoming more and more relevant to the automotive industry and an increased focus of the placements this year being on the road car development, we are training a new generation of engineers who will play a key role in the crossover between the two industries.”