- Shihab Solaiman is the United Arab Emirates winner of the INFINITI Engineering Academy 2016
- He secures one of just seven, year-long placements with INFINITI Motor Company and the Renault Sport Formula OneTM Team
- 23-year-old Shihab Solaiman will begin his 12-month placement in the UK this November
A university student from the United Arab Emirates has been awarded the career opportunity of a lifetime in Formula OneTM, as INFINITI announces Shihab Solaiman as the UAE winner of the INFINITI Engineering Academy 2016.
Having been selected from hundreds of entries and beating nine other finalists from across the Emirates in an intense shootout event at the Dubai Autodrome, 23-year-old Shihab Solaiman from Abu Dhabi, becomes the INFINITI Engineering Academy 2016 Middle East winner and the first ever winner from the Arab Emirates.
Shihab will spend six months working at the Formula OneTM team’s headquarters in Enstone and six months working at INFINITI’s European Technical Center in Cranfield. With F1 Technology more relevant to the automotive industry than ever, he will play a key role in the ongoing transfer of technical knowledge and expertise between the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team and INFINITI.
The INFINITI Engineering Academy, now in its third year, is a one-of-a-kind global search for the world’s best up-and-coming engineers. For 2016 seven placements have been made available with one winner chosen each from USA, Canada, Mexico, Europe (incl. Russia), United Arab Emirates, China and Asia–Pacific to work with the team.
This unique automotive-to-motorsport training program for brilliant young engineers, possible thanks to INFINITI’s Technical Partnership with the Renault Sport Formula One™ Team, has attracted 4,108 registrations from 44 different countries. A number of previous winners have gone on to secure full time careers in the automotive and motorsport industries.
“The continued growth of this programme on both on a global and regional level is testament to how successful it has been over the last few years,” said Juergen Schmitz, Managing Director, INFINITI Middle East. “At INFINITI, we believe in initiatives that help us to actively engage with our wider community and the 420 registrations from the UAE this year is yet again a great indication of how well it has been received.”
After a series of interviews, ten finalists were selected to attend a gruelling assessment day. They were put through their paces individually and as groups, by a panel of judges from INFINITI and Renault Sport Racing, including: David Moss, Vice President, Vehicle Design & Development, INFINITI Technical Centre Europe, Francesca Ciaudano, Deputy General Manager, Marketing & PR, INFINITI Middle East and Rene Torcato (Head of R&D, Renault Sport Racing).
Commenting on his win, Shihab said: “It’s an incredible feeling, I still can’t believe that I have won! All of the other contestants were extremely prepared and competitive. I now have to concentrate and do my very best to prove that I am a worthy winner, and make the most of this fantastic opportunity.”
Tommaso Volpe, Global Director, INFINITI Motorsport, commented: “The extraordinary level of interest in this year’s INFINITI Engineering Academy has been absolutely fantastic. Students have seen the accomplishments of our Academy’s graduates, who have gone on to forge successful careers in the automotive industry. This has meant that more students than ever want to use the Academy to gain vital engineering experience and launch their own careers.
“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”, concluded Volpe.
INFINITI Engineering Academy European Winner 2016 profile:
Name: Shihab Solaiman
University: The Petroleum Institute
From: Abu Dhabi
Biggest positive impact in life: My Dad, he worked hard for everything he has and never takes anything for granted in life.
Greatest strength: I am very committed to the things that I am passionate about
Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. is headquartered in Hong Kong with sales operations in over 50 countries. The Infiniti brand was launched in 1989. Its range of premium automobiles is currently built in manufacturing facilities in Japan, the United States, United Kingdom and China. Infiniti plans to also expand manufacturing into Mexico by 2017.
Infiniti design studios are located in Atsugi-Shi, near Yokohama, London, San Diego and Beijing.
Infiniti is in the middle of a major product offensive. The brand has been widely acclaimed for its iconic design and innovative driver-assistance technologies.
From the 2016 season, Infiniti is a technical partner of the Renault Sport Formula One team, contributing its expertise in hybrid performance.