Zimbabwean engineer Nyikadzino joins Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team

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Samantha Nyikadzino

Zimbabwean Samantha Nyikadzino has joined Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team as their new electronics design engineer.

The new role will see Nyikadzino following in the footsteps of her compatriot Stephanie Travers who joined the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team as a trackside fuel engineer.

In a Twitter message Nyikadzino, now working with some of the world’s best engineers, designers, technicians, mechanics and executives, said: “Today was an awesome day. Started as a Design Engineer for @MercedesAMGF1 and I’m pretty geeked! (computer-related language for excited).

“Supporting a team from home and then ending up as one of their design engineers is something I haven’t found the words to correctly articulate yet but I’m so excited for this new adventure.”

She studied Electrical Engineering at the National University of Science and Technology in Bulawayo.

She pursued further studies in the same field at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and a degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of South Africa.

Stephanie Travers with Lewis Hamilton

Travers was the first black woman to stand on the winner’s podium in the sport’s 70-year history when teammate Lewis Hamilton invited her to share his victory at Styrian Grand Prix in Austria two years ago.

Born in Zimbabwe 26 years ago before moving to the UK in 2004, Travers grabbed global attention after collecting the Constructor’s Trophy on behalf of Mercedes and Petronas alongside drivers Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Last year Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team announced a partnership with the Association of Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK), whose executive board includes Zimbabwean engineer Mara-Tafadzwa Makoni.

Makoni, who is AFBE-UK’s corporate partnerships lead, is a consultant with international experience in different countries such as the USA, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

She is a qualified systems engineer, who has managed and implemented complex projects in energy and transport, from feasibility to completion.

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