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By Biodun Busari

A young Nigerian engineer resident in the United Kingdom, George Imafidon has emerged as the overall winner of the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the year.

The Royal Academy of Engineering with the aid of the Worshipful Company of Engineers awarded Imafidon with a £3,000 prize for his outstanding works in engineering.

Imafidon, who emerged as the best among other five young engineers, also received the Sir George Macfarlane Medal according to a report by MyEngineers on Saturday.

The report said, “Five young engineers who have been outstandingly successful in their respective fields at an early stage of their careers have each won a prestigious award and a £3,000 prize from the Royal Academy of Engineering. 

“All five are winners of the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year competition, awarded by the Academy with support from the Worshipful Company of Engineers.

“The overall winner, Extreme-E racing pioneer and social mobility advocate a UK-based Nigerian, George Imafidon, received the Sir George Macfarlane Medal. Named after wartime radar pioneer Sir George Macfarlane, the award recognises the potential of engineers working in the UK who have demonstrated excellence in the early stage of their career (less than ten years since graduation from their first degree in engineering or equivalent qualification).”

The report further revealed that Imafidon’s feats in engineering including his current work with Sir Lewis Hamilton, as well as his passion for helping young engineers through his platform, Motivez

It continued, “George Imafidon is a Performance Engineer working with Sir Lewis Hamilton HonFREng’s Team X44 electric racing team to design and run an Extreme-E race car. The motorsport team, founded in September 2020, aims to draw attention to environmental issues by racing in the world’s most remote locations affected by the climate crisis.

“George’s fascination with how things work stems from his formative years spent fixing bikes for his friends in Peckham, South East London, a pastime that would eventually lead him to graduate from University College London with a First Class Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.

“In addition to his purpose-driven racing career, George is also CEO and co-founder of Motivez, a platform and community that has directly supported over 8,000 young people aged 14 – 25 from underrepresented backgrounds to access personalised opportunities, particularly within science, technology, engineering and Maths (STEM).

“Motivez delivers a plethora of award-winning grassroots, employability and advocacy programmes to drive systemic change in the STEM sector and develop change-makers who tackle the world’s biggest problems on a local level.

“George’s commitment to giving a platform to underrepresented voices was further evidenced by his appointment in September 2020 to the Board of Commissioners for Sir Lewis Hamilton’s Commission set up jointly with the Royal Academy of Engineering to address the underrepresentation of Black people in the UK motorsport.

“As a young Black engineer, George was able to advise and guide the Commission’s work, introduce the research team to key stakeholders and young engineers for interviews and shape the final report, which attracted high public and political attention.

“George also took a gap year during his university studies to fundraise for the #AB1Million campaign, raising £1 million for the Amos Bursary to ensure talented young people of African and Caribbean descent have the opportunity to excel in education and beyond.”

Speaking about the award on his LinkedIn, Imafidon said, “The engineer in me was born when I started fixing bikes for free in Peckham and got my first bike at 9 years old! I loved building and racing anything I could get my hands on.

“From there I worked extremely hard to go to UCL and secured the first-class master in Engineering degree. I now get to work with Lewis Hamilton as a Performance Engineer designing sustainable technologies and race cars for the remote locations around the world that are affected by climate change.

“I’ve never seen myself as a genius. I’ve willed myself through most things and focused on learning from the brilliant people around me. But I guess I just played to my strengths and barriers are there to be broken.

“Today, I am a humanitarian engineer because my community empowers me. Thank you to Kenny Imafidon and my family. To my mentors, coaches and all of you for constantly putting your trust in me and rallying behind all the work at Motivez, TEAM X44, Prodrive and beyond.”

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