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University of Ulster Teams Up With World Motor Sport Chiefs

8 December 2010

The University of Ulster has signed an historic research and training agreement with the United Arab Emirates' motor sport federation.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem, the Vice President of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA), was at the University of Ulster today to sign an agreement that will form a joint UAE/Ulster Institute of motor sport research.

He was joined by the UAE Ambassador to the UK His Excellency Abdul Rahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwee on their first ever visit to Northern Ireland. Ulster's Vice Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett greeted the UAE delegation, and thanked them for choosing the University as their preferred university partner.

Their presence is viewed as an endorsement of the quality of the research already undertaken at Ulster, including that ongoing in the field of motor sport under the leadership of Dr David Hassan from the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute. “This initiative has great potential for the University, our partners in the UAE, the expressed objectives of the University and for society in both countries.”said Professor Barnett.

Ben Sulayem, who is also President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), has played a central role in the meteoric rise of the motor sport in the Middle East region. A well known sporting figure in his own right, having won the FIA Middle East Rally Championship a record fourteen times, he has led the organization of the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix staged at the famous Yas Marina circuit since its inception.

“Research and the creation of knowledge is critical to the development of motor sport and indeed all sports in the UAE.” said Ben Sulayem

“We will now be seeking UAE based candidates to undertake research degrees at Masters and PhD level at Ulster as a result of this agreement. Furthermore we are keen to develop work in specific fields of research. The potential for both parties is enormous.”

The University of Ulster has established itself as a leading centre for research into motor sport having developed an international reputation for the standard of its work, including that commissioned by the FIA, in this field.

“Developing strategic alliances with countries like the UAE allow us to address important objectives for the University. I want to pay tribute to the UAE Ambassador to the UK HE Abdul Rahman Ghanim Al Mutaiwee and Mr Ben Sulayem for their vision and indeed the confidence they have demonstrated in Ulster to achieve their desired outcomes. Research and education opportunities across engineering, health sciences, business and management and sport will all benefit from this agreement’ explained Dr. Hassan, from the University of Ulster’s School of Sports Studies and the Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute.