Meet Stephanie Travers: A Young Zimbabwean Woman Who Beat 7000 Applicants To Land Job With Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

Stephanie Travers (middle) and Petronas colleague En De Liow (left) discuss samples with Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One driver and six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. 

Stephanie Travers, A 26-year-old Zimbabwean native based in the UK, is a track-side fluid engineer working with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One (F1) team. 
To step into the glamorous and rarefied world of F1, she had to beat more than 7,000 applicants in Petronas’s global talent search before landing the job with Malaysian petrochemical giant Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), the title sponsor and technical partner of the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team.

“I provide analysis of all the fluids we send track side. In the case of analyzing the fuel, we take a fingerprint from a fuel sample, and much like when you unlock your phone, the fingerprint has to match the standards of the ‘golden sample’ approved by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile. So much of the work I do at the beginning of a race week is to ensure the fuel complies with regulations,” says Travers.

Petronas staffs and equips the specialized mobile track-side laboratory that accompanies the team to all races. Extracting, testing and analyzing the fuel, engine oil and transmission lubricant are the primary responsibility of Travers and her track-side laboratory colleague En De Liow

Travers and her family emigrated to the UK in 2004. But far from cutting ties with the land of her birth, Travers returns to Zimbabwe often. 

“My Dad had a real interest in Formula One and cars in general, and so did my mum. It became a family activity on the weekend. We would watch races and discuss them as a family. Even races such as China, where you are waking up at six in the morning, we would all be there cuddled up watching the races together as a family and just enjoying following the team. So it’s something I always dreamt about from just watching the sport,” she says.

Travers graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering with first-class honors from the University of Bradford and subsequently read for her Masters at Imperial College, London, which she obtained in 2017. 

 “My dad is one of my biggest inspirations. When we went to university, he was so interested in the courses that we studied that he was studying my degree course alongside me! So he was able to help me and encourage us to think differently, think outside the box. It was just great to have him there and have him so interested in our education and careers,” says Travers. 

In July 2020, Travers archived a lifelong ambition and became the first black woman to stand on an F1 podium in Austria.

View this post on Instagram

I wanted to post this because it’s such an important moment. This is Stephanie who is one of my teammates. She is one of our trackside fluid engineers. On Sunday, she became the first black woman to stand on the podium in Formula 1 history. This is an amazing achievement and I just wanted to acknowledge her for her hard work, positivity, and passion for her job. Like most of the jobs in our sport they are in high demand, and Stephanie was selected out of over 7000 applicants for her role. Steph said she wants to inspire young black children, and children of colour to believe that they can do it too, and I couldn’t agree more. Put your mind to it, and you can be anything you want to be. So whilst I really appreciate all of the congratulations, I wanted take the opportunity to lift her up, and share them with her. #manifest #hardwork #bethechange

A post shared by Lewis Hamilton (@lewishamilton) on

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

Post a Comment (0)
Previous Post Next Post