PEOPLE: EGBAHL HAMIDY
Name: Egbahl Hamidy
Nationality: Great Britain
Born in the city of Shiraz in Iran, Hamidy grew up in Britain and his interest in engineering was fired by following NASA's Apollo space program in the late 1960s. At 15 he decided he wanted to become an aeronautical engineer and began to build his own single-seater aircraft although this ambitious project was eventually put aside to make way for a less-costly buggy. He won a place at London University's most famous engineering institution, Imperial College, which has produced a number of top F1 engineers over the years, including Keith Duckworth (the founder of Cosworth), Frank Dernie, Tino Belli and Dr. John Davis.
But Hamidy's passion remained aeronautics and his studies at Imperial resulted in BSc and MSc degrees. He then tried to find work in the aviation industry, but in the early 1980s, being an Iranian was a big disadvantage in the aerospace world and so Hamidy went back to Imperial to study for a doctorate in vehicle dynamics. This resulted in his working in the Honda-sponsored 40% rolling road windtunnel at Imperial, which had been used in the early 1980s by Williams and Lotus.
In 1988 Frank Dernie left Williams and the team decided to restructure its aerodynamics department and advertised for engineers with rolling-road windtunnel experience. Hamidy applied for the job and began working with the team at the end of that year. He stayed for eight years, working with designers Enrique Scalabroni and Adrian Newey, under the technical guidance of Patrick Head. He was largely responsible for the team's half-scale windtunnel, which helped to give Williams the competitive edge at the start of the 1990s.
When Stewart Grand Prix was formed, Hamidy was approached and asked if he would like to join the fledgling operation. He was one of the first recruits in early 1996 and worked with technical director Alan Jenkins on the design of the early Stewart chassis. He left in early 1999, soon after the departure of Jenkins.
Hamidy was appointed chief designer of Arrows in August 1999 and produced the Arrows-Supertec A21 which showed well in 2000. Towards the end of the year Hamidy was offered the job of technical director of Jordan Grand Prix and informed Arrows that he wished to depart. After several months of legal wrangling he joined Jordan in the Spring of 2001. The relationship was not a success and he was dropped by the team in the early months of 2002.