Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Rally superstar buckles up for UU honours

The University of Ulster will hold its last day of graduations in the Waterfront Hall today before moving to the Millennium Forum in Londonderry on Monday.

Students from the Ulster Business School and the Faculty of Life and Health Sciences will take to the stage.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem will receive the honorary degree of Doctor of Science (DSc), in recognition of his services to sport, civic leadership and charity and Audrey Elizabeth Arlene Cassidy an honorary degree of Doctor of the University (DUniv) in recognition for her services to autism.

Mohammed Ben Sulayem is one of motor racing’s most accomplished rally drivers and administrators.

In a record-breaking rally driving career, he won the FIA (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile) Middle East Championship 14 times — having never been defeated.

President of the Automobile and Touring Club of the UAE (United Arab Emirate), he was the first Arab elected to the FIA World Motor Sport Council and the first named FIA vice-president.

He has pioneered education within the FIA via links with a range of universities to provide education and training opportunities for members of the motorsport community.

Mr Ben Sulayem, who is patron of numerous charities, including Save the Children, said: “I am very grateful to the University of Ulster for honouring me in this way. It is something I never expected. I’m humbled by recognising the many distinguished individuals I will be joining in receiving my Honorary Doctorate”.

The encomium will be delivered by Dr David Hassan of the Ulster Sports Academy.

Arlene Cassidy, chief executive of the charity Autism Northern Ireland, has helped Autism NI become the lead voice on autism issues in Northern Ireland — and a major catalyst for policy and procedure change with statutory, voluntary and government sectors.

The encomium to Ms Cassidy will be delivered by Professor Roy McConkey, Professor of Developmental Disabilities.

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