Emirati pilot becomes world’s youngest holder of aviation PhD

Shareef Al Romaithi, 31, is the eighth in the world to obtain the degree.

Shareef Al Romaithi, a 31 year-old Etihad Airways First Officer, has become the first Emirati to obtain a PhD in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Courtesy Etihad Airways
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DUBAI // An Emirati pilot with Etihad Airways has become the youngest holder of a PhD in aviation and just the eighth in the world to obtain the degree.

Shareef Al Romaithi, 31, joined the UAE’s national carrier in 2007 as a cadet pilot and became the first Etihad Airways cadet pilot to win First Officer status after completing the airline’s specialised pilot training programme,

Following on from his studies in aerospace engineering, aviation management and safety that yielded a degree and two masters qualifications, Etihad then sponsored his PhD studies at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida.

Mr Al Romaithi will be putting his skills to good use with the Boeing 777 fleet from April.

“I am thankful to Etihad Airways for giving me the opportunity to obtain this unique degree while at the same time pursuing what I love,” he said.

“I encourage my colleagues to pursue their goals, never give up on their dreams, to become risk takers and not be afraid of failure.

“We are blessed with all the opportunities that come our way; it is up to us to accept the responsibilities.”