OTI Featured Researcher Series

OTI: Lovely to have you here today, can you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your research?

Gladys Ngetich: My name is Gladys C Ngetich. I am a Rhodes scholar and a PhD student at the Oxford Thermofluids Institute. I was born and raised in Kenya.

My research involves developing and studying advanced and efficient cooling technologies for jet engines. I am working in a close partnership with Rolls-Royce Plc and we are inventing new methods of cooling that will use as little cooling air as possible. The aim of my research is to improve jet engine’s overall efficiency.

“I am working in a close partnership with Rolls-Royce Plc, inventing new methods of cooling.”

OTI: What inspired you to become an aerospace engineer?

Gladys Ngetich: My dad (a retired civil engineer) and 2 of my brothers (civil and mechanical engineers) influenced me a great deal. I also loved maths and physics from a very young age. Towards the end of high school, I knew that I wanted to study mechanical engineering.

I went on to pursue a BSc. in Mechanical Engineering at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. In the fourth year of my undergraduate, I specialised in Thermofluids. It was during this time that I realised I had a deep passion for thermofluids. Thermofluids finds a lot of its practical applications in the aerospace industry. That is how I ended up in aerospace engineering.

OTI: Which of your achievements are you most proud of?

Gladys Ngetich: I would say those on top of my list are;

  • Rhodes scholarship
  • UK’s Rare Rising Award
  • Rolls Royce Plc patent
  • ASME IGTI Young Engineer Turbo Expo Participation Award
  • Skoll World Forum Fellowship
  • Oxford Blue Athletics Award
  • Tanenbaum Fellowship

“The areas I’m most passionate about are Thermofluids and Turbomachinery.”

OTI: You were selected as one of the UK’s rare rising stars 2018 recently, can you tell us a bit about what this means to you?

Gladys Ngetich: I come from a very humble background and I have had to navigate a lot of challenges to get to where I am. Thus, this award means a lot to me. My hope is that by winning this award, I can inspire students with humble backgrounds like mine to follow their ambitions too.

OTI: Which area of Aerospace Engineering are you most passionate about?

Gladys Ngetich: The areas I’m most passionate about are Thermofluids and Turbomachinery.

OTI: Do you have any insights on the future of Aerospace Engineering to share with the community?

Gladys Ngetich: With the possibility of solar-powered aeroplanes, trips to Mars etc., I think the future of aerospace is very promising and exciting!

OTI: Finally, what would you say to young women from diverse backgrounds that want to become engineers?

Gladys Ngetich: It will be challenging working in an environment where you are a minority, but they should be strong and go on and pursue their dreams.

OTI: Thankyou Gladys, for such an exciting, informative and inspirational interview. We wish you all the best in your research and your career!