Tag Archives: Thong Dang

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique: “Flying In The Face Of Gravity: How Aircraft Gas Turbine Engines Get It Off The Ground”

Saturday – March 18, 9:30-11:00am

Milton J Rubenstein Museum of Science & Technology – Syracuse, NY

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Please RSVP to jrcafe@tacny.org


Charles A. Mayaka, MS, Design Engineer, Pratt & Whitney (twitter)

Talk Overview

For aircraft to fly, they require propulsive force (thrust). Engines contribute a majority of this force. But how do they produce thrust and how does thrust contribute to flight? Charles will explain the scientific principles that make thrust possible and introduce one of the latest advancements in gas turbine engine technology that is making flights quieter, greener and more efficient. He will also speak about his experiences as a student in a STEM field, and briefly on the Link Trainer, which recently found a new home at the MOST!


Charles Mayaka works as a Design Engineer for Rotors in the Compression Systems Module Center department under the Advanced Engines Program at Pratt & Whitney in Middletown, Connecticut. Briefly before joining Pratt & Whitney, Charles worked as an Aerodynamics Engineer at Belcan Corporation in Windsor, Connecticut.

Charles was born in Kisii, a little town in Kenya. Always curious about aviation, he was admitted to one of only two schools in the entire country that offered Aviation Technology as a technical elective. Through the guidance of his AT instructor (Mr. Owiti), his desire to pursue a career in aviation was further cemented. Upon high school graduation, Charles came to the United States and was later enrolled in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University where he obtained both his Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering and his Master of Science degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering last year.

At Syracuse University, Charles worked as an Experimental Researcher under Prof. Thong Dang building intricate aircraft wing sections for use in wind tunnel experiments. Charles also served as the President of the SU chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics & Sigma Gamma Tau. He was involved in the National Society of Black Engineers and supported NSBE Jr’s tutoring engagement and tutoring program at Nottingham High School, Design Build Fly (DBF) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). Other at-large community involvement while at Syracuse University included volunteering as a tutor at The Dunbar Center in the South Side and at The Samaritan Center right in Downtown Syracuse. In his spare time, Charles likes golf, building RC Aircraft and flying them, running (like every Kenyan), soccer, tennis, chess, & cooking Kenyan dishes.

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique

TACNY Junior Cafe Scientifique, a program for middle-school students founded in 2005, features discussions between scientists and students about topics in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in an informal atmosphere and seeks to encourage students to consider careers in these areas. Students must be accompanied by an adult and can explore the MOST at no cost after the event.

Technology Alliance of Central New York

Founded in 1903 as the Technology Club of Syracuse, the nonprofit Technology Alliance of Central New York’s mission is to facilitate community awareness, appreciation, and education of technology; and to collaborate with like-minded organizations across Central New York.

For more information about TACNY, visit www.tacny.org.