Introducing a weekly column by NASA fellow, Aeronautical Engineer Dr. Cedrick Ngalande

Sundays with Cedrick

* He expressed interest to run for Malawi Presidential race for the 2019 tripartite elections

* He has published several scholarly papers on ‘microscale thrusters using pulse optical lattices’

* He obtained his PhD from the University of Southern California

By Duncan Mlanjira

US-based Aeronautical Engineer, Dr. Cedrick Ngalande — who expressed interest to run for Malawi Presidential race for the 2019 tripartite elections — has expressed the desire to run a weekly column in Maravi Express.

He will be tackling issues that affect the political, economic and social affairs affect the country and as starters, we introduce the man — a former fellow of the USA’s National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and works for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company.

In his speech during the 243rd US Independence Day celebration at the US Embassy in Lilongwe in 2019, Chargé d’Affaires Andrew Herrup had indicated that the ceremony marked the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon.

He had said on July 16, 1969, “the United States hurled a giant Saturn V rocket carrying the Apollo 11 spacecraft 240,000 miles to the moon”.

“The rocket was more than twice the height of the President Walmont Hotel in Lilongwe, and the Apollo 11 modules weighed more than eight full-grown elephants,” he said.

Saturn V rocket

“US astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface on July 21, and together with his crewmate Buzz Aldrin, they spent 21 hours on the lunar surface before blasting off on their long journey back to Earth.

“To this day, when we say ‘to shoot the moon’, we refer to launching an audacious plan to achieve historical new heights of success.”

In the same spirit, Herrup said, many Malawians have made outstanding contributions to science and technology amongst those he made special mention was Aeronautical Engineer Dr. Cedrick Ngalande.

Dr. Cedrick Ngalande

He took cognizance that Ngalande — apart from being NASA’s former fellow, he has published several scholarly papers on ‘microscale thrusters using pulse optical lattices’.

In his own brief background on, Ngalande is “a strategic engineering executive with the technical breadth necessary to oversee all functions within the engineering team, with proven success in mentoring highly talented and successful engineers who aspire to perform with accountability for achieving their personal best while also meeting or exceeding company goals”.

“I have always represented the company to the highest standards regarding engineering strategy, performance and outlook.

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“My strong background in aerospace engineering, computer programming, stochastic processes and engineering probability is a result of my expertise in space environments with specialties in direct simulations Monte Carlo (DSMC) and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), predictive science, investment and financial engineering.

“As an effective leader, I also bring a business focus in areas including corporate strategy, project analytics, materials planning, production and procurement. This business acumen is combined with my demonstrated technical tactical leadership.”

In an exclusive interview with Nyasa Times when he expressed interest to run for Malawi Presidency in 2018, Ngalande had said he decided to contest after observing that the people’s aspirations had since independence.

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Nyasa Times reported that Ngalande earned both his Masters Degree in aerospace engineering-astronautics (2004) and his PhD in astronautical engineering (2007) in US.

He told the online publication that he strongly believes Malawi could be served better with an independent president who will not be dictated to by partisan interests and do away with the current cronyism.

He told Nyasa Times that Malawians have been waiting for a true leader hence hopeful of winning the forthcoming 2019 general elections as an independent candidate.

“Once Malawians know what options they have, I am very confident they will go with our agenda,” he told Nyasa Times. “In the past, Malawians have settled for mediocre leadership for lacking better options. Our agenda resonates with a common man in the village.

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“Malawi is a beautiful country. It truly deserves the title ‘the warm heart of Africa’. Malawians are hardworking and innovative. We have been let down by our leaders.

“54 years is a long time. We have spent most of those years moving in circles. We have to do better. We honour the people who fought and died for our independence by appointing capable men and women of integrity to lead this country,” he had explained.

He was born on September 29, 1970 and hails from Phalombe District. His father, Alfred Goliati came from Kumadzi Village in Thyolo District, and his mother Jean Singani was born at Thangudzi in Mulanje District. Her family eventually settled at Mangodza Village in Phalombe.

He is an Aerospace Engineer, Space Scientist,  Financial Engineer and his work experience, among others, includes roles as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the US Naval Research Laboratory.

He is also a visiting Professor of Astronautics at the University of Southern California, a visiting Scientist at NASA/JPL and a Senior Space Systems Engineer at Microcosm Space Missions Company.

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