Gakuo Ndonga, BSME

Gakuo Ndonga, BSME | Senior Engineer | WD Bearing Group

After 10 years working in the machinery industry Gakuo Ndonga has now reached the level of a Senior Engineer supporting numerous industry applications incorporating bearing technology. Now working with WD Bearing Group, a technology focused bearing manufacturer, he is looking to contribute his expertise into more industries and applications. 

Driven by his passion for engineering and design, Mr. Ndonga previously excelled in his role as an Applications Engineering Expert at SKF Group from 2019 to 2024. He previously built his experience and reputation as an Applications Engineer for five years at this global leader in rotation technology. Demonstrating an expertise in rolling element bearing applications for pumps, he reviews industrial pump designs for clients; provides recommendations and reviews for arrangements; travels on-site for bearing application support and training; conducts analysis for damaged or failed bearings from the field; and provides technical support for engineering and sales teams supporting pump and fluid machinery customers. A noteworthy accomplishment is when he helped develop an app that provided engineers a standardized process of conducting and documenting bearing inspections. For his outstanding work in the development of this app, he was honored with an Excellence Award from SKF Group. In addition to his active involvement in the pump industry, he was also awarded Industry Person of the Week by Empowering Pumps & Equipment.

Outside of his primary responsibilities in his field, he has been most proud of his work contributing articles to such industry publications as Pump and Systems, Pump Engineer, and Plant Services. These titles include “Airlift Technology Models: Predictive Tools for System Performance and Optimization,” “Fatigue Crack Growth Behavior During Transition Between Surface and Corner Cracks,” “Tips for Bearing in Machine Maintenance,” and “What Are Angular Contact Ball Bearings?” Mr. Ndonga has also been dedicated to improving Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the industry. Since 2020, he has served in his organization’s DEI Council as a contributing member, employee resource group chairperson, executive sponsor, and stakeholder. His contributions to improving DEI was recognized as part of the organization’s 11 behaviors that help shape the culture of the organization.

Mr. Ndonga’s previous experience has included working as an Inside Sales Engineer at Sunair Co. from 2012 to 2014, a maintenance mechanic at Walgreens in 2012, and a product tester at Crestron Electronics from 2010 to 2011. He first launched his career as a Mechanical Engineering Research Assistant in the midst of his studies at Rowan University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 2009. Outside of his educational career, he has been certified as a technician by the International Council for Machinery Lubrication. He has served on the advisory board for the Empowering Pumps & Equipment Industry Conference, and mentors several in the field. Looking toward the future, he strives to strengthen and develop more managerial, interpersonal, and general experience outside of traditional engineering. He also would like to influence the industry and his company and others to change perceptions, processes, and behaviors, and promote more diversity and inclusion so it can benefit from having a strong and varied talent pool.

In an interview with Empowering Pumps & Equipment, Mr. Ndonga had some words of advice for those struggling with a slow-to-change environment or industry: “If something can be changed overnight, it can also be reversed overnight…if you take long enough to build it, hopefully it will be long lasting.”

Outside of his profession, Mr. Ndonga spends his time volunteering and hosting drives for nonprofit organizations and charities such as Starfinder Foundation and Manna on Main Street. He is also an advent fan of history, travel, and professional football (American soccer).


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