Is there anything more exciting than the idea of flying, whether it involves jetting off on a holiday, or on a short business trip, or lying on the grass, staring up at the sky and wondering where all the airplanes passing overhead are going? There is an escapism attached to flight and aviation that everyone appreciates, but for young minds interested in engineering, aviation is especially enthralling.
To support curiosity about aviation, Kenya Airways, GE Africa and Boeing, in a joint initiative, donated a CF6-80A2 aviation engine to the Technical University of Kenya (TUK) in Nairobi to launch the institution’s Propulsion Systems Laboratory, which will serve as one of the centrepieces for the university.
The engine, manufactured by GE, was handed over along with aviation maintenance training books, training aids, reading materials, used aircraft parts and aircraft manuals to enable capacity building in the region.
The CF6-80A engine powers the Boeing 767, among other aircraft, and is part of the successful CF6 engine family, which recently celebrated 45 years of service. The CF6 engine powers more than 13 different aircraft and more than 7,000 CF6 engines were delivered to customers around the world. Of these 7,000 engines, 70% remain in service and GE continues to deliver this engine to customers today.
Speaking during the handover ceremony held at TUK, Kenya Airways Strategy and Performance MD Thomas Omondi said: “Our donation today further strengthens our commitment to ensure a stronger foundation of aeronautical knowledge, skills and more experience to aviation technicians and engineers as students prepare for the job market either with us or elsewhere. We are extremely happy to support the next generation of aircraft maintenance engineers.”
Receiving the training equipment, TUK Vice Chancellor Prof. FWO Aduol said: “This donation will providemuch-needed practical and research orientation for our technical and engineering students, and thus increase their competitiveness. This will make us the university of choice for aspiring aviation professionals in the region.”
At the handover, Dr Rajiv Bissessur, regional sales director for GE Aviation in Africa, said: “I look forward to returning to TUK and the Propulsion Systems Laboratory, and watching students surrounding our CF6 engine and developing vital skills to keep aviation advancing and growing in Africa. May this engine instill the love of learning and skill development in your students.”
GE has made a strong commitment to skills development in Africa to ensure the development of jobs in a programme known as the “Future of Work”. The Future of Work brings tremendous opportunities for Africa and will enable the continent to build a range of manufacturing and services activities, which will bolster Africa’s competitiveness for decades to come and fuel growth in jobs and incomes on a sustainable basis.