National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Daniel Kakaley

Daniel KakaleyNorth Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering , May 2013
  • B.S. in Physics, May 2014
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, May 2014

NASA Academy Research Project
Intelligent Aircraft Engines for Next Generation Air Transportation


Dr. Gary Hunter and Mr. John Lekki

Hometown: Palmer, MA


Academic and Work Experience

Midrex Technologies, Inc. – Charlotte, NC – Summer 2010, Summer/Winter 2011, and Summer 2012

Full-time, paid Mechanical Engineering Intern at Research and Development Center

  • Trade Work that included the use of tools: “mig” welding, drill presses, and side grinders; experience with building structures from blueprints
  • Process Modeling/Programming experience that included C# (VS 2008) server side web programming and SQL for databases. C++ programming (VS 2010) experience with converting Thermodynamic modeling programs from Console FORTRAN 77 programs to Console C++ programs. Programming also included creating GUI’s in Qt, a C++ based language, for the converted Console programs.

Memberships and Activities:

  • Phi Beta Kappa Member
  • Sigma Pi Sigma Member
  • Member of the American Physical Society

Honors and Awards

  • James M Johnston Scholar
  • Semester Dean’s List
  • AP Scholar with Distinction

Skills and Certifications

  • Fluent in computer usage, software, and programming. Experience with troubleshooting computers as well as building them from scratch.
  • Able to use and create documents in Microsoft Office 97-2010,, and LaTeX.
  • Knowledge in programming web pages in HTML and C#. Some experience with the basics of computations using spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel.
  • Programming languages include C#, C++ command prompt, FORTRAN 77 and 95, Qt by Nokia,and Mathematica. Some experience with Matlab.
  • Knowledge of the basics of modeling with numerical methods, including the modeling of processes with thermodynamic principles using both mass and energy balances in tandem with iterative techniques.
  • Knowledge of German; Basic knowledge of French.

Hobbies and Interests

  • Applying knowledge learned in school to the real world or finally understanding how something works
  • Helping others through my church or on my own
  • Spending time with family and friends
  • Reading classic literature and watching good movies, especially classic German expressionist films and early French cinema; watching Arthur (from PBS) :)
  • Traveling to see history and culture
  • The Arts: including music, art, and theater
  • Learning, reading, and retaining German and French
  • Staying up-to-date with computers and various uses for them
  • Physical activities such as Football, Basketball, and Running as well as watching Football and Basketball

Personal Statement

I am thank for people in my life who never gave up in me and continued to invest their time in my life for no reward to themselves. When I really sit down and think about it, it is a really touching thing, and it is something that I will never be able to repay, but will be forever grateful to those responsible.

Recently, I have really found enjoyment in both my field of study and various hobbies that I follow. Just simply learning about everything in this beautiful world I am in is such an amazing opportunity, and I am trying my best not to take this for granted. Whether it is academic, social, or just purely personal, I enjoy experiencing situations that will help me grow as a person, and also just be a nice person in general.

Since I think quotes are great for inspiration, I try to find those that inspire me and remember them to help me stay focused when life might not be going my way. I think this quote is great, because it talks of a constant thirst for knowledge, which is one of the greatest topics to pursue. I hope that in the end this quote describes my efforts to learn not just academically, but also spiritually, emotionally, and physically as well.

“A scientist is happy, not in resting on his attainments but in the steady acquisition of fresh knowledge.” –Max Planck

Professional and Educational Objective

To be perfectly honest, I am unsure where I will be in my academic career in two years. So writing a summary about where I want to be is difficult. I ran across a quote from 1932 in one of my textbooks that goes like this:

“I am an old man now, and when I die and go to Heaven there are two matters on which I hope for enlightenment. One is quantum electrodynamics and the other is the turbulent motion of fluids. And aboutthe former I am rather optimistic” — Sir Horace Lamb

I do think there is truth to this quote. Since I am in both physics and mechanical engineering, I will get some overview of both of these topics. As of now, and of course this may change, I hope to delve a bit deeper into the turbulent motion of fluids. I hope that when I die and go to Heaven that I will have made some contribution to advance this field.