Dr Kamau Gachigi is the Founding Executive Director of Gearbox Pan African Networks.
A hardware accelerator that provides members with access to modern machines for prototyping and low volume manufacture including electronics PCB fabrication. The center represents a unique window into Industry 4.0 capabilities in Africa.
He recently founded Machine Africa Network of Industries (aka MachineAni) which aims at formalizing manufacturing in the informal sector. Gearbox trains youth on manufacturing, and engages directly with informal sector artisans to formalize their skills and link them upstream to machines made by Kenyan engineers for micro-industrial production, and downstream (through MachineANI) to market linkages & opportunities.
He also co-founded Gearbox Europlacer, an electronics (printed circuit board assembly) contract manufacturing firm. A JV with a global leader in manufacturing surface mount technology (SMT) equipment, Europlacer.
Dr. Kamau served a 3-year term as a member of the Global Council on the Future of Production under the World Economic Forum, and additionally as a member of the Consultative Advisory Group for the Partnership for Skills in the Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology (PASET) between African Governments, with support from the World Bank.
Kamau was appointed to Chair the Board of the National Industrial Training Authority (NITA), a semi-autonomous government authority and until recently also sat on the Board of the Numerical Machining Complex, a Kenyan State Corporation. He previously founded the Fab Lab at the University of Nairobi and another in a low-income area in Nairobi.
He worked in Japan for TDK in R&D for over two years after earning his doctorate, and taught engineering at the University of Nairobi for 14 years.
He holds a Ph.D. in Solid State Science from the Pennsylvania State University (USA), and is a holder of a US patent.