Gladys was born and raised in Kenya, obtaining her first degree from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. She attended the University of Oxford for her PhD as a Rhodes Scholar. As an engineer, she researched advanced cooling technologies for jet engines with the aim of developing more efficient, less environmentally damaging jet engines.
Gladys is passionate about the use of space and space technologies to support sustainable development goals. As a Schmidt Science Fellow, at the Space Enabled group at MIT, Gladys works on space-enabled technology designs that support sustainable development goals, aiming to improve public service and solve local problems. She works, in particular, on green alternative rocket fuels for satellite launch and in-space propulsion.
Gladys is driven by her first-hand experience of challenges faced by communities in Kenya and other developing nations. She is motivated to apply her engineering skills to improve the lives of people who need better access to education, clean water, sustainable energy, and standards of living. Skills and insights from many different fields of science are necessary to help solve some of these complex global challenges and that is what motivated and continues to motivate Gladys to work on interdisciplinary science.