In University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, as an Assistant Lecturer. In Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology as a research scientist.
University of Cambridge
Dedicated researcher working on future energy materials.
My research is focused on different carbon materials, from activated carbon to graphene, as electrode materials for supercapacitors. Electrical double-layer (EDL) capacitors, also called supercapacitors, are electrochemical devices which store energy through reversible adsorption of ionic species on electrode surfaces. Compared with conventional capacitors, specific energy of supercapacitors is several orders of magnitude higher. Supercapacitors also have a higher specific power density than most batteries and hence known to bridge the gap between batteries and conventional capacitors. The main drawback of supercapacitors is their low energy density (compared to batteries), and thus applications are still limited in terms of specific energy. To date, substantial efforts are dedicated to address the limitation of supercapacitors related to their moderate energy density with minimum sacrifice in present very high levels of power density and cycle life. The performance of these devices largely depends on the characteristics of the electrode material. Carbon, in its various forms, has received considerable attention as a supercapacitor electrode material due to its unique combination of chemical and physical properties. Activated carbon is currently the most widely utilized electrode material in commercially available supercapacitors. On the other hand, graphene-based materials have recently emerged as a new class of promising electrode material.
My Typical Day
Busy and energetic
I start my day early in the morning checking my emails and replying to them. Then I run in to the lab before the instrument I use become busy with other users. In the afternoon sometimes I go to listen talks in the department by invited speakers or attend workshops. Then I return back to my lab to finish my experiments for the day. When I get a free time I enjoy it with my friends having a non-scientific chat.
What I'd do with the money
I will organize workshops for students to encourage them to choose a career in Engineering
As an international student from a developing country such as Sri Lanka, I have seen lot of girls find it challenging to pursue a career in Engineering. They often think that Engineering is not for girls and it is a difficult subject. This is only because they are not widely aware of the subject and also they rarely see female engineers as model roles. If I won the prize I would use that money to organize workshops specially for school girls to encourage them to choose Engineering as a subject and to pursue their future career in Engineering.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Friendly, Dedicated, Innovative
Who is your favourite singer or band?
What's your favourite food?
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Riding one of the steepest wooden roller coasters in Sweeden
What did you want to be after you left school?
A medical doctor, but I made a U turn at the last moment!
Were you ever in trouble at school?
No, not at school.
What's the best thing you've done as an engineer?
Encouraging other girls to pursue a career in Engineering
If you weren't an engineer, what would you be?