- Course: Mechatronics and Robotics MEng, BEng
- Nationality: Sri Lankan
Why did you decide to study at the University of Leeds?
Besides the Schools that teach my program (Electronic & Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) being highly ranked, what stood out to me about Leeds was LUU with its staggering number (and breadth) of societies. There's one for every sport or interest you could possibly think of, from skating to dance to trampolining.
Why did you choose this particular course?
I always liked the idea of convergent, multidisciplinary thinking, and mixing ideas. I felt that a purely Electronic or Mechanical course would leave me unsatisfied, as the vast majority of technology today integrates elements from both, so I felt that choosing Mechatronics would let me see both sides of the coin, or so to speak.
What have been the best aspects of studying your course, and why?
The process of seeing your 3D model, code or blueprint become an actual physical robot, and seeing it move, for example, is immensely rewarding. I love the amount of freedom that is given to us in regards to projects, that even the most unusual of design ideas can be used to solve engineering problems.
Tell us about some of the exciting projects you have completed on your course?
The Year 2 Colonoscopy robot project has been the most exciting one one so far. We used data and simulation extensively to refine the robot's path through the colon to beat the 7-second record.
Another is the Self-Driving Buggy project, that let us build an autonomous buggy, make it intelligent- for example, teaching it to correct its path, and learn about the ethics of autonomous vehicles.
What does Leeds as a city have to offer students?
Leeds has an enormous variety of things to do: from the concerts to the to the art galleries with their particularly radical strain of art to the gigs, both big-name and underground, to the food and its diversity of cuisines to some of the best electronic music clubs in the UKː as a student you may try but probably never have the time to do it all!
What are your ambitions for the future?
I want to specialize in biomechatronics, to design and make robotic prosthetics- maybe even upgrades, like powered exoskeletons.
What experiences at Leeds do you think will help you in your future career?
Being on the committee for the academic society for my school (ShockSoc) has given me experience in networking: for example, when we contact companies for sponsorship. It has also taught me project management, through seeing how a big event like Robot Fighting League is run behind the scenes.
What would you say to students coming to do the same course?
First of all, you've chosen wisely! Try and use the knowledge you gain to experiment and build your own personal projects. Try and diversify your interests as much as you can: to find your true calling, you have to leave your comfort zone! And finally, don't forget to have fun!