This week in our series highlighting UBC Okanagan School of Engineering Student Ambassadors, we visit with Prashi (Prashanka) Mawalagedara.
Prashi is a second year student specializing in electrical engineering
What is the Student Ambassador Program?
The Student Ambassador Program is an outreach team tasked with attracting new or potential students to our campus and supporting current prospective students.
What is your role?
My role within the Student Ambassadors is to take care of event logistics and promote the research and scholarships opportunities offered at this campus. Research and awards are paramount in my role because their presence is relatively quiet and not many students know where to look to obtain these opportunities.
What extra-curricular activities are you involved with?
Currently, I am assisting Professor Najjaran to establish the STITCH Laboratory. The lab will work with the STITCH Laboratory on the Vancouver campus, specializing in designing and creating wearable devices that will monitor joint movement and limb vitals. Apart from Engineering, I am also a part of the Emergency First Responder Team on this campus. The EFRT Organization is run by medically trained volunteers to provide 24/7 first aid service for the campus.
What has been your favourite course so far? And why?
So far, my favourite course would be APSC 246 – System Dynamics. This is because systems are an area that I wish to develop in my future career. Understanding system properties seems so minute, but it plays the biggest role in advancing current technology. With systems, you have the potential to create any output with any input. Applications of this concept vary from robotics and biomedical engineering to photonics and even material engineering… The possibilities are truly endless.
Favourite pizza topping? And topping you never want to see on a pizza, ever?
Anything is perfectly fine. But, spare the pineapple. I still question the sanity required add a fruit with its own digestive enzymes onto a pizza and proceed to eat it.
Favourite misconception about engineers and engineering?
Engineers just go around fixing things with duct tape. Not true at all. We also use WD-40.
Looking ahead 5 or 10 years, where do you see yourself?
Within 5 years, I hope to be fully working in a research institute in Japan to develop neurological-to-electrical systems and micro-technology. Within 10 years, I hope to be developing advanced prosthetics and transforming technology.
Best advice you have received so far at UBC?
Forgive or forget and move on. It sounds blunt and harsh. But, there will be times where you will be faced with a decision or an outcome that you would never hope for. Save yourself the trouble of suffering in the future. Do the right thing, forgive, and move on. There will be pain, but it is up to you as to how long you wish for that pain to drag.