Meet Sri Lankan Researcher — Dakshina Fernando
What are you currently working on or worked on before?
My current research is related to flying wing concept designing and thrust vectored autonomous maneuvering techniques. Furthermore, I study process optimization and resource management for the aviation industry and aircraft maintenance engineering organizations.
What encouraged you to pursue your research topic?
Initially, when entering the research field, I was overwhelmed by the design of the stealth bomber Northrop Grumman B2 bomber flying wing of the US Air Force. Which made me think about how to utilize the same kind of engineering marvels for the betterment of humankind rather than only to destroy it. Thus I entered to develop my own aircraft to support all major limitations in conventional commercial aircraft with innovative concepts.
What is the name of your current institute? (University name or research lab name)?
General Sir John Kotelawala Defense University, Sri Lanka.
Where do you find your best inspiration for your work?
First through my supervisor who provides me with a broader spectrum to dive into and grab the required information. Secondly with the paramount designs spanning across the world and technical advancements so far where thinking has been made easier. In essence, to me, the sky should be up for grabs not to stare from the ground.
Can you share with us some of your publications?
Yes. You can find my publications here.
- An Enumerative Constraint Planning Framework for Airline Engineering Manpower Cost Optimization
- Tri-Engine Single Thrust Vector Analysis for Yaw Movement of Flying Wing
What’s one of your biggest personal achievements so far?
Becoming the 6th out of the world to win the Magister’s Track Olympiad under Engineering and Technology Stream by Opendoors University program, Russia
What lessons would you share with a budding researcher?
Research is not for the faint-hearted, unless you fail you don’t see what you are doing wrong. So, embrace all your failures and push towards the maximum outcome.
What motivated you to be a researcher?
Since the 3rd year of my undergraduate my supervisor Dr. WTS Rodrigo was able to peak my interest by showing the impact we can make with novel ideas rather than reinventing the wheel. Thus, began my research journey to always provide something innovative to the world and the scientific community. Every time my research gets published, it refuels me to do more.
In your opinion, what are the changes that the Sri Lankan education system needs to do, in order to meet the requirements of the international industry and academia?
To take a step back from competitive education and focus more towards research-based education where it will be the best time spent by a student, not the most “machined” time.