When Mahenrda Piraveenan won a University of Adelaide scholarship to study a Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Systems) Hons, little did he know that it would ultimately lead to a prestigious academic position at The University of Sydney.
Outstanding Sri Lankan high school grades afforded him the luxury of selecting from a wide range of universities and courses across Australia. After much research, the University of Adelaide’s academic reputation and highly rated engineering course won him over.
Once in Adelaide, Mahendra explains, “I discovered I loved the city, with its green parks, clean air friendly people and laid-back pace of life.” “I lived in Lincoln College, one of the universities residential colleges close to the city centre which meant I could walk past the Torrens River and over the historic university footbridge to lectures every day.”
Hard work and a high distinction average earned him a number of awards and prizes, including the Golden Key scholarship, Codan Prize for RF Engineering, Frank Hambley scholarship as well as the Deans Certificate of Merit for all four years of study.
I was taught by some very kind, committed and talented teachers who always made themselves available to students.
Mahendra counts himself lucky to have been taught by “some very committed, kind and talented teachers who took the time to discuss complex aspects of the course and always made themselves available to students”. “The course itself touched on a broad range of areas in electronics and software engineering and I enjoyed the challenge of studying a double degree.”
After graduating, Mahendra worked for an Adelaide based software firm before commencing his Ph.D studies at the University of Sydney. He explains, “During the candidature I published papers in a number of high impact international journals, obtained an ARC Ph.D student fellowship and visited some prestigious research labs around the world, including the Max Planck Institute in Germany.”
Working today as a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney, Mahendra attributes much of his success to, “the early academic grounding and research skills” acquired whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the University of Adelaide.