Nagendra began his engineering career in 1982 as an electronics technician at Van-West Clinic, Sri Lanka and then worked as an electrical technician in New Zealand. Later he joined the Biomedical Engineering Services, University of Auckland. There he worked with medical researchers to develop data acquisition system to monitor calcium levels on heart muscles. During this three year period, he also serviced and maintained medical equipment. He then moved to Singapore to work as a lecturer at the Singapore Polytechnic. He was appointed as the program manager for the Biomedical Engineering option for two diploma programs, and the chairman of department course management team for the Specialist Diploma in Biomedical Engineering program. He taught electronics, medical instrumentation and industrial automation courses. He also carried out numerous research works and published his work in a few journals. He received many ‘Excellence in R&D’ awards for his research work in biomedical instrumentation and computerised structural simulation.
In 2005, he joined a multi-national company in New Zealand, specialising in baggage handling systems. He developed automation systems for a few international airports in New Zealand and two major parcel handling systems for Australia Post in Australia. He then joined another multi-national company in New Zealand, specialising in manufacture of fruit sorting/packaging solutions. He worked on a few turn-key automation projects in Australia, New Zealand and US. In 2010 he moved to Australia to work as a VET lecturer at the Charles Darwin University. He then moved to Perth to work as a senior lecturer / deputy dean at Engineering Institute of Technology and then re-joined Charles Darwin University in 2016.
He is also the founder and managing director of Yarl Technologies Pty Ltd, an engineering consultancy services company that focuses on providing simple low cost solutions to its clients. His interests are in crafting music instruments, medical instrumentation, embedded systems and industrial automation.